Pregnancy Stories & Quotes | Week 4-27

Check out my 1st & 2nd trimester update here! This is the post with all the fun quotes, stories, and pictures week by week. 🙂

Week 4:

For some reason I got so frustrated folding Simeon’s shirts that I just had to stop. I’ve been folding his shirts for years and never had a problem but my frustration increased with each shirt. I asked, “Simeon, why am I so frustrated?!”
Simeon: “Because you’re pregnant.”
Me: “I can’t use that as an excuse for everything… can I?”
Simeon: “You have it, you might as well use it.”
–cue evil laughter–

Later on:
Simeon went to bed around 8am and from the bedroom I hear:
Simeon: “Natalie, did you turn the heat on?”
Me: “Maybe.”
Simeon: “Well it’s really hot over here.”
Me: “Oh, you can turn it off if you want.”
Simeon: “But you’re closer.”
Me: “Yeah, but I’m pregnant.”
Simeon: “Well played.”

Week 5:

We babysat an 8yo and a 10yo one weekend. The 10 year old kept talking about how his alarm is so loud at 6:15 in the morning and if we hear it we will think a tornado siren is going off. Simeon and I were staying in the room next to him and when we sent him to bed, I saw him move the alarm clock to the outlet closest to our room… When I asked him about it, he got this mischievous smile on his face. At 5am Simeon came back from work and said,
“I put my body armor to cover up the vent because he put his alarm clock in our vent.”
Me: “Why does he think that’s funny?”
Simeon: “The same reason he hides behind corners and scares you every time you walk by.. he’s a 10 year old boy.”

Dear Lord, please help me if I have boys. 😨😱

Pregnancy brain: it’s a real thing. Simeon in response to my brain lapses: “How does it feel to be mere mortal now?”

We babysat throngs of kids on Thursday. The clarity clinic in town was having a banquet and that left us with 25-30 kids.. not sure on the exact number because they never really sat still long enough to count. When we were originally signed up for the event, we were told the youth group would be babysitting and they just needed a few adults to oversee the youth group. Well, there was no youth group.. Just Simeon & I, and one other couple.
A good portion of my night was spent walking the one year old back and forth to the water fountain to fill up his cup. He’s too independent to allow me to hold his cup -or him- while he walked so by the time we actually made it back to the room, the water was either all over himself or in a great big puddle on the carpet. This process went on a few times until we found the juice boxes.. with straws!
Afterward Simeon said, “Yeah, I think I’d be fine with 1 maybe 2 kids..” 😆 Exactly what I was thinking.

Week 6:

Me: “Why do people do this more than once?”

Week 7

Pregnancy sucks. The end.

On unrelated occasions, 2 people said my symptoms – crazy dreams and acne – sound like I’m having a BOY. Which is crazy because I’ve thought that for weeks. It’s weird but I just feel like it’s a boy. It could be because there is a boy name I LOVE!!

I went over to my sister’s house to watch my nephew over Halloween. I had been feeling sooo sick earlier that day and as soon as I left the house I stated feeling better. By the time I got to her house I was almost feeling normal again. I was sitting by the fireplace and Caleb came and just sat in my lap. Right then and there I thought, “I can see how this makes having kids worth it.”

I was sitting by the door waiting for Trick-or-Treaters and Caleb came and sat down next to me. (or the candy) 💗 Here he thinks I’m not looking and is trying to sneak candy… see the little smile on his face?

I’ve realized that I am most sick when I am in my own apartment. I don’t know if it’s because it’s small so smells travel fast or if I strongly associate it with being sick. But if I get up and moving around outside of the apartment I feel great.

My dear friend Mikyong (she was the one I visited in Korea) called me Saturday morning and I got to share the news with her!

I told her I have some news and she asks, “are you pregnant?” I call her my Korean Mom and told her she was going to be a Korean Grandmother. To which she replied “No, I’m Korean Mom”. She asked if I was exercising and told me not to stress. She even told me not to do any homework because that causes stress! Now if only I could get my professors on board…

Week 8

Aunt status is bomb. I put him down for a nap and he was up just playing by himself. I checked back a few minutes later and he was out.. his imagination must have tired him out 💗

 
My sister has officially announced she is pregnant! Super excited for them!! Baby Arentson is due in May so that makes Carolyn 1 month and 3 days ahead of me. There are 3 of us sisters pregnant at the same time! In just a short time there will be SO MANY COUSINS!!
Week 9
Why yes, I did hide the french press full of freshly brewed coffee in the stock pot. The smell was too much.. where else was I supposed to put it?!

