Friday, September 19, 2008

5 years ago today....(part 2)

(Part one can be found here.)

On the Thursday morning following our meeting I woke up feeling jubilant. It had been a long time since I had woken up even feeling happy so this elation was not lost on me. I knew my life had just changed, and even though I had no idea where all of this would lead, life felt so good. Though I knew very little about him, I could not stop talking about this sun-kissed man that I had just met.

That evening as I was settling into our apartment for the night I realized I had a missed called from an unfamiliar number. A quick check in my wallet and my heart was fluttering; it was him. He called. I listened to this message, hit save, and listened to it again. I would do this often over the next several days; listen to this message just to hear his voice.

Although we wouldn’t see each other again for a full week, we spoke a few times on the phone and by the following Wednesday, when we planned to meet at the same time, same place, I was very anxious. Despite the fact that I was excited and eager to see him again, I’m shy, and when I walked in and saw him sitting there with his friends, I clamed up. I could feel the uneasiness settling in between us and I wasn’t sure what to do. Thankfully I had friends there to make those obligatory bathroom runs with, which of course involve much more than simply using the bathroom, us girls, we like to talk, and they calmed me down. By the time the night ended he had asked me out on a date. An official date. Our first date.

On Friday, September 19, 2003 I rushed home from work to get ready. I had bought a new outfit for the occasion and wanted to look my very best. He drove the 30 minutes from the East side to pick me up and then we drove back towards his house for dinner at a small Sicilian restaurant.

On the way to dinner the conversation flowed and I felt like I had known him my entire life. We were less than a 30 minutes into our first date when this feeling washed over me. I know it sounds nuts; it is nuts, but during that car ride I knew that I was sitting next to the man that I would someday marry.

To be continued……

Birthday wishes for one very beautiful soul!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

If Men wrote Pregnancy Books

Each week I get an email from one baby website or another updating me on all things baby related. Inevitably these emails always contain reference to how big the baby is in terms of some sort of food, usually a piece of fruit. Among other things, the baby has been compared to a grape, a walnut, a lime, a lemon, and most recently, a large banana.

On Saturday night of Konopalooza, just before I was about to retire for the evening, I was sitting on the deck with a couple of guy friends when one of them inquired about how large the baby was now. Since we had just had our ultrasound I told them that the doctor had estimated that he/she was about 11 oz.

They both nodded and looked a little confused as they tried to fully grasp what 11 oz. would look like. Suddenly Joe's eyes lit up and I knew he had made an association.

"So" he says, "almost a can of beer."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

21-week photo shoot

I am 21 weeks along today; can we say POP? That is what happened shortly after I posted the 17-week pictures.

21 weeks

I'm not exactly sure what is bothering me about these pictures, but I think it is my posture so if anyone has any tips on how to make these look better I'd love to hear them!

In other baby news, two weeks ago (at week 19), we had our ultrasound. We were so excited about seeing our little one but I have to admit I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it through without asking the sex. For those that don't know, we decided long ago that we wanted to be surprised. Luckily, and thankfully, it was much easier than I expected to not ask. I was so enthralled with watching the little legs kick, the heart beating furiously, and the amazing shots of the brain that finding out the sex really didn't even cross my mind. The baby weighed in at an estimated 11 oz., which I thought sounded rather large, but the doctor said was "normal" or did he say "average"? I'm not sure, but I'm certain he put quotes around it.

Our ultrasound was 3 days before Konopalooza and I had told everyone that I'd have pictures to share at the party. I was so excited to get that cute little profile shot and the girls at work were looking forward to me bringing them into the office on Thursday. If we had any doubt in our mind that this was our child, it was washed away at the ultrasound. This little shit stood in a headstand for an hour and half, during the WHOLE exam!! The poor tech was trying so hard to get a good profile shot but our little one was having NONE of it. S/he was in no mood to be photographed that day :) They tried having me lay on my side, walk around, and have the bed in a decline position. Nothing worked! In the end they had to do an internal exam just to get all the head measurements that they needed. So instead of walking away with a small portfolio of pictures of our little peanut to share with everyone, we got this:

What the hell is that you ask?? That's his/her feet. And it's not even a very clear picture of the feet! I had this in my purse for a couple of days after our appointment and every time I pulled it out Collin and I would just laugh. We got a picture of the feet. This is definitely our child.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Konopalooza 2008

Last weekend was our annual party, Konopalooza. We had a really good turn out this year; I think my last count was 53 people at one time or another throughout the weekend. This party started when Collin was in college and all his friends from Milwaukee would spend the 3rd weekend in August up at his parent's house. When we moved up here and built our own house we moved the party location, changed the date to the weekend after Labor day, and gave it an official name.

It always begins on Friday evening and lasts throughout the weekend. Activities vary from year-to-year but a couple of things are always certain. Flippy cup game on Friday night, drunken wiffle ball at 3pm on Saturday, and a big bonfire Saturday night. Everyone brings their tents or pop-ups and sets up camp for the weekend. Our only requirement is that you relax and have fun.

