Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Birthday Weekend

view from our room

the semi frozen lake with walkway down the middle

the front

beautiful details

bronco ice sculpture at sunday brunch
On Sunday I turned 34.  I honestly don’t know how I feel about this.  I suppose I feel ok, since I still feel like I’m in my 20’s.  But since turning 30 I’ve had some pretty major life changing stuff happen to me.  I guess it’s just weird to me to think that I’m in my mid-thirties.  I also think about what 34 will bring.  I’ll be a Mom at 34.  Sounds like a good age to me.  I think a couple of years earlier would have been ok too, but I’ve learned that my life’s plan wasn’t and isn’t up to me. 

My birthday is a big deal to me.  I’ve had some pretty horrible birthdays, and some fantastic ones.  This one ranks high with the best.  I truly value a plan, and this is something Chris as grown into as we’ve known each other.  I knew that he had my birthday weekend planned before Christmas, and with that I was already so impressed.  The weeks leading up to the big day I could tell we would be going somewhere, I just didn’t know where. 
On Saturday morning we woke up, and he advised me we would be going down to Colorado Springs to stay at the Broadmoor Hotel.  Prior to living in Colorado I had never heard of this hotel, but it’s pretty popular and super fancy.  I was so excited.  He had our meals plans (another big score) and off we went.  We had breakfast downtown, and stopped at IKEA before arriving in the Springs.  We made our first big purchase at IKEA for Baby Sweat: a white dresser for $80! 
Once we arrived at the Broadmoor it was like we were a world away.  The hotel itself is sorta tucked up against the mountains, like Albuquerque the mountains in CO Springs are much closer to the actual city compared to Denver.  We had our car valet and treated like royalty.  We were escorted inside the original lobby from 1919, and checked-in.  From there a bellman escorted us to our room and gave us a little history behind the property.  High class all the way around.  Once we checked out everything in the room we walked around the property.  We stopped and had a snack at the coffee/pastry shop.  Then did some shopping.  
While walking around I could just imagine people walking around in the 1920’s (one of my favorite times in US History), with their skinny cigarette’s and formal wear of flapper dresses and top hats.  I imagine a place like the Broadmoor was a place to go and be seen back then.  The hotel as lots of specialty shops so we walked around and looked at all the high-end fancy stuff.  After shopping for a bit we went back to the room and got ready for dinner.  Then we walked around this beautiful lake they have between the properties.  We stopped by where the indoor pool and spa were, very glamorous!  Then we made our way inside to just sit and relax.  The hotel itself has so many details.  Tiles and flowers, and beautiful chandeliers.  I really wish I would have taken more pictures!  It reminded me of what an old school Bellagio would be like.  After just hanging out for a bit we went to dinner on site at a restaurant called the Tavern, a classic steak and seafood place.  Very delicious!  After dinner the restaurant had live music, so we did some dancing which I truly enjoyed.  Dancing with Chris was a big highlight for me!  Sunday we went to the popular Sunday Brunch.  I’m not a big fan of buffets, just because there is so much, and that is true for this one.  So.Much.Food.  But we had a great time, and had lots of good stuff. 
Then we were on the road back home, and made it back just in time to watch the Bronco game!  Such a good game, and for the most part we played really well.  Ending my birthday with a Bronco win and a trip to the Super Bowl was just the cherry on top!
This little getaway will most likely be the last one for awhile, as we have a list of “to-do’s” to prepare for Baby Sweat in the next few months.  I truly appreciate everything that Chris has done, and this birthday was a big example of that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pregnancy Week 13 - 20

Baby Sweat at 13 weeks 6 days

Baby Sweat at 20 weeks 2 days
Week 13: 11/10 – 11/16 (peach)
I’ve had on and off spotting all week, so we had an ultrasound at the regular OB on Friday.  I brought some special guests: my mom and Aunt Michelle were in attendance, as they came up last minute for a long weekend.  The consistent spotting is really freaking me out.  But the ultrasound tech says all is ok with baby (we got to see it move and wave again!) and doctor says some spotting is completely normal and could continue throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Week 14: 11/17 – 11/23 (lemon)
I’ve felt pretty good this week.  All spotting as stopped, which I’m so grateful for.  Gone to the gym a couple times, but still rather tired, and sleeping lots.  I had a pretty good pattern the week prior and was only getting up once a night to use the bathroom.  But now this week I’m getting up 3 trips on some nights!