We’ve been overdue for a trip to Minneapolis and when we saw that Johnnyswim was playing, we thought it’d be perfect excuse to disguise sharing the baby news with family in person. We went to Simeon’s grandparents next and had a fun time sharing the news! We haven’t encountered many people who have been genuinely caught off guard by the news that we are pregnant, most reactions are very excited and “I was waiting for this!”

On Saturday night we went to Johnnyswim! This is our second time seeing them in concert and they were as good as ever.

I was fine up until Johnnyswim actually came on.. then I started to feel really sick. I had to sit for most of the concert and couldn’t sing along 😦 I had to run out to the bathroom but Simeon was waiting for me when I came out with some ginger ale. 💗

Concerts have always been my thing and now I’m that person who wears earplugs, sits down, and falls asleep. Simeon took this of me sleeping between bands.. pregnancy exhaustion is real..

We went to IKEA!!! Probably the highlight of my month.

Simeon and I spent hours there. We went in and out of every show room and discussed what we loved about it. We envisioned what we would do in our own house. About 2 hours in I really needed a break… luckily there was no shortage of seating. We just chilled in some adorable wingback chairs and people-watched.

On our way out we stocked up on Swedish food AND alcohol free cider. Just enough to get us to January because… We got our tickets to go to Sweden in January!!! This may be the last time we fly party of 2. 😮

Week 10
Me at 5am^^. There is a chair and blankets that have found a permanent home in the bathroom because of mornings like this.
I got to see little baby on ultrasound! From then on I realized it wasn’t the baby that was making me sick, it was pregnancy. That baby couldn’t make me sick, he was far to perfect.
We visited the fambam for Thanksgiving which is always a great time.

 

 
 This started the tradition of taking belly photos of the 3 pregnant sisters (pregsters).
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And Chris.
Week 11

I had another ultrasound where Simeon was able to join and I loved watching him see Baby for the first time. It was so special! LITTLE BABY WAS SUCKING HIS/HER THUMB!! 💗

We put of the tree and our village a day or two after thanksgiving. Every year we try to get a new piece and this year Simeon picked out the brewery. We call it The Three Broomsticks.

I made stockings for our little family!

   
Lucia Saffron rolls for Lucia Day!
Week 12
We announced that we are pregnant!! That was a big highlight.
Week 13

We received a box of love from Sweden with goodies for Advent. The Aladdin chocolates are famous in Sweden and are a tradition around the holidays. The chocolates come with 2 identical layers of 2 chocolates each. So naturally we each get to try one of each. Here’s the kicker: you can’t move on to the second layer until ALL the chocolate on the first layer has been eaten, says Simeon. Even while pregnant I eat chocolate at a rather leisurely pace, one chocolate every few days is good enough for me. Our chocolate advent calendar is still on day 4 😆. Simeon on the other hand LOVES his chocolate. (This picture, for example, was taken moments after we opened the chocolate. Simeon’s side already has quite a few missing 😋) The other day I saw him sneaking through the second layer to get more chocolate 💗 It was so funny seeing his inner Swede battle his deep love for chocolate. But hey, if he loves it that much, by all means- take a ride on the American side and eat the chocolate out of order 😉

I got a cute blue envelope in the mail from my niece Cora. I opened it and there was this little abstract painting. No note, no explanation, just the painting speaking for itself. The only way I knew it was from was because she practiced writing her name on the envelope! It made my heart melt.
Week 14-15

Graduation, Finals, Family Christmas, Birthday – busy 2 weeks!

    
I got to see some friends from camp in Japan who were at graduation!
 
Simeon and I drove up to Oshkosh so I could walk at commencement! Afterward, we hung out with Joel and he took us out to his favorite Oshkosh Mexican restaurants. Yumm.

