Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pregnancy Files: {The Bump Week 26}

Best moment this week: My favorite moment this week was celebrating our 5 year anniversary. Drew and I enjoyed a relaxing day together and even found an adorable clock for Aiden's nursery. It was fun to think about all the things that have changed in our 5 years together and then start thinking about what would be different in our next 5 years.

Food cravings: I've been peeling avocados, adding a little salt and eating them with a spoon. So good!

Movement: Aiden is still moving around in there and this week when I lay down in bed at night I spend at least 30 minutes just watching him move around. I'm starting to see my stomach contort and it's so crazy to think that his eyes are opening!

Symptoms: Hello back pain...please be nice to me.

Nursery: The crib is put together and I think I finally figured out what I want to do for bedding. I've had the toughest time deciding. Spend big bucks on crib sheets that I'll just be changing constantly or not? Crib skirt or not? Bumper or not? I'm happy with the look I'm going with and can't wait to put it all together. Drew is working on a cute little log turned side table for next to the recliner as well so things are coming together. My next task...wall decor, closet organizers and a DIY mobile.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
Your Dad and I had so much fun talking about you on our anniversary picnic. We have had 5 years just the two of us and are ready for you to join in on our family adventures. We can't believe you will be with us soon.
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
This week has been an emotional one for me with Drew's Dad back in the hospital. I really want Aiden to know him the way we do. His spunk and love of life, the way he never knows a stranger, his corny jokes and his goofy obsession with all things western. Visiting him in the hospital is so discouraging. 

This week you know my desire...that Terry can pull through this. That his kidneys would start functioning on their own, that this nasty cancer would be completely removed from his body and that he would be around for a very, very long time. I know all of our days are numbered, but I would like for Aiden to know his grandpa on this Earth. Whatever happens good or bad, I trust you and know your ways are higher than ours. You are always with us and I'm thankful for that and for the peace you provide me with even in trying times. Thank you for Aiden, for Drew and for our two amazing families who have loved and supported us every step of the way.

Matthew 28:20
"I am with you always."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
         Week 17 Bumpdate                          Week 18 Bumpdate                          Week 19 Bumpdate 
    Week 20 Bumpdate                          Week 21 Bumpdate                          Week 22 Bumpdate 
    Week 23 Bumpdate                          Week 24 Bumpdate                          Week 25 Bumpdate

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cincinnati Blate Round 2

Last week I got together with 18 amazing ladies. One thing we all have in common...we blog and are proud of it. Without shame we all wore nametags and snapped pictures like crazy making the people eating around us think we were slightly odd. Haha. The picture above is my favorite of the night. If you don't live in Cincinnati you should probably move here ASAP and join in on the fun.
Sweet Becca and myself
I was so incredibly happy to meet and give big hugs to some gals I'd been following for quite some time now. It was also fun to see old faces. So here is my night in pictures because that's how bloggers roll...
Jax, Erin, Brittany and Meredith
Brittany and Emma...another Reds game blate soon ladies?
My long time blogger friend and designer extraordinaire, Erin! Please tell me this picture is a keeper.
The adorable Kayla
Elisa, Brittany and I (All the preggos) Who will it be at our next blate? Hmmm..
The lovely Jax, Katie and Whitney
Can't wait for our next one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Life is a rollercoaster...

Praying before our big gender reveal
In this season of my life I have been learning so much to celebrate life's little moments. Life is full of hard times, making the good ones that much sweeter. This season has been a roller coaster of what if's and what now's and trusting God completely. If you had told me a year ago what this year would bring I don't know how I would've handled it all, which is one reason I'm very thankful that God is the one in control and not me.

As you know I recently got a brand new job and am so incredibly happy with it. Well as of last week, my husband got a new job too and it was completely unexpected. So yes, both Drew and I have brand new jobs out of the blue.

Drew has been looking for jobs outside of teaching, which makes me sad because he is an awesome teacher and I'm not saying that as a biased wife...he is good at what he does. So in the midst of applying for all these jobs he sees a job at the school district we both graduated from and applies. Within a week he had the job and then comes to discover that his new teaching partner...well it's one of his childhood best friends. What?! This new job also comes with a pay raise and they've already  asked him about coaching football. Drew and I have been completely blown away with the blessings we have been given. Despite the crazy year we've had and some tough things that are going on right now we still have SO much to be thankful for.

