Wednesday, December 31, 2014


2014 was a wild time. It was a dramatic year that brought a lot of pain and a lot of intense joy.

I chopped my hair.
I flew to Arizona to see a best friend get married and the sun set across the red rocks.

I saw snow for the first time. And I rolled in it and reveled in it and made a snow angel.
1-arizona 214 180

I turned 25. Will I ever not feel 22? I'm not sure. What is it to really absorb an age? To feel it in your bones? I've enjoyed my quarter-quell so far.

I surprised Jared with a trip to Norway, and we ate reindeer sausage and we saw the tallest mountains and took a train across a frozen wasteland that was so beautiful it hurt. And then we were rolling down hills and looking at tulips, and stuck outside the airport at horrible AM laughing and enjoying being in love in Scandinavia.

Then Jared and I took a huge breath and a leap of faith and decided to have a baby. I wrote some of my favorite essays of the year about the maddening rush of hormones and the slow heavy crush of nine months of waiting. 

I lost my whole heart in North Carolina. 

I lost an incredible man who I loved so very very much. I miss you all the time, Papa. And right on its heels we lost Cathy which still doesn't seem real. 

My year seems cinematic when I look back at it like this. Like any good movie, there were lots of laughs and hijinks and tears, sometimes mingled into a big messy pot. 

2014 was the last year of just Jared and I. We may have to hang up our international traveling caps for awhile. We may have to give up all those super sleepy mornings and late night concerts and flying halfway across the world. But can you even believe what we are about to gain? A baby! A real one. Oh a baby, a baby. So thank you for the adventures 2014, hopefully you prepared us even a little bit for the inevitable whirlwind that will be 2015. I feel like faith will be a big theme. And patience. And faith. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


On this, Christmas Eve, I reserve my right to put my AC on because it is 75 degrees and raining and the humidity is making it impossible to wrap gifts. Sorry about the presents wrapped loosely in wet rags, family.

But it's Christmas! And today we get to see both old friends, new friends, family and Hobbits.

Merry Christmas everyone. Listen to some Sufjan for me.

BTW is this anyone elses very favorite moment of The Santa Clause?

Thursday, December 18, 2014



Friends, its that time again where we deck the halls for the yuletide season and dress up like pregnant snowmen.

Because I am in a giving mood, I grant you permission to use these free printable collectors edition Gilligan Alexander Christmas ornaments! Just click through and print to your hearts content.

A very lucky couple was gifted with these at our white elephant party. I myself came home with several adult diapers and post-natal elephantine period pads. It was almost sad how thrilled I was to receive them. Pregnant lady problems.

SERIAL! Are you losing your mind over Serial? The last ep came out today. Jared and I are fully hooked. It's a nice change of pace from our usual mindless movie watching.

Last but not least - HOLY 56 DAYS?! Officially 8 months pregnant! Also, PS my placenta is in the clear - no previa- so I am all good for the labor I have been planning on. What a relief.


Having way too much fun with the FaceJuggler app. Sonny Bono, is that you?

I ran out of Natural Calm this week and no amount of synthetic Thunderstorm app sounds can take its place. The night rage, she commeth.

Also my boobs are taking over my life, but that is for another day.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Jared is a-brimming with Christmas cheer. He single-handedly lit the bushes in front of our apartment, taking great lengths to get full coverage. He picked out, strapped to the car and hauled home a lush Christmas tree, lighting that puppy up quick as can be.

I added a red nose to our deer pic.

I have still been feeling good, doing well, physically. Emotionally I feel like a PMSing 15 yr old some days, and a sage old mother of the Earth type on others. Sometimes a pregnant lady has got to weep, you know? It really is slightly ridiculous, but it is truth.

The idea of the baby coming in 2 months is super abstract to me. Its a really hard thing to wrap my brain around. What will it look like? Will I bond immediately? Will it take me some time? Is it a boy or a girl? What will we name it? Will Jared run off with Gilligan and join the circus after a week of non-stop crying? Or will I? I wouldn't describe these thoughts as plaguing, or even stressful, but they are definitely very present. Its such a weird mystic time in my life. I feel my body and the baby's body changing every day. It amazes me.

