Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Getting Some Energy Back - 13 weeks

13 Weeks

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head -- which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (about the size of a pea pod) and weighs nearly an ounce. As you start your second trimester, most of your baby's critical development will be completed and your odds of miscarriage drop considerably.

My Energy is Back!!!

Well, at least some of it. And I didn’t need all my naps last weekend. Jackson took a nice long nap on Sunday before his birthday party (he was sick) so that gave me and my mom time to whip together two dishes of lasagna and salad and Karl threw together fresh bread in the bread maker.

Feeling pretty good!! I’m eating healthy again and don’t necessarily need to stuff my face all the time. Whew.

  • ·         SEAFOOD. I keep begging Karl to take me out to a seafood restaurant. My parents took us to Manny’s and my mom and I shared the best crab leg of our life. SO GOOD. I want more!!!!
  • ·         Qdoba and Chipotle sound good a lot. Even Panera.
  • ·         Seafood. Mmmm. I took Jackson to Culver’s on Friday so we could pick up his birthday cake, but also so I could get a Cod fish sandwich. SO good.
  • ·         Kind of weird but sweet stuff doesn’t do it for me right now. Could go without dessert.

  • ·         I have a rash on my cheek that looks like a bunch of zits. Cute.
  • ·         I still get those gas bubbles or some kind of annoying heartburn in my chest.
  • ·         Hungry in the mornings a lot.
  • ·         Peeing quite often throughout the night.
  • ·         Crabby here and there.
  • ·         150 lbs 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jackson!!!!

We have a TWO year old!!!!!!!!

My sweet, sweet Jackson is TWO!!! I can't even believe it. I feel SO lucky to be his mom. What a WONDERFUL little guy. What a BLESSING. What a JOY!

We celebrated his birthday on Sunday with a VERY VERY small party (JUST family) and I'm SO glad we did this. Why? For one, Jackson came down with a 104 temp Friday through Sunday morning. [Rough weekend.]

All day Sunday he wasn't himself - VERY clingy and crabby. It breaks my heart to see him like this. He wanted NOBODY but mom. So I can't say he was the happiest during his birthday party, but it was still fun. It was just very hard for me to do anything so I'm glad my mom was around to help with the food because I would have been in trouble.

I also don't have it in me right now to throw a massive party with moving and being pregnant. We don't quite have the space. And not all of my family could be here - it's tough being far from everyone. But we're celebrating individually and that's fine by us. We are just THRILLED to be Jackson's parents.

Jackson James Koester - 2 years old
Loves looking out the windows regardless of the temp. Such a nature boy!

Riding all by himself! Look, mom! No HANDS! BIG BOY!

Seriously. Another photo???

A visit with the Easter Bunny!!!!

One of Jackson's favorite things. Run away from mom while I chase him up and down the hills. We laugh and laugh and laugh!

Had our Celebration of Life Dinner for my dad since he survived open heart surgery. SUPER FUN night!!! GREAT GREAT FOOD!!!! BEST CRAB LEGS OF MY LIFE!!!!!! My dad had his valve replaced and a hole larger than a quarter closed in his heart. My mom said his heart was so enlarged that once they put it back in his chest after fixing it up, it shrunk back to size. Isn't the body amazing??? TREAT YOURS RIGHT!

Opening Aunt Kelly's and Uncle Ben's gifts. And watching the Masters:) 

Jackson LOVES ice cream (hates frosting on cakes. Will gag.) so we opted for a Culver's Cake. He liked blowing out the candle! VERY GOOD CAKE!!!!


Opening Gpa Jim and Gma Judy's gift. A super cool Thomas the Train that moves!!!

WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gpa Gary and Gma Cindy's gift! Waiting to set this up until we move into the new house!

Train conductor!!!!! CHOO-CHOO!!!!!! Grandma Cindy loves to dress Jackson!

Grandma Cindy gets the best gifts!!!
Jackson melted when he saw this from his Uncle Mark and Aunt Tot and his beloved Kacey. He clapped and kept saying "Kacey!!!" And then "AWWWWWWWW!"

Some cool facts about Jackson and April 15, 2014:

