Happy workaversary to me! Two years ago, I began on a new career path in the IT field as a ServiceNow Developer at Utah State University. I switched from a customer service focused job to a technical one. Looking back, I can tell you that it was rough, oh so rough. I haven’t felt this inadequate in a long time, I can likened it to when I first arrived in the US, 17 years ago. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know if I was going to cut it. I didn’t know if I had it in me to survive the first 3 months. When I made it a year, I quietly celebrated in my heart. I sent an email to my supervisor thanking him for allowing me the opportunity to play in his playground. And now, here I am, closing the door on year 2, and preparing to open the door on year 3!!! Very grateful for the people who believed in me, for my awesome team who have supported me and carried me when I needed help. Stoked to see what year 3 will bring! Excited to utilize the ServiceNow platform to bring more value to our university.


Those first few months were difficult. I am not kidding when I say that I didn’t even know how to turn on my computer—you see, I switched from a pc to a Mac (I will never go back to a PC unless I absolutely have to!). But grit is ingrained in me. I don’t know how to quit. It could be the runner personality in me that doesn’t know how to quit, or it could be the sheer determination to keep on trying—whatever it is, it has carried me through two years. A few years back, in my triathlon years, I was participating in an olympic distance triathlon. I was ready, I had been training in swimming, running, and biking. We all got ready for the swim, I lined up towards the side, where I would have plenty of room to move around. The horn went off, and we all took off. I swam a few yards, and I was feeling great. Then, someone much bigger than me was struggling and he used me as his floatation device. He pushed me down to push himself upwards. I panicked. I couldn’t breathe. Anxiety set in. I could see myself dying from lack of oxygen. I moved sideways and I couldn’t shake him off. So, I swam deeper to get away—talk about scary! After struggling and getting him off my back, I surfaced and gasped for air. A kayak was by my side within seconds. They saw my face and I guess my panic was apparent. They asked me if I wanted to board the kayak and go to the edge. I shook my head. I couldn’t quit. They told me I could hold on to the kayak while they waited for me to feel better. It was seconds, but enough time for me to look to the shore where my kids and husband were waiting for me. The volunteer asked me again if I wanted to go to shore. I declined. I couldn’t go to the shore and tell my kids that I had given up. I couldn’t face my son and tell him that Mom had given up within yards from the shore. I pushed off the kayak and kept swimming. Experiences like this one remind me that I can do hard things. Suck it up. Face the fear. Keep going.


My first few weeks were comprised of taking the beginner ServiceNow course. Yes, my new employer dropped thousands of dollars on a new horse that he didn’t know could race. I was terrified of breaking everything inside the platform by looking at it. Fake it til you make it! I gathered all the confidence I could muster at each meeting, and tried not to look and sound like a complete idiot. I came from a non-technical background and my new world was all IT. Everyone in the meetings talked a different language where I understood every other word and that was because every other word was “the, then, a, etc” ha!. Then, I was given my very first project, it was massive (in my eyes). The crazy person in me thought “yes, I can do this, I’ve got it!” I knew so little about project management. I knew even less about designing in the platform that I was using. It was hard. I struggled every day on that darn project. Each day, I encountered something I didn’t know how to do (and I still do). I would stare at the computer monitor in anger, asking it to do what I needed it to do, spent a few hours researching, then finally asking my awesome co-workers how to do it. That first project took me over a year to complete. Resiliency and determination were crucial during this time. The project, although I was the main developer, was truly a collaboration from everyone in my team. Each time I struggled with something, I would go and tap on their shoulders so they could help me. They have saved my bacon so many times. I have learned and grown so much because of them.

How clueless was I? I have to record this somewhere because one day there will be a brand new ServiceNow Developer and she/he will make the very same mistake I did. My project had over 2000 updates saved, which was months and months of work. Somehow, one afternoon, in deleting a variable, I clicked on something and I lost my entire project—everything! All gone! Poof!!!! I wanted to die. I wanted to crawl into the deepest hole on earth and die! I did what I usually do, took a deep breath, then said to myself “suck it up!” I walked over to my teammate and I told him what I had done. He calmly told me that it was okay. He could find it and get it back for me. It took him a few minutes and he was able to recuperate it for me. He saved my bacon that day (and has done so many times over since then)! The project became my first “baby”, as it took that long to create. I learned so much with that first project, not only did I learn about developing on the platform but I also learned about project management, and the impact the project owner has on the success of the project, and I learned to work with an amazing new team. Working on that huge project gave me the confidence to handle the subsequent projects that landed on my desk.

