Tuesday, July 31, 2012

26 Weeks

This past week has flown by and the weekend was full of activities with the family and planning for the baby room. There are so many options out there for nursery decor that it almost makes it impossible to make a decision. This coming week will be another busy one with a few baseball games, finishing up a few house projects, and lots of reading! Here are my pregnancy updates for the week and a belly picture:

How far along? 26 weeks
Total Weight Gain? 8 pounds
Maternity Clothes? For sure! I have started to transition to some maternity tops that my best friend Laura gave me :)
Stretch Marks? No, but my belly is definitely popping out more and more and stretching to make room for growing baby!
Sleep? A bit better... I have found that I really need at least 8-9 hours each night, which means I need to get to bed around 9ish.
Best Moment this Week? Having my mom feel baby girl kick... The look on her face was priceless and I loved having her and my family visit for the weekend.
Miss Anything? I miss my restful sleep most of all and being able to get comfortable. Accommodating my growing belly while I sleep is sometimes challenging.
Movement? Yes and I love it! Baby was super active on Sunday and is kicking lots and lots.
Food Cravings? I still love anything dairy including milk, cheese, and yogurt. My sweet tooth has dwindled a bit but I still love to enjoy fruit popsicles and coconut macaroons.
Anything Making you Queasy? Not really... Just a bit of heartburn after meals.
Gender? Girl! I have fallen in love with the new Cherry Collection at Gymboree... so precious!
Labor Signs? No way!
Belly Button In or Out? It's still in and hasn't changed much in the last week.
General Mood? It depends... sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the hormones and the list of things to do and other times I am completely at peace and trust that God will take care of us on this amazing journey. 
Symptoms? I have had a bit of back pain and can tell that my feet get sore more quickly when I am on them for too long (for example, shopping for 3 hours straight this past weekend was not a great idea for my feet!)
Looking Forward To? We have plans to start on the nursery in the next month or so and I am looking forward to putting her room together. Stay tuned for more details on the nursery soon!

I am continually reminded how blessed we are and what a miracle of life this journey is. I am looking forward to the months and years ahead of memories we are going to create with our little girl. I am already so blessed to be her momma! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Favorite Books

Summer is the perfect time for catching up on great books while enjoying the sunshine outside or resting in the cool air conditioned comfort of your living room. I have a few books that I have read over the past couple of years that are at the top of my favorites list. As part of my summer to-do list, I wanted to reread a few of my favorites and here is the selection:

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - such a great book and a must read for every woman!

 The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin - an inspiring book and lots of practical advice on living a happy life!

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle - this book made me think about ego, consciousness, and spirit in ways I never imagined... truly inspiring!

I just started reading Eat, Pray, Love again today and have already been captivated by Elizabeth Gilbert's story and the dream of taking a journey similar to hers. One of my favorite things about rereading a book is that the experience can be completely different than the first time based on where you are in your own life's journey and what your current focus is on. Once I have finished Eat, Pray, Love, I plan to reread both the Happiness Project and A New Earth before the summer is over. Lots of reading to enjoy!

Reading is one of those great pleasures in life and there is never enough time to read as many books as I would like to. My to-be-read list is getting longer each month and I look forward to each time I can curl up with a great book and be captivated by the author's talent. Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bountiful Baskets

I have been hearing about Bountiful Baskets from my mom for awhile and just recently found out that this program is offered in my local community in a few locations. Since my mom was visiting this weekend, it was the perfect time to order a basket and see what kind of wonderful produce we would receive. This food co-op allows you to order a weekly produce basket of the freshest and in season fruits and veggies for only $16.50. This week's basket included a cantaloupe, lots of peaches and plums, a package of blueberries, red grapes, mangoes, red bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. With such a great selection of fresh produce in the house, I needed to find a few recipes to try this week and this is what I have found:
  • Mango Quinoa Salad - a healthy salad that uses a few of the ingredients from the basket and everything else I have in the house... love that!