Temperature: 17 degrees right now on April 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Weather: SUNNY!
Moon: BLOOD MOON. Thankfully I'm getting up to pee so much, so I was able to see it. SOOO COOL! I saw it at 2:06 a.m. out our bedroom window. So cool.
Weight, Height - We go in next week for his 2-year appointment. Will know more! I know he's over 27 lbs though.
Clothes - Able to wear 18 month, 24 month and 2 T. 18 month pants fit great in his waist since he has a six-pack but they are too short!
Diapers - POTTY TRAINED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wears size 4 diapers at night. I need to move him into a big boy bed... Waiting until we move into the new house.
Shoes - Size 6.5
Favorite Songs - Old MacDonald, ABCs, Johnny Appleseed, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Wheels on the Bus
Favorite Foods - Pretty good eater! Just had TWO of his dad's healthy, famous pancakes!
Words he says a lot - "Love you daddy." "Love you mommy." "Sit down, mommy!" "Old MacDonald had a pig." "More please." "Thank you, momma." "All done!" "Kelly beans? Kelly beans? Mooooore Kelly Beans?" "Eye, yey, yey!" "Mama Mia!" "Grandpa Jim's knee. Owie." "Papa's owie." "Jenna's again!" "Chuck, nose. Cry." "Griffin hit Julia." "Hitting Angelo." "Open door."
Faves - Loves looking for Motorcycles (which he calls Mocos), and trains and police cars with lights. He loves to blow kisses. He loves being outside. He loves going to the park and going down the biggest, fastest slides. He loves reading books, especially ones with trains, dump trucks, garbage trucks and heavy equipment.
History - One year ago someone (sick) bombed the Boston Marathon. Two years ago the Titanic remembered 100 years since it sank. This year... they are STILL searching for the Malaysia airlines that went down. I'm obsessed.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Crabby at 12 weeks

Week 12

I’m grumpy today. And it’s almost 70 out. What is my deal? I even went running over my lunch break hoping my endorphins would come out and play.  

It all started last night. It was a great night to start. I was able to get my rings cleaned and my car washed. BONUS. AND I fixed up a super healthy dinner. I was feeling rather chipper. BUT Jackson walked in crying and my husband was in a foul mood and it carried over to me. Ever happen to you???
12 weeks!

Drives me nuts when that happens. Negativity is SO toxic. I tried to stay positive, but the negativity won and carried over into MY day at work. Then everything fell apart. I only noticed the bad in everything. It was terrible.

I know I need to stop this domino effect. My mom reminded me that I can’t change anyone but myself. It’s true. I’ve always been determined and driven and high-energy and take initiative like nobody’s business and I think everyone should be like this.

Maybe my expectations are too high? I’ve been told that a few times.  

My mom said that I can’t will someone to change. For example, someone who is drinking too much or does drugs or someone who should stop biting their nails. (Meaning me. My nails are STUBS!) THANKS MOM. True. True I have to be the one who WANTS to change, nobody can force me to. So I have to let it all go and focus on other things. SO HARD, especially when I am the type who wants to FIX everything.


Moving on to other things…

So I have gone running twice this week! Outside!!!! So lovely. That must mean SOME energy is coming back. Tomorrow we go in for our 12-week appointment and I’m thinking we’ll hear the heartbeat.  YAY! Wonder what Jackson will think?

Otherwise, I’m still pretty tired. Once the weekends come, I have to take naps. I can barely keep my eyes open. And this is hard for me. I feel like I’m wasting time taking these naps, but I have accepted this is just how things have to be right now or else NOTHING would get done.

I also had breakfast with the pastor who married us on Monday morning. We hadn’t seen each other since before Jackson was born. WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had the usual – banana pancakes and eggs Maxwell – and picked up exactly where we left off. He is so wonderful. HE simply CARES and LISTENS. I love this. He automatically asked how I was doing without my big brother around. HE GETS IT. He GETS ME. I miss him. I miss his sermons. I miss how he gets me thinking about the greater things in life.

Stomach is growing for sure. I THINK I might have gained like 8 pounds. I hit 150 already. WHOA. SLOW DOWN. It’ll be more tomorrow too because I will be weighing myself in the afternoon. Oh well.

That’s about it. Jackson’s 2nd Bday Party is this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t even believe it. Also, to make you moms all feel better, I have not one single balloon, cake, plate or present bought. It’s pretty much going to be my parents, Karl’s parents/family. SMALL. Unlike last year’s 75+ peopleJ We’re still trying to come down from that INSANE party. Basically, he’s TWO. Do you remember your 2nd Birthday party? (Again, more from my mother’s wisdom.)  And Jackson’s going to love whatever I do. He’s just the best. 


More updates after tomorrow’s appointment! :) :) :) 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gaining Weight - 11 Weeks

11 Weeks (April 3, 2014)

I’m worried I’m getting too chubby. I know. Shut up. What is wrong with me? I’m housing a baby. Enjoy! Enjoy! I know I’ll lose it.

Me at 11 weeks! Bathroom at work:) 

I honestly know deep down it’s because I haven’t been able to get those good sweat sessions in that I need to keep my head on straight and I’m desperate for those feel-good endorphins. I mean, my blood pressure is usually like 89/62 and it’s sitting at 120/68. STILL healthy range, but eesh!


