Thursday, July 31

Healthy Habits During Pregnancy: Pure Barre

I've been #addicted to Pure Barre since I took my first class at the Montgomery studio on February 6th, 2013, two days after they opened. I've taken over 200 classes in the last year and a half.

200! 100 of them in less than one year, and the other 100 while pregnant with twins, which doesn’t make me a rock star, but I thought I’d humble brag there for just a minute…Go me!

As with everything in my life, I find that I thrive on routine, and PB is no exception. When I first started taking classes I was in a different place life wise. I was working two jobs, traveling pretty consistently, had a bustling social life dating all the boys I could find and enjoying being me. I hesitate to say "being a young professional" because what does that even mean?, but I guess you could say that’s what I was? I took classes at 5:45am three days a week for over a year, and only one class after work a week. It was the perfect start to my morning, I felt better about the day and found myself not as tired or "slow to start" at work.

Now, my routine has obviously changed, as I can't ever seem to drag myself out of bed before about 7:20 at best. I take classes after work each day. While I miss getting a good start to the day and coming home from work around 5 with the evening to get some "chores" done, it was important to me to maintain PB as part of my daily life, even after getting pregnant.

I feel like I have to "make time" for Pure Barre now more than I ever did in my "previous" life. As a person that took to classes like a fish to water, never noticing that I had to make time before, this was disappointing. Though, I stuck it out and couldn't be happier about it. Classes have gotten harder as my belly has gotten bigger. In fact, watching me tuck, especially during the section of abs against the wall under the barre, is really a sight for sore eyes. But the classes have greatly improved my stiffness.

I was always flexible, and haven't lost any of it since getting pregnant, so being able to stretch daily really helps. I have a lot of round ligament pain, back pain and, sadly, all the other pains many have, and I've found this to be my relief. Sadly, the budget doesn't allow for the weekly prenatal massages that I've been told by other moms-to-be are ABSOLUTE LIFESAVERS, eyeroll on those bias.

Pure Barre is my go-to recommended form of exercise for anyone: pregnant or not, former dancer or not, super strong or not so super strong. It really works, with the added benefit of a mind escape and improved flexibility. And what lady doesn’t want improved flexibility? Classes are simultaneously fast and slow and will keep you on your toes for all 55 minutes.

I don't know what life will look like once Fitz and Alex make their way into this world. I've read plenty of things about "Momma guilt," being intentional and the whole working versus staying home thing, and how sometimes expensive exercise classes get tossed aside for "more important things."

A friend of mine, and fellow PB'er and ironically enough twin boy mom, once told me that you have to find out what works for your particular family and just go with that. Pure Barre makes me feel good; it is one measly hour a day and helps me be my best self. It's beyond a healthy habit, it's part of who I am, and I just can't see myself giving it up.

**Linking up with Katie Did What for Healthy Habits!

Friday, July 11

Spilling the Beans

When I finally let reality set in, that I was going to be having a baby, followed very, very quickly by having another baby, aka the big T word, I decided that a lot of the Pinteresty preggo things weren't in the cards.

I haven't kept a weekly journal. I didn't announce our littles at 12 weeks, probably because I wasn't actually sure I was preg at 12 weeks but I digress a smidge. I try not to be overly HEY I AM PREGNANT OVER HERE PEOPLE on social media (or in real life!). But there was one thing I was certain I wanted to do: a gender reveal.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to find out the babies' gender, it helps so much with planning. But it also is very hard to be kept a secret with twins as I have an ultrasound at every appointment and with so many doctors and nurses to be seen it can be hard to be kept neutral.

I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted to do the reveal, or who it would be to exactly, but I knew I wanted to do one. With how schedules worked out, we ended up finding out about the boys the day before Mark's birthday, the day we were going to Atlanta before continuing on for our mountain weekend in Blue Ridge.

I decided to tell my Dad, my bestest bestie Mallory and a few other close friends and family over the phone after the appointment (they couldn't stand to wait) but I decided to do the reveal with my Momma and Stepdad. I looked at Pinterest at all the different ideas and didn’t really like any of them—seemed a little trite and not really me.

