Baby Bump

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I have been wanting to write about my pregnancy thus far and thought what better time than before I start my third trimester (can’t believe I’ll be 28 weeks this weekend)! Plus I wanted to share some photos from our trip to Bermuda. You seriously can not stop taking pictures of this stunning, picture perfect island. By the way I am 23 weeks in these photos.

I thought it might be fun to answer some common questions that one gets when pregnant, and if there is one thing that I have gathered from this time, it is that people love talking pregnancy and babies!

Have you been very sick?

I was extremely fortunate to have a very easy first trimester. Yes, I certainly felt queasy at times, especially when dancing, but really only got sick twice. In one rehearsal I had to run out in the middle and got sick. The other time was right at half hour before a dress rehearsal.

How was it dancing while pregnant?

Again, it wasn’t too bad, but I did have my harder days. The hardest part was definitely my energy level. Dancing in your first trimester, plus we were working on a pretty physically demanding show, left me exhausted at the end of the day. I would get home, eat a giant bowl of pasta, and not leave my couch. The last show that I performed in I was 15 weeks pregnant. One piece was Minus 16, which is exhausting and requires you to use your entire body to the max. It was a lot of fun but probably would have liked to experience it not being pregnant. The other piece I had to wear a full blown unitard. Yep, now that was a test of my self confidence and left me feeling pretty insecure in my curvier body. But hey, I made it through and I am glad that I did it.

Did you experience any of those typical early pregnancy, emotional mood swings?

Yep! My most memorable one was over my cat. Anyone who knows me know that I am obsessed with my cat Edie, but since being pregnant it has gone to another level. It is almost like I am practicing being a mom and directing all my maternal energy towards her. One night I was crying to Cervi, no, not just crying, gasping for air crying, Edie isn’t going to like our new home! You don’t love her as much as I do! (I don’t expect anyone to love her like I do because I am crazy obsessed.) I look back at that moment now and laugh at how upset I was.

Any food cravings?

At the beginning, goldfish, Kraft mac-and-cheese, pasta, and Izzy’s pickles. Now, gummy candy and watery fruit like watermelon, grapes, and pineapple.

Were you feeling that it was a girl or boy before you found out?

I was leaning towards boy but I think it was more because I have been around more baby boys than girls. Also, not sure if this is true but it ended up being true for me, if you develop a rash you are having a boy. Around Christmas time, long before we found out that we were expecting, I developed a rash on my chest and arms, which was weird since I had never really had one that severe. Turns out, it is a sign of being pregnant with a boy.

Have you started the nursery?

Not really, but I do have some ideas. I did however finally start the daunting task of making my registry. It is so overwhelming! There is so much out there and so many directions you can go. I will say that Baby List has been my life saver. So if you are as clueless as I am this site really educates you, helps you decide what is important to you and your lifestyle, and gives you lists of the best rated products.

Any advice for those pesky pregnancy symptoms?

Ok, this is going to sound completely nuts, but it worked for me. For the past couple of weeks I have had those annoying leg cramps, especially in my calves at night. Now, I am a dancer and know all about drinking water, stretching, eat a banana, yada yada, nothing was helping. Then a friend told me about this odd trick that she heard about, it worked for her and it worked for me. Put a bar of soap under your bed sheets when sleeping. Yep, nuts, a plain old bar of soap (I used Dove). I have no idea how or why but I haven’t gotten leg cramps at night.

There you have it, checking off my first and second trimester, and on to the third. It is going to be one hot summer!

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Our Wedding

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Our wedding day was truly the most wonderful day of my life. Of course you imagine what your wedding might one day look like, but are not able to comprehend the magic of it until it is your turn. The combination of all your favorite people gathered and the joy and excitement that you share with the love of your life, nothing compares. Leading up to the big day, my only fear was that I wouldn’t be able to be in the moment or feel overwhelmed by the day, but I am happy to say that I felt extremely present on my wedding day.

The morning of, I felt calm and had the perfect morning getting ready with my best girlfriends. I don’t tend to get emotional easily (in fact felt I was consoling everyone else!), but then I had my moment. It hit me right before I walked down the aisle and it ended up being one of my most memorable moments of the day. I arrived to the church about a half hour early, while poor Cervi came an hour early and was a nervous wreck having to wait so long (he later told me that he thought he would talk to guests as they arrived but as soon as he said hello to the first guest, became even more nervous and ran to the back to sit with the priest)! When I arrived I went straight to the basement of the church and waited with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. Before I was about to make my way up to the back of the church my photographer offered me a tissue to wrap around my bouquet, I shrugged it off, “nah, I don’t think I’ll cry, I feel fine”. We made our way up the staircase and as soon as I heard the music I started bawling, she quietly handed back the tissue. After my meltdown, I gathered myself and it was time for people to start preceding down the aisle while my dad and I waited for our turn. Oh the father, daughter moment before walking down the aisle, I had always dreamt of it. The moment was so sweet and powerful in and of itself that neither of us needed to say much, otherwise we might loose it! Finally the doors opened and I saw my groom.

