We’re having a baby!

October 25, 2011 § 1 Comment

Baby Bouchard at 9 Weeks

We’ve known we wanted a little Baby Bouchard since well before we got married (if you ask Bryan, he would say he knew he wanted to have a baby with me the night we met at McDuffy’s). But with me being in law school, Bryan being in Japan, and the ever-present possibility of a deployment, when was the right time? Well, if you know anything about us, you know that we don’t like to follow a traditional timeline. We got married while I was still in my first year of law school because it felt right. We wanted to be husband and wife, and so we were. Even after our wedding, however, Bryan was still living in Japan while I was in Boston … so let’s just say the baby-making would have been a little strategically difficult.

When we finally reunited in New York, we deluded ourselves into thinking we would wait and enjoy being newlyweds. That lasted for about 5 seconds before we both divulged that we actually maybe didn’t want to wait. And so just one month after I finished my Arizona internship and returned to NYC (and we finally began to live together full-time) Bryan started noticing that I was eating–a lot. A lot of chocolate, to be precise. And even though I’m typically quite–erm–emotional…I was perhaps a touch more emotional. But Bryan forgot about this because I assured him that I was just PMSing (and we all know that mentioning the monthly visitor is a pretty quick way to get a man to stop asking questions).

I was feeling the tell-tale PMS signs of cramps and irritability, after all. Well, one day while Bryan was at work I decided I was sick of wondering when the visitor was going to arrive, so I decided to go buy a pregnancy test at the corner Rite Aid (always an awkward purchase). When the little pink line showed up, I was actually quite flabbergasted. I knew it was possible that we were pregnant so soon–but what about the cramps I had been having? The chocolate cravings? The tender lady lumps? (Sorry, I’m not good at self-censorship). Well it turns out that many signs of PMS are also signs of early pregnancy. I immediately started chugging water so I could take another test, just to be sure. I also whipped out my cell phone to call Bryan and tell him … but hung up mid-ring because I realized I should probably come up with some cutesy way to tell him that we just might be expecting our first baby together.

I showered, got my pretty on (I wanted my baby-daddy to think his baby-momma was pretty fine), and rushed down to Bryan’s office to tell him the good news. I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was floating the whole way there. I wondered if my fellow subway travelers could tell. I’m pretty sure there was some glowing going on. I could barely contain myself until we got into Bryan’s office and I closed the door, then blurted “I’m pregnant!” Yeah, I’m subtle. I think the next thing I said was “Wanna see the proof?” Which was in my purse in a ziploc bag, natch.

Well, what followed was a flurry of phone calls to my mom and seesters, and then a few days of quasi-denial. Of course I purchased baby books and started perusing baby gear approximately 3 seconds after I saw the little pink line, but I was still understandably worried it wouldn’t “take” for at least a few days. We’re now 10 weeks and 5 days along, and have even heard the heartbeat and seen our little shrimp twice (that’s what they look like at first…whatevs, it’s cute). Bryan and I are both overjoyed and pretty darn impatient for the baby to come out, but we have a lot to think about over the next 7 months.

Baby Bryan

Baby Jenna

So, the Air Force is sending Bryan to Afghanistan. For a year. From Halloween to November-ish 2012, Bryan will be gone. The baby is due in May 2012, so that means that Bryan is going to miss approximately the first 6 months of baby’s life, after he/she is born (we don’t know the gender, but we do plan to find out). But there’s nothing we can do about it, so we’re just going to have to make the best of the situation and focus on what matters–Baby Bouchard.

We’ve also decided that it makes the most sense for me to move back to Arizona and finish law school as a visiting student at ASU (I’ll still have my Harvard degree even though I’m spending my entire 3L year at different law schools). That way I’ll have my family’s support, will be able to have the baby in my momma’s home, and we’ll be able to save a ton of money for the baby’s college education (or, for my law school loans).

So that’s where we are: I’m preggers, Bryan’s going to Afghanistan, and I’m moving back to Arizona. It’s going to be a wild ride until Bry gets back from Afghanistan and we can re-settle down with our new addition somewhere in the New York area (we’re thinking of moving to the ‘burbs), but we know we can handle anything together.


Highlights of 2010

December 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

2010 has been quite a year. This year we got married–twice. We went on many adventures (or ventures, as we like to call them when we’re talking baby talk to each other…shhh). And we found out some important news that will determine the next few years of our life. Check out our 2010 in review!

