Welcome to Crazy Town

Last week, Cory had a conference out on the West coast, so I used it as an opportunity to take a week off work and nap. God, I love sleeping. I can’t get enough sleep.

I digress.

I was talking to my mom the day before we left, and she said, Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit!

Woof. That was the LAST thing I’d ever think of packing.

My response: Mom, there is no fucking way I’m putting this hot mess of a body into a bathing suit. 

Let’s remember, my body doesn’t yet look pregnant. I don’t have a cutesy baby bump. I have the body of a collegiate binge drinker and boobs that are monstrously large. Like, not cute. Not cute at all. 

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But, because my mom can guilt me into doing just about anything, I headed to Target to find a bathing suit. My regular bikinis would not do. My cute one piece looked a little porn-y. It’s with great disappointment that I tell you this, but I bought a mom suit. A one piece with extra fabric around the tummy, a deceitful cut that makes us think it’s flattering, but it’s clearly just a fat disguiser.

And no, I will not be posting a picture of it.

You’re welcome.

But there I was, walking to the pool and noticing all the hot bodied girls, feeling like I looked 47 and needing to declare: I’M WITH CHILD! I DON’T KNOW MY OWN BODY! I USED TO BE YOU!

As if anyone in the place even noticed me.

Welcome to Crazy Town, ladies and gentlemen.

Pregnancy Fitness

LOLOLOL at this title.

Prior to actually getting pregnant, I had told myself that I was going to have a “fit pregnancy.” I had pinned what seems like tens of thousands of “pregnancy workouts.” Some were even broken up by trimester! Oh, the convenience.

I was going to eat the healthiest I’d ever eaten. Kale, spinach, organic protein – spare no expense! I was going to pop out an organic, lean, mean fighting machine.

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gag me. source

Then, I actually got pregnant.

Anything “healthy” makes me gag. Veggies? Chicken? Lentils? FUCK NO. I can’t, dude. I literally cannot.

Not long ago, I ordered THREE double decker taco supremes at Taco Bell. Double cheeseburger meals from McDonalds give me life. I made a pan of box mix brownies, and asked Cory if he wanted me to make one for him. Because yes, the entire pan I made was just for me.

And because I puke so often, I’ve only gained one pound! (And lost all my muscle definition, but let’s not focus on that part, mmkay?) Oh the joy.

During my first visit with the OB, I was so embarrassed to tell her about my diet. I had such grand plans! But in reality, I’m eating fast food and brownies – foods I enjoyed in moderation (not weekly) in “real life.”

I thought she was going to call and alert CPS or tell me that I was ruining my unborn child’s life, but to my shock and awe she said “At this point, I just need you to eat whatever you can keep down.” I wanted to weep and kiss her at the same time.

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source

This made me think: maybe this is what parenthood is like. Constantly worried that you’re not doing it right, or not good enough, or that someone is going to find out that you haven’t done dishes in two weeks and that you didn’t make your bed.

But as someone dear to me said, “If you’re worried about doing it wrong, you care enough to get it right.” And I think that’s right. I have a subpar veggie intake –  it’s not like I’ve picked up a crystal meth habit.

So maybe this hasn’t been the “fit pregnancy” that I planned, but it’s teaching me how to give myself grace and to let go of tight plans. Things are going to happen that I have no control over (terrifying for a Type A like myself) and that’s okay! It’s the ability to roll with the punches that really matters.

Let’s Talk about the First Trimester

Guys.

Pregnancy is no fucking joke. Maybe it’s because I’d been more focused on the outcome (a baby) that I didn’t really spend much time considering the process (pregnancy) but I feel like I’ve kinda sorta most definitely been blindsided.

For the most part, women don’t talk about how much pregnancy sucks. That’s right, I said it. I’ve heard women talk about how birth is scary, because…DUH, but people fail to mention how miserable pregnancy can be. Women tell each other it’s beautiful and wonderful and the best time ever. I’m calling bull shit right here, right now.

penny

Maybe the first trimester was a bitter stage for me because all I did was vomit and sleep, but where was that “glow” everyone talks about? The only glow I’ve got is the random sweat I break into when I do things like, oh, I don’t know – walk up the stairs or fold laundry.

