Celebrating Baby

The past few months have been a whirlwind for me, but despite it, a good amount of time was carved out to celebrate the arrival of baby. First, on the agenda was a babymoon! Michael and I never really went on a honeymoon, so I really wanted to go on some kind of trip before the baby came. It didn't have to be a big trip, just something for the two of us to getaway since most of our trips this year was dedicated to visiting family. We ended up taking a weekend getaway to charming little Victoria, BC in July and I am so glad we did. It was nice to simply bask in the glow of our marriage and the new family we were creating. It was a fun weekend of garden, butterflies, food, museums, and walking about the water.

August called for our last trip to California to visit family. Now that I was getting into the third trimester, I no longer felt comfortable flying anymore, nor did I want to fly after the baby when he was a newborn. So friends and family came together to throw us a memorable baby shower, making the trip back home that much sweeter.

September called for even more celebration, but this time with the Washington friends and family! This baby is so loved by everyone where ever we go. I can’t wait until he’s old enough for me to show him just how excited everyone was for him to arrive.

Before I knew it, it was October, and I found myself extremely anxious. Anxious to be done with pregnancy, and even more anxious to meet my son!

Hawaii 2018, Pass 2, & other updates

Hello 2018! Time for my first post!

I started off the year with a trip to Hawaii with the hubs and the in-laws (who graciously hosted). During vacations I usually want to do a lot of stuff, but my 4th quarter at work was crazy busy and I hadn't been feeling well (update on that below), so I made it my mission to decompress and relax. Besides a few posts on Instagram, I basically unplugged which was nice! I ate well, drank well, read well, and managed to get some writing done. 

While in Hawaii Michael and I got to celebrate our first year of marriage! It was nice for our first anniversary to go back to the place where we said our vows and got hitched.  It brought all the warm and fuzzies back, except this time was so much better because I didn't have a wedding to execute! So yeah, being married is great. Especially to this guy.

On the beach, I managed to read three books in a week. My favorite of the three was The Memory Book by Lara Avery. Where has this book been all my life? Why did no one recommend it to me? This is a laugh, cry, then sob kind of book with such lively characters. Easily one of my new favorite books that I will reread in the years to come. Pick it up. I dare you. Then once you're in the sobbing phase, come cry on my shoulder, and I'll feed you chocolates to lessen the gut-wrenching blow that is this beautiful work of art.

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Anyway, this book, along with the others I read on vacation really got me thinking of MS7 and what type of reaction I wanted to invoke in my reader. After finishing pass 1, I decided I needed another major overhaul during Pass 2. More specifically: revising the voice, tone, and fleshing out the characters. My dear reader, I want you to love, laugh, and cry. That is the goal. :P It's a big change, but I think it'll make the MS better (that is, if it doesn't kill me first). Like seriously, this manuscript is so hard to write, but feels worth while, and one of my goals this year was to write the best book possible. There's still eleven months to go to make it SHINE.

Even though I've been agent-less for awhile, I'm starting to feel really good about my writing again. Last year I'd wrestle with so many doubts wondering if I had it in me. The thing about your low years? It really shows you what you want, and for me it reaffirmed my belief about who I am and what I'm meant to do. This year, I've been exploding with book ideas and it's only January! For the last two years, I kind of had a drought so it's kind of a relief to get drenched with all these ideas.

So yeah, the start of 2018 has been all about positive vibes! Something I've been doing is listening to upbeat music in the morning (Any FLOR fans out there?). If I'm am work, I'll jam out in my cubicle. If I'm at home, I put on my headphones and dance in my office. This new habit just makes me feel happier, and it makes me think about my story and what I'm trying to do, and how to bring more meaning into my story world.

To fully understand how much of an improvement I've made on my outlook, I should confess that the last three months I've been dealing with terrible pain from ovarian cysts due to hormonal imbalances. I haven't felt like myself at all, and there were days when I would just lay about because being away from the heating pad hurt so much. My writing took a hit, and I was such bad company I basically kept to myself. The good news is, I'm dealing with it and getting my hormones under control with natural supplements and cleaning up my lifestyle. It'll take a while to find my balance, but I'll get there.

Now, that I'm back home I'm really excited to dive back into my goals, my writing, life, and making the most of this year!

 

Thanksgiving 2018

I was really hoping to make some headway in my writing, but alas, I got sick with the cold post travel. So no WWPR this week, but here's a quick slideshow of my Thanksgiving trip where I was healthy, happy, and eating delicious food all week long! It's the one time out of the year that my family and I get together, so it's always a blast and goes by much too quickly.

