Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Wishlist 2012

Confession: I have not started any of my Christmas shopping. I'm particularly distracted this year which I blame partially on this growing belly and hormones that accompany. I have ideas and lists of items to purchase for my family and friends, but I have not purchased one item. In an effort to get my holiday gift inspiration going, I created my own little holiday wishlist of sorts. It's hard to focus on myself and not ask for things for the little dude that will be making an appearance in the new year - but alas! I did it.

Holiday Wishlist 2012

Holiday Wishlist: Magazine Subscription to Real Simple or Lucky | Tunnel Scarf |

Prenatal Massage | Infinity Ring | Slippers | Belly Butter | Woodsy Candle

Sunday, December 02, 2012

25 weeks

I can't believe I'm past the half way point now in this pregnancy, on my way to the third and final trimester. Overall, I'm feeling much better still, though the heartburn, peeing every hour, and tossing / turning throughout the night is still abnormal. I also have been accused of having "pregnancy brain" when trying to recall certain things - thankfully it hasn't been anything important like meetings or events.

This past week I traveled solo for my first work trip since starting my new job. Happy to report I was on time for both of my flights and didn't miss either of the events. I was part of a national colloquium about human trafficking so that was pretty cool! I did a bit of sightseeing before I left, which is much more fun with others. But all in all, it was a really fascinating trip and I'm glad I was able to go before I'm too pregnant to travel by plane. Now I'm looking forward to this month of December and all of the holiday festivities that are on the calendar.

25 weeks



Thursday, November 01, 2012

Autumn Updates

Although we didn't celebrate with dressing up or trick-or-treaters this year, we did dress Lennon up in his least favorite costume for 30 seconds before he shook it off.

We also carved pumpkins. Well, Hubby carved the pumpkins and I baked the pumpkin seeds.

I finally received the softest baby blankets ever that I ordered via Gilt for little bebe a few weeks ago.

I also have gotten back into the rhythm of my workouts. Since I spent the first few months of pregnancy vomiting {yuck} several times / day - working out was not on my list of priorities. I've started back up with prenatal yoga {which is just amazing for my sore muscles}, squats and weight lifting to work on my strength {for the marathon that is labor}, and walking in lieu of running {since I get muscle cramps when I go too fast}. Hubby has been a great encouragement for my workouts :) I'm feelin' good. Hubby has been a great encouragement for my workouts :)



oh boy oh boy oh boy

Last week we had our milestone 20-week ultrasound. I was so nervous {because working in a hospital full of sick children makes me think that there is something wrong with each child} headed in to the ultrasound. I'm happy to report that little bebe was moving around and looks to be right on track with growth and development! Little bebe measured in at 14 ounces, 61st percentile for weight at 20 weeks {which is just an estimation, but still ... that's great!}.

Our ultrasound tech was a rockstar and did just what we asked by not revealing bebe's sex to us during the ultrasound; instead she printed off the gender revealing ultrasound photo and tucked it inside an envelope for Hubby and I to open privately together. She also packed our little gift to open later in the evening with our family.

Hubby and I went to dinner together after our appointment at one of our favorite spots: Uncommon Ground. We knew we couldn't wait until the end of the meal - so we opened it immediately after we ordered, and toasted to the little one {with our ice water}.

I teared up a little bit thinking about our little dude and the fact that now we know a little bit more about the little that's been moving around inside me.

Later in the evening, we gathered our family members in person, via Skype, and Facetime to share the news. We opened our little package that the ultrasound tech packed for us with the onesie and the envelope labeled "BOY" with the little photo tucked inside. It was a fun way to share with our family our news about the baby's gender.

The next day, Hubby and I took the photo to announce to extended family and friends. My initial idea fell through because of the madness of Halloween weekend in Chicago. I planned to get lettered balloons to spell out "BOY" but the party stores were a nightmare. Alternate plan included what was available at our local grocery store. It was incredibly windy so it didn't turn out quite as nice as I'd hoped but it was still fun.

Though Lennon didn't behave well for the photos, we got him at the end by promising him some treats.

This photo shows what he was really like during our attempts ...

Though I am a little freaked out about having a boy {I've only got sisters, and lots of females in my side of the family}, I know that this little dude is going to steal my heart and the heart of his papa. That's a pretty sweet feeling.



Sunday, October 21, 2012







I am almost half way through this pregnancy and FINALLY starting to feel *normal* again. These are the photo updates that I post on Facebook and Instagram every few weeks to show the growing baby bump. In addition to the growing belly and expected arrival of this little bebe in March, I also changed jobs and left my position at the hospital. It was an extremely hard decision but I think it will be best for me and for our little growing family - allowing flexibility and freedom to have an open schedule. I had one week off in-between the position change, which ended up being a challenging week as my grandmother passed away.

We spent a weekend in Michigan to celebrate Hubby's cousins' wedding. It was nice to get out of the city for a night and visit with extended family members we haven't seen in a long time. Oh, and we stopped and picked out a few pumpkins and some delicious cider donuts. Also, we're officially an aunt and uncle! Hubby's sister Jen had her baby girl! This means that little bebe and Stella will be just a few months apart. How great is that?!

Dad ran his 9th marathon this month! And our friend P ran his first. Marathon weekend in this city is just so much fun - and even more amazing when you're able to cheer on friends and family during their 26.2 mile journey.

It's been an exciting month among these parts, and the end of this month will bring even more news as we find out little bebe's gender! 



Thursday, September 20, 2012

a little announcement


Since it's been months since my last post, I'd like to state that I am in fact still here. Lots of things going on in the lives of PJ & Hubby right now.

The biggest thing to happen {besides me turning 29} was discovering that I'm pregnant the day after my birthday. Pregnant! Little baby D is due in March. Although we were not planning on this, we are feeling very excited about this new adventure ... parenthood.