I literally had to take a break from folding laundry the other day. I was standing in my bedroom at the foot of my bed, folding clothes when all of a sudden my body was like, “Whew! This is really hard work, standing here and kinda moving my arms. Maybe a nap is in order.” 

A nap was in order.

Followed by a 7:30pm bedtime.

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When I voice my displeasure to other moms, what’s the (well-meaning) response every.single.time?

“Don’t worry, it’s soooooo worth it!”

Don’t worry? It’s worth it? (God, I hope so.)

Do you know how difficult it is to puke in an automatic flush toilet at work?

Do you recall how terrible it feels to not yet look pregnant, but like a Taco Bell enthusiast?

What about the “enhanced” sense of smell? When everything in life becomes the foulest stench you’ve ever encountered and it takes everything in you not to lose your shit every five minutes?

Or how about crying for no reason? (Well, at the time, a burnt bagel seemed like a legitimate reason for tears, but looking back, I know better.) I’m not a crier in real life, but in pregnancy life, I cry every day. Not because I’m sad (sometimes because I’m sad) but because I feel ALL THE EMOTIONS.

Oh, the miracle of life.

I’m convinced that minutes after birth, the guys from Men in Black come in and erase your memory. Because, to my shock and surprise, people do this more than once.

 

Our Big News!

Hello, hello! If you don’t follow me on any forms of social media, you might have missed the BIG baby news.

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I’ve seen so many cute birth announcements on Pinterest, but I’ve also seen most of them on my own Facebook newsfeed (because everyone is pregnant), so I just went ahead with the good old tried and true truth in our life: our obsession with our alma mater, Longwood University. It’s simple and gets the news across, right? Check.

I’ve had several people say, “I can’t wait to read your perspective about pregnancy on your blog!” and I really hope that those people were serious. While I have no intention of making this a mommy blog, this pregnancy is a big fucking deal (yes, I will continue to use the fuck word) and I’ll be talking about it.

Because I’m so excited! And it’s been a secret for what feels like an ETERNITYYYYY.

God, I hate keeping secrets.

fake

I’m in the second trimester now, as I’m due in March.

We will not be finding out the gender.

I will not be posting weekly updates with belly pictures. While I enjoy reading those types of posts, I am not that coordinated.

will be honest, and honestly, that may come across as bitching.

I have been puking my guts out for three months straight (TMI, get used to it), and it’s been the toughest thing (mentally and physically) that I’ve ever had to deal with.  It’s also a HUGE reason that I left out of this post. I just have not been able to do anything productive.

This baby was planned for and is so, so wanted; but I know many people who struggle with infertility, and I am hyper-sensitive to that struggle. I know so many people who would kill to feel as sick as I do if it meant they were pregnant with a healthy baby. My heart bleeds for those people, which is why I feel the need to make this disclaimer of sorts.

I never want anyone to misconstrue my sense of humor and bitching nature for ungratefulness. Cory and I are beyond thrilled and I thank God every day for what’s happening.

That said, let’s get real. Pregnancy has been anything but beautiful and I kinda sorta definitely feel like a sideshow freak. I pee when I sneeze, I’ve literally puked while driving (which, is as easy as sneezing with your eyes open), and I miss alcohol. My sense of humor is what’s kept me sane (a relative term) thus far. I hope you will enjoy the journey as I document it here!

For your viewing pleasure, a video I’ve wanted to show everyone for months now: breaking the news to my best friends as soon as we found out. It makes me so happy.

An Unintentional Break

Confession: I don’t know how to start off a blog post after taking an unintentional month-long break.

Hi! 

How are ya?! 

Boy howdy, it’s been a while! 

Do I just ignore it?

I don’t know.

But, like a good friend, blogging just sort of falls back into a natural rhythm, picking up exactly where you left off.

I’d be lying to you if I said I took a month off from blogging because my life has been fantastic, and I was too busy with all the goodness of it all to find time to blog. That I was preoccupied with world travel, an influx in freelance work, or volunteering with needy children/making the world a better place.

