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.

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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?

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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!

Five Ways to Keep the Romance Alive When Time is Tight

As you can imagine by my sporadic posting schedule, things are still a bit hectic for us right now. The end of the school year is upon us, wrap up events are happening in the evening, the JA has returned to grad classes for his summer session and, well, we kind of want to spend time with each other without one of us using an electronic device. (Easier said than done, my friends.)

However, in these crazy times, we’ve found a few ways to keep our relationship steady without having either one of us feel neglected.

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1. Spend some time apart. This may seem counterintuitive, but when I’m stressed I get cranky. No one likes a cranky partner. By taking time to ourselves – whether it be at the gym, a happy hour with friends, Book Club, or a run – we can get all our negativity out of our system before unleashing it on the other person. Makes for more quality time AND a happier couple.

2. Make time for each other. Even when the JA has an incredibly long day, he does his best to at least take five minutes to sit with me and chat about his day. It’s not much, but it’s better than him just entering the house, kissing me on the cheek and heading straight to bed. Communication is integral to any successful relationship, so by setting aside even a little bit of time just for your partner, it can go a long way in making them feel important.

3. Laugh. During busy times, tension can run high. To paraphrase the cinematic classic (Legally Blonde), “Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” By diffusing this tension, you not only are producing endorphins to increase your own mood, but you’re making memories with each other and bonding through giggles.

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4. Chat it up. I mentioned this before, but when we feel like we’re on opposite schedules we up our communication. Texting, email and quick visits at work help reinforce the foundation of love we’ve already built. A simple, ‘I miss you’ or ‘Hope you’re having a good day’ can make a big difference in getting you through until you can spend some face time with each other.

5. Small gestures/gifts. Everything from making the bed to sending a bunch of flowers to work let’s your loved one know that you’re thinking of them. Having the knowledge that the other person in your relationship cares enough to take time out of their day to do something for you puts a smile on your face and helps ease the pain of their absence.

How do you and your partner keep the connection strong when time is tight?

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.

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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!

Rise and Conquer

Weekend, where did you go? Come back!

It seems like every weekend, there’s a lot on the agenda. This weekend was no different – we had game night with our neighbors on Friday, I had a long run and a work event on Saturday and then was back at work on Sunday to get ahead of a deadline. Oof.

Late last week, I reached a point in my half marathon training where I was starting to doubt myself. I started thinking that I wasn’t running enough and wouldn’t be able to perform the way I want to on race day. I’ve had people offer to run with me, but get nervous about asking – especially about running distances I have yet to conquer.

I sucked it up my fears and texted my friend Hilary on Friday night. She’s run five half marathons (including the one I’m running in May) and I know she’d give it to me straight whether or not she thought I was in a good place. We planned on seven miles and I mentally prepared myself to just go out there and do my best. We kept a really good pace and chatted about race prep/fueling as well as other randomness. Running with a buddy certainly made the miles fly by! We finished in a little over an hour and she thinks I’m doing enough training-wise to dominate the half in (gulp) a little over a month. WHEW!

JA-HH post run

Saturday night consisted of a work event for me. With the JA and I working at the same school, we often joke that we have working date nights. I’m off doing my thing, he’s off doing his thing, and, if we’re lucky, we eat dinner together. We stayed out pretty late and had a really lazy morning on Sunday before venturing out to another ‘working date.’ One of his students was the lead in a musical and we stopped by to support him before heading back to the office. I have a big deadline today and wanted to get all my ducks in a row before the craziness of the week interfered. Good thing our fitness center was open – cross training complete!

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What’s your best tip to someone looking to conquer a fear?

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!

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?