The next week we went Christmas Caroling at a nursing home with our bible study group.
  
 
The Pregsters! From left to right: Me: 15 weeks, Renee: 32 Weeks, Carolyn: almost 20 weeks. Carolyn found out that she is having a boy. Renee is waiting to be surprised in February when Baby comes.

      
We took turns making food and Simeon and I helped out Mom and Lee the first night. The next night Katherine made Chicken marinara with fettuccine Alfredo with sweet potato rolls. yummm. The dress code was formal and my dress was fitted so it showed off my growing baby bump! I got to make name places for the meal.
 
I turned 24 on the 24th!
 
At the end of this week was when I started feeling little tiny “pops” in my stomach and that was baby moving 🙂
Week 16

Simeon and I went back to the Appleton area to visit family. His cousin had a break from Ranger school and all of his cousins were in one place! We went up there to visit right before New Years. I had someone at church come up to me and tell me that she just felt that I was having a BOY. On the way home we drove past our old apartment- memories! – stopped by the mall and had gyros – yummm.
We had our 3rd anniversary on the 3rd! I made Simeon breakfast in bed and booked us a night at a hotel – with a fireplace and jacuzzi tub! Last anniversary without kids so #liveitup. We had a gift card to Olive Garden so we ordered food online for pickup on our way to the hotel. There is no Olive Garden where we live so we made a loop around the Tri-State area: left Wisconsin to pick up the food in Iowa and went to our hotel in Illinois.
 
We got to see our little one on our anniversary and that made it really special. Simeon got to see him/her move for the first time! And Baby gave us a yawn 💗 We even found out the gender.. we were able to see it for ourselves.. 😉 but we didn’t want to tell anyone until our anatomy scan at 20 weeks.
We went over to a friend’s for a murder mystery party! Simeon and I played the engaged couple and what we didn’t know was that my character was 3 months pregnant– almost spot on with me!
The brother of Rocco Scarfazzi (Simeon’s character) was murdered and we were invited to dinner to figure out who did it. It was really fun! We all dressed up and got into character.
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This is my food baby from eating all of the amazing food.
 
I had some downtime and decided that I needed to get a hobby so I could stay sane before my interim class started. I wanted to try out lettering my favorite quotes. Simeon has lots of old calligraphy pens and ink laying around so I tried that but I’m not advanced enough yet for those. I’m just sticking with pencil, pilot pens, and markers I found at a craft store. It’s been pretty fun and a great way to keep myself occupied. Except I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to these things so it takes me fooorrreeevveeerrr. Lots of erasing and trying again. I brought home these really good erasers from Japan (random, I know) but they are amazing and I didn’t know one could use that much of an eraser.
 
This week I got a job offer for a full time seasonal position as an Office Services Coordinator at a tax/consulting firm! It’s perfect because it gives me something to do until the baby comes! Since I was only 16 weeks I wasn’t quite showing yet for the interview so no awkward looks. But it wouldn’t have mattered if I was pregnant anyway in their eyes because I’m only seasonal and they don’t have to worry about maternity leave. Win-win for both.
Week 17-18
We flew out to Sweden this week! We got to visit Simeon’s parents- Grandparents to be!
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Baby was kicking pretty hard one night when we were relaxing by the fireplace. Simeon put his hand on my stomach and he felt Baby kick for the first time! It was so special.
I found some amazing maternity jeans at H&M in Sweden and now I can’t go back to regular jeans.
Week 19
I met up with my fellow pregsters for one last photo of us all pregnant at the same time!
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I’m actually showing in the picture even though you can’t tell.
Me: 19 weeks, Renee: 36-37 weeks? Carolyn: 24 weeks
Week 20
The week we’ve all been waiting for: GENDER REVEAL WEEK!
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Getting prepped for my ultrasound and we got to watch Baby move in 4-D.
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Yes, it was confirmed that we are having a little boy! Which means my intuition, and that of others, was right all along!

