This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea

October 7, 2014

30 Before 30: A Year in Review


I realized I haven’t written about this list since April, which now seems like a million years ago given all that’s happened in the last 6 months. It sort of got thrown on the back burner after I found out I was pregnant. Let’s be real, that’s all I’ve been able to think about since the day I found out. It also put a bit of a damper on completing some of these items – i.e. playing volleyball in a bikini. Truthfully, I could have probably done that and run the 10k but they just didn’t seem that important.

I’ve really enjoyed having this list to guide me through the last year. It always gave me something to look forward to - a little glimmer of something exciting to come, a goal to have in mind and something to work towards.

Reminding me to read a book, or try a new chicken recipe or finally learn to sew a button. It’s been fun to explore Milwaukee in many different facets, learn something new about blogging, and travel…a lot.

While I only completed a little over half of these items, without the list, I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten back on my Nordic skis or finally, finally gone and visited Kaileen, or gotten in the best shape of my life. Having that bikini-volleyball-10k goal over my head was motivation to do a lot of things during the arctic tundra we lived in last winter. And while out loud it may sound vain, it taught me a lot about learning to love myself and my body and coveting strength over skinniness.

And, even though I’ve been thinking about it for weeks, I’m not sure I’ll make a list for 30. With this little one coming in January, I think that may be all my 30th year needs. We’ll see though, perhaps I’ll try and take a crack at a few of these remaining list items and see where I end up (here's looking at you bikini-volleyball goal).

29 has been a solid year. A crazy-busy, lots of highs and lots of lows year but it was a solid one. I’m content with where I’m at and with what I’ve accomplished. I’m ready for 30. Much more ready than I thought I would be a year ago. 30 and the next 10 years will be a great new adventure, one I can’t even begin to imagine but one I’ll gladly sign on for.



September 23, 2014

Bumpdate - 24 Weeks

24 Week Bumpdate

First off, please excuse the photo above but I realized it’s one of the only baby bump photos I have that doesn’t involve me taking a selfie in my underwear or post-workout clothes trying to capture this bump and prove to the world that it actually exists. A few weeks ago I did try to start taking weekly photos of the bump like a real blogger but, of course, that lasted all of 10-seconds. So, instead you get this photo of me being blown away in the wind on our so-called “Baby Moon” this last weekend*.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I gave you a little pregnancy update, so I thought I would take this lovely Tuesday to do that. First of all, can I tell you how quickly this Second Trimester is going by? In just a few months it’ll be over and then we’ve got ourselves a baby! I feel very, very lucky that my body and this baby have allowed for this to be such a wonderful experience so far.

I’ll get the big question out of the way first. Did we find out the sex of the baby? And the answer is, no. We decided a long time ago that we probably wouldn’t find out, so when it came to the anatomy scan we kept our eyes closed for most of the appointment.

And in other news, I have no inkling what this little babe could be. Some weeks I think it’s a boy and others I think it’s a girl. People tell me all the time whether they think I’ll be having but I sincerely have no idea. I just like imagining what it will be like to be a boy’s mom or a girl’s mom and who this little person will be. Just wrapping my head around the idea of being a “mom” is enough for me.

To my surprise, I didn’t feel the baby fully move until I was around 20 weeks. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. And while I may have felt a few “wiggles” before then, I learned during my ultrasound that I have an anterior placenta which acts as a cushion and can prevent you from feeling the baby move. This definitely relieved a lot of my anxiety, as I was a bit worried something was wrong. But now, this little one is very active. And it’s really just the best thing ever.

I still don't feel it move as much when I’m standing up but when I’m sitting or lying down, I can feel and see this baby moving all around. I like to imagine it’s having its own little party in my belly and thinking up what songs it’s dancing to. Oh, and Chase can feel the kicks now, too! This is probably one of my favorite things because I  feel like I can finally share this pregnancy with him, and not like I’m just keeping it all for me.

This little baby bump finally decided to make an appearance a few weeks ago. I still haven’t had anyone ask me out of the blue about my pregnancy or when I’m due but I think I’m over that awkward stage where I just look like I might have eaten a little too much. My bump is tiny, but it’s there and growing every week.
 
On that note, my new shape has finally required me to upgraded to maternity clothes. After making it over halfway without any, I figured it was time. I grabbed a pair of jeans, a few pairs of leggings and a couple of t-shirts to start. And so far, I’m feeling much better about dressing my bump. I plan on purchasing a dress for my baby shower but outside of that I’m hoping these new additions plus my pre-pregnancy wardrobe will get me through the next 16 weeks.

I’m eating everything these days. All food aversions, except for Indian Food, are gone. My cravings vary weekly. I get fixated on one thing and then after I indulge for a week, I seem to move on to the next. One week it was Mexican rice and beans, another was breakfast food, and we’re currently on all sweet treats. Sweet treats has probably got to be my favorite craving so far, although the most dangerous, too. Don’t be surprised if you find me with a cookie or Twix or chocolate covered pretzel this week.

My energy levels are through the roof and I’m finding myself needing fewer and fewer afternoon naps. And, fortunately, I’m still sleeping really well. I did invest in a pregnancy pillow earlier this month and it has done wonders. However, my exercise routine has dwindled more than I would like to admit. I’m running only once or twice a week, practicing yoga about the same and going for regular long walks. Part of me feels guilty for not being more active, but another part of me is just trying to enjoy these moments and give myself a break.