So yes, I am grateful for my personal Bird-Claus bringing the holiday cheer into our home this year. He's got all the ingredients ready for cinnamon bun popcorn and all I've got to do is eat it.

P.S. Here are a few pictures of Baby Kip and Baby J. There is a strong possibility of a very bald, jolly, fat cheeked baby in our future.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Here I am at 7 1/2 months. Large and in charge. I feel like I waited (and wanted) to look truly pregnant for so long and then blam-o, it happened all at once.

Yesterday I had my second ultrasound to determine if my low lying placenta had giddy-upped and gotten out of the way. Still waiting to hear the verdict there, but the baby was being a total diva and kicking like a nut and would not give a decent profile shot. My anterior placenta is a nice cushion protecting me from this kid's one person mosh-pit at club womb. So instead we have creepy skull face!

Creepier still when paired with the ultrasound tech's well-meant caption. Collective eye-roll. I did see the baby's mouth puckering, opening, and closing, which was very endearing to behold. There is an air of mystery about this child. I feel that, in personality, I very well may be carrying a 3.7 lb Jared Jr. The baby is mostly active during the day, squirming and bumping about. In the evenings I feel pressure like its settling in down there and really spreading out for comfort, but luckily not too many late night jabs to the ribs or anything.

Seriously, these captions!

While in my OBGYN's office waiting for my scan, I kind of felt like I was part of a herd of other pregnant ladies. The 40 minute wait and no-nonsense, down to business atmosphere made me feel particularly blessed to have the pre-natal experience at Birth Center of Jacksonville. I have seriously never waited for more then 10 minutes, and I feel at home there.

My mother in law and I tackled Babies R Us and showed it the what for, and I've started collecting a few little outfits here and there. Researching for the registry was one of the most fulfilling things ever. Oh the lists! Oh the reviews! Oh the comparison shopping! I gobbled it up. Lucies List really really helped me narrow things down. Love this site!

The third trimester feels very different. I still feel very peaceful and calm anticipating the birth and meeting my baby, but my bones and muscles ache. My back is stiff. My clothes don't fit. I just feel PREGNANT. I have found serenity in one form: Natural Calm. Seriously people of the world, get on this train pregnant or not. Its a magnesium supplement taken with water in the evening. It helps me relax and fall asleep, has completely banished my leg cramps, and I know it to be true. Amen. I like the orange and cherry flavors best.

It's actually not so much the birthing that scares me, but the breast feeding and bringing home. My beloved Grammie will be staying the first few nights with us, which gives me intense relief, and I am trying not to get too wound up. To be honest, there are so many baby-freaks on either side of my family, this kid will probably be swept from me except for feeding minutes after the birth ;). It's nice to feel that love. We shall survive!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The universe has been a sort of hectic place the last few months. There has been death, unexpected and expected, both difficult and tragic in their own ways. Traveling and working late nights. The winding down of the semester for Jared, which indicates a winding up of stress. Sickness, aches, pains, sleeplessness. Its enough to bring a girl down.

And yet, for the most part, I feel so good and so grateful. I keep singing the Mister Rogers song to myself. It's such a good feeling to know you're alive. So here, in November, are some things that are making me happy.

9 Mannings, 4 Orels, 3 1/2 Alexanders went camping and had a jolly old time, no sleep really at all, and an excess of smores. Gilligan found his happy place. And 6 ticks. 

My brother Joel came home from his mission! Joel is such a special person, and I admire him so much. He is loyal, steadfast, quiet, thoughtful, patient, dedicated, hardworking, gentle, strong, loving, and handsome to boot!. I am so glad he is home. 

I am nearly 7 months pregnant. 1 more day.

Baby is head down and squiggling around like a champ. And I get to have a delicious breakfast for my glucose test instead of chugging that gross stuff everyone complains about. Pregnant ladies of the world, educate yourself

My back and legs have started to ache, and at times I do get a little weary, but I still feel like me. I feel really good. Still no real feeling as to gender. Every time I think "Oh come on, this has got to be a boy." A sneaky little thought cries GIRL in my brain. 3 months until all is revealed. 