Now back in to the swing of things and feeling a little better {FYI: morning-noon-night sickness is wicked} that I'm headed into the second trimester, I'll be back to blogging. There is another major change happening, but I don't want to overwhelm. I'll share that update soon.



Monday, June 25, 2012


My life has been a bit crazy these past few weeks. The hospital I work at moved across town and I've been adjusting to a new commute downtown among other things {like figuring out where in the world I'm going once I'm in the new 20-plus story building}. To top it off, I had a really traumatic past few weeks dealing with oral surgery go awry. I finally feel like I'm crawling out of this funk and am starting to get my routine down. Finally!

These are some photos of the hospital closing celebration that included champagne flavored cupcakes and a fly-over above the old hospital. It was hard to say goodbye to the old building and neighborhood. I almost feel like I grew up there: I interned during grad school, started working weekends when I graduated, and now I'm a full time employee.

Cheers to the old hospital, cheers to the future.



Friday, June 01, 2012

a few things you've missed ...

Since I'm back from an unintentional blogging hiatus {like, the entire month of May}, here are some iPhone snaps of the last few weeks ...

{a tour of the new hospital with mom, dad, and hubby}

{the cinco de miler with friends j & b}

{mother's day with momma, aunt c and cousin i}

{a lunch with Hubby in his scrubs}

{new summer sandals}

{lennon made a trip to the groomer}

{summer arrived: denim cutoffs, espadrilles were necessary}

As much as I would love to say I'll be back to regular blogging, I make no promises.



six years.

Last weekend Hubby and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary with a dinner at Grange Hall Burger Bar. It's our little tradition to celebrate with a nice dinner. Hubby has had his eye {appetite?} set on this little place for a while, so we thought we'd give it a whirl. Pretentious spots aren't really our thing, anyway. This year we went two days early for an early dinner to avoid a long wait. We snagged an outdoor spot in some great weather.

Grange Hall Burger Bar is what happens when small-town-Americans and big-city-Urbanites have a baby. {Did that make any sense?} I adored it. It made me want to transplant myself into an episode of Friday Night Lights. Literally. From the country modern decor complete with mismatched napkins and flatware to the lunch-tray serving style, this place delivered the concept well. It literally feels like a slice of small town USA in the heart of the city.

As a farm-to-table establishment, their seasonal {fried} veggies and pies are a highlight. We shared: the fried veggies, macaroni and cheese, onion rings, burgers, and their homemade peanut butter and jelly ice cream. It was all delicious. We took home a strawberry-rhubarb pie with homemade whipped cream for the rest of the family.

When Hubby and I were first married, I often referred to him as my PFL:  "Partner for Life". After six years of marriage, I can say that this has been an honest description of our life together. Partners growing, loving each other, and enjoying this life we have. Together. As any honest married person will admit - marriage is hard work. And it's absolutely worth the effort.

Part-ner {noun}: a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor // either of two people who dance together

Cheers to us. And to small-town-Americans making babies with big-city-Urbanites.



Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Update

This past weekend:

  • I ran the Race to Wrigley Fun Run 5k with dad {and ran my fastest time, yet!}

  • I cheered on the Rush Softball team

  • I wandered around some of my favorite downtown spots {the lions, horses, exhaust pipe sculpture, blossoming trees in grant park, and the tulips}, and had one of those "I love Chicago" days.

A lovely weekend indeed.



Financial Fitness: Debt Free!

{via Instagram}

We are consumer debt free!

After eleven months, we have completed our second major financial goal:

  • Goal One: Set up Emergency Savings Fund // Completed 

  • Goal Two: Payoff Consumer Debt // Completed

  • Goal Three: Payoff Student Loan Debt // In Progress

We have decided to stay living with my parents, and plan to continue our financial fitness efforts. I'll be posting an update of our next financial goals and steps shortly. For now, I'm going to bask in the satisfaction of reaching a major milestone!




Sunday, April 15, 2012

Be Kind to Yourself

{via Pinterest}

Though living with my parents has been an incredible blessing for our financial well being, it has been difficult.

Difficult in the sense that we're married {have been for almost 6 years}, and living with my parents.

Difficult in the sense that everyone around us seems to be on the next chapter of their lives including home-owning, baby-making, second baby-making, etc.

I try to focus on the good things: the money-saving, debt-freeing, quality time moments. But who am I kidding? We are living. with. my. parents.

If I'm not careful, it easily becomes a pity party - feeling sorry for myself and my perceived regression of "normal" life stages ultimately leading down a destructive path I call the "if onlys".

Are you familiar with the "if onlys"? As in "if only (fill in the blank) my life would be so much better". {My favorite fill-in-the blanks: more money, a better job, a child, a house, a car, a different career.} If you've ever been there, you know this: It's a dark, lonely place.

The truth is that we always want the things that we don't have. Jealousy brews just beneath the surface of well-intentioned joy sharing accomplishments of even the closest friends.

I am not proud of this. I am however, realistic. Realistic about recognizing my own tendencies to compare myself to others. It takes a lot of effort to keep my jealousy in check and to live in my own accomplishments.

Not only have these past several months fostered growth in financial maturity, they have served a ginormous lesson in personal growth. I am grateful for this.

I'm learning to be kind to myself, to accept my life for what it truly is: mine.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Recap

Events of this past weekend included:

  • One 6-mile run with dad

  • One theater trip to see THE HUNGER GAMES with my book club friends*

  • One hot yoga class

  • One girls' night out with former co-workers

  • One Chipotle burrito for lunch

  • One bike ride with Hubby

  • One dinner at a favorite Mediterranean spot: Andie's in Andersonville

Nourishment to my soul.

Quality time with family and friends.

'Twas a great weekend, indeed.



*we were first in line for our show, and proud of it!