Thursday, December 31, 2009
Started off the year running through the woods, and had a blast participating in the MRTC Cross Country Race Series in January and February! I ran more in the Spring, and had some PRs in April races. I was still considerably slow, but managed to finish races in the front half of my age group.
February marked the 5th anniversary of our engagement!
I took my master's comprehensive exam in March...and spent nearly every waking moment outside of work studying.
In April, a tiny little life started and is now about to enter the world : )
In May, I graduated from UT with a Master's in Social Work! Yay!! No more school!!!! I also had my last beer in May...at Bosco's on my graduation night (it was a Midtown Brown) I found out three days later that I was pregnant...oops!
We also received a car in May, so our days of walking and taking MATA everywhere stopped. I need to get back in the habit of walking around Midtown instead of driving everywhere!! It's so easy to hop in the car even to go down the street to the coffee shop.
In June, Jonathan and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and also went to Argentina for the third time with our church. What a fun time we had partnering with our fantastic friends at La Mision!
In July, I changed jobs at Youth Villages and have enjoyed every minute of volunteer coordinating : ) I'm learning so much about development, fundraising, and event planning along the way!
In September, my sister got married, and we enjoyed a fun wedding weekend in Vermont!
In October, I handled my first really big volunteer event - the Hauntedweb of Horrors!! We had between 40 and 75 volunteers each night for 14 nights putting on the haunted house, and we raised $65,000 for the kids at Youth Villages : )
We also attended Jonathan's 10th high school reunion and my 5th college reunion in October!
November and December were pretty much a blur, as work got insanely busy and we have tried to put finishing touches on preparation for the baby.
Wow! I cannot wait to see what 2010 has in store : ) It should be a busy year with a new baby(!), getting back into running, supporting my wonderful husband as he interviews for jobs, Jonathan's graduation, Jonathan's celebratory trip to Disney World, a possible move in the summer to wherever Jonathan has found a job, and...could it be...the possibility of getting to stay at home taking care of a household after Jonathan's job starts.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
So what did we do??
Wednesday - Spent the morning in a lot of pain! Finally went to the dr after abdominal pain had not lessened despite 3 hours of walking around, drinking water, resting, taking a shower.... Diagnosis? Hmmm...just some random muscle pain that is normal. Maybe body getting ready for labor? Placenta, fluid, cervix, kidneys, and most importantly baby were all fine - I was just in a lot of pain : ) Oh, and the newest baby weight is 6 pounds, 12 ounces. The dr joked about having a 30 inch baby! Long and skinny is how the dr described the baby after looking at the measurements.
Spent the afternoon resting and trying to take care of work related stuff (I had planned on being at work Wednesday).
Thursday - Slept late, hit the grocery store, prepped food for Christmas Day, and relaxed! We went to the 11pm Christmas Eve service at church, which was wonderful. I got to sing some of my favorite Christmas songs, reflect on Jesus' birth, and calm myself down. I must admit I got a tiny bit emotional at one point in the service, thinking that this might be our last Christmas in Memphis. Our church is such a blessing to us, and although I know we will find another church in another city, I am very sad at the thought of leaving Second Pres.
Friday - Slept late, put breakfast casserole (Jonathan's request) and cinnamon rolls (my request) in the oven, talked with family on the phone, and opened presents. I took a nap on the couch while Jonathan broke open DJ Hero. Our sweet friends, Dan and Katie, invited us to enjoy Christmas lunch with their family. We headed out and had a wonderful time with them. Katie prepared a delicious lunch, and it was fun to meet their family! The highlight might just have been Sam eating his birthday cake, though : ) Such a cutie!
I dragged Jonathan out to see Sherlock Holmes, and we ran into some friends at the movie theater. Another thing I love about Memphis : )
Saturday - We stayed home all day, being very lazy! That's pretty much all I can say : ) I did get an itch to be productive later in the day, so we cleaned out our bedroom closet and did a lot of laundry.
Last night before heading to bed, I told Jonathan I was so glad we had not spent half the day in a car on the way back to Memphis. I think I slept more this weekend than I have in the past month - between naps and sleeping late. Just what I needed : ) Now we're in the home stretch - just four weeks until the baby is scheduled to arrive, so we need to be prepared for anything!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
1. Walking from one place to the next. I'm pretty slow. I used to be an insanely fast walker wherever I went, but now I kind of teeter from side to side as a walk and I physically cannot go very fast. Jonathan told me I had a very pregnant lady gait yesterday at Target. Ummm, thanks?
2. Standing and sitting. This includes getting in and out of cars, getting in and out of bed, getting up and down in church pews, and especially getting up from the couch.
3. Baby's growth. Thankfully the baby is starting to level out. At my appointment last week, the baby's head and abdomen were only measuring two weeks ahead (previously it had been 2 weeks then 3 weeks ahead...I was fearing that it would be 4 weeks ahead before I knew it). The tech mentioned something about the 60-something percentile. I don't quite know what that means, and I didn't ask. She said it was good - we apparently start to worry when the baby is around the 90th percentile. Although we could still get surprised, I've gone back to thinking the baby will come in January as originally planned.
