Thursday, February 28, 2013

What a Wonderful World

Sometimes you just need a reminder that people care.

You need something to happen that changes your outlook on your day.

Or even life.

A single event, hug, kiss, smile, letter, gift, or gesture that has you singing Louis Armstrongs lovely song, "And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."

I had that unexpected reminder today.

I came home from work to a letter from my friend, Kari.

First things first, I love that she mentioned Baby Sieb in the "to" line!

Second, I love that she is doing 26 Random Acts of Kindness (and she picked me as one of the recipients!!!)

Third, she obviously knows me very well because I LOVE food, especially breakfast / brunch food. 

Fourth, did I mention that she is spreading love and kindness in the world!?

Kari included this card as well:

I've be hit by kindness!
PS Stop judging my chipped nail polish. I'm fixing it tonight, promises.
Kari, thank you so much for including me in your 26 Random Acts of Kindness.

And most importantly, thank you for reminding me (and countless other people) that we really can live in a wonderful world if we spread love and kindness in our daily lives. 

I'm writing up a letter and passing along a Random Act of Kindness tonight. 

Watch out- it could be coming your way! :)

Much love,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smiles, Flutters, Breakdowns, and Celebrations

No, I didn't give up blogging for lent.

Sorry if I had you worried.

Life has been flying by (mostly in a good way). On Thursday, I left work early and headed to Decatur for a date night with my sister.

I had a chance to hug and kiss on my nephews and visit with my mom before we left for our big date.

Aunt Ashley kisses don't creep my nephews out yet.

Our date started at FlatTop Grill (basically build your own stir fry = amazing).  We had a lot of laughs and shared a lot of smiles.

And honestly, I needed it more than anything...

My beautiful sister and me before running to the concert!

Then we headed to the Luke Bryan concert! I was so happy and thankful Sarah brought me along (she received the tickets as a Christmas present). She is madly in LOVE with Luke Bryan and after Thursday night, I'm joining the Luke Bryan fan club. I mean seriously- his moves, his smile, and his voice...obsessed.

I was standing up and dancing to one of Luke's songs (I REALLY wish I could remember which one it was, but I was battling hard to stay awake at the same time) when I felt something magical.

I felt Baby Sieb flutter!!!!!

It wasn't like a fart bubble.

And it didn't feel like my stomach was growling from hunger.

The feeling was comparable to butterflies in my stomach (but not like the kind you get when you're nervous).

Baby Butterflies!

At that moment, I confirmed my suspicious that Baby Sieb is a girl.

And she too has a crush on Luke Bryan.

Disclaimer: I'll be happy if we have a baby boy, but I'm just basing my guess off the fact that the baby has a high heart beat and I've had zero morning sickness. When my mom was pregnant with all of the girls, she wasn't that sick. When she got pregnant with my brother, she was sick constantly. AND my sister has two boys and she was really sick when she was pregnant with them!

Gotta Get Down on Friday

I spent Friday morning eating pizza for breakfast with my nephew and telling stories. His imagination and ability to tell stories on the fly amazes me. He will definitely be a writer one day. I have no doubts. And I refuse to let him waste that creative mind!

We had lunch at Pizza Hut. And by "had lunch at Pizza Hut" I mean I dunked absolutely everything I ate in Pizza Hut's ranch dressing ....the best EVER! Can I get an Amen!?

Friday night we had dinner with Justin's high school friend, Jason, who surprised us by paying for dinner (so sweet!). His parents also came along...Rodger (Justin's Dad) and I made plans to do a 5K together!

"Well, I'm going to be 5 months pregnant then," I said. "So I'll probably be really slow!"

"Why do you think I'm budding up with you!?" He replied back laughing.

Fair point. Our goal is to finish in under 45 minutes, which is perfectly reasonable! I'm excited!

Breakdowns and Celebrations

On Saturday afternoon, I had yet another breakdown about my appearance.

I know, I know- I'm pregnant.

I'm growing a baby.

And I just wrote a blog post about how SILLY I am to stress about weight when I am growing a mini me or mini Justin, which is absolutely incredible!

