My mind is everywhere these days. Pregnancy is a huge distraction for me. I am consumed by it most of the time, every hour of every day. I’m either reminded about how I won’t see a pair of pants with an actual waistline for months-I even have begun to miss buttoning my pants, now I don’t even have the option, elastic reigns. Or I ponder how I’m slowing getting to the point of not being able to see my feet and that I needed a pedicure yesterday. There will also come a time where shaving my legs will be a comedic event. Then to add on to all of this, I  have decided upon the crazy notion of possibly growing out my hair again because my hair is growing so quickly these days but also know that I will face an awkward Justin Bieber grow out stage. 

I’ve also been having pregnancy dreams like crazy. Many of them lately have involved running, like athletically. Let me just take a moment and state that I have never been a runner, I have tried in the past and have failed miserably. I am the person that tries to run but turns into an asthmatic mess of a human, hacking and wheezing my way through very short distances. But, in my dreams, I run. I compete. I fly. 

I also dreamt last night that I gave birth to three puppies instead of a baby. We pulled them behind our tour van (since we were touring musicians in my dream) in this pimped out trailer that was nicer than the van. But, they kept getting out and I couldn’t keep track of all of them. 

Lord, please let me not have 3 babies or puppies at one time. 

On top of my pants not fitting, I also am still worried about out little Marin. I try not worry, I really do, but it’s tough when I can’t quite feel her yet and know that she’s in there but could still be facing risky conditions. We see the specialist again on Tuesday and I hope to hear miraculous words come from his mouth: “She is measuring fine now and your fluid levels are up. I don’t know what you did, but great job!” Then, in my mind, I will be praising God in heaven and thanking all of you that have been praying and praying and praying. 

Tuesday. I have to wait until Tuesday. 

I’ve been making it my point to slow down and rest, firstly for my baby and secondly for my sanity. The other evening I came home, put some thumbprint cookies on a plate, made a cup of decaf (so over that), and sat down to read one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott. It was like this book was made for me at this point in my life. If I had the guts to, I’d go through and obsessively highlight every line on every page.

“Oh, but my stomach, she is like a waterbed covered in flannel. When I lie on my side in bed, my stomach lies politely beside me, like a puppy.” 
 Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year

“I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child.” 
 Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year 

I need times to breathe like the other evening. I’ve also needed the rest of this weekend. I actually was able to spend two whole days off with my man. We slept in, went shopping, watched movies, ordered pizza, made italian. My heart and stomach are full. We seem to keep getting stuck in this routine of me leaving early for my day, him working late, and me being basically asleep by the time he gets home. I cherish every moment that we have together now. 

Overall, Tuesday. I have to wait until Tuesday. 

And finally, thank you all for all of your prayers and encouragement. You have helped carry us through these past few weeks. 

If You Are The Prayin' Kind

Yesterday was very hard. Very hard. I am still trying to grasp a lot of what we were told. The news wasn’t good, the news wasn’t ideal. But there is one thing I know for certain, one thing I will hold on to with every ounce of my being: 

My God is bigger. My God is stronger. If His will is to bring this little girl into this world, it will happen. No matter what. 

Those could be the only words I write today and that would be enough. 

My faith doesn’t rest in my medical doctor, my faith rests in God alone. 

We were told yesterday, after being sent to a different specialist for an ultrasound, that Marin is measuring smaller than they would like. 

They also told us that I don’t have enough amniotic fluid to help guarantee the life and growth our little girl. 

Our God is bigger. 

Our God is stronger. 

The hard part with this situation is that there isn’t anything I could have done differently and there isn’t much I can do moving forward. We have another appointment set for the first of October with the specialist. For now, the only thing I can do is guzzle water like it’s going out of style. 

Prayer can change things. God can cause our little girl to grow big and strong. God can cause my amniotic fluid to increase to a point where it is safe and healthy. 

If you are of the praying kind, please pray with us. 

I want nothing more than to meet our little, healthy girl in February. 


I can mark yet another item off of my list. My whole 28 Things List is actually going quite well. Let's see if I still say that once a baby comes into the picture. 

This list item: TAKE AN IKEA TRIP. 

I love IKEA. It's like the land of inexpensive furniture that I can actually use in my house. Did I mention there are meatballs? There are meatballs. And mashed potatoes. And Swedish everything. 

A few years back, Colorado finally got their own IKEA. When I lived in the northwest, I used to drive by the IKEA in Portland every single day on way to class. Talk about tempation. Luckily, the Denver location is a pretty long drive. Convincing my husband to drive all of the way there isn't always the easiest of tasks. But, this time, I succeeded. 

