Category Archives: life

Post-injury running update

Hello! Wanted to pop in quickly to do a little update since I am officially running again! Not much and definitely sloooooow, but I’m happy to be pain free, finally!

Dr. Travis McCathie (who is a miracle-worker and super awesome – shout out to Tracy for the recommendation) gave me the “all-clear” to run again on November 22 and on November 24, I ran for the first time in 52 days.

I ran for 20 minutes and surprisingly, cardio-wise I felt pretty good! My legs, however, protested almost from the very beginning. Instead of running, I took the dog on a 2.3 mile walk the next day and ran again for 20 minutes the day after that. It went about as well as the first run, but I felt tired. I took four days off before running again and in those four days, it was a struggle to get through the day, my body felt sore and a lot of my adrenal fatigue symptoms reemerged.

A trip to see my acupuncturist, along with some herbs, paying really close attention to my diet (AKA EATING LESS SUGAR) and a renewed effort to get a solid eight hours of sleep at night, and I started to feel better. I ran again on December 1st and 3rd and increased my time to, wait for it, 23 MINUTES for each of those runs!

Then, on December 5th, something happened. It snowed and got cold AF and I haven’t run since. But what being injured (and tbh, a lack of motivation to run outside in the cold) brought back to my life is the reminder that I love working out and I love variety! Case in point: After a group rock climbing event with my Oiselle teammates, I’ve been climbing once per week and recently invested in my own gear. I love it!

I also started up with a hot yoga practice again at my old studio in Bloomington and it makes me SO HAPPY. I’m only going once per week right now, but it’s one of the things I most look forward to each week and I know the heat and sweating is so good for my body.

Also, last night was the best spin workout I’ve had in years. The instructor had great energy and we got a full-body workout with a weight bar for our arms and core and I loved the variety of sprints and hills throughout class.

Last, but not least, I finally feel like I’ve got a routine down with self-care and strength training at home. Every evening I do something – alternating between foam rolling/stretching, a quick strength circuit, core, PT exercises, etc.

While, yes, I’m still pretty inconsistent with running these days, I’m cautiously optimistic that I could have some decent races ahead of me this spring. Although this line of thinking inevitably led me to registering for races, when my original plan was to wait until Feb. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Recap: Fall Great Lakes Bird Camp (AKA the greatest weekend ever)

Man, I’m coming down off of my bird camp high and it’s not pretty. So I stayed up late last night to write this and relive #allthememories. Sorry in advance that this is so long:

Friday

I rushed around all morning finishing up some last minute work, dropping off the little guy at daycare and packing and unpacking and changing my mind on everything I packed. Before I knew it, Amanda texted that she was out front! We headed to the airport to meet up with the other drivers and birds who had flown in from out of town.

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

We made a quick stop for lunch and then I had the privilege of getting to know Courtney and Amanda (who are both so lovely and wonderful) better in the car on the way up. After we arrived and checked in, we headed out for a short group run. It felt good to shake out the legs after a few hours in the car.

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The rest of the evening was a lot of fun reconnecting with the other Minnesota birds who I already knew (including my roommates: Megan, Jessy, Ali and Lisa) and making introductions with some new faces at the welcome reception! Next up was dinner and then we gathered for our two sessions that evening.

The first session was super timely since I’ve been really focusing on cleaning up my diet as of late: Rasa Troup, Olympian and Minnesota Vikings nutritionist spoke about fueling for runs (and life).  Next, Oiselle Haute Volee Anna Weber talked about how your dreams don’t need to have prerequisites and/or deadlines. She talked about her story of putting a hold on her “regular life” to train full time to work towards qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon. It was cool to hear about her ups and downs, what her training looks like and then spend the rest of the weekend with her, getting to know her better.

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Rasa, talking nutrition

Next it was bonfire time! I stayed awake longer than I thought I’d be able to, chatting with other birds and then headed to bed to rest up for another jam-packed day.

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In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

Saturday

We got up and headed to breakfast bright and early. Afterwards, the rest of the group headed out for a short run. I wasn’t planning to run (because of my hip), so I grabbed my Kindle, a blanket and a coffee and curled up on a bench outside of my cabin. It was a crisp morning, but sunny, so it was super relaxing to do some reading by the lake.

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Once everyone got back, we reconvened at our meeting place — a blue ox statue near the main resort lodge to walk over to the high ropes course at Clearwater Forest. This was one of the activities I was most excited about. I hadn’t done anything like this since maybe sixth grade (?) and I had no idea if I was going to get up there and freak out, but I was hoping I’d be able to complete the course. I was one of the last to go, and I found myself getting more excited after watching everyone else having so much fun! I was so impressed — even a few birds who were nervous, they still made their way up the course. Once you got up there, the most fun way down was to zipline! It made me want to try it again!