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I’ve been taking full advantage of the “Reserved Parking For New and Expectant Mothers” spots. I should probably save them for women who are more pregnant than I am.. like my sister who goes to the same doctors office as I do and happened to have an appointment around the same time.. I got a snap when she drove by to park in the spot but my car was already there 😀

Week 21-24

These weeks flew by because I started working full-time so I don’t have many quotes and stories. I get to feel Baby so much now and it is AMAZING! I am able to distinguish between his twists/turns and his kicks. My doctor appointments will increase in frequency to every 3 weeks. My belly is growing like crazy and it harder to mistake me for not being pregnant (although my coworkers are surprised when they find out.. but in their defense I do sit behind a desk that hides it pretty well.) During these weeks I grew out of my winter coat. Before I could barely squeeze into it and still zip it but now there is NO WAY that will zip again this winter.

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Waiting for the doctor at my 24 week appointment.

A realtor was showing us a house the other day and the last time she saw me was a month ago. Upon seeing me now she said “my, you’ve popped.” And [what’s left of] my belly button has almost fully popped!

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What is really special is that Baby’s kicks are so strong that Simeon can feel almost all of them! He kicks at anything that is on my stomach. And I’ve been able to catch Baby’s kicks on video. It’s pretty hard to do because it’s like he knows when I take my camera out. The second I push record, he stops. The second I stop recording, he starts kicking again. The little rascal 🙂

I’m sure the 3rd trimester will bring its difficulties but I’m going to just enjoy the time now 🙂 I can definitely see why women don’t stop after the first pregnancy.

Week 25-27

Weeks 25-27 were spent hardcore apartment and house hunting. Countless emails, phone calls, and viewings trying to find a place to live. We figured we’d most likely be moving to a smaller apartment so we began spring cleaning early. We threw out a ton of stuff and filled my entire car with things to take to goodwill. Normally I’m the worst at getting rid of things so you could probably say I’m nesting 😉

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Just some of the stuff we got rid of!

And of course our new pregster photo:

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The first trimester was pretty difficult but the second one has been amazing. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, including the “golden” trimester. Towards the end I’ve been starting to feel very pregnant.

At the most random times it will hit me: I HAVE A PERSON INSIDE OF ME! Now I just can’t wait to meet the little guy!

BABY_15

 

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Pregnancy Update | 1st & 2nd Trimester

Hard to believe I’m on the last week of my second trimester! The first trimester crawled by but the second one went be so fast! Towards the end though, I was starting to feel it.

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How far along? 4 weeks on the left, 25 weeks on the right

How big is Baby?  The size of head of cauliflower.

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Baby Developments: “At 27 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a head of lettuce. The average 27-week fetus measures 14.4 inches and weighs 1.9 pounds. But baby’s not just getting bigger—he or she is also getting smarter.
Inside your 27 weeks belly, baby’s practicing inhaling and exhaling with his or her rapidly developing lungs. And it’s official: Baby’s showing brain activity! From here on out, baby’s brain will keep getting more complex, turning that 27-week fetus into a real smarty pants.”
OB Appointments: My OB appointments are every 4 weeks. So far they’ve been good and uneventful. My blood pressure is usually around 108/60 and Baby’s heartbeat ranges from 140-160bpm. I am measuring right on target and my glucose appointment – to determine whether or not I have gestational diabetes – is next week, the first week of my 3rd trimester. Once in my 3rd trimester, the appointments increase in frequency.

Exercise? For most of the first trimester I kept up my exercise routine: Volleyball class Tuesday and Thursday mornings and working out for 30mins – 1 hour afterward. Once my sickness kicked in I didn’t workout or go to class as much. I anticipated that may happen so I registered to audit the volleyball class – I was able to participate but I wasn’t taking it for credit so I didn’t have to be there. Attendance was optional.
2nd trimester: I made sure to always take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.

Weight Gain? I don’t have (or want) a scale at home so the only time I check my weight is at my doctor’s appointments. The first trimester I didn’t gain or lose any weight. Actually I probably did both but since I was sick it balanced out in the end. Now that I’m halfway there my weight is up a total of 10lbs. I’m right on target for gaining the appropriate amount of weight.

I’ve never been one to care much about the numbers on the scale (hence why I don’t even have a scale). If you are eating properly and exercising regularly, your body will reflect that. If not, your body will reflect that too. I don’t necessarily need numbers to tell me that. Plus, I think I’d start obsessing over every pound if I had regular access to a scale.