This great food co-op program is in hundreds of locations across the country and is a great way to support local farmers and bring home a great selection of produce for a very reasonable price. Hope you try it out for you and your family!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Olympics Watching Party

One of my all time favorite things to watch are the Summer Olympics. I am so excited to watch and enjoy the Olympic events and festivities happening in London over the next few weeks. On Friday night, we are hosting a small get together with family and friends to watch the opening ceremonies and enjoy some great appetizers and dessert. We are planning the menu around various countries that are competing in the Olympics and we will be enjoying quite the international spread. 

My best friend Laura is bringing cake pops (so yummy!) in red, white, and blue and displayed as the American Flag and I am in charge of a few of the appetizers. Whenever I host a gathering or a party, I like to go with tried and true recipes that I know are delicious and will be a hit with the group. Here is the appetizer line-up for the night:

I am excited to have our family and friends over to enjoy a great night of food, fun, and Olympic spectacle! Enjoy!

Amazing Blogs: 'The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking' and 'The Year of Less'

One of my favorite parts of blogging is staying updated on all of the fabulous blogs I follow. Keeping track of who is posting new recipes, amazing craft ideas, party planning inspiration, and thought provoking ideas is one of my favorite things! I have a few new favorites and plenty of tried and true amazing bloggers that inspire me to create, bake, enjoy life, and be happy. If you are looking for ideas, inspiration, or just something to do for a few hours... then check out the list of my favorite blogs in the right column... so many fun ideas and so little time! :)

The newest addition to my favorite blogs list is by an inspiring stay at home mom with 5 (soon to by 6) kiddos and lots of great ideas. She has two blogs that I have begun following: The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking and The Year of Less. I am completely captivated by her ideas and lifestyle and the incredible ideas she comes up with day after day. The Year of Less blog is all about simplifying your life and making room for the things that matter in your life. She will be posting every day for one year on something that will foster a simpler life. She is only on day 4 so far and I am already inspired to make changes in my life. I look forward to following her posts and updates each day and becoming inspired by her wit and creativity!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

25 Weeks

Pregnancy is one of the most amazing feelings I have ever had and each time I feel my belly or feel baby girl move, I am reminded by the miracle growing inside of me. I love knowing that this little baby is tucked safely in my belly and growing strong until she is ready to come into this world. I take comfort in knowing she is safe and protected right now and I can only imagine the feelings of worry when she arrives and I don't have her next to me for every moment of the day. Here are my pregnancy updates for the week:

How far along? 25 weeks
Total Weight Gain? 6 pounds
Maternity Clothes? Yes, I have started packing away my pre-pregnancy clothes and have been getting a lot of use out of summer dresses and skirts to keep me cool and give my belly room to grow.
Stretch Marks? Nope!
Sleep? I have been getting really restless in the early mornings from about 3-6am and still getting up a few times each night to pee. I really miss sleeping through the night uninterrupted, but I guess this stage is preparing me for when baby arrives and is up during the night for feedings.
Best Moment this Week? I had my 24 week checkup last week and loved hearing the heartbeat and knowing that baby was doing great!
Miss Anything? Restful sleep, being able to stand the heat, and a glass of wine after a long day at work.
Movement? Yes and lots of it! Baby girl has started coordinating her arms and legs and usually kicks one right after another. She was pretty quiet this weekend, but when she kicks... I love it!
Food Cravings? I love cereal, popsicles, and cheese right now. I haven't had any crazy cravings yet... but there is still plenty of time for that :)
Anything Making you Queasy? Not really, but I am noticing that my stomach is shrinking so I have to make sure to not overeat at meals... or it gets a bit uncomfortable.
Gender? Girl! I found this adorable Etsy shop this weekend that sells the most precious bows and headbands for baby girls... can't wait to buy one for our little girl!
Labor Signs? Nope!
Belly Button In or Out? It's still in and pretty shallow... kinda strange to look at :)
General Mood? The sweltering heat this summer makes me a bit cranky and tired, but overall I feel great and looking forward to the next couple of months.  
Symptoms? I had a few twinges in my lower back this weekend but once I sat down for a bit, they went away.
Looking Forward To? My mom and grandma are visiting this weekend and we plan on doing some shopping for the baby room, deciding on a paint color, and hopefully finding some adorable fabric for the nursery.