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Once we got back to the resort, we had lunch and then walked over to the leaders’ cabin area for a bootcamp class. Amanda led us through an intense two rounds of lunges, squats, jumping jacks, commandos, sprinting, etc. etc. I was definitely feeling it afterwards.

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Next on the agenda was mini golfing, human foosball and froyo, but first things first, we took a team photo by a leaping deer, because…Deerwood.

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Roommate photo!

Roommate photo!

Traditions Mini Golf is the CUTEST place and they also are one of (I think, four) places in the country with a human foosball arena. AND they have froyo!

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Human foosball. I wasn’t wearing the right shoes to participate 😦

After dinner, we all gathered for a Oiselle trunk show where Heather showed off some current pieces AND some sneak peeks of things coming soon. I swear I could hear my bank account crying while she was showing a gorgeous new vest and winter jacket.

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New lux glovessss

We ended the night with another bonfire party!

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Sunday

I woke up to an amazing sunrise, which made it a bit easier to get my butt out of bed. The long run was taking place at the Cuyuna State Park, which was about 25 minutes away, so we all piled into a few cars to drive over.

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I was only planning to run about five miles, so I ran with Jessy for the first half of her run and then I headed back to the parking lot to take in the views for awhile with Laura and Carrie while waiting for everyone else to finish.

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Once we got back to the resort, I took a quick shower and then we headed to the bonfire area for a group yoga session and it felt SO GOOD. My sore muscles were practically saying “ahhhhhhh” out loud as Rachel guided us through a lovely, restorative 45 minutes in the sunshine, with the lake just a few feet away.

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Next was lunch and then we had some down time. It was a bit chilly and windy, so I opted out of the water recreation activities to take a power nap. Once I woke up, I took a shower and got ready. I went to find caffeine and then sat with some other birds, overlooking the lake.

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At 5 p.m. we gathered at the bonfire area/leaders’ cabin for core work and form drills, led by one of the Haute Volee, the hilarious Becki Spellman.

We also filmed our second #DiscoDanceOff

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Form drills are one of those things I know I should be doing, but I never knew if I was doing them quite right, so this was super helpful! And the core session was awesome because it was interesting to see the kinds of core work an elite does, and it was also informative because Becki really explained HOW to do the exercises to get the most out of them.

After dinner, Jungle Chicken (AKA my friend and former St. Paul neighbor, Erin Ward) gave her talk: I get knocked down…do I get up again? It kicked off with dancing to Chumbawumba. Because, of course it did.

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Somehow, Erin managed to be funny and inspirational and self deprecating all at the same time. I appreciated her openness and honesty — it was the perfect last “talk” of the weekend.

After that heaviness, were all feelin’ the need to dance party and so we did — to JT and 90s hip hop.

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So much fun that this photo turned out blurry

Then, we ordered pizza:

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Monday

Even though breakfast was moved back to 8 a.m., I woke up around 6:15 naturally, but forced myself to go back to sleep until 7. Luckily, when I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I had the foresight to down a bottle of water and take ibuprofen as a precautionary measure. So besides being tired, I woke up feeling fantastic.

After breakfast, we all met at the blue ox for a last group photo and to say some goodbyes (sniff).
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Then, most of the group headed out for a short run, while the rest of us set out to find caffeine. Our plans were thwarted due to the on-site coffee shop’s fall off-season hours, so we drove to Holiday for coffee. While we were there, chocolate donuts were calling our name.

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We enjoyed our donuts and then everyone finished packing up. Before we knew it, it was time to check out and say the rest of our goodbyes.

HUGE THANK YOUS TO:

  • Oiselle – Sally, you and the team have built something incredible. And to Feather, who is the nicest, cutest person and represented HQ well.
  • Leaders: Sheila, Darci, Jana and Tracy – from the first email that went out about camp, I knew this was going to be an amazing experience. It was so well organized and there was a lot of care that went into making sure that every. single. person. had an unforgettable time.
  • Elites: Anna and Becki – Unlike others I’ve met, Becki and Anna were friendly and treated everyone the same, whether they run 7-minute miles or 11-minute miles. Plus, they’re both really funny. And I got some great insight and perspective around my injury issues from Becki during dinner.
  • All of the educational and inspirational speakers!
  • Last, but definitely not least, the amazing women who make up this team. I’m so lucky to call you teammates and friends!

Head up, wings out!