But, it's just hard.

I'm getting back fat.

My hips just keep getting wider.

And I just have a gut.

There isn't a defined, beautiful baby bump yet. Although, I was teased with this "bump in the making" on Saturday morning:

Seriously, it's mainly the shirt + baby bloating that gives the bump illusion.
But any sign of a bump makes me happy.
So I'll take it.

I guess I just always thought my bump would appear earlier...and that everyone could just tell I was pregnant.

Instead, I'm just getting chubby.

And no one knows. 

So anyway, I went to Kohl's and quickly realized I am officially out of my original size. 

The arms are tight in clothes.

I need bigger bras or else I have back fat rolling out like Fifty Cent at Da Club.

I had pretty much given up on finding cute shirts or dresses.

And the mere sight of swimsuits brought tears to my eyes...

Then, before my very eyes, I found a maternity section!! I found an awesome t-shirt (that hides the unflattering parts of my body) and a dress / nightie for myself + a onesie for Baby Sieb.

Double win!

I wondered over to the workout area. And found myself wishing I was training for a half marathon. I tried to run the other day and I officially can't run half a mile without stopping + nearly having a heart attack. I've lost my running mojo....

Justin creeped up behind me and tried to goose me (aka grab my butt). However, it didn't work because I have a Justin-dar and quickly turned around to see him creeping toward me.

He instantly knew something was wrong.

"Baby, what's going on?" Justin asked.

"I'm just so discouraged," I said. "Nothing fits. And I'm getting so fat!"

"Nooooo!" Justin said back quickly. "We don't use that word, remember! You're getting cute."
He wrapped his arms around me. I was still facing away from him.

"Babe, this is just the beginning," Justin said. "You're going to be a lot cuter soon. I mean REALLY cute."

Despite my frustrations and emotions, I realized I'm super lucky to have such a loving and supportive husband.

My history with my weight and eating disorders is the source of my emotions right now. And I need to remind myself that I wanted this pregnancy more than anything.

I want to be a mom.

I want to be a healthy mom.

And acting, thinking, and feeling so hopeless about my weight is not healthy.

So, I'm a work in progress.

Everyone is, right?

My breakdown quickly escaped my mind after we attended a gender reveal party for one of Justin's close friends from high school.

They didn't know what they were having until the firework show (when everyone else found out as well).

It's a girl!
Congrats Mandee and John!
 I had a blast (and yes, I obviously want to have a gender reveal party now).

Justin isn't so convinced about having the party / not finding out on the spot!

"Ashley, we give each over our Christmas gifts at like...Thanksgiving! Do you really think we will wait and not find out until everyone else does?" He challenged me.

"YES- I think we can wait!" I replied back confidently. "Heck, we've waited long enough as is.."

"Well fine, let's just not find out until birth then," He said back, with a snarky tone. "I can do that."

"Get real, Sieb" I said.

Seriously, how perfect is this idea!?
Wear your guess!

 So, the debate for the gender reveal party continues.

In the meantime, take the gender poll on my blog + email (harass) Justin about all of your brilliant ideas for our gender reveal party! ;)

Much love,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Life Lessons Inspired by Pregnancy

I’m barely three months into my pregnancy, but I’ve already learned so much about myself and my body.

On My Time

Time is the most valuable gift you have in this world. Yet, many of us fail to realize the beauty and importance of our time.

Pregnancy has taught me to invest my time and energy on what really matters in life. I’ve always known that my time is precise.

But when I was a busy two-something living in a “big city” – trying to advance my career AND find time to give back to the community – well, let’s just say I let important people and moments slip away from me.

I missed dinners with my husband.

I never made it to my brother’s baseball games.

I found myself turning into that person that was “always late,” which is NOT like me at all.

And all last year, I found myself struggling to keep my head above water.

I was working late, scheduling meetings after work and on weekends, training for half marathons and still trying to manage a social life.

This year, my time is spent differently. I focus on getting home on-time so that I can enjoy a walk with Bandit.

I walk into the door give Justin a giant hug and kiss instead of complaining about my day.

