Love

Love is in the Air

This week both Bryan and I have been filled with love and positivity.  I don’t know if it is just because it was the week of Valentine’s Day, if it was the sun, or what it was, but it was there.  And boy did Bryan outdo himself on Valentine’s Day…

We were already in good spirits from hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time first thing in the morning, despite the dreary morning weather and the 30 minutes sitting in traffic to get to Seattle and work.  After a shorter day at work, mani-pedi finally for me (long overdue because of how busy the salon has been), a barre class for me, I headed home expecting a simple dinner at home.  I arrived home to a sparkling clean house, beautiful dainty pink tulips, a box of chocolates, sparkling juice chilling and Bryan starting on dinner of ribeye, truffled mac and cheese, and salad (with help from our last Hellofresh box of the week).  I was stunned and elated of course.  He even set the table with the little framed picture of us at our wedding that we got for Christmas and the two ultrasound photos of the little one.  We finished dinner together and it was excellent, as was the juice!  It was a great Valentine’s night at home that didn’t even feel like we were at home.

Such a sweet Valentine’s Day surprise!

We had another wonderful night out just the two of us the day before Valentine’s Day, thanks to a mystery shop, at the newly renovated Outlier (was Sazerac) downtown Seattle.  And dinner was fabulous!  For starters we had an amazing beet-cured salmon plate with crisps, fennel and herbed cream cheese for their take on bagels and lox which was gorgeous and nice and light, as well as a plate of amazing curry roasted multi-colored carrots with a carrot puree, sheep’s milk feta, dates, pistachio and yogurt sauce.  For entrees we got the black chile roasted half chicken which came with a super savory and delicious au jus and a ton of perfectly roasted vegetables as well as the Columbia River steelhead which was also just perfectly cooked and complemented by a mushroom tamale, poblano corn relish and tomatillo salsa verde that sounds like an interesting combination with fish but let me tell you did it ever work!  We were stuffed by this point but had to order dessert so we chose the salted caramel chocolate tart with malted chocolate ice cream and bruleed bananas which was rich and certainly not light nor small and this is where we were sent over the edge.

Monday was my dad’s birthday and I got to talk to him and wish him a very happy birthday.  It sounded like he had a good one.  I got to enjoy a Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera themed cycle class beforehand that put me in a good mood.  And we enjoyed another great Hellofresh box of spinach and ricotta ravioli with a luscious creamy chicken sausage sauce.

And Thursday, at FareStart, we decided to announce that we are expecting to our good friends.  We brought a bottle of wine and another bottle of sparkling cider to enjoy with our group at the end of the night over dinner.  We stayed at the restaurant until midnight talking to our closest friends and now today I’m practically falling asleep on the job.  We have literally no plans for the weekend and I have Monday off for President’s Day so we will see if we keep it chill or if we actually do something…but right now I feel like sleeping.

Chelsea

Pregnancy

Level Up

I don’t know why I think “Level Up” when I think about making it to my second trimester.  A video game analogy?!?  But for some reason when I think about entering this second stage that is what I think about.  And it is a win for sure.  Everyone says the second trimester is the best and so far its not bad but my first trimester really wasn’t all that bad either, just different.

I feel really lucky that I really only had about two weeks of feeling ill during the first trimester.  Those two weeks being the week of Christmas and the first week of the new year.  I felt pretty much 24-hour nausea but only had one episode that sent me running for the bathroom.  I certainly had weird food aversions, along with some cravings, but mostly just aversions.  And the aversions were for things I normally love; chocolate, coffee, sweets in general, chicken, fish, cauliflower, a lot of vegetables.  The cravings were mainly salty and starchy; breads, breads, mac and cheese, pizza, breads, chex mix, chips, etc.  Aside from the nausea I was extremely sleepy.  I felt like I could have napped all day every day at my desk and when I would get home I could have gone to sleep right then; and a few times I did.  I had very little interest in work other than hoping it would make me feel normal.  And I certainly had no energy or inspiration to exercise, so I didn’t.