It’s funny because when I stepped on the scale and saw that I had gained weight I was discouraged even though I was perfectly on track. I think it was just an automatic reaction to weight gain. Our whole lives society tells us that weight gain is synonymous with only bad things. “You’ve gained weight” has never been a compliment. So it’s a little difficult to reprogram your brain as soon as you get pregnant to think that weight gain = good. It was difficult at first but now it doesn’t bother me!

Sleep? In the beginning sleep was pretty rough. I’ve never had trouble sleeping through the night but as soon as I got pregnant (this was one of those clues) I could not sleep through the night. I’d usually wake up around 3am and be up for hours. Sometimes I may have been able to fall back asleep briefly before my morning classes.
2nd trimester sleep improved a lot. I was able to sleep through most nights. The most difficult part is just being bigger. It’s a whole ordeal just to turn from side to side.

Symptoms? In the first trimester I was hit with every symptom imaginable. My naïve pre-pregnant self though I knew what it’d be like or at least could imagine what it’d be like. But I was not prepared for it. I honestly didn’t think that I would throw up at all, let alone weeks and weeks on end. I had all the usual symptoms but the most notable were nausea, a bionic sense of smell, and tiredness.
Nausea: this was by far the worst. It didn’t hit until around week 7. For the first few weeks when I wasn’t nauseous, I was actually worried something was wrong because pregnancy felt too easy. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I started throwing up every. single. day. mornings mostly but sometimes all day. After a few weeks the nausea went away but I was still throwing up because my gag reflexes were SO sensitive. I couldn’t even take my prenatals. I had to camp out in the bathroom.. literally! I brought in a camping chair and blankets and set up a little place for myself. I would start getting ready for school, get sick, and then have to run to catch the bus so I could still make it to class on time. #pregnantincollege
Bionic sense of smell: exactly how it sounds. I could walk out my front door and smell the dumpsters. Upon opening the fridge I could smell everything that was about to go bad. I could smell everything that was cooked in the microwave just by walking past it (one of the clues I was pregnant). And it was only the bad smells. I would burn an candle and put it right next to my nose and nada.
Tiredness: this was also pretty bad. For the most part I was just too exhausted to do anything! I was usually asleep by 6pm. I remember getting through the front door and sitting down on the steps leading up to the rest of the apartment because I just did not have the energy to make it up there. If Simeon came in the door after me he’d have to push me up the stairs from behind. I’ve never been able to take naps during the day but as soon as I got pregnant, napping wasn’t so hard anymore.

I remember thinking multiple times “why do people of this twice?!” I mean the first time I can see.. you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. But to do this to yourself again?! The response was always: you’ll forget about the pain and sickness. During my first trimester I would have never believed them. But now that I’m finishing up my second trimester I must say: as AWFUL as those 3 months were, it does get better. And the second trimester is as they say: the golden trimester. These past couple of weeks I’ve been getting a taste of the 3rd trimester life.

Food cravings? I haven’t had many cravings throughout the pregnancy. There was a time when Subway was the only thing that sounded good. I’m eating more sweets than usual. I used to NEVER eat anything sweet- I never really liked cakes, cookies, or brownies. Now during pregnancy I won’t seek it out but I won’t turn it down, either.

Food aversions? Yes. During the first trimester, almost all food could fall into this category. Anything with a strong smell or anything that was cooked and filled the apartment with its aroma would make me sick. I can probably count on 2 hands the amount of times I cooked during the first trimester. Coffee was a major aversion for the longest time. I’m not a coffee drinker anyway but smelled soooo bad!! Simeon was a rockstar and would occasionally brew his coffee out on the deck. I’ve been able to tolerate the smell now. Now, about the only food aversion that stuck around is ramen.

Mood? For the most part my mood has been pretty good. (I’m sure Simeon might have a different opinion.) There were a couple moments of break downs- throwing up, no sleep, and being sick and tired for months kinda wears on you after a while.

Queasy or Sick? Yes, all throughout the 1st trimester but not anymore!!

