One Week Ago

One week ago, on Thanksgiving Day, Baby A+ made her debut at 38 weeks, 2 days.

JGA newborn

Jacqueline Grace weighed 5 lbs., 13 oz. and measured 19 inches long.

We made it home for the hospital in one piece on Saturday and were greeted by a very eager and already overprotective big brother in Watson.

We’re doing our best to adjust to our new normal and, to be completely honest, it’s been rougher that I ever imagined. But this face makes it worthwhile and walks outside do WONDERS for both body and soul.

Hope you all have been doing well! I have so much to tell you and, depending on schedules and such, am hoping to spout off a few words here and there again soon.

Spilling the Beans

Not sure how you all would feel about pregnancy updates/details, so I’m going to keep these catalogued on a separate Pregnancy Page. Check it out for all that’s going on with our family as we plan to welcome Baby A+ in December.

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I found out I was pregnant on April 19th, the day before Easter. I had felt some nausea on and off for a few days and, although it wasn’t bad, figured that it might be a sign. So I waited for the JA to go out and took a pregnancy test. It turned out positive.

So then I took another one, just to make sure. This one didn’t show a result.

Obviously, I had to then take a third. Positive. Oh boy.

Yes, these are also three different tests. Don't judge.

Yes, these are also three different tests. Don’t judge. The record number, for our OB, was six.

At this point, our neighbors were scheduled to arrive at our house for game night in a few hours. I quickly baked some carrot cake cupcakes and tried to figure out a cute way to tell the JA. I wanted to tell him prior to their arrival for a multitude of reasons: 1 – I wouldn’t be drinking that night; 2 – we also were attending Easter Vigil, which is one of the longest Masses of the year. I didn’t want nausea to hit (or anything worse to happen) and for him to be left worrying as I beelined out of the church.

So he came back from the gym and I blurted out, “So, I think I’m pregnant..” as he stood at the bottom of our stairs. Smooth, Jess. He replied that I’m never allowed to bake carrot cake anything again, as he would forever associate the two. And then, being the loving husband (and now father-to-be) had a look of both shock and awe on his face as he ran up the stairs to hug me.

Just to make sure, I took a fourth test the following morning. Still pregnant. Okay. This is really happening.

We weren’t exactly trying to get pregnant but weren’t NOT trying, either. It was a pleasant surprise. However, this made it difficult to track, being that my periods were a bit irregular. We told some close friends that we had begun our journey, but not our families.

We confirmed the pregnancy with my OB, I ran my half marathon (with the blessing from my doctor), and tried to figure out a way to tell our parents. Mother’s Day was around the corner, and while we only had an estimate of how far a long I was, it wasn’t far enough that I was ready to share just yet.

Then fate stepped in.

There’s a huge community yard sale in the neighborhood adjacent to ours. We walked around, picked up a few things for the house, and also scored a bassinet (for $5!) and couldn’t resist picking out a few baby clothes. [Let me tell you, smuggling that bassinet into the house without anyone seeing us is a story in and of itself!]

I had already purchased spa gift cards for our mothers and decided to place a onesie in the box as well.

grandma onesies

Our parents came over for our monthly dinner date, we had the moms open their gifts, and lots of joy (and maybe a few tears) followed. We vowed them to secrecy until we confirmed how far along I was and made it out of the first trimester.

The rest is pretty straightforward – calling family and friends, announcing it at our Memorial Day gathering to friends, finishing with an announcement a few weeks later to the other side of the family, and then to you all and on social media.

Special kudos to those who stuck with me this entire post – I’m hoping not all of these updates will be this lengthy, but who knows?

Exciting News

I hinted in yesterday’s post that the JA and I shared some exciting news with his extended family over the weekend. Since I know I’m extremely impatient and hate cliffhangers, I’ll get right to the chase.

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That’s right, I’m pregnant! We’ve got a baby on the way, and our little one is due in early December!

Thank you for your patience with me during this time – I know I’ve been a bit MIA. However, if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’m not very good at keeping secrets (and that this is a pretty big one). I have no plans to turn this into a pregnancy blog. However, since it is a healthy living/personal blog, it will follow our new adventure fairly closely. I hope that you’ll continue to follow along and help me as I begin to navigate the waters of parenthood.

Cheers!

