Monday, September 1, 2014

one more [solitary] spin around the sun.

yesterday i turned 27. it's a day i've been dreading for a while now - a few months, actually, to be exact - because i knew ben would be gone-zo, outta town, off in the great white north, making science happen by shooting lasers out of his fingertips emperor palpatine style (but in a nice way, like, he'd be shooting helpful lasers out of his fingertips, ones that would benefit humankind, & not the kind of lasers that could potentially kill someone like luke skywalker or darth vader, who is ***SPOILER ALERT*** luke's father). 

here's something about me: when ben's out of town longer than six days (i have the timing down to a science) i get a little...crazy. right up until the six day mark, i'm all, "this is great! i'm gonna go eat a spoonful of nutella or five! i'm going to buy a new pair of shoes or five! i'll watch 'bachelor in paradise' without worrying that they'll say something dumb enough to make ben roll his eyes with enough power to cause a seismic disturbance [it never works, they always say dumb stuff on that show]!" yes, i definitely miss him in that time, but there's a novelty to having an entire apartment to oneself, you know? after six days, though, things get dark. things get depressive. things get ugly. things want to state loudly, leaving no question as to who is in charge, "COME. HOME. NOW" (& of course, when i say "things," i actually mean, "i" :). *& i need to stop here & say this in no way compares to people who have spouses who leave for months at a time for work, military service, or other things like that. i recognize that.*

so how is it that i, the girl (can you still call a 27-yo a "girl," or is she a "lady," or...?) who considers herself pretty independent & confident, melts into a puddle after being separated from a person for only a handful of days? hours, really? (& not just any person...a man, no less! :) [or, at 27, is ben a "guy," or...?]). it boggles the mind. when i think about it like that, i want to shake my fists at the heavens & sing to ben, "CURSE you! you little prying pan-DO-raaa! you little DEMON!

anyway, where was i? ah yes. slightly dreading my birthday. i have some amazing friends that really pulled through. a baby shower lunch (not for your 7th favorite blogger) with a small group of good friends in the early afternoon. massages, a movie, dinner, & serious chat time with one of the best girls in the city. funny, sweet, & delightful phone calls, texts, emails, & facebook messages from dear friends & family, people i haven't spoken to in ten years, & the entire spectrum in between. i'm always pleasantly surprised when people take the time to leave a little note of some kind for me on my birthday. treats from ben have been popping up in the mail all week: flower deliveries, a snoogle (MY LIFE HAS BEEN DRASTICALLY ALTERED FOR THE BETTER), books, & lo, ben in the flesh will pop up in the mail (or, more likely, by taxi) approximately 23 hours from now. he'll be coming home late, so maybe i'll sit up in bed when he comes in, before he even turns on any lights or whatever, & be all, "CURSE YOU! you litle lying de-LI-lah! you little VIPAH!" if all goes according to plan, it'll scare him half to death, thus forcing him to reconsider ever leaving me for longer than six days ever again. i'll let you know how it plays out.

so! 27 years old. a good day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

20 weeks.

as of last sunday, i'm 20 weeks along. 20 weeks! according to my calculations, that's halfway, right??! :) i cannot believe how quickly the time has gone - i remember our first doctor's appointment, when i was about 6 weeks along, like it was yesterday. 

overall, this pregnancy has been pretty mild. don't get me wrong, i've had my...days. for example: i had a lot of, er, sickness happen in europe [have you ever thrown up on an airplane? the worst part about it isn't necessary how this really gross thing is happening in such an enclosed space. it's the intimacy of it all. i've realized that i rarely feel as vulnerable in life as i do when i'm ralphing {the best word for "throw up" ever}, & to have complete strangers be exposed to me when i'm at my most vulnerable was hard]. 

driving around the highlands easily counts as the worst day of my pregnancy so far, i actually asked ben, "can you die from throwing up too much?!" (i get pretty motion sick normally, but the pregnancy has made it 10, no, 20 times worse). i've been quite tired much of the time (the sleepiness came on strong in the first semester & has managed to linger, albeit to a slightly lesser extent, here in the second), but i feel that i've escaped most of those pregnancy joys, such as morning sickness or whatever you hear about, for the most part. & for that i feel very lucky (or should i say "#blessed"? :).

i've been trying hard to keep up a good exercise schedule, which has helped me feel really great during this whole crazy change my body is going through. exercising was hard, very hard, during those first few weeks when ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS SLEEP. in the last two months or so, though, i'm feeling more back to my pre-pregnancy running self. i'm participating in a ragnar relay with friends in a few weeks (doc gave the green light, we're all good!), which has been the perfect way to get me up & out to train. i love running in central park as the sun goes down - it's good for my soul. 

for the longest time i was playing mind games with myself, thinking, "was that the baby moving?! or just weird stomach gurgles!? was that a kick? or gas???" but in just the last week - this is hot off the press - i have felt the baby move in ways that are unmistakable. as in, there's no way that was just a weird stomach gurgle, right then. that was without a doubt THE CHILD GROWING IN ME. it's crazy, & surreal, & incredibly exciting.

