Storm Castle Hike

After 8 weeks of not doing any physical activity over my exercise classes, I was very excited to get back to it!  I have to admit, the first few weeks I did not want to do anything that could possibly cause a miscarriage (even though mentally I knew exercising would not increase the chances) and then morning sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. So, when my friend asked if I wanted to hike Storm Castle, I thought sure why not?!  She did give me fair warning that it would be about a 3 hour hike with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. I thought, hey, I have done hikes that are more intense than that…Well turns out I over estimated my ability being 3 months pregnant and out of shape. Wowa! That was a rough hike and it was not just because of the actual hiking part.  The dogs even agreed with me.

We arrived around 11:30am, still early enough where it was not too warm, but it was very sunny. We started the hike and the dogs were running like crazy! This hike has a lot of switch backs–obviously since we are gaining 2,800 feet in a little over an hour.  The dogs started shade hoping; they would run to a shady spot, lay down and wait for us to catch up and then they ran to the next shady spot.

Brinks Shade Jumping.

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Quite a nice view the whole way up.

We were going pretty well, minus the fact that Baby M was taking all my blood and oxygen–but that is ok, baby can have it! (Obviously, it had nothing to do with the fact I am out of shape…)  We were getting pretty close to the top and we took a wrong turn somehow and ended up walking straight.up.the.mountain.  Straight up loose dirt and shale. The dogs were highly unimpressed and Brinks went so far as to sit and not move for a few minutes.  We probably walked straight up for about 15 minutes until I decided this was not the right way. Going down was MUCH harder than going up. Maddie followed straight behind my friend, almost tripping her at times, and I had to coax Brinks back down. My big bad black lab was whining the whole way back down to the trail.

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Steep. Hot. Humid. Hard Work.

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We pretty much crab walked back down the mountain to the actual trail.

We found the switch back we missed and started back up the mountain the correct way. By this time you could see a storm rolling in.  But it had not started to rain yet, only cool down–and it was very humid.

We started waaaaaay down there.

IMG_3565And still had to get to the top of that.

Finally we mad it to the well known arch! I was very excited, but really I was probably more excited to eat my sandwich.  I was starving by that time!  The dogs, and I shared a ppj sandwich and a granola bar–because they worked very hard to get up there too. We also shared water.  And yes, this time I remembered to bring a bowl so they did not have to drink out of my camelback like they did last time.  I’m a very loving dog owner to two very spoiled dogs…


When we were eating lunch at the top of the mountain we heard thunder off in the distance.  So we finished taking our pictures and headed back down the mountain. It started to rain–of course, because what turned into a 3.5 hour hike would not be complete without a complete downpour.  On our way back down the thunder and lighting started to get closer. Brinks is scared of thunder, so of course she started to panic. Instead of running down the trail she decided that running UP the trail was a safer idea; so we had to go get her and luckily I brought their leashes.  Both Maddie and Brinks feet started to hurt and they slowed down dramatically.  It was probably the extra steep 30 minute trek we took off the trail that did them in. Maddie, sadly, started to limp when the trail got very rocky and Brinks was just done and laid on the trail and would not move.  We only had about 30 minutes to go, so at 3 months pregnant, tired, and wet, I carried my 35 pound black lab down the trail. Yes. I carried my dog.  Lame I know. I was quite embarrassed by the whole thing to be honest.  But the people we passed understood–they had dogs too but left them at home, smart people.

We made it back down safe and sound. The dogs (and myself) slept for most of the afternoon that day.  And it was safe to say that the three of us were quite sore the next day.


Bump Watch

(Yes Big J, I stole your very clever name–thanks!)

Here is another quick update of the past few weeks:

Week 10:
Well turns out that I lied about being ahead of the morning sickness.  It was just taking a break before coming on full bore!  This week was miserable. I do not think I have ever thrown up so many times in one day, much less for an entire week.  I threw up within 20 minutes of eating ANYTHING.  My coworkers started to notice how green I was looking and some residents commented too.  Let me tell you, throwing up at work was a horrible experience.  The smells, ohhh the smells, those got much worse this week too.

Week 11:
On Friday (the start of week 11) we took the residents to the small town of Ennis for the day to eat lunch, shop, and get the best ice cream around.  I was so nervous about going because we were going to be there for the entire day! We went out to lunch and I thought for sure I was going to be sick after that. LUCKILY! I did not. Friday morning was the last time I felt sick for the entire week!! I was so excited to be feeling better I could hardly stand it.  Although, I was still exhausted!  I even felt good enough for James to take a half way decent picture of me and my itty-bitty bump!


Week 12:
Baby M, James, and I went to my doctors appointment.  I started to call the baby Baby M because I thought Maybe Baby was a little pessimistic at this point.  We got to hear Baby M’s heart beat!! It was so exciting! It took my doctor a little bit to find baby so she is certain that we are only having one.  There was thought that we might be having two because there are 11 sets of twins in 7 generations on my moms side of the family. YIKES! But alas, only one baby for James and I.  Our very healthy baby heart beat was a strong 156 bpm.  My doctor said that all the swishing noise was Baby M moving around! How exciting.  We have an active little baby on our hands already!!  I still feel great–minus sleeping every chance I get.  However, I did find out that even though baby was craving Laughy Taffy, it did not agree with us.  Mental note: No more Laughy Taffy.   Baby M is a big fan of peanut butter, watermelon, carrots, apples, and salmon (and of course PIZZA!).

Summer in California

James and I ventured across a few states to visit James family and to celebrate Nana’s 90th Birthday Party.  We went the middle of July and stayed for five days. It was very nice out, 90-100’s the whole time and SUNNY!!  We were very busy visiting family, getting the big birthday bash ready, or shopping.  But of course we had to spend some time outside in the wonderful weather by the pool!

While we were there we also shared our good news with the rest of James family. I know Jean was very excited for us to share our big baby news so that she could start talking about it with the most important people in her life–her family! (Thanks for keeping our secret for a few weeks) I was happy that we could give that to her!!  Of course everybody was very excited for us, it is the first new baby in James family since his cousin Emily–who is a senior in high school.

Nana’s Birthday Party was lovely, Jean did a fabulous job preparing, setting up, and pulling it off!  The party was at a very nice country club and there were about 90 of Nana’s friends and family there to celebrate her 90 years on this earth!!

One of James cousin, Ally! We matched!!

Katie, another fabulous cousin!

James and I outside on the balcony.