July 10, 2010

Hallstrom's Log, Earth Day July 10, 2010

It seems that I get more and more behind on keeping my blog updated. A ton of things have been going on in my life since I last posted in January.

At the end of April, Abby and I finally received our greatest gift from God...we found out that she was pregnant!!! Everything we had been working for the past two years had finally paid off and we have a little bundle of joy on the way. When we went to the doctor's office in early May and they told us that our baby would be due around the end of the year on December 28th or 29th. How fitting is it that Abby and I would have a baby around Christmas, which is Abby's favorite time of the year? It would also be born near the anniversary of our first date--December 30.

At the next appointment in early June, we were able to have our first ultrasound. It was incredible to hear the baby's heartbeat and see the baby's arms and legs move on the monitor. It really made everything seem real and that it was definitely happening. Here is a picture of our baby, who we are affectionately calling "Peanut" until we know for sure what we are having.
We have already chosen names if the baby is a boy or a girl. We have decided not to reveal the name choices to anyone but close friends and family for the time-being. At the ultrasound, the tech said that the due date based on size would be December 26, which makes it closer to Christmas. The OB-GYN, though, has kept the due date the same as before.

So, needless to say, we are very excited. We are beginning the process of cleaning out the office to make it into a nursery around August or September. Abby's parents have already bought a convertible crib and changing table for the baby.

In April, I had an appointment with my cardiologist. He said that everything seems to be going good. He wants to see me again in October to have another MRI and appointment with him. If everything looks good at the surgical site in the MRI, then I may be able to start seeing him once a year. Speaking of the surgical site, it is approaching the one year point since my surgery on July 20 of last year. My, it seems like so long ago to me since I went through the surgery. I am doing amazingly well. Abby and I joined the YMCA earlier this year and I have managed to keep up with doing cardio to keep my heart healthy and strong. I have gained some weight back but I plan on working it back off and getting down again.

Since Memorial Day weekend, it has been really killer to keep up with eating healthy and exercising. All of the delicious food at holiday cookouts has been too much for me to resist. Also, we recently went on vacation with my parents to Myrtle Beach and nobody can really not enjoy the array of foods that one can find on vacation. The food is incredible!!! Another thing that has hampered my healthy goals is the heat of summer. Working out at the YMCA wasn't so bad in February and March when it was really cool inside there. Now, though, it is scorching hot and I start to sweat before I even begin to exercise. It is not fun to exercise in conditions like that. The fan that, in the spring, was near the equipment I normally use is now gone from that location and it just makes it very difficult to enjoy working out. My bottle of water that I drink while exercising doesn't really help, either. I don't like summer-time exercising one bit. I feel obligated to go, though, because my aunt was nice enough to pay for Abby and I to have a membership there for six months.

This Thursday, Abby and I are celebrating our four-year wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that four years have passed! They have flown by! In that time, we had our first "kid"--our dog, Sloopy. We also bought a nice house in a nice neighborhood. And, now, we are expecting our first human child in December.

We are both still pursuing other jobs to make our careers feel more fulfilling. Abby is still looking to get into an actual school district rather than being at a charter school that pays about $10,000 less than she could otherwise be making as a starting teacher in a district. I am still looking for a job that would utilize my education, experience and abilities.

A lot of my goals for the year have been coming true. Hopefully, more goals will be fulfilled in the remainder of the year!

January 31, 2010

Hallstrom's Log, Earth Date January 31, 2010

Again, it has been a long time since I have blogged about what has been going on in my life. A new year has come and, with it, I hope new things come into my life.

To update my health, things are going very well. I have successfully completed cardiac rehab in September and a maintenance program that went through October. My heart is strong again and I am able to do the things I did pre-diagnosis of my most recent heart condition. Recently, I have just started working out at the Gahanna YMCA thanks to my aunt buying Abby and I a 3 month membership there for Christmas. I want to not only get my heart stronger and stronger, but I want to lose weight and improve my body image. I'm tired of being seen as fat and overweight and I want to know what it feels like to be average, if not better than average.

One thing I have continued to strive to do is improve my lot in life by trying to change careers. I am so tired of retail and of working for Meijer. It is all I have done since high school. I've applied for many jobs since graduating from The Ohio State University in December 2001, yet have yet to land an interview with a company. I know that I have so much to offer any company that hires me. I just need to get the chance to convince them to do so.

I have so much education and experience that would make me a great asset to many companies, yet they can't see that in my resume. It is so frustrating. I graduated high school tied for fifth in my class. I was in the Honor's program at The Ohio State University and graduated with Honors in the Liberal Arts with a 3.48 GPA. I majored in political science and minored in history. While accomplishing all of that, I was involved in many extracurricular activities at Ohio State. My freshman year, I was the Publicity Chair for the Stradley Hall Executive Board and was a first year intern in the Undergraduate Student Government. My involvement in USG led to me becoming a part of the student-run radio station as a radio personality/disc jockey. My love for Ohio State athletics got me involved in Block "O," which is the largest student organization on campus. That involvement led to me taking on an officer position as the Public Relations Director for two years. As P.R. Director, I promoted the Block to local and national media outlets as well as publicized events for members. My USG involvement continued as a student representative to the OSU/COTA Partnership Advisory Committee, which oversaw the partnership agreement between the university and the Central Ohio Transit Authority, and as a representative to the OSU Library Council, which oversaw the libraries. As a member of the Library Council, we had input in selecting a new director of libraries and voted to start the renovation processes of the main library, which finally was unveiled last year. My involvement in Block "O" and relationship with one our advisers led to me helping the OSU Athletic Marketing Department as a member of the Buckeye Brigade. The Buckeye Brigade was a group of student volunteers that helped perform promotions at athletic events. I was mostly involved in promotions at men's ice hockey games but I also assisted at baseball games, women's ice hockey games, one women's basketball game and two spring football games that were held at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Most people who would have been involved in all of these groups probably couldn't maintain as high a GPA as I had done. I took difficult courses in the honor's program and was actively involved in the university. All the while, I continued to work part-time at Meijer. I think that says a lot about me. I am able to multi-task very well.

I just want to feel wanted and appreciated at my place of work. I am tired of getting things done and the store director never heaping praise on my team and I. I am just exhausted when I get home from work most afternoons from breaking my back and running around the store rampantly to get everything done that I have to do as part of my job. Just a simple "thank you" from my superiors would make the job more bearable. Instead, all I get is nothing but a paycheck every week, which I am glad to receive, but wish that gratitude accompanied it every week.

Anyhow, that is not the only thing I am hoping for this year. Abby and I are still waiting on that day to come when we discover that we are going to be parents. We have tried so much the past couple of years to make that happen. My heart situation put a temporary halt to that process as we concentrated on my health for a while. Now, we are continuing in earnest to make our dreams of having a little bundle of joy happen. We've picked names out and all we need is just for that little gift from God to happen.

I am getting ready to turn 31 this coming month and not much has changed from last year at around this time except for the heart surgery. I still have some of the same goals that I didn't accomplish in 2009 that I hope to achieve in 2010. "2001" was the "Space Odyssey" where I graduated from college. I hope that "2010" becomes the sequel to that successful time of my life.