And I do my best to catch up with friends and family via phone calls, emails, or even text messages (when I’m not sleeping, of course).

This year, I’ll make it to my brother’s baseball games. I’ll enjoy every dinner that Justin and I share together before our little one arrives. And I'll be on time.

On Relaxing

As you can tell, I was the queen-bee of stress. Justin always joked that his wife was out “saving the world” every night.

But when you don’t make time yourself, you’re yourself.

Having a “me day” - doesn’t make you a selfish person- it makes you a smart person.

Pregnancy has made me EXTREMELY tired. In fact, the last three months, I’ve spent more relaxing evenings in with my family than when I was an awkward middle schooler who had dates with Domino’s and SNICK (Saturday Night Nickeloden – what’s up 90s!).

I’m so happy that pregnancy has shown me how to relax again.

And not feel guilty about saying “no” and spending days and nights cuddled up on the couch watching Pretty Little Liars and Breaking Bad from Netflix.

On Bad Days

Hey- it happens.

We all have bad days.

Or moments that frustrate us.

Or people who say something that is hurtful or makes you want to scream!

But lately, I find myself realizing those bad days, frustrating moments, and rude people don’t matter at all.

I know, I know- they never mattered, but I used to dwell on every single word someone said. And I would spend hours over-analyzing every single situation.

I would just sit down and re-play the comments or situation – over and over again- sometimes changing around what I’d do differently.

But now, when I’m bummed or needing some motivation, I simply look at our ultrasound pictures of Baby Sieb dancing in the womb.

We’re surrounded by people who love us- and people who are cheering us on every step of the way. So why let one day, moment, or person crush all of that for me?

Lately, I’ve found it easier to push out the negative in my life and focus on the positive.

Family is what matters.

Love is what matters.

Growing a little tiny human being in my stomach is what matters.

On My Body

Pregnancy has taught me that your body is ever-changing. And amazing. Seriously- I’m growing a baby.

With arms.

And legs.

And toenails.

And this week, Baby Sieb can even wiggle his or her ears!

Not to mention, I’m pretty sure Baby Sieb busted out the Harlem Shake during our ultrasound last week.

I’m so amazed by my body and the ability to grow a baby.

What a miracle.

It makes me feel silly for worrying about every little fault I have with my body.

On Patience

The biggest life lesson I’ve learned throughout our journey with pregnancy is patience.

We went through many ups and downs when we were trying to get pregnant. At times, I was so impatient it would break me down. But finally- when I calmed down and had patience, we got pregnant!

I needed patience when we first find out we were pregnant.

How could I keep this a secret for eight long weeks?

How could I wait two weeks after only seeing a “healthy” sac in our first ultrasound? Is there a baby in there?

How long will my cysts keep growing? Will they shrink? When will I find out if there is OK or if I need surgery?


Having patience is what got me through those weeks of uncertainty (and keeping my mouth shut for the most part).

I have another month before we can hear little Nemo’s heart beat again.

I have to wait two more months before we discover the gender of Baby Sieb.

But more importantly, I have to wait six more months to find out if our baby is healthy.

And when Baby Sieb arrives, I’ll need patience when he or she is crying bloody murder or refusing to sleep.

I’ll need patience when I’m sleep deprived and just want a clean shower or good run- the baby will always come first.

I’ll need patience when Bandit is barking, the baby is crying, my phone is ringing, and the oven is going off.

The many tests with patience are ahead of me.

But you know what?

The smiles, kisses, hugs, stories, memories, laughs, and even tears that a child brings will make it all worth it in the end.

Much love,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mini Mordern Marketer

When I got back from lunch, I had a package on my desk from Eloqua.

We use Eloqua as our Marketing Automation Software.

And I'm obsessed with anything marketing / technology / social media / email marketing related ....everyone always jokes I have a crush on Eloqua.

For the longest time, I think they were worried I was going to quit my job, move to West Virginia, and start working for Eloqua.

Today, I received this ADORABLE onesie from Eloqua.

When I first saw this picture, I thought I looked like Quail-Man from Doug (TV show on Nickelodeon anyone?).

