Monday, September 22, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 34}

Best moment this week: Hands down the best moment of the week was my baby shower thrown by my dear friend Bekah and her mom. It was just gorgeous. You can see the details in this post. So many friends traveled in to celebrate the day with me and a few of them spent the weekend at my house. It was so good seeing so many people I love in the same room.

Food cravings: At my shower my friend asked Drew a few questions about my pregnancy so far and the one thing he did say is that our usual Chipotle Monday has now turned into Chipotle Tuesday and Chipotle Wednesday. Haha. Poor guy is never going to want to eat another Chipotle item in his life.

Movement: Hiccups are still my favorite and watching my belly shake around like tickle me Elmo is pretty crazy too.

Symptoms: I really don't enjoy how clumsy I am right now especially since dropping things means bending down and picking them up. Not my favorite thing right now.

Nursery: A lot of nesting happened this week. I cleared out drawers in the kitchen for baby items and organized some of my gifts from my shower.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
I love knowing that you can now recognize and react to simple songs. My grandma used to sing You are My Sunshine to me when I was little so I started singing it to you. Your name means "little fire" so I thought this song was perfect. I hope you can learn to recognize it when you are born.
Love,
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the many ways you have allowed others to love on me this week. This season has had its ups and its downs, but the amount of support and love I have felt from you and from others has been so encouraging and uplifting. I'm so thankful. Continue to watch over Aiden. Help him grow to be a light for you.
Amen. 

Matthew 5:16
"...Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Showered with love {Khaki and Navy baby shower}

Throughout this pregnancy one thing is for certain...I am surrounded with some incredible people. I have already been showered with so much love and I am completely overwhelmed. I tear up just thinking about all the sweet things that have been done to prepare Drew and I for little Aiden.

My dear friend Bekah and her mom hosted a shower for me on Saturday and every single detail was perfection. They used the colors of my nursery as inspiration and tied in elements of my favorite season, Fall. Here is my afternoon in pictures...
My sweet college friends who all traveled to celebrate with me!
These 2 have been my go to girls for registering advice. Such beautiful mamas!
Newlywed on one side, mamas on the other.
Best friends since Elementary school. Excited to share this journey together!
My sweet friend Ali made the trip to come to my shower too and is responsible for taking many of these pictures.
My fellow cat lover on the far left. Her present to me and Aiden was a collection of the cutest cat books ever.
I'm in love with this cake and that painted pumpkin with an A for Aiden.
My dear small group girls. So thankful for each one of them!
My pretty mama and I.
So thankful for these two ladies. The most detail oriented and thoughtful hostesses ever!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pregnancy Files {The Bump Week 33}

{I'm now 2 weeks behind in my bump posts and this is the best I could do for my week 33 picture}

Best moment this week: Stopping in to see my students from last year and hearing all their adorable comments about my baby bump. They are so excited that I'm having a baby.

Food cravings: Pumpkin, but this has nothing to do with pregnancy. Hello Fall!

Movement: I am finally, finally feeling more movement. Since my placenta is anterior I haven't felt movements as big or as much as I hear other people talk about. Up to now he's been moving, but it's usually when I lay down or sit. Well now he is officially on the move 24/7 and is strong enough to make sure I feel every little kick and spin. I love it.

Symptoms: Painting my toe nails for my shower this weekend is going to be a challenge since bending down is extremely difficult now. I'm feeling some definite pains as my tendons continue stretching out, but still no swelling thank you Jesus.

Nursery: We hung up a few more things on the walls this week and I'm having fun organizing all the little toys and clothes. Aw.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
I love feeling you move around in my belly. You are still gun shy when other people try to feel you move besides me and your Dad, but that's okay. Throughout this whole pregnancy people ask me how I'm feeling. It's so hard to even fully explain, but I have absolutely loved being pregnant with you. While I'm so excited to actually be able to hold you in my arms I already get a little sad thinking about missing the feeling of you move around in my belly. It is such an amazing feeling. I already feel so connected to you and love you so much.
Love,
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
I love knowing that you already know everything about Aiden. You know his exact date of birth before we do, you know what his little personality will be like, you know what he is going to love doing and what his gifts are, you truly know him already and I love that. Thank you for our little guy and for the love I already feel for him. Amen. 