I am eating SO much. I know baby needs nutrients and I was definitely on the tiny end when I became pregnant. It’s just…I am craving SALT so much and I’m eating more than I normally would because I am HUNGRY all the time. With that, I feel bloated and so mushy. And I can’t find it in me to workout. I’m SO tired!!!! I’m only up a few pounds from when I found out I was pregnant, but if I keep this up, I’m going to be in serious trouble. I eat so much it hurts.


Typical Day
  • A HUGE glass of water
  • Two scrambled eggs with some cheese
  • Nitrate free uncured Canadian bacon (2 slices) chopped up in eggs
  • Sometimes I'll throw in chopped up avocado
  • Karl's healthy pancakes (2 small). They are healthy because he grinds up almonds, oats, quinoa, fava beans, etc. etc. They are SO crazy good. We freeze them and then pop them in microwave!
  • 1/2 a grapefruit or some kind of fruit - strawberries or blackberries
  • Sometimes I'll even add one of those Pillsbury Boston Creame toaster things. ohhh...sooo good.  

  • More water
  • I sip a little coffee. It doesn't taste the greatest so I switch between that and hot water, lemon and honey. That tastes WAY better. But coffee wakes me up a little better. 

SNACK (this is when I'm starving)
  • CHUG more water
  • Might have a Greek yogurt with some fruit
  • Then a banana
  • Then an apple
  • Then a couple pieces of dark chocolate
  • A few pieces of my Grain Fall (natural bite size soft squares from Costco)
  • Still hungry.... Dreaming of devouring my lunch.... 

  • More water!
  • HUGE amount of leftovers from dinner OR I'll go out and eat like an entire Go Naked bowl from Qdoba or get a sandwich (toasted), and a salad AND soup and eat it all. Oh, and chips too....  Yesterday I had THE biggest bowl of chili and TWO corn breads. YIKES!!!!

  • Sometimes I'll sneak chips out of the pantry while I'm cooking....
  • I make whatever is easiest right now. I'm TRYING to get fish in there. I'm TRYING to get healthier options, but like last night I made enchiladas. I topped with avocados though! Right not I'm too tired to spend a ton of time cooking. I guess I feel guilty. 
  • Like tonight, I think I'm going with tuna melts and soup. DONE. 

  • Might have ice cream...
  • Might have an orange...
  • Might have a small bowl of cereal...
  • Might have a handful of sweetarts or Jelly Beans... 
  • And then I take all my prenatal vitamins!

I did work out twice last week (huge for me!) and when I did, I wanted to crawl into bed afterwards. I was exhausted. And I only did stair stepper. No weights. I NEED weights. I’m losing ALL definition. It’s still a bit crappy out to walk or run and it’s like I’m so unmotivated to do anything active. This is terrible.

Yes, I'm whining. 

I know once I hit second trimester I will feel a little more like myself and this is good. I need this!!!! Sometimes feeling better hits at 12 weeks and sometimes it hits at 14. I think with Jackson I was feeling pretty good around 12 weeks and by week 14, I was good to go. Just going batty over here with the weather (supposed to get up to 12 inches tonight into tomorrow! Nooooooooooooooo!).

I NEED warmer weather. I NEED the sun on my face and fresh air in my lungs. I NEED sweat pouring down my face and my heart beating through my chest.

We also heard from our current renters. They asked if they could rent from us ONE more month because their new house won’t be ready until mid-June. It’s not like we’re itching to get out of our town home (OK, well, a little), and it’ll be more money for us. Maybe I can persuade Karl that I really DO need BRAND NEW appliancesJ

I’m indifferent about it. I could go either way. I REALLY wanted that garden though this summer and fall. BUT, part of me thinks I could take a Saturday and just go over there and DO it - get it started and planted and I bet the family would respect that. I think there are sprinklers built in, so it’d get watered…. AND part of me thinks we could start moving things to the garage at least so moving day won’t be so overwhelming. AND this gives me more time to go through our town home and label things for certain rooms and go through everything again and do another purge. Especially when I'm feeling more like ME and have ENERGY again. Hmmmmmm.

So yeah, that’s all what’s going on in my head. We called our grandparents last night and shared the happy news about baby #2, which was SUPER FUN. I LOVE how excited they all were. Made me all giddy. I also shared ultrasound images with my uncles and aunts and my cousin, Holly!

I’ve been working at letting things go and giving them to God. I really enjoy praying every night with Jackson before he goes down for bed. This really helps me a lot. Just talking to God is a HUGE reminder that it's not all about me. And talking to him really makes me appreciate what we have been blessed with. I thank HIM all the time for what we have. I have to TRUST that God will take my worries and create opportunities all around us. I continue to ask for wisdom in making the best decisions for all of us with God’s help! I feel like a lighter person this way…even with all I’ve been eating! :) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Month in Review - 23.5 Months

Almost Two!!!!!

March flew by. I don't even remember it. You'll be able to see that once you see how very few pictures I took. Oops.