Oh, and I have some additions to things you should never say to pregnant women (honestly, you should never say them to women in general). I do not know what gives old people to right to say things that are rude.
1. "You really should drink more water, because I notice those spots on your face. You need to drink at least 7 glasses a day." - from an older lady referring to my pregnancy acne. I drink plenty of water, but my body is producing crazy amounts of oil due to hormones. So much so that I no longer use conditioner on my hair.
2. "And look at her face. It really is filling out. That baby can't come soon enough." - from an older lady at church last night, talking to my husband who was standing right next to me, after inquiring about my due date.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Here is another story about older teen adoption (from the Youth Villages internal website):
Mary's story: the importance of adoption
Watch Mary Lee, who works in our Business Development Department, tell her life story and how important it was for her to be adopted at age 17.
Mary spent part of her life in foster care. Her greatest wish was to be adopted before turning 18. She always wanted a family who would love and support her, and who would be there for her for life.
She wanted what most people take for granted – a family to visit for the holidays, a mom to call for advice, siblings to bond with, parents who would cheer her on as she graduated from college, a dad to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day and parents who will be grandparents to the children she hopes to have one day.
Just days before her 18th birthday, her wish came true. Mary was adopted by her former case worker and his wife. And she even got a younger sister.
Mary began working at Youth Villages while she was attending law school. She stayed on working in human resources after graduating and today, as a business development specialist, is dedicated to marketing our Transitional Living program and expanding it to new areas of the country.
She has an extensive background in lobbying for permanency rights for children in foster care. After she spoke on Capitol Hill in 2005, Congress passed a bill that allows former foster children to apply for student aid as independent adults, without claiming their adoptive parents' income. This means that older foster children don't have to choose between financial aid for college and a forever family. The legislation was nicknamed the "Mary Lee" bill.
Monday, November 23, 2009
We get another ultrasound on December 4th to monitor the baby's size. I think I've been pretty spoiled with ultrasounds - so many people tell me that they had one ultrasound, and I have had about 6. Thankfully I have a really, really good insurance plan that covers all of them!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
* I think I am having third trimester morning sickness! Anyone else deal with this? It may be the antibiotics I'm on, but I feel slightly ill when I wake up and have to eat something before showering or else I feel like death. This is exactly how I felt in the first trimester.
* The labor and delivery dreams continue! In my dream last night, I was chatting with Stacey (who just had her adorable baby two weeks ago) about how both of our labor and deliveries had gone. I had a hard time remembering the details of mine, and then I realized, "Wait - you have not actually given birth yet!" I woke up and could not honestly tell you whether I was disappointed or relieved.
* I am soooooooo looking forward to our trip to IKEA next weekend!! We get to shop for our crib, extra storage units, lamps (to replace a couple death traps we currently have), a high chair, and maybe a couple of other fun things for the baby. We are also going to REI while in Atlanta to check out some high end jogging strollers. A relative gave us money to buy a really nice stroller, and I am excited about that. I have very high hopes for my half-marathon training next year - Becky has been quite inspirational this season as I have had to sit it out.
* I am going to Dallas this weekend to see my family and have a little shower hosted by my mom and sister. I'm travelling by myself, but I am going to wear something on the plane that makes it very clear I am 7 months pregnant, and hopefully people will treat me nicely. I STILL have people at work who get surprised when I tell them I am going on maternity leave in a couple of months. Seriously - have you not noticed the protruding tummy?
* We toured the maternity ward of the hospital in our prepared childbirth class this week, and it is pretty nice. The post partum rooms are a bit tiny, but the labor and delivery rooms seem to be roomy and comfortable. We got to see a baby in the nursery who was only an hour or two old, and I must admit that I had a very hard time holding back tears. I am totally going to lose it when our baby arrives!
Alright, those are my baby thoughts for now!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Then I just kind of stared at the computer screen and thought, "Good grief! In 10 weeks I'm going to be a mother!!!!"
After mini panic attack at my cubicle, I am okay again. Although waiting to find out the sex of the baby is going to make for a fun surprise at the end of January, I must admit that it makes me feel like this whole pregnancy thing is a bit pretend. I still wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and wonder why I have to pee. Then I feel my ever growing tummy and remember that I am pregnant! We are purchasing furniture for the baby over Thanksgiving weekend, so maybe having an assembled crib in my bedroom will make it all a bit more real.
I went to the ER on Saturday morning because I was throwing up A LOT and also having some urinary issues, and I wanted to make sure everything was okay with the baby. When Jonathan and I arrived (half asleep b/c it was 2am), they almost sent us up to labor and delivery, but decided to keep us down in the ER until I had been initially examined. Thankfully we did not have to go up to labor and delivery, because the baby was perfectly fine although I was puking my guts out. I got to practice my breathing as I had a catheter and IV put in, and Jonathan got to practice his coaching through those processes. I am almost recovered at this point, but still a bit fatigued. I also learned that you feel amazingly better with fluid in you!! Despite the initial discomfort, I think IVs are my friends.
