been away, doing some growing

Just one short week after my last blog post (in June), I found out I was pregnant. As a result, I have not been updating here as I’ve been working out my own feelings on everything.

how I found out I'm pregnant

I had an inkling I was pregnant, or at least that something was up, even when I wrote the last blog post! I was all up in my feelings and had some breast soreness, which is unusual for me (the soreness, NOT the feelings).

A few days later, I was at the gym, wearing my heart rate monitor and my heart rate was SKY HIGH. It was above 200 at one point, and I was just doing weighted squats. I thought it was an error in my monitor and even reset it but my heart rate stayed high the rest of the workout session.

That day I was extremely thirsty, ended up getting a headache and still had those sore boobs. I went and bought a test on my way home. The rest of the week I had my sore boobs, excessive thirst and a feeling I might be pregnant.

It was Ruben’s birthday week and we had roadtrip to Sedona planned so I took a pregnancy test before we left (WAY before it says you’re allowed to, I hadn’t missed my moontime cycle yet). The test was negative.



(secretly pregnant)

We went to Sedona, hiked for a few days and even visited the ever-so-appropriate womb cave. The morning after we got back Ruben went to the gym and I took the test while he was gone.


it just got real

(sticks you buy just to pee on)

Ruben came home AND I DIDN’T TELL HIM. I think I was still processing. Frankly, I still am processing.

Since it was his birthday week, and the following day was Father’s day, I wanted to come up with a clever way to tell him. So I waited until the next evening to tell him.


a very bratty moment

where the three of us take a selfie & ruben has no idea.

I told Ruben on Father’s day by saying I had a belated birthday gift for him. It was two separate packages. The first package was a grain of rice (representing baby’s size) and the second was my positive pee sticks. He was so excited and cried. It was lovely.

We had a flight to catch just twelve hours later and Ruben wasted no time downloading pregnancy books to his Kindle so we could start getting an idea of what to expect while we were on the plane.

Suffice it to say the last six months have consisted of research. ALL the research.

I plan on doing a post about my favorite pregnancy books, my thoughts on the first/second trimesters, my new routine, supplements and what I’m doing to prepare later. I feel like I’ve learned and am learning SO MUCH and (in the spirit of the blog) want to document it!

In the meantime, here are some progress shots. <3

I remember thinking about “how big my bump is!” before each of these photos.

I remember thinking about “how big my bump is!” before each of these photos.

a few things I've been liking

It's Friday. I talk a lot about feelings, self-care, and grief on the blog. Which seems very applicable this week.

Here are a few things I've been liking:

  1. TIG on Netflix was an absolute surprise. I love Netflix originals & I thought it was going to be a comedy special. I was captured by this documentary immediately. It felt very honest and raw. Tig discusses her cancer diagnoses, dealing with her mom's death and being in the public eye. Even with the heavy topics discussed, it still is such a feel good watch.

  2. The Red Table with Jada Pinkett Smith. I would never have guessed that I'd be watching a television show on Facebook. But here we are. This show is SO GOOD. It features three generations of women (grandmother, mother, daughter) discussing really interesting topics. I love that it exists.

  3. One Day at a Time is also on Netflix. I was obsessed with the first season and only recently visited the second season. It is a stunner. I laughed, I cried. I'm obviously a big believer that #represenationmatters, so it's no surprise I love that I can watch a well-done Latino family sitcom. I'm very into watching the three generations of women interact, and find myself reminded of my mom and grandmother when watching the show.

  4. Coco. I love love love this movie. It's colorful and musical, I even listen to the soundtrack. It's about Day of the Dead and the unique approach it has to death and family. It is also such a good representation of a lot of Mexican family dynamics. I especially love all of the strong maternal figures in the film. So much love, so much guilt. It's on Netflix now.

When I was thinking about writing this blog post, I realized much of the content I've been consuming lately revolves around mother-daughter dynamics, cancer & grief.  Even so, I've been so comforted by these stories as of late and I'm very glad they exist.

