My heart is full…

Well, I have spent the week recovering from my weekend. My weekend was amazing. So amazing that no amount of words is going to do it justice. It was my family baby shower. I was surrounded by so many amazing women. Let me preface this by saying this family is amazing because of this matriarch….

Gramma Kerrigan

Gramma Kerrigan

This is my dad’s mother. We called her Gramma Kerrigan. She passed away last May, and her presence is missed every single day. My gramma married my dad’s dad, Bob, and they had five children, (including my dad), and then at the age of 36, my dad’s dad passed away from a heart attack. A bit later, my gramma remarried a man, named Jim Kerrigan, who was a widow with TEN children. They were now the parents of 15 children, and then together they had THREE more! They are affectionately called “the little girls.” So, as you can see, I have a BIG family. And the best part, is we are a close knit family, that likes to celebrate together. Our weddings are epic, and our showers are gigantic.

With all of these aunts and uncles, you can imagine, I have so many cousins. As we’ve gotten older, our age differences have seemed smaller, and we all hang out together at events. When we were younger, and age differences were a bit more obvious, I was in a middle age group. There was a group of cousins 4-5 years older than me, and a group of cousins 3-5 years younger than me. So, my choice was always to hang out with my aunts. I LOVED hanging out with my aunts. They are all so funny, and beautiful, and fun to be around. They never made me feel like I Was annoying them, they just let me hang out with them. From each of them, I have learned to appreciate different things, and I truly believe my personality and who I am today is a melding of all of them. There is something I love and admire in each and every one of them.

Well, this past weekend, my dad’s sister’s Carol and “Aunt B” (as I nicknamed her when I was little), threw this most amazing shower for me. They did so with the help of so many of my cousins, aunts, and second cousins. I know because I witnessed this amazing feat being put together. My Aunt Carol lives in the most beautiful house in Bath, Ohio and hosted the shower at her home. My mom, myself, and Ava went up Saturday night for the “pre=party” or food preparation part of the shower. Many of my aunts, cousins, and second cousins came for the party and helped until late in the evening.

The next morning, I was to stay upstairs in my room until the downstairs was ready, so that I could walk down and be surprised. And, surprised I was. Overwhelmed. I thought my heart was going to burst…
My aunts and cousins had put so much LOVE, THOUGHT, EFFORT, and HEART into the shower.

My nursery is a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, and they took this theme and did amazing things with it. It started with me coming down the steps, and seeing my aunts with butterfly wings on….

01f18304361f27844992c2302ca1b37f94c2a2f843

You can see I am holding a picture made my cousin’s daughter, Maya. She is 4, and made it for the nursery. I just LOVE it.

015274efd254c28eaede5ff5b07e00771d5f84155f

They set up the food so that it was what the caterpillar ate each day in the book by Eric Carle!! And I will let th pictures speak for themselves!

01a2a1289ff951d9a7c2ae43eaf0301920054e2a3a

01a20d083f1ff0c57ff71591d122d4f892f5f2784d

01c6a657c37ccb6cfab9ab43a347d17a4468edddd1

01cafd8ecb09807695393de2557a029cdedab76d8c

01d95dd1f0ef34e912de9936b81fc270aa9de36fca

01d856bd73f527b931d1dd508dd54599dea104931c

01d71766e78216969b1f534c3e4aca48328fcd0ebf

01d78166c862f05442f17ba6ff26a5f18416fd2d70

01dcba40bbeb72220e3f72a6a1719c0a225f3618b1

01f6ea775c37f06076cb7422f15c2bd01a1d875a29

01f30b58429829a20c990987e65ab6fbc3678323af

019fa9f780c545b11ad0a0c2d94b830c4a5b36238d

0104d94d456097f057257c39562cff2291ee8b4719

0145a64aece248ab2d1605c003d19c89334db56a5f

0184d4c734ecd2916f307ebf8592999df9c7877a41

01039beb0010afecd46ab1d68f70106dd52c2ebcb1

010890e248c4822893b8b7ed80aee05e63ff12e6f3

014951192bf60d6879250100fa2b3f5afaa0d05f50

And then these amazing homemade gifts….