Jonathan looked at me last night and said, "Did it freak you out when they almost sent us to labor and delivery that we could have had a child on Saturday?" Granted, it would have been a child in the NICU, but a child nonetheless. We keep telling baby to stay in there until Christmas, when it will be 36 weeks. But now that we're 30 weeks, 36 weeks doesn't seem that far away.... And now I'm starting to panic again!!
Okay, enough stream of consciousness for one day. Whew!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Click here to watch the video! Oh, and yes, I am in it - it was pretty scary to be interviewed by national media!!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Echoing Stacey's post, I feel that the quote of the week should be "you look too small to be 6 months along." How can that be when I have a baby who consistently measures big for his/her age??? I think the general public just assumes that your tummy automatically gets huge when you announce your pregnancy.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
As of this writing, all of the upholstery has been vacuumed, the slip cover and all blankets have been washed, two down comforters are on their way to the dry cleaners, and our poor Sigma has had a bath. Bathing her was simultaneously the most pitiful and funniest thing we have ever seen in our lives! Jonathan held her, and I lathered her up. She made the most horrible howling sound you have ever heard (seriously, I was afraid our neighbors were going to call the Humane Society on us last night!), and she tried to literally climb up the wall of our kitchen. She was surprisingly calm after the bath; Jonathan and I took turns holding her in a towel and telling her how good she was and that we loved her a lot.
She seemed to be okay this morning, letting both of us pet and hold her. This evening will be more vacuuming, and I will probably start compulsively vacuuming every day now, because the thought of little fleas in our home grosses me out!!!
Oh, and yes, Sigma is now on a 12 week regimen of flea treatments and a 30 day regimen of baths. We learned our lesson there!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Yesterday when I forced myself into the office work out room, I saw the elliptical machines and thought I would give them a try instead of walking. Whew! I am glad I did! By my sweat, the burning in my legs, and the overall feeling afterward, I got a much more intense workout than I would have simply walking for 30 minutes. Since the machine propels you forward, I was able to give about the same amount of effort as a slow, plodding run. And if you know me, I am the queen of slow, plodding runs!
I have started getting worried that all of the work I put into running before baby will be lost once the baby actually comes, but hopefully working out on a regular basis will help me bounce back in the spring. So, I'm headed back to the elliptical machine today!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Last night I was wide awake between about 1:45 and 4:15am. I went into the living room to knit, but I felt antsy. So what did I do? I scrubbed my sink and back splash, found some jars in a closet to organize my dish washing utensils, and cleaned the dish rack. I was about to start scrubbing more kitchen surfaces when I saw what time it was and forced myself to get in bed and try to sleep. If this happens much more at least the apartment will be clean.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I am also in the "feeling like a cow" part of pregnancy! This is due to the fact that I physically cannot run anymore. I knew I would reach that point, but it came much sooner than I would have liked. I tried to run for five minutes on a treadmill the other day, and couldn't even manage that! So I am walking now, and I may try a Zumba class at work tomorrow, and I will make prenatal yoga when I am not busy Saturday mornings.
Maybe that is why I have been so weepy - I don't have my usual endorphin rush of a run every few days. I think I'll spend a little extra time walking this evening, pray a bit more for some peace, and try to focus on the end goal of bringing a little life into the world!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Every year, Macy's has a special shopping pass that helps raise money for local non-profits. I have a stack of shopping passes for $5 each (all proceeds go to Youth Villages) that can be used on October 17th at any Macy's around the country. For your $5 donation, you receive 20% off purchases throughout the store all day, 25% off one purchase, and an entrance into a drawing for a $500 Macy's gift card.
Monday, September 14, 2009
- Baby is 15 oz, which is still above average (the 20 week avg is 10.5 oz, and the 21 week avg is 12 oz. If you care!). Not quite as bad as being 9 oz when the average is 5 oz...but still a big baby.
- Baby showed us his/her cute little spine, but was not positioned correctly to check the heart. Apparently he/she is like me and enjoys sleeping on the stomach! Needless to say, the tech thinks my baby has a personal vendetta against her, because this is the second ultrasound in which the baby has not been too cooperative.
- Despite all of your kind words that I look good, the number on the scale today nearly made me faint!! I was a bit of a big girl before getting pregnant, but I never thought I would see that number on a scale : ( I know it's normal, but it still freaks me out!