Week 15: 11/24 – 11/30 (navel orange)
Thanksgiving Week!  Spotting is back.  It sucks.  I had to collect a day’s worth of pee on Sunday, for the doctor to check on protein in my urine.  This making a baby stuff is no joke…not that I expect it to be, but I feel good that I’m being looked after, so I can properly look after baby. I just really hate this spotting, it’s difficult not to imagine the worse.  Thankfully the spotting is gone!

Week 16: 12/1 – 12/7 (avocado)
Is it weird that sometimes I still can’t believe I’m pregnant?  It still seems so surreal.  No bleeding to report this week!  Other big news, I’ve start testing my blood sugars.  Again super unpleasant, but necessary.  So far so good, and haven’t had any really high numbers to report.  We had our 16 week checkup too, and got to hear your strong 165 heart rate!  I gotta say it’s always nerve-racking when they go to check for the heart rate, I’m always worrisome of the worse. 

Week 17: 12/8 – 12/14 (onion)
All alone this week, Chris is in Houston training for his new job.  I’m super excited for this opportunity, but am not used to being alone.  But I am trying to enjoy this opportunity of being alone.  I’ve gone to the gym 3 times this week and enjoyed getting stuff done around the house.  We’ve picked out names!, which is a nice relief.  And still no spotting to report.

Week 18: 12/15 – 12/21 (sweet potato)
Had a follow up doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, specifically to go over my blood sugars.  Baby is active and heart rate is 152!  I always get so anxious when they put the Doppler on me searching for the heart beat.  I can’t help but think the worse, but am oh so happy when the heart is nice and strong!  Doctor doesn’t seem concerned with my blood sugars, which is a relief.  But let me know that they will get worse as the pregnancy progresses and placenta grows.  I think I’ve felt baby a few times, I always respond and say “Hi baby” and pat my belly.

Week 19: 12/22 – 12/28 (mango)
Christmas week, and I got the BEST Christmas gift ever.  We were at my Aunt Michelle’s waiting for Christmas morning breakfast, and I felt baby kick.  There was no doubt in my mind it was baby.  Truly a Christmas miracle!  Ever since I’ve been blessed with babies little kicks a couple times a day. 

Week 20: 12/29 – 1/4 (banana)
Happy 2014!  Baby is officially half way done cooking.  I can’t believe we only have 20 more weeks to go.  It’s truly all downhill from here.  We had our 20 week ultrasound on Monday, and you were so active!  We got to see all 10 fingers and 10 toes, and your heart (heart rate was 156) and brain.  The doctor was very pleased with seeing so much detail of your heart and how strong it is!  Chris even says he saw baby give a thumbs up to assure me all is going well.  I love your little movements.  I usually feel you after every meal.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Being a Grownup

what was waiting for me when I got home from work
I’m almost 34, and am having my very first real feelings of being a grownup.  Sure, I’ve been an “adult” since 18…whoever thought of that age is crazy, but I think there is a big difference between being an adult and a grownup.  Sure I’ve done grownup things, moved out, bought a house, took care of myself, got married, got pregnant.  All of those are pretty adult things to do, but this week will be a very grownup week for me.  Chris has officially started his new job, with his new shift: 3pm – 1am.  Chris and I have been spoiled since we met, having the same schedule, and getting to spend all of our free time together.  But now my fun loving time with my husband, will be a quick weekday lunch here or there, a quick kiss in the morning (if I happen to wake him up), a quick kiss in the middle of my night (if he happens to wake me up), with no real quality time until the weekend comes.  This is going to be a huge adjustment for me.  Specifically dinner time, watching TV time.  Last night I cried like a baby (I’ll blame the baby for these out of whack hormones!) as I got ready for today, having to put my clothes out in the bathroom to get dressed compared to the bedroom, in preparation to not wake my sleeping husband, and as Chris tucked me into bed and kissed me good night.  I cried and cried.  I suppose a part of me will enjoy my evenings to myself, cooking at my leisure, going to the gym, bonding with baby.  But mostly, I’ll miss Chris.  Cooking dinner with him, eating dinner with him, cuddling on the couch watching TV with him, going to bed with him, waking up with him.  I realize that our schedules are about to be dramatically changed come May, and I also realize this schedule could be ideal once we go to put Baby Sweat in daycare, because with this schedule baby will only be in daycare part time, compared to what would most likely be full time if we worked the same hours.  So, I do see the positives, but right now I’m just documenting how much I’ll miss our evenings together.  I feel like this is a very “grownup” thing to do.  I feel like this is the first time I'm really having to work at our marriage.  I hope that makes sense.  Over the past 15 months that we've been married, we've both worked at it, but this is just different.  This change to our marriage and schedule, and to work through it.  And to value our time together even more.  I also know that this schedule isn’t permanent.  Hopefully Chris will get a “normal” work schedule, and we’ll be back on the same shift.  This will require a lot more work, and not that I’m fearful we won’t put in the work, I think the opposite in fact, I just think it’ll be different.  Our love is solid, and if anything this little challenge will make us stronger.  Especially now, as we prep for baby.  Life is always an adjustment, especially when it involves two people, and this is definitely an adjustment.  I accept the challenge and look forward to the growth it will give us.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Eve & 2013 Review