In hard and trying times you always have to look for the good because it is always there. God never promised that we would have it easy, but he does promise to walk with us through every step of life and to give us peace when we seek him. So whatever it is that you may be going through, find something to be happy about and celebrate it!

John 16:33
"In this world you WILL have trouble, but take heart for I have overcome the world."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pregnancy Files: {The Bump Week 25}

Best moment this week: Getting a recliner that we LOVE and imagining all the hours I'll be spending with Aiden in it. The nursery is my new reading nook and I love spending time in there.

Food cravings: Not really having many cravings, but food always tastes good.

Movement: Aiden is still moving around in there, but he become a little gun shy when other people want to feel him kick. 

Symptoms: This week I did a ton of walking and might have lifted a little more than I should have so my back hurts and my feet are definitely sore. No swelling yet though thank goodness. Other than that and some heartburn I still feel fantastic.

Nursery: This week was fun because we moved all our furniture into our now painted nursery! We now have a recliner, rug, dresser and changing table all set up. It is really looking like an actual room and I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time there. Every time I open the door to the nursery I can't help but smile.

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
I've been thinking about you a lot this week as we put your room together. When I sit in the recliner I can't help but smile really big thinking of having you in my arms in that chair in just a few months. It is such a surreal feeling. Your Dad and I are so excited for you to get here!
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. Thank you for standing by me these 25 weeks and helping me gain perspective and peace throughout this journey. I'm so thankful for a hard working husband and the provisions you have provided us with so that we can take care of our baby boy.

Psalm 91:4
"Under his wings you will find refuge."
          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
         Week 17 Bumpdate                          Week 18 Bumpdate                          Week 19 Bumpdate 
    Week 20 Bumpdate                          Week 21 Bumpdate                          Week 22 Bumpdate 
    Week 23 Bumpdate                          Week 24 Bumpdate                          Week 25 Bumpdate

Friday, July 18, 2014

5 years later...

Today marks 5 years that I've been married to my best friend. 5 years later and I'm still the happiest girl in the world. I can't imagine my life without Drew and I would marry him all over again.
5 years later...
We have 2 adorable kitties
We have attended 3 different churches
We have joined an amazing small group
We have a binder full of our favorite recipes
We have 1 mortgage payment 
We have 1 new car
We have worked a total of 6 new full time jobs
We have 1 new washing machine
We have 1 new oven
We have 5 full scrapbooks and thousands of pictures
5 years later...
We made it through 1 major injury
We made it through 1 broken garage door and car window
We made it through 3 classic novels
We made it through rewriting resumes and lots of interviews
We made it through 2 National Parks and miles of hiking
We made it through one of us turning the big 3-0
We made it through heartache and loss and saw God work in our lives in BIG ways
5 years later...
We love watching cartoons together
We love to cuddle on the couch
We love cooking together
We love to coordinate our outfits for holidays
We love planning parties and doing DIY projects
We love dressing up for Halloween
We love exploring new places and hiking
We love calling our cats stupid nicknames
We love dreaming about our future together
And still 5 years later...
I still don't like to vacumn and  Drew still leaves his clothes on the floor right next to the laundry basket, but we are a team and we are sticking together through thick and thin. For better for worse, richer or poorer in sickness and in health.
I can't wait for the next 5 years with you Andrew Jacob. We get to experience the journey of parenthood together and I wouldn't want to experience ANY of these things without you by my side. You are the love of my life and I am a better person as your wife. I will forever be thankful to God for bringing you into my life!