During those first few months, there were many tears too. I remember specifically a day that I walked to my car and I cried my heart out from frustration at how stupid I was. I had made one of the silliest mistakes ever, and all because I didn’t know better. Kind of dumb for berating myself for doing something I didn’t know how to do and I did it wrong. Although there have been many frustrating moments along the way, there have been so many more amazing “aha!” moments. Moments when I have been so proud of myself. Yes, I guess I enjoy a challenge more than anything! And my new job gives me that! Each time a new project hits my desk, I get a thrill down my spine, and then I worry that I won’t know how to do it, but then I remember that I am not alone, I am part of a team, and a feeling of peace enters my mind.

It has been two years since I made the switch, I have found a new “home” with my IT team. I don’t yet speak “tech”, but I am not as lost as I used to be. My journey still has a very long road ahead, but I am happy to say that I am surrounded by amazing, wickedly-smart individuals. The road will have some challenges that I have decided to self-impose to become a better developer, and a stronger link in the chain for my team, and I know that they will be there to support me and to save my butt when I am over my head. The beauty about starting from the lowest of lows is that you only have one way to go, UP! Yes, on the way up, you may trip and fall over and over, but if you continue picking yourself up, you will continue to make progress. Progress, however small is progress!

Here is to year 3!!! 🙂

Deseret News 2020...the brainstorming before...

This event is not for another two months, and I for sure would like to crush it, or at least do a bit better than I did last time. 2018 saw me with a 1:42:04, an average of 7:47 which is actually quite impressive for the chubbette size that I was (and still am). I would love to at least erase the :04  at the end of that number.

The first few miles are wicked fast, but the end can about kill one over. There are some hills in there too, I want to say around mile 7 and 9, that about killed me. I hate hills! They are my fat butt cannot go up them fast enough and they plainly demoralize me. I suck at them so I get bummed when I see them, which gets in my head and prevents me from even trying. It is a vicious cycle! I am 2 months out. I gotta think strategy. I am practicing my downhill and now I will incorporate uphill too on my weekly runs. 

And don't ask me how I get these numbers because I cannot get them during my training runs. My training runs are about a 9:30 pace and I am lucky to get them in the upper 8s. But somehow during race day these numbers appear. Now, if I could somehow channel them for training....interesting dilemma. 

All I want is a 1:41:59 :). Crossing fingers!!! 


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Dream big...


"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." —Walt Disney

Spring of 2017, a colleague approached me about a master’s program that was being made available online, the MMIS program provided by the Huntsman School of Business. As an on-campus employee, I could be a hybrid and take both online and on-campus classes. Intrigued, I figured “sure, why not, let’s try it!”. 
Let me take you back a few years, about 27 years to be exact. I arrived in the US on May 10th, I was 14 years old. At the time, I spoke one word of English, just one! “Hamburger”. I learned it on the plane from California to NY. Ha! Yes, it proves one thing, my life revolves around food!
When I arrived, I had two jobs, as a sewing worker, and delivering newspapers that contained the ads for the local stores. I worked delivering papers from 3:30am-7:30am, then I went to the factory to sew blankets from 8-6pm. It was grand! I was living the American dream, working, earning money and not suffering as I was suffering back at home. We had food, so much food. If we wanted to eat steak every day, we could eat steak. Back at home, we had steak maybe once a month! I was having the time of my life and in a sense, I was progressing. However, my heart yearned to be like all the other teens around me. I would see them at the mall on Sundays, wearing cute clothes and chatting with one another. Me, I was there to eat out at the food court with my mom and aunt. Life was not rough, do not get me wrong, it was a good life. We had a great apartment, we had great food--all the time, and we had each other. But, I wanted more. I wanted more for my future than working 4am-7pm. I wanted to learn the language and get a nice job that didn’t require me to work on a sewing machine (I am terrified of those monsters!). Maybe a job at one of the stores at the mall (silly me!), where the girls looked always happy and well dressed. 
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The following year, I begged my mom to let me go to school. I didn’t know what I was asking her at the time.  I was being selfish and only thinking of me and not the sacrifice that it meant for her and my aunt. After a little coercing, she registered me in school. Why did I have to ask? Simple, you come to the US to make a better living. If you work, you are earning money. No work, no money. One less person working at home meant less money. It was a sacrifice for my mom, she now had the responsibility to support me and my foolish dreams of going to school. A roof over my head is expensive, food on the table is expensive, clothes are expensive, books…all of that meant someone had to pay for it. 
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The first two years of high school were rough. My knowledge of the English language was subpar, to say the least. I was placed in ESL classes for all my courses. (And if you are reading this and shaking your head at my writing, remember kindly that English is my second language). It was humbling on many levels. Not only did I not know the language, but the only thing that I could do without having to translate was math. All the other subjects took me forever to get through. 
Over the next few years, I became the number one consumer of Folger’s coffee in Queens, NY. I slept probably an average of 3hrs per night. I would read my assignments, translate them with a dictionary, read them again, write the stuff in Spanish, then translate it to English. A lot of the time, my mom would fix me breakfast and she would find the pot of coffee in my room, my books all over my bed, and mountains of paper, so much paper! I watched tv solely in English and listened to the radio only in English—this was a hardship at home as we didn’t understand what we were watching, but my family knew that I had to immerse myself in the language. 

