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Seattle, Susan, Spokane, Sunshine

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A few weeks ago, my friend Sarah sent me pictures of her kids. I sat in the coffee drive-thru in near tears because it’s been over a year since I’ve seen them – the longest in like 6 years, at least. Last year they moved to the other side of the state and it’s just never worked out to visit them.

I’d already made plans with my friend Mei-Ling to drive to Seattle to watch The Bachelorette with her, so I sent Justen a text pleading for him to be okay with me tacking a trip to Spokane to see them onto the end of that Seattle trip. God bless Justen Martian, he said absolutely.

Seattle

The weekend before, he helped me get my oil changed and clean out my car, so Monday I hit the road armed with my favorite 90s boy band Spotify playlist and the cleanest car I’ve had in 2 years, no joke.

Mei-Ling is honestly one of my favorite people in the world. We share a deep love of much of the same music, in this “not many people understand this” kind of love way. When I got to her apartment, we ordered thai food. I watched her bake stuff in an apron (I made sure she wore an apron).

Then we watched the dumpster fire that is The Bachelorette. and her cat Susan kept my computer warm.. and that’s literally the only picture I took from being in Seattle.

Spokane

I made it to Spokane on Tuesday evening after a minor setback (losing my credit card), but was so excited to see some of my favorite kids IN THE WORLD. Ellen signed this promotional camp postcard she was featured on.

The next morning, we hung out and played Sleeping Queens and Candy Land (I won 3 times in a row before Ellen finally overthrew me as Candy Land champ).

I snuck away for a little bit to meet my friend Sophia (who happens to be their cousin!) for a quick coffee date. We tend to have monthly hours long convos so it was so good to actually be with her.

That night, we went to a band concert at their church. While we waited, we started playing 4 way rock paper scissors with a couple kids from their church. What is 4 way rock paper scissors, you ask? A headache. Everyone freezes their choices and then get points for how many things they trump. I played with them 3 times before I was SO OVER keeping track of the scores in my head.

Hannah asked me to go to the bathroom with her and we snapped what is probably my favorite picture of us #may30 girls. Five years ago, I got one of the best presents in the world when she was born on my birthday. The following year her cousin (who is a good friend of mine) had a baby on May 30. So we’re #may30 birthday buddies.

It was such a quick trip, the next morning was my last day! Sometimes it’s REALLY HARD to have people you love SO SO SO MUCH live far away. I wished there was a tesseract as in A Wrinkle in Time, the fifth dimension, a portal between point A and point B. Or as the book says,

We went to Hello Sugar, which is a made to order donut shop. The cutest little donuts with wonderful flavors topped with a dusting of EDIBLE GLITTER. Ellen knew I’d be so into it, and she was 100% right. They were also into it…

We then walked around the Spokane Riverfront. I’ve been to Spokane with their cousin YEARS (like 10+) ago, but I hardly remember any of it. It’s such a cool city! I texted Justen and told him there’s so much we didn’t get to see, and that he’d probably enjoy a few days there, too.

After parting ways πŸ™ I got in my car and began the 5.5 hour drive home. I made it a few hours into a city called Pasco. I thought, “hey.. I’m going to stretch my legs and walk around a Goodwill.”

Something to note: Β I’ve donated all but 3 of my purses. 2 are really small (they require a smaller wallet) and the one I’ve been using on the regular I HATE. Last week, a tube of lipstick exploded all over it, so I got rid of it and have just been walking around carrying my stuff (0/10 do not recommend). So I walk into this Goodwill, carrying my phone, wallet and keys. And I found one great thing.. then another.. then another, and then suddenly my arm was cramping and I looked like this:

I made my way to the register, and behind the counter I spied with my little eyes… a really beautiful purse. I asked to see it and knew the treasure I’d spotted. I found a brand new Kate Spade purse, priced at $40 (original price $350). That’s not even the most magic part about it. It perfectly matched my Kate Spade wallet. The material is different, but the color is exact.

They actually had two tote bags of the same color, brand new, for $60. But alas, I had lost my credit card, I was 3.5 hours from home, and my weekly Poshmark payout wouldn’t hit until the next morning. So I gladly paid for my pile of clothes and my brand new Kate Spade purse.

