19 weeks

Dear Little Arrow,

Congratulations! We’re nearly halfway to your due date. I can’t believe that in a few short days we’ll find out if you’re a boy or girl. Either way, your daddy and I love you so very much and can’t wait to meet you. I might have already started shopping for a few outfits (and shoes) for you–don’t tell dad.

Right before we headed out to celebrate New Year's Eve. Welcome to your birth year, little one!
Right before we headed out to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Welcome to your birth year, little one!

We had an appointment with our midwife last week and she asked if I had felt you move yet. I was told that because of the placement of the placenta it might take a little longer. I hadn’t felt much up until then, but in the last few days you have been moving up a storm. You seem to enjoy early morning and late night dance parties. I love it.

You were so good while we were in Taiwan! I experienced little morning sickness (I mostly blame car sickness and seasickness for any feelings of malaise) and really enjoyed our time there. I was worried about the change of scenery and food for you, but you seemed to enjoy everything and didn’t cause any trouble. I like you already.

Your daddy talking to you during a quick break in filming.
Your daddy talking to you during a quick break in filming.

In three short days we find out whether you’re a little girl or boy. Your dad and I have been kicking around a few names for you but we probably won’t settle on one until we see you face-to-face. We want to make sure that the name fits you.

We can’t wait to see your cute little profile on the ultrasound. Until then, sweet one.

Life lately.

November and December have come and gone and to say that the last two months have been a whirlwind would be a complete understatement. We’ve encountered and accomplished incredible feats since my last post. The most important being the fact that I am now 19 weeks pregnant-nearly halfway done!

Our Little Arrow seems to be doing well. Just in the past few days I have started to feel little kicks and movements. It seems that the little one is especially active in the mornings and at night. Dad has yet to feel anything from the outside but I’m sure those will come in the next few weeks.

This baby is already quite the adventurer. Not only has our little one technically been to Spain and New York but we just returned from almost a month in Taiwan (with brief stops in South Korea). I think baby is going to LOVE Chinese food.

Speaking of Taiwan, our time there was incredible. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We were in the country to film three episodes of a new TLC show called Fun Taiwan Adventurists. The premise of the show is to explore Taiwan with our host, Janet Hsieh along with two other blogging companions.

As an introvert, spending three and half weeks traveling with complete strangers could have been a recipe for disaster (including multiple emotional and mental breakdowns) but our fellow cast and crew were so down to earth, hilarious, and sweet that by the end of our time, I was heartbroken to leave them.

With our host, Janet and our two fellow bloggers, Charles and Haleigh.
With our host, Janet and our two fellow bloggers, Charles and Haleigh.

Some of my favorite memories from our time in Taiwan came from our long and winding car rides through the mountains where we talked about everything from life goals to worst bathroom stories. Let’s just say that we became really close.

So much fun and laughter with this crew!
So much fun and laughter with this crew!

I was worried that the morning sickness and intense nausea from my first trimester was going to carry into my second, but let me tell you, I’ve been feeling like a million bucks! The second trimester has been awesome and I feel like a human being again, albeit a slightly chubbier one.

I’ll have more on our time in Taiwan in the next few weeks. There’s so much to cover! We also find our whether Little Arrow is a boy or a girl later this week. There’s a very low key party in the works and I’ll be sure to post as soon as we find out. It’ll be nice to be able to say “he” or “she” instead of “it”.

New York

As a little birthday treat, the mister decided that we should take a trip to New York to visit our good friends that we hadn’t seen in almost a year. We didn’t have a ton of time but we finally agreed that five days in the city would do us some good. And honestly, it was just what we needed.

Our only two goals were to see our friends and eat good food. Mission accomplished. We managed to eat delicious Italian food at Frank, demolish Doughnut Plant’s PB&J doughnut, indulge in a giant scoop at Big Gay Ice Cream, eat way too many fries at The Grange, buy out all the cookies at the Momofuku Milk Bar, and top it off with spicy ramen and buns at the Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Doughnut Plant's glorious PB&J doughnut
Doughnut Plant’s glorious PB&J doughnut

Eating aside, we were able to spend quality time with the people we love. We even met up with another travel blogger, Dani, who we had previously seen in Finland and Sri Lanka as well as one of our best friends, Ashley who was thrilled (and hilariously shocked) when we told her of the new adventurer on the way.