Outside of the overload of pregnancy hormones and a few small things here and there, I’ve felt really great during this pregnancy and couldn’t be more thankful for it. I know I’ve still got a ways to go but I’m looking forward to the changing seasons and celebrating the holidays with this baby belly. And if I can get it together, I’ll try to do these updates more frequently and post a few more bump pics.

*I am referring to this as so-called "Baby Moon" because our adventure to Northern Wisconsin for a relaxing fall weekend lasted less than 24-hours when our lovely car decided it wasn’t really digging the whole excursion thing. We ended our Saturday evening by taking a very expensive ride in the cab of a tow truck 150 miles back to Milwaukee. Said car is still sitting in the shop waiting to find out her fate.

September 12, 2014

Fall Style Inspiration


We’re having our first few real fall days in Milwaukee, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve been craving cooler temps since the calendar hit September 1st and this week has been just right.

Some people get spring fever but it’s always been fall fever for me. This time of year always gives me the urge to update my wardrobe. I love changing out the drawers and hangers in my closet with cooler weather items. However, this year's a little different as I have a wonderful extra accessory (my baby belly) that I’ve been attempting to figure out how to style. My 23-week bump is still fairly small, and so far, I’ve been very lucky and able to get away with wearing my regular wardrobe. But after this week, I think it's time to invest in some new pieces as I can only jimmy-rig my jeans with a hair tie for so long.

Despite my desire to buy a few cute fitted tops, a new fall coat and some nice coated denim, I’m trying to be conscious of the fact that as this little one continues to grow, so will I. So, I’m attempting to create a sort of “uniform” for myself from now through the end of December. 

My go-to style has always been very classic and simple. And, now that I just want to feel good in what I’m wearing, I’m really leaning on my instincts and what I know to get me through. Sticking with basics and neutral colors is going to be key. This way I can mix and match items to maximize my outfit options and play with different looks by adding a pop of color through my makeup, jewelry or accessories. 

I actually feel sort of lucky because this year’s fall trends seems to be so relaxed and cool. Slouchy tops, and chunky sweaters paired with jogger style pants and super comfy slip-ons. Between my love for simple classic pieces, and this year’s relaxed fall style, I feel like I couldn’t be pregnant at a better time.

My online shopping carts are far to full at the moment so until I figure out what I need to buy and also what makes the most sense for my budget, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite style inspirations for this fall.


Tell me, what do you love for this upcoming season?

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September 1, 2014

On Feeling Lonely and Vulnerable


Remember when I said I was back to blogging. Yep, me too. So, here’s the deal friends, I’ve been going through some stuff lately. Perhaps it’s these crazy pregnancy emotions. Perhaps it’s the fact that summer just decided to arrive in Milwaukee and the humidity and heat is making me feel like an overheated sweaty mess. Perhaps it’s the fact that this summer has been an insane roller coaster. Or, maybe it's that it was all finally too much because last week I hit my wall.

August was supposed to be my refresh month. After a crazy July filled with moving, ridiculous work schedules and travel, August was supposed to be my time to refresh and rewind. But it wasn’t. August felt more chaotic than July. Just when I thought we were in for a few low-key weeks where we could spend time together catching up on living a normal life and putting our new home together, life happened. And, although I did get to spend some amazing time away in Idaho and Iowa with my family and friends in August, I came back to Wisconsin last week, and just felt very alone.

The last year I’ve gotten much better at this solo business and spending time by myself. And, surprisingly, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve gotten good at taking myself on “me dates” and exploring my new home sans my husband or a friend. I’m not scared to go to events by myself or even sit at a restaurant. Plus, I’m used to being the strong one. The one who lives away from home and forges her own way…but last week, I didn’t want to do it anymore. I felt overwhelmed, alone and defeated.

Chase’s work schedule is something he has very little control over and we try to make our time together as meaningful as possible. But it’s often that we can go weeks without having a full day off together. I know he’ll have to work 28-hour shifts and that he’ll miss holidays and appointments even if he desperately doesn’t want to do. It’s all part of the game. I’ve signed up for this lifestyle and I’m willing to live it but what I’ve realized is that it still doesn’t always make it easy.

This being strong thing, sometimes it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. And, admitting all this shit is terrifying. I’m much better at putting up a front and shaking off the feeling then making myself vulnerable and acknowledging that yes, yes in fact I am and have been lonely, that I might not always be in control or have it together in the way that I like. What’s worse is that although being honest about it is very freeing, it does make me feel like a bit of failure, as if somehow I'm not living up to the woman I’m supposed to be.

The good news is that every day since I’ve come to this realization, I've felt a little bit better. I’ve been talking to those I’m closest with about how I’m feeling. I’m admitting when I'm not 100% and learning, slowly, to be okay with that. I’ve been taking walks, practicing yoga, meditation and positive self-affirmation. I’m sharing with you too, in hopes that it will hold me accountable and help me be honest with myself.

It’s a process but I'm finding myself a little bit less scared, a little bit less lonely, a little bit less vulnerable and little bit more okay with myself and where I’m at.

Tell me, how do you deal with loneliness and feeling vulnerable?

p.s. thanks for listening, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you being here.