Because none of that happened. Not even close.

I have a day job, and it’s been busy.

My weekends have not productive, as they majority of them have been spent on the couch watching Criminal Minds and The Killing (I swear I’m not a sick bastard, but I do love those types of shows.)

My aunt ended (I refuse to say “lost”) her battle with leukemia; it’s unreal how you can see death coming from a mile away, yet are still knocked out by grief when it finally arrives.

My mom made a visit to Richmond, I had dinners with Jamie and Emily, and we’ve finally trained Penny to stay off the new couches. We bought a new comforter, and have grand plans of painting our bedroom, but I have serious doubts. I got back on Facebook, de-friended the shit out of people, and now I know what’s going on in the world ;)

And last but not least, I wrote a blog post.

 

 

 

Fact: I Collect Mugs

I sorta kinda have a problem.

A mug shot problem, that is. Whether it’s my favorite university, my favorite animal, or something weird [like cow udders] I just can’t pass up a good mug. We have plain, boring white ones in our cabinets, you know, in case the President comes over for coffee – but they’re pushed to the way back.

collection

If you collect anything, you know that each item tells a story or has some kind of significant meaning. While I don’t think the Lancers mug is all that attractive, I am wildly obsessed with my alma mater, and seeing that mug reminds me of the place where I made life long friends + met my husband. It also reminds me of pure debauchery, but that’s neither here nor there.

One place I routinely find the best, funky, oh-so-perfect gifts is Uncommon Goods. From when I posted a picture of my new mug on IG, it seems like I’m not the only one who loves that place. (For my fellow blog lovers: please check this out – who knew?!)

mugs

Our anniversary was earlier this month, and while I was poking around their site for gift ideas, I knew these mugs HAD to end up in my possession. So yeah, maybe I picked out an anniversary gift to myself, from myself but…whatever. Happy wife, happy life. AMIRIGHT?!

colleen

Because I’m curious: Do you collect anything?

Disclosure: Uncommon Goods provided me with my choice of personalized item. All thoughts and expressions are genuinely my own. 

Thinking Makes it So

One of my worst qualities is that when it comes to my own life, I tend to be a catastrophe thinker. For a real life example: someone else could tell me “I have a weird pain behind my eyes.” I would think, “Take some Tylenol.”

But if I’M having a pain behind my eyes, I think “This is probably a brain tumor.”

Writing it out, or when explaining it to my mom, I’m painfully aware of how insane I am. Though, I must say, I find comfort in the fact that crazy people don’t normally know they’re crazy. [Humor me, okay?]

 mom

So, I’ve been kind of weird lately. Wishy washy and kind of blah.That’s how life goes – it ebbs and flows – sometimes I feel totally legit and ON THE BALL, while other times I feel insecure question ev.er.y.thing.

Last month, I could have told you exactly where I want to be in 5 years. This month, I can’t tell you with certainty what I want to have for breakfast.

Thankfully, I’m never in this weird emotional purgatory for too long before God decides to send me a life line of a message to kick my ass in gear. Like one of those, I HEAR YOU, BIG GUY messages. You know what I mean?

Recently, I was stressing out about something beyond my control [go figure] when an unlikely person in my life voiced THAT message. He asked me, “Do you remember what Shakespeare said?” [For the record, I did not remember what Shakespeare said] “Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” 

shakespeare

That was it. That’s all it took. Like I said on Facebook yesterday, I am constantly humbled by how things never turn out as catastrophically as I imagine they will. Life, God, the Universe, people – they’re all good, because thinking makes it so.

Any Other Fake Adults Out There?

I was recently involved in a minor car accident. I’d never even gotten a speeding ticket, so it totally rattled me. Like, I didn’t even know what I was supposed to do or what I was supposed to hand over, besides my insurance information [God damn it what IS my insurance information!?]

I never realized how much SHIT was stuffed into my glove compartment until I realized I needed one small piece of paper. Note to self: clean out glove compartment.

When I stepped out of the car with jello legs, the gentleman involved said, I’ve called the police. 

