Running during Pregnancy {part 1}

Lately, it’s been really hard to fall back asleep after waking up at night for my bathroom (and usually there’s a snack involved, too) trip. I think this time was a record, where I didn’t fall back asleep until almost 2 hours later. That little anecdote is related to this post because in those sleepless dawn hours, I had the idea to write about running during this pregnancy and break it up into a few different posts. Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing for you to read and that’s okay – feel free to skip along if it’s not your cup of tea! I just feel the need to write it all down especially as it’s happening (because gosh, I forget so many little things later on down the road!) and there’s no better place than here.

A few things before I dive in, one being that I’m not claiming to be an expert on running during pregnancy. This is the first pregnancy where I’ve been able to continue running as I was before getting pregnant. Second, I’m not a doctor. Everything I share about it what has worked for me and what’s been okay for me to do during pregnancy. Always check with your doctor before starting or continuing an exercise regimen – I sure did! Finally, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff I’ll be writing about and without searching online, I know there are thousands of other posts about running during pregnancy. Again, I’m just sharing my personal experience and what has worked for me.

Phew! Now let’s get to the good stuff. In this post, I’ll be covering running before pregnancy, what I did once I found out I was pregnant, and how running looked during my first trimester.

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grow in grace: humility

“Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward – having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus.”
Charles Spurgeon

{This post is part 4 of a series, the first three of which you can catch up on herehere, and here.}

With the year coming to a close in less than 70 days (what, how?!), I’m finding myself tying up loose ends. Does this resonate with anyone else? It could be fitness or food related, like making final attempts to log extra miles or eat healthier. Maybe it looks like cleaning out closets or finally donating that stash of unread books. It could look like making more of an effort to read the Bible or a devotional, in the midst of a busy holiday season. This final sprint to the finish line of the calendar year can be exhilarating and feel defeating all at once.

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Stitch Fix Review #5

After my last Stitch Fix experience a few months ago, I hesitated and kept putting off my next fix for one reason or another. Fun fact: I was actually pregnant (and knew it!) when I took all those pictures of my last fix.

If you read my previous fix review, you might recall that I ended up sending back all 5 items. Yes, I lost my $20 styling fee but after reaching out to their customer service and giving some feedback, Stitch Fix kindly offered to credit my account for the styling fee and send me another fix. That fix is what I’m showing you today. {p.s. Check out my past fix reviews here.}

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 5 items I received in my fix this time. By the way, because I’m currently in the awkward stage of pregnancy where I’m showing a little bit but not quite enough to warrant cute belly shots, I decided to just show you pictures of the items on a hanger. You’re welcome. Also, I’m sorry in advance for using the phrase “growing baby bump” a million times.

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reading lately 5.0

It’s been almost 2 months since my last update, so it’s time again to share what I’ve been reading and enjoying (or not enjoying, too) the past few months. I have no clue how many books I’ve read between since the last update but don’t think I read as many books as I normally would, thanks to first trimester nausea.

March – Geraldine Brooks
This was my second book by this author and I have to say, I was very impressed especially after struggling a bit with the first book. I’m a fan of the way she weaves history into fiction and really makes the characters come alive. Do you all remember the book Little Women? In that book, there is no mention of Marmie’s husband (and father to their daughters, the little women) except a brief mention that he’s off at war. That’s where the premise of this book comes from and it is based on what Mr. March’s life might have looked like, covering the time frame from before the war (before and after he met Marmie) up until the last parts of the war. March makes a few choices that shake him to the core and test his strongly held beliefs very deeply. At the end, we see characters redeemed and love conquering even the most dire circumstances. I gave this book 4 stars.

People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
Again, another book by Brooks and it didn’t fail to impress me. I actually listened to this book on audio instead of reading it (which I don’t normally do) and in retrospect, I’m glad I did. There were so many story lines that sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight, but somehow listening to it made it less confusing. Right, so this book is a historical fiction piece based on the Sarajevo Haggadah. You can read more about what that is here. The book closely follows many of the historical facts, which I really appreciate. In one of the many stories in this book, the main one is about a young book conservator from Australia who is hired to restore the Haggadah back to its’ former glory without compromising any of its authenticity. It’s a compelling and thrilling narrative, often pausing at moments of climax to then move on to another part of the story. In the end, all the little mini stories and characters tie in together and it all makes sense. This book was certainly enjoyable! I gave it 4 stars.