I got in my car, so excited I almost cried, filled up with gas and coffee and then blasted happy music the rest of the drive home.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect few days. I arrived home just in time to shower, sit on the couch for awhile, and go to bed.

Today after work, Justen and I are headed BACK to Seattle for a little weekend getaway. Mostly to see the Mission to the Moon exhibit at the Museum of Flight. After being away for 4 days, I’m happy to go anywhere with Justen because it turns out that home isn’t a place so much as a person. <3

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Baby Martian: Week 20

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On Week 19, Day 1, we went to an anatomy scan for our growing little coffee bean. I was anxious to find out what’s between its little legs. It started with measure all of our baby’s growing little body parts. The brain, the heart, spine, legs, and so on and so forth. I watched their little legs move and kick and in that moment I didn’t care if they were ultimately an innie or an outie (IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN) because I just was so happy they were alive and moving.

Week 19 Anatomy Scan! It’s a GIRL!
Sandals / Dress / Similar jacketΒ 

Up until that moment, I’d felt kind of disconnected from the pregnancy. If y’all remember, I’d been referring to it as a medical condition. But seeing our baby MOVING literally changed everything.

A few days later, I found myself at Disneyland with my mom. I was changing into my pajamas and noticed that my stomach – which is normally really squishy – had started feeling harder. I KNOW I haven’t done any ab work outs in the past 4 years, so I started getting excited that maybe my body was starting to FEEL pregnant.

When I got home, Justen commented that I looked like I was developing a bit of a bump. I commented back “oh, instead of just being regular fat?” he didn’t agree with that since he’s a gentleman. But it’s true, I mostly look in the mirror and feel like I LOOK the same.

I’ve been constantly looking up “overweight pregnancy week ______” (whichever week I’ve been in) to get a realistic idea of what other people looked like who started their pregnancy overweight.

Then I thought… you know what, I’ll go ahead and share the last half of this pregnancy in case it helps other people feel less alone or secret about what’s going on with their body!

Baby Martian: Week 20

overweight pregnancy week 20

Shoes // Similar Dress // Similar cardigan

Justen told me to look excited, which I thought I did well. Also, I was consciously telling myself to not curl up my left hand fingers to prove that they’re normal length, but alas… I was too busy being excited. I decided that I’ll wear this same outfit every week because I always wonder about the inconsistency between outfits.

And full disclosure: I decided to wear my trusty Spanx. Mostly because I read that Spanx during pregnancy is okay (yeah I looked it up) and because I’m a little bit extra.

Here’s a rundown on what I’ve learned the first half of my overweight pregnancy:
  • Everyone thinks you’re showing and glowing when you know it’s just years of excessive Oreo eating.
  • It can be hard when everyone on message boards is posting their cute little baby bumps and you’re still looking down and seeing the same ol’ thing.
  • I’ve LOST weight (7 pounds) since I first got pregnant. I’ve been eating until I’m full (my doctor asked if my weight loss was the result of eating healthier and I didn’t have the heart to tell her I’d had a blizzard the day before and coffee cake for breakfast) but I just don’t have much of an appetite. It’s not an aversion, I’m just never that hungry.
  • Emotionally it’s hard to suddenly have everyone really concerned with a part of your body you’re really insecure about.

Our little coffee bean is healthy and active. Although my medical record lists my ongoing medical conditions as “Supervision High Risk Pregnancy” because of “Severe Obesity In Pregnancy” (ouch), my body is still able to grow and care for a little growing human being.

The past few years have been emotionally trying for me. Seeing those conditions listed for me kind of gave me a huge wake up call. Right now I’m just focused on letting my body rest when it needs, fueling it as best as I can (beyond blizzards and coffee cake, ok?), and having grace for myself. But after my body brings our baby into the world, I’m re-evaluating how I’ve been treating it (the aforementioned excessive Oreo eating) and making some changes.

For now? It’s not only my home, but also home to the coolest miracle I’ve ever been a part of. Thanks you body, overweight and all.

overweight pregnancy week 20

 

PS. I hate when people do this sort of thing as a pregnancy announcement. Thankfully this isn’t a pregnancy announcement.