Bradley classes are going really well. I may gripe about sitting on the floor for 2+ hours every Monday, but the information I get there is really so interesting and makes me feel much more prepared. Understanding what is happening in your body and the different internal and external, medical or otherwise, tools used in birth is very empowering. 

What's making you happy these days?

Friday, November 7, 2014


Jared's Grandma Cathy was a spitfire. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, and she had that token Alexander sarcasm and wit I see in Jared and his father, Ed, down to a science. She always made me feel warm, and comfortable and loved. Jared and I's first year of marriage, she gave me a beautiful handmade quilt for Christmas. All the grandchildren had one or two, and now so did I. Some people are just born to be Grandmothers, I think.

Her passing was a shock. She was full of life and laughter. Laughter with others, and laughter at herself. She regularly cooked dinner for scores of people at church, sang in the choir and volunteered at hospice, all while keeping Grandad in line ;).

Jared loved her so, so much. I can see that reflected in the way he still talks about his trip to Cape Canaveral with his grandparents in the 6th grade- he wants to make those kind of memories for our little baby- and his reverence for her wonderful recipes. My first birthday as Jared's girlfriend he got Cathy to make me THE birthday cake. A 3 layer yellow number with rich chocolate icing. After that, I could tell maybe he really did like me.

After leaving the hospital he volunteered to make a family dinner. Cathy's crispy chicken never tasted so good. I think somewhere she's proud.

Thursday, October 30, 2014



A bad cold that just won't quit. I can only really breathe if I sit cross-legged on the floor, a boon to the Bradley Method but horrible when your feet fall asleep 10 minutes in. Side note, I was googling the term "tailor sitting" and found this hilarious piece of clip art. I feel you, sister. Although that is more of a butterfly...
Anyway, at this point, every time I sneeze and don't immediately pee my pants I feel a certain sense of victory.

Every one of my meals yesterday was different forms of pasta. I am so sorry, little baby.


We rallied and pulled together some pretty sweet Halloween costumes!

And- Jared won the church chili cook-off!

Not to brag, but that crockpot was scraped clean, y'all! We originally started with my dear Pioneer Woman's recipe, and have perfected it to Alexander taste. We usually always double this recipe because the soup just gets better the day after, and freezes/thaws like a dream, but the below would easily feed 6 people. We will definitely be stock piling this before Baby Alexander's arrival. I highly recommend serving with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream. Avocado and lime if you fancy.

Jared's Blue Ribbon Chicken Chili

1 whole rotisserie chicken
olive oil
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup diced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
2 cans Rotel
32 oz chicken broth
3 tblspoons tomato paste
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
3 tblspoons corn meal + 1/4 cup warm water

Mix together your spices. Shred your chicken and mix in about 1/2 your spices, set aside. 

Heat oil and sauté onion, garlic and the rest of your spices until onions are translucent. Add chicken, scrape the bottom of the pan and stir to combine.

Add chicken broth, rotel, tomato paste, and beans. Stir to combine. 
In a separate dish, mix corn meal and warm water together until dissolved- no clumps! Mix this slurry into the pot until all is combined.  Bring pot to a boil, then drop to a simmer for 45 minutes uncovered. Dip it low, then bring it up slow, pop pop pop that thang....sorry I digress. 

Add corn, taste for seasoning. 

At this point you are good to eat it! However, if you can rest this stuff in the pot on the lowest setting for awhile and let all the flavors marry, that would be great too!

Friday, October 24, 2014


I was lucky enough to spend 4 days working in Vegas for a conference, and to stay in a hotel that looked and smelled a lot like Kim Kardashian. Actually I really hope Kim doesn't smell like the Delano, which as soon as you walk across the threshold hits you with a blast of thick sweet perfume. It haunts me even now. But odds are that in one of her and Kanye's palatial estates there is a giant wall sized leather headboard.

I always like traveling for work, stretching my legs and getting out of the office. It's one of my favorite parts of my job.

