Thankful

I am thankful for so many things! This year has been such a whirlwind and I am so happy with the place I am in life right now.

Here are a few things I am thankful for. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Family

I am pretty sure I have the best family ever! I am super close with my family, and feel so lucky that I get to see many of them all of the time. Both my family and Jim’s family are so supportive and awesome. My mom is my best friend, and I feel so lucky that I can say that. We have been living with her for the past four months while we wait for our new house to be renovated, and it has been so fun seeing my mom everyday.

 

Jim

Although Jim is my family, he gets his own category. :) I feel like we have successfully navigated so many life changes this year-having a baby, selling a house, buying a new house, selling a car, buying new car, and moving. We are always on the same page with major life decisions, and the whole renovation process, while stressful, wasn’t stressful for us a couple, which I feel really happy about. We managed to almost get through our first year of parenthood together, and I think we make a pretty good team. I am also beyond thankful that Jim has an awesome job that allows me to stay at home with our baby. It is so rare nowadays to be able to stay home, and I cherish every minute of it.


Connor

I try to keep Connor private on the blog, but I can’t help but write about him today, as I am beyond thankful for him. He is the light of my life, and I love him beyond what I ever thought imaginable. I truly never knew that I could love someone so much. He is such a happy baby, and our days are so fun together. I am so grateful that he is healthy and happy and that I have him as my son.
Health

On that note, I am so thankful that my family is all healthy, and that my body successfully produced another human! Having a baby and a hard delivery was no walk in the park, but I am fine now!


Ok now on to the less mushy stuff!

Coffee

While Connor is a great baby, he is a pretty horrible sleeper! He still wakes up a ton, and I am planning on doing some type of sleep training soon. In the meantime, coffee is my savior. I literally look forward everyday to the time in the morning when I can start drinking coffee!


Dessert

I have always been a sweets lover, but once I got pregnant that intensified. I thought after I had a baby I would stop eating a dessert everyday, but that is not the case. I still eat dessert everyday and have no plans to stop. Eating a small sweet treat does not mean that I have gained weight or feel out of control in any way. I watch my portions and believe in moderation!

 

Suburb Life

I lived in the city for 15 years and just moved to the suburbs this past summer. Our town is particularly special in that it has a cute downtown that we can walk to, so I still get the city feel of being able to walk to the grocery store, to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. But now I don’t have the congestion, traffic and noise. Our town is also surrounded by beautiful woods and farms, and I am loving the quiet life of living in a small town. And the best part is we can hop on the train or in the car and be in the city within an hour.

 

 

Another Wedding in the Books

My brother Paul got married this past weekend! That means 3 out of 4 of us are married. It’s crazy how fast time flies! Their wedding was in Cleveland at the Wyndham in the theater district. Cleveland is a really cute small city and it was fun to explore. They are rebuilding after losing a lot of their population after a lot of their industry left and there are lots of cool restaurants and bars to try out. Anyways, some highlights are below! 

Road tripping! 


My brother Peter  and his wife Felicia  live in Copenhagen and came in for the wedding. We decided to drive. I was a little worried about smooshing 4 adults and a baby into a small suv but it worked out great. It was really fun to hang with them and they were the best entertainment committee for Connor! 

Heinens Grocery Store


We stayed right down the street from Heinen’s.  This store is awesome! We have one near where we live but this one is extra special. It is located in an old restored bank building and it’s gorgeous. Also they have a really fun wine tasting you can do. You purchase a card for whatever amount you want and go to the wine tasting area. You insert the card and serve yourself wine. They had tons of different types of wines to taste and it was a fun way to taste different wines from around the world. Sometimes it’s nice to not have to learn a lot about the wines and just taste them :)

The Wedding 

It goes without saying that the wedding was the highlight of the trip! The wedding was simple and beautiful. Jim and I were both in the wedding. Madeline just said she wanted us to wear black dresses, and the guys wore back suits. Easy peasy! Everything turned out so great! It was really fun to enjoy the wedding and see lots of my cousins. I definitely cried through their vows.


Indians Game

We rounded out the weekend with a trip to the baseball field. We saw the Indians play the Tigers. I love baseball and the stadium was a 5 minute walks from our hotel! 

Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful 5 day weekend and feel like I haven’t been at work in weeks! I didnt take many pictures this weekend, and decided to just enjoy the family time instead.  