I also signed up for prepared childbirth classes, which will start in November. I am glad to have that checked off of my to-do list, but it is also a very real reminder that I am actually having a baby!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was in the quad in Bellingrath Hall, wearing a pink flowered skirt and a pink button down shirt. I put on the Today Show as I was drying my hair, and saw the World Trade Center towers up in smoke. I immediately called my dad at work, and we talked for a few minutes about what was going on. I tried to call my sister, who at the time was working in a building a few blocks away from the State Department in D.C. All cell phone lines in the D.C. area were swamped, so I couldn't get through. I later learned that she had walked over 2 hours to get home from work because all of the public transportation systems were shut down. I thought about my brother, a Marine in San Diego. Little did I know that a year and a half later, I would be at his bedside in the burn unit of a hospital in San Antonio as he recovered from an injury sustained in Baghdad.
It is sometimes hard to process how much our lives have changed due to the terrorist attacks from eight years ago. In other ways, I sometimes feel like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do not really affect me at all. I am praying today for everyone in the world who does feel the impact of this day in a very personal way, as I was reminded this morning from Psalm 91:
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
We have a running club at two of our residential campuses, and since it is a volunteer-run program, I have been out there the past two weeks meeting with the volunteers and running with the kids. It is such a joy to see these children running! The first week, I ran with a boy who kept saying, "Miss Megan, this is the farthest I've ever run in my whole life!" I didn't get to run with him yesterday, but he and a volunteer passed by me on the track and he had a HUGE smile on his face! Here are some more highlights from yesterday's run:
* A girl - who swore she would not run at all - smiled as we helped her finish her mile in a sprint!
* A boy yelling back to me, "Have a good day, Miss Megan" as he left the track with his group.
* Several kids checking with Spunky to find out whether their finishing times this week were better than last week.
We have running club every Monday from 4-5:30, Tuesday from 4-5:30 and Saturday 10-11:30 if any of you would like to join in the fun!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Take 385 East (Bill Morris Parkway) to the last exit, Piperton, TN-57
Turn right off of the exit ramp and continue east for 6 miles
Turn Right onto Frazier Road
At the 2 way stop, 1.25 miles down, turn left onto Stinson Road
The entrance to the club is a few hundred feet on the right
See you there!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Why were we so awake? We were meeting about 30 other marathon and half-marathon hopefuls to run the trails at Shelby Farms as part of the Breakaway Marathon Training. We thought we were only running 3 miles, and I had mentally prepared myself for that. Then we found out we were going to run 4 miles. In the back of my head I thought that I might have to walk at least a little bit of the trail. Then we found out that really the first two miles of the run would be on a gravel road. Uggh... Straight roads are not my cup of tea. Straight gravel roads are even worse because of the extra effort it takes as you plop each foot down and bring it back up again. But, we were surrounded by bunches of eager runners, and the temperature was a beautiful 65 degrees, so I tried to tell my mind that it would be okay.
During the first two miles, I found my stride (albeit a very slow stride), and I kept telling myself that I had to keep running. Lately if I stop in the middle of a run, I find it very difficult to get back to running, and I did not want to walk for 3 miles! There was a girl in front of us doing the run/walk thing, and every time she walked, I told myself "you are stronger than that! keep running!" Just about at the time that I was getting insanely bored with the gravel road, we turned onto wet grass and headed into the trees for the trail run. Becky picked up the pace (I swear...she might disagree with me) because there is something about running on spongy damp ground that puts an extra spring in your step. You are surrounded by trees, it smells awesome, and there are sounds of birds and bullfrogs to keep you company. I felt great until about the last half mile, when I started to get super winded, but I kept telling myself to keep going! Becky was also a big help as she told me she was impressed with how far I had gone. When someone tells you that, you cannot start walking - you have to finish running.
We finished at 57 minutes, which had to be more than four miles because we were definitely running faster than a 14.25 minute per mile pace. I chugged a good bit of G2 and neglected to stretch (ooo...would I feel that later in the day!), and pretty much felt amazing. I don't think I could have run 4+ miles out on the roads Saturday morning; there is something fun about running through the woods that gives me a bit more energy than running past mailboxes.
Will I run the Overton Park 5 miler this Saturday? I'm still trying to decide. At first I was not, since I should probably stop paying to run. But after the fun I had this weekend, and the awesome feeling in my body from getting my blood and endorphins flowing, I might just have to plunk down the $18 and run through the woods again.
Friday, August 21, 2009
When we were looking over the results of the ultrasound this morning and looking at due dates, the doctor just smiled at us and said, "Well, we just have a big baby!" With a 5'11" mother and a 6'3" father, I guess that should not be surprising : ) Everything else looks great! It is amazing what we can see with ultrasounds: how full the stomach is, what the brain looks like, the spine, little fingers and toes... I totally started crying during the ultrasound because I was in such awe at this little life inside me! Gender is still a mystery to us, but the tech said that the sexual organs are good too. They don't even write the gender in my chart, so my ob doesn't know the gender either. We'll all be surprised!