We kicked off 2010 at the Insight Bowl with beautiful Hayley. She got a little antsy and we left early, and then went to Outback for some steaks. We spent a quiet midnight at home, drank some champagne, and retired early like an old married couple.

Here I am with pretty Hayley girl. We got to have her in January, and again in November. We’re looking forward to even more time with her in 2011!

I think it was during our Christmas break that we hatched the plan of eloping in March. We had been very worried that Bryan was going to be deployed some time during 2010, forcing us to cancel the big wedding we had planned for August 2010. So we decided to outsmart the military and elope–that way, if Bryan did deploy, we would already be married, and I would be taken care of. If not, we could still have our big fat wedding.

I bought a dress and some jewelry, and flew to Japan for my spring break. Bryan had worked with an Okinawan civilian from his office to arrange the whole wedding. He made my dreams of getting married at sunset on a cliff overlooking the ocean come true. We were so happy to finally be man and wife.

I love this shot of my bouquet and the sailboat in the background.

After I finished my 1L year, I was lucky enough to get to jet (first class, no less) to Hawaii to meet Bryan! Bryan had a TDY there, and I got to relax in Honolulu with him for 3 weeks. We fell in love with Oahu and can’t wait to go back (but this time, we will avoid trashy Honolulu and stay on the North Shore).

Another picture of us messing around, probably after a day of drinking fruity tropical drinks.

And here we are after hiking Diamondhead in Oahu. Fitness is a big part of our relationship, something we are both always working to improve at, and we enjoy doing active things together (and then celebrating our hard work with delicious food and drink). This was a beautiful memory from 2010.

We did everything out of order in 2010. First we got married, and THEN we had our engagement photos taken. These next three shots were taken on the North Shore by the beautiful and talented Natalie Norton.

I think Bryan was really napping in this photo. Because even though he was working 3pm-3am shifts, I forced him to wake up at 7:00 am and go take photos with me. What a trooper.

Oh yeah, and Bryan never ended up getting deployed. So we had our big Arizona wedding after all! It was hot, hot, hot, but it was definitely one of the best days of my life. I love Bryan so much that I married him twice!

The theme of the wedding was based off of the dark beauty of black baccara roses. I loved how my bouquet turned out!

Our favorite picture from the wedding.

This beautiful photo was taken right as the lights went out, causing quite the chuckle among our wedding guests.

Our only family wedding photo from the evening. We’re so sweaty from all the dancing (especially Hayley–that girl was a dancing machine!).

The best part of our wedding was getting to share our special day with friends and family. We were so grateful to be able to see so many people that we haven’t seen in years!

I surprised Bryan by getting someone to drive us from the wedding to our hotel in a mint condition Volkswagen bus. I found the good samaritan online, and he did it for free. What an incredible end to an incredible day!

My sister Kelly got married in October, and I was her Matron of Honor. Her wedding was beautiful and I had such an amazing time dancing with family.

Beautiful photo of the bridesmaids with the blushing bride.

Back in skinny jeans! October 24, 2010 I switched to a Paleo diet, and lost 18 lbs. I’m never going back to my old eating habits (I can’t believe I used to eat a muffin for breakfast…and think it was healthy).

This year I also ran my first 5K, which I followed in November with a 4 mile run. Next year I plan to run many more races, including my first half marathon in May. Here I am with Hayley, the best little cheerleader.

And here I am after my post-wedding chop! It took me until December, but I finally cut my hair after growing it out all year for the wedding. I’m really loving the new shorter locks!
Well, 2010 has been quite a year. Bryan and I have been very lucky to get to spend so much time together this year, despite the high cost of all the plane tickets. We have spent at least$10,000 this year, we estimate, on plane tickets. We are definitely looking forward to next year, when we will finally be living together again (we hope).
In 2011, we have a lot to look forward to: Bryan’s PCS to New York in May, my move to New York in August, we plan to run a half marathon together in May and we’re both embarking on tightening up our switch to the Paleo diet and CrossFit. Stay tuned for many more adventures as we begin our first full year as a married couple living on the same continent!

Ever Ours: Man Candy

December 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Here is my sexy man looking like Santa Claus while he shaves in the men’s locker room. This was right before he got kicked out of there, in a move that really pissed me off. Silverleaf, our venue, a country club which my parents are members of, told us that we were not allowed to use their BEAUTIFUL locker rooms to get ready in. Now I understand them not wanting a huge hoard of giddy wedding partiers ruining the experience of the other members…but come on. The actually getting ready part, and the accompanying shots, just look so much better in the locker rooms. I am annoyed that I didn’t break the rules and do my dressing in the divine locker room. Especially since I’ve seen multiple other brides who did just that. Anyways, I’ll get off my soap box now.

