I’m Funny! I Swear!

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I’m funny, right? I can be sort of witty when I try real hard. Example: I’ve had at least 5 people this year tell me that my Facebook status updates crack them up. When they are having a bad day, they just hop on over to the FB and find my latest update, and all their worries and troubles go away.

Somehow that doesn’t translate to everything. Twitter? I can’t do it. Some folks are hilarious on Twitter. I’ll sit there, going through my feed, and laugh and laugh. They pack a pretty powerfully punny punch (you like my alliterations?) in a few short words. Twitter’s like the Mitch Hedberg of social media. Or tweeters are the Mitch Hedbergs… you get my point.

Hedberg during his Comedy Central Presents spe...

Hedberg in 1999

When it comes to writing something longer, like *cough cough* a post on this blog, my funny bone breaks down, jumps out the window, gets run over by a car….. and I don’t really find it again until I hop onto Facebook. What’s up with that?

So my LIFE goal for the short term is to find a way to be funny all the time. I should start writing my blog posts in spurts. I’ll write 2-3 sentences at a time, take a break for an hour, and continue on like that. It might take hours and hours, but it could be worth it. I could be famous one day.

I think that the best blogs are the ones that are a little bit silly, a little funny. And whilst I know that, I don’t really transfer it over to my bloggo. As soon as I click “New Post”, I get all serious and stuff, trying to be meaningful. People have enough meaning in their real lives. They hop on the Internet to be entertained! Last I checked, INTERNET is an acronym for I Need To Enjoy, Right Now, Entertaining Things.

For today though, I must be a serious professional and mold the minds of today’s youths. Wish me luck.

Baby Showers

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I had a baby shower a little while back with some friends from my church. Here is the post from that day!

Since then there have been two more baby showers! I can’t believe it. Altogether I’ve had about 70 people bless me through their time and gifts. I’m really grateful for everyone! (See the previous post!)

Work Baby Shower

This was a total surprise. I had a doctor’s appointment the same day, and because of timing, it didn’t make a lot of sense for me to come back to work afterwards. BUT my department chair, Shanna, told me I really needed to come in so that we could talk about the last few weeks of the year and the logistics of it all. I bought it. Hook, line, and sinker. We had our meeting (which was legitimate), after which she offered to drive me home. Walking down the hall, we were just chatting. Then she suddenly said she needed to go into the Spanish teacher’s room to get her stuff. Again, I didn’t suspect a thing.

When she opened the door, there were about 20 coworkers in there who all yelled “SURPRISE!” And my reaction….

*The big surprise

Quick funny story: After 5 minutes, there was an unexpected fire drill, so we all had to evacuate the building….

Back inside! Here are a few shots from this particular shower:

It was a lot of fun!

Louisiana Church Shower

I may have mentioned this before, but my dad is a minister of music at our church in Louisiana. I have not been a regular attender of that church since 2002, when I graduated high school. I would attend during the summers when I was home from college, but in 2006, I moved to NYC and haven’t been back for very long at a time.

Regardless, these folks saw me grow up and love love my family. They offered to throw me a shower, even though I wouldn’t be able to attend!

Here are a few pictures from that shower:

And here are the presents that my mama is going to send me soon, before she comes up for the baby!

*gifts in the trunk

And there you have it. I am blessed. Thank you to everyone who was part of the three showers that I had. I was not expecting such an outpouring, and I just can’t say thanks enough!

 

I Am Grateful

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This has not been a rough pregnancy. I have heard stories about vomit in the shower, not being able to eat your favorite foods, aching lower backs, and more. But overall, it’s been a fairly easy pregnancy; I’m just a whiner. 🙂

Along the way, there have been some people who have really made a difference and made my life more enjoyable.

These are the wonderful people I want to thank before “everything changes”.

1. My husband, Cameron

I’ve complained since September about all the aches and pains and body image issues. But he has been there, supporting, loving, and praising me. Even though I don’t always believe him, he never fails to tell me I’m beautiful every day and that he loves me every day. I can be pretty grumpy and needy, but he hasn’t let it get to him.

We’ve grown SO much closer since I got pregnant. He’s going to be a fantastic dad, and it’s pretty cool to see him get so excited about it.

2. My mom and dad

I talk to my mom every few days, and my dad and I keep in touch via text more than anything. My mom has been really happy and excited this whole time, and when I’m feeling down about something, she’s always been a support. My dad plays the role of silly father, and it cracks me up. If anyone else said I was getting “plump” since I’m pregnant, I’d be offended. But for some reason, coming from him, it’s just hilarious and instead, brightens my mood.

PART B:

There are other family members who’ve been really great!