I also love when my destination coincides with people I love. It's funny how some people just stick. I've known Kelly for 12 years. 12 years! We got to see Beatles Love together and eat a meal which consisted of copious amounts of butter in various, delicious forms. Little did I know that I really need matre d'hotel butter with every meal. Oh, and I had her eat her first gastropod and delivered her first taste of Cafe Rio sweet pork and horchata. Oh sweet pork, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. And then there I was talking to her four year old about nurser sharks and complimenting her two years olds sunglasses, and comparing due dates (1 week apart.) Life moves pretty fast, man.

Speaking of le bebe, at 24 weeks I find myself out of breath when I walk quickly or get excited talking about something. The fact that there are 12 inches and a little over a pound of kid inside of me is mind boggling. Oh! And I bought a few gender neutral onezies! And I think we even figured out Halloween costumes! Look at me! Progressing!

A few weird things I would like to remember about this trip:

- Going through security in JAX I was pulled aside for two items: canned dry shampoo and a 6 inch pair of scissors I had forgotten in my purse. How do you forget a 6 inch pair of scissors in your purse? You're Kipin Alexander and almost 6 months pregnant that is how. ANYWAY. Guess which one they let me keep? You're right! The scissors!

-It took me 10 minutes to walk from my room to the conference I was attending...and it was all housed in the same building! The joint was huge.

- I ordered room service one night and the guy who delivered it looked JUST like David Carradine. Then he dropped my macaroni all over the floor and smashed the plate to pieces. His Kung fu doppleganger would nay have been proud.

- I had to take out some money from an ATM and the only one around was in the casino. They required picture ID, confirmation of address and a blood. Just kidding. But seriously Kelly and I were in sweats and glasses and scraggly hair at 10 pm standing in the middle of a casino getting fingerprinted next to the Lone Wolf slot machines. Memories....

- The woman I sat next to on the plane home was wacked out of her mind. She kept waking suddenly and asking me if it was time to get off the plane, drinking tiny cups of coffee and insisting on taking every cream on the cart, accusing other passengers of stealing her iPhone...which she then found on the floor under her seat, watching the movie I was watching, over my shoulder with no headphones and then asking me what they were saying. The list goes on.

- And can I brag for a second? I missed my weekly birth class - and Jared braved it alone! 2.5 hours of Bradley all by his lonesome. It takes a good man.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Some updates on myself and Baby Alexander. It's long y'all, I should probably do this more often:

- I finally look pregnant! Though, if you didnt know me pre pregnancy theres a good chance you think I have a stout little beer belly, or am just chubby as all heck if I'm not wearing form fitting clothes. Most of my clothes still fit well, with a belly band or a rubber band helping me along. Up there is me at 6 weeks and then at 20 weeks. I'm a tiny bit rounder now.

- Around 20 weeks I felt the baby kick and move. Jared felt it the other day. I have an anterior placenta which means a lot of it is a bit muffled and feels really low- so hands off everyone else. It feels just like you think it would- a squirmy little alien feeling, repeatedly probing and poking you in the low gut.

- Still feeling great, though I do get afternoon headaches. I find that if I drink something caffeinated mid-day, I can avoid it. I figure a small coca-cola is better then a daily dose of Tylenol. Any opinions out there on this? Its been happening since about 15 weeks. I have gone back and forth on the solution, as caffeine gives me jitters, but this article kinda tripped me out a bit. :/ I'm also trying to up my protein and water intake. 

- Speaking of water, lest I forget and go crazy and drink it ice cold - heartburn. How about room temp? Oh yes, more heartburn please. Water must be chilled, yet not iced, and sipped s l o w l y over an hour or so to avoid wakening a hell fire in my chest and throat. 

- Overall, I really enjoy being pregnant. My diet has really affected the way I feel on a daily basis. This child did not appreciate the pop tart I scarfed down the other day. I feel best when I eat a good amount of protein with each meal, and avoid too many raw veggies which tend to be hard on my stomach these days. 

- Clocking roughly 20 bathroom breaks a day.