But moving past those two bumpy weeks I’ve felt really good.  My stomach still goes through waves of being nauseously hungry (when I’m not really) to way too full too soon.  I can tell my metabolism and digestion have slowed down and I have tried to consciously plan more snacks throughout the day but I haven’t been good about this since college.  Chocolate and coffee tastes good again, along with pretty much everything else.  Spicy foods are the one exception…the thought of Indian food for some reason makes me a little queasy, but I’m sure I’d eat it.  And I hate prenatal vitamins, with a passion.  I haven’t really been any more emotional, maybe a little more irritable and expressive about being irritable.

I’ve been able to exercise and be physical again, which for me is so needed.  I especially need a mental break and physical exertion during this time of what is otherwise work, study, eat, sleep, repeat.  Without my studying, I would certainly be struggling.  I am conscious of not doing harm to my body, although not sure Bryan thinks I am conscious enough about it, and am trying to chose exercises that feel good and are good for me.  The ClassPass membership I started is certainly helping me explore what those exercises are and I really love ClassPass!

I’m only just starting to show now that we are at nearly 14 weeks and my weight hasn’t really changed much at all in the first trimester, which is perfectly normal.  I can feel that pants, and certainly intimates, are starting to feel a lot more snug.  We had our second monthly check-in with our doctor this morning and so far all is good.

This was last Thursday morning so 13 weeks exactly and only the very beginning of a very low belly.

And Bryan has been a big help around the house and as an emotional support.  He is my little watchdog though and I’m not sure about that.  My sleep has been a little off with him constantly jabbing me to roll off of my back.  He’s checking in on me taking my prenatal vitamins and how much iron I am eating.

Now that we are in this stage I think we have felt safe enough to actually start thinking and planning more for a little one.  We have purchased some furniture for the nursery but haven’t yet built it.  He have started talking about names we like.  And we have only just begun talking about what types of parents we want to be.  We still have tons of time which is good and this period certainly seems to be moving nice and slow which I think is good for both of us to allow for this big adjustment in our lives.  In the meantime, we are just moving right along.

Chelsea

HelloFresh · Week Recap

Oh Sunny Weekend

The title says it all.  You give me a super sunny weekend in the middle of winter and my mood is bursting with joy.  Add to the sunny skies the birds chirping, the rose buds blossoming, and all signs pointing to spring and I will forget for a time that it is still chilly with highs in the mid 40s and that we still have months to go until summer.  But sometimes its A-OK to be fooled or even foolish.

Bryan deserted me Friday night and Saturday to go skiing with Mark at White Pass just past Mt. Rainier.  I say “deserted” but I’m only joking because I have basically been begging him to go as I don’t want to hold him back from going out and enjoying something I know he loves.  So Friday night I had a date with myself to see I, Tonya, enjoyed a Subway sandwich and then got home in time to catch as much as I wanted of the Opening Ceremony.  All in all, a pretty good night.

Saturday was S.T.U.D.Y. day with Bryan away.  With only breaks for brunch at home, talking to my mom, and a 4-mile easy run in the sun, and making of some healthyish chocolate peanut butter oat bars to snack on this week, I was in the house studying away on structural steel from 10 am until when Bryan got home around 5:30 pm.  But it was a good and productive day that I’m glad I had and I sat in the sun next to the window the whole day.  Once Bryan was home we caught up with one another’s day before making an easy but super delicious dinner thanks to Hellofresh of moo shu pork tacos with some delicious hoisin aioli while watching  the first night of the Olympic events and my personal favorite; ice skating/dancing.  I was happy to have my husband back home to fight over space on the couch.

These little tacos were super good…and not little.