Senior year arrived and I realized that I had nothing to put on a college application. I had dedicated every spare moment of my life to learning the language. I hadn’t had the time to do anything else beyond studying the classes on my curriculum. School was my full-time job. But, I knew that if I wanted a chance at college, I had to show more than my ability to “study”. I made it a point to join as many clubs as I could so that I wouldn’t look like a total loser on those college applications. I enrolled in a couple of concurrent classes and even took AP Biology. Yes, I was going places, ha! 
Then, I met with my counselor. I came out of that visit with a heavy heart. It turned out that you needed money, a lot of money to go to college. Money that we didn’t have. And the government couldn’t help with a grant or even loans, because of my “status”. It turns out that in order to live an American dream, you have to be “American” to enjoy the privilege of that dream. I went home and I cried; I cried out of anger and frustration. How come merit and hard work didn’t count? How come my grade point average and my dedication amounted to nothing in the eyes of an institution? It was a sobering moment. Those with barely a grade point average to “pass” classes were getting accepted and I wasn’t. 
Then something wonderful happened. I met some wonderful individuals who knew the system, and they helped me out. One lady in particular, she saw my potential and decided to give me a shot. A shot in the amount of my first-year tuition! She believed in me and in what I could achieve. Not only did she teach me English and the awesome game of Scrabble, but she taught me that there are people out there willing to help you without wanting anything in return. Judith C. Protas, you made my entire academic career possible!!! 
I put out my college applications, one to the most well-known community college, Baruch College, a business school. I took my SATs and I hoped for the best. I figured that if I couldn’t get into Baruch that I was already a shoo-in for Queensborough College due to my concurrent enrollment. Anticipation was high and I waited for my rejection/acceptance letters. I did it!!! I got into Baruch. My declared major: computer science. Yeah, you can laugh it up. I didn’t even have a computer at home! 
My college years were great. I loved academia! I loved learning new subjects and discovering new worlds. I became involved in clubs and even became an officer in the Golden Key National Honor Society (GK). The team of officers became my family; my advisor became my mentor. Together they made me realize that I had something to offer this world, beyond sewing blankets and delivering newspapers. I grew into a person who loved and thrived in “people settings”. Customer relations became my thing! Talking to students and mentoring students made my heart sing. Recruiting them into the society and celebrating with them their achievements gave me joy. In my junior year, I took an earth science class and I became enamored with the subject. The confidence that belonging to GK gave me, propelled me to find a school that offered a Geology major. It landed me at Utah State University (USU). 