Enter: “Spilling the Beans” Dinner
My Stepdad grilled some flank steak, we had some comfort food sides, and my Momma did a "reveal" tablescape.
 I swear she was all about the tablescapes before tablescapes were a thing. I love the little animals she picked! Of course I already knew we were about to be diving head first into blue and little animals for the next long while...
I bought two mason jars at Michael's; painted the insides solid black and decided to fill them with the correct color "beans" for each baby. I labeled each jar with gender-neutral tags and ribbon.
After dinner each one of my parents got to open their jar and "spill the beans." I don't think I have ever seen my Momma eat that fast in her entire life: holy shit talk about impatient. 
I believe a solid caption here would be "Mark you bastard." Or "One more to go! GIMMME SOME PINK!"
The look on their respective faces pretty much says it all. My poor Momma.
We have videos of each one opening the jars that immediately send me into laughing fits, and I can't wait to show Fitz and Alex when they are old enough to understand! It was a great beginning to this wild ride of twin boys.

Wednesday, July 9

Summer Reading: June 2014

I'm going to be hard on myself for a minute. Which I know is a terrible idea—especially pregnant. BUT I didn't meet my summer reading goal for June. I read only one book. I got through a stack of magazines I've been "meaning to read" but in terms of actual books, I just knocked out one. And in the process, disappointed myself. But hey, one is better than none? I don't really have any reason I didn't read more except the ever present Fitz and Alex Notebook of Things to Take Care Of.

That won't overwhelm me this month though! Over the long weekend I started a new book and I've got two work trips in the pipes for this month. It's looking like I will get back on the reading tract!

The book I did read for June was Summer Blowout by Claire Cook. I loved it.
Cover via Amazon
Definitely in line with what I normally read, Summer Blowout was easy and enjoyable. I could relate to the complex family dynamic and loved that the book was partially set in Atlanta. It would be a perfect weekend read: some drama, lots of humor and a few twists you might not exactly see coming. I'm also a sucker for strong female leads with rag tag dogs by their side. Go figure.

Interesting side note, Cook is the author of the book Must Love Dogs, which should sound familiar to a few folks thanks to the lovely Dianne Lane, John Cusack movie of the same name. I now want to both read the book and watch the movie for the eleventy billionth time.

Let me know if you read Summer Blowout, I'm always looking to talk books with people! And, as always, I'd love to hear some suggestions on what to read next!

Monday, July 7

Currently (Vol. III)

It's been a crazy few weeks, and I know it will only get crazier. So in an effort to unscramble my brain a bit, I'm going to try to be better about keeping up with a weekly Currently. post. Who knew that babies required so much attention and details and to do listing and don't forget this listing, BEFORE THEY EVEN WERE BORN. 
Thinking about: Still on the redoing my house thing. Though this weekend I got to start on a very special room: Fitz and Alex's nursery! There are still oh so many things to decide, and it's been frustrating. It continues to be frustrating, thanks to this thing called a budget, BUT my Momma and I found some fabrics this weekend that I fell in love with, so it's slowly but surely coming together. Even Mark approves of the ikat print for the curtains, saying, "Those things sort of look like arrowheads, so I like it."
Reading: I am being a little hard on myself, but I did not reach my June goal of reading three books. After I finished Summer Blowout, which I loved by the way, I sort of stalled. I worked my way through a few magazines, but didn't pick up a book. I found myself being overwhelmed by the Fitz and Alex Notebook of Things to Take Care Of. This weekend though, I started reading The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell by Loraine Despres and am loving it. Though as I was reading last night I realized that parts of the book seem really familiar, and I think I might have already read it. But I'm not 100% sure, so I want to finish it out. The story is definitely a perfect one for a sassy Southerner like myself. The historical fiction aspect of the story drew me in with page one, I  recommend it wholeheartedly!

Listening to: Still enjoying some silence and the occasional dog bark.

Watching: Suits. If you don't watch, I suggest you start. Immediately. Here, I'll give you a teaser.

Thankful for: Many, many things always, but this week I am especially thankful for my sweet friend Shelby who took these beautiful pictures of me that helped me "share my secret" last week. 

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