Bryan says this is his favorite picture from the wedding of himself. I think he looks very handsome.
I’m pretty sure Bryan does not like this picture, but I bet that’s only because the oversize shirt makes him look bigger than he is. I’ve been trying to get him to wear smaller sizes lately, and I think he’s coming around.
I really wanted some cool argyle socks for the groomsmen, but we couldn’t find any in our wedding colors (come on–are lemon and wine really that strange?), but I did eventually find these burgundy socks. Unfortunately, I don’t think we ever got a shot of all the groomsmen with their shoes and socks.
I love this shot of our custom wedding Converse sneakers. We got these for the groomsmen as gifts, and I think they got a chuckle from our wedding guests when the groomsmen walked down the aisle.


The men got ready in a sort of man cave with a pool table, bar, darts, etc. Very nice.

I love the ties. And the suspenders. Very glad we skipped the vests.

Ooohh. Artistic-y.

More sexy. Okay I’ll stop now.
Next up: the bride getting into her dress, and our first look.

Christmas in Japan

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

What? You thought jump the next train was dead? Not so! Just on hiatus while I allowed boring life obligations to take a larger percentage of my time than I prefer. 2011 I would like to change that, so expect to see more out of this blog.

Right now I’m in Japan for the last. ever. time. I’m actually pretty sad about it. We still never made it to the mainland, and at this point I don’t think I will ever be able to convince Bryan to take a touristy trip to the mainland. I’m going to try to eek out a promise from him that at some point in our lives we will take a real, bonafide trip to mainland Japan. He kind of likes me and if I ask him to promise, he will follow through.
While I’m here, I’d like to take a few more adventures. I’d like to find a hike perhaps to go on, check out a few more beaches, and maybe even check out a new island for a weekend trip. Shh, don’t tell Bryan about that one–he doesn’t know yet. I also need to finish our wedding photo album, which I’m designing myself using an online book publisher.
Definitely missing the family for Christmas–Christmas in Arizona is one of my favorite things ever. Baking with my sisters, drinking some pomegranate margaritas, hanging out with our big crazy family playing Wii to all hours…I’m definitely going to miss that this year.
So anyways, look for more photos of this last adventure in Japan, our first Christmas as husband and wife, and our First Annual Bouchard Christmas Barbecue extravaganza!

Ever Ours: The Details

November 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

The dress. Sigh. I loved his dress. I loved the Alencon lace, the way it highlighted my waist and decolletage, the little train. It was a bit heavy for an Arizona summer wedding, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my dreams for a little heat. I have since had this dress preserved, and I hope that my daughter one day considers using some of the lace as a part of her wedding ensemble.

I have a secret. My perfect garter purchased from Etsy. Yeah, I didn’t wear it. It was too hot and itchy. It came off after pictures. And we skipped the garter toss. Which I totally regret.
My sister Kristen’s updo. I just told the stylist to make the girls’ hair a little bit looser and highlight the Black Baccara rose. The roses were actually a last-minute addition, and I think they make the look. My bridesmaids were so beautiful.
My shrug. I knew from the moment I got engaged (before that, actually) that I wanted an Alencon lace gown with cap sleeves. But when you go wedding gown shopping, almost every dress is strapless. If I had found a dress with cap sleeves already on, I probably would have bought it, but this shrug, which I had custom made off Etsy, helped me create the look I wanted.

My goofy niece Maddy playing around in our Bridal Suite. It was probably too early for her to get there when she did. Note to brides: flower girls and junior bridesmaids do not have the patience to hang out with grown-ups all day. We might have champagne to amuse us, but they need something more. Plan for them to arrive when the bride is starting to get her gown on.
My sexy best friend Lauren and gorgeous stepsister Lisa lounging in our Bridal Suite while everyone else (including me) got our hair done. The alcohol was flowing, but unfortunately I chose not to partake. Big mistake! I didn’t want to get blotchy, but now I wish I had a couple of nerve-soothing bevs.