TIU LA Trip: Day 3

Like all things, the trip came to an end, but we made it an eventful one to celebrate my sister's birthday. We woke up and started at Two Guns Espresso which was absolutely delicious. Best coffee during my trip was had here, and they make a killer garlic toast, so try it if you ever go.

After fueling up, we went for a 4-5 mile hike to check out the coastal views. It was so peaceful and tranquil that I had to strike a yoga pose or two. It has been a while since I delved into my practice though, so I'm gonna make it a point to get back into it.

After the hike, we walked along the Santa Monica Pier then headed to Venice to replenish at Café Gratitude. I loved this café so much, I really hope they come to Seattle. I loved the vibe and the positive affirmations. Not to mention the delicious and good-for-you food.

We rested at the beach for a bit before getting ready for the birthday dinner at The Strand House then celebrated the night at Elevate Lounge to ring in the birthday at midnight. The next day was a travel day, and though I had an amazing trip, it also feels good to be back home with the hubby and kitty.

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TIU LA Trip: Day 2

Hands down, day 2 was probably my favorite day of the trip, probably because I've been dying to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and this was my opportunity! 

Before we headed out to Universal, we started our day with a morning run and then went to Sunlife Organics for some Acai bowls.

Then we spent the whole day at Universal where I got to drink butterbeer, go one rides, and enjoy the sun. It's been so long since I've been to an amusement park, and I really enjoyed this one. It's a good size that you could do it all in one day (as long as it's not too busy). We definitely lucked out too because we barely had to wait in any lines for the rides. I thought it was worth it just to do the Wizarding World, but that's just me.

To end the night, we had dinner at Perch and watched the sun set from the rooftop bar. All in all, it was a very good second day in LA.

TIU LA Trip: Day 1

As I write this, I am so filled with thanks and gratitude. The past week has been amazing! My sister and I traveled to LA for a TIU/Birthday trip, and when I returned to Seattle, I had the pleasure of attending the TIU tour! I'm still coming off from the high of this week, so be warned, the next 4 posts will basically be me fangirling about Tone It Up ;)!

On Thursday, my sister and I met up at LAX to begin our trip! After grabbing the car and checking into our hotel, we headed out to lunch at The Source Café. For all our foodie needs, we basically followed the LA TIU City Guide for suggestions on where to go and eat for some delicious, healthy, and instagram worthy places and they did not disappoint! We ended up splitting a green smoothie and paleo salmon toasts.

Afterward we ended up in Venice to go mural hunting to find the 'Look For Love' hearts that K&K used for the challenge and basically had a blast snapping photos and walking around. For dinner we went to The Butcher's Daughter to split a pizza (which was sooooo good--and that's saying something since I'm not a big pan of pizza).

Slightly tired from the travels, we headed back to the beach right outside our room to enjoy the sunset, then had some snacks and sparkling rose on our balcony to end the night.

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Highlight reel of the past couple of months.

After reading my latest post, my husband mentioned wanting to go back to Opus One. I asked him what brought this on and he mentioned glancing at an old blog post of mine. His comment made me realize how much I've neglected my blog that I wondered if anyone even read it anymore. Though I hope people still do, this blog was always for me. My little corner of the universe where I catalogue the places I've been, the things I've experience, and my thoughts.

I scrolled back and the last lengthy post was about my trip to NY in July. Yowza. So here I am recapping the highlights from August up until my birthday.

AUGUST - Yakima wine trip - I planned a day trip to central Washington for a day of tasting and a wine maker dinner.

SEPTEMBER - Vancouver Celebration - My sister cam to visit for her birthday so we did a roadtrip to Vancouver, BC.

OCTOBER - TONE IT UP - My sister and I joined Tone it Up, and we've been obsessed wit the lifestyle since. For my health & fitness journey, follow my TIU instagram account @michellemanifesting_tiu.

NOVEMBER - Thanksgiving & Surprise Bachelorette Dinner - I went back to CA for thanksgiving, and my sister completely surprised me with a bachelorette dinner!

DECEMBER - Oregon wine trip part 2 - Michael and I went back to Oregon to wine taste for our Christmas present to each other. 

JANUARY - Wedding in Hawaii - I got hitched!

February - Snow & BANNERS live show - We got snowed in, but also got to see BANNERS live!

MARCH - Palm Desert - Short sunny getaway to visit the parents-in-law and escape the cold.

Now that I'm all caught up, I'm hoping to go back to blogging once a week :D