Baby MK… 33 weeks

How far along? 33 weeks (+ 2 days)
Total weight gain/loss: The doctor says I am right on track and doing fine.. I will just keep that in mind for my own sanity.
Maternity clothes? All maternity clothes.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Back to sleeping horribly again.  I get up about 5-6 times a night to go to the restroom and have a hard time falling back asleep.  I am basically walking around exhausted.  I guess I should get used to this because I am sure having a toddler and a newborn will be exhausting as well.
Best moment this week: We spent the last two weeks on vacation and it was incredible!  The first week Claire and I were able to go out to southern California to visit with our dear friends who moved a few months ago.  We never got to officially say good-bye to them, which was probably good given my emotions at the time.  It was so great to have some “girl” time (when we weren’t chasing and tending to the children) with my dear friend.  Josh joined us a few days later and combined it with some business.  It was great for us to be with our friends- we miss them a ton! The second week, we rented a house in South Haven, Michigan and had a wonderful, relaxing week as a family.  We walked, biked, swam and just enjoyed our last vacation as a family of 3.  Hard to believe that soon we will be traveling with a little one.
Fitness Level: My fitness level has been down due to vacation.  I did attend a Strollerfit class with my friend in California which was fun.  While in Michigan we did a lot of walking, biking, circuits at the park, push-ups and “Hollie-created” workouts in the yard during nap time.  I am excited to get back into my regular workout routine… regular with pregnancy modifications of course.
Miss Anything? I miss sleep
Movement: YES!  and let me add that I don’t remember wincing when Claire moved or kicked.  Sometimes this baby moves and it down right hurts.
Food cravings: Not sure if water is a craving, but I am ALWAYS thirsty… and I drink well over a gallon and a half of water a day.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: I’m huge!  I know it.  I get rude comments ALL the time and I am over it.  Although for about every 5 negative comments about how big I am, one person usually says something kind.  There was a lady in South Haven who saw me working out in the front yard and later saw me at dinner and asked how far along I was.  When I told her she was shocked at how good I looked and the workout I was doing for only having 7 weeks to go… that made me feel better.
Gender prediction: For the sake of being different, I am officially saying GIRL (even though I have no clue).  EVERYONE, I mean EVERYONE says boy and so I am going to say GIRL… if it is a GIRL, people will be shocked.  We did buy a couple boy outfits on vacation… “just in case”.
Labor Signs: No, and I am hoping I don’t have any until I am 40 weeks!
Belly Button in or out? it is out
Wedding rings on or off? Off
Happy or Moody most of the time:  happy, excited… and getting nervous.
Looking forward to: having the next two weekends at home with nothing to do.  I am hoping we will get some things done around the house and my goal is also to prepare one meal per week to put in the freezer for when the baby comes… so if you have any healthy freezer meal recipes, send them my way.

Baby MK at 33 weeks… no chalkboard this time as we were on vacation!





Embracing Your Body: A Different Approach

I spend a lot of time “with” health and fitness: time at the gym, time with my fitness friends, reading about health and fitness, and time thinking of ways to make our children understand the importance of health and fitness.

As I was driving home from teaching my Monday morning strength class this week I started to think about this question, “What does it mean to be healthy and fit?”

Too often we (especially women) get caught up in a look- we believe that being healthy and fit is about the way our body looks on the outside.  I am sometimes guilty of this as well.  Being 28 weeks pregnant, I sometimes find myself thinking about when I might be able to fit into my favorite pair of jeans again or my favorite workout shorts.  We focus on having the flattest stomach for a bikini or the best arms for a tank top.  The pressure of having the “healthy and fit look” is everywhere: all over social media and sometimes right in our faces… our friends, family & colleagues.

What if we changed our mindset about what it means to be healthy and fit?  What if instead of focusing on what our body looks like when we are healthy and fit, we focus on what our body can do when we are healthy and fit?  What if when we wrote our healthy & fitness goals down they focused more on the body’s abilities to do more rather than be a certain size or a certain weight?

For me, my choice to continue to improve my health and fitness is not about making sure I can fit into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, look good in a bathing suit, or wearing the same size dress I did on my wedding day.  (Although sometimes I have to ignore the outside pressures, and remind myself what my health & fitness mission really is.)

It is about the way my body is able to carry, nourish and grow another healthy human being.
It is about the way my body gives me the strength to carry my 22 lb. almost-2 year old up the stairs with ease.
It is about the way my body ables me to get on my hands and knees and play “zoo animals” with a rambunctious toddler.
It is about the way my body allows me to climb up & down the playground creating lasting memories with my daughter.
It is about the way my body gives me the energy to teach a 60-minute long group exercise class. 
It is about the way my body will soon endure the labor of giving birth.

This runs deeper than us.  It is the example we are setting for our children.  I want my children to know that health and fitness is important in our house not because of a certain look.  It is important to take care of ourselves physically and mentally and to honor the body we have been given.  I want to make sure Claire (and baby MK)  knows that it isn’t about what her body looks like on the outside, but what her body is able to do.  God gave us these bodies, these amazing machines, these temples- embrace them for what they are able to do.