01dd5a7489b4e4d7c100ac67b0352dad38de751566

01ecdd2ad01c3d019789ed1a80e8b2c230a53d7026

017b82ed07277afccd252cbd7c7ffbcfc11715364a

0191fa49bb4651694cb36e4d83e2feab7ccba7baf9

And also, this adorable handmade caterpillar outfit. I have looked at these on Etsy a million times, and have wanted to buy one so badly, but they are so expensive. WELP, my COUSIN, Amy, made it for me. I just LOVE it. I cant wait to get the newborn pictures in it!!!

0196fa609e663fd179b8217ce0e4eea7e618a61a62

The last gift I opened was extra special. It was from my Aunt Angie, who is one of the “little girls,” and actually the youngest of the 18 siblings. She gave me one of those recordable books from Hallmark where you record your voice, but instead of her voice it was my Gramma Kerrigan’s voice. It is amazing, and I love listening to it. It will be a very special gift for Baby Allman.

0139deef900942a71cda2477a967cdfcc68df4d4f1

I am so grateful for this weekend, and I can not thank my aunts enough for their generosity and love and thoughtfulness. I loved every single minute of this weekend!!!

ooxoxoxoxo,
Beth WA

Before pictures, and a sneak preview….

Well, the nursery is very close to being finished. We have a few things we need to hang on the walls, and I need a changing table (mostly for the storage underneath). I registered for one, but if I don’t get it I am going to use my gift cards to purchase it. I really want to purchase it right now, but I am waiting until after my family shower in a week and a half. When it is complete I will post pictures. But, for now, I was going to post some before pictures of the room, and one sneak preview picture….

IMG_3832IMG_3831IMG_3830IMG_3829IMG_3828

Please notice the BRIGHT red walls. HA HA.

And here is a sneak preview of the after….

pin board very hungry caterpillar

I can’t help but feel so amazingly and abundantly blessed. After years of unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, and hundreds upon hundreds of negative pregnancy tests, it seems like just yesterday I finally saw this faint pink line…

First test

And now, we are less than two months away from meeting this little bambino who is going to profoundly change our lives, and I just can NOT wait. I am trying to enjoy each day of summer before the baby, but it is hard not to be super excited.
I am starting to feel really connected to the baby, talking to it, and watching it move my belly in weird ways. For a long time, I avoided feeling a connection because I think I was trying to protect myself because we had suffered a pregnancy loss the first time around. But, after my scare on Monday, I realized that I am all in and already connected beyond my comprehension. While it was happening, I was so panicked and protective, and freaked out. I knew my motherly instincts were kicking in.

I can’t believe I am going to be a mom.

So happy.

Thanks for reading!!
xoxoxxo,
Beth WA

Howdy Strangers!

Wow. Over a month since the last entry.
It’s hard for me to write a blog entry just for the sake of writing a journal entry. I have to have something to say. And, this morning, I had some things I wanted to share.

I love egg nog. Loooovvvee it.
So, every holiday season I order Egg Nog flavored coffee online. And I just have to say, if you like egg nog, you will love this. I ESPECIALLY love it mixed with a bit of frothed Italian Sweet Cream by Coffeemate. Yummmmo.
Here is a picture of the box.

20131207-095207.jpg

Speaking of the holidays, I have to say, it is my favorite time of year. I love Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and decorations. I love seeing peoples’ houses all decorated for this joyous time of year. Here is our Christmas tree this year. I love it because it is filled with ornaments full of memories of Christmas’ past. I know some people like fancy trees with all matching ornaments, or some type of theme. But, that is not for me. I am a nostalgic person, and I like to have ornaments that are attached to a memory.

20131207-095404.jpg

And lastly, this past Thanksgiving was one of my best ever. It was so relaxing, and so full of family bonding. I also did a 5K (Walk) the morning of Thanksgiving which was a nice way to start the day. My inlaws were on vacation, so we also only ate one Thanksgiving meal this year, and it really made me appreciate the food that much more, and I felt less like I was going to explode. However, we did miss my inlaws, so we are celebrating tomorrow!
The best part of Thanksgiving was that my brother and his family came into town for a whole week! I got to spend time with Ava, and that was awesome.
The day after Thanksgiving, my brother, Ava, and my cousin’s daughter, Maya, went to a children’s museum near our house. They are so hilarious together because they are both so expressive and life experiencers. They get into everything, and just have fun together despite their age differences.
Here is a picture of the two of them dressed like the Wright Brothers. HA HA.

