Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekends just get busier!

This weekend was so busy! Busy and tiring! That's the M.O. these days, as we head full on into the holiday season and all of the final prep for the baby (which will hopefully be done before the baby actually comes!). They just had to coincide, didn't they? #wearesuchgoodplanners

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have noticed that, in addition to putting together the baby's room, we're rearranging our house. We've been here six months, it's about time (#lolz). For real though, it's just because we've decided we can make better use of the space we have than what we're currently doing, and we might as well do it now while everything is a mess anyways!

We're moving our "office" from the second spare bedroom and putting it downstairs with our workout space, and the second bedroom will become a guest room (first spare room is going to be the baby room). Some of that stuff will stay in there - such as my knitting and board games and some books - and some of it is being moved around. Obviously the biggest change is that the office stuff - desk, filing cabinet, etc - are now downstairs.

That was part of this weekend. We took down the desk last weekend so we could move everything from the baby room in there while we painted, and then Anthony moved a majority of stuff around during the day while I was at my mom's for the baby shower (aka Baby Shower #2).

Like I said, last weekend we started painting the baby's room. We got through taping everything and putting the base color on the walls before we had to pause for a week because in the lead up to the baby shower I had some cookies to decorate...and they ended up taking me all week. It was the one thing my mom asked me to do, so I did! I'm going to do a longer post about the shower later (and you can check out the progression of decorating these guys on IG), but I'll show you the final product now:
I'll let you guess what the shower theme was ;)
So that was this weekend (and last, haha) - it was good that we moved everything around when we did because now the second bedroom is serving as storage for all of the stuff we got from the shower. And speaking of storage...our house does not have enough space! We've decided to take some things from under the stairs (our only real storage space) and move it back to my mom's to free up some space. It's a temporary move, but we've deemed it necessary. My poor mother!

What we really need to help get the basement unpacked are 6 ft bookshelves! I have like 4 boxes of books and knick knacks that need to be unpacked, and I'll be so much happier when everything is unpacked. My whole life feels cluttered because of the house right now, and I'd love to get it all under control before the baby comes. It's all comes down to time and money, friends...time and money. I know pretty much everyone goes through this "unpacked" phase of clutter, but it would be really nice to get out of it.

But anyways...this week's plan is to work some more in the baby's room and get the painting done (I'll probably dedicate about an hour to this each night after work) and if anyone's wondering, here's our schedule of events (so far) leading up to our due date - which is December 31st:
  • November 17-18th: birth class
  • November 23-26: Thanksgiving weekend (including the Schaumburg Turkey Trot again with Katie and Annie! We'll be walking this time lol)
  • November 28: Bulls game
  • December 2-3: Don't worry, something will come up :P
  • December 10: Shower #3
  • December 17: Medieval Times with Anthony's family
  • The following week: Oh hey, Christmas.
  • Oh hey, the baby's due.
  • And frequent doctor's appointments allll up until then!
And that's if the baby comes on schedule... whatever that means!

Phew. Just writing it all out has made me tired. I'm gonna go take a nap...all night long. Night guys :P


Monday, November 6, 2017

Shower 1 down!

Stopping in to say I have some pretty awesome coworkers!

I had an inkling (meaning I totally knew) that they were going to surprise me (us) with a shower - and I was positive I'd be able to figure out when they were throwing it.

Long story short - I didn't figure it out, and they absolutely managed to surprise me! Anthony was in on the whole thing so it wasn't a surprise for him, but I did make him sit there with me to unwrap gifts (points to me for spreading out the awkward lol). I gave him the option to open stuff but he declined and got to rebag everything after I opened it all.

I gotta coworkers who planned everything (Christina and Tarra and Concetta) did a great job throwing a gender neutral shower that didn't include the color pink!! Major props to them ;)

This cake came from Costco and was seriously so amazing. We're still making our way through the leftovers at home (and I do not regret the twelve pieces of cake I've eaten - at least 7 for breakfast - one bit!). For the curious, it was white cake with cheesecake filling (SO good) and vanilla buttercream. Seriously - so amazing. Costco wins at everything, I swear.

