I love to be active, be outside and be in the sun. I am shy but friendly, lazy but active, motivated but content, and I would smile my entire life if I could. I have lived in Michigan all my life until I took a chance to move to the Pacific Northwest in 2011 after graduating from the University of Michigan. It has been a great adventure. I am very excited to see where this chapter in my life takes me!
We’ve had our first bout of warm and sunny spring weather and even though we still have much time to go before it is here consistently in all of its grandeur, the brief time we have gotten has sent me and everyone else in this city into positive vibes, hope and renewal. I’ve captured some of these things in photos.
This past month has been smooth sailing in terms of baby making. We just checked in with our doctor for the monthly appointment and essentially a summary of the past month is:
Babies heartbeat is still pounding fierce at around 145 bpm
My weight is up by about 2-3 pounds which doctors seemed to indicate as good
Blood pressure still low
My energy has been up and steady
I’ve felt pretty darn normal in all my normal activities
Heartburn and indigestion still definitely there after large and/or late in the evening dinners
Appetite is slowly increasing
Have had occasional head aches early in the morning that I attribute to baby (or studying I don’t know)
Belly is just beginning to round and is noticeable if wearing tight clothes
Slight aches in my lower and side abdomen region which I am attributing to stretching of those muscles
Middle region is feeling tighter in clothes
No noticeable movements from baby yet
Some lower back pain during long periods of sitting (could also be attributed to how frequently my neck is bent from studying)
We keep on rolling, this week moving into Week 18 and going in for our 20-week ultrasound for baby parts (but not gender) in 2 weeks or so. In the meantime we continue talking names we like, we have started gathering ideas and goods for the nursery (I have picked out some crib bedding) and started rearranging the nursery, we sold the tall wardrobe in the guest room to make more room, and we are doing research on childbirth classes to sign up for.
With the never ending fun I am experiencing in the study world continuing, the little indulgences I do get are just so good. Those being, mostly, long walks with Bryan, exercise classes, nice dinners or meals of any kind, FareStart, Girls Group/yoga, basketball games, church and a considerable amount of TV. My brain doesn’t really have the capacity to focus on much of anything else right now.
So how have I indulged in the past week? Well, I got to watch Michigan play basketball four days straight over the weekend (and with it playing on my phone next to me at work). We had two Michigan State fans over for snacks and to watch the defeat on Saturday, nothing better when you have to hide that you are gloating…I’ve been on the opposite end of the spectrum too many times. Bryan and I went for a nice long walk through Leschi and the Central District on Saturday, stopping for the views and conversation on a park bench overlooking the city.
Sunday we had church, more basketball, then indulged in a fancy “four” course feast at Tavolata for their monthly Sunday Feast with our friends Tim and Jason. This month’s theme was seafood and everything was delicious and executed perfectly. It even got Bryan and I out of our small comfort zones for a few items that turned out to be great decisions. We both ate the oysters! And Bryan’s favorite dish of the night was the squid ink pasta with squid and uni butter, which was amazing but way too difficult for me to pick a favorite of the night. Though, the pastas were both amazing and comforting. Fortunately portions were just right so after so many dishes we were left feeling comfortable and not completely over the top (which is essentially me post dinner every day of the week currently).
Shigoku Oysters with Champagne Mignonette and Cucumber Granita Octopus Carpaccio with Taggiasca Olives, Mint, and Bottarga
Lobster Bisque with Poached Lobster, Fennel Sofrito, and Basil
Grilled Spot Prawns with Wild Watercress, Fennel, and Salsa Verde
Amazingly tender octopus carpaccio
Lobster bisque with chunks of lobster
Conchiglie Nero with Grilled Squid, Uni, Pickled Fresno Chili, and Colatura di Alici
Linguini Aglio e Olio with Dungeness Crab, Garlic, and Chili
Scallops with Sunchokes, Applewood Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts King Salmon with Asparagus, Pearl Onion, and Black Trumpet Vinaigrette
Lobster Risotto with Parmesan, Lemon, and Chive
Roasted Cauliflower with Bagna Cauda and Pangrattato
Lemon Meringue Tart
I’ve managed to get in a fill of food, fun and exercise this week. I attended the theme cycle ride at Live, Love Flow for Odeza vs. The Chainsmokers which was a good sweaty class. I filled up with soul-soothing calliloo stew afterwards. I was treated to dinner at FareStart’s Community Dinner for the month of March on Wednesday after my Girls Night was cancelled. Community Dinner’s lasagna bolognese was again a comforting plate of happiness that I needed mid week. Back at FareStart on Thursday for 2016’s Restaurant of the Year chef and James Beard Award nominee from Salare and JuneBaby for a Southern-inspired dinner expedited by your very own Bryan. Bryan ran the restaurant super smoothly and soon enough we were all dining on the delicious dishes of roasted beets with walnuts, tangerines and buttermilk sauce, oxtails with peas, rice and carrots, smoked carrots and collard greens and pineapple upside down cake with caramel ice cream. Heavenly all around!
TGIF! And starting the weekend off well with the company’s monthly staff meeting followed by a night at the Seattle Rep with Club 20s/30s for their hosted pre-show food and drink for the latest play Ibsen in Chicago. Looking forward to the weekend and the sunny and warmer weather we are expecting. Studying may or may not pay a price because of it.