- I have to go in for a second ultrasound, which we weren't planning to do. Baby Alex is totally fine but my placenta is riding a little low. At 28 weeks they'll take another peek and make sure that everything is in its proper place. As my friend Danielle said "That placenta best behave and make like a hunter gatherer and migrate!" I can't say that I'm not excited to get another look at whoever's in there!

- Jared and I are still throwing around baby names. This kid won't have a hard and fast name until I look into that little face, Jared and I play rock paper scissors and I finally get a testimony of the one true name. In all seriousness I find talking about names super entertaining. I've been collecting names for years, and I've got a list on my iPhone an inch long. 

- I have started craving alone time. I am generally a very social person, and prefer to be out and about. Lately I have been super content to just relax at home reading or catching up on Mad Men. Maybe this is a realization that my days of quiet book reading are numbered. 

- The other theory is this: I have always had a temper but these days it's been hard for me to hold my tongue. I call it my pregnancy rage. I can literally feel my blood boiling some times and it takes me a half hour or so of deep breathing to calm the heck down. It doesn't happen every day, and little annoyances I can still breeze past, but certain things hit a nerve!. SO maybe I am craving isolation so I don't bite anyone's head off? Apologies in advance! If you see me doing deep breathing activities and looking a little flushed, you'll know whats up haha. This article explained it perfectly. I love this quote:

"Just like pregnancy crying, pregnancy rage is an unexpected and extremely disproportional reaction to whatever is going on in real life. Often times, it’s an out-of-body experience where you hover over yourself as you slip into unadulterated lunacy."

- On the flip slide, a lot of the fretting I was doing in the first trimester is gone. Overall I would say I am less stressed about little things. I was beating myself up a lot about the fact that I wasn't going to be a stay at home mom, and really stressing about who would watch the baby, if I would get enough time with it, did this make me a bad mom, etc. I'm sure these fears may resurface later or once the baby is actually here, but for now I take comfort in my family support and I know that everything will work out. Jared has also help me feel more confident about our decisions, and having someone like him I can put my complete trust in has eased my fears. 

- I've also gotten more excited about the possibility of this baby being a girl. The idea of a daughter has always been super daunting to me, but I've been doing some soul searching and gotten a real feeling of peace around the gender. Still no clue what this baby may be, but I can honestly say I will be thrilled either way. 

- We started our Bradley classes last week. Its pretty interesting stuff and I'm excited to give everyone a review once we get through the entire course. But real talk: 2.5 hours a class is a loooong time y'all.

- I feel an increased awareness of my weaknesses. I don't mean this in a disheartening way. There is definitely an aspect of "Oh crap" here as I recognize how much I gossip, how many swear words slip out as I slam on the breaks in traffic, how often I have to grab gas on the sabbath or indulge in a questionable movie or TV show. I want to be better for this baby. Its so so hard. But I want to be better. 

- Still haven't bought one dang thing! I just really haven't felt the urge to shop. However I am on the hunt for a perfect little red beanie. Holler if you see one!

- Blanking on Halloween Costumes this year. Halloween is my favorite holiday, but I feel like this one will be pretty low key for us.

- February seems so far away and also...tomorrow

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I've listened to this 3 times already.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Papa was a chocolate milkshake. He was sushi and a crinkly grin and a diet coke with lemon. He was old westerns and old yarns. He was a nap in a comfy arm chair in the middle of the afternoon. My benefactor and landlord for 5 years.

I can imagine him, pugnacious and tan as a nut, sneaking into the Riverside Theater as a little boy. Strong and handsome, life guarding and diving from the highest platform at Kingsley Lake. Buying his wife a yellow rain slicker for Christmas when she asked for a new coat. I remember him driving me to the first grade, sitting in the cab of his truck so proud that my Papa was driving me to school. Sitting at the kitchen table, pouring over the scriptures, glasses on the end of his nose. Telling me I was crazy for getting a dog, and then sneaking Gilligan scraps of food at every opportunity. 