What a sweet gift!

Much love,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Club Fetus

There was a party today at Club Fetus, but only Baby Sieb was invited!

Seriously, we saw our little Nemo dancing!

Okay, maybe Baby Sieb was just super pumped about having arms and legs instead of nubs.

But there we were, waiting for the ultrasound tech to say something about our baby's developments or my cysts, and then Baby Sieb started wiggling like crazy!!

I honestly wish I could have recorded it.

I mean really, have you ever seen a 10 week old fetus dancing?

Our little one gets it honest.

The heart beat was 158 beats per minute.

And the best news!?

Your prayers and good vibrations paid off....


Nearly all of the cysts are gone in my left ovary! And the cysts in the right ovary are shrinking dramatically. The doctor said I have nothing to worry about and they should be gone in the next few weeks as my hormones start to "level out."

The ultrasound tech did a few 3D ultrasound images. She warned me it might look a little creepy, but we all agreed it was VERY cool! 

The lights in the club must be too bright.
Baby Sieb rubbing his / her eyes.

Baby Sieb throwing his / her arms in the air + wiggling the booty.

Our little Nemo is growing and healthy as can be for 10 weeks!

After the ultrasound, Justin left. And I was back in the lobby waiting for my next appointment. I had to get my pap done.

So, you know I was looking forward to that (sarcasm). I had to put on that uncomfortable gown. The gown must be opened in the front so my boobs and belly keep flopping out every five seconds. And then I would frantically cover up as if someone was in the room with me....

This went on for about 45 minutes. 

After nearly an hour "patiently" waiting, I got so frustrated that I chucked my phone across the room on my bag.

As if that did any good...I felt like a jackass, but I'll blame the hormones for my pregnancy rage. I walked over, well more like waddled over, and tried not to overexpose myself to "said ghost of room 8" ...and then I put the phone back in my purse.

Just then, the doctor walked in and said he had an emergency surgery that afternoon. He apologized that no one
told me he was running behind. I felt like he read my mind. OR there is a patient video camera rolling for the front desk ladies to review at all times, which would mean they saw my dramatic episode.

To ease my mind, they could have simply said, "Ashley, the doctor is running behind today by nearly an hour. Go ahead and order a pizza while you're waiting. The place next door will deliver and they have the best ranch dressing ever."

That, of course, is what happens in my fantasy world...where you can eat pizza for every meal and everyone has perfected the ranch dressing like Decatur Pizza Hut and Scotty's Brewhouse.

But, I love my doctor and he made me feel SUPER comfortable during the exam, which as many of you know, can be awkward and uncomfortable. 

"Everything looks great!" Dr. Jim said. "And your cysts are shrinking on their own, so that's wonderful. In just a few weeks, you'll be back here telling me that you feel like your normal self again. I promise you'll get your energy back soon, kiddo! Oh, and Pepper (that's the nurse who I love) told me a good story about you and your husband the other day!"

"Oh, she did?" I laughed, wondering which story she could have picked.

"Yeah," he said. "The story about how you two met- I love it. That's priceless."

"Ahhh," I said. "Yes- good ol' beer pong! Last Valentine's Day, I reenacted the night we first met! I set-up a beer pong table. At first I couldn't find ping pong balls so I thought about playing with small red potatoes!"

We both laughed.

"Well, it sounds like you have marriage figured out," Dr. Jim said. "It's about having fun together. And keeping the love alive."

When I get home from the doctor, I was starving. I went straight for the fridge and got some cottage cheese. I looked up and Justin was starring at me with a big smile on his face.

"What?!" I said. "Are you juding a pregnant woman for eating? Because you probably shouldn't!"

"No," he said, still smiling. "I just love you. I was starring at you and smiling before you even put that potato chips in your cottage cheese."

I shoved a chip in my mouth and said, "Well, I love you, too!"

Maybe we don't have marriage completely figured out

But Justin and I do have fun.

And we do everything in our power to keep the love alive- even when one of us is snarky and snacking on cottage cheese and sour cream and cheddar chips. 

Don't judge until you try it. 