Sunday was typical and atypical.  We went to church (typical) but there was a guest speaker (atypical).  Nevertheless, the talk hit home and was a good one for both of us to hear (typical).  We drove off in the sunlight (atypical) and headed south to Ikea in Renton (atypical…we haven’t been to Ikea since we first moved into the house 3.5 years ago) with a stop first to get more Subway for lunch (atypical…I don’t normally have a craving for Subway).  We spent the next two hours browsing and shopping Ikea and managed to get everything we came for without breaking the bank.  Our grocery cart was:

  • Two new nightstands for our bedroom that match the style and color of our bed frame.
  • An actually beautiful dresser (also in the same style as our bedroom furniture but in white) for use in the “nursery” as a dresser and changing table per inspiration from a blog I saw to multipurpose.
  • A shelving unit to use in the “nursery” closet for books, toys, etc that was also per inspiration from the same blog.
  • Drawer insert organizers for the wee little baby clothes in the dresser.
  • Cloth bins in adorable polka dots to use for storing away the toys, etc in the shelving unit.
  • Two rod racks with hooks to hang certain elements in the kitchen to give us more counter space along with a cute little hanging basket to hang on the rod.

I think we came out winning for sure.  We headed back north, stopping to see an open house right down the street from Seward Park that was well-priced, in a neighborhood we like, and pretty cutely remodeled but we just aren’t sure about putting down an offer right now.  We headed home to unload the Jeep in the middle of our living room where it still rests.  Bryan went for a run in the remaining sunlight and I walked up the hill to get items for dinner.  We made one of our favorite calliloo stews together, did a few household chores, watched more Olympics and of course relaxed to more TV before wrapping up the weekend before another work week.

Sun is in store for the week ahead and I’m so happy about that!

Chelsea

Week Recap

Transitioning

This week was a transitioning week for me with work and with social a bit.  I feel like my schedule this week didn’t allow for much to get done and yet most nights I arrived home late in the evening.  I didn’t fit in many workouts and I didn’t get very many hours in studying.  Hopefully this weekend allows for a little of both.

Part of the reasoning behind lack of studying was a few scheduled nights of girl time.  After one night at home on Monday I met Polly for dinner at Palomino’s before seeing the movie Lady Bird together.  I also spilled the beans to my dear girlfriend who was very happy for us and very excited.  The next night I grabbed dinner at the FareStart Community Dinner before heading to church for yoga and a meet and greet for the winter season of our women’s Practicing Presence group.  Pretty much the same girls with a few additions, which is a good thing, and I was glad that I made the effort to go to this first one, even if just to tell them the reason I won’t be making them all; the test.  We were led through 50 minutes of gentle yoga and stretching, which I realized were needed after having a few days of mostly office work with little exercise and very tight muscles.  An enjoyable session but one that didn’t really leave any time for chatting or getting to know one another.

Thursday night was a good night at FareStart, as it always is, with a fabulous meal and both of us getting to perform our favorite roll of food running.  And today we were greeted by sunny skies!  I’m back at the main office for the day for our monthly staff meeting, and moving forward I will be spending Fridays, and hopefully as many others as I can, in the main office and so happy to be here instead of up the hill.  I’m looking forward to settling in to watch the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.  I’m looking very much forward to the weekend, even if that means I have a lot of studying to do.  At least I don’t have to clean.  Bryan’s going on his first ski day tomorrow with Mark to White Pass and they have decided to spend the night there tonight so I’m thinking I might go see I, Tonya on my way home for work for a solo date.

Amazing FareStart dinner thanks to Rider restaurant. Beet and burrata salad with beet hummus, steelhead with hazlenuts and fennel puree, and the most amazing chocolate semifreddo with cream, cherries and brittle.

My three days at the Seattle Municipal Tower were not the most fun.  The office is quiet and sterile and no one talks to our group from MJA.  There are a maximum of eight of us up there at any one time but that number fluctuates throughout the week.  It is super strange to me to work in a building where you have to take an elevator up to the 40th floor to then get off and get on another elevator to take you up to the 47th floor.  Our floor has spectacular views of the city, however, I really only get to see these when I walk around or are in meetings because in Seattle Public Utility’s contract “no consultant is to have a nicer desk than an SPU employee”.  Thus, we are in the middle with super tall partitions and certainly no windows.  There is no coffee here either so Bryan makes me an espresso to take with me to work, although there is a Starbucks on the first floor if I was really desperate (but I am cutting back on caffeine intake).  My main issue with it though is that there is no conversation or social aspect to this office like there is at First Ave.  Our group talks some but everyone is so quiet around us we stick mostly to business, versus the main office which can get very rowdy and loud on a regular basis.  Absolutely no one eats lunch together in the kitchen.  The work here is mildly interesting which is the one saving grace but I’ll be looking forward to getting back to 1st Ave full time.