1380423_642239069141167_785600090_nThis woman on the left is a living example of embracing her temple….

Everyday she is embraces that her  ALMOST-51 YEAR-OLD body CAN run a sub 2:00 half marathon, CAN do 50 push-ups all on her toes, CAN setup obstacle courses in her backyard and DO them with all the fast little kids, CAN still join her girlfriends on the softball diamond every Thursday night, CAN keep up with her toddler granddaughter, and CAN still participate in any type of physical activity with her 3 children and their spouses…. and occasionally beat them.

Yes, my mom has taught me to embrace my body… not how it looks, but what it allows me to do!

Baby MK… 28 weeks

How far along? 28 weeks (+ 2 days)
Total weight gain/loss: Just when it should be speeding up, it actually slowed down this time and I only gained 2 lbs in the last month!
Maternity clothes? All maternity clothes.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: I have been sleeping horribly.  However, yesterday we finally got a ceiling fan installed in our bedroom and I slept so well last night.
Best moment this week: Claire kissing her baby brother or sister, and wanting to read the big sister book every night.  Also, putting the crib in the baby’s room.  This was actually a little bittersweet as Claire is now in a big girl room.
Fitness Level: Still about 4-5 times a week.  However, my intensity has taken a significant decrease.  I can no longer workout 3 days in a row without taking a break… sometimes even 2.  And I have to do a lot more modifications in the classes I teach.

Let me also add that the next person that tells me I am huge or that they thought I was due any day, I am going to ask them to race me down the street, challenge me in push-ups or any other type of physical activity.  Not really, but I really feel like it and sick of people telling me how big I am.  I don’t make it a point to stop people and comment on their figure.

Miss Anything? Wearing my wedding ring
Movement: All the time!
Food cravings: Sugar, sugar and more sugar.  However I have made some adjustments in the last couple days and I am starting to feel a difference.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: YES!
Gender prediction: I have absolutely no clue!  Josh still says boy.
Labor Signs: None and I pray this continues
Belly Button in or out? it is out
Wedding rings on or off? Off
Happy or Moody most of the time:  happy and getting very excited
Looking forward to: continuing to enjoy summer activities with Claire, having some good friends here for the 4th, and taking two vacations back-to-back… can’t wait!



Do you think this baby will be M or K?  M for Max and K for Kate.

Baby Mk… 24ish weeks

How far along? 24 weeks and 2 days
Total weight gain/loss: Yes, I am looking and I know, but I am not sharing anymore 😉
Maternity clothes? All maternity clothes.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleeping well, but getting hotter at night.
Best moment this week: About a week ago Josh felt the baby from the outside… so exciting!
Fitness Level: Still about 4-5 times a week.  I can still run an under 9 minute pace for a couple of miles which makes me proud, and am still teaching group exercise.  I know my energy level will decrease
Miss Anything? This has nothing to do with the pregnancy, but being home every day with Claire… but only 7 more working days and I will have this again- I can’t wait!
Movement: oh yes, especially right after I eat.  Now
Food cravings: Just ice cream… I can blame this on pregnancy, right?  I am pretty sure I just have it in my mind that since it is hot and I am pregnant I crave ice cream.  I keep telling myself that this may be the last time I get to blame things on being pregnant so I am embracing it.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: YES!  Much bigger than I was with Claire at this point.
Gender prediction: 4 weeks ago I was sure it was a boy, but now I am back to having no clue at all. We will see in 16 weeks (give or take a few days)
Labor Signs: None and it can stay that way
Belly Button in or out? it is out
Wedding rings on or off? Off 😦  I had to take them off yesterday.  Hey, I made it ten weeks longer than I did with Claire. YAY!!!
Happy or Moody most of the time:  Mostly happy with a few bursts of tears here and there
Looking forward to: Summer and spending the last 16 weeks with Claire as an only child.  Getting the playroom ready for when this baby comes.  




Baby MK… 20 weeks

How far along? 20 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: Yes, I am looking and I know, but I am not sharing anymore 😉
Maternity clothes? I can still wear my regular dress pants, but that is all.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: I love sleep, but this is nothing new from pre-pregnancy.
Best moment this week: Hearing and seeing that we have a healthy baby growing right on track- so much relief.  I sometimes get so fearful and constantly pray for a healthy baby.  I also know that the point of the ultrasound is not actually to find out the gender, but confirm so many health aspects.  Praise the Lord we have a healthy baby!!!
Fitness Level: I’ve taken my workouts down to about 4-5 times a week.  This full time work crap is kicking my butt.
Miss Anything? Nothing at all..
Movement: I feel lots of movement first thing in the morning and before going to bed.  Nothing from the outside yet though.
Food cravings: I had a red meat craving the other day, but that was the only thing.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: YES!  Much bigger than I was with Claire at this point.
Gender prediction: Boy… i will be shocked if this baby comes out a girl.  Either way, I will be happy!
Labor Signs: No, and we better not have any for a long while.
Belly Button in or out? it is out
Wedding rings on or off? Still on… I will count this as a success!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and the emotions are coming on more.  I balled in my office yesterday because I couldn’t see my dear friend who just moved to California.
Looking forward to: A warm weekend at home and a long(ish) run on Saturday. 