Much love,

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Positive Aspect of High Risk

Don't Google image search for anything I'm about to tell you.

I made that mistake and I'm scarred for life.

Just take my descriptions + non-artistic drawing and go on with your night. Or else you will think I have baby aliens growing inside of me too...

Anyway, if you do decide to Goolge ovarian cysts, you are NOT allowed to say I didn't warn you.

When Justin and I went in for ultrasound number one, it was not what I expected. This is my first lesson in parenting: few things go as planned. Therefore, patience is virtue.

I wasn't sure how far along I was...but because my last period was in November and there was a CHANCE I could be 8 weeks, so they scheduled my first appointment anyway.

I remember sitting in the ultrasound room with Justin and I had the nervous shakes.

I was cold.

I didn't know what to expect.

My cramps were awful.

I'm not saying I am super woman, but I do think I have a pretty strong pain tolerance.

But these cramps...well...they brought tears to my eyes.

I remember climbing into the shower one night after a long day at work and I just started crying.

"If this is what pregnancy is like, I am doomed," I said to myself.

The pain was so bad that my only way to eliminate my pain was to sleep (and you guys know I haven't had a problem doing that lately).

Anyway, back in the ultrasound room the tech lubed up the vaginal ultrasound machine (which ironically had a condom on it).

At first, she went to my ovaries...but I didn't know that's what she was doing.

I just saw giant circles...and I looked at Justin with a confused look on my face.

"Oh my," she said. "Well, no wonder you've had a lot of cramping. You've got quiet a few cysts filled with fluid."



But where is my baby!!!

Don't I have a baby in there!?!

What the hell am I looking at?!

I remember seeing at least three large black circles and a few smaller ones.

"So, what does that mean?" I finally asked.

"Well, it looks like you're filled with ovarian cysts," she said. "And they're pretty large."

She kept taking pictures of each cysts.

Measuring each one.

"Like, how large?" I asked.

"Well, they are about double in the normal size," she said.

"You see that little follicle here," she said before I could ask about the normal size. "Well, that's normal. And as you can see, this one is a lot smaller than the other ones."

My stomach felt sick.

I still didn't know what this meant for the baby, who apparently is snuggle buddies with my giant cysts.

By now, you want a stronger definition of an ovarian cysts, don't you? Well here you go:

"An ovarian cyst is any collection of fluid, surrounded by a very thin wall, within an ovary. Any ovarian follicle that is larger than about two centimeters is termed an ovarian cyst. Such cysts range in size from as small as a pea to larger than an orange." 

Once an ovarian cysts reaches more than five cenitmeters, they recommend surgery.


Well, the cysts gets too will collapse my ovary. As a result, I will collapse because it will cut off my blood supply.

Scary stuff, right?

Here is the image I drew to spare you the painful Google searches.

I'm a writer- not an artist, people.

Now at this point, I know you are tempted to leave my blog and Google symptoms. Because I'm a mind reader (you're welcome)- I know this about I've provided a list of symptoms below. In case you are wondering, they sound exactly like pregnancy, your period, AIDS, or cancer:
  • Dull aching, or severe, sudden, and sharp pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen (YES)
  • Fullness, heaviness, pressure, swelling, or bloating in the abdomen (Double yes)
  • Breast tenderness (But isn't this because I'm pregnant!?)
  • Pain during or shortly after beginning or end of menstrual period (Always)
  • Irregular periods, abnormal uterine bleeding, or spotting (You got it!)
  • Change in frequency or ease of urination (Consider me the VP of Frequenter Pee Club)
  • Weight gain (STORY OF MY LIFE)
  • Nausea or vomiting (meh- not so much!)
  • Fatigue (Sorry, I almost feel asleep while typing, what symptom are we on again?)
  • Infertility (Sounds familiar...we were one month shy of fertility medicine)
  • Increased level of hair growth (On my head?)
  • Increased facial hair or body hair (Well let's hope I don't have a mustache growing...)
  • Headaches (Isn't that because I can no longer drink my Starbucks coffee!?)
  • Strange pains in ribs, which feel muscular (My stomach hardly feels muscular, do ovarian cysts give you abs?)
  • Bloating (I thought it's because I ate too much cheese?)
  • Strange nodules that feel like bruises under the layer of skin (Do I have cancer?)
Finally, she measured all of my cysts...I have 5ish between both ovaries.