We continue to move forward with the year and what it brings with every new week and month. Enter March. February is always so short, it just seems to fly by. Certainly as we approach March we are getting a bit more sun, there are more buds and blossoms blooming and the birds are out there chirping. We are now only exactly 6 weeks from the first day of my exam. Eeek.
Our weekend came and went as they all do. We had a great dinner at Din Tai Fung in Bellevue before catching the highly-rated Black Panther movie at Cinemark. We were battling the pesky little ants when we returned home and a good portion of Saturday. Saturday was mostly spent studying and cleaning for me while Bryan was out wine tasting with the FareStart crew. And Sunday we took a long walk to get lunch at Araya Thai in Madison Valley before continuing on through Madison Park and back. We concluded the weekend with an impromptu bake of what came out as an exceptional apple pie with inspiration coming from the granny smith apples we have had on hand and watching a few episodes of the Great British Baking Show.
The week, like usual, was quite packed with activities. I managed to get my fifth class in on ClassPass before the month of February ended with a good barre class Monday night. We had tickets to see Hamilton with Karen and Holly (from FareStart) at the Paramount on Tuesday night and loved it! We met at FareStart beforehand for the hosted happy hour for the outgoing CEO at FareStart for the past 18 years before getting more snacks at Market Hall before heading to the theater at 7:30 pm. Late night for us and I’ve been singing the tunes and thinking about the play ever since.
Wednesday I managed to study a bit before heading over with the newly engaged Polly to a Yelp preview event of a new event space in Belltown called Vue Lounge. We got to sample some drinks and food (well Polly got to sample my drink portions for me) and enjoyed the karaoke machine, DJ, and blackjack tables. It was a fun night that got my head out of the study grind.
Thursday was your typical FareStart but with an outstanding Japanese-inspired bento dinner creation from one of the chefs from Tulalip Casino. And we have hit another Friday and don’t have too much on the agenda for the weekend…said me every Friday for the past two months.
Every year my company gets President’s Day off and every year I am unsure how to spend it. A few times we have been in Whistler or elsewhere skiing and that’s good, but others it is just me in the house. Of course this year I knew exactly how I was going to be spending it, studying. And that is what I did. All day on Monday I rotated through a cycle of studying for about two hours at a time, breaking for something to eat or drink, and tidying up around the house. It was quiet and it was lonely but at least I got to study in the warmth of the sunlight pouring in. I finally got out of the house around 5 pm to go to the tempo cycle class that I now greatly enjoy and by the time I was back Bryan was home and we had dinner of slow cooker pulled chicken sandwiches with coleslaw while watching the Olympics.
The real weekend was not much different but still enjoyable with my beau. Bryan had men’s group Saturday morning while I studied but once he was home I stopped studying. We decided to put together our new bedside nightstands which took a surprising amount of time to build but is something we both love to do…for me Ikea furniture are a version of adult legos. After assembling the furniture I went for a walk to the post office in the sun (but wind!!) while Bryan got ready to go for a run through the Arboretum. Saturday night we indulged in picking up Lil Woody’s burgers, fries and a chocolate milkshake for their 3rd week of Seattle Burger Month. We’ve only tried two of the four week’s burgers but both have been unique and super delicious. This one by John Sundstrum from Lark (and James Beard winner) was umami on a bun with yuzu aioli, watercress, maitake mushrooms with a pork burger.
Sunday morning started with church and another Subway run on the way home as we hurried to catch the end of the amazing Michigan victory over 8th ranked OSU. I face-timed the family for a while and then Bryan and I took advantage of the surprise outpouring of sunshine to go for a walk through the Arboretum. It was chilly so we bundled up and the wind counteracted the warmth of the sun but we enjoyed a nice long walk. Once home we warmed up by the fire, I studied for a bit, and then we finished making a Thai dinner of chicken satay and fried rice.
Rather uneventful weekend but still restful and peaceful. I am so looking forward to having the freedom to do what I want during my weekends and evenings instead of studying. I think it is just starting to wear on me and I still have about 6 weeks or so left. Ugh.
Tuesday I spent several hours after work studying until I couldn’t take it anymore that the lights in the Municipal Tower kept going off on me every hour and headed to meet Bryan at Capital Grille for a very filling indulgent steak dinner thanks to mystery shopping. We each had a steak, sides and split the warm chocolate cake with cherries and ice cream to finish the night. Certainly had meat sweats Tuesday night.
Wednesday I had a dentist appointment followed by rushing to get to my girls group at church so NO studying! It was my night off…that was still rather filled with rushing but I passed the dentist appointment with flying colors and the 40 minutes of yoga and girl talk afterwards put me in a zen state of mind heading home in the winterland of snow that was falling. I expected that a chef from Orcas Island, who is currently one of the top rising star chefs in the country, would draw a sold-out restaurant for FareStart at GCN on Thursday but apparently his unique menu posted to the website did not seal the deal. We had very low numbers at the restaurant meaning an early night for us.
And today is joyfully Friday and Bryan and I don’t have much on the calendar again. I don’t even care what is on the calendar anymore I just want to get to April 15th.
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.
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.
Amazing curried carrots
Beet-cured salmon with cream cheese and crisps
If you order chicken in the restaurant it best be tasting like this one!
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.
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.
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.