Push It

This weekend was another filled to the brim weekend. Both the JA and I had work obligations on Sunday, leaving us with Friday and Saturday to truly relax.

Well, let me tell you, an inaugural 11-mile solo run is not relaxing. Is it just me, or do you have to talk yourself up before running a distance you’ve never conquered before? I woke up Saturday morning to great weather, made my way out of bed, and then proceeded to putz around until I got enough courage to get it done.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that it was a rough run. In addition to the anxiety of the sheer distance of this run, I’ve been having trouble with my right foot. While it was fine for most of the run, my head and heart just weren’t in it. However, the scenery provided inspiration and I used this run as a time to strengthen my mental stamina. It worked to a certain extent — I ended up breaking down when I got home. I was sore, I was tired, I was in a level of discomfort that’s uncharted territory for me post-run. I’m so thankful for the JA and his unwavering support. He reminded me that it was my first 11-mile run, that it was on a trail, and that there should be some level of discomfort because, well, I’m pushing myself. I don’t know how I’d be faring on the journey to my first half marathon without his support.

11mi training run

Sunday morning, it was my turn to be supportive. The JA ran his first race of the season! He decided on the HopeWell Cancer Support REACHOUT AND RUN 5K because the organization was so important to our late school President during his battle with prostate cancer. I’ll admit that I may have bullied him a bit to register for the race and as we arrived at the race site, he started to (jokingly) make excuses as to why he couldn’t run. He was dealing with some pre-race jitters that were quickly quelled once he started to warm up. Some current students were running the race and the JA made a goal to beat twice the time of our fastest runner. Well, our fastest runner came in 1st place overall, so he had quite the challenge ahead of him.

He made it through just fine – beating his goal and earning 12th place in his age group with a time of 31.47.5! Not a PR, but it was a hilly course, a chilly day, and his first race of the year after suspending running for the winter. Ultimately, he was glad he participated and thanked me for pushing him to do so. I’m so proud of him for getting back on the proverbial horse and am taking suggestions for his next race….

JA HopeWell finish

As I mentioned,  we ended the weekend at work. He’s in the midst of preparations for the AP test and I volunteered at an event. We were both exhausted upon returning home and getting up this morning was no easy feat, either. I need a day to recover from my weekend!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Short But Sweet

Hey, All! First off, a hearty welcome to those stopping by from my guest post on The Small But Mighty Runner. I hope you get comfortable & stay awhile 🙂

Sorry in advance for the short post. Last night, the JA and I had a riveting necessary appointment to get our taxes done.

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14 days – nothing like waiting until almost the last minute. We ended up eating dinner at 9p and crashing soon thereafter.

I got up and completed my 5 mile training run this morning only to come home & say goodbye to Watson. He’s going in for his second heart worm shot today (with a third tomorrow), so I prioritized him over you all. With this face, can you blame me?

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Got some great ideas for tomorrow’s post, so stay tuned!

Treats Not Tricks

It’s April Fools Day and I have a few confessions to make to you. First, I dislike this ‘holiday.’ I’m not a prankster and just don’t get it. You never know how someone else’s day is going and pulling a prank on them could tip them over the proverbial edge. Be careful out there today, jokesters!

Second confession: yesterday was the first day in my training cycle that I decided to skip a workout without a valid reason. In the past few weeks, I’ve bailed because of snow and sickness. Yesterday, I simply didn’t want to stretch & strengthen. My heated yoga class was cancelled by the instructor, it was gorgeous outside, and it was Opening Day for the Orioles.

Instead of exercising, the JA and I ended up going out to dinner. We ended up driving a bit to chow down at one of our favorite spots when we were living in our townhouse – T Bonz Bar & Grille. Not only do they have a great beer selection, but they are also the place that first served us crabby tots (tater tots covered in crab dip, Old Bay, and cheese). We settled in for the second half of the game and were happy to cheer the O’s on to a win!

crabby tots

We rolled ourselves home to fulfill our puppy parent duties and decided to continue the fun with dessert and a Scandal. We started watching the series on Saint Patrick’s Day and are completely hooked. It’s actually taken over for Breaking Bad, which we have yet to finish. (Anyone else not impressed? We’re just not that into it.)