Chelsea

Week Recap

Finally February

January has seemed long, it really has.  I’m not sure if it has been all of the wet weather we have had or that it has been more or less uneventful, what, without all of our ski trips and whatnot, and the studying, but it has dragged on.  For the first time in forever I’m glad we are finally to February.  Not that February has that much more exciting in store for us than January did…

This week was a good work week for both of us.  Bryan is getting a lot of momentum moving forward with his big idea and what could be a huge project.  He finally has the support he needs, the time to work on it, and the urgency to get it done.  I, on the other hand, am finally wrapping up my two-year-long design project for E360.  And I am so looking forward to having it off of my plate.  It will still be there throughout construction, requiring answers to requests for information and to respond to submittals, but that is a much different capacity and scope than what it has been for two years…and certainly less of a full-time job.  There are a few other things on my work plate to diversify so I don’t think it will feel too slow.

Aside from work we each had some of our own things going on after our one and only night of dinner at home on Monday.  Monday I tried out a lower body workout on my ClassPass at Bassline Fitness in Capitol Hill.  I regrettably followed that up with another cycle class at Riot Cycle, by the office, on Tuesday evening, which left me walking like a crab the rest of the week.  Two classes in a week is fine…two classes back to back with both focusing on the same body part = ouch. Bryan was getting happy hour with Philipp Tuesday night so I got a mystery shopping dinner at McMenamin’s Six Arms in Capitol Hill on my way home.  Delicious fish and chips while tuning into some of the State of the Union address.  And Wednesday was solely a study night for me.  I managed to study more or less from 4 pm until 9 pm when Bryan graciously picked me up from Veggie Grill.  Aside from getting study fuel of BDubs wings and Veggie Grill tempura green beans, I was at it studying and felt accomplished but exhausted by the end of the night.  Bryan was so kind as to do so much around the house to help out.

Some amazing fish and chips for a post workout dinner.

So by the time Thursday rolls around I feel like I am in the clear.  Workouts and study nights are done for the mid week and I’m in a light-hearted mood.  Thursday’s FareStart night was a good one with a chef whose restaurant we still need to hit with food flavored and focused around MiddleEastern cuisine.  It was a great meal and we both had an easy night captaining.  We spent Friday evening getting Chef Holly Smith’s amazing and unique lamb burger from Lil Woody’s before heading to finally see the latest Star Wars movie downtown.  Good burger, good movie and good walk home rain-free.

The weekend was fairly busy with making a lot of headway getting ourselves and the house organized.  I scheduled a Groupon-discounted housecleaning service to come on Monday so I wanted to make some progress with odds and ends around the house.  And we did good with that, without spending our whole weekend on this task.  After spending the morning studying and Bryan at Men’s Group at church we started to tackle a few projects.  What we accomplished this weekend:

  • Organize our mail bin
  • Stabilize dining table
  • Put away clothes
  • Measured our “nursery closet” for a new storage unit
  • Moved guest bed to wall to figure out space
  • Moved side table from guest room to office for use as a filing cabinet
  • Organized the “laundry room”
  • Cleaned out our “miscellaneous” drawers in the kitchen
  • Cleaned and organized bathroom cabinet downstairs
  • Organized miscellaneous stuff in our bedroom
  • All of this resulted in quite a bit of stuff that we have set away either for Goodwill or are dumping and I feel great about that

After a lot of progress was made we did an interval training set at home with the row machine and weights and then set forth for Everett to get dinner with Billy and Valerie before catching Valerie’s musical of The Newsies at the Village Theater.  It was a great show with a ton of talent and of course the best violinist in town.  It was also great to be able to see her, even for just a few minutes and we got to see the backstage scenes of the orchestra pit and stage.