This trip–albeit short–was exactly what we needed. Here’s to hoping we make it back once more before the baby arrives.

visiting NYC while pregnant

A message from your daddy

Today we went in for our second appointment. At ten weeks, I’m starting to feel a little better and the morning sickness is starting to subside. I met my midwife, whom I love and was even able to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. Chris came along for most of the appointment and relaxed in the waiting room while I finished my checkup.

Once I was all finished, he showed me this. A letter to our little one that he wrote while waiting for me.

Dear Arrow,

I just heard your heartbeat! Holy smokes. (Let’s be honest, I wanted to say “holy shit” but I’m trying to cuss less with you around. You are the size of a cumquat today and still deep inside your mommy’s tummy. Never the less our midwife held the super microphone on mommy’s tummy and we heard your heartbeat, loud and clear. You’re going to have such a strong heart. A pure heart, a true and valiant heart. Unrelenting to danger and full of mercy. I want to hear your heart beat for the rest of my life.

 We call you little Arrow because your mom read Psalm 127:5, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”

You are my little arrow and I am so proud of the person you will become. Scared shirtless (shitless) but so excited to meet you.

I heard your heartbeat today and it is the only sound I ever want to hear now.

I love you, 

Dad

Hearing baby's heartbeat for the first time
Daddy in the waiting room after hearing your heartbeat.

*This post was originally written on November 4th, 2015. 

Hello, little one.

Our little arrow,

You are loved.

You are so incredibly loved.

I can’t believe that we’ve only known about your presence for two weeks yet you’ve already rocked our world. As soon as I wake up, you are on my mind. And before I go to sleep, I imagine your little face and how you’re going to impact our lives.

If it wasn’t for the extreme all-day nausea and constant fatigue, we might not even know of your presence. Unlike my mom, I’m experiencing “morning” sickness (what a joke–as it lasts all day) and I feel like you’re already breaking the mold.

You are already an explorer. You’ve been on at least four plane rides, one motorcycle (and sidecar), and one hot air balloon ride. You’ve tasted Barcelona (and maybe even Hawaii).

When your daddy and I think of you, we dream of all of the places we want to take you. We want you to feel the sun on your face on Oahu. We want to feed you tiny bites of crepes in Paris. We want your first steps to be on the familiar streets of South Korea.

Regardless of the places you see in your life, we know that this is going to be one of the best adventures yet. You have already changed us for the better and you’ve only been around for mere weeks.

So while we don’t know whose eyes you’ll have, or if you’re a boy or a girl, what we do know is that we love you so much already. And we can’t wait to meet you.

Love,

Your mama

 

 

*This post was written only weeks after finding out about our pregnancy. As we approach the second trimester, I’ve decided to finally press “publish” on a few of the posts I’ve written since discovering we were pregnant. 

Your dad.

The best husband in the world. Hands down.

Our dear Little Arrow,

You’re seven and a half months out from meeting him, but you should probably know ahead of time that you have the best dad in the world. He’s been loving on you and worrying about you ever since we were aware of your existence.

As soon as I wake up, he brings me a glass of water and a bag of saltine crackers. He’s been so patient at helping me narrow down any and all foods that sound remotely enjoyable. Even if that means heading to three different grocery stores to track them down.

Today, I wanted to do something nice for him. It’s been over a week since I have been functional around the house. I promised him that I would clean the bathroom in the next few days. It was supposed to be a nice gesture, something that he wouldn’t have to worry about. You know what he did? He cleaned the entire bathroom while I napped. Not because he had to. Not because he couldn’t wait until I did it tomorrow. No. He did it so that I didn’t have to.

Your dad is a loving, selfless, passionate man. He is my rock and he’ll be yours too. So, while I know your first few weeks might be a little hectic, please go easy on him. He’ll most likely be taking care of the both of us.