A quick note about the next 4 books: These are part of a series called ‘Cedar Cove’ and the reason I started reading them was simply because after watching the television series based on the books, I couldn’t wait to see what ended up happening with all the characters. I skipped reading the first two books of the series, picking up right where the TV show left off. Normally, I don’t read books like these but they were a nice respite from all the other heavy reading I’ve been doing lately. Instead of writing separately about each book, here’s a link to an explanation of the series if you’re interested.

{Easy-to-read romance novels, part of a series of 12 books}
74 Seaside Avenue – Debbie Macomber
8 Sandpiper Way – Debbie Macomber
92 Pacific Boulevard – Debbie Macomber
1022 Evergreen Place – Debbie Macomber
1105 Yakima Street – Debbie Macomber

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The basic premise of this book is choosing to do what is right versus what is wrong. However, the story begins with a preteen boy and his mother (who by the end of the book is an adult in his late-twenties) who happen to be visiting a museum when a bomb goes off inside. Without giving away spoilers in case anyone wants to read it, his life after that museum event goes through of series of very dark, disturbing moments. It’s not just moments, but rather his entire life. The main thing that bothered me about this book was all the detailed descriptions of drug & alcohol use, among other things. Obviously, this either bothers people or it doesn’t but I didn’t think it was necessary in order to tell the story, which is supposed to be about the famous painting of the goldfinch. The book starts out innocently enough but it gets dark, pretty quickly after the boy moves to Vegas with his father. There are a few moments of light, but for the most part it’s just a never-ending narrative about how he chose (I believe doing drugs is a choice one makes) to make a big mess of his life, with no regard for anyone around him because he became obsessed with this painting, The Goldfinch. Usually, I wouldn’t finish a book like this (gosh, it was heavy and dark…have I already mentioned that?) but for some reason I kept thinking that it would turn around. In a moment of generosity, I gave this book 2 stars.

Current and upcoming reading: Boundaries, 1225 Christmas Tree Lane, Bread & Wine, The Last Letter From your Lover, I Shall Be Near to You

Like I mentioned last time, I’m curious to tally up my books and see how many books I actually read in 2014. Some days, it seems like I’ve read a ton of books but in reality I’m sure it’s less than I think. My random guess from last time was 27 books but I have a feeling that number is too low. Next time I post another reading update, it’ll most likely be the final one of the year so we’ll get to see that number.

Have you been reading anything fun lately? I love hearing your recommendations!

Apple Pear Crisp

Oh, this crisp! Y’all. It has taken some serious restraint to not make this dessert more than once a week. But then again, that’s not such a prudent idea even if I am excited to be back in the kitchen at last! Well, as long as it doesn’t involve vegetables which makes me a little sad, believe it or not.

It took me a few tries to get just the right ratio for this crisp, even though it’s adapted from another recipe because well, I’m picky about my crisps. See, a crisp in my book has to have plenty of topping. Obviously, right? The best part is that buttery, crunchy top layer. Since there’s plenty of fruit underneath, it’s practically a health food. That’s what I tell myself, after helping myself to another serving.

Did you know that crisps are also the perfect dessert for entertaining? They are super easy to make and you don’t even have make it look pretty. Plus, it makes the whole house smell like FALL which is obviously an added bonus (better than a scented candle!) and will score you hostess points.

Grab some apples at the farmer’s market, since they’re in season now pretty much all over the country. I used Pink Crisps and Gala apples, but if you like a more tart flavor feel free to use Granny Smith apples. Honestly, I was a bit worried the apples would be too sweet but it ended up being just fine. The pears are best used in this crisp when they’re just on the firm side rather than being too ripe. Bartlett or even Bosc pears work beautifully.

Apple Pear Crisp

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
adapted from here

Topping
1/3 C light brown sugar
1/3 C all purpose flour
3/4 C old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
10 T cold butter

Filling
4 C apples (about 2 larger sized, Pink Crisps or Gala work well)
2 C pears (about 2 medium sized, Bartlett or Bosc)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 T all purpose flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare oatmeal topping. In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until only small pieces remain. A great option if you don’t have a pastry cutter is using the food processor. Simply pulse all the ingredients together until everything is just combined. Set aside.
3. Cut apples and pears into 1-inch cubes or however you desire. If you don’t like the peel, go ahead and peel them first before cutting. Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning while continuing to work.
4. In a medium bowl, combine remaining flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Add to apples and pears, tossing to coat.
5. Transfer to an 8×8 square baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until fruit is tender and oatmeal topping is crisp.

Enjoy!


So much buttery goodness, right there. Yum.