photography

Looking to 2016

SNOWMAGEDDEN!

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Sunday morning we awoke to snow in Portland! And not just a light dusting of white, but actual snow! However, it was not a “blizzard”. The above news article is pretty hilarious because people tend to freak out when it snows here. Which doesn’t happen a lot. But it was kind a nice start to 2016!

We had plans to take maternity photos Sunday morning and what’s funny is that our friend, Christi, who did our engagement pictures, originally wanted to go up to Mount Hood to take the baby bump pictures in the snow. Instead I found a nearby park that had covered areas because we were all sure it would be raining when we planned on doing the photos…So it’s pretty funny that she got her wish in Portland–snow. We were going to cancel the photos and reschedule but…it seemed a shame not to take advantage of snowy Portland for our photos. So we did it. 🙂 I’m happy we were able to do them (and get snow photos!) and I can’t wait to see them.

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Since the new year is off to a pretty good start, I’d like to make some goals for 2016 even if I’m a little wary of doing so. I mean, I have no idea what it’s going to be like suddenly being a family of three. I don’t want to set myself up with unrealistic expectations, or feel like I’ve somehow been lax in my goals. Really, my big goal for 2016 is to give birth to a healthy baby, recover and learn how to be a mom.

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But in the spirit of goal making, feeling nostalgic for past New Year’s Eves and wanting to have something on my radar for 2016 I will make a small list.

Run a 5k.

5k’s are a good distance for me. My body doesn’t seem to rebel against it and I can train for a 5k without injuring myself. In 2015 I ran two 5k races (both while pregnant!) and would LOVE to run another one this year. Obviously that will depend on how my body heals and how the training goes but it’s my goal. I like doing the Portland Parks and Rec 5k series so I will probably pick one of those and I’ll do one at the end of summer or early Fall. That seems to give me an adequate amount of time to train. Wish me luck!

Lose the baby weight.

I’ve talked about this a lot throughout my pregnancy–I dislike the pressure that is put on women to lose the baby weight IMMEDIATELY (and to also not gain very much weight while pregnant). I hate it. I hate the pressure, the expectation; I hate the judgment, the side-eye you often get from other people. I do NOT expect the baby weight to melt off the second I give birth.

During my pregnancy I still counted my calories. I was definitely eating more calories but I did my best to be reasonable about it. I was NOT “eating for two”. I was eating for ME and for the baby, who only needed like 300 extra calories a day. I followed my doctor’s instructions and counted my calories (without beating myself up if I did go over once in awhile) and I tried to make good choices about the food I was eating. Which was a lot easier once I got out of the first trimester. I still worked out (even during the worst of the morning sickness). I listened to my body and did what I could. Sure I modified a lot of things and wasn’t going at the same intensity but I was still very active. Overall I am happy with how I’ve maintained my health while cooking this little bug.

Now that I’m in the last few months, I’m trying to enjoy my changing body. I’m looking forward to the “after” too, because honestly, the biggest adjustment being pregnant for me was my body was no longer my own. I’m looking forward to getting that back–in whatever shape it ends up being in.

All that being said, I do want to lose weight because I am healthier and happier at a lower weight. I lost 110 pounds, kept it off for 7 years and would like to get back somewhat close to what I was at before getting pregnant. I’m not going to be crazy or restrictive about it. I’m simply going to go back to doing what I did before: continue exercising and reduce my calories in a reasonable way.

I know it will take time. I’m willing to do the work. The hardest part will be the mental aspect of it. My body shape being different. The weight coming off slowly. Clothes not fitting quite right. I hope I can adjust ok.

This goal won’t start for awhile. I’ll be following my doctor’s advice, listening to my body and not rushing back into anything until the time is right. My goal is to breastfeed and I know that trying to lose weight while that is happening is not wise, so this goal might be for later in the year. I know *I* won’t be the focus for a long time–but at the same time, I think it’s important for mom and dad to be healthy and take care of themselves, too. So I won’t just be letting things go–taking care of myself is important just like taking care of the baby. I will try and find balance.

Don’t forget about my fur-babies when the real baby gets here!

I really really want to give them all attention and love. I know it may not be the same or the same amount of attention but I’m going to try my best. Bella, Fat Kitty and Maya are family and they will still be family.

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I’m really looking forward to getting back into hiking. Bella loves it. I want our baby to be exposed to nature and grow up loving tromping through the woods. I am inspired by the blogger at Trail Snail, who hiked throughout her pregnancy and has THE most adorable little girl who has been going into the woods with them since birth! Love it! I think getting back to hiking will be a good goal for us as a family and a good way to give Bella attention.

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Focus on Slowing Down.

I saw this article:  Healthy Habit Forming Gifts to Give Yourself that suggested practicing things like awareness, forgiveness, focus, patience (I need this one!) and community. Those are good categories to build resolutions around as well!