20131207-095735.jpg

I could look at this picture a million times. And I die laughing each time.

And lastly, I checked my messages on my iPad last night and there were 10 videos from Ava. I was so excited, especially when I realized what they were. It was a Christmas concert. She sang 10 Christmas carols. It was hilarious. I will share the first one, only because she doesn’t read my blog. I am sure she will kill me when she is a teenager. Ha HA.

CRAP! I don’t know how to add videos. I have to figure it out then insert it. But, for now, I have to go shower and get stuff done!

I hope you all have a glorious Friday!!!

xoxoxo
Beth WA

Day 2 of Feeling Good

So, it is Sunday, and it is the day we set our clock backs one hour, here in Ohio. And tomorrow, I don’t have to be any where until 10 AM. This is called looking at the bright side of tomorrow, because I have a conference for work in Cincinnati (about an hour and a half from where I live), and I was going to sleep at my bff, Liz’s house tonight and then go to the conference. Liz lives in Cincinnati close to where the conference is located. But, I have to go to my doctor tomorrow, so I am missing the sleepover and half of the conference.
So, as I said in the beginning of this paragraph, looking on the bright side – I don’t have to be any where until 10 AM tomorrow.

Today will be full of reading magazines.

20131103-094139.jpg

Catching up on my Feedly feed.

20131103-094741.jpg

Doing laundry.
Grading (so much grading!).
Working out (First time in weeks!)
Cleaning.
Paperwork.
Watch DVR. (if I put this on my to do list, it makes it seems like I accomplished something by sitting on my arse watching tv)

This morning my husband made me breakfast. He is so good at making scrambled eggs. They are so fluffy. This picture isn’t pretty, but trust me, it was delicious. They were topped with Monterey Jack cheese, freshly shredded (so much better than pre-shredded).
And the toast has Trader Joe’s Apricot Preserves. I probably should have only had one piece of toast…but I tracked it all on Fitness Pal.

20131103-094829.jpg

My mother, brother and I are all using the site now, so that has been cool. And my dad is using another app, Lose it. It is nice when we are all trying to lose weight because we eat together often.

Well, I am off to read feedly and watch DVR for a bit…
I hope everybody is having a great Sunday!!

xoxoox,
beth wa

Unbearable heaviness of life

Life is weird for me. I will go through a stage where everything in life feels hard – house work, school, sleeping, and just everything. The best way I can describe it is just feels like every thing is heavy.

Then, one day, I just wake up and I don’t feel it any more. Suddenly, life is more manageable sounding. I have motivation to accomplish things, and I actually feel like counting my calories and exercising. It’s weird.

Today was the day I woke up with that light feeling. Actually, it started yesterday.

Last night my niece facetimed me from Texas to share her amazing report card and an award she received.

Here are some snippets of that conversation.

20131102-103051.jpg

20131102-103058.jpg

20131102-103104.jpg

20131102-103109.jpg

20131102-103120.jpg

When she showed me her award, she was sure say, “Bethie, not everybody got these!” Ha ha. I was glad she was showing pride in her grades and school performance because up until recently, I don’t think she understood that she is a really good student.

Also, I didn’t quite catch the picture when she mooned me!!! I was her first mooning recipient. Her parents and I died laughing. She is so damn funny.

Well, my husband is off this weekend for the first time in 4 weekends – so we are going to hang out – do some yard work, etc.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday.

xoxoxo,
Beth WA

The stars at night….

….are big and bright… (clap clap clap) deep in the heart of Texas.

I just had a whirlwind weekend surprising my girl, Ava, in Texas for her birthday. My brother and dad split the cost of a ticket for me to come see her as a surprise for her birthday. She was SOOO excited. She screamed and hugged me over and over. She just couldn’t believe I was there.

I got to go to a birthday party of a classmate’s with her, I got to go to *her* birthday party with classmates, I got to see her score her team’s first soccer goal of the season!, and got to smooch her whenever I wanted!