They trolled me so hard  with distractions - not only did my manager ask me to "step into a huddle room" to talk over my maternity leave plans (because we'd talked about it the day before and he hadn't 'written it down'...if you knew my manager you'd know why I bought that line lol), but they also got my friend Travis to schedule a meeting to 'go over some PrideZ stuff'. I've had so many PrideZ meetings lately that I didn't even blink at another one.

Here I was, telling Anthony I'd be suspect of ANY meeting Steve (my manager) or Travis scheduled with me and they go and do both.

Clever guys. Clever.
Travis walking me in while I let everyone know how clever they were with the multiple distractions. Also...REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS.
 And now...lots of pictures opening presents!

Some people got individual gifts, but the 'group' gift included a monthly milestone book - I told them I'm going to actually use it and bring it in so they can see the baby grow!

A hoodie fox towel!! I plan to use these ALLLL the time. So cute!

Omg Anthony is smiling!!

Me asking Anthony how long until these become dog toys. I have a feeling our house will be a free for all soon.

Woodland creatures on everything!!

Explaining (mostly to the guys :P) what a swaddle is. I know some baby stuff (probably a good thing at this point).

Me explaining why the rubber ducky is a perfect gift...and how I ended up with like 3,000 of them after an offhand comment to my mom once.

Look at how cute the sheep is!

My friend Sonya handmade her bag and card to match our nursery theme!!

A picture with the cake!
Going through these I realize that my outfit from that day makes me look totally not-pregnant. I was the least pregnant looking person at their own baby shower ever haha.

I don't talk about work on my blog ever, really...but I want to say that I really owe my coworkers and our managers. Everyone has been so fantastic and supportive through everything, and they make it easy to go to work every day and feel that this is a stage of our lives that we should truly enjoy and be happy about. I have never once felt like my pregnancy will impact my job, our financial security, my ability to grow at the company, or that it is a burden on my coworkers. If anything, the excitement and encouragement they've shown us indicates the exact opposite, and I feel very fortunate that this is the case.

A lot of people say negative things about being a woman/mother in corporate America, but I feel like my company is doing it's part to make things better for women in the work place. Granted, this is America, so even by surpassing Federal/legal requirements there's still tons of room for growth - but I admittedly have it better than a large majority of women in this country and I am grateful for that.

Sidenote: It just so happens that our newly appointed CEO is a woman! Kathleen fully assumes her new role January 1st and has been executive sponsor of PrideZ in 2017. She has been fantastic to work with and I've felt honored at the chance. It's no small yoke getting to work with our Executive Leadership Team, let alone the CEO Designate. I have no doubt her leadership will bring more opportunities for women to our employees - it's an exciting time to be a woman here!

Baby shower now over, I'm very proud of myself because somehow I managed to wrap up this entire shower by getting the thank you notes done this weekend too! I know, I'm shocked as well. It took me three months to do our house warming thank yous, but because we have a total of three showers coming at us I didn't want to get behind this early. So today I walked in armed with my Thank You notes and can make room for all of this weekend's coming ones ;)

I have a longer pregnancy-stuff post planned that I've started and stopped a million times...I don't want to make my entire blog about being pregnant and having a kid, but it is an interesting experience I'd like to document while it lasts!

That said...we also have so much stuff going on the next few we'll see if those posts actually happen. Not to mention my Chicago Marathon post is yet to go up! Honest to god it's because I'm waiting for good lighting so I can take pictures of my signs...maybe now that Daylight Savings has brought me some daylight hours I can get that done ;)

But for now...I bid you all adieu (and thank you for your patience)!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Spectating my Spectator

The last few weekends have absolutely flown by despite our trying to "settle down" and not do much in preparation for the coming weekends that include weddings and parties and the start of holiday season. I've been lucky enough to get out and spectate a few races, and while I still wish I could run, I'm enjoying the opportunity to cheer people on and take pictures!

The best part of all of this is that Anthony has now completed his first two races ever...something about me has rubbed off on him!