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Day in the life: after baby

I found an unpublished post that apparently I had all ready to go, so note that this is super outdated now! It looks like I wrote this on November 9, so little C was about three months old. I’m planning to do another one this week to see how things have changed 🙂 Enjoy!

I did one of these day in the life posts before baby and for fun, so here’s one after baby! I think I might do a weekend one soon, too, since our days look a lot different when we’re at home with little C all day!

12:57 a.m. – I hear stirring on the baby monitor. I turn over and hope Calvin will put himself back to sleep.

12:59 a.m. – the stirring has turned into aggressive fussing. I get up.

1:01 a.m. – I turn on his red night light, pick him up and start nursing him in the glider. For the middle of the night feedings, I keep the lights off (with the exception of his red night light) and don’t talk to him or anything. With minimal stimulation, he usually goes back to sleep pretty easily.

1:12 a.m. – I can tell he’s comfort nursing at this point, so I gently put him back down. He stirs, ever so slightly, and I creep out of the nursery. I turn the baby monitor back on and go to the kitchen to get my pump parts. Calvin’s been eating more lately at daycare, so I’m back to pumping once in the middle of the night. While pumping, I hear the little guy making some light fussing noises, but he eventually goes to sleep.

1:40 a.m. – back to bed

4:58 a.m. – wake up to fussing on the monitor

5:01 a.m. – repeat the process of quietly picking Calvin up and feeding him until I can tell he’s drifting back to sleep

5:15 a.m. – put Calvin back down and crawl into bed

6:21 a.m. – boooooo, baby’s awake again. I realize that this means he’s up for the day at this point.

6:23 a.m. – head into the nursery and turn on one of the (less bright) lamps. Greet Calvin with a bright and cheery “good morning!” He rewards me with a big, gummy smile and I unswaddle him and let him stretch and wake up a bit more before I turn on another lamp.

6:30 a.m. – we do some tummy time with the creepy stuffed dog that sings songs and says things like “I love you!” (in the creepiest voice ever) and practice grabbing onto things. Calvin tells us some stories AKA babbling.

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6:55 a.m. – diaper change and a quick wipe down with a washcloth. He got a bath the night before (and still smells like the Burt’s Bees baby wash and lotion we use!). I nurse him (more like a snack since he ate last only a couple of hours ago) to get him through until his first bottle at daycare.

7:05 a.m. – It’s PJ day at daycare, so we change him out of his nighttime PJs and into another set up fresh PJs for school! Is there anything cuter than a baby in PJs?

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7:20 a.m. – J gets Calvin buckled in his car seat and I kiss them both goodbye before heading into the kitchen for coffee and oatmeal.

7:25 a.m. – I hear J take off and I eat my breakfast while checking work emails.

7:45 a.m. – shower and finish getting ready for the day

8:30 a.m. – I’m working from home today, so I pump while responding to work emails, doing some editing work, etc.

11:00 a.m. – Another pumping session

11:20 a.m. – Put pumping supplies in a Ziploc baggie in the fridge so I don’t have to wash them after each session and label the milk for daycare.

11:25 a.m. – Find something to eat for lunch. Decide on a leftover creamy, key lime chicken enchilada I made for dinner a couple of nights ago.

11:55 a.m. – Put tonight’s dinner in the crockpot. Tonight, it’s Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken!

2:00 p.m.  – Pump again. My day is pretty much made up of pumping.

3:32 p.m. – I search for a snack and decide on pretzels and a granola bar. I make a mental note to buy some trail mix or something.

4:00 p.m. – Last pumping session of the day. Thank goodness.

5:00 p.m. – finish up a few work-related items, turn the crock pot from low to warm, pour rice and water into the rice cooker, and then leave to pick up the little guy from daycare

5:12 p.m. – arrive at daycare and get the run down from his teachers. It’s the same story every day — he didn’t sleep well. So early bedtime tonight!

5:27 p.m. – arrive back home and Calvin is on the border of losing it. Get him out of the car seat and try to get him in a better mood while I press “start” on the rice cooker.

5:35 p.m. – Calvin is really crabby, so I head to the couch to feed him.

5:42 p.m. – J gets back from his run and finishes up dinner. He steams some broccoli and dishes me up a plate.

5:45 p.m. – I hand off the baby and inhale eat my dinner. J is playing “airplane” with Calvin and I’m waiting for him to spit up all over daddy. Ha.

6:00 p.m. – We switch and J eats dinner while I get sing some songs to little C as I change him into a new pair of PJs. It’s at this point that I realize he’s in the same outfit we sent him to daycare in — score!

6:15 p.m. – J picks out a book to read to Calvin. Tonight it’s one of the books from my childhood — Clifford Gets a Kitten!