I’m thankful to my Aunt Deena and Grammy (both on my mom’s side) who bought our crib.
I’m thankful for my brothers.
I’m thankful for my cousin Amy who has been really excited for me this whole time.
I’m thankful for my cousins Gwen, Kim, and Fran (on my dad’s side) who popped up on Facebook and have been showering me with love!
I’m thankful for Cameron’s mom Laura, who has been so sweet online and also sent a delightful care package for the baby!
Cameron’s extended family, Grandma Kay, Nanny Sue, Aunt Kay, cousin Roxie, and Sandra, who’ve been really supportive, either with care packages or just kind words!

3. My personal trainer (and friend), Chris S

I hope he doesn’t mind that I posted THIS particular picture of him. I only have two pictures to choose from!

Chris has been really supportive from the beginning. I was doing Crossfit with Cameron for about 4 months, with Chris and some other coaches. When I got pregnant, I told Chris about it, and immediately, he wanted to work with me. He’d worked with pregnant women before, so I knew he was someone I could trust. I took a brief hiatus because I was exhausted and nauseous a lot. When I came back, we started working out together on a regular basis. He always pushes me to go a little further and lift a little more (without raising my heart rate or getting overheated, of course!). He also recognizes if I’ve had a bad day and either (a) tries to cheer me up or (b) knows to just let me be. He has been the main reason I’ve stayed one of those “only pregnant in the belly” women.

Here’s a post where I talk about doing Crossfit while pregnant! And here’s my most recent workout.

4. Crosswalk Kids (aka Jen G)

That’s a picture of our pastor and his wife, Jen. She is the coordinator of the kids’ ministry at our church. (Technically, our church has 7 locations, so she’s the coordinator at our particular location.) I serve as the “greeter”, which means I welcome all of the kids and parents every Sunday morning, get everyone checked in, pass out name tags, and that sort of thing. Jen does a little bit of everything. On top of that, she’s a great mom to 3 awesome little boys. And she’s become a really good friend of mine over the past year.

Right when I became pregnant, she was one of the first people I told (before I even got it confirmed by the doctor). She has been so helpful and supportive throughout this journey. From a few hand-me-downs from her own children to helping with the baby shower, she has been an invaluable part of my life the past 8 months.

PART B:

There are some other folks involved with CWK that I’d like to mention.

Bethany (aka B3), who has helped me take my mind off being pregnant every Sunday with her silly stories.
All the teachers who have been so sweet with their words: Hannah, Becca, Catherine, Chenoa, Carissa, Kathryn, Rachel, Ian, Kara, and I just know I’m leaving someone out.
All the moms! I don’t even know everyone’s name (I know all the kids’ names because those are on the name tags!). Lori, Diedre, Eun, Karen, and all the other moms (and a few dads 🙂 ) who ask how I’m feeling and tell me I look great every week. I don’t usually believe those comments, but it is nice to hear them on a regular basis!

5. My coworkers

Here’s our Math department (on Pi Day this year)! That’s Yufanyi, Kim, Susan, me, and Shanna (the chair). These ladies have been supportive in a very practical way this year. There’ve been days when I just couldn’t make it. I either needed to stay home or leave early, and they were all there to help out. Someone would make my copies, cover my classes, or just make sure I was okay at home. Either way, I knew that I was covered. It also helps to get rides home when I’m just too tired to walk and don’t feel like waiting for the bus!

It was refreshing to know that my classroom wasn’t going to go haywire because I wasn’t there: I have a great team of support to help out and back me up as needed. That’s great any time but especially when you’re pregnant! It doesn’t hurt that Susan has 5 children of her own, and Shanna has 3, so they are also great resources in that respect!

PART B:

There are some coworkers that aren’t pictured who have been amazing.

Katy, who always tells me stories about her kids and asks how I’m doing every day.
Mr Bennett, who says “How Y’ALL doing?” every day.
Tina, who I think may be more excited than I am about having this baby. She also helped out tremendously with the baby shower (with Jen, above).
Barb, who was one of the first to empathize with my more mellow reaction to being pregnant.
Grace, who came back late this year after having her first child. She’s given me loads of insight and also some sweet pillows. 🙂
To all you guys and everyone else, THANK YOU for your support! It really has meant so much.

6. New mom, Sophia/Best friend

This is Sophia and her husband Ty. She just had her baby in March. She was in my wedding, and before that, we were in grad school together in NYC (and we were roommates there). She’s hilarious, and I was so surprised back around September when she told me she was expecting! I was thrilled because Cameron and I were just about to find out we, too, were expecting. Since she was 3 months ahead of me, it was so great talking to her on the phone from time to time. I had questions, she had answers. It was fun to dish about pregnancy with a close friend. And now that she has a little one (and we’re almost there), I know she’ll be honest with me about the realities of having a newborn.