The A Time For Giving 5k
I feel liked I've mentioned this race before but never written about it.

Ah wait, I found a vague reference from long ago (2014) when I started blogging again and had no idea what the "direction" of this blog would be. So I guess I have to actually explain the race!

The ATFG 5k is a race my company puts on during their fall fundraising initiatives. Registration includes a chip bib and tech shirt, but 100% of the registration fees ($35/person this year) goes towards our company's core charities (St Jude, United Way, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and Make a Wish). This year's race was on September 20th (and I actually got to help organize it!).

Anthony started running shortly after Ragnar, and I told him this would be a fun race to do because at 26ish weeks, it would be early enough in my pregnancy that I'd be able to do it too (hah). So I signed us both up when registration went live in July.

The week before the race I realized something fun - this was going to be Anthony's first race! And (unbeknownst to most people) it was my first race three years ago!! I was excited for him to finally get a race under his belt and I was kind of nostalgic thinking about how it was my first ever race and would be his too.

The week of the race we had a massive heat wave, and it became apparent that I would not be running in 92 degree heat/humidity - I did volunteer at the water station though! There ended up being a very high attrition rate due to heat - 55% of runners didn't run! Nearly 200 registered and only 106 completed the run. Lots of them dropped to the 2 mile walk instead, but I know there were plenty of people who just didn't show up. That kind of sucked...but I also was not surprised.

Anyways...the race had totally brutal running conditions, and I'll spare Anthony by not posting any of the awful pictures I took of him during the race (even though every runner needs those!). I did snag a before pic though!

He was disappointed with his time and that he walked for part of it but I told him (and keep telling him) that once he does some more races he'll realize what all runners do: Hot and humid are the worst possible race conditions. It's just so brutal on your body, and he shouldn't be disappointed at all. It was just one race, and there are always more! I'm proud of him no matter what - especially because he ran despite the heat!

Speaking of more races...

Chicago Terrain Race - September 30th, 2017
A week and a half after his first 5k, we were up bright and early on our way to the Chicago Speedway for Anthony's second race! Shortly after the Ragnar my teammate Samantha posted in our Facebook group that she was going to do the Chicago Terrain Race with her husband, and asked if anyone wanted to join. A few other teammates jumped on board, and since I knew I wouldn't be able to do it I looked at Anthony and said, "But you can!" and signed him up!

So that Saturday morning we got up pretty early and I made some Kona coffee that I'd been dying to try - my mom bought for me when she went to Hawaii in the Spring and I hadn't been able to drink because a) morning sickness made me hate coffee b) I didn't start drinking coffee again until 5 months pregnant c) there's a lot of caffeine in it so I was saving it for a special occasion!

The short of it: I made the coffee to take with and it was exceptional. Enough about coffee.

We piled ourselves in the car (I was VERY tempted to take the dogs but we opted to leave them at home) and made the drive to the Chicagoland Speedway. Packet pickup started at 7, and the team had an 8:15 start time!

Once there we met up with the rest of the "Terrain Princesses" crew and headed towards pickup...long story short, the pickup line was long and that 8:15 start didn't exactly happen. But it matters not!

I snagged a cute picture of us while we were waiting...

And I got one of the whole team, pre-race, looking clean!
Anthony, Meghan, Sam, Dana, Justin (Sam's husband) - Team Princess pre-mud adventures.
Once the Princesses finished pickup they headed over to lineup for the start...and when all was ready they were first in the holding tanks!

Yup, that's right. Holding tanks:
You can see Anthony in his gray shirt getting into the tank on the far left...Meghan is right behind him in bright pink!
I was laughing so hard at this, because Anthony had walked to the end to get out right away and that guy walking around in the blue shirt started telling people they had to stay in the tank and Anthony was like, "What do you mean we can't get out??" The shock among participants was hilarious to witness...and I was so glad I wasn't one of them!
Waiting for the start cannon!

All packed in!

I relocated to get a better shot of the start.