My makeup artist Maureen is amazeballs. She has been doing my makeup for 9 years. Before you start thinking I’m some famous celebrity who needs their own makeup artist, I’ll explain–she did my makeup for Senior Prom, my sister Kristen’s Debutante Ball, Bryan’s homecoming from Iraq, and now my wedding. So really, she is my go-to girl for any special occasion. She listens so well, takes her time, is a perfectionist, and does some killer things for eyes.
Here she is again. I love the black and white shots–so timeless.
I loved my shoes. I wanted a shot of color for under my dress, and I loved the fact that they carried the rose theme down to my toes.
I like this detail shot of my dress because you can really see the pattern of the Alencon lace, and the beautiful ribbon sash that really cinched in my waist.

My next recaps: Bryan’s getting ready shots, and me getting in my dress.

Slow and steady wins the race…

June 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rocking my Red Sox hot so that I could blend in. Took this right after the race, as I was walking home. This is how red my face gets after working out!
Me in my apartment after the race. Wanted to show off my race bib!

Bryan deployed to Iraq in April 2008. When he left, I was just about to go on summer vacation, and I made it my goal to get in shape while he was gone. I had visions of greeting him at the airport much thinner and shocking him with my hotness. I also set of goal of learning how to run. I have always hated running, ever since the dreaded mile runs in elementary and middle school P.E. I was moderately athletic through swimming and competitive cheerleading, but I just could not run. I couldn’t get the breathing and form to come naturally, and I was wheezing after a block. I heard about the Couch to 5K running program that eases you slowly into running, so that after 9 weeks you can run at 5K, and I decided to try it.

Over the summer of 2008 (the dreaded Phoenix summer), I went to the gym almost every single day. I slowly progressed through the program, though it was not always smooth sailing. I am overweight, and my heavier frame made running painful for my knees. Sometimes I had to wear a knee brace, and I’ve learned that I really can’t run consecutive days without experiencing some pain. I’m hoping that once I lose a bit more weight (I’ve lost about 10-12 lbs since I graduated college, by cleaning up my eating habits a bit and exercising more), the knee pain will diminish even more. I did all of my running on a treadmill, and was amazed that by the time Bryan returned from Iraq, I could run for about 30 minutes without stopping. I couldn’t even run for 1 minute when I started, but I taught myself to run what I considered to be a decent amount!

After Bryan returned, I kept up with my running on the treadmill, but not as consistently as before. We often woke up at 4 a.m. to get to the gym by 5 a.m., but when we found out that Bryan was moving to Japan and I was going to Boston, we started going out more on weeknights, drinking more to try to take advantage of our time left with our friends, and exercising less. Over the summer while I was living in Okinawa with Bryan, I ran a bit to keep up my endurance, but still not as consistently as I would have liked. First semester of law school I exercised even less, but I picked up the pace after we got engaged. I am still trying to lose more weight before our wedding in August so that I can be proud of the pictures–I’m hoping to lose 15-20 more lbs before then.

One major change I have made recently is moving from the treadmill to the road. It has been tricky, because Boston sidewalks are death traps, and running on the road is obvioiusly much more difficult than the treadmill. While we were in Hawaii, Bryan ran outside with me, and I was proud to work up to running 3 miles outside by the end of the trip. While in Hawaii, I researched 5K races in Boston, and found that there was going to be an AIDS 5K on June 6. I put it in my calendar and decided to run it alone (since most of my friends are out of town for their summer jobs), and then promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t until yesterday that I remembered that I planned to run it! I realized I hadn’t actually registered for it, and registration was closed, but you could register in-person on the day of, so that’s what I decided to do!

This morning I woke up, ate a banana and strawberry kefir for breakfast, and got ready. As I was walking there, it started pouring, but I waited out the heavy rain (which passed after a few minutes) under an awning, and then made my way down to the Charles River esplannade. When I got there, I found the registration tent, paid my $30, got my bib, and then checked in my purse. There was 30 minutes to go until race time, so I drank some water, used the port-a-potty, and stretched.

My goal was to run under 35 minutes, and to never walk–when I run on the treadmill, I’m usually at a 12 minute pace. I don’t track my speed when I run outdoors, but I thought it might be a little faster. The announcer had us line up and told the slower runners to go to the back of the pack, so that is where I headed (although not allll the way to the back). It was cloudy, cool, and still sprinkling, which actually made for great running weather. The gun sounded, and I started slowly jogging at my normal pace. I kept repeating to myself that slow and steady wins the race, especially when so many people were passing me. I skipped the first 2 water stops, which was a mistake, because I later felt my mouth getting dry. The first mile maker I was feeling pretty good, and found out my pace was right at 11 minutes. I tried to slow down a little during the 2nd mile, but by then people who had started off too quickly were fading and starting to walk, and my competitive nature made me speed up to pass some slower runners. I was pretty darn tired by mile 3, but I knew I only had one more mile to go and tried to pick up the pace. I also grabbed some water, but I didn’t stop to drink it and only got a little down before I threw my cup away.