The pictures we have are a bit blurry, because little baby was wriggling around the entire time and he/she had the hiccups. I won't attempt to post a pic, because it will just be super blurry. However, I am already showing anyone I run into the ultrasound photo, like a mad woman! It's so cliche, but I am so in love with this kid already! I'm just praying for at least 20 more weeks of good development : )
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Earlier this week, I emailed to let you know that our campaign's Facebook page had just gotten its 2,500th fan. Even in the short time since I sent that message, hundreds of new friends and supporters have signed up to show their support. With less than 60 days until Memphis chooses its next Mayor, I am going to need every single volunteer, voice, and vote!As you know, I have been campaigning aggressively for several weeks. Just last week, we launched a new version of our campaign website, ACWharton.com, and I'm sure you've seen our bumper stickers and yard signs around town. Tomorrow, we will take another important step in this campaign - and I want you to be there with me. Please join me tomorrow, August 20 at 12:00 p.m. when I will pick up my petition for the upcoming special election from the Shelby County Election Commission. We will gather on the steps at Second Street and Washington Avenue before walking to the Election Commission together.More details can be found by clicking here. As always, if you have any questions or comments about my campaign, just let me know.This campaign is about people, because my administration will be about people. Thank you for all your support. I look forward to seeing you Thursday.
A C Wharton, Jr.
P.S. This weekend, we'll formally open our campaign headquarters at 5016 Park Avenue. I hope you'll join us at 3:00 p.m. to sign my petition and meet my campaign Co-Chairs!
Monday, August 10, 2009
I understand that you and many of my friends are very upset about what is going on in Congress and the Senate. This can be a confusing time for many reasons, and I think we all need to be in prayer at all times for God to guide the future of our country. I am concerned about stating that Godly Americans must oppose what the government is doing. I think that it is the role of Christians to respect and pray for our leaders whether we agree with their policies or not, and to not assume that one political party is Godly while another is not. I think that it is very possible for two Christians, who are both saved by the blood of Jesus and striving to live for him, to have two different views about what is happening in Washington right now. I do not want to sound disrespectful in any way, and I thought for a long time on whether to even reply or not.
I appreciate you thinking about me when sending this email, but you can take me off of your distribution lists for future emails like these.
Friday, August 7, 2009
The Urban Child Institute just put out a new brief about infant and child health in Tennessee, breaking up the data into the three grand regions of Tennessee. It comes as little surprise to Tennesseans that West TN ranks lowest in all categories of infant and child health. You don't have to be a social worker to understand the implications this has on our region socially and economically. We can talk all day about health care reform, individual vs. social responsibility, etc. until we are blue in the face, but I feel that these numbers demand action.
Okay, so what can we do? Here is social worker Megan's take on what we can do:
1) Take very, very good care of your own little ones (obviously).
2) Support government programs that help with health and nutrition of children in the first five years of life. Federally we have WIC, TANF, and Head Start. Locally, there is a Shelby County Office for Infant Mortality. Memphians - we are about to have a mayoral election. Find out what the candidates' views are on this subject and what they plan to do about it as mayor.
3) Give your money and your time to organizations that serve the health and nutrition needs of children in the first five years of life. We have the Food Bank, the Church Health Center, Christ Community Health Care, the Urban Child Institute, and many more local agencies that you can support.
4) Become personally invested in the cause. My church is about to start a new program that can help you do just that! The new program kicks off Monday, August 17th with an informational dinner meeting. It is a mentoring program for new mothers (both currently pregnant and with little ones) who are in the at-risk demographic for infant mortality. The mentors develop a relationship with the new moms and help provide support as they raise their babies. Although I am only 15 weeks pregnant myself with my first child, I am going to participate in this program. I spoke with one of the ladies heading up the program, and she thought that I could help come alongside a woman who is also having her first baby, and we could walk through this journey together.
If you read the brief, are moved by it as I was, and want to know what you can actually do to help, I would be more than happy to talk with you about options for involvement. What is that overused quote? "Be the change you want to see in the world" or something like that... I am a firm believer in the monumental effect one person can have on their environment.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I went home to eat breakfast, took a quick nap, and then did 3 hrs of yardwork with the boys from Youth Leadership Memphis, so I know I got a good work out : ).
Friday, July 24, 2009
That is harder than it sounds to do!
Just wanted to post an update that I had a good visit at the doctor this morning and Baby Hulgan has a good, strong heartbeat. Of course, it took some poking and prodding with the doppler for the doctor to hear the heartbeat, and it was possibly the longest 15 seconds of my life. I thought I was a worrier before this pregnancy, but I have been on pins and needles all week about whether that little heartbeat would be there. Prayer has helped ease worry, but I need much more faith. I need to give my worry over to God, who I know will take care of me, no matter what happens with the baby.