Papa called me little girl, or granddaughter. I will miss that. He was a man with a temper and a fierce loyalty, two things I have inherited. I loved telling him about our trips around the world, and he loved listening. A granddaughter who went to Egypt? To Norway? He was as proud as if he had gone himself. He collected. I remember coming over, and he was plopped on the sofa swinging a small ball of cord, pleased as punch over his monkey fist. He had every tool and could fix almost anything. He liked to tinker. He always wore a belt and suspenders, for good measure. 

 He let the little grandsons play with his special model cars. He was forever rummaging around for something sweet. He liked to tease, another habit of his I seem to have inherited. He didn't sugar coat, but he did love. When I was in the fourth grade I had to write a speech about my favorite person- it was him. 

He was so sick in the end, a shade of who he had been. I will miss him with all my heart. I miss his even more for my grandmother. I know I will see him again someday.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014



As a 10 year old girl I would run wild in our apartment complex from dawn til dusk. One day I had a very unfortunate run in with a spring rider and came home with a chipped front tooth and a slight lisp. Flash forward 15 years and the other day Jared and I accidentally headbutted eachother and my hand flew to my mouth. I knew my tooth was gone. But, alas, it was still intact and I breathed a sigh of relief. Two days later my fate visited me after a dinner at Chipotle and here I am: 25, pregnant and snaggle toothed once more.

The bell tolls for this tooth at noon today. My wallet weeps.


I felt the baby move last night! At least....I think I did haha.

It's my sweet Gilligan Theodores second birthday today! Gilligan I love you! You are so cuddly and soft and weird. You love eviscerating magnolia cones, fetch, food of all kinds and snuggling whenever possible. I always wanted to have my children about two years apart. Happy birthday to my 25 lb ball of fluff.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Waffles, Wes Anderson......Wed Hats.

 OK that is a stretch. Jared and I are making our way through The Office (how has anyone our age not seen this show I will never know J Bird) and I keep getting the strong urge to make a Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica many years too late.

Last night I met my friend Alex down in St. Augustine for a Waffle Wednesday date at Cousteau's on Hypolita Street. Together we plowed through the Belafonte (nutella, strawberries) and The Whirly Bird (hot cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce) with a few slurps of the impossibly tart and fresh Calypso milkshake (key lime, vanilla ice cream, graham crackers) in between. I mean, whats a girl supposed to do when she hears about a Jacques Cousteau/Life Aquatic themed waffle bar? Go nuts, that's what. And these are no Waffle House waffles (disclaimer: I love Waffle House)These are Belgian Leige waffles: crisp, soft,slightly sticky, caramelized to perfection.

Oh and if you wear a red beanie like the unpaid intern you are, you get 10% off. Of course we had this on lock-down.
Cousteau's Waffle & Milkshake Bar on Urbanspoon
Torp, Norway

Monday, September 15, 2014


Eighteen weeks and four days. Four and a half months. So far things have been still and peaceful and mostly serene. I was barely sick, my cravings and other symptoms have been supremely mild. Pass the vanilla coke and bagels with cream cheese! For this I am grateful. I see myself as a mother in a very abstract way to this little flicker of life inside of me. All I know of it is it's drumbeat heart I've heard twice now, quick and strong, and a little peek at that sweet profile. That baby was moving and shaking this morning making it almost impossible for the tech to take a really clear picture, but it was so amazing to watch. The life in me is special and I feel a strong allegiance to it. I feel the need to do my very best for that tiny dancer.

Jared and I chose early on not to find out the gender of the baby. This is mainly for fun. There are precious few mysteries in life, and I have always loved a happy surprise. The anticipation brings me pleasure in a way I can't really describe. Not knowing hasn't been a burden, and I don't expect it will be. It is just for me and Jared, and that feels just right. On seeing the baby Jared feels like its a boy - and I still have no clue! Any guesses?