Here are some pictures of my darling girl from this weekend.

20131007-212406.jpg

20131007-212415.jpg

20131007-212422.jpg

It was so good to see her, but I was sad to say goodbye. And I was pooped from a busy weekend.
Luckily I had to day off because of a doctor’s appointment, but I spent most of the day on the couch recuperating.

Oh, here is one delicious food find I found at the H E B grocery store in Houston that I am sad I can not find here in Ohio.

20131007-212708.jpg

It was creamy, full fat greek yoghurt. And I had it for breakfast and it filled me up for several hours.

Well, I am off. I can’t wait to go to sleep for the night! I am exhausted.
xoxox,,
Beth WA

Catch up time.

Man Alive. I have missed blogging. Every day I am thinking of all of these things I want to blog. Then, the day gets away from me.
This past week was the last week of school, and to say it was busy is an understatement. You see, the last day of school was preceded by the death of my grandma. My very dear, very amazing, awesome Grandma Kerrigan. I am going to devote a post to Gramma K this week. She deserves her own post. Truly.
Updates:
School: So, I was out of school on Friday because of the funeral, and it was a 3 day weekend, and then Tuesday I was off because of a doctor’s appointment. So, I came back Wednesday and it was like I came back in the middle of a roller coaster ride, but in the middle of the down part of the biggest hill. I had to get awards, report cards, and the end of the year stuff all finished as soon as possible. But, alas, I got it done. HA HA. And now, I am in the first weekend of summer break. I have to go to school this week to finish things up and for a few meetings, but that is not stressful.

Weight Watchers: I completely jumped off the WW wagon the week I started my first cycle with the specialist. I have gained 4-5 lbs and started back on the wagon yesterday. I feel much better already. I was starting to feel like crap every single day, and the more I felt like crap, the more I fed myself crap. And the more crap I ate and felt like, I didn’t exercise at all. It’s a downward spiral for me, but what I’ve noticed now, is I am able to get back to it after only a few weeks and a few pounds, and not let it turn into a year and 20 lbs. I am hoping to undo that damage by the end of the week or the middle of next week.
I did a meal plan for the week, and went grocery shopping. I always spend way too much money at the grocery store. I need to work on that.
For real.

I am trying to cut down on my carbohydrates, as directed by my doctor and as I know I need to do. I was not cutting down on carbs the last few weeks, in fact, it was as if I was trying to set a world record for most carbs eaten. : )

Infertility: We are in the middle of our first monitored cycle with the specialist. Keep your fingers crossed. Interestingly enough, my blood tests revealed that while my thyroid is normal for regular life – for fertility it was a little lower than the doctor wanted. I am on a low dose of thyroid medicine. Also, he upped my Metformin because of my testing. These were all messages to me that I need to continue my WW journey, and eating lower carb, and healthfully. I know that most of my issues are related to my weight, and rather than just self loathe, I am working on making the necessary changes. Self Loathing does not get you any where, but eating healthy, and exercising gets you in a good place mentally and physically. Plus, clothes look much cuter and feel better. : )
So, keep your fingers crossed that this is the summer that baby Allman is created.

Life: Well, I still miss my brother and his family like crazy. They were here last week for a week, and this visit did not help matters. It just made me miss them more. I feel lucky that I got to spend a lot of time with them. It was really nice to see them. I was supposed to go to Houston for a week at the end of June, but with this whole infertility thing, I am land locked. It is really upsetting to me, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Well, the hopeful part of me knows that.
The good news is that Ava, my niece, is coming to Ohio on June 12th for SIX WEEKS!!! It’s going to be so great to be with her this summer and swim, hang out, go to the zoo, and do other fun things.
My mom is having hip replacement surgery on June 24th. It can not come soon enough. She is absolutely miserable. She can not walk without a walker, and is in constant pain that is only dulled by medication, but not eliminated. She was going to try to put the surgery off until August, but decided ASAP was better. I am so glad, because it is hard to see her so miserable.

And lastly, TODAY IS MY PARENTS’ 40th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!
FORTY.
YEARS.

We are celebrating tonight with a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Thai 9.

I have about 15 loads of laundry to do, so I am off to do that.
Have a good Sunday!!
xoxox,
Beth WA