Thanks for reading! 
This blog post is the 32nd of 100 daily posts. :)
I'm participating in the 100 Day Project. You can read my plans for the
project here.

a few thoughts on grief

helllllo. hi. welcome back!

I've taken some time off writing (smack dab in the middle of the #the100dayproject).

Truth is, I've been in a cocoon of sorts. Sorting out my feelings and giving myself some space to process.  Note: this does NOT come naturally to me.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I took time off this daily project to enjoy spending time with some of my favorite people in Europe. This was only partly true.

Frankly, the first day I missed during this project was April 30th. April 30th is a weird day for me. It's the anniversary of my mom's death (which I refer to as her death day). It's a weird day because it's significant, yet there's not a tidy way to honor it.

My mother passed away 4 years ago and each year the roughly two weeks between her death day and mother's day is a strange place which kind of suspends time and when my feelings are closer to the surface and more in flux than normal.

Even though I know this, it sneaks up on me each year. A friend of mine asked if I take time off work during this time. I haven't before, but going forward I may be more intentional about it. Side note: there's an episode of Gilmore Girls I relate to where we find out that Luke takes a day off and has a "dark day" on his dad's death day since he doesn't trust himself to interact with people.

what to do when your mom dies

This is something I legit googled when my mom died because I had this feeling that I've come to be familiar with annually (at least). I felt like there was something I should be doing,  something time-sensitive and important. Something no one else could do but me. 

Not much came up on google at the time, but here are a few things that seemed helpful.

  1. Save voicemail, ask other people if they have recordings of my mom's voice. I did this. I loved it. It may seem less weird to do this shortly after the death, but a few months ago my mother-in-law found a voicemail from my mom and it was the loveliest surprise to hear her voice.

  2. Write down memories of your mom. Things that remind you of her, songs etc, do this now to relive nice memories so you can't forget. I could not do this at the time. I actually couldn't read or write at a decent level for about a year, which was an unexpected symptom of grief. Also, it frankly seemed like a very heartbreaking thing to do.

  3. Ask people for photos of your mom. You can pretend this is for the funeral/memorial but really you just want to try to get as much of your mom around you.

  4. Let people help you and ask for help. THIS IS THE HARDEST FOR ME. This was much easier leading up to my mom's death. Afterward, it felt strange. However, I will say not doing this throughout my grief process was quite detrimental in several ways. Not accepting or asking for help brought out a very ugly side of me that I'm not proud of. I've since read that we can be unkindest to the people we love the most, because we trust they will love us anyway.

we help others by letting them help us

The truth is, I think the nagging feeling I get that tells me I should be doing something is telling me to sit with my grief and snuggle with it. Get to know it and be more comfortable with it. 

grief is not linear

As a result of observing myself dealing with grief and mourning the past 5 years, I'm going to add one more thing to the list.

  • DO NOTHING (aka do as little as possible) I went back to work less than a week after my mom died. I thought it would be good to "keep busy" so I didn't go crazy (also $). Each year I've been reminded that "keeping busy" is not how one effectively processes a huge loss. I'm not usually this slow of a learner.

For my favorite books and some other resources that have really helped me on my grief journey, you can read this post.

me & mom 2013.jpg


Thanks for reading! 
This blog post is the 31st of 100 daily posts. :)
I'm participating in the 100 Day Project. You can read my plans for the
project here.

things i liked on the amalfi coast

Staying on the Amalfi coast was a VERY last minute addition to the trip. We had planned to stay in Naples and road trip down to the coast for day trips. This ended up being a bad idea.

Naples was added to our itinerary a few days before we left because we watched people eating pizza in Naples in a food documentary. Therefore, I didn't do much research.