Next appointment is the big ultrasound, where I will exhibit all the restraint I can to wait on finding out the gender of the baby : )
Tomorrow is the Walk.Run.Fight.AIDS 5k at Shelby Farms! I will be running much slower than normal, so don't be afraid to come out and pass by me : ) The funds go to support Friends for Life, and agency that helps with AIDS prevention as well as serves Shelby County Residents who are HIV/AIDS positive.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
This morning I headed out for the first marathon training run of the season at Breakaway running. No, I am not going to attempt the half marathon at 8 months pregnant. I want to try to stay as healthy as possible for baby, and peer pressure has always been my best motivator for exercise. There were a bunch of people at the store at 6:45am, most looking like seasoned runners but a few like me. My friend Justin from church was a welcome sight, and we ran the first three miles or so together. The group ran through Overton Park, and it was great! Thanks to the sub-70-degree temp, virtually no humidity, the pretty flat course, and the company of friends, I ran 5 miles (with a couple of walk breaks when my breathing got heavy). I was the last one back to the store, but I am very used to being at the back of the pack, and there were a handful of participants who only did 3 miles.
I know I cannot hope for similar weather for the rest of the summer, but the run this morning was encouraging. I originally thought I was completely back at square one fitness wise, and I would have to start this training season like last year - barely making it through 2 miles on the first day. Next Saturday is the Friends fo Life 5k at Shelby Farms. I am not going to try for any PRs, just a slow and steady pace to keep baby happy.
Oh, and I celebrated my accomplishment with pancakes from Cafe Eclectic! I pretty much came home and demanded (sweetly) that Jonathan take me there to eat : )
Friday, July 17, 2009
I was heading out of the office for lunch with the full intention of getting a Lenny's kids meal with a chicken salad sandwich. I have pretty much been living off of chicken salad since finding out I was pregnant. As I left the building, a lady came through the door holding an Arby's bag. Curly fries! I stopped at the gas station to fill up the car, telling myself that I should be healthy for the baby and get Lenny's instead of Arby's. But I could not get curly fries out of my head! I think I could actually taste them. It was awful. My willpower did not prevail, and I got a chicken sandwich and fries for lunch. They were possibly the best curly fries I have ever had in my life.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
WellWorx Sporting Club is hosting the 3rd annual Dodge This Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, August 1st. Teams can be coed with 6-10 participants per team. The fee to enter is $180 per team, which includes registration, t-shirt, adult beverages throughout the day, and catered lunch...oh - and a trophy and bragging rights for the winning team! All proceeds benefit Youth Villages, a national nonprofit based in Memphis that helps emotionally disturbed youth and their families live successfully : )
For more info or to register, go to www.youthvillages.org/dodgeball. I will be working the event in my new role in the Youth Villages Development Department, and I would LOVE to see you there!!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Get ready for phone calls and emails about volunteer opportunities ; )
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I should get back to work instead of writing this silly blog, shouldn't I?
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
- He is a strong Christian and keeps me grounded.
- He is super smart but also very down to earth.
- He puts up with all of my pitfalls.
- He tells me he loves me about five million times a day!
- He likes to dream with me about the future.
- He is very supportive of all of my crazy ideas: getting up at 5:30am every Saturday in the summer and fall to run (me...not him), buying lots of planting accessories when all of my planting attempts fail miserably, eating turkey instead of beef and pork, insisting on making our wedding thank you cards instead of just buying thank you cards...the list could go on.
- He still gets excited when he sees me across a crowded room. (I do too!)
Monday, June 8, 2009
"Sure, a few solar panels on a few roofs are good. But the laws of physics tell us that the sun does not shine all the time, and the wind does not blow all the time. But coal is something this country can count on." (smug smile)
My mouth pretty much just dropped open. I am pretty sure that the sun and the wind are more reliable than fossil fuels. Granted, I'm a social worker, not a physicist...
Monday, June 1, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
We had a nice dinner Friday after the ceremony with my family, and then we had a barbecue picnic Saturday afternoon with friends. I had a lot of fun just hanging out with my friends, enjoying the moment. My apologies go out to anyone who was cornered by my grandfather or my great uncle. They are incorrigible to say the least!! My dad took a lot of pictures, and I will post a few up here.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me these past four years and especially sat through my gripe sessions.... Your friendship and support helped me reach this day : )
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I must admit that I was skeptical at first. I did not want to take a hand out, and as I thought more about it, pride was at the heart of my attitude. Not only pride that I wanted to take care of myself instead of having others take care of me, but pride in being a little rebellious and living as a Memphian without a car. So, we accepted the gift, and I was still a little uneasy about it. But then as I was driving to an appointment Monday afternoon, it hit me..."Our family GAVE us a CAR!" There is no way that we could have afforded to buy this off of a lot, and it has been such a blessing in the three days we have had it! I have been able to help out my team more at work, Jonathan and I were able to grab a quick dinner together in between appointments last night, and my commute to work is now 15 minutes instead of an hour.
Downside to owning a car is that I have not walked more than a few hundred feet at a time since Sunday (when I walked from church to Jason's Deli for lunch). I am going to have to do something to get exercise into my life!! I think we will still walk for errands around our neighborhood, there will be days when Jonathan needs to car, so I will still take the bus to work, and I still plan to run to church on Wednesday nights as much as I can.
