Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall Fun

There’s something about fall that seems to bring out good friends and good fun.

JD and I usually make a trip to the mountains at least once a year (usually camping at least once), but with the pregnancy, things just didn’t pan out this year.  The idea of backpacking and then sleeping on the hard ground just wasn’t appealing at all.  Plus, my stamina is not near what it used to be pre-pregnancy, so I’m not sure I would have been able to do it even if I’d wanted to, but once the weather started to change and fall was in the air, I started to really ache for the fresh air and views.  A friend mentioned some hiking that was less than 3 hours away, so JD and I decided to do a day trip.  We could not have picked a better weekend.  The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and the leaves were beautiful.  Although there still appears to be a lot of green on the trees, JD was back out that way riding his motorcycle a week later and said that a bunch of leaves had already fallen off the trees, so I guess we caught peak color after all.

The hiking wasn’t rigorous, but there was a lot of uphill, since we hiked to the top of Hanging Rock.  I was surprised how often I had to stop and catch my breath.  Oh, baby, you stole all my stamina!  (Note to self: Always stay in shape, because having no endurance stinks). 

Even Harrier got to enjoy the day with us (Sadie probably couldn’t do all that hiking because of her hip injury/surgery from 2 years ago, and Boyd would be too busy wailing at everything to even get up the mountain).  He was loving life for the first few hours, happily greeting every person and canine we passed.  We hiked a few short trails to some waterfalls and then up the longer trail to the top of Hanging Rock.  We stopped and had a little picnic lunch while enjoying the view at the top.  Being the moody dog he is, by the time we made our way back down, Harrier had decided he was done for the day, and was quite disgruntled.  He growled at pretty much every dog we saw (what a rough life he leads).

Our lunchtime view

Harrier's "majestic" pose atop Hanging Rock

Halloween generally isn’t my favorite holiday.  I’ll attend a Halloween party and maybe pass out some candy (although trying to wrestle 3 giant dogs to get to the door isn’t really worth it), but Halloween to me is more an obstacle in the way of better holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Things were a little more exciting this year, because I went to a Halloween party where costumes were required and it gave me a chance to take advantage of the round belly and incorporate it into my costume.  I had a few ideas, but on the night of the party, nothing was panning out the way I’d wanted, till JD had a stroke of genius.  “You should go as the Kool-Aid Man!” he exclaimed.  So, we painted my belly red and he painted the Kool-Aid smiley face on my belly.  Best part of the costume was that almost everyone at the party knew what I was right away (I was slightly afraid people would look at me and say, “So you’re a… red smiley face?”

This past weekend, we went to JD’s cousin’s wedding in Florida.  After a week at work that made me feel particularly burnt out, I was grateful for an extended weekend and a trip out of town.  Even though it was a long trip, I got to sleep plenty in the car and spend some quality time with his grandparents, who we rode with.  We stayed with JD’s aunt and uncle in Florida, who treated us to fresh omelets every morning and good times with good family, many of whom I hadn’t had the chance to meet before this trip. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  Now that things are starting to cool off in NC, it was nice for a few days in the 80’s again!  More importantly, we had beautiful weather for his cousin’s wedding day, who had an outdoor ceremony.  The highlight of the wedding day?  All of the groom’s Venezuelan friends and family rocking the dance floor.  You may consider yourself a great dancer… until you’re shown up by a room full of Venezuelans busting out their Latin moves and showing you how it’s done.

I, of course, am continuing to grow.  Every few days, I’m caught off-guard when I see my reflection and notice my ever-growing belly.  Little Loralai continues to move a bunch.  We’ve gone from taps and kicks to more rolling movements, where I can feel her rub all the way across my belly.  If I have my hand on my belly at the right time, I can feel roundness of a fist or a foot, rather than just pressure or bumps.  One evening, JD and I both happened to be looking when she kicked hard enough to make my belly move!  It was a little freaky, but we figured it was her way of saying hello :)

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