Best moments: Simeon felt Baby move! Baby was kicking pretty hard one night when we were relaxing by the fireplace. Simeon put his hand on my stomach and he felt Baby kick for the first time in Week 17! It was so special.

I think the baby was on jetlag, too because there were almost 3 days where I barely felt any movement. I was starting to worry because I would usually feel Baby after eating but wasn’t able to. I started trying other things to get Baby to move- drinking carbonation, eating a cold popsicle, laying on my stomach, poking my stomach, and even shining a flashlight on my stomach (I read that works)- but nothing! Finally when I was telling Simeon about being worried about it and we were praying together, Baby started moving 🙂 I was only 17/18 weeks so I was lucky to feel baby as early as 15 weeks.

Telling family was a pretty special time too – everyone is so excited!

We got 4 ultrasounds and got to see Baby 4 times! The last one was 3D/4D and we got lots of pictures from them.

Towards the end of the 2nd trimester, Simeon is able to feel almost all of Baby’s kicks. It’s such a special time – Simeon and I will be sitting down together and when Baby starts kicking I’ll grab his hand and put it on my belly. We don’t know what he’s trying to communicate so we just make it up 🙂

Worst moments: Going to the bathroom all the time. The baby is positioned in such a way that walking makes me have to go to the bathroom. Even if I have nothing in my system! This made walking around Stockholm difficult because there are little to no free public restrooms. We had to time our coffee shop breaks just right.

Being sick while in school and battling with 2 schools to let me graduate– things were pretty hairy up until the DAY BEFORE GRADUATION.

End of 2nd trimester pelvic pain and soreness. It’s so painful to stand up and walk from a sitting position. I can’t walk right away, I have to give my body a minute or two to adjust or I feel like my pelvis will give out and I’ll be on the floor! I’m hunched over like a little old lady. I started seeing a chiropractor and applying kinesiology tape – same-ish concept as a maternity belt – as an attempt to redistribute the weight. I’ve experienced a *little* relief but at least it’s not getting worse. Thankfully my back doesn’t hurt!

What I miss? Taking medicine for colds, putting on socks without sound effects, being able to bend over, and sleeping on my back. In the first trimester it felt like a long list of “No’s” but now I don’t care what I have to give up for my little baby, feeling his kicks are worth it.

What I’m looking forward to? Holding our little baby!! It’s hard to explain but I feel like I’m already bonding with this little one. I think Simeon is too but not on the scale that I get to so I can’t wait for Simeon to be able to hold him and bond with him.

Agreeing on a name. Simeon and I both have a name that we like.. but they aren’t the same name.. We still have a few months to work it out but each passing day solidifies our own choices in our mind. As a joke I started calling the baby by the name I want and Simeon did the same for the name he wants.. Simeon said, “Well, I guess we’ll just see which one he responds to.”

Milestones? We found out baby is a boy! I can’t explain it but I KNEW this baby was a boy from pretty early on. #mothersintuition We actually found out at 16 weeks but didn’t tell anyone until our anatomy scan ultrasound at 20 weeks.

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Just like I KNEW this baby was a boy, I KNOW the name I’ve picked out is the right name for him.. I can’t explain it – it just came to me.. I just feel it.. But Simeon’s not buying it.

Quotes & Stories: As this post is already fairly long, I’ve created a separate post for all the fun quotes and stories of this pregnancy. Check it out here!

Simeon’s Thoughts: Simeon’s thought are so special that they also get their own post. 🙂

Non pregnancy related things: We are house/apartment hunting! Our one bedroom apartment has served us well but we are looking for something else. At this time there aren’t many great housing options – that haven’t been turned into college student housing.. Now we are looking for a bigger but cheaper place to rent once our lease ends in May so we can save more for a house.

I graduated!! A few days after I finished my final class I got a job and started working full-time. I’m an Office Services Coordinator (fancy way of saying Receptionist) at a tax/accounting firm. It’s a seasonal position during tax season so the timing is perfect! The only difficult thing is that Simeon and I are now on opposite schedules but it’s only temporary.