6:18 p.m. – I almost die of the cuteness that is J reading to C and C making some cute noises.

6:21 p.m. – story time is going so well, J starts on the second book he picked out, C is for Chafing!

6:22 p.m. – C has had enough and story time comes to an abrupt end.

6:30 p.m. – J says good night to Calvin and we head into the nursery. I turn all of the lights off except for his red night light and nurse him for the (fingers crossed) last time of the day.

6:32 p.m. – I put in my headphones and listen to Sharp Objects on Audible. Man, what a depressing turn from the last book I read, Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?

7:22 p.m – I’m pretty confident that he’s finally out, so I carefully lay him down and turn off the night light.

7:25 p.m. – Swear at the noises coming from the baby monitor.

7:28 p.m. – Finish up a load of laundry and wash the day’s bottles and pump parts

8:00 p.m. – start getting ready for bed. Hang out with J for a bit.

9:00 p.m. – lights out

He’s Here!

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This sweet boy came into this world on August 2, 2015 at 10:10 a.m. — just two days before my due date. Calvin has stolen our hearts and we still can’t believe he’s here!

I’m working on writing up some form of a birth story to share, but in the meantime, I can say that I’ve never worked so hard in my life as I did during my 32+ hour labor and delivery.

Life with a newborn is exhausting and if I’m being honest, the adjustment hasn’t always felt easy. Breastfeeding has been equal parts the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, but also one of the hardest and sometimes lonely. But it’s so worth it and I feel lucky that things are going so well so far.

Thanks for all of the well wishes and congratulatory notes! More coming soon!

Third Trimester Recap: Weeks 31 – 32

50 days to go!

The days during the last couple of weeks have felt like I’m repeatedly going through a series of events that include:

  • Go to bed. Wake up a zillion times because either I have to go to the bathroom or my hip pain causes me to need to change positions.
  • Wake up super early because it’s no use trying to sleep anymore.
  • Be tired all day. If it’s the weekend, take a nap.
  • Eat lots of snacks throughout the day.
  • Drink a ton of water. Pee a million times.
  • Feel so tired by the time 9 p.m. rolls around, I can hardly see straight.
  • Repeat.

I did start seeing a chiropractor during week 31. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! Seriously. Life changing. I’m still having that hip pain at night, but it’s improved and during the day, I’m feeling a lot better than I had been.

This past weekend, some friends threw me a lovely baseball-themed baby shower!

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I loved the activities they had planned. Like, all of the guests created a page of an alphabet book that they later bound and gave to me.

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Guests also got entered into a prize raffle if they brought us a pack of diapers 🙂 I’m feeling more stocked up now!

Of course we all took a selfie with Jen’s selfie stick.

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After getting pregnant again, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a shower, but I’m really glad I did and that I have such amazing friends who wanted to throw me one! And between this shower and my work one, we’re feeling really good about the short list of items we need to go out and buy to absolutely have on hand before baby arrives.

Our 32 week doctor appointment was quick and easy. I got my TDAP booster shot and baby was still head down. Fingers crossed he stays that way! Two more bi-weekly appointments and then they start taking place every week!

Finally, here’s another kitchen progress picture. The cabinets are all installed and some doors are on. And the range is in — it’s SO nice to have an oven again.

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Weeks 31-32 snapshot:

  • My first and second trimester maternity clothes have stopped fitting. Thank goodness for my friend Katrina, who is letting me borrow some clothes to get me through the next month and a half.
  • I walked the Flag Day 5K this past Saturday in 58:34. Definitely slowing down from the last 5K I walked, but felt good for the most part!
  • I’m feeling lots of movement these days. I will never get sick of feeling the punches, kicks and rolls!
  • Overall, I’m feeling very ready for baby to arrive. This past weekend, we got to meet our friends’ brand new adorable baby and then after my shower, I went into major nesting mode and got a bunch of things put away and organized. J also got the rest of the trim up and floating shelves hung up in the nursery. I also had ordered a glider cushion a month ago on Etsy and that arrived this week. Here are a couple of nursery photos!

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Walking for Charlie

This past weekend, 28 humans (including five tiny ones) and two dogs came out as part of Team Charlie to walk the Hope Walks and Rolls 5K to remember Charlie and raise money for Faith’s Lodge.

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It was so special to have so many people there, surrounding us! And of course, it felt extra special to be walking, 28 weeks pregnant with Charlie’s little brother.

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The course was, in fact, not a 5K, but more like 3.7 miles, but we all made it — including my friend who is 38 weeks pregnant (!!!!) and my dad who just had open heart surgery not even three weeks ago. Looking forward to making this an annual event.