anyway, just a quick update from me, the 20-week tornado. good night!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

vancouver: the rest of our trip.

i was really excited to spend a few extra days in vancouver with ben after my parents drove home. i really fell in love with this place after spending a week there last summer. it's always so perfect. we had mild weather, beautiful forest trails to run in, delicious places to eat at.......& lots of shakespeare to watch, dang it!

last year we saw hamlet at vancouver's annual shakespeare festival, called "bard on the beach," & this year we saw a midsummer night's dream. it was funky & whimsical & we loved it. puck sported a bleach-blonde mohawk, black eyeliner, & a tutu, snippets of modern songs such as "fancy" & "blurred lines" popped up at various times throughout the play, the steampunk-outfitted fairies randomly broke into barbershop quartet-esque song, &, being a shakespeare comedy, it was not without its bawdy humor about various private parts. "bard on the beach" has become one of my favorite parts about visiting vancouver, & as you can see from the photo ben took below, the whole setup really is right there on the beach.

we tried out aphrodite's cafe, which was another perfect choice (good pick, ben!). even though the cafe is on a busy street, it totally had that feel of being, i don't know, a quiet b&b somewhere far from the busy part of town. they really nailed it.

we split the southwest quesadilla, carrot-apple juice, & a slice of ham, cheese & mushroom quiche. each item seemed more delicious than the last, but that quesadilla might have won it all:

after lunch at aphrodite's, we checked out a bookstore across the street that had been in my direct line of sight the entire it was beckoning to me. it was called "banyan books & music," & reminded me completely & unequivocally of another unique & special bookstore (gosh we love that show). it was great. while there, i found a book called womanity's cosmic blueprint, & although we didn't buy it at the time, we're all in luck! it can be found HERE.

so, i....thought i had more photos than this, because ben & i did lots of other fun things while i was in town, but i see i managed to successfully not document any of them. therefore, goodbye for now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

vancouver: the parental units visit.

ben is in vancouver b.c. right now, working on some science at the university of british columbia. that always works out really well, because my parents live in the seattle area & so it's not too far of a drive for everyone to meet up. i flew into seattle from montreal, spent a few days at home, & then drove up with the mom & the dad to spend a few days in vancouver, which, is such a beautiful place. one of the things we did, which we also did last year & loved, was ride bikes in stanley park.

my parents love bike riding & will spend several weeks training before going on a three-day biking trip in montana & idaho. as such, they love their biking gear. my mom has a fanny pack-type thing on the front of her bike. although the photo is kind of blown out, as you can see she packs a lot of gear: 

oh man. working on the bikes before we started. ben's helmet, is all i have to say:

as taken by my mom:

so there was a period of about six months where i bought everybody bike bells. i (& technically ben :) got about ten people bright new bike bells for christmas, & then for mother's day, i bought my mom a bike bell (bc they love their bike gear, as previously mentioned), & then for father's day, i completed the circle of life & got papa bear a bike bell. they're both american-flag bike bells, of course, bc my parents love america (i'm being serious). anyway, i have a true testimony of the greatness of bike bells - a testimony which grew & developed in my heart while (whilst? :/) i was on my mission & rode my bike approx. 15 hours a day (& rung my bike bell occasionally). :)

i loved this pretty statue out in the water. at first glance, she looks like a mermaid, but she's actually just got a pair of human legs & wearing flippers:

ben & the in-laws, hilarious:

smooches @ stanley:

bikers extraordinaire:

i loved this tiny, tiny tall island with a tree atop it:

if you look closely you can see my dad is wearing the socks he tie-dyed at the whipple family reunion this year :)

we came across dozens of little rock towers. i really want to know more about these things. they're stacked so mysteriously! it's all so stonehenge-y!

& a water-bottle toast after finishing our great ride. this photo is a crack-up :)

speaking of funny, later that day we went out onto a lawn near where we were staying & tossed the old disc around. does your family love to toss around a frisbee? it's kind of a big thing in our family; that is, it's just something we kind of always do when we get together. frisbees are a part of our family lore - my dad has been meeting every saturday morning to play ultimate frisbee with this core group guys from church for the last fifteen years, at least! & when we kids were growing up, he'd bring us to play, & anytime, say, my older brother is in town, or my little brother, they'll still go play. ben is a big ultimate frisbee player himself, so he fits in perfectly with this whole frisbee dynamic we've got going on.

but oh gosh, my mom :) 

we were just cracking up. 

& mom not even trying to run after the frisbee. haha:

here's that one time ben caught the donut-frisbee one around his neck! such talent:

such triumph:

& i tried to catch the frisbee around my foot but, as you can see, failed miserably :)

there we go, madre:

i don't even know what's going on here, oh man:

crazy photography tricks! :)

we had a great time with my parents. one or two more vancouver posts coming up soon!


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