During the 1st annual in 2006 as I was carting food back to the house around midnight I remember thinking there is NO WAY I could do this while pregnant. It was so much work, I was exhausted, my body was in pain, and I was practically in tears. Thankfully, we've worked out alot of the kinks from that first year and although I was still exhausted by Sunday I have to say putting this on while pregnant went much, much better than I could have planned. This is in large part because we have amazing friends and family that are always asking what they can do to help. So to all of you, thank you! So much.

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked this year and after everyone left on Sunday we realized we never got our annual group shot, but I did take a few and I thought I'd post some here.

Here's one of the flippy game in action. I believe this was a 16 person game, but later in the night I think they got it to over 20. Note Justin, who is in the back on the left hand side, this is one of MANY pictures I have of him with his head in his hands in agony over the fear of defeat.

I love the look on every one's faces in this shot. This is serious business!

Each year we get shirts made that have a quote from the prior year. This year's winner was Mullins with "We don't come here to win; we come to drink beer."

Although it rained Friday night, Saturday's weather was nice, cool but sunny. Perfect for drunken wiffle ball.

Jenny at bat.

Fill 'er up! If the other team hits a home run everyone in the outfield has to drink and then hit the pitcher's mound (a/k/a keg) for a refill.

Here's a couple of action shots. Notice how everyone is protecting their cup. Everyone has to have beer in their cup at all times or your team has to drink.

Josh diving for home.

Marc making a diving catch.

A big thank you to everyone who came out last weekend! For those that couldn't make it, we missed you and hope to see you next year!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

5 years ago today....

September 10, 2003 started out much like any other day. I woke up, got ready for work, car pooled with my roommate into the city, and spent the day in front of the computer. I don't remember the specifics about work that day but I can guarantee one topic over our normal lunch discussion was the softball game I was going to play in that night. It was the second game of the co-ed league season. I got roped into playing after a friend from work was frantically looking for girls to fill the empty slots. He knew I had played in high school and so asked if I'd join the team. I reluctantly said yes. To be completely honest, I had no desire to mingle with people I didn't know. The rough months of the summer had left me in a slump and all I really wanted to do was sit in my room and sulk. But I agreed anyway because I have a problem telling people no. Little did I know that agreeing to play one season of softball would completely change my life.

My roommate agreed to attend the game with me that night, as did another friend from work. I was very appreciative. Amy and I hurried home after work, got changed, scarfed down some food and headed to the park south of the city for the 7 o'clock game. Although we had entered September it still felt like summer. I had on my black Nike shorts and a men's XL t-shirt that proudly displayed our sponsor's name: Judges Irish Pub. The shirt was so large it hung well below my shorts and my frizzy hair was pulled into a ponytail.

I played 2nd base, while my friend was at 1st. We joked around through the game and I felt my spirits lifting. When the team loaded up to go to Judges for our after-game celebration I was ready to attend. A night out with friends, it was exactly what I needed.

The three of us girls were sitting at the bar talking and starting a game of quarters when they walked in. He was wearing a blue Billabong shirt, khaki shorts, and sandals. He was tan and his hair was visibly bleached from long days in the sun. The three of them sat at the bar directly across from us. I immediately turned to Jamie and said "See the guy in the blue shirt? How old do you think he is? I'm so rusty at this, he could be 21 and I wouldn't know it."

It wasn't much later when the bartender came over and handed us a note written on a napkin. Just like in 5th grade. It read:

My name is Collin Kono
my phone # is 414-640-xxxx

Our note back simply said: How old are you?

I'm not exactly sure where the note writing went from there, but I do know that it went on for some time and remember laughing hysterically more than once. The bartender was fun enough to join in and happily took our notes back and forth across the bar.

Prompted by his friends, he finally made his way over to our side of the bar and properly introduced himself. We taught him our made up version of quarters and later played darts. We lost, but he asked me for my phone number anyway.

There have been very few times in my life when I have been absolutely sure about something. Following that Wednesday night in September 2003 I was absolutely sure that my life had just changed. I wasn't sure how this would all play out. I wasn't sure if this tanned guy in the blue shirt would be in my life for long, but I was sure that something had shifted. And I was absolutely positive that this shift was a good thing.

To be continued.......

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Return of the Fitness Challenge

As I'm sure you noticed, we took a small break from the Fitness Challenge this summer. I love summer for so many reasons, but for us it is always a very very busy time. This summer was no different and I could tell early on that I was not going to be able to stay organized enough to keep up with the Fitness Challenge. Thankfully everyone said they were fine with a small break.

But, today is the 1st of September and guess what that means? That's right, the Fitness Challenge is back! We're going to start off with an easy challenge this month just to get everyone back into the swing of things (and by everyone I mean me). For the month of September if you work out at least 3 times during the week you will earn 10 bonus points. It doesn't matter how long you work out or what activity you choose; the goal is just to get moving again.

Also, stayed tuned because the June Fitness Challenge winner announcement is coming soon!!