After the walk, the parents and J and I went out for lunch and took a quick trip to the Garden of the Sleeping Angels to hang Charlie’s memorial.

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It was a special “Charlie” day I’m sure we’ll always remember.

Day in the Life: Before Baby

I thought it might be kind of fun to do one of those ‘Day in the Life’-type posts, even if just for my own amusement to compare a typical day pre-baby and post-baby. So…here it goes! (PS – my life is not at all interesting. So congrats to you if you make it through this entire post.)

5:48 a.m. – A weird pregnancy dream makes me stir, and my cat (sensing weakness that I might be slightly awake) takes the opportunity to paw at my eyelids and sit on me until I’m fully awake and get out of bed to feed her and the dog.

5:53 a.m. – Turn on the Kuerig and take the dog around the block for a quick walk. This is becoming one of my favorite parts of the day because the neighborhood is quiet and the cool, but pleasant temps help wake me up.

6:00 a.m. – I “brew” a cup of decaf, grab a coconut water from the fridge and split up the overnight oats I made the night before. I made this batch with Hint of Vanilla Honey Almondmilk that Almond Breeze sent me to try (I usually use unsweetened original Almond Breeze Almondmilk).  I pour my portion of the oats out into a bowl and leave J’s in the mason jar for him to bring to work. I go through work and personal emails while I eat. I can definitely notice a nice, subtle additional sweetness to my oats from the honey vanilla almondmilk!

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6:22 a.m. – Shower and start getting ready for the day. Realizing that I need a haircut because it’s taking longer and longer to dry my hair in the mornings #thickhairproblems.

6:50 a.m. – Cut up some strawberries for my infused water, portion out some snacks for the work day and pack a lunch. Today, it’s: one brown rice tortilla, one Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa Veggie Burger, some spinach (will also top with mustard at work), Plentils lentil chips, whole wheat crackers and Babybel cheese, some strawberries and blueberries and almonds.

7 a.m.  – Say goodbye to the husband. Cole (the dog) and I head out the door. He’s going to daycare today because J has a 13 mile run in the evening and then we’re going out for our monthly date night.

7:10 a.m. – Drop Cole off at daycare. The other day I realized that I get so sad when I drop him off at daycare and that I’m going to have to get used to it because soon I’ll have to drop off a human baby at daycare and I imagine that’s no walk in the park.

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7:50 a.m. – Starbucks drive-thru. I’m slowly breaking this habit, but achieving gold status has been my downfall. Plus, I’m weak. I order a decaf soy misto with one pump of vanilla. #highmaintenance

8:00 a.m. – Arrive at work — and earlier than usual!

4:40 p.m. – Leave work and head home a little early to grab Cole from daycare. Looking forward to dinner because I know that soon we’re not going to have the luxury of date nights whenever we feel like it.

5:35 p.m. – Traffic was pretty terrible because of the rain. I log back onto my computer for a little while to finish up some work items.

6:05 p.m. – J arrives home from his run and hops in the shower. I feed the animals and then continue with my latest obsession — tidying. I finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in a day and then got to work. I haven’t had a large chunk of time to do my whole house at once, but I’ve been working my way through categories and I’m LOVING how my house feels.

7:20 p.m. – With dinner, J got his Pub Pass free beer and I had a turkey burger with sweet potato fries. It was super disappointing, so I didn’t even take a photo of it.

9 p.m. – We get home and out of habit, I turn on the radio to finish listening to the Minnesota Twins game, only to remember that they played earlier in the day and lost big time. We cut back our cable package a couple of weeks ago to save a little money and I’m really happy with our decision so far. It’s taken some adjusting to since I don’t watch TV except for sports, and that’s what I feel like has been missing so far. We still have Netflix and a Roku and Apple TV, so we’re going to be just fine. Or at least that’s what I keep telling J.

9:10 p.m. – J touches up a few spots where the paint looked a little thin in the kitchen. (Kitchen remodel update coming soon!) I (of course) do a little more tidying — this time tackling the vanity drawers in the bathroom.

9:30 p.m. – Run through my nightly fitness routine which includes some deep breathing, planks, light weight lifting, hip lifts, spine strengthening and stretching.

9:55 p.m. – Get ready for bed — includes taking my prenatal vitamins.

10:08 p.m. – Let the dog out one last time for the night.

10:10 p.m. – Lights out and in bed with my Snoogle, slightly later than usual. These days, I’m pretty wiped out by the time 8:30 rolls around and usually it’s lights out by 10. I realize I didn’t listen to my Hypnobabies tracks today. I was on a roll, but am too tired to do it now.

*This post was sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I received one free 32oz of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla. All opinions are my own.