Jeremiah 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before your were born I set you apart."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Nursery Project {Log side table}

One of the first images I pinned on Pinterest when I was working on my board for Aiden's nursery was a log turned into a side table. I knew instantly I wanted to make one for our nursery so with the help of my handy husband we made it happen and you can too!

Start by finding a log that is the right size for your side table. I measured my recliner to see what would be a good height log to put next to it.

Use a Draw shaving tool or hatchet to shave off the bark from your log.

Sand down the sides and if you want a distressed look sand the top as well.

Then add Polyurethane. We used 3 coats on the sides and 4 or 5 coats on top since liquids would be resting on it.

Last, we added felt pads on the bottom of the log so that the log wouldn't scuff up our hardwood.

I love how this project turned out and I've already used it several times as a spot to set my drink or my iPhone while I'm reading in the recliner. Not too much longer and I'll have my hands full...literally!
Linking up with Anne for Pin-to-Present!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tried and True Freezer Meals for New Moms! {Part 1}

My October due date is quickly approaching so being the typical type A gal that I am I want to be as prepared as I can for when Aiden gets here. I knew one way I could help myself out later was by having some meals made that I could simply pull out of the freezer, thaw and bake.

I scoured Pinterest for freezer meals that weren't too complicated or too expensive. I didn't want to waste my time making freezer meals that wouldn't taste good so I went to my other girlfriends for advice. My friend Dori gave me her favorite freezer meal website that she had used when she was pregnant and here are two of the four freezer meals I ended up making. {I will share the other two in another blog post!}

The ingredients for these 2 freezer meals (aluminum foil and tins included) was $38.16, so less than 20 dollars for 2 delicious meals that serve 4-6 people each. I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

If you are going to do freezer meals I say make it fun. Have pregnant friends due around the same time as you? Make it a party! My girlfriend Theresa and I have due dates within a month of each other meaning the shelf life of our meals is perfect for both of us. We met at the grocery store, snatched up some Starbucks and hit the grocery aisles with our lists. We decided to make meals that involved chicken on the same day so we wouldn't have to cook/purchase chicken twice. The two meals I'll be sharing today are both from this website.

I would highly recommend shopping for and making these two meals together. I shopped for all the ingredients and made both meals within 2 hours, but in case you don't want to do that the ingredient lists and instructions are separate below.

Layered Enchilada Casserole
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used 2 chicken breasts that I bought from the butcher)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (15 oz.)
1 can black beans, drained (15 oz.)
1 tub Sante Fe Blend Philadelphia Cooking Creme (if you can't find this at your grocery store you can substitute a tub of Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese)
2 cups Shredded Cheese (I mixed Mexican Cheddar Jack and Cheddar)
Flour Tortillas (you will use approximately 6-8)

Instructions:
Cook and shred chicken (I boiled my chicken for 10 minutes then shredded it in my Kichen Aide mixer)
Mix chicken with tomatoes, beans and cooking creme/cream cheese in a bowl
Place 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a 9x9 disposable tin
Top chicken mixture with a flour tortilla
Top tortilla with more of the chicken mixture and cheese
Repeat layers and end with chicken mixture on top and top with remaining cheese
Double wrap with aluminum foil
Label your meal in permanent marker. I put the name of the meal and instructions for when I'm ready to cook it so I wouldn't have to look back at the recipe
This meal is now ready to freeze. When you want to eat it thaw and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. So easy!