We also didn't bring the mom van (bad choice.) But, we ended up fitting everything in Ryan's car. I had to ride in the back seat on the way home. I bet we looked like an odd pair driving back to Fort Collins. 

Some of our goals for this trip: 

1. We wanted to bring back the Man Cave. Now that we don't have room mates, I figured I'd be a nice wife and let my husband have his room back. 

Sad Man Cave 
Geoff helping. Not. 
2. Since he was getting back his man space, I wanted a new rug for the living room and whatever other goodies I could find. 

3. We wanted to check out the baby/kid section at IKEA. Before this, I always breezed through that area because I didn't really have a need to look at that stuff yet. We have a lot of ideas for the nursery now. 

Our Man Cave....

I would like to take a moment and tell you that I am a total nerd. The X-Files, I Want To Believe poster, all my idea. Mulder and Scully forever. 

Our Spruced-Up Living Room....

I am obsessed with the rug and pillows. Obsessed.
A few other odds and ends from trip....

Dish Towel 
Kitchen Rugs 
This same weekend, I finally painted the accent wall in bedroom as well. 

I feel accomplished and really like these little additions to our home. I predict that we will be taking another trip to IKEA for some nursery items in the future. And meatballs. 

It's A.......


I'm going to be completely honest and say that I am surprised I am writing the word above. I thought for sure, somehow in the way back of my mind, that we were having a boy. That's what was showing up in my dreams. Pretty crazy how everything you thought changes so quickly. There was a 50/50 chance I was wrong, and I was! 

I just need to get this out: Katie, you were right! 

We are super stoked. The idea of having a girl pretty much scares the crap out of each of us (hello, teenage years and lots of pink), but we can't contain our excitement. 

Ultrasounds put so many things into perspective. They make the journey we are on seem so much more real. We went in yesterday afternoon to the Women's Clinic. The technician believes I might actually be earlier than we think, meaning, I might only be around 18 weeks, not 20 weeks. My doctor assured us that isn't a cause for concern, but next week I will be going to see a specialist for another ultrasound. The tech wasn't able to get all of the images we needed because of the position of the baby and the chance that I'm not as far along as I thought. They want to make sure the baby is growing at a healthy rate and that my predicted due date is actually somewhat accurate. 

Overall though, our baby girl is moving around and looking great! We almost weren't able to find out the gender of the baby yesterday due to the ultrasound issues, but we did! I am so glad! I don't think I could have left that building without knowing if it was a boy or girl. The suspense alone would have driven me insane. 

Before the Big Reveal 
We had our family over to reveal what we were having last night. We went to the bakery right after my appointment, found the best looking chocolate cake we could find, and had them write "It's a Girl!" in big, pink letters. 

My dad is already discussing with Ryan about the "Rules for Dating My Daughter." There have been discussions of shot guns during the teenage years. I remember the talk of those rules. I remember. 

Seriously, so much pink. Already. I won't be able to escape all of the pink. 

It's all becoming so real. Yes, my belly keeps growing daily. Yes, I have weird food aversions and cravings. But, telling our family that we are bringing a little girl into the family is a big deal. 

This is Ryan's "OH CRAP" face. 
I pray this little girl will be full of spunk and creativity. I also pray that her parents will be able to handle all of the pink gifts they will be receiving in the near future. 

We believe we already have a name picked out: Marin Ryan Hollen. Which, in loose translation terms, Marin means "of the sea." Ryan means "little king (or queen). So in my mind, we are having a little Queen of the Sea. I'm totally fine with that. 

I can't wait to meet our little girl. 

Is it a Boy or Is it a Girl?

Today is the day. I cannot believe we are already here. This means that I am nearly half way through this pregnancy, which is so hard to believe. Time is flying. It will be Christmas before we know it. Then we will be parents not too far after that. 

My ultrasound is at 2:40pm today. I think it will be hard for me to focus for most of the day until that, but I will do my very best. We are then having family over for the big reveal. This is the best Tuesday ever. 

What do you think it is???? 

Sip and Paint: The Pickled Painter in Montrose, CO

I can mark one thing off of my 28 Things list. A Sip and Paint. These establishments have started popping up all over the place. You can go in with a group of people, pick out which painting you want to be taught how to paint, drink wine and other beverages, and paint. 

I had the chance to do this when I was visiting family in Montrose. It was quite the experience. Next time though, I want to not be pregnant so I can partake in the wine. 

We had the men try and guess what painting went to what person.

Overall, it was fun experience. I can cross this one off!

Colorado Floods 2013

Before I continue on with my normal blog posts, I can't shake the fact that as of a few days ago, half of my state is underwater. After my melodramatic post about the rain, I almost feel guilty for embracing the welcomed water. At that point, I had no idea what thousands of people would be facing. 