That was that. No workout. No feeling guilt about not working out. I took advantage of the day and I’m not sorry one bit. (I’m saying this prior to my scheduled run for the day. Check in with me tonight and see how I feel!)

Look at all those Xs!

Look at all those Xs!

Speaking of treating yourself, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’m on a lipstick kick. Now, I’m not really a lipstick person – it rubs off on everything, it’s got a waxy feel and smell, and I’ve just never been a fan. I’m much more of a lip stain person, as evidenced by my collection of three different Revlon Just Bitten Lipstains. I really like that they’ve got a bit of a peppermint kick, provide long-lasting color, and keep my lips moisturized. (For a full review, click here.)

But when offered the chance to try a new beauty product for free, I couldn’t refuse. I  was sent Rimmel London’s Moisture Renew lipstick in As You Want Victoria as part of a campaign through Influenster.

I mentioned last week that it was one of my Five Things I’m Loving so it should come as no surprise that I wore it multiple times throughout the past few weekends. I wore it most of weekend: Friday at work (and on my run), and Sunday for a work event (and then again at the gym). I think I’m a convert. From the minute I put it on my lips, I was surprised at how smooth it was. The color’s a bit bold, but didn’t transfer onto my glassware too much and lasted through eating, drinking, running and ellipticall-ing. I may just be converted!

lipstick and pearls

This is part of my Try It Tuesday series. I review a variety of products/services and use this series to recommend the best to you! I did receive the product for free, but all opinions are my own 🙂

 

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My Husband Hates My Smartphone (and Secretly I Do, Too)

Hi, my name is Jess and I have a secret. I’ve never told you this, but there’s a third entity in the JA’s and my marriage…

My smartphone.

You may have seen this article titled, “Why I’m Getting a Divorce in 2014.” (Spoiler alert: it’s about his attachment to his phone.) For some people, they can easily ‘divorce’ their phones. However, being in the field of public relations lends itself to a certain marriage with one’s phone. You never know when a reporter’s going to call or respond to you with a last-minute photo request, when your client’s calling you with another idea, or when you get word that, yes, that placement you’ve worked so hard to secure will air/print at its desired time. Add in that I’m a blogger, and that relationship grows even stronger.

But for me, and many others, our relationship with our phones goes beyond that. My phone never leaves my side. When I get bored, it serves as a comfort. It’s a constant companion, waiting to entertain me. And my husband hates it.

Why? Well, he’s too much of a gentleman to tell me outright, but here’s why he hates my phone (and I do, too):

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1. My phone slows me down. It’s true. I get sucked into the social media vortex and can spend hours doing nothing by reviewing Facebook, crafting Instagram posts, working on the blog, or cleaning out my inbox. He’s taken to giving me a 5-10 minute buffer for when he says we need to leave and when we ACTUALLY need to leave the house.

2. My phone is similar to Pavlov’s bell. When it pings, dings, rings, or even lights up, I go to it – no questions asked. It could be a bad comment on our company’s page that needs to be handled! It could be a tweet that needs to be immediately retweeted! It could be someone liking my cute puppy photo! (Ok, so I don’t have Facebook notifications for my personal page but if I did…we’d be in even more trouble than we are now.)

3. My phone is a third wheel. Sitting on the couch watching a movie used to be relaxing. Now, it can be a time for multi-tasking. So not romantic.

4. Really? Another picture? This is one of his biggest pet peeves – especially when it comes to food. He just wants to enjoy the moment or savor the first bite and I want to showcase it in its best light before diving in. You never know when you might want to recreate that recipe at home…right?

5. Warning: the contents of this phone may cause user to self-destruct. Some days, social media lifts me up and makes me feel like a rockstar. Other days, it contributes to my crankiness and discontent. Either way, it shouldn’t have that much power. I shouldn’t let it. But it does, and I do.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. What am I going to do now? Well, I’ve started purposefully leaving my phone places. If I know we’ll be watching a movie in the den, I’ll turn it on silent and leave it in the kitchen. If we’re going out to dinner, I leave it in my purse (zipped in so I can’t see the notifications as they pop up.) I’m putting it on vibrate more often and trying to keep its use to a minimum when we’re together. These are baby steps, but they’re making a difference. I find myself more focused on him and others, bringing more quality content to our conversations, and enjoying the little things more and more.

Smartphones – love them or hate them?