Driving in Southern Italy was BANANAS. I cannot exaggerate this enough. I didn't do much research about rental cars in Italy until we arrived. Once I did, the majority of articles stated pretty clearly, "don't drive in Italy." awhoops

Anyway, Naples was not our cup of tea so I booked a last minute hotel in Sorrento as our home base instead. There was no real reason to do this besides me feeling uncomfortable in our first hotel and just trusting my intuition.

it was a great idea

We stayed in Sorrento because it seemed to be the least pricey of the coast towns. It was also the least crowded - which was lovely.

where to stay

We LOVED the hotel we randomly booked on HotelTonight. It's called Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento. It had a beautiful view of the coast, an awesome pool, and an amazing/free breakfast. The breakfast was a full meal and full service in addition to the standard fruit and pastries.  I channeled my Nana by taking fruit in my purse for the day. NO SHAME.

The hotel also had free parking which was super helpful. It was walking distance to the town square but far enough away to avoid crowds - my favorite.

things to do

It was a little cool to swim, but I did do some sunbathing. We spent a morning strolling through Sorrento and checking out some cute shops. We had some artisanal gelato and watched an airshow they had.

In the afternoon, we got in the car and braved the windy roads to Positano. It was about 10 miles of beautiful vistas on narrow cliffside roads. The 10 miles took almost an hour.

In Positano, we parked at the first paid lot we found and explored on foot. The buildings were beautiful. My favorite thing about the coast is the combination of mountains and seaside, it reminded me a bit of Big Sur. The colorful buildings also made for an impressive backdrop.

what we ate

After hour hotel breakfasts, we bought food at the market in Sorrento before binging on gelato. Always save room for gelato.

The best place we ate was in Positano. We had fantastic food with epic views at Ristorante Saraceno D'Oro. It was pretty reasonably priced and the pizza was almost as good as the street pizza we had before we left Naples. 


Thanks for reading! 
This blog post is the 30th of 100 daily posts. :)
I'm participating in the 100 Day Project. 
You can read my plans for the project here.

taking routines on the road

Confession: my favorite parts of traveling is when my traveling life feels like my home life.

here's the thing

As you know, I've worked pretty hard to cultivate helpful morning and evening routines. The truth is, it doesn't stop there. Through self-study, I've been able to test what works best for me in a lot of areas of my life.  (Do I always follow my own advice? Of course not.)

I have a fairly good idea of what makes me feel good. So, throwing that out the window when I travel is counter-intuitive to me. I have a few key things I like to do that sets me up to have a good day, no matter where I am in the world. 

travel routine

I guess I like lists and routines.


At home, making coffee is a ritual. For me, find cute coffee shops and finding the best coffee is so fun no matter where I am. When Ruben & I go out on day dates, this is one thing I often go back to. 

When I travel, it's helpful for me to drink water first thing and then find my daily coffee source. Looking for good coffee whilst traveling is also a fun way to find uniquely designed places. Bonus: when you find the non-snobby coffee places, baristas are happy to give insights on less touristy sights to see.


YO. Food is my jam. I love looking and finding good restaurants. Ruben needs to eat protein pretty soon after waking. This is a little challenging in Europe when not many restaurants offer "American-style" eggy breakfast. It's easy to find my version of breakfast on vacation, coffee, and a croissant or toast.  


This one is pretty easy. I like to opt out of most modes of transportation and get there the slow way instead. This means biking or walking 5-10 miles a day. I've found this is SUCH thorough way to get to know a place and makes me feel so good.


I usually plan travel during the hottest times of year in Tucson. This allows me to spend as much time as possible outside doing all the things I like to do at home when the weather allows. Eating on patios, sunbathing, and farmer's markets are a few of the ways I do this.


One of my favorite parts of my job is how I literally learn something every single day. On vacation, I typically don't work as much so I miss this part of my job. Luckily, navigating and figuring out the best things to do gives me the satisfaction of problem-solving. People watching, seeing sights and talking about our observations with Ruben tends to be very learning rich.

That's it!

As long as my days have some version of the above, I'm happy. Anything else is just icing on the cake.



far mar

in the roman countryside

Thanks for reading! 
This blog post is the 29th of 100 daily posts. :)
I'm participating in the 100 Day Project. 
You can read my plans for the project here.