I had a moment of panic on Friday when I saw the Halloween candy and decorations on the shelves at Target and realized that our baby is due right around Halloween. I have so many things left on the to-do list and we haven't even started on the nursery. After my moment of freak out, I realized that just because they put Halloween stuff in the stores in the middle of July, that I still have plenty of time and lots of help to get ready for baby girl's arrival!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

24 Weeks

Wow, 24 weeks have gone by and only about 16 weeks to go. We have less than 4 months till our due date and my baby prep to-do list is getting kind of long. The next few months are going to be filled with tons of planning and prepping for this little girl and celebrating the final days as a couple without a little one waking us up each night... We can't wait to meet her but we are also enjoying this time together before our family becomes 3 of us! Here is an updated preggo pic and the updates for 24 weeks:

How far along? 24 weeks
Total Weight Gain? 5 pounds
Maternity Clothes? Of course... I have been rocking some cute maternity bermuda shorts and lots of skirts.
Stretch Marks? Not yet and hope it stays that way :)
Sleep? Not great, but I did have an amazing nap on Saturday and it felt like I had slept for an entire day... heavenly!
Best Moment this Week? I have been having some very vivid dreams of meeting our baby girl and it makes me so excited to see her for the first time... it will be here before I know it!
Miss Anything? I miss sleeping like a baby :) and I miss sushi!
Movement? Yes, and her kicks are getting stronger each day. She loves to move around in the evenings when I am relaxing.
Food Cravings? I still have a major sweet tooth including sour patch kids, tapioca pudding, and vanilla raspberry swirl frozen yogurt :)
Anything Making you Queasy? The smell of meat cooking is not appetizing at all... which is probably why I haven't cooked it in weeks (sorry Michael!)
Gender? Girl! And we have officially decided on baby girl's name... but it is a secret until she is born (sorry!)
Labor Signs? No way!
Belly Button In or Out? It's still in and holding on for dear life... It might pop out in a few weeks.
General Mood? Doing pretty well on most days... I am enjoying the feeling of being pregnant without being huge (I am sure that time will come in a few months)
Symptoms? Sometimes I have round ligament pain and can feel my belly stretching out to make room for this little girl.
Looking Forward To? I am excited to work on the nursery, pick out an outfit to bring our little girl home in, and start planning for the last couple of months before she arrives (soaking in the alone time while we have it).

The next two weekends are going to be filled with my family visiting and spending time with us. I will be doing some shopping for the nursery and hopefully can land on a crib and changing table decision in the next few weeks. I am really excited to put together her room and just imagine her growing up in our home!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Farmer's Market

Today was the perfect Sunday morning for visiting the farmer's market. The weather was perfect and not too hot and the market is only about 15 minutes from our house. It was nice to get out and walk around while browsing the various booths displaying their fresh produce as well as arts, crafts, homemade jams and honey, and even breads. I picked up a few of my favorites (yellow heirloom tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini) to cook up tonight for dinner. I love the easygoing feeling of the market and hope to make several trips this summer!

Friday, July 13, 2012

New Book Club Selection - Heaven is Here

Last night was another great night of relaxing with the book club girls and chatting up a storm. We all agreed that the book Under a Maui Moon was a light summer read and could have gone a little deeper in the storyline and the character development. Overall, we all enjoyed the book and the message of commitment that it displayed. We chose our next book selection and will be reading Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson. Here is a short review of the book by one of my favorite authors/bloggers, Ree Drummond:
  • "In Heaven Is Here, Stephanie chronicles in harrowing detail