Suddenly our entire journey made sense...

And you know what?

There is JACK CRAP that I can do about it...except not stress out and pray. Ovarian cysts don't care what you eat, drink, or how many half marathons you run.

They grow on your hormones.

(And I am guessing years of birth control didn't help matters either).

Anyway, we finally moved into my uterus to see Baby Sieb...and instead of seeing a little tiny baby.

I saw another black circle.

She didn't say anything.

No one said anything.

"Well, I think that's a healthy sac in there!" she said.

(Of course, this made Justin laugh. I promise we are mature enough to be parents). 

Finally, a black circle with purpose!!!

"And if you look closely you can see a little tiny yok sac," She said. 

I left the doctor's office with a week of lab work ahead of me and another ultrasound in my near future.

We will have no problem hitting our out of pocket deductible with this pregnancy, Justin joked.

Two weeks later, I was back at the doctor's office. My lab work indicated my hormones were increasing every two days (as they should) and my cramping was ten times better!

Oh, it is love- from the first time that I met you...

"My cramping is so much better, " I told the ultrasound tech. "I think my cysts are shrinking!"

This time, she went straight to my uterus...and before my very eyes...there was BABY SIEB!

Seriously, how cute is Baby Sieb!?
I feel like he / she is dancing in this picture.
"Heyyyyyy sexy, lady!"

And then she turned on the (insert machine that detects the heart beat) and we could not only hear, but SEE our little Nemo's heart beat.

It was such a magical moment.

I looked over at Justin and we were both smiling with watery eyes.

All those months of negative tests.

All those tears.

All of those painful periods.

All of those minutes of anticipation before each test...

Every single heartbreak was worth waiting for that very moment.

After we saw the baby, she measured my cysts again.

Even though my cramping stopped....the cysts had grown.

Now, most of them were pushing five centimeters.

"Is there anything at all I can do?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"No honey," she said. "Just try not to stress and worry. We will just keep a close on everything."

Saturday marked my tenth week being pregnant. 

Tomorrow, I'm going back in my my third ultrasound.

The positive aspect of being high risk is seeing our little Nemo so often!

Despite all of the mass chaos going on in my ovaries, I feel so blessed and lucky to be in such great hands and get even more pictures of our little one.

I think God knew I'd want extra pictures for my Belly Book too!

Obviously I have about 4 journals.

I really hope I don't need surgery...and that my cysts have gone down in size.

If praying is part of your life, please say a little prayer for us tonight / tomorrow.

If you are more interested in positive thinking, we will take all the good vibrations we can get.

And if you're just as excited to see our little one as much as we are, just tune back tomorrow for more pictures.

Thanks for your constant love and support. I cherish all of your positive words and encouragement.

Much love,

Happy Belly, Happy Baby

Are you sick of me blogging about pregnancy yet?

Sorry I'm not sorry.

It's all that consumes my mind these days...and we all know weight loss is completely out the door at this point.

Today, I had my first fitting room melt breakdown at Target.

I didn't throw a huge fit or even cry.

So perhaps the term "meltdown" is dramatic.

Instead, I just starred in the mirror- completely frustrated and overwhelmed.

Maybe it was the dress that didn't fit right and gave me back fat. Meh!

Maybe it's the cramps I've been having all day long.

Or maybe it's the lack of caffeine and constant fatigue that owns my soul.

I put the dress back up and headed toward a different section of the store: the maternity section.

My good friend Mel told me about Bella Bands, which allow you to "flaunt your bump and keep your pants up."




I tweeted last Friday that I really need new leggings or pants because walking around the office with pants buttoned is probably an HR violation. 

Good thing we don't have a formal HR department...

So here I am...blogging away with my Bella Band wrapped around my tummy.

I think Nemo likes the new comfort around his / her home.

Happy belly, happy baby....

And happy mama! 