All in all this second trimester has gone by so fast. Even with the pain and pressure and the inability to get out of bed or off the couch without help, I’m really enjoying pregnancy! I park in the “for new and expectant mothers” spaces at the grocery store and feel no shame. Feeling the kicks every day is a big plus and makes it all worth it. I always have my little buddy with me. I can’t wait to meet him in person 🙂

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Valentine’s Day

This was our last Valentine’s day without kiddos and what a great last one it was! Simeon had the day off so he took charge this year.

Simeon and I have been Valentines for 6 years now!

I was going to make him breakfast in bed early before I left for work but as romantic of a gesture as that sounds, I thought my hubby would appreciate sleeping in more. So I got his coffee all prepped and put together a french toast mix for him to quickly fry up when he got up.

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I came home from work to the smell of fried shrimp and a SPOTLESS apartment!!!

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The breaded and fried shrimp… most of which I have eaten.. 🙂

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There were a dozen roses waiting for me on the table along with a nail painting station. (I’ve been asking Simeon to paint my nails for me for days- fun fact: with Simeon’s artistic skill and ability to focus, he is phenomenal at painting nails- much better then I could ever hope to be.)

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As if the clean house, roses, and meal wasn’t enough, Simeon had another gift for me!

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He said he looked for the classiest looking perfume.

Simeon calls it an old tradition because on our first Valentine’s Day together (6 years ago!), he got me Versace- 1/4 of which I still have. He considers it a joy to slowly build up my nice perfume collection.

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We sat down at a beautifully set table and ate the most delicious new york strip steaks I’ve ever eaten. Simeon had them marinating for a bit and it paid off. I generally don’t like much pink in the middle (so I probably shouldn’t be eating steak..) but Simeon made sure to get the thin kind so they wouldn’t have to cook long and dry out.

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Sparkling cider and more flowers!

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Afterwards, Simeon and I were sitting on the couch discussing baby names and then I promptly fell asleep at 8:30pm.

And that was the end of a very wonderful Valentine’s Day 🙂

Valentine’s Days through the years:

2013:

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Caption: “I have the best boyfriend ever!” Simeon had a dozen roses delivered to my door 🙂

2014:

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I posted this photo to his FB wall.

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2015:

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Our first year of marriage! Simeon worked the night shift and had flowers waiting for me when I woke up. I rearranged our living room so we could have an indoor picnic.

2016:

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2017:

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I came home from school again to a clean house and wonderful candlelit atmosphere!

Next year we’ll have a little Valentine!

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Summer Plans

I just bought tickets for Japan. And South Korea. And I’m leaving THIS month :O

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This summer I am volunteering at an English immersion summer camp, USA Summer Camp, in JAPAN!! My university has a partnership with Guy Healy, Japan, the summer camp, and they sponsor around 100 college students (20 from my school) every summer to be camp counselors. Minus spending money and a few administrative fees here and there, the camp pays for it all- including airfare to and from Japan (and a bonus trip to South Korea to see my friend)! #score. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity.

Guy Healy (second from right) with Caroline Kennedy, the US Ambassador to Japan.

“USA Summer Camp is a unique English camp experience bonding counselors from the United States with campers in Japan. About 100 counselors are selected and invited each summer to Japan to work with campers of all ages and in all parts of Japan.” Camps will consist of nine 3-day camps stretching 6-7 weeks starting early July and ending late August. American Counselors (ACs) will be “friends” who enjoy meals, recreation and free time with their campers. The AC’s responsibility is the campers.” That will be me!

Camps are held in 6 different locations throughout the country. I got my team placement and I am stationed in…

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Semester in Review

Today is officially the first Monday of my summer vacation! The semester is over!! I haven’t been able to post a lot because, well, I’ve been so busy. Keep scrolling and you’ll see why.

Lots of mixed feelings. This semester was filled with meeting new people, new experiences, and lots of goodbyes. I like being in class and learning, even exams aren’t that bad.  But, I do not like all the homework, papers, and busy work. I’ve written well over 60-70 pages this semester. And that’s just counting the 10 page research papers due for each class. If you add up all the assignments, essays, project reports, and reaction papers, I’ve written well over 100 pages this semester alone. Phew.

Let’s start at the very beginning.