7. Expecting mom, Mary/Best friend

Another best friend of mine who was also in my wedding, Mary was my college roommate back in Louisiana. For a while, she was living in Georgia with her husband Payton. Then, around October, she told me that she, too, was pregnant! And then, better news, they moved up here to Washington DC in January. While we don’t see each other ALL that often, we’ve hung out several times. And it’s fun to chat about pregnancy stuff, honestly. It’s not always a treat to discuss it with friends who aren’t pregnant (or even married). But when I know that Mary is going through the same sorts of things, it’s kind of fun. And now, I can be her Sophia since I’m a month ahead!

Mary has a calming presence, so whenever we’re together, I feel like everything’s going to be okay.

8. My circles of friends

PART A: Church

Thanks to my smaller small group: Claire, Emma, Rachel, and Brooke. These ladies have been really supportive in the short time I’ve known them. Brooke is also expecting (about 3 months behind me!).
Thanks to Heidi, the leader of the big small group. She is a constant smiling face and is a really great mentor to all the girls in our humongous group.
Helen (and Jesse) helped tremendously with putting together the crib and organizing baby clothes!
The hospitality girls are perfect for brightening my Sundays: Katy, Paige, Jessica, Hope, Jinna, Gia…

PART B: Crossfit

There are other coaches at the gym besides Chris. For example, here’s Stephanie (Chris’ better half) and Sara. These two, along with Tom and Julia, have been great at keeping me motivated and helping me to stay strong.

Additionally, I’ve really come to appreciate Erica, Adrian, Devon, Kelly, Katie, and Lizzie (who’s also expecting). Adrian always smiles and tells me how cute my bump is. Erica is the most encouraging, uplifting person EVER. And everyone else has just been great. I was self-conscious at first about showing up and taking up so much time from Chris, but I’ve really felt supported there.

PART C: Craigslist

My Craigslist friend is Elena. We found each other on Craigslist about two years ago! I posted something about looking for friends in the area, and she had posted something similar. So we started hanging out from time to time. Then she found out she was pregnant, and last February (2012), she had her son Ian. We have kept in touch for a while now, and she’s been another support in my life if I have pregnancy or baby questions.

9. My students

I can’t post any pictures of my students since they’re minors, and I’d probably need written permission from all 130 of their parents!

But I’ll say that my students have been really great. Of course, they don’t always have a lot of tact (“Ooo, she gettin’ big!” or “You look REAL pregnant today!”), but mostly, they ask lots of questions. How much longer? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have a name (generally followed by, “If it’s a boy/girl, you should name him insert student’s name)? They are often brutally honest, so when someone says “You’re big up front, but you still look gooood”, I believe it. And don’t think I’ve forgotten that having 130 teenagers every year for the past 4 years here in DC has given me a nice collection of  about 500 potential babysitters!

10. The rest of ’em

There are a few folks who I’ll just group together 🙂

Shea, my former eye doctor and current neighbor, is also a new mom. Her baby was born in May (just last week!) of this year. We would bump (hehe) into each other from time to time, and it was fun to see each other grow. We talked about the weird things happening to us and what sort of stroller to get. It was fun knowing that she’s just a few floors down. It’s also great to know that she and her husband are probably going to move out of their larger apartment some time in the next year or two, so Cameron and I can check that out when the time comes!

Facebook friends! I have lots of FB friends, folks from high school and elementary school, some former students, Cameron’s family, and a lot in between. I have been trying NOT to post too much baby stuff on Facebook (I’m not sure what the percentage is, but I think that my posts are about 20% baby or pregnancy-related). The feedback is so kind! There are way too many nice comments and likes for me to really thank everyone individually. I hope that I did a good enough job of thanking you along the way.

The next phase of life is near! And I’m afraid that if I hadn’t written this post beforehand, it never would have happened. It has been a wild ride, but I do hope that I look back with fond memories. There were good times and bad, just like with anything. And soon enough, it’ll all be worth it.

The Final Countdown

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I have 2 weeks and 2 days until this baby is due. Somewhere in my brain and my heart, I feel pretty confident that he’s going to be early. Am I humongous? I don’t think so. Am I extremely uncomfortable? No worse than I’ve been recently.

I just have a peace about it all. I feel like I’m ready, he’s ready, Cameron’s ready. So what are we waiting for?