So, friends, hopefully you won't receive many more emails and phone calls from the Hulgans asking for transportation places. Thank you for your support over the past nine months : )
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The FIRST person to donate to my Breast Cancer 3-Day account will receive a home-cooked dinner for their family! I'm a bit of a foodie, and most of you have tasted at least something that I have cooked, so hopefully this is a good award : ) I can cook something you request, or I can surprise you!
So there it is - FREE home-cooked meal, brought to your home, for your family, lovingly prepared by yours truly. I need to raise $250 by May 15th!!! Donate by clicking on the 3-Day box at the top of the page, or click on the "My 3-day page" link on the left side of the page.
Thank you for your support as I raise money to end breast cancer!!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I recently read an article about a Canadian study that found exercise significantly decreases death rates among women diagnosed with breast cancer. That may sound like common sense, but now that there is a scientific study backing it up, hopefully more women will begin exercising regularly before diagnosis, and more doctors will perscribe an exercise regimen to their patients battling breast cancer. I am fundraising and walking 60 miles to promote more research like that! So, if you don't exercise regularly now...start! If you already do...keep it up and encourage a friend to join you! And all of you...donate to the cause by clicking on the 3 Day box at the top right of the blog : )
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
If you solely go to movies to escape reality and have a laugh, don't see 'Sunshine Cleaning.' If you go to movies to delve into the inner workings of complex character's minds - ugly though they may sometimes be - then this might be a good movie to see.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Here are some of my suggestions for celebrating Earth Day:
*Walk, ride your bike, or take the bus instead of drive your car.
*Can't live without your car? Carpool with someone to work or on errands.
*Start recycling if you don't already. Call waste management to request a recycling tub to set out with your weekly garbage.
*Go to the Memphis Farmer's Market this Saturday (opening day!) and prepare a meal Wednesday night with local ingredients.
*Don't cook? Go out to eat at a Green Fork restaurant. Green Fork restaurants are working to become sustainable.
*Unplug your appliances and electronics when you are not using them.
*Support President Obama's high speed train proposal.
*Switch to soy/rice/almond milk. Its production is much more sustainable than cow milk.
Just a few ideas for Earth Day : ). What else can you think of to do?
Monday, April 13, 2009
To back up, the weekend started with a meaningful Good Friday service. I obviously enjoy worship through singing, and the Crucifixus that we sang was my thank offering to God for Jesus' sacrifice. Although it is a somber service, I cannot help but leave uplifted, knowing that with Jesus' death all of my sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven. What a weight lifted off of me, and what a challenge to dedicate my life to Christ. After the service, I went into prep mode doing a final cleaning of the apartment and making honey yeast rolls (thank you Nancy Simmons!). We watched Donnie Darko, because Jonathan wanted to see if a certain scene had a certain song that had been stuck in his head all week. (for Becky, it was the first school scene where we are introduced to all of those characters) If you care, it was not the same song...but it was the same band from the 80s. Only my husband would have a mind that works like that. You can never go straight to sleep after watching Donnie Darko, so we tried to wrap our minds around its meaning. It could be a possible good pick for Good Friday, since one way to interpret it is that Donnie voluntarily sacrifices himself. Every time I watch that movie, I try to pay attention to every little detail so that I can figure it out. Jonathan thinks we need to track down a director's cut version, and then the pieces will all come together. In my mind, DD is possibly Jake's best movie - the Smurf scene may be his best monologue as well!
Saturday morning started with our third annual running of the Bunny Run 5k around Audubon Park. Erin, Becky and I all did very well - I want to say we all PR'd. Bunny Run 2007 - 40 minutes. Bunny Run 2008 - 36 minutes. Bunny Run 2009 - 33 minutes. Erin ran hers significantly faster than that - those are my times! It was supposed to be a tempo run preparing us for the Youth Villages 5k next Saturday, but we were in a groove and ran faster than anticipated. Hopefully we can do just as well on the 18th! Jonathan's grandmother and great-aunt came into town from Chattanooga Saturday morning, so we headed out with them to brunch at Cafe Eclectic (where I got a very nice sunburn sitting out on the patio), and then went to the zoo...along with everyone else in the tri-state area. We love the zoo and are very spoiled living across the street from it! I prepped some more for our Easter meal, and then we had dinner at Ciao Bella. After dinner, I needed to purchase a baby shower gift, and we were already in East Memphis with a car, so we visited the new Target at Ridgeway. It is huge! And it has everything you could ever want! I am completely satisfied with our little Target on Colonial, but I can see what all the fuss is about with the new store. A friend's toddler was telling me about the 'new' Target and the 'old' Target last week - even he knows the difference!