I transferred as a senior and I became a super senior at USU. After I transferred, my advisor told me that although all of my credits transferred, in respect to the Geology major I was only a freshman. There was no way in hell I was going to start from scratch. I didn’t have the money, nor the time to start from scratch. Consequently, I switched to Business Information Systems (BIS). 
Our lives have branches that give us opportunities for different adventures. My adventure landed me a husband from Cache Valley, Utah, and soon after, our first child. A baby meant that I wanted to be home and not actively working. A BIS degree "could" be obsolete when and if I did go back into the workforce. So, I switched to a “safe” degree, Business Administration. 
Bryant, my firstborn came along in January of 2002, I still had a few courses that I had to finish online to complete my degree. The idea of quitting my degree was never an option. The degree meant that all my hard work, and most importantly my mom’s sacrifice was worth it. I had to finish it. I graduated the following year with an overall GPA of 3.51. It was a year of celebration! I did it! I had graduated with a bachelor’s degree. The first one in my entire family ever to achieve this much of schooling. My momma came to my graduation and she was beyond herself. I had never seen her so proud of me. She gave me all the praise, yet she didn’t realize that I couldn’t have done it without her sacrifice in those early years of high school. She worked twice as hard so I didn’t have to. 
When one is a first generation, the child of immigrants, and the first in the family to go to college, the sacrifices are many. Everyone in the family has to work so hard on many levels: language, culture, financial. It takes a community to help you. It is a win for not only the individual, but to the family, and community of supporters. 
So when my colleague came to me in the spring of 2017 with this great opportunity, I knew that I had to take a chance. This was it! My chance to finally go after that degree that I had sought from the beginning, something to do with computers and technology. I took the chance and ran with it! I applied and got accepted!!!
For two years, I worked full-time, held a part-time job, and took 6 graduate-level credits per semester. In my spare time, meaning in the very early hours of the day, I ran my heart out so that I could have the stamina to meet all of my demands during the day. During those two years, I ran a total of 6 marathons and ran over 3000 miles. 
My master’s degree is a culmination of a life-long dream. Formal education to people with my socio-economic background is not a given. It is a privilege that not many of us get. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to follow my dreams.  Making my dreams a reality would not have been possible without the many sacrifices from my family. My mom who believed in me back when I was 15 and gave me the chance to enroll in high school. My grandparents, who took me in as their "pilon" and raised me when my mom left to make a better future in the United States. Without my abuelitos, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Hard work was part of our daily life. "Tears do not fix it, wipe the tears and keep on shoveling" (yes, there is a story behind that line). My hubby, who took care of our children when I was studying, or out running to save my mind from insanity. Knowing that my children were taken care of and provided while I followed this crazy dream gave me peace of mind. My children who babysat our little rainbow baby so that I could study. My 14-year old daughter who became my helper at home. She cooked, she cleaned and did the dishes without being asked. She simply saw that it needed to be done, and she did it. My son, who has shown me almost every day of his life what hard work and dedication looks like. My little toddler, who was barely a few months old when I enrolled. She brought me joy and peace whenever I needed it. Her hugs and love made every hard day at work and school disappear. And last, but not least in any way, my community of supporters, ranging from friends to mentors. 
Family grad
I don’t really know what the future holds for me. All I know is that if you really want something in life, you can achieve it if you put forth the work. There are many people you will encounter along your journey that will doubt you, or make you feel less because of where you came from. But for every one of those people, there are 5 out there cheering for you. Focus on the 5 who cheer for you. Most importantly, do not doubt that you can accomplish something. It may take you years to accomplish it, but as long as you make progress towards that goal, you are winning in my book. Here I am, proof that you can do anything!!! Because if I can do it, I know you can too! 
Judith, as you look down from heaven, know that your investment paid off. I didn't fail you. You took a chance and I ran with it! 
Now patiently awaiting the posting of my degree to my transcript...and hit refresh on that page one more time. 
A special shout out to my friend Nicole from SteppingStones for taking and gifting me some bombastic grad pictures!!! 

Mt. Charleston 2018

Need this for analysis on how I am going to tackle the same course in a month's time. I didn't realize that it was such a good time. Last year when I ran it, I felt like such a failure about hindsight, that was an amazing time! I don't think I can get within 10 minutes of that time now. Injuries suck! 



World, meet our darling Eowyn Ann

Mom and Eowyn

Our sweet Eowyn Ann arrived two weeks earlier than anticipated! Mom and Dad were definitely ready to meet her, even if it took them by complete surprise. Unlike her siblings, who were born on their due date, exactly, little Eowyn started showing signs of coming earlier than planned about a month before she was supposed to arrived. 

2016-10-22 04.23.11

I started having contractions about a month prior, small and not painful ones at all. Definitely manageable. On my first "check up" appointment, which start about 4 weeks before the baby is due, I was already dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. It was a surprised to me as with my first two, I was dilated to a 2 up to the date I delivered. The following week check up was a bit different, I didn't make it to the appointment as I lost the mucous plug early on Monday morning so I headed to the hospital to make sure my little one was okay. That Sunday night, I was having contractions all night long that kept me awake. I would doze off for an hour or so only to be woken up with some major contractions. Monday morning, I was getting ready to go to work, I went to the bathroom and I had a painful sharp pain and there went the mucous plug. At first, I got scared when I saw the blood, and then I remembered what it was. With my second, I lost the plug and she was born about 5 hours later. I took a shower, got dressed for the day, texted my husband to let him know what was going on and that I was on my way to the doctors to check on my progress. We were two weeks and 3 days earlier than anticipated, so we knew that it was probably a false alarm, so I told him to stay at work. At the doctor's, I was checked and I was dilated to a 3 and effaced to 80%, they strapped me to monitor to check on the baby and to monitor my contractions. The contractions were far apart and not very painful, manageable for sure. The doctor told me to go home and walk a bit and that she was sure the baby would come within a day or two. I didn't go home, instead, I went to work. I can easily walk at work as well as at home. 