Cervi and I were engaged in the beginning of January and our engagement was quickly cut short when we found out that we were expecting (on the day of the wedding I was 17 weeks pregnant). That is the beauty of life, you plan and map out your life but then it throws you a curve ball and ends up working out better than ever imagined. Thanks to my mom, we planned our wedding in less than three months (people it can be done!). Her persistency and perseverance made for the perfect wedding planner. We were shocked at how smoothly everything went and how things fell into place. Because of the time crunch, there was no room to hesitate and we just made a decision and moved on (I would almost recommend planning a wedding this way). We were married in the Catholic Church and so had to complete Pre Cana and attend meetings with the priest and counselors. Everyone that we worked with in the church were so supportive and loving towards us and we ended up meeting some wonderful people.

The reception was exactly as hoped, a little bit of tradition and a lot of fun. We had about one hundred and fifteen guests. When people later complemented us for throwing such a fun party we completely credit and thank our family and friends for wanting the day to be such a joyous time. Both of our fathers brought down the house with their incredible speeches. Naturally, there was endless dancing and as I looked around to see faces from all parts of my life, I could not believe how blessed I am.

Now, I have the impossible task of narrowing down some photos to share. Here are a few of my favorites and I’m sure will be back with more. I have also shared the vendors that we used and would highly recommend them all. When I looked through the photos I could not help but giggle at how overly smiley (me especially) and over joyed we looked, which captured the day perfectly. I want to thank all of our family and friends, at the wedding or not, who have shared their love and support with us. Much love.

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Vendors

Photographer: Claire and Barrett

Videographer: Mark Roberts (video coming soon!)

Ceremony: St Xavier Church

Reception: The Backstage Event Center

Flowers: Britton Spitler

Cake: Dessert Works Cakery and Britton Spitler

DJ: DJ Toad

 

Pretty in Pink

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Well, since my last post reflecting on the past year, a lot has certainly changed and 2017 has started off with a big bang. Little did I know that in just a few short days the love of my life would propose to me and I would be an engaged women! What I thought was just a casual Saturday afternoon lunch, turned into the best day of my life. When leaving the restaurant he started to drive towards Ault park, with me of course asking where we were going. We arrived to a spot under a tree, the spot where we had one of our first dates many years ago. The sun was beaming down on the sparkling snow, he gets down on one knee and proposes.

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Since the engagement the past two months have been a whirl wind of excitement. Venue has been booked, Pinterest boards been filled, meetings been met, and we couldn’t be more excited for our April 1st wedding!

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A couple Sundays ago my friends and family showered me with so much love at my Bridal shower. The afternoon was hosted by my Cincinnati Ballet sponsors, who have grown to be family to me over the past years. It was such a beautiful afternoon and everyone truly made me feel so special and loved. It is so wonderful how your girl friends can build you up and make you feel so supported. Thank you ladies, I love you all!

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Check out this incredible cake!

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2016

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Beginnings are so refreshing. As a child I always looked forward to the beginning of the school year and, as with any beginning, had a mental list of my goals and plans for the year. The beginning of the day is my favorite and most productive time of the day. I even secretly love Mondays since they are the beginning of a new week.

People love fresh starts. It is an opportunity to improve on what’s been done and a chance to put the past behind. It is a funny thing that we do, that comfort and security in “starting over”. The New Year is the ultimate beginning. A new year, a new you? Your best year yet? New goals and of course those new year’s resolutions.

I have a few notebooks that I use to write to-do lists, ideas, and blog entries. I was looking for the notebook that I’ve been using lately to write this very blog post, when I came across an older book. I opened it where it was bookmarked to read, New Year’s Resolutions 2016, I laughed out loud. There were three… I didn’t accomplish any of them. To save myself the disappointment, I’ll skip on the resolutions this year and instead think about this, every tomorrow is an outcome of today, and the beauty of it all is that today is happening all the time. We hear it time and time again, live in the now, make the best of today, be present in your life. It is a beautiful thing, but much easier said than done. So for 2017 let us strive to learn from the past, live in the present to ensure a future. If your day didn’t go as hoped, no worries, there is a new beginning tomorrow.

Happy New Year.

“The priceless lesson in the New Year is that endings birth beginnings and beginnings birth endings. And in this elegantly choreographed dance of life, neither find an end in the other.”            – Craig D. Lounsbrough

Here are some of my favorite pictures and moments of 2016.

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Performance photos by Jeff Corcoran

French Canadian Dressing

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This year my Thanksgiving will be spent on the road with Cincinnati Ballet in Washington DC where we will be performing the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. This is super exciting for us and I will be sure to share more from our tour! Even though I will be surrounded by close friends and will see family in DC, I’ll miss my family’s traditional Thanksgiving dishes come dinner time. Every family has their traditional recipes, some that have been passed down through generations. My family has switched it up and tried new dishes but one that has remained constant is our French Canadian dressing. It comes from my great grandmother’s family (on my mom’s side) from Quebec. It is their version of stuffing, a combination of mashed potatoes and sausage. Since I would be missing this classic dish that I only enjoy once a year, we made it before I left town. I got the recipe card from my grandma and made a small batch of it. On Thanksgiving we would typically make two big dishes to feed a crowd and you have to have leftovers, it is even better served for breakfast with eggs!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, spent with those you love most and filled with kindness and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving!

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French Canadian Dressing

  • 3 lbs pork sausage
  • 10 small or 8 medium potatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 chopped celery (use some leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

Boil potatoes, peel and mash lightly- should be in small chunks. Cook pork sausage slowly with onions and celery. Drain off grease. Mix sausage with potatoes. Add seasoning and broth. Mix well then put in casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until top is slightly browned (about 25 minutes).

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