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Marley’s Monsters Eco-Friendly Haul #1

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I often joke that the older I get, the more of a conspiracy theorist I become. What’s actually happened is that I’ve just had a shift in my values and priorities.

Over the past year and a half, one of the new priorities in my life has been cutting back my waste as opposed to reaching for what is the most convenient. According to the EPA, in 2015 the average amount of waste a person produces each day is nearly 4.5 pounds. 4.5 pounds of GARBAGE EVERY SINGLE DAY. I can’t handle that, and neither can our precious, miraculous earth.

Thanks to the magic of Instagram, I became aware of ways to reduce that number for myself and my family. Marley’s Monsters is a semi-local company to me that creates adorable reusable, waste-diminishing products. After nearly a year of showing Justen every product on their website once a month, I took advantage of their Earth Day 25% off sale and made a purchase!

Marley's Monsters eco friendly reusable products review

Here’s what I purchased:

-16 facial rounds
-1 mesh wash bag for facial rounds
-12 UnPaper towels
-1 linen travel straw pouch

We currently live in a small cluster of apartments and share 1 washing machine with everyone. Because of that, our transition over to being waste-free is less of a cold turkey-ing paper products and more of a “use these less often.” As of now, we’ve already stretched out one roll of paper towels by having a cloth rag available for wiping the counters. If we had easy, guaranteed access to a washing machine, I’d have less reservation about completely cutting ties with paper products. For now, I’m trying to be at least 80/20 with waste – 8 out of 10 times reaching for something reusable before something disposable.

Marley’s Monsters Facial Rounds in Vintage Lemon

I’ve been using these facial rounds to wipe off my oil cleanser, and I love them! They take a little more energy than a washcloth because of their size, but they’re really soft and work really well. I have plans to one day make a bunch of lemon/witch hazel wipes in a jar to cut back on the cotton balls.

I also got one of these little mesh laundry bags to keep my dirty rounds in so they can be thrown in the wash without getting lost in everything else. It’s super convenient!

 

UnPaper Towels in Blue

The UnPaper towels were the first thing I fell in love with. Just by being aware, we’ve cut our paper towel usage in half and I’m hoping these can help even more! There’s only 12, so not enough to completely replace paper towels but enough to help us create new habits. We’ll probably reserve these (for now) for wiping off spills and water. Eventually I’d love to have enough to put on a roll and completely replace our paper towels.

 

Reusable straw pouch

aaaand my personal fave: a reusable straw pouch! I’ve been awkwardly carrying mine in my purse in a reusable plastic bag, but this one is SO CUTE! I got an extra large one because I have a few tall straws. My favorite part? There’s a removable dirty pouch that snaps on the inside. This is a game changer.

This is only my first purchase but it definitely won’t be my last! If you’ve hopped on the reusable train like I have, check out Marley’s Monsters! Use this link and get 15% off your purchase πŸ™‚

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Baby Spanx bump

Here’s something crazy: right now, I’m creeping up on being HALFWAY THROUGH my pregnancy. There are a lot of feelings to dive into with that, but let me start by sharing this:

Being overweight and pregnant is a super weird experience.Β 

After years of struggling with my weight, I found myself at my highest weight when I got married. Then I went ahead and topped that and hit my highest weight when I found out that I was pregnant.

When I was younger and I imagined getting married and starting a family and such, I would imagine that by then I’d have my life together. I’d eat so many vegetables every day and like exercising. I’d love being in pictures with my person and then people and my hair would most likely always be brushed.

LOL.

SO ANYWAY, now that I’ve set the stage.

I’m a part of all of these pregnancy forums and I started noticing that people were posting about their growing little baby bumps. In high school, there was an old lady at my church who would come up to me EVERY SUNDAY and touch my stomach and ask if I was pregnant. I’d laugh and say “no, these are oreos,” but man. So I know that I’ve got me a round little midsection.

Y’all I’m over here on PHYSICAL PROOF OF PREGNANCY watch 24/7. Thanks to a smaller appetite, I’ve actually been LOSING weight. My pants fit the same. Everything is basically the same except I can’t have runny egg yolks or ride on rides at Disneyland.

On Easter, I woke up to Justen saying “if you wore that one pink dress today, we’d match.” Usually if I try to match him, he changes his clothes. You can imagine how excited I was to wear that pink dress.