7 days old

The day at work went really well, I was able to see all of my students and got some stuff done there. Contractions were far apart and bearable. That night at home, things went well. Still contractions at night, closer together, about 30 minutes apart, so it was another night without much sleep. Next morning, I got ready and went to work. I felt good, just overly tired from not sleeping. Contractions coming at about 20 minutes, still bearable. I made it til 5pm and then went home. Had dinner with the family and rested a bit. We said prayers and got ready for bed around 9pm. My contractions were getting gnarly at this point. I didn't think I was going into labor, I was after all 2 weeks and 1 day away from my due date. My hubby started timing my contractions as I was in way too much pain to keep track of them. At one point, he asked me how far apart they were and I turned to him and said in not very nice words "if I could keep track of them, I wouldn't need you, now would I?". Poor guy, he is so patient with me. He started timing them and they were coming about 8-10 minutes apart. I couldn't stay in bed, I had to walk the pain away. He asked me at one point if we should go and I remember saying, "not, now, I don't think I am ready." Then around 10pm, they got so unbearable that I started crying with every single one of my contractions. I would lean against the wall and simply cry my heart out for that minute that they lasted. At some point, my hubby was there to support me and for me to hold on to. Around 10:20, I told him, it was time. I had to go to the hospital. I got dressed (why in the world, I got dressed, I don't know, I should have just gone in my pajamas!). 


As we headed to the hospital, I remember him taking the main road and I was so upset because the main road is full of lights and because half the accidents in Cache Valley happen on this road. I told him so, my body shaking with pain and here I was arguing with my poor hubby about the red lights that we were hitting, which happened to be every single one until we got to the hospital. I remember him parking the car and usually I jump right out of the car, but I couldn't, at that very moment, I could feel my lower body splitting apart in pain. I held on to the door handle and simply let my tears roll down my cheeks. It finally passed and I opened the door and got out of the car. As we were walking in, two ladies were walking out, I could discern their smiles and heard their hellos. They were happy for me and I was happy too for what was coming, but yet, I could feel my entire body shivering with cold from the shock that it was going through. 


At the hospital, they got us in quickly and efficiently. The nurses were very kind and checked my progress and sure enough, the little girl that was supposed to arrive two weeks later, was on her way. I was dilated to a 5 and she was coming! I was cold, so cold, shivering from head to foot. The anesthesiologist was called in right away, I was prepped within an hour for everything. IVs in for meds and liquids, then the glorious anesthesiologist came in with his magic drugs. Despite the pain, we were all still joking around (I think it is my avoidance mechanism), I joked around that for each minute the anesthesiologist was late, it was going to be one less taco for him. The anesthesiologist asked if my nickname for Sam was "taco", I was laughing and trying to stay super still all while curled up to get my epidural.  It took a bit of work to get the epidural in the right place, but once it was in, it was like magic, my pain went away. I was still super cold, but at least I was not crying from the pain, all I could feel was pressure. I knew when each contraction was coming and could feel them but it was just pressure. 


They decided to wait until I dilated to a 10 and then maybe my own doctor could deliver the baby (she is out on Tuesdays). It was around 4:30am when nurse Cazlyn came to check on me and saw that I was at about a 9, so she called the doctor on call. The entire room got busy and all these machines started coming out from all these doors. It was a circus in there! The nurse had a student nurse with her, and then the Nursery Nurse had a student with her too. At one point, I think there were about 6 people, plus Sam and I in that room. I would have cared, but frankly, I was ready to push. I could feel the pressure getting stronger and stronger and an urge to push. 


The doctor got there and she got all dressed in her gown and gloves. She checked again and felt still a small lip on the cervix but she said we could start. I was coached by Cazlyn and the doctor on when to push, although I could feel each contraction, they helped me out to make sure I didn't miss them. My previous babies arrived with 3-4 pushes, not my little Eowyn. It took 5 contractions, 3 big pushes on each one, each push being held for 10 seconds. On that last contraction, she was coming! The doctor and nurses first words when they saw her "look at those cheeks!", I laughed, then two more pushes and she was out. My sweet baby Eowyn was welcomed into this world! She screamed and cried! She was placed on my chest and she calmed down until they came to clean her up, then she screamed again. I held her to my bosom as I cried from happiness and then I saw my sweet Sam crying too. We had waited almost 12 years for this moment. Our sweet little angel was finally with us!