 Here are some of my favorite marriage/love posts from our last 5 years...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An evening in Italy {Italy inspired Bridal Shower}

This past weekend my sister in laws and I threw a bridal shower for my lovely sister in law, Carly. Carly studied abroad in Italy so we knew the theme would have to be an evening in Italy!
We had the shower at Drew's family cabin, but we definitely transformed it from woodsy and rustic to Italian dinner party for the evening. For decoration we knew we needed fun lighting to make it feel more Italy inspired. The larger string lights pictured above are from Target and it completely changed the atmosphere.
Each table had fresh flowers from Trader Joe's and we wrapped them in floral patterned cones (thank you Martha Stewart) so the guests could take a bundle of fresh flowers home. We used galvanized containers to put fresh herbs in, got carafes for water, each table had a bread basket and of course we had candles lit and Italian music playing!
My sister in laws and I made all the food for the evening including: Caprese Salad, Bruschetta, Crostini, White bean dip, 2 different pasta dishes and a few amazing italian inspired desserts.
We wanted to do something different so we served the food family style. Each group of 7-8 guests had their own pasta dishes and salad to pass around. Dishes were delivered and wine was poured by my handsome husband and his best friend. (You know you have an awesome husband when he is willing to do something like this on his Saturday night AND actually have fun with it!)
We worked so hard to make it a fun evening and fun was definitely had by all. I am so glad we were able to shower Carly with love and make her feel like she was back in Italy at least for one evening.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thoughts on my becoming an Airhead...

I would consider myself a very organized and well thought out Type A gal, but since becoming pregnant...I'm a total airhead. Pregnancy brain is very real people.

Before I was pregnant I hardly ever lost things...Since becoming pregnant I have lost both my keys and my favorite jacket. (Keys have since been found, jacket is still MIA) I also manage to leave my purse behind almost everywhere we go. Scary, right?

Before I was pregnant I had a pretty good grip on my emotions and showed good restraint especially when talking about getting a dog. Drew and I had decided to wait to get a dog until our kids could enjoy it. Well once I got pregnant I almost bought a dog. And I'm not exaggerating at ALL! The SPCA showed up at Kroger when I was grocery shopping with about 50 dogs and a whole truck full of kittens. I literally cried as I paced up and down the aisles of Kroger on the phone with Drew telling him that this one dog needed me. I took out enough cash at the ATM to buy him and everything. It was a very close call. Thankfully my sweet husband (who was at work while trying to talk me very sweetly out of getting a dog) told me to come on home and we would talk about it there. He convinced me the dog would still be there if I wanted to go back and get it. Thankfully I got a grip and did not buy the dog.

I've always been bad with directions, but since becoming pregnant it has gotten worse. I went to visit my father in law at the wrong hospital after his hip surgery even though I knew exactly where I was supposed to be going.

I often forget where I'm going or what I'm supposed to be doing, but it is all worth it. My thoughts are now focused on the little man in my belly and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Now please share your best pregnancy brain moments so I don't feel like such an airhead...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pregnancy Files: {My Patriotic Bump Week 24}

Best moment this week: Getting my Snoogle in the mail. I literally met the UPS man at the door. That is how excited I was to get this pregnancy pillow and let me tell you it has changed my life already. I sleep so much better with this thing and I don't know why I waited so long to get one. 

Food cravings: Always Chipotle, but besides that nothing new.

Movement: That feeling of Aiden kicking me will never, ever, ever get old! 

Symptoms: A little indigestion and heartburn after I eat spicy things, constant bathroom trips and still some trouble sleeping, but other than that I feel great!

Nursery: Drew and I headed to the outlets about an hour North of us to scour Pottery Barn for a rug. This has been the hardest thing for me to find so far because I did not want to spend 500 dollars.on.a.piece.of.carpet. No thank you. We have hardwood floors so I knew I wanted a nice big rug for Aiden to be able to crawl around on in his room. I wanted it to be soft, but to also be quality. We hit the jackpot at the outlet and got an awesome rug on sale for the 4th of July holiday. I also found a Pottery Barn gift card from our wedding (oh ya know only 5 years ago) so we used that too making the rug super affordable. I can't wait to see it in the nursery!! 