Sunday of course was lots of fun (see first paragraph)! We were at church from 7:15 to 12:30, and we sang in three services. All of the choir members, our director and organist were wiped out afterward, but we had a great time worshiping. At home, we had a total of twelve for our meal, and I was able to get everything out on the table in a semi-reasonable amount of time. Meat always takes so much longer to cook than the directions say! We had pork tenderloin (thanks Becca for the recipe), sweet potatoes, asparagus, green salad, honey rolls, cornbread, and 10-cheese pasta (thanks Ashley for bringing it!). After lunch, a bunch of folks headed out, and those that remained played a rousing game of Harry Potter Scene It (in which I was a big dork and looked up a few answers in the books...because the game is over the movies, but most of my knowledge is from the books). Then we had our Bunny Melt - a Pollock tradition in which you melt a chocolate Easter bunny and eat it, fondue-style. Ashley was brave enough to try a chocolate covered peep, and her facial expression let the rest of us know that it was not a good idea! After all our guests had gone home, we had a very nice nap and didn't really do much of anything for the rest of the evening.
I don't have pictures because I am not a big picture taker : ( I felt the need to share our weekend with you anyway! We had a lot of fun, and all of the fun moments were spent with friends and family : )
Friday, April 3, 2009
Some of you may have noticed the 'widget' on the right side of the blog about the Breast Cancer 3 Day. What in the world is that? The 3 Day is an event to raise funds for breast cancer research, raise awareness about breast cancer, and honor those women and men who have fought the disease. I am blessed in that I do not have breast cancer, and none of my family members has had breast cancer. I assume that there are a few of you reading this who cannot say the same thing. My 'family' of friends has been affected by this disease. Some have survived while others have lost their battle. I decided to participate in this event because it is something that I can do, with my two feet (literally) to help win the fight against breast cancer.
Here are some details about breast cancer:
- One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer knows no boundaries – be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location.
- The greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and growing older.
- Early detection and effective treatment for breast cancer have been shown to improve survival.
- Making healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today.
- Breast cancer affects more than just the patient – co-survivors (friends, family and co-workers) need support, too.
Here are some more details about the event:
- The 3 Day is in Dallas/Ft. Worth November 6-8th 2009.
- We will walk a total of 60 miles over the course of three days.
- I will be walking with my mother, my sister, and one of my sister's friends.
- Thousands of women and men participate each year, and after we walk all day, we will camp out in pink tents all together before rising the next day to walk some more : )
Here are some details about fundraising:
- The minimum amount I must raise to participate is $2300.
- Donations are tax-deductable.
- Donations can be made on-line, by phone, or by mail.
- To donate online, click on the widget at the top right of this page.
- To donate by phone, call 800.996.3DAY. My personal # is 3211253.
- To donate by mail, ask me for a donation form!
- Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.
I have a long way to go, both in fundraising and training, and I hope you will join me in this journey!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We passed our 6 months without a car in mid-March. As you can see, it was such a monumental occasion that I lost track of when the date was! Being a pedestrian has really become part of who I am now, and I often forget that I'm doing something different until I get the occasional question of "How do you and Jonathan manage?"
There is a great sense of community amongst us non-car-owners. Although I don't know any of their names, I feel like I have a friendly relationship with my bus drivers, fellow riders and fellow walkers. I actually found out a few weeks ago that the guy who cuts my hair does not have a car by choice. He said that he used to live in Atlanta, which has a much superior public transportation system to Memphis, and when he moved back to Midtown he decided to keep on using public transportation instead of a car. I am very pleased that at least Midtown is pedestrian friendly, since we have such a nice mix of residential, business, service, and cultural outlets in a reasonable walking area.
Of course there are downsides to not having a car. Some of them are having to stay two more hours at work late at night when I miss a bus, getting hungry at work when I forget to pack an afternoon snack and I have no way of getting one, feeling like a mooch a lot when asking friends for rides, and not being able to visit our family out of town as much.
The upsides (is that a word???) are also plentiful: walking everyday, forced running several evenings a week, lots more face time with my husband (since we walk together to the grocery store, to Target, to eat dinner out, to Overton Park, etc.), leaving a smaller carbon footprint, enjoying all of the spring flowers and trees, quality time with friends while they transport me hither and yon, and a better appreciation for people in Memphis who also rely on MATA and friends for transportation.
I must thank all of our friends for getting us through this past six months! I know I can't name all of them, but the ones I can think of now are Becky, Justin, Ashley, Prentice, Katie, Ryan, Stacey, Leslie, Brian, Whitney, Lindsey, Luke, Chris, Crystal, Matthew, Lenox, LaShonda, Lee, Leigh, Elizabeth, Jerry, Marjorie, Wiley, Josh, Marissa...and I'm sure others that I am forgetting.
I'm always eager to help fellow Memphians join the revolution : ) I'm going to put my challenge out there again to pick one trip in which you would normally drive your car and instead walk, ride your bike, or take the bus. If you want to take up the challenge but don't know where to start, let me know and we will figure out a plan!