5:52am on Wednesday, October 12, Eowyn Ann Phelps, 6.2 oz, 18 inches long, made my world a much better place. We are now a family of 5! 

Eowyn Ann 2

Family and friends: we will be accepting visitors at home in the evening hours after two weeks of her arrival. Mom and baby need some sleep-thank you for your understanding. 

Baby Eowyn has an Amazon baby registry.

Baby Knits for Golden Nugget

The time is coming for my little bundle to come say hello. Three weeks according to the calendar. Most of the time, I feel really good, last night not so much. My doc check up yesterday may have stirred the "pot" and I had some awful contractions that kept me up from 2:30am-4am. Needless to say, I am exhausted this morning. But that is not the reason why I am blogging. I want to blog these cute little hats that I have been making since this weekend. I picked up some Elysian yarn by Cascade Yarns, it is a blend of superwash merino wool and acrylic--it knits beautifully! 

There are no patterns for the hats, except the cable hat, this is a baby adaptation of the Quendi hat. I am in love with all of them and I can't wait to see my little Golden nugget wear them.


This is the Quendi Hat that I adapted to a baby size.


Little Bow Hat with a seed stitch bow (bows can be interchanged).


A little bell shaped bow hat--so girly that it makes me want to squee! 


And the littlest hat of them all. I made this one newborn size, will most likely bring baby home wearing this one. The bow is garter stitch that is folded on the edges to make it more crisp so it doesn't fall over. 

Count down has begun! My little one could be here any day! 

Exercising Momma-week 16

16 weeks

We went running this morning, the first time in a long time. Yep, I got the treadmill going and climb on that thing. I wanted to try it out in safe environment where I could rush to the bathroom if I needed to worship the throne. Went slower than I wanted, but we felt good. I love feeling the sweat drip down and feeling my heart rate speed up with each step. 

As I was running this morning, I couldn't help but dream of next year and preparing myself for some races. I dream of running a marathon next May, perhaps Mt. Charleston in Vegas. I guess placing a dream/goal ahead of me will keep me motivated during the next few months and the months after. Training in the winter sucks but I did it this last winter and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Nothing like running with a group of gals at 6am in the pitch dark, cold, dreary winter to lift up your spirits. Winter of 2016 will be a bit different and I bet I will be half asleep most of the time, but I really hope to be able to be running and training by mid December. 


How are we doing? Morning sickness is going down. I still have some very bad days where I feel awful all day long. I attribute it to the days when I have some sort of dairy. I have found that cheese is okay, but having even an ounce of milk can set me for some crappy days.Also, I can drink water once again. I have missed it. I love drinking yummy water, so refreshing! But the baby didn't seem to like it at all at first, it made me gag and feel overall yucky! The baby is growing and I can feel the little bump now when I lay down. It seemed that just last week I could lay down in bed and my "belly" would go away, not anymore, my little bump is there. We are at 16 weeks now. 24 weeks left!!! I hope we can make it. WE need to make it. I don't know if I could cope mentally with losing another baby. But, I guess I am not the boss of that part. She is the size of an avocado this week and she has all her little limbs developed, and has some fuzz around her head. Oh yeah, I found out that we are having a little girl. I had the high risk blood test and my little avocado seems to be in the normal range (whatever that means, cuz we are anything but normal at my house). Through the test, we were also able to find out that our household will be getting another little girl. I am very excited! Of course, I would have been excited too for a baby boy. They are both so much fun. Papa is already dreaming of putting her into weightlifting, and maybe soccer :). Itsagirl

Last week went great in staying on the wagon. Monday, the workout sucked big time at the gym. My knees killed me the morning after, so I moved my day off to Tuesday, to let my knee recuperate. Silly knee, it seems like it will never be the same. I guess having 100% of your meniscus makes a huge difference. 

We will continue working out, slower, with lower weights, in hopes that all of this will help me have a healthy baby and easier delivery. 

Monday: Crossfit and Zumba

Partner WOD
20 min. AMRAP
*5 T2B
*7 Goblet Squats 50/35
*9 KB Swings 50/35

*Plank Hold--I did this on my knees. 


*200m Run

Notes: Felt pretty good while we were working out. Farina was my partner and we went at a good pace the entire workout. Felt that the 20 minutes were super long, but we stuck to it and we did fabulous! We did 7 rounds even. 

Zumba: always fun! Let's dance and shake it. I have found that I drink a lot more water if I hit the class and my body really likes to drink all that yummy water. 