Much love,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Overnight Bump

So I am pretty sure this happened overnight!!

Or I'm bloating from the grilled cheese I ate yesterday.

Either way...

Much love,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

T-Shirt Time

I have a marathon (yes a full marathon) relay coming up in April! Thankfully, I am "running" the shortest leg (about 4 miles).

By April time, I expect to have a baby bump going on! My friend Jenny posted a picture of a t-shirt on my Facebook wall and I could not resist ordering it....

The tank top says:
My bump,
My bump,
My lovely baby bump!

Check it out!

I was obviously excited about my purchase and I have every intention of rocking this shirt at my upcoming race!

I told Justin about the shirt and he said, "Wow, that's I guess it's perfect for you!"

Haters gonna hate ...but this baby mama is pumped to start the race of with my new Tshirt AND "My Humps" by Black Eyed Peas as my first song.

Much love,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fatter vs. Cuter

I was walking out of the office yesterday and said goodbye to my friend Jami.

"Well, maybe on Monday I'll be fatter!" I said patting my stomach.

"It's not fatter, Ashley," Jami said.

"Cuter?" I suggested instead.

"Yes!" Jami said. "You'll be even more radiant than you already are today..."

She made me smile.

You guys know I'm terrified about gaining a ton of weight with this pregnancy.

EVERYONE has that number on the scale that just terrifies them.

Disclaimer: This is a stock photo . I am not this pregnant yet.

And beyond a number, I just want to remain healthy and fit during my pregnancy so that I can be the mom I've always wanted to, fun, and ready to tackle 5ks together with my little nugget.

When I went in for my first consultation in November (not pregnant at the same), I weighed 239 lbs.

On January 7, I had my first doctor's appointment. I was five weeks at the time and weighed 236 lbs.

I went back for my 8 week check-up and I was still 236 lbs!

I've been trying to get out of the mindset that "I am eating for two!"

That's a very dangerous outlook....

I know that I only need about 300 extra calories a day. So I'm sitting around 1,600 calories a day.

I'm trying to pick healthy snack options like Special K cereal, popcorn, or fresh fruit. Let's be real - sometimes the cookies and cheese dip win. BUT not always, which is good.

Last week, my boss came down to my desk and said this out of no where, "Ashley, you're pregnant. I don't want you to see you stressing about gaining weight..."

I'm thankful that he took the time to remind me that I will gain weight. And that's normal...

On that note, I can't tell you how AMAZING it is to have a supportive work family. Makes a huge difference...

Anyway, I've decided I need to stop using the word "fat." 

I'm cutting the word out of my vocabulary.

And I'll replace it with the word "cute."

But I am still determined to remain as healthy and active as possible throughout this pregnancy, especially once I get my energy back!!

This is also NOT me.
Number one, I don't live by a beach.
Number two, I plan to run in pants / tights.
Number three, I will wear shirt that will avoid a boob or two flopping out.

So ladies and gents, bring on the baby weight...

In moderation, of course.

Much love,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It Finally Happened

Well guys, it finally happened.

I ate something that baby Sieb hated..and as a result, I rushed to the bathroom!

It happened last night.

We had a happy hour event after work, and I was struggling to stay awake.

Thankfully, my Shirley Temple gave me a sugar rush to keep my eyes open!

Anyway, I was super hungry and couldn't figure out what I wanted to eat (per usual).

All of the appetizers sounded like heart burn and a tummy ache, so I had my coworker pick our app.

He went with Irish Nachos: steak fries with cheese, sour cream, and pico de gallo.

It makes me want to puke just describing it...

I had two bites and Nemo was pissed.

I rushed to the bathroom and collapsed to the ground. No one was in the bathroom at the time, so that was a plus...

Then (stop reading if you have a sensitive stomach), I looked over at the wall and saw what appeared to be poo smeared on the wall.

That's it.

It all came up...and the door opened up.

Wonderful, I look like a drunk girl who can't keep it together at 6 pm.

My makeup was running down my cheeks and my eyes were watering. My throat was burning.

I looked in the mirror:

"This is real life," I said.