The last mile was painful. I knew I was so close, and I really wanted to keep up my 11 minute or so pace (probably more like 11:30) and make it in under 35:00. I was breathing so hard, because I was pushing myself harder than normal, but I kept going no matter what. Walking was not even an option, though I let myself slow down a bit. But once I saw that finish line, I really tried to go all out–I didn’t have much more gas in the tank, but whatever I had left I used to get through that finish line. When I saw the time was 34:50, I knew I really had to push it to make my goal. I made it through at 34:53! I was absolutely exhausted, my heart was racing, and I had to walk it off for awhile before I felt normal again. Afterward I sipped some water, called and woke Bryan up to tell him my time, and tried to get a free hat, but they were all out 😦 I knew I wasn’t going to be winning any awards, and I didn’t see anything much to do, so I just went home. But I wore my race bib the whole way home, feeling very proud of myself for making both of my goals.

Ultimately, I would like to run a half-marathon, and one day a full marathon. I had planned to run a half on June 27, but there is no way that is going to happen. They are also having a 5K that day, so I am going to try to switch to that. If I run the 5K, my goal will be to run it in less time than I did today. I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now 🙂

Teaching our children how to love

June 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

One of the things Bryan and I often talk about is how we want to teach our children about love. We have been very lucky to discover a love that is equal parts friendship, passion, desire, humor, and shared interests. But what makes our love even stronger, we agree, is a common decision to be committed to each other no matter the obstacles. Thus far, the main hurdles have been geographical separation due to deployment and law school. Of course when we are together there are times when our moods don’t jive perfectly–Bryan might be energetic when I’m tired, or vice-versa–but we have learned to work around that. I’m sure once we’re finally reunited other things might pop up, but the distance is really the only issue right now, and it has made us so much stronger. We have to communicate more than we probably would if we were in the same house. Every few months we get a romance reunion. Then we say a tearful goodbye, and the tension builds over the next few months until we can see each other again. Both of us make sacrifices in order to strengthen our long-distance relationship, and the shared nature of those compromises binds us together even more tightly.

We just got our “engagement” photos back from the beautiful and talented Natalie Norton–we had so much fun, and it is so nice to have that documentation of our vacation in Hawaii. One of the many reasons I pushed to get them was to have something to show our children one day of when we were young, passionate newlyweds. Bryan was skeptical, and very tired that day, but he was a trooper and now that they are back he loves them so much. “Our love is incomprehensible to most mortals.” (that’s a quote from Bryan when I told him I was writing this blog post while Skyping with him)

After looking at the photos, Bryan remarked to me that he wants to renew our vows every year or so, in order to show our children a constant example of true, unswerving love. We want to show them that true love takes a bit of luck, and a lot of work and commitment–and renewing our vows often will be an example of how important it is to decide to love someone and never look back, even when it gets hard. We also definitely want to hire a photographer every year to take family photos (that include couples photos like our engagement ones) like the beautiful ones by Natalie Norton or Matt Sloan (who will be our wedding photographer).

I think a lot of people I know who currently struggle in relationships never had a good model of true love to draw from. Some of these people therefore don’t believe in love, or think that if it’s not perfect it must not have been meant to be (I think Sex and the City played a huge role in this for girls of my generation). Love exists–it’s not always perfect, sometimes it takes just deciding to be in love even when you’re not feeling so loving, and there must be a perfect balance of commitment and “into it”-ness on both sides of the relationship. If one partner is more “into it” than the other, or more willing to sacrifice, then it probably won’t work. I don’t know how to find that balance, but I do not that once you have something close to it it’s possible to work together to equalize the sides of the scale through communication and faith.

Anyways–enough sounding like Dr. Phil. The point is I can’t wait to share our engagement photos with you. I can’t wait for our second wedding/party in August. I can’t wait to get our wedding photos taken in August. I can’t wait to reunite with my beautiful husband. And I can’t wait to create a family and teach our children what it means to love–not just your partner, but your family members, friends, and even strangers. Bryan and I hope that by renewing our vows with our children present, and taking advantage of the talented photographers out there to document our lives as our family grows together, we will progress towards this goal.