Sunday morning at church we were back to normal without the table conversations and after church Bryan and I got a great brunch at the Macrina Bakery in upper Queen Anne, with Bryan getting the Italiano sandwich and I tried their Mediterranean benedict with artichokes, spinach and a tomato hollandaise on a pizza bread.  After brunch we headed home, getting a few more things done around the house before settling into a lazy night watching the Super Bowl by ourselves.  Nothing fancy for our solo party other than chips, salsa, guac and queso.  We were both wanting the Patriots to win but in the end are more than fine that the Eagles got their ring.

Great brunch at Macrina on Sunday.

Back to work and not too happy about it.  Especially since I have been moved  up to the Seattle Municipal Tower a few days a week to help finish out the Ship Canal Project with Seattle Public Utilities.  Back to being a consultant in a rather unwelcoming government agency.  Hoorah!

Chelsea

Weekend

Eventful Weekend

We had our first pretty eventful weekend honestly since December.  We took Friday night to chill at home with a good pasta dinner and movie in between FareStart night and plans Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was a double-hitter.  Bryan and I had purchased tickets to the Seattle Rep’s Special Club 20/30 performance of the latest play, Two Trains Running, midday.  The ticket prices were cheap and included free drinks and snacks in their VIP room before the show and during intermission.  It’s good to be young in the realm of live theater.  The play had a long running time of three hours with one intermission so immediately afterwards was our scheduled Girls Night, the first of the year.  Ewelina graciously offered to host in her apartment, while I brought all of the supplies for candle-making and others chipped in with some essential oils.  It was my idea to make pumpkin spice candles back in November but the baking night was a little too full to cram them in.  The girls still wanted to make them though so we had a large selection of scents to choose from to make our candles smell wonderful.  It was a fun night catching up with just the women and enjoying each others potluck dishes.  Some of the boys, in the meantime, enjoyed several drinks out and at David’s, along with a Mexican dinner out.

Sunday morning began like many with church.  After a month spent on “Margin” we have moved on to “The Centrality of Christ” in the book of Colossians.  This week was the occasional table talk at church which means the message is short with time to discuss questions among a table.  I think everyone gets nervous and worried when they see the tables set up like this but I’ve enjoyed them every time.  We get to know members of the church a whole let better and we get to talk to one another about meaningful things.  We actually exchanged numbers with one of the couples, one of the girls from my women’s group and her husband, to get together another time.  After church we picked up some soups for lunch from Met Market before heading home.  I managed to squeeze in some studying Sunday afternoon after none on Saturday.  We had another night of plans though that cut that short.  We had reservations at the new-to-us Ethan Stowell restaurant Marine Hardware for their Lobster Hip Hop night they do on occasion.  For $55 we were treated to a full lobster and tons of delicious sides, hip hop tunes, cookies for dessert and a really good time.  Here was the menu:

Coleslaw
Old Bay Fries
Goat Cheese Crostini with tomato jam
Roasted Baby Beets with avocado, grapefruit, and pickled shallot
Little Gem Lettuce with red wine vinaigrette, radish, and walnuts

Whole Lobster with drawn butter and lemons

Assorted Cookies

I really enjoyed this experience.  We had a great date night out, we enjoyed delicious food and went to a new restaurant.  This also met my standards for splurging a bit more on experiences (whether they be food or other) instead of just meals.  Great fun!  A great weekend with very little studying in…whoops.  Oh well, hopefully I can get some in this week.

Chelsea

List

18 for 2018

Per my mom’s idea (and some podcast) I made an 18 for 2018 list in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions.  The list was finalized a while ago but here it finally goes on the blog…so now it is real.

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
  4. Visit my grandaddy.
  5. Buy a family car.
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
  15. Cross stitch something.
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.

I like my list and am feeling confident that it is not out of reach.

Chelsea