It just kept raining and raining and raining. I am used to this type of rain from living in the northwest for a few years. But, the big difference between here and there is the terrain. The ground can handle the amount of rain in Washington. Clearly, the ground in Colorado cannot. 

Our home is safe. Our family is safe. Many of the people I work with are safe. But, much of the town I grew up in is flooded. Numerous other towns all across Colorado are flooded. The Big Thompson Canyon leading up to Estes is devastated. My Aunt and Uncle live up the canyon and things are not looking good for them or the people around them. They have been evacuated and are at a shelter as of yesterday. 

It's times like this when you really have to step back and realize how lucky you are and also how many other people need help. 

It's hard to just continue on as usual when I know that so many people are without homes, running water, toilets that they can flush. 

The latest I've read is: 17,494 homes damaged, 1,502 homes destroyed, 11,700 ppl evacuated, 1,253 people unaccounted for, 26 shelters. 

My heart is very heavy this evening. 


I need a fresh start today. A real one. A powerful one. 

Yesterday turned out to be a little rough on the work front and I still can’t shake it. There’s been so many times lately where I can’t take it. There’s been so many times where even though I do make good money and work for an awesome company, I don’t feel like what I’m doing there is making any sort of difference: I am just in the way. I don’t matter. I am not making life better for people that work there but maybe worse. I’ve failed. 

Melodramatic much? 

I know much of what was stated above isn't true. 

At least it’s been raining all night. I almost feel like that’s God little sign to me saying: it’s going to be ok. Remember how I used to wash you of all impurities and mistakes in your life before in the northwest. Remember the rain. Remember My promises. 

Rain carries with it a heaviness for me but also a welcomed breath. I am hurled back to the years of my past the second I hear the rain hit the pavement. So much of my life was once saturated by this rain. So many of my decisions, my triumphs and failures, were made in this rain. It followed me 1200 miles back to this very place I write today, if only to remind me of what once was, what isn’t anymore, and possibly what could be ahead. 

I will probably have some courageous conversations today. I will probably be stretched and need to face my faults or at least what I think are my faults. It’s going to be ok. We all need those days even though most of the time we try not to face them. It’s part of the process. I don’t believe it’s possible to work around so many people and not face this process. 

I needed this rain today. 

I would be entirely fine if it kept up all day and into this evening. 

A Weekend In Montrose: Losing Ones Mind with Family

A weekend or so ago, I went with a bunch of my family to Montrose, Colorado. My Grandma has Alzheimers and even though most of us don't want to think of this: she isn't doing to well. I haven't seen this side of the family nearly as much as I'd like so I jumped on the chance of spending a few days with them.

Listening to John Mayer. Loudly.
My traveling, baby bump.

Alzheimers is a crazy, crazy disease. Seeing a family member go through that makes me wonder if losing my mind or my body first is better or not. That's not really something one wants to think about, but it feels very real to me lately. Seeing my grandma so frustrated because she can't communicate like she once did is tough. I can't even begin to fathom what it is like to literally lose your mind. Do you know? Is she aware? 

At least, I know with complete certainty, that she is surrounded by family and people that love her. This woman carries a legacy. She had 7 kids. She raised them as the strong woman I know she is. My grandpa is also one of the strongest individuals I've ever met. He loves her, even when she might not have any idea who he is, he loves her. He's there. He's taking care of her and himself the best that he can. That's love. 

My Grandpa Triplett

I understand that our lives do come to an end at one point or another. I just pray that when that time comes for me someday that I am surrounded by family, much like my grandma. 

In the end, family and God are really all you have. 

That is enough. 

Birthday BBQ 2013

We have quite a few August birthdays in our family. Mine is August 3rd. My man's is August 30th. My dad's is August 16th. So, this year, we planned a BBQ at our house for all three of us. It was a nice, chill time of hanging out with family, eating too much good food, and celebrating all three of us. 

My prego splurge for the day. I love coke in a bottle. 

Ryan grilling.
Get in my belly. 
Get in my belly, part 2. 
All of the men in the family. 

Earlier that day, we were also went in for our first ultra-sound. I feel like I'm just too huge already and wanted to make sure everything was looking good. We still don't know if it's a boy or girl, but I am measuring right along schedule and everything looks great. It was pretty crazy to see that little life on the screen, bouncing around like crazy. Definitely one of the coolest experiences for us as a couple.

Baby Hollen
I'm big. 
This year for was for birthday shoes. 

Time with family is good. Always good. I am fully ready to ring in being 27. If you haven't already, check out my new 28 Things Before 28 List. You can also find the link button on the side of this blog.