People keep asking if I’m afraid or nervous or excited. And honestly, I’m not really anything right now. I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little anxious; it IS unknown territory for me, for us. But ultimately, I’m at peace with the fact that I’ll go through it, and I will be just fine! I won’t try to convince myself it will be a walk in the park. But I don’t want to psych myself out either. I’ve done what I can do, physically and mentally, to prepare. And that’s all I can do!

There are still a lot of things to do. I have a lot of Thank You notes to write. I’ve written about 25, and I have about 45 left. That’s incredible. It’s something that needs to be done, but it’s something I really want to do. No one had to do a thing for me yet SEVENTY folks decided we were worth their time (and in most cases, money). That’s pretty cool.

I have finally decided how to take the blog forward: once a week, I’d like to post a photo update of the baby. Once a month, I’d like to share a video update. I assume I’ll take lots of pictures and videos, but I don’t want to bombard the world with them. I think it would be more meaningful to hold onto them, revisit them a week later (or a month later for the videos), and decide what’s the MOST interesting, MOST adorable, MOST funny, and so on.

For now, I apologize for the lack of pictures. I’m tired. I have a cold. And tomorrow’s post is going to be big. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Crossfit Workout 37 Weeks Pregnant

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Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Location: Washington DC, Crossfit Affiliate
Trainer: Chris, as always
Photographer: Cameron, my hubby

Picture of the gym

Warmup

Inchworms

Inchworms: Start standing. Touch your toes (or get as close as possible) then inch your hands forward as far as you can go. Then walk your feet in toward your hands. Repeat over and over.

Ring rows 2

Ring Rows: Hold onto the rings. Lean backward, keeping your body straight. Pull yourself upward using only your upper body.

Pull apart rings

Ring Pull-Aparts: Start in the same position as ring rows. Pull your arms apart. [This was my first time doing these. They are way more tough than they look!]

Pushups: I do regular “boy” pushups. I can’t go all the way to the ground though! The belly gets in the way.

Squats against the wall

Wall Squats A: Standing with your back against the wall, carefully squat, going a little further each time.

Squats facing the wall

Wall Squats B: Standing facing the wall, carefully squat and keep your body as close to the wall as you can!

Workout

For three rounds…..

12 Spin-Arounds: Chris just  made these up. Holding a weight plate, I sat on the box and had to use my core/lower body to spin around from one side to the other.

4 Prenatal Burpees: A single burpee consists of 1 pushup, 1 squat, 1 step-up (weighted) with left leg, and 1 step-up with right leg.

12 Dumbbell Curl + Press: Starting with the dumbbell at your side, curl it up to shoulder, then press it overhead. I did 6 per side.

Altogether, I took about 13 minutes to complete the Workout portion.

Guest Post: My Mama

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I asked some friends and family members if they’d write a guest post for me! First responder? My mama, Karen.

Little note about me: I’m the only daughter, and I was the first born. That might give you a little bit of perspective (translation: I’m obviously the favorite). 😉

Here is what my mama has to say! I didn’t come up with these questions. They are part of a series going on some blogs this month called May is for Moms:

mothersdaylinkup

[The hosts of this linkup are Amy at Not Your Average Crazy, Samantha at Hooah and Hiccups, Amber at My Three Bittles, and Mandi at All My Happy Endings]

1.  How did I feel the moment I found out I was pregnant with you?

I was so excited.  I didn’t even wait to tell your daddy first.  I drove to the church and told the first person I saw, which was our organist, and then she said not to tell her, to go tell Greg.  So I did.

2.  Were you a wonderful surprise or carefully planned?

Definitely planned.  From our honeymoon I tried to get pregnant, but God had other things in mind.  You didn’t come until 4 1/2 years later and after a lot of trial and error.

3.  What was the most challenging time in your childhood?

Gosh, can’t remember anything in particular.  You were pretty easy. Didn’t sass back much, didn’t get into much trouble.  Just a little mama to your brothers.
me as a kid

4.  Did I worry more about you as a child or now that you’re an adult?

I always prayed for you and knew that God would take care of you.  When you got married, then I started to worry (just a little) about your walk with the Lord, but then He took care of that too.

5.  What was one thing that I thought was deeply important when you were a baby that I now realize did not matter at all?

Not to “baby” you too much, like sleeping with us.  Also keeping schedules.  I say, just throw all that out the window and do what you think is best for you and your baby.  They will only be babies for a short time, and you need to make the most of it. Enjoy them to the fullest.
I love my mama. Short, sweet, to the point.

Quick reader survey: Respond!

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This is just to help me write better content and keep people coming back.
I appreciate your honest feedback! Leave me personal notes in a comment!

NOTE: You MAY choose more than one option.

Thanks,
Bethany 🙂

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