One thing I want to focus more on in the new year is making time for myself and SLOWING DOWN. I tend to overbook my life, over-schedule activities and then when I do get downtime I am burned out and just want to sit in front of the TV and watch Netflix for hours, totally checked out. It’s not a good cycle. But I find that I struggle with just sitting and doing nothing, so I tend to fill my time. ALL my time. I can’t remember the last time Michael and I decided to forgo a scheduled activity and do something on the spur of the moment. It’s time to learn how to stop and smell the roses.

Learn my new camera.

I love the new features of my camera! Michael got me the Canon 760D camera for Christmas and I’ve been slowly experimenting with the new features. I love the photos I’m getting but I need a lot of practice. I have two months to figure out my camera before baby gets here and I’ll take a zillion pictures. 😉

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Read 80 books in 2016.

I’m sure all the parents out there reading my goal are laughing at me…but…I have to have a goal, right? I may not get there with a new baby but we’ll see. It feels odd to have such a low goal set for myself after last year’s monster goal! 2015 I read 150 out of 140 books. 2014 I read 139 out of 125. Each year I’ve read roughly 10-20 books more than whatever goal I set for myself. Last year was the biggest goal I had and I met it. Friend me on Goodreads! And send me your favorite book recommendations. 🙂

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What about you? Any goals for the new year?

Happy Christmas Holiday!

After much hemming and hawing I took Christmas Eve off from work. I was planning on saving as much time as possible for maternity leave but work was SO dead the day before Christmas Eve I knew Christmas Eve would be even more boring. I was glad I took it off. I slept in, went to the gym, got a haircut, ran some errands and then spent a few hours working on the soon-to-be-nursery. Lots of stuff to go through!

Christmas morning Michael and I opened presents. He got me a new camera! I LOVE it! It’s a Canon and a lot of the features are similar to my old Canon but it’s still going to take some time to figure it out. Michael said that there’s a feature on the new one that will make it easier to take pictures of moving targets–like babies and dogs. It’s so hard getting a good photo of Bella, even using all the tricks I know with my current camera, because she just moves too fast! I’m looking forward to practicing.

Fat Kitty enjoyed the wrapping paper and boxes. I got Bella a new squeak toy and she loved the sound but didn’t want to play with it, which was weird.

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We took Bella for a walk–thankfully it was finally NOT raining here in Portland, then my parents arrived from Seattle and the four of us went to Gracie’s for our annual brunch!

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We love Gracie’s. The food is always perfect and the service is as well. This year they had a champagne cocktail menu! Dang it! It looked so good. But I did splurge and order some freshly squeezed orange juice that was absolutely amazing.

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I ordered the ham and cheese omelette this year. It came with potatoes and I got sourdough toast. Michael got the Huevos Rancheros, of course, and my mom got the crab and avocado omelette. Everyone’s breakfast was fabulous. It was a nice, relaxing brunch. I’d kill for some more of that OJ.

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Back to the house for presents with my parents. Fat Kitty decided my dad’s lap was the best place to be, apparently. 🙂

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My parents got us a glider for the nursery (to be delivered next month when the nursery is finished). They also brought down this super cute chair and stool:

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One of my dad’s friends got it in Arizona and it’s so cute! It’s small but sturdy and will be a great addition to the nursery. After spending a few hours with my folks, they took off for the beach and Michael and I went to his mom’s house for dinner. There were deviled eggs, I made a veggie tray, Michael’s sister did these pork buns that were really good.

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It was a very full day but it was nice that we got to see everyone and spend time with them. I got to talk to my brother on the phone for awhile and that was good, too. Maybe one of these years we’ll all be together for Christmas. Who knows, things might look very different next year!

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Saturday evening Michael and I went out with another couple for dinner. Michael had been planning a big group dinner with some of his childhood friends and in the end it was just the four of us, which was nice! Much more intimate and it was nice to catch up with friends we wish we saw more than a few times a year–especially since it’s not like we live all that far from each other!

We went to East Burn for dinner. The three of them shared the goat cheese and prosciutto appetizer that looked really good:

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I wish I could have had some! For the entree Michael got the burger (I had a bite and it was quite tasty). I got the steelhead entree that was to die for. It was nestled on top of pumpkin risotto with cranberries. The dish sounded like it would be really sweet but it wasn’t. The pumpkin risotto was slightly sweet but tasted more like butternut squash than pumpkin and it was mild. The cranberries gave it a really nice, tart finish. There was brown sage butter drizzled on top and the steelhead was crispy and perfectly prepared. I LOVED my dish!

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It was so so good! I wonder if I can recreate a dish like this at home…

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We decided to share a dessert–the Fudge cake. It was giant! Thank goodness we split it four ways. It was really thick and rich.

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It was a nice evening and we spent a few hours hanging out with them, even after the food was done. It was also nice to pick their brains about birth and babies and such as they have two of their own. It was a decadent weekend!