 
Our weekend started on Wednesday. We noticed the refrigerator didn’t feel very warm and it turns out it was 57 degrees. We called a repair man and it would have cost $300 to fix it. Our fridge is 16 years old so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a new one. We spent a long long time in Home Depot deciding. I’m excited to have a new one on Tuesday! 

Thanksgiving was a fun and busy day! We hosted Jim’s family and then went to my aunt’s house after that. We were able to get our old fridge to come back to life so thankfully were still able to cook. It was really fun hanging out with our new niece!  

   
Friday morning I met my mom bright and early for some Black Friday shopping! We have been doing it for a long time, and we just go to Carson’s. It is always fun to kick off the Christmas shopping season! 

Then we went to New Buffalo for the weekend with my mom and brother! We rented a really cute house, and did lots of eating and relaxing. It was just what I needed. I found our house on Home away  and we were really happy with it! I loved the beach house theme and the rustic touches. 

Kitchen and eating area 

    
Jim’s pride and joy- Bourbon County Stout… Only one of the many he got!

  Kitchen 

Living area  
 
Living area 

  
Second bedroom

  Master bedroom  
    
   
Sunday afternoon we decorated for Chrismas! I am so excited that the holiday season is here!  

 

Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for this year! Here are just a few reasons I feel blessed to have the life that I do. 

Jim

Obviously this guy is my number one reason I’m thankful! He is my partner and my friend. We have so many fun times together. He has been my rock during some really hard times and I am forever greatful for this. I can’t wait to become a family of three with him in two months and navigate parenting together!  

 
Family

Words can’t even express how thankful I am for my family. Both of our families are wonderful and I feel so lucky that we live so close to both families and are able to spend holidays with everyone.  My mom and little brother are two of my best friends and I would be absolutely lost without them. 

 
Friends 

Most of my friends I met in college and we’ve remained close ever since. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we would like, we pick right back up where we left off every time.  

 
My job 

My teaching job is challenging every day, and it can sometimes be quite stressful. I enjoy the challenge and like being kept on my toes. I have an amazing class this year and am so thankful to be in a good school in the city! 

Yoga and running 

Although I’m on a hiatus from running, I still love it. Yoga has been my go-to workout during pregnancy. The combo of running and yoga keeps me healthy and does wonders for my stress levels. If I didn’t work out I would be a crabby, stressed out lady!  

 Healthy pregnancy 

I am thankful to be healthy! It is amazing what your body can do- carry a baby and teach 6 and 7 year olds all day! I am happy that I have had a relatively easy pregnancy and still feel pretty good at 31 weeks preggo!  I am beyond thankful I am pregnant! I expected it to be a long journey to getting pregnant and was shocked by how lucky I was that I happened easily. 

 
Coffee, tea, and dessert

It sounds silly but these things have been my favorites during pregnancy. Many evenings we would have a glass of wine to end the day, but now I have a sweet treat and some decaf tea.  I have eaten a dessert every day of pregnancy. While this sounds crazy, I think it’s all about balance. Sometimes that dessert is a small piece of dark chocolate, and sometimes it is a more decadent dessert. Even a tiny treat makes the day feel happy to me!   

 
This blog

I am so glad I started this blog! It has been so fun to get some words out. I hope to increase my posting in the future. I am thankful for my readers who faithfully read all of my posts!! 
I hope everyone has a great holiday week and takes a few minutes to be thankful this week! 

 

Friday Peaks of the Week

This week has been a good one! We had Wednesday off for Vereran’s Day and today I have a conference about reading! I love when the schedule is broken up with different things here and there! Here are some Peaks of the Week! 

Coffee

It’s no secret that I love coffee! I don’t have a problem with the red cups, and love getting a latte once a week as a treat! 

 
A day with my mom

On Wednesday I had a doctor’s appointment and my mom took the day off to hang out with me! We went to lunch at the and did some shopping. It was amazing!  

 
Shopping, shopping, shopping for baby!

We have been buying a ridiculous amount of things for baby lately. Most of it is all necessary, but I also bought a few fun things as well! 

     
The little bears are too cute! 

 
Physical Therapy

I started going to physical therapy for my back this week and will go twice a week for 6 weeks. So far I think it has helped a little. The massage definitely helped relax everything and my physical therapist sent me home with some exercises and stretches to do. I am so happy to have some relief! 