The last time I’d worn it was on our 1 year anniversary in October.

I put on my trusty Spanx, the pink dress, and set off on my day.

ps I actually have a full set of fingers on my left hand, inc are you were concerned.Β 

and then.

y’all.

Then came the “oh my gosh, you’re starting to show!” comments. Wearing a dress that fit and looked no different than it did in October, under the watchful eye of someone dying to see or experience any actual signs of being pregnant.

Like someone actually came up and touched my Spanx controlled stomach and said it.

Bless her.

So on Easter, my Spanx – which I often identify with smoothing and holding in and hiding lines and such – my Spanx betrayed me. For whatever reason, probably because the pregnant women on Instagram all look like they have firm, stretched out stomachs, the smoothness of my round stomach suddenly triggered the baby bump exclamation.

Bless all y’all.Β 

and bless you Spanx for the huge letdown for the first time in my whole entire life. You really betrayed me on this one.

 

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Thank you, Spring.

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Never in my life have I been more willing to wish winter a fond get the f*** out of my life farewell. Our winter was a whirlwind of quick downsizing, making ourselves at home living in a studio, finding out I was pregnant, finding out we had 4 days to move back to our old apartment (praise hands for the timing of that), feeling like “okay, this is finally back to normal”… just in time for Justen to find out his job was being terminated.

In the midst of all of that comes things like the unexpected days of crippling grief, a constant fear that our baby had died but my body hadn’t done anything about it, and honestly the off and on feeling of being a complete monster because I daily wished I wasn’t pregnant at this moment.

Finally it all broke when we were sitting in the car outside of the parking lot and Justen asked me a question that I’ve been asking myself for years, but man it stings coming from someone who loves you: Why can’t we just be happy? Why can’t this just be happy?

Through the chapped lips of winter, I responded that I didn’t know. I’ve watched other people excitedly announce their pregnancies while I wonder what’s so broken about me that I literally have started referring to it as a “medical condition.” To be fair, the app from my medical provider has a list of “Ongoing Health Conditions” and mine are as follows:

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent Episode, in Partial Remission
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Supervision High Risk Pregnancy

It IS a medical condition I’ve found myself in, along other things that have caused me severe pain, crippling emotions and a fear of the most irrational things. It’s a neat combination.

But winter is literally the picture representation of what my life with depression feels like. It’s cold, often to the bone. Walking outside often requires so much more work: SOCKS AND shoes, not just flip flops or flats. Gloves. A jacket. Maybe a scarf.

Then going places requires so much work. Snow tires. Warming the car. Scraping the ice. Driving slow and cautiously.

It’s easier to stay inside. Alone. Secluded. Short, darker days.

So trust me when I say Spring is the most welcomed season of my year. It’s not my favorite, that’s summer for sure. But by the time I start going “wow, it’s 7 pm and still light out!” or “it’s so nice I won’t wear a sweater” or the first day of the smell of turning on the A/C in my car, I am living for it.

Spring reminds me of this:

  • Darkness eventually fades.
  • Spring is a season of transition, so the chill of winter doesn’t completely dissipate, but it’s more frequently accompanied by blue skies than a sheet of gray.
  • Rainy days help me appreciate breaks in the cloud.
  • Lots of things are burrowed into the ground during winter; they don’t die, they’re just waiting to bloom again.
  • The sight of the first tiny flower of spring can often bring more joy than a field full of flowers once you’ve started seeing them everywhere.
  • Spring keeps winter in check, the fall keeps summer in check, and life really is just a back and forth between both the predictable cold chill of winter and the blistering heat of summer.
  • Anticipation works best if we’re constantly appreciating and noticing what’s around us, otherwise we go from jackets and scarves to shorts and flip flops without even noticing that nothing has changed.

One day I believe I’ll be able to embrace the cold dark winter with open arms and a heart ready to learn from it. The past few years I’ve merely tread its icy waters waiting to get out, but the sun through the windows, the birds chirping in the trees and the plants coming up from the ground makes it a lot easier to feel hopeful about what will inevitably come.

But for now, let me say that I am so grateful for spring.

 

ps I’m pregnant. I’ve shared it on Facebook and Instagram but not officially on my blog. So there you have it.

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