Tuesday: Impromptu day off. My knees killed from the goblet squats the day before. 

Wednesday: Crossfit 

8 Rounds
*5 HSPUs (Heavy Push Press)
*10 KB Swings 50/35
*100m run

Notes: I did the push presses at 65#. The running, although it is supposed to be a sprint, I cannot sprint anymore. Whenever I tend to run faster, my tummy cramps up, so I go slower. We can handle it a little slower. 

Thursday: Crossfit

*OHS 3-3-3-3-3

*200m Run
*18 Wall Balls 20/14
*9 Hang Cleans at 65#
*200m Run
*14 Wall Balls
*Hang Cleans
*200m Run
*10 Wall Balls
*5 Hang Cleans
*200m Run
*14 Wall Balls
*7 Hang Cleans
*200m Run
*18 Wall Balls
*9 Hang Cleans
*200m Run

Notes: Gah! This totally sucked wind! The hang cleans were supposed to be done at 95#, I dropped down to 75#. I am growing a human here! Priority number one is keeping it safe, inside my womb. Could I have done 95#, totally, but that is not the goal over the next few months. The goal is to stay healthy, moving, and not to lose all the muscle I have acquired over the past years. The wod itself was brutal!

Friday: Crossfit and Zumba

Strength – 12 mins.
*Bench Press 3-3-3-3-3

*5 Snatch 95/65 
*40 DUs (120 SUs)
*10 Snatch 75/55 
*40 DUs
*15 Snatch 45/35 
*40 DUs

Notes: A short and sweet WOD, less than 4 minutes. Double unders while pregnant is kind of mean when pregnant and I can pee on command. 

Zumba: again, always super fun. It never feels like a workout. 

Saturday: Zumba and Yoga

Notes: Perfect way to end the week. A little dancing, and then a relaxing yoga practice. I hear that practicing yoga will help me when I deliver. I don't know if that is true but it does calm me down. It seems that I have all these demons fighting in my head, always going 1000 miles an hour, yet when I come out of yoga, I feel calmer, more in tune with everything around me and not so much with what is happening in my head. 




Working out while pregnant

I don't remember being this tired in my previous pregnancies. Could it be my age? All I know is that I am exhausted by 3pm. I can take naps on demand now, something that was very rare in the past. Last Sunday, I slept all day, I think I took 5 naps, long naps too. 

It has been a mental struggle getting myself to go to the gym. I know working out makes me feel better, about 100% better, but having the energy to get to the gym is where it is lacking. Lack of energy has never been in my vocabulary, not anymore! I have been diligent in listening to my body and still working out. I am pleased to say that I have made it 5 out of 7 days every week. I always take Sundays off and in the past I used to workout Mon-Sat, but now, I take a break in between. 

My goal is to continue the trend of working out every day. I want to continue weightlifting, and hopefully soon, I can start running again without the peanut squishing my blatter every 2 steps (he seems to be sitting right on top of it right now). 

In an effort to help other expectant moms, I want to log my workouts and how I feel. I have heard the myths about exercising while pregnant and I hope that I am able to help others who are unsure. Note: I have been doing crossfit for 4+ years, and have been running for 8 years (running, as in running half marathons and marathons). I am not starting from scratch. My body is used to what I am doing right now, and I am not introducing anything new to the mix. Keep that in mind when starting a workout routine. Do check with your doctor. Mine gave me a "go ahead" on my first visit. I told her as soon as my energy returns, I hope to be back to running. We both laughed because I was able to run 10+ miles probably during my first month of pregnancy, yet at 12 weeks going up the stairs at home made me winded. One thing that we have to remember is that we are GROWING A HUMAN! Growing a human is hard work. It taps on your energy, it taps on your food source, and it taps you mentally--be kind to yourself (I have a hard time being kind to myself). 

Here is a quick log of what I have done this past week and my plans for today and tomorrow:

Monday: Crossfit & Zumba

Half "MURPH"

*800m Run
*50 Pull-Ups
*100 Push-Ups
*150 Squats
*800m Run


I am getting to the point where I feel a slight pull when I do my kipping pull ups so I am slowly modifying. Push ups--my lower back can't handle them so I am doing knee push ups. This is a huge hit to my ego but I do what I can. Squats, thanks to my running, I have strong legs and my legs can take the beating so no modifications there. Running is a lot slower but I am still running. 

Zumba class is just plain fun. I love dancing and moving. This does not feel like a workout although my Garmin says that I "walk" an average of 5 miles during the class. 