And they're off!!
 I found someone to chat with during all of this (her name was Michelle), which was nice because we had a bit of a wait between the start and the first spectate-able obstacle. The whole course was 5k (3 miles) long, but we had no idea how many or what kind of obstacles the participants went through. (I know now it's about 20 obstacles, and it was everything from tire flipping to monkey bars and wall climbing and rope swinging and carrying heavy things.)

Anyways...Michelle and I heard that the rope wall we'd see them climb was about 1 mile into the course (and about 10 yards from the start for us), so we walked over to that. It seemed like the super-fast people were taking about 20 minutes to get there and we didn't want to miss our people come through.

Her husband came through after about 30 minutes, but it took my squad of six a bit longer since they did every obstacle as a team. They finally appeared around the corner!
Always easy to spot Sam and Meghan's yellow and pink!
There goes Anthony, up and over!

I took this picture just for the handprint on Meghan's boob :P
 It turned out Sam rolled her ankle just before they all appeared, so she wasn't going to do this obstacle at first...but after the rest of them went over she decided 'what the hell' and did it anyways!
Waiting for the last member of their crew to climb!
After the rope climb they headed up 10 stories of stairs...and later let me know that after this came more stairs and carrying stuff and all this funness. But I got them on the stairs:
I'm telling you, that pink and yellow made them so much easier to find!

Almost there!

Anthony must have known to look for me when he got to the top! ;)
After the stairs I had another long wait before I saw them wonder either, as they had about 2 more miles to travel. The last four obstacles were all within about 1/4 mile of the I had a good amount of time to chillax (which means I walked around a lot and watched other people do obstacles).

Note: I wish I'd brought the dogs. Although some of the actual race is inside the Speedway...none of the spectating areas are. It's all on the outer part of the racetrack/in parking lots. I had initially emailed asking if dogs were allowed and was told no, but I saw other people with dogs and I'm pretty sure mine would have been just fine and enjoyed a good amount of time outside rather than couped up in the house. So... -1 to the race people for telling me no :P

Their arrival meant they were almost finished with the whole course - there was about a quarter mile to traverse from this point, with four more obstacles.

First up were these monkey ball things - I spent lots of time prior to their arrival watching people do this obstacle. It was much more difficult than I think people realized, tons of upper body and core strength:

He starts...

He makes it look easy-peasy.

And the dismount!

Ms Meghan, however, managed to get her leg caught straight through the hoop :P

Off for a nice little jaunt before the next obstacle!
Then were some more swingy things:

The story behind this is that he got cocky and slipped off a rope right at the end :P
Then up were some monkey bars over water (which I'm sure was freezing):
Getting ready to start (he's in the middle).
A video for your enjoyment...again, he made it look so easy!

And again the dismount! Crushed it!
The final obstacle was an incline balance beam, rope-net crawl, and slide down a fireman's pole.
Bonus pic with the team.

He has a good spectator so he got a finisher's video ;)

And let's not forget about the ladies!

The proud owner of his first race-bling!

Gotta get a close up!

The whole team, including Sam's kiddos who did the kid-course!

Make a silly face!

Act like monkeys!
And there you have it! They all had fun racing, and I have fun looking on. I wish I could have seen more of the obstacles - Anthony pointed some of them out to me on our way out. They had to climb walls and flip tires and carry heavy buckets and a bunch of other stuff. He said he was able to do each of the tasks pretty easily, and the long and short of this is that he REALLY wants to do a Spartan race next year - one of the long ones! I think he'd be more than capable too!

For my part - I really enjoyed spectating. Like I said, I wish I could have seen more of the race and taken more pictures. I was only able to see about 1/2 mile of the entire 5k course (5 or so obstacles), and I think it would have been fun to see more! In my "downtime" I walked around and talked to other people, but what I really enjoyed was cheering people on and watching them complete stuff. It just goes to show that spectating can be just as fun as racing, even if you wish you were participating!

Home and relaxing with this little mama.
And that's all I have for now! Hopefully I'll be able to get my next recap up soon...spectating the Chicago Marathon (and volunteering for RMHC!!).