Let's see. What is new? Jackson is pretty much potty trained other than at night. OK, he did pee on the floor Friday evening, but I don't blame him. We actually went OUT to eat, which RARELY happens. Too keep Jackson busy, he drank a TON of my drink. We went potty before we left. Walked inside our house and he just couldn't control it. But now I know...

I can't even believe this kid. Totally impressed. He is extremely observant and curious. He is talking more, which is SO cute. He loves to sing Old McDonald and his ABCs. He's addicted to jelly beans (which he calls "kelly beans") and fruit snacks. He will tell us he's headed to the store to pick up more fruit snacks when he sits in an empty box or his bike. Funny. He has an abundance of energy - mainly hopping everywhere or running.

I think he's around 27 pounds. He's still in 18 month pants and shirts but they are definitely getting shorter on him. We like to get as much use out of his clothes as we can:) He will wear 24 month and 2T shirts. We realized he no longer fits in his shoes! So we had to fix that.

Otherwise, we've been busy painting the town home and getting it ready to rent. I've been purging stuff like crazy and donating tons of stuff too. This is taking up a HUGE chunk of time and focus. I will be happy once this is all done, but know I have a TON ahead of us yet.

Here's what we've been up to!

During the month of February, Jackson's daycare had up bring in a bunch of photos. They made a collage and talked about families. He LOVED seeing all our faces during the week!

Jackson actually sitting still during face painting. A girl in his class had an Elmo birthday party!

My sweet hubby's 35th birthday! He was pretty happy about this! He brewed home brew ALL day and my parents came to visit and brought him a growler. Sounds like a pretty sweet bday to me! Then we went to dinner. Totally fun. 

Such a cutie pie!!! He looks totally grown up!

LAST room painted before we put up for rent. Sure looks like a lot of junk on the bed... Don't judge:) 

This melted my heart. My sleepers!

Elmo bday party at Jackson's daycare! He LOVED it!

Until next time!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Telling Others - 10 Weeks

Week 10 (March 31, 2014)

Well, most everyone that needs to know knows now. I stressed out about this A LOT. A LOT. And now I feel like 1000 pounds has been lifted off my chest and shoulders. I even told work. Everyone is happy and so now I can be happy!!! I always was, but it’s hard when you’re not sure what reaction you’re going to get. I know. I worry WAY too much. Must fix this. I just don’t like hurting other’s feelings or making life more difficult for them.
Bump Bump

What I do know is that none of this will matter in five years so I have to LET IT GO.

One SUPER awesome thing about this week… Jackson is potty trained. What a stud. He is just pretty amazing. Everything I read said NOT to start potty-training during your first trimester because it’s a lot of work and can be exhausting. But I HAD to let Jackson take the lead. He was READY. And it really hasn’t been THAT bad. Yes, he peed on the floor, but that’s OK. He’s doing GREAT!

·         TIRED. I try to get a nap in on Fridays and the weekends. I don’t think I’m tired but I lay down and I’m out. That is NUTS to me. Even when I was SO tired with Jackson those first several months, I couldn’t just fall asleep for a nap.
·         I ended up getting Jackson’s cold. So I’m up during the night coughing and peeing a lot. Fun.  
·         Peeing a lot. SAME times during the night – 12:57, 1:57, 2:45…
·         Still nauseous here and there
·         Crazy hungry. Like I can eat as much as a 400 lb. man. It’s bad.
·         Up to 147 lbs. Pants are getting tight around the waste.
·         I did get SOME energy to the point where I worked out 2x last week!!! Went down to level 10 on stair stepper for 25 minutes. Shortly after getting done, I wanted to go to bed. So I think I pushed it a little too much.
·         Craving SALTY foods.

There you have it! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Ultrasound - 9 Weeks

9 Weeks (March 20, 2014 - first day of SPRING)

We had our first ultrasound yesterday!!!!!! SO FUN! I forgot how awesome those are. Saw Baby K’s heart pumping and he/she was moving around – kicking those legs and arms. I melted and felt a HUGE sense of relief.

What we know:
  • Baby K is measuring 9 weeks 5 days. I went in on 9 week 1 day. Due date is still October 21! My dad’s birthday!!!
  • Baby K came from my right ovary
  • My Uterus is tilted back
  • Baby K’s heart rate was 179 bpm

I'm going to say girl. BUT, if we have a boy (and you are reading this some day), I LOVE you NO MATTER WHAT! I just want HEALTHY.

I loved our ultrasound technician because she was FULL of information. This ultrasound was first done outside my belly and then we finished it up inserting that huge rod thing up my woo-ha. So far, everything looks great. I was inspired to start working out, but then we got home and all I wanted to do was eat. I feel like a COW lately with as much food as I consume and how hungry I am all the time.

I woke up to Karl rubbing my back, which made me smile. I love this man. I love this life we have.