Tuesday: Insanity

This class kicked my butt. I have to modify the ab workout slightly. I can still do a few of the push ups (as long as it is not 100 of them). Whenever I get too tired of jumping, I just do static moves. My fitness background helps me in this area as I am able to modify when I see it needed and I know how to modify. 

Wednesday: Crossfit

5 min. AMRAP
*10 Box Jumps 24/20
*5 T2B or GHDs

2 min. Rest

5 min. AMRP
*20 DUs
*5 Pull-Ups

Notes: I was able to do it all. Slower. My Toes to Bar are getting to be pretty pathetic but I can still do them. Again, the kipping motion pulls a little bit so I can see that I will get to a point rather quickly when I won't be able to kip to do Toes to Bar or Pull ups. Again, a huge hit to my ego, however, I can workout and I will continue to do what I can for as long as possible and then modify. 

Thursday: OFF.

Friday: Crossfit

3 Rounds
*10 Floor Press 95/65 H135/95
*20 Squats
*20 Floor Wipers
*10 Back Extensions

Notes: Still to do this afternoon. I can foressee the floor presses needing help to place the bar overhead as I typically put the bar on my hips and thrust the bar up with my hips. 

Saturday: Running, Zumba, and Yoga

I am planning to run to Zumba 2.5 miles. Do Zumba and Yoga Classes, then run back home. Then I get to rest all day long. 

Here is some inspiration for myself for the upcoming months:

Anxiety and Fear


In the past few years, I have noticed that I suffer a bit from anxiety. I didn't really know I had this until one day I caught myself repeating a certain sentence over and over in my head. Then a few days later I noticed the same exact habit, I started to notice more and more when I would end up in this cycle. They don't last long and lately, now that I am aware of them, I try to snap myself out of them. I don't know what causes it, probably stress, probably feelings of inadequacy, whatever it is, it is terrifying and I don't like the feeling at all. I hate meds, so I probably will try to never get on any of them, especially if I can snap myself out of it myself. 

However, yesterday, I was overly stressed. I knew what was stressing me out and I tried all weekend to not let myself be stressed out over it. What was stressing me out? Something extremely simple--I was having another doctor's appointment for my pregnancy. I have had many of them with my first two and I don't remember ever being stressed out. However, after my miscarriage in November, anything at all with this pregnancy sets me on edge. Although I have had already one ultrasound and it showed everything normal (at least to the little peanut size baby that I had at that point), I was terrified. All weekend and all day yesterday, I was preparing myself for the worst. I was preparing myself mentally to hear the doctor say, "Isela, I am sorry, it doesn't seem like a viable pregnancy." Is that crazy? I think I am trying to shield myself in case anything happens. I know my odds of having a healthy pregnancy are low due to age...blah, blah, apparently 38 is too old. 

My appointment was at 4:30 and I was on on edge! I wanted to know that my baby was okay, that my body was handling it okay. That my body can still carry a wee one. The doctor, thankfully, was in and they took us right away. She came in and after some small talk, she said that we will listen to the heartbeat. My heart was racing. I was sweating. I was hopeful. She put the little ultrasound gadget on my abdomen and right away, the most beautiful sound came on "woosh, woosh, woosh" beating at 160 bpm! My little wee one is thriving. My body is doing it! I am doing this!!! I am officially out of the first trimester, the odds for me and my baby have gone up considerably. Am I still out of the danger zone, no, I am not, but I am hopeful that the Lord will allow me to have one more little one. I am hopeful that we will both make it through the next 6 months. 

I think the miscarriage taught a lot that I had never imagined before. The fear that enters our hearts is indescribable. It is hard not to hope and not to have dreams about this little bundle, especially when you want it so badly. Yet, having had the miscarriage taught me that even the one thing I have "some control over", my body, that I cannot really control it. It taught me to fear, to fear simple routine checkups. It taught to fear everything I do. As such, when people tell me with an accusing tone "you are still lifting and running?" it bothers me,  not because it is a thoughtless comment (although it may be) but because if they only knew how much I love and want this baby, I wouldn't do anything in this world to jeopardize my pregnancy. The truth is that if I am going to miscarry, there is nothing on this earth that I can do about it. I learned that lesson in November. I cried. I begged. I prayed. I stopped doing everything and anything physical to save my pregnancy, and I couldn't do anything. Even the doctor said, if the pregnancy is not viable, your body will end it, there is nothing we can do about it, or you can do about it. It is hard to lose this control. It is hard to accept that we do not have control over these things--believe me, I am a control freak and this one episode in my life has taught me what 37 years of life hasn't been able to in that time period.