January:

1st semester at a new school in a new town. I was searching for an international club at my new school and when I googled it, I found an potluck at a church for international student welcome week. Simeon and I met some pretty cool people including Gea, Jorick, Jordi, and Marvin from the Netherlands, and Liridon from Sweden there.16252167_10154209364630778_1587941063223948494_o

School got off to a quick start. I signed up for 6 classes: International Relations, Geography of Latin America, Sociolinguistics, Modern Russia, International Security (can you tell I’m an International Studies major?), and Volleyball. UWP includes textbooks in with tuition fees so everyone gets textbooks from the bookstore.

The first week was full of welcome parties. Gea and I went to the Intervarsity chili cook-off and I participated in my first nerf gun war. UWP was playing in hockey. Chinese New Year was also in January so the university was having a celebration.

February:

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How to Learn the Hard Way

Despite how it sounds, learning the hard way is really not that hard at all. It can be achieved by these three simple steps: adopt a strong sense of indestructibility, disregard advice, and make rash decisions.

A perfect storm has been brewing for quite some time now. And it just struck. In the form of an electric storm. It’s been electronic-frying. Literally.

My external hard drive broke. Everything from the last 5+ years was on there: wedding photos, travel pictures from 9 different countries, the entirety of not 1, not 2, but 3 old computers, important documents, videos for editing, the list goes on. None of it was backed up.

Now not everything was in my control but I sure made things worse by: perceived indestructibility, paying no mind to advice, and rash decisions. If you like the path of most resistance, be like me and follow these three steps, You too will be treading an uphill path with maximum difficulty in no time.

Adopt a Strong Sense of Indestructibility:

Younger folks, this comes easily to us. We’re young, things don’t really affect us. They say to stretch before working out but who does really? Sure, you may be a little sore after but it goes away in a few hours. We’ve also mastered the art of surviving on little sleep. We can stay out all night and still be chipper the next day. We’re young. Our bodies bounce instead of break.

Not only are our bodies indestructible, but we are impervious to consequences. Our decisions affect only us and only in good ways. When you see someone in a bad situation, remember, that’s a them problem. It will never happen to you.

I can count two separate occasions in the past week where the conversation focused on hard drive failure. I even watched a YouTube video of a girl’s external hard drive breaking and the data was not backed up. It NEVER crossed my mind that I needed to back up my data. That hard drive was my only copy. That would’t happen to me. That couldn’t happen to me.

*Bonus points if you adopt a “sucks to be you” mentality when seeing others in bad situations.

Disregard Advice:

Advice can be difficult to hear sometimes. We like doing things our way. When someone gives us input, especially unsolicited, that’s just a bother. I mean, how much wiser than us can a person be? Who do they think they are, telling us what to do!

When someone gives you advice, don’t listen. Tune it out. Stick your fingers in your ears and shout, “LA LA LA” if you have to. They aren’t going to tell you anything you don’t know anyway, so why listen?

I remember it like it was yesterday (because it was), “Don’t go downloading random recovery software on the computer. We don’t know what’s on there and we don’t want a virus.” Huh? Sorry, I didn’t catch that. I couldn’t hear you over the fingers jammed in my ears.

*Bonus points if the advice comes from a loved one, whose only goal is to help you.

Make Rash Decisions:

Caution is for the weak. Refrain from using it. Thinking through things slows you down. Keep this in mind when thinking through your decisions. Better yet, don’t think through decisions! Just do it. Careful thought requires patience. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

“Just be patient and wait for the parts that we ordered to come. Maybe that will fix it.” <– And ignore that, too. That’s starting to sound like rational thinking. The drive can only be improved by running multiple software programs on it right away. This has absolutely no potential to damage the files even further. Act now, think later.

To be fair almost all of the recovery programs I downloaded were perfectly fine. But since this is neither horse shoes nor hand grenades, almost does not count. Fast forward 24 hours later and a virus is attacking the computer (which incidentally isn’t backed up, either).

*Bonus points if you make rash decisions WHILE disregarding advice. 2 for 1.

 

Follow these 3 simple steps and you have yourself the hard way. Can’t remember all of them? Do not despair. Even if you just do one of these steps, you will still be on the path of difficulty in no time. OR, learn from my mistakes, and do the opposite of everything I just told you.