 

Weekend Highlights

This weekend couldn’t have been any busier, but it was a fun one! Friday we babysat my cousin’s baby and it was fun to hang out with him and get some practice. After he went to bed we watched The Leftovers. It is such a creepy show!! 

Bright and early Saturday morning we headed out to the burbs to go to the pumpkin farm with Jim’s family.  

   
After we got home we got ready to go to my friend’s wedding at Navy Pier. It was a beautiful venue and so fun to see all of my friends. We have had so many weekends together it will be sad to get back to normal after this!  

    
    
    
 
   
 
Sunday we went to my aunt and uncle’s house to get some furniture they got for our nursery! So excited to set it all up! We ended the weekend with a delicious dinner of lobster tail, mussels, and asparagus. And for dessert we had some delicious coffee cake my aunt made! All in all it was a great weekend!  

    
 

Weekend Highlights

This long weekend was a good one! Friday we went to dinner with my mom to celebrate her birthday. I forgot to take pictures.

Saturday we relaxed and researched strollers. There are so many options! We have narrowed it down to two- City Mini by Baby Jogger and Bravo Trio System.  We are going to make our final decision soon!

Later in the day, we headed to the suburbs for my friend’s wedding rehearsal!  We stayed at a Sheraton and it was a nice hotel for a wedding. Sheratons always have nice rooms and amenities for a fair price. I love weddings at hotels because it is so great to just go upstairs to your hotel room at the end of the night!  Sheraton  

We had the rehearsal and dinner and again I forgot to take pictures!

Sunday was the big day!  We started getting our hair and makeup done and it was so fun hanging out with some of my best friends in the world.  As with every wedding, the getting ready process flies by, and soon it’s time to get dressed and go!   

  

  

  

    
 The wedding ceremony was at Cantigny Park a beautiful outdoor site. There are gardens everywhere, and beautiful fall colors in the trees and flowers. We got so lucky with the weather, and it was 77 degrees out. October in Chicago can be freezing, so we were pumped that the weather gods were so kind to us! The ceremony was beautiful.  

  
  It was a Muslim ceremony, and I have never experienced one before.  It reminded me very much of many wedding ceremonies, and the bride and groom’s vows were perfectly “them”.  Soon we returned to the hotel for the ceremony.  We were led around by a Middle Eastern band to kick off the night.  The reception was so fun, and it was great to see so many of our college friends that we haven’t seen in a while. I especially liked the photo booth, and the ice cream bar.  All in all it was a great day!  I only made it until 11 that night, but tried my best to hang with everyone for as long as I could :) 

    
  

    
    
  
Monday was Columbus Day, so it was a day off!  We headed back to the city, but before we got on the road we stopped for breakfast.  Multigrain pancakes and bacon.  So good!   

 Later in the day we walked to Wrigleyville to experience the excitement. The Cubs haven’t been in the playoffs since 2003, so everyone is very exciting! It was fun to walk through a small part of the craziness.  I would love love love to go to a game, but alas, we don’t have an extra $1000 to spend on a few tickets.  We are really hopeful that the Cubs can keep going! 

  

  

   Monday night Jim made lamb on the grill with asparagus.  It was incredible!  So tender and juicy.  Definitely a nice way to end the long weekend! 

 

Weekend

It was another super busy weekend packed with family and friends! Friday Jim and I went to see The Martian which was awesome! Before that we had sushi. Even though I miss raw sushi, I have been making due with California rolls and shrimp tempura!  

 
Saturday morning we had our nephew’s third birthday!  

 
As soon as we got back to the city I changed and went to my friend’s to set up for my friend’s bachelorette party! We had dinner and presents and games at the house, then everyone took a party bus around the city. I went home after the party because pregnant ladies and party buses don’t mix very well :) it was so fun to see my friends and we are all so excited for the wedding next weekend!  

 
Finally, Sunday we went to my mom’s because my little brother was home for the weekend from college! It was great to catch up with him. 
That’s the weekend! Back to the weekly grind!

Week 22 Pregnancy Update

Now that I am back to work full time, my days and weeks are flying by.  Every weekend and most week nights have been packed full of family and friend activities, and I have been finding myself way too busy!  The good thing is this part of my pregnancy has been going by incredibly fast!!  I can’t believe that we are less than 4 months from meeting baby boy!