And then I realized the girl next to me lot only thinks I am drunk...but also crazy for talking to myself.

I fixed my makeup, popped in a piece of gum, and ordered 4 more large waters...

Pregnant or not, I don't think anyone should eat pico de gallo on fries.

Consider yourself warned.

Much love,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Napping In Elevators

What has my life come to?

I literally took a nap in the elevator.

Everyone keeps telling me that I'll get my energy back again soon.

I'm counting down....the seconds...until my burst of energy arrives again.

This morning I told Scott (a close friend and coworker) that I took a nap on the elevator. And that I'm completely exhausted.

"This is a lesson, Ashley," Scott said. "Even though you don't know it yet. This is a lesson that whether this baby is in you or not, he or she will always take all your energy. Your life is over, Ashley."

Of course Scott was trying to make me laugh, but he has a point.

Being a mom means the baby comes first.


And no matter how tired I am, I'll always wake up to help, feed, change, or snuggle with our little one.

It's only just begun!

Much love,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pregnancy Symptoms + Ashley

"Welcome back!" Justin told me this afternoon. "I am happy to see you awake and moving."

Awake and moving- those are two interesting concepts these days.

I'm blessed to say that my number one pregnancy symptom is fatigue. Maybe I shouldnt' use the word "blessed" because my on-the-go personality is going crazy with a 7 pm bedtime.

But honestly, I probably needed this rest.

My body definitely needed the rest.

And so did my marriage. I forgot how much I love just laying around with Justin. Nothing to do except for snuggle up and debate who killed Allison on Pretty Little Liars. 

Anyway, I am lucky to say that I've had little to no morning sickness.

I haven't thrown up once!

A few times I've felt nauseous, but I drank some water and tried to eat a few crackers. If that doesn't work, I just take some TUMS and fall asleep. 

Friday evening was the worst. I had heartburn from eating spicy soups at work earlier in the day. The only thing that sounded good was a grilled cheese, campbell's chicken noddle soup, and a Sprite. Thankfully Justin went to the store and whipped me up a dinner perfect for someone with the flu.

Saturday I tuned into a bear in hibernation! I truly slept / laid around watching the rest of Pretty Little Liars (yes, I'm addicted). The only time I got up and moving was around 6 pm. I went to pick up my pre-natal vitamins. Justin also called and asked me to pick up some lemons for my blueberry-lemon water. 

Of course, I ended up picking up two bags of chips, chip dip, cake mix, icing, and stuff to make rice crispy treats. I'm happy to report that I didn't eat all of these foods for dinner. Instead, I spent the night baking for the Super Bowl festivities.  

So in terms of craving, nothing has really taken over my life. I can tell you that the thought of Taco Bell makes me want to vomit on the spot. And my favorite snack is Special K cereal

So let's talk about mood swings. Yes, I have them. And sorry for anyone who has been in my path during one of my breakdowns- I'm sorry...there is probably more to come.

I am usually a pretty emotional person, but now I find myself crying at more things than usual. 

I cried at the end of the Butler game a few weeks ago. I don't even follow college basketball. I can't name a single player on the Butler team.

I cry during EVERY Hallmark commerical. 

I cried when I saw a man running with his dog. Seriously- just a normal dog. And a normal guy. But they looked happy, so I cried. Maybe it's because I miss running (it's hard to run when you are sleeping).

I cry when I don't know what I want to eat. Or when nothing sounds good. Or if I see a sign for Taco Bell.

I cried when I heard a Lady Gaga song on the radio the other day. I have no clue where she is and that makes me sad. 

Anyway, here is your recap:
  • I'm a sloth.
  • I haven't spent one evening beside the toilet
  • I'm obsessed with figuring out who killed Allison from Pretty Little Liars. 
  • Taco Bell makes me want to curl into a ball and cry.
  • Because I cry about everything.
My doctor has been listed as "high risk" still- so that means I'm visiting them for an ultrasound and doctor visit every two weeks. I'll explain more tomorrow. Don't fret- I'm doing just fine and Nemo is definitely growing like a tumbleweed!

Much love,