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 meal...like 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!

Friday, August 15, 2014

montreal, part 2.

here we are at round two of our montreal trip - the blog version of it, at least. it was a quick trip - i arrived saturday afternoon & left early tuesday morning (ben arrived a few days earlier, for his conference, & left on tuesday like me, although later in the day). it was a good amount of time for us to be there, though. i'm in seattle now, at my parents' house, & we're all heading up to vancouver tomorrow to spend a few days in vancouver (ben is there making more science, as he did last summer). anyway, here are a few more photos from montreal:

can you spot a baby bump, maybe? i'm definitely in that awkward stage where i look like i've been having HUGE lunches for the past week [insert cringing emoji here, which is easily in my top three favorite emojis of all time {but let's not forget THE MOON EMOJI}]:

hat is j.crew, jacket is madewell, dress & belt are gap, shoes are keds. stomach chub is DEFINITELY that entire domino's pizza this pregnant lady ate basically by herself.

this pretty park had a nice fountain at one end (that i'm standing in front of in the photos above) :

we somehow both end up wearing lots & lots of blues. like all the time:

lovely sights around montreal:

a) this hotel (& that ivy! & that red awning!)

b) this clock

c) these brick buildings (there were a LOT of brick buildings in montreal. i don't know if i just don't notice brick buildings & wells as much in new york because all the buildings there are usually so cramped/close together, or what, but there seemed to be a lot of nice ones in montreal. well done, canada!)

d) this storefront (another thing we saw a lot of in montreal? empty stores & buildings, for sale. things like awful economies seem to almost such the life out of places <--- that's a really depressing sentence)

e) this beautiful door that not only had a GREAT handle, but also an IRON MOOSE being a friend & welcoming all:

f) another thing montreal has a lot of? art galleries. we saw at least two or three, probably, on EVERY BLOCK. i finally wised up & snapped a few photos of them, but i didn't take a picture of the painting we came across in one window that i absolutely fell in love with. i now wish i would at least have taken a picture of it...or bought it?!? benjamin, hand me my credit card please!! :)

so ghost-like, right? hauntingly beautiful:

speaking of works of art, after painstaking research, we chose "montreal poutine" as the restaurant from which we would get our poutine fix. in theory, poutine sounds...unique, to say the least (french fries covered in gravy, cheese curds, & [occasionally] meat). in practice, though, it is a dish sent straight from the heavens (whenever i feel myself getting overly wide-eyed, excited & intense about food, i want to yell out "sweet nectar of life!" like the crabs in this movie, but i'm worried no one will get the reference, i guess, so i never say it out loud. it's all silliness :)

and........gone. i want another bowl right now! cheese curds, get in my belly!

on the way back from our poutine dinner that night, we passed the notre-dame basilica one more time, & as you can see, it looks even better at night. it was too beautiful not to sit on a bench, soak up the warm summer night, & listen to the nearby violinist squeak out some familiar tunes such as this one:

buenos nachos!


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