Unaware of that being standard procedure, my thoughts turned to the worst. Oh my God. I’m going to jail! I’m not ready for Orange to be the New Black! 

Cory, who I had just had lunch with, made  a u-turn and drove back to “the scene” to meet me, because I’m incapable of handling situations like this alone. [Any other fake adults out there?]

He asked what happened, and I told him the cops had been called, and I’d probably be arrested and sent to death row.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was a parking lot fender bender.

And a rude awakening to the fact that I should probably take a fucking chill pill.

On My Soapbox: Sponsored Posts

I may be preaching to the choir on this one, but hear me out.

I don’t know why making money from my blog via sponsored posts makes people go ape shit crazy, but it does. Lately, I’ve been getting comments on my sponsored posts like, “SO.MANY.SPONSORED.POSTS!” [I'm lookin' at you, "Olive"] or comments calling me a sell out because I get paid to write about coffee creamer and other products I otherwise legitimately spend my own money on.

So, I felt like addressing the topic [again.]

For anyone who is annoyed by sponsored posts, my question to you is: do have a job that you get paid to do? Like, do you do work every day and get paid for it? You do?! How DARE you?!

Do you see how stupid that sounds? 

penny

The Lunchbox Diaries may have started out as a weird hobby/experiment three and half years ago, but since then, it’s turned into a small business.

Bloggers make money because creating content and sharing it with the internet is work. Writing posts, editing photos, responding to comments and emails, managing several social media accounts – that’s work. While it’s fun work, it’s not like playing a video game or writing in a diary.

I genuinely enjoy the companies I work with, the products I write about, and yeah I enjoy getting paid to do it. I also enjoy running ads on my blog, as I get paid for that, too. [Tip: if you hate this blog, stop coming, because every time you lurk around, I make money.]

I can’t speak for every blogger out there, but it’s never my intention to “pull one over” on my readers. I’m as transparent as possible. I work hard to make this a blog that empowers and encourages other people. I also like to make people laugh. And like anyone, I don’t consider extra money a bad thing.

That said, if you enjoy what I post here, I want to  assume you’d be cool with me being compensated. Yes, that sometimes means writing about products and companies, rather than random mishaps or self-esteem, but that’s the name of the game, son.

 

 

 

Inspiring Design


In grade school, I was the epitome of an ugly ducking. I was chubby, had braces, massive green-rimmed glasses, and I fell prey to the slicked back pony tail look.

I know girls my age remember that look. We used clips and pins and water from the bathroom sink throughout the school day to make sure our pony tails were perfectly slicked back. It didn’t matter when my mom said I looked bald in every picture I took, because I knew it looked so kewl.

The summer before 7th grade, God probably felt like I had burned enough innocent retinas, and granted me some mercy in the form of straight teeth, contacts and repositioned body fat. Guys, things changed.

Well, sort of.

I mean, I looked different, but I still loved N*SYNC, boys with frosted tips, and going to bed early. I still made the same inside jokes with my best friend, I was still miserable at math, and still hated PE class. Even though the outside changed, my inside remained the same.

And as silly as it sounds, the new Coffee-mate design by David Bromstad reminds me a whole lot about gaining my “new look” during the summer before 7th grade.

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Bromstad has partnered with Coffee-mate and Target to create a new look for Coffee-mate [my fave, you know that.] It obviously looks fresh and updated, but it’s great because the inside has stayed the same. My beloved vanilla? Looks cool, but still has the same classic comforting taste. I even stepped outside the box and picked up some Hazelnut. [I live on the edge.]

And, yeah, that reminds me of myself – or any of us, really. Our outside appearance is going to change at some point or another, but the inspiring part is when we keep all of our goodness on the inside the same.

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“For more inspired fun, snap a photo of the newly designed bottles and share it on Facebook with the hashtag #CMInspiresSweepsEntry for a chance to win a year’s worth of Coffee-mate, $500 Target GiftCards, and a signed print from David Bromstad!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

[Thank you for your support as I continue to work with sponsors. Homegirl here has drive thru addiction.]