Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Spirit

Thanks so much for your kind words and congratulatory messages on our big announcement yesterday! It's such a relief to finally be able to spread the word. Turns out I did not like keeping such a big secret for so long (especially since we found out at week 2!), and I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief now that the world can know.

Best awkward family ever (and an awkward photo, too)

The pregnancy hasn't caused too much upheaval in our lives (yet), but the timing comes with a lot of other changes, so it does feel like our lives have flipped upside down for the moment. Between not teaching full time this year, subbing instead, working part time just for the holidays, and Terry's ridiculously long business trips, I feel like there is no "normal." In fact, my e-mail to Terry today (we write e-mails to each other throughout the work day) was titled, "Back to Normal--Whatever That Is."

But we're trying to find ways to maintain some routines to prevent the stress that comes with chaos. We're doing our best to spend the next week (before Terry leaves again) cooking almost all of our meals at home. Apparently this next trip sends him to a semi-remote location where his dinner choices will be McDonald's and Subway, two places we would never frequent in a normal situation. For his sake, I hope he'll have a little kitchen in his hotel room and a nearby grocery store, but that might be wishful thinking.

On our menu this week
  • Turkey sandwiches (my mom gave us some turkey and also some incredible Bay Area sourdough bread from a bakery called Beckman's) with sweet potato fries and apple slices
  • Whole chicken in a crock-pot with roasted Brussels sprouts and more sourdough bread (I used the bones to make crock-pot broth--I just throw all the bones, leftover skin, cooked onion, and juices in the crock pot and fill the whole thing up with water, then leave on low overnight, about 8 hours; in the morning I strain the broth into freezer-safe containers and use it for soups and other easy recipes)
  • Ina Garten's Winter Minestrone Soup (one of our favorites)
  • Spaghetti alla carbonara with zucchini 
  • Leftovers in various forms
Some comfort foods, some winter foods, lots of deliciousness. It's so nice to have my husband home so I'm not cooking for one and so that I have someone to sit with (well, besides the cat, who loves to sit on my lap between bites). 

We're also trying to maintain some regular exercise around here. Since I'm working some evenings (three this week), that might mean waking up early a few days--when was the last time I did that?

Our tentative schedule this week
  • Sunday: Upper body + HIIT (for Terry) and some walking intervals (for me)
  • Monday: Leg Supersets + a short walk
  • Tuesday: 30-40 minutes interval cardio
  • Wednesday: Yoga/Stretch/Rest day
  • Thursday: 40 minute walk with hills (around the neighborhood)
  • Friday: Full body circuit
  • Saturday: Stretch/Rest/Maybe a walk
As promised, I'll post a more pregnancy-specific exercise post a little later with details about how I've changed my routine over the last three months. 

More fun around here: We're officially decorating for Christmas! We have been storing our Christmas decorations in a storage unit in Northern California, and we packed it up to bring back to LA while we were visiting my family over the weekend. Turns out, we have quite a lot of stuff, especially for our tiny place!

But we're slowly getting boxes unpacked and finding fun places to add Christmas cheer. We've also busted out the Christmas mugs for hot cocoa! 

My parents watched Love Actually with us the day after Thanksgiving (my Black Friday tradition, in lieu of shopping), and Terry let me fall asleep while watching The Holiday, another Christmas favorite. I need to squeeze in my other favorites in the next few weeks! Terry and I also listened to Christmas music almost the entire drive down from the Bay Area. Happy holidays indeed!

Of possible interest:
  • Pumpkin Fluff Dessert Dip (100 Days of Real Food)--I made it last night, and we're in love (Terry and I with the dip, not just me and the dip, although maybe the feeling is mutual, who knows?); it's like the lightest, fluffiest pumpkin pie you've ever tasted, and of course it's not really pie, so you can eat more of it...right?
  • 24 Days of Togetherness (Carrots 'n' Cake)--A fun way to celebrate the holidays with a significant other, friend, family member, or maybe even a random person if you're extra friendly like that. Terry and I will be apart for 10 days this month, but maybe we can still squeeze in 24 events?
How are you getting in the holiday spirit? 


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