 

 

*This post was written a few weeks after we found out about our pregnancy. As we approach the second trimester, I’ve decided to roll out a few of my previously unpublished posts. 

A new adventure.

My life with Chris has been packed with more adventure than I ever thought possible. Since meeting on a study abroad trip to Tanzania, we’ve lived (for over two years!) in South Korea, started our own business, seen so much of the world, planted roots in Washington state, and even made a baby.

Wait. What was that last part?

We’re pregnant. 

Seeing it in perfectly typed text makes is somehow seem even more real.

We’re pregnant. 

We found out the day after we returned home from Spain. Since it’s so very early in this pregnancy, we’ve decided to only tell our close friends and family until after the first trimester (when I’ll inevitably press “publish” on this post).

For now, we’re relishing in this precious little secret of ours. We have some big adventures planned for this sweet little one and can’t wait to see what memories we make along the way.

 

*I wrote this post just days after finding out we were pregnant. As we quickly approach the second trimester I’m going to start pressing “publish” on the baby related posts I’ve been saving. 

Southwest Quinoa Bowl

Confession: I have a new delicious obsession.

It’s quinoa. I had relatively no contact with this grain before my cousin Olivia’s beautiful wedding last year. She was trying out recipes for their reception and I gladly volunteered as a test subject. One of the first concoctions she made was a ridiculously good quinoa salad. I’ve been enamored ever since.

After a year of pleading, Olivia finally relinquished her recipe to me and I’ve probably made this quinoa bowl bi-monthly ever since.

As it’s summertime, I decided now was the time to pass on this refreshing recipe to you. Feel free to add cilantro for some added zest. I hate the stuff and tend to only serve it on the side.

Best Quinoa Salad Recipe

 

Ingredients:

One 12oz can of black beans

One cup dry quinoa

Three tablespoons of red wine vinegar

One tablespoon of soy sauce

One tablespoon lime juice

One minced chipotle in adobo

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Six chopped green onions

One diced small red onion

One diced yellow bell pepper

One can of corn

Recipe for the best quinoa bowl

Prep:

Cook quinoa by combining it with two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and cover until all the water is gone. Let cool.

Dressing:

In a large bowl, whisk red wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, and minced chipotle. Slowly incorporate olive oil till all is blended.

Finish:

Add beans, quinoa, green onions, bell pepper, red onion, and corn. Toss with the dressing and season to taste. Add avocado slices if you’re feeling fancy.

Recipe for the best quinoa salad bowl

Easy right? I’ll have more quinoa recipes coming your way as I continue to experiment. Do you have a favorite recipe? I would love to hear all about it in the comment section below!

Posted in Eat

Small token, big love.

When we first started dating, Chris would often pick me up from my house with a fistful of flowers, presumably picked from our university’s campus or from one of my un-suspecting neighbors. I thought it was cute back then but really didn’t think much of it.

Last week while we were vacationing on the Oregon coast, we spent an afternoon clamming. As he was returning from a trip to the car, I saw him approach with something in his hand. He walked right up to me and handed me this beautiful daisy.

This little token of his affections means infinitely more to me now that it did seven years ago. It means that he was thinking of me. Even while on the simple task of fetching something from the car, he saw this flower and thought of me and picked it-for no other reason than to show his love.

I’ve learned not to take these little gifts for granted. I can’t tell you how much I adore and appreciate this man.

A small symbol of love on the Oregon coast

The at home blues

The mister and I have officially been back from our crazy travels for an entire month and for some reason it’s been exceptionally hard this time around to pull ourselves out of our “at home funk.”

As perpetual travelers, this is a side effect that we’re accustomed to but it typically only lasts a week or so. I’m the worst at it as it takes me a few days to unpack my suitcase and begin to mentally prepare myself for the work and catching up we have ahead of us.

It didn’t help that I caught a nasty bug right before we flew home and spent our first two weeks at home in bed and barely able to move.

With the amount of work only piling up higher and higher, I’ve decided that it’s time to take off my pity party hat and strap on the big girl pants. Now to just find a coffee cup that’s big enough. Maybe I’ll invest in a bucket.

It's coffee time

How do you pull yourself out of a funk? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.