Chris and I had a memorable New Year's getaway.  When I found out that he wouldn't have to start work until 1/2 I immediately told him we should go somewhere for New Year's Eve.  We booked a 2 night stay at the Highland Haven Bed and Breakfast in Evergreen, about 45 minutes West of Denver tucked away in the mountains.  It wasn't our favorite bed and breakfast, but we had a great time relaxing in the mountains.

 We went to dinner on New Year's Eve at The Fort, a very authentic Colorado restaurant.  I had the duck, and it was fantastic.  If you want to try some Colorado game, The Fort is the place to go.
 At the bed and breakfast we stayed in they have a little walk way titled "Lovers Lane" and you can get a stone with your names on it.  Chris surprised me buy showing me our stone, with initials and wedding anniversary date.  So special, that we'll be part of this forever and ever.  The picture above is hard to read because of the moisture from the snow, but it was such a romantic gesture. 
Lover's Lane

I've had some pretty memorable and life changing years, the past few years, and it's such a grateful feeling that somehow each year keeps getting better.  I know bringing a child into the world will bring on some challenges for 2014, but I know the rewards and the love will be so much greater!  2013 was definitely a life changing year, I feel so blessed that each year somehow tops the last.

2013 Year in Review
What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before? Got pregnant

What countries did you visit? Just my home, USA.

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? Less worrisome.

What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Labor Day – taking my first ever pregnancy test, and realizing it was positive!

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting pregnant!

What was your biggest failure? Gaining so much weight.

Did you suffer from illness or injury? No.

What was the best thing you bought? A Bronco shirt for baby Sweat.

Where did most of your money go? Mortgage.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? Getting pregnant!

What song will always remind you of 2013? Suit and Tie by JT.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder: same
Thinner or fatter: fatter
Richer or poorer: richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Gym time, and staying connected to friends.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Watching TV.

What was your favorite TV program? Scandal

What was the best book you read? I hardly read this year, does Candy Crush count?

What did you want and get? Got pregnant.

What did you want and not get? I didn’t want Chris to lose his job.  But I think it’s all going to work out.

What was your favorite film of the year? Captain Phillips

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I started the day at breakfast with my friend Andrea.  Dinner at Vesta and comedy show at Impulse Theater with Chris.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Going to the gym more, more time seeing a counselor. 

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Too tight clothes.

What kept you sane? My patient husband.

Which celebrity did you fancy the most? Jennifer Lawrence

Who did you miss? My friend Tina and her family.

Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2013. That everything will be ok.

What were your favorite photos from 2013?
our first house

our first completed 5k

a nice summer day out to lunch

being pregnant, and not yet knowing it!

Chris and Denali

Positive pregnancy tests!

Christmas 2013

So much to catch up on!  I had a super relaxing Christmas break.  I didn’t think about blogging or anything really “work” related, but now I feel so behind.  Here’s a messy recap of my Christmas 2013.

I truly enjoy having a Christmas break.  A big blessing in working for corporate America is the last 2 weeks of the year the office is pretty vacant.  So I’ve made that my new normal since working for this sales group.  I love it, and really enjoy all my time off.  My last day in the office was Friday 12/20. 
Saturday 12/21 was nice and leisurely, packing, and cleaning up the house getting ready to depart for Albuquerque.  My cousin Cheryl coincidentally booked the same flight, so she met us at our house, and we took the bus to the airport.  We were on a later flight out, so the airport wasn’t too crazy, and made it to the gate with plenty of time. 
Our week in Albuquerque was sorta a blur, but some strong highlights definitely stand out.