Chicken and Wild Rice
Ingredients:
1 box wild rice with seasoning packet (4.3 oz.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water (yes can...use an empty soup can and fill it with water)
1 small can mushrooms, drained
4 boneless skinless chicken breast (uncooked)
1 cup slivered almonds

Instructions:
Mix together rice with seasoning packet, both cans of soup, and water. Stir in mushrooms.
Pour into 9x9 disposable tin and top with 4 chicken breasts
Sprinkle slivered almonds overtop chicken breasts
Double wrap with aluminum foil
Label your meal in permanent marker. I put the name of the meal and instructions for when I'm ready to cook it so I wouldn't have to look back at the recipe
This meal is now ready to freeze. When you want to eat it thaw and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. (If your chicken breasts are thick I recommend baking this meal at 400 for an hour and a half instead or if you do cook it at 350 for an hour make sure to check that the chicken is cooked through all the way!)

I tested both meals out to make sure I liked them and both meals are delicious and easy to prepare on any regular night or to freeze and eat later! Do any of you have any other meals that are good to freeze and eat later? Please share!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sometimes I miss being a teacher...

This school year started without me and I'll admit I've had a few moments where I have definitely missed being a classroom teacher. The first day of school was hard because I missed having my former students stop in to hug me and say hello. I missed seeing how much they had grown and hearing about their summer vacation.

I will always be a teacher, a lover of school supplies and organization; a rule follower with a heart for kids. I miss being at half price books and picking up new books for my classroom library. I miss figuring out how things are going to be arranged in my classroom and what kinds of get to know you games we will play on the first day. I miss writing the kid's names on every single thing. I miss getting brought apples and being drawn pictures. I miss the teachers I worked with each day who I now call my friends. I miss planning meet the teacher night and writing celebrations. I miss my teacher discount.

Last week I had a chance to go back and visit my class from last year. I surprised them and they were almost as excited as I was! Another thing I miss about teaching...the things kids say. When they all ran over to hug me one of my students yells: "Don't squeeze her too hard you guys, you might pop the baby!" Day made!

While I'm not in the classroom anymore I am still a teacher in my new job and it will always be part of who I am. It's definitely different...but a good different. I'm thankful God knows my heart, my passions and my gifts and has me right where I need to be.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Harry Potter inspired maternity outfit {The Bump Week 32}

I am finally reading the Harry Potter books. When they first came out I was not interested at all. I don't know if it was all the hype, but I had no desire to read them. Well my interest was sparked recently and I'm all swept up in Hogwarts and am now on book #4. Harry Potter is slowly creeping it's way into my life and I even bought this owl dress the other day unintentionally and then realized when I got home oh my gosh this is so Harry Potter. #imanerd

So I know I'm a little late to the game, but better late than never right? This week's bump outfit is purely influenced by what I'm reading...
Best moment this week: Making freezer meals with my dear friend Theresa. We found some great recipes, shopped together and then made the meals together to freeze and enjoy when our little guys get here!

Food cravings: Nothing new...just Chipotle 24/7.

Movement: Baby boy is definitely getting cramped. I am feeling him move around all the time now. Feeling frequent hiccups is still my favorite.

Symptoms: My back hurts and I can feel my belly stretching, but I'm thankful not to be swelling up and I'm still not at the place where I have to waddle either. Win, win.

Nursery: After 2 Ikea trips in one week Aiden's dresser drawers are now super organized. I bought a few spice racks to stain and turn into mini bookshelves (thanks Pinterest) and the artwork is now hanging up! 

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
We are getting closer and closer to actually meeting you. It's crazy to see foods in the fridge with an October expiration date! I had a dream the other night that you made your appearance early and really you could come anytime. I'd rather you wait until your due date, but whenever you decide to come into this world I will be ready (or try my best to be.) 
Love,
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
Thank you for continuing to watch over Aiden as he grows. I know you know the very number of hairs on his little head and that brings me comfort. I'm trying to read pregnancy books and mentally prepare for motherhood, but I know I will never know everything and could never be truly prepared for this journey. Help me to not worry and to take everything one day at a time. I'm so glad you are always with me.
Amen. 

James 4:8
"Come near to God and He will come near to you."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
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