Baby’s Size

  

Baby is the size of an eggplant.  It is about 12 inches long and weighs somewhere around a pound.
Weight Gained

Total gained so far: 11 pounds

Week 22- 1 pound

Symptoms

Teaching first grade and standing all day has been tough.  My legs, feet and back hurt everyday.  I have been trying to figure out the best type of shoe to wear to work to help my back, but also save my poor feet!  I think I have figured out that a low heel is what works best.  Thankfully I have lots of comfy and cute booties and boots for fall and winter so I’m really glad the weather is changing because I have zero comfortable summer shoes!

Workouts

Prenatal yoga, Barre, and walking.  I started doing some of the barre classes online from yogadownload.com and really like it!  I forgot how much I like barre classes.  I even looked into joining a barre studio but there are none that work out with my schedule.

Food Aversions

None!

Food Cravings

Still just desserts! My appetite was pretty much gone all week for some reason, but I still kept eating enough calories because I know the baby needs it.

Baby-related purchases

On our babymoon to Lake Geneva, we bought this cute sign for the baby’s room.  We have also started researching strollers, cribs, and car seats.  There are SOOOOO many options!!  

 Week 22 Milestones

I started calling daycares to start touring them, and realized for some, we are already too far behind!  This lead to a flurry of daycare visits.  We toured 5 all together after work the past few weeks and picked a great one for the rest of this year.  I hate the thought of sending my baby away for the day, but sadly, there is no alternative at this point.  We also looked into nannies and nanny shares, but for now, we are going the daycare route.  The daycare we chose is awesome-it’s brand spanking new, and just opened a few weeks ago.  The facility is beautiful and literally on my way to work.  This means I get as much time with the baby as possible.  Also, they have an app where you can see the baby on video any time you want during the day.  This makes me feel so relieved that anytime I want to, I will be able to see how he is going.  The staff seemed really friendly and kind, and in general it seemed like a safe, healthy place for our baby to go.

Looking forward to:

We are going to start painting the nursery soon to prepare to set it up!

Fun Stories

Our babymoon was also the highlight of this week!  Getting away just the 2 of us was really nice.  It is really hard for me to fathom what it will be like, and how different our lives will be, but I am trying to enjoy living in the present as much as possible and am trying to not constantly think about January! 

Sunday morning walk with coffee makeup free :)

Role Model

With all of the news about the Ashley Madison hack, Josh Duggar, and Jared from Subway, it makes me feel so sad that so many men are unfaithful partners.  It is so incredibly scary to me that websites such as Ashley Madison even exist, and are allowed.  I have experienced some pretty bad men in my life, both in dating, and in my own family.  I dated the wrong guys in general for a lot of years.  I feel lucky that I am married to such a great man now, and I hope that our future and life together will be happy.

My own father is not in my life, and is in no way a good example of what a husband and father should be.  However, I am lucky that I had a very strong role model of what a husband and father should be like when I was growing up.  My grandfather, who we called Pap, was a true gentleman.  He was kind, good mannered, and always treated my grandma and his children and grandchildren so well.  My grandpa was 100% Greek, and grew up during the depression in Boston.  He served in World War II, and then married my grandma after graduating from Boston University.  He went on to have 8 children, and then 20 grandchildren.  Some of the qualities that my grandpa possessed that I looked for in a husband came from seeing how my grandpa was as a father and husband.

Gentle and patient

Papa never lost his temper, and was so mild mannered and gentle with us.  He always had time to play with us, and would spend hours drawing incredible pictures, making elaborate sand castles, and playing hide and seek.

Good mannered

Papa had impeccable manners.  He never swore, never talked about other women, and always held the door for ladies.  He never said anything inappropriate or off color.

Moderate

Papa never over ate or over drank.  He would eat until he was satisfied, and had one glass of red wine a day.  He modeled this for my family, and I still try to live by his rules for healthy living.  He enjoyed treats- desserts and McDonalds occasionally.  He enjoyed red wine.  But he never over-indulged.  This showed me how to eat and drink.

Put My Grandma First

Papa loved my nana unconditionally.  He put her above himself, and always made sure she was happy. He treated her so well he was kind and loving to her until her very last day.

Self Effacing 

Papa never talked about himself much.  He could have constantly spouted his knowledge about his experiences in World War II, or complained about this or that.  Instead, he preferred to know about us, and talk about sports and current events.

  
I try to model my behavior after these qualities, and I hope that Jim and I can be good partners and parents and be kind, patient, good mannered, self effacing, and put each other and our family first.  I think that if we do these things, we will have a happy life, and be good role models for our own children.