Prayer for Baby:
Dear Aiden,
I'm so thankful you will be born in a country with so many freedoms. Your great grandpa's all fought in the war to help give us the freedoms we enjoy today. Next 4th of July you will be here celebrating the USA with us! Yay!
Your Mama

Dear Lord,
Thank you for our country and the freedoms we are able to enjoy. Thank you for all the men and women who sacrificed so much to make it this way for the rest of us. Help Aiden to grow to be strong and brave and to honor you in all he does.

2 Corinthians 3:17
"And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

          Week 14 Bumpdate                          Week 15 Bumpdate                          Week 16 Bumpdate 
         Week 17 Bumpdate                          Week 18 Bumpdate                          Week 19 Bumpdate 
    Week 20 Bumpdate                          Week 21 Bumpdate                          Week 22 Bumpdate 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to make a festive paper lantern {Tutorial}

When I decided we were going to have a Gender Reveal party I immediately scoured Pinterest for a fun way to reveal the gender. Since we were planning a backyard "BaBy Q"and the setting would be outdoors I thought a pinata type reveal would be perfect! Enter the festive surprise lantern!

-Large white paper lantern (I got mine from IKEA, but I know party stores and places like World Market have them as well)
-Various colors of tissue paper
-Double sided tape
-yarn for hanging
-small piece of cardboard or heavy duty paper

1. Start by cutting your tissue paper in approximately 3 inch strips (thickness is really up to you)
2. Once you have a nice pile of strips cut, use your scissors to cut the fringe. Do not cut all the way through your tissue paper. I would leave about an inch at the top to place tape later and I would leave about a quarter of an inch between each fringe.
3. Put 4-5 pieces of double sided tape down on your first piece of tissue paper. Put the sticky side down and leave the backing on until you have all the pieces of tape laid out. This just makes it easier.
4.  Insert the wire piece that came with your lantern to give your lantern shape then place a piece of tissue paper down starting at the very bottom and working your way up. Take the tape backing off one by one as you adhere it to the lantern.
5. Continue layering until your lantern is covered
6. Take a piece of cardboard and measure it in a circle to fit the bottom opening of your lantern.
7.  Use packaging tape to adhere yarn or string to the side of your circle that will be inside the lantern so it will not show
8. Cut a slit in one side of the cardboard circle and fit it securely inside the opening. You will probably have to push down on it from the top part of the lantern to secure it.
9. Fill your lantern with small pieces of tissue paper
10. Test out your lantern by pulling gently on the yarn. The cardboard circle should pop out with ease releasing your tissue paper confetti! Surprise!
I got the idea for this tutorial from here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

If you're pregnant or plan to ever be you need...

2nd Trimester Lifesavers

There have been a few things that I would highly recommend to any pregnant mama in her first and second trimester...

For preventing stretch marks I highly recommend Burt's Bee's Mama Bee Belly Butter. I love it because I'm already a huge fan of Burt's Bees products in general and this belly butter has hardly any scent, which is exactly what I wanted. It goes on light and smooth and doesn't leave me feeling oily. I usually put it on right before going to bed.

For fun I recommend reading Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. It is a quick read and will keep you highly entertained the whole time. I did gain some new information, but mostly it just helps you see that what you are going through is completely normal!

For registering I have heavily relied on the reviews in Baby Bargains. It's overwhelming when you know absolutely zero about what to buy for a baby, but you want the things you buy to be quality. There are so many choices out there and this book helped me narrow down what I wanted. New editions of this book come out each year and it gives brand name reviews, money saving tips and my favorite part is a good, better, best section for each item you might need for your baby. I have used this book for everything I have registered for. It is so easy to use and so informative!!

For comfort I don't think you can go wrong with maternity leggings. These particular leggings are from Gap, but any maternity leggings you buy will be worth it. I plan to wear maternity leggings even long after I'm pregnant. They are the most comfortable things you can put on your legs.

For sleeping you need a pregnancy pillow. The two I heard most about were the Bump Nest pillow and the Snoogle. I heard great things about both so I went with the more inexpensive Snoogle and I love it. It truly helps you sleep more soundly and gives your back and hips more support as your belly grows.

I know there are many more pregnancy essentials, but currently these are my favorite items. What are some of your pregnancy essentials?

You can see my favorite newborn items here