I am also choosing to do the best I can to plan for and strive to complete a natural birth, in the care of midwives at a birthing center. Once Baby became a reality, I started researching, pondering and praying ardently for confirmation that this was the right choice for my family. Don't be a hero was my early mantra. I don't have anything to prove. But when I think of my birth plan I am filled with hope, positive thoughts, light, warm feelings, the buzzing of nerves, peace and strength. Jared has been totally and completely on board since day one and has similar thoughts and feelings. I find this process endlessly fascinating. If you ever want to talk the wonder of the human body with me, I will marvel with you all the day long. Each piece of the puzzle fits so perfectly. And when family or close friends question me in a loving way, or even rib me, I can take it! In fact I love a good friendly tease, that's one of my personal calling cards.

But let me tell you what usually happens when you're a first timer. People hold the mystery of children - from birth to breastfeeding to education and beyond - over you like a weapon, pretending that they have the answers. That is something I can not abide. When people cackle at my decision, treat me like a silly child and proceed to tell me the news that childbirth is painful, I can't help but get angry. What is this urge we have to burst a bubble when we see one? What is this desire to rain on parades? There is a way to give  loving advice, to share your experience out of true concern, to be positive and supportive of a choice you wouldn't make for yourself. But it's always been easier to accept fear I suppose.

So maybe I will be a hero. Maybe I will be my body's champion. Perhaps I will listen to what it is whispering, and at the end, screaming to me. Because I know it will scream. But still, I think I will carry on. I know I will, because no one else is going to do it for me. People are drawn towards negativity. I certainly am. But how much happier we are when we trust ourselves. We don't always get an explanation attached to the answer to our prayers and our meditation, but we do get answers. Especially when we allow ourselves to be positive and have hope. No matter what happens, that is what I cling to. This baby will come out: in water, on land, in a birth center, in a hospital, with an epidural or with the help of a surgeons deft hands.  I am confident in my path. I feel strong and capable. I share my decisions because I have no shame in them. I pray that at the end of the journey there will be no callous "I told you so" moments. No matter what happens, I will still be a mother, and Baby will still be my baby. And no one can take that away.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Zinc my friends. The answer is zinc. Makes you (even more) pasty white, but works like a dang charm. I spent 3 days in the blazing sun, snorkeling, swimming and running amok with nary a pink splotch in sight. I'd like to bare my testimony that I know this Solar Sense to be true.

In other news, shortly after this picture was taken I was participating in a "don't get knocked out of your float" challenge with one Steph Secrist. My butt firmly planted in the float, I gently soared over waves for a half hour or so before drifting in to the shore. While trying to avoid a random giant rope covered in slime and algae covered bouys (why was that in the water ugh) I was smashed on the shoreline by an aggressive wave, popping said floaty which quickly filled with water and wrapped itself around me. Let me tell you, there is no cooler kid in south beach then the pasty white pregnant girl in a neon ugly print speedo floundering around with a 99 cent popped inner tube.


Who wants to take another road trip...

Thursday, August 28, 2014


We really piled it on the first day. After eating lunch and trying, in vain, to get that run away dachshund to let me pet him, we headed down the road to Linville Caverns and then hiked a bit at Linville Falls. We also stopped at the Moses Cone plantation but that was a bit of a bust, although there was a poodle I made friends with, always a highlight. It seemed everywhere we went people had dogs. That's how I really knew North Carolina was a good fit for little old me, and I really regretted not bringing young Gill along. He would have had a blast.

The caverns were really fun, despite our surly teenage guide Hunter. At one point they pile everyone into a tiny crack in the cave onto a middle grate suspended over the endless abyss. The old ladies who went first were all hollering that they couldn't breathe and get us out of here, so later Jared and I went back in for a second look.

Linville Falls was lovely. It was the biggest waterfall we saw on the trip. On the trail we passed a little girl sitting on a log, maybe 5 years old, crying her eyes out. That portion of the trail was a bit muddy and I think she had decided she just couldn't go on. Her big brother (maybe 9?) came and sat down beside her and gave her a big hug. It was so incredibly sweet. We passed them finishing the trail on our way back to the falls so the hug must have worked. They usually do, don't they?

After leaving the falls we took the long way home, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway for almost 2 hours on our way down to Asheville...

north carolina 2014 071

north carolina 2014 074

north carolina 2014 068

north carolina 2014 056