I forgot to take a 20 week picture until I was 21 weeks, so here it is…

photo 2

What do you think?  Boy or Girl?

30 before 30… final update

I am officially 30!  To be exact, I am 30 and 11 days.  Almost 2 years ago, I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30 years old.  At the time I was pregnant with Claire and didn’t know how much a baby would change my life, my goals and my ability to complete this overly ambitious list I made.  I also thought that after I had a baby, I would be willing to spend all this time away from the Claire to accomplish said goals- I am admitting I was wrong.  Then something else happened… just when I thought we would definitely get to Napa and most likely overseas again (not before I was 30, but right after), we decided that it’d be a good time to stop preventing and allowing baby #2 to come along whenever- God willing of course.

So, here I am: 30 years old, 1 baby, 16.5 weeks pregnant with Baby MK, living each day with the greatest man and only about 50% of my “30 before 30” goals complete… and okay with that.  I am content as ever and feel blessed!!!


1. Become a mother
2. Finish my Masters in Education Administration
3. Run another full marathon
4. Start playing tennis again (league or lessons)
5. Visit Napa or Sonoma Wine Country
6. Take another trip overseas 
7. Run a sub 1:50 half marathon 
8. Complete a triathalon (a sprint tri would suffice)
9. Take another ski trip out west 
10. Complete a family run (with hubby & the baby)
11. Take a family vacation (the three of us)
12. Take a weekend trip with my girlfriends
13. Become a better photographer
14. Run a race for charity
15. Complete a trail run
16. Move out of the classroom and into a leadership role
17. Complete a mudder
18. Bake an apple pie… homemade crust in all
19. Successfully grow vegetables
20. Keep my car clean for a month (this might be the most difficult of all of them for me)
21. Paint pottery
22. Print all my pictures that I have on the computers and put in an album
23. Begin keeping up with my pictures by making a Shutterfly book for each year (then in three years I won’t have to do the above)
24. Read to Baby N each night 
25. Attend a Notre Dame football game
26. Attend a Jimmy Buffet concert
27. Read 30 books that are not assigned to me 
28. Listen to Jackie Kennedy’s Historic Conversations
29. Take Baby N to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, Children’s Museum and Zoo
30. Golf a full 18 holes with Josh

In the meantime, I will tag the ones I didn’t accomplish for the next decade of my life and hope that I will be just as blessed as I was in my 20’s.

Life is GOOD!

Baby MK… 16 weeks

Baby Nicholson #2 will be entering this world in September and we can’t be more excited!  We refer to this baby as Baby MK, standing for the first letter of the two names we have chosen.  Just like with Claire, we will not find out the gender until the Baby MK’s birthday- people think we are crazy, but we like it that way.  We can’t wait to see how this little one fits into our family and to watch Claire be a big sister.  We feel so blessed!

How far along?16 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: I am actually hitting the scale head on this time, and okay with sharing my weight gain- how things change the second go around.  I have gained 10 pounds so far.
Maternity clothes? WIth #1 I boycotted for a long time.  This one has been a different story since I already have maternity clothes and they are just more comfortable.  About 2 weeks ago I started wearing some pants and tonight we got out my whole box of clothes, so this week it will be in full effect.  I can still fit into regular clothes, but I am done fighting it and ready to be more comfortable.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Sleep: Sleeping well… besides still getting up to go to the bathroom.  
Best moment this week: Just thinking of Claire as a big sister makes and imagining this baby in our family makes me happy every time.
Fitness Level: I was still working out 5-6 times a week, but the stomach bug hit me and I took last week off.  However, I will be back at it this week.  Due to the cold, I have capped my runs to about 3 miles- hopefully this week will increase it.
Miss Anything? This past week I was really sick with the stomach bug so I wasn’t getting the the gym, which I missed.  We also went out to dinner last night and I really wanted to order some ahi tuna, but alas…. 
Movement: I feel little flutters when I am getting ready for bed.  
Food cravings: Not yet.  Just things that sound better than others.  And I almost always have to have lemon in my water.   
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: I think so, Josh says not really, but I think that is him being nice.  Friday during lunch I was wearing a form fitting shirt and a second grade girl said, “I am scared to ask you this, but are you having a baby?”  That moment I decided I am officially showing.  
Gender prediction: I go back in forth which means I really don’t know… and won’t know until the birthday 🙂
Labor Signs: No, and we better not have any for a long while.
Belly Button in or out? starting to pop out
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!!! This makes me so happy as I had to take them off at 14 weeks with Claire.
Happy or Moody most of the time: happy.  I am not nearly as emotional this time around
Looking forward to: An upcoming family vacation and the 20 week ultrasound to confirm we have a healthy baby growing.

Excuse my no-makeup, no shower, I’ve been relaxing all day,  16-week picture.  I had to wake Josh up off the couch to take this.