The first is Chris’ relationship with my parents.  Specifically my dad.  Chris and my dad have this amazing son-in-law/father-in-law relationship that seems to be out of a fairy tale!  Something I never thought would happen.  To see their relationship grow since that first Christmas we were home as an engaged couple two years ago is such a blessing.  Chris and my dad can just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.  It’s a difficult dynamic to describe especially if you don’t know my dad, but I’m so thankful for their relationship.  With various outings scheduled and Chris getting sick during our stay, Chris stayed behind at my parents house a lot without me there and it was so nice feeling comfortable leaving him with my parents!

Melting Pot dessert

 I enjoyed a nice leisurely dinner with my girl cousins, at our 8th Annual (can’t believe it’s been 8 years since we’ve been doing this!) Girl Cousin dinner at the Melting Pot.  Nikki wasn’t in attendance this year, as she’s a new Mom taking care of her baby boy in Nashville, but she was sorely missed.  The dinner of course, was fantastic, and catching up with Kari and Cheryl was a blast.
the Christmas tree in Old Town.
 During our stay I got some valuable one on one time with my friend Michelle.  My oldest and dearest friend, we went to lunch and walked around Old Town.  It was great to hang out with just her, and catch up on life.
This is my favorite nativity.  It's beautiful frosted glass, or something like that.  Heavenly.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was so enjoyable and relaxing.  My mom has a stationary bike, so throughout our stay I was able to get in a few workouts.  Christmas Eve we just hung out, and mom and I cooked our sides to bring over for Christmas Eve dinner at my Aunt Patti’s.  That afternoon we opened up presents, and I truly got spoiled.  Chris gave me a beautiful cross bracelet, and a necklace and earrings set with white and black diamonds.  A huge surprise!  I’ve never felt so spoiled.  My parents got me a “fancy” new camera (we have lots to document in the new year!) and a long sleeve Bronco’s shirt. 
After the presents were opened we went over to my Aunt Patti’s and had a wonderful dinner.  It was great to see so much of my family.  We had an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest that my mom won!!!  We had a gift exchange that ended just in time to head to church. 
the Cross Chris gave me

River of Lights

River of Lights

Mom's Ugly Sweater!

The Ugly Sweater parade - Uncle Jeff....

...Chris (Kyle's new bride)... Mom....

...Aunt Kathleen.

Baby Sweat's first official Christmas book
Christmas morning we woke up and opened gifts from Santa Claus, and took our time getting ready, before heading to breakfast at my Aunt Michelle’s. 
One of the biggest blessings of this trip was feeling baby Sweat move.  I had been anticipating this moment, and was hopeful it would happen in Albuquerque during Christmas.  And that’s exactly what happened! 
We had a fantastic breakfast and lots more family time. 
I can’t remember when, but at some point we went to go see “American Hustle”.  It was just ok.  There are lots more movies out that I want to go see.
My parents were welcomed to the 21st century with a tablet and smart phone.  Both of which we tried to teach them how to use. 
We did some shopping and of course lots of eating.
I had a nice long leisurely lunch at Dion’s with Michelle, Emily, Jess, and Jill.  All High School friends.  It was a great time.
My friend Michelle had a get together at her house, with both her and her brother as host.  We had a great time, and hung out with a  sweet 8 week old little girl!
We got to Skype with Nikki and her little boy Luke on Christmas Day, which was a fantastic touch to the day!
My mom and I spent an evening walking around the River of Lights at the Botanic Gardens.
Baby Sweat got his/her first Christmas gifts.  A beautiful stork from somewhere in Europe (courtesy of my Aunt Patti) and a beautiful cross to hang in Baby Sweat’s room from Grandmasita (what my mom has decided to call herself). 
My mom also bought a couple of baby books to read to the baby.  We read “The Night Before Christmas” …the night before Christmas, along with “Santa is coming to Albuquerque”. Honestly, the baby really enjoyed being read to.  Each time my mom would read to the baby he or she would definitely respond with some movement.  It was a joy!
It truly was a wonderful Christmas week.

I spent a lot of time this Christmas Season reflecting.  Thinking a lot about past Christmas’, and what’s to come in future Christmas’.  But I also tried to stay present for this Christmas.  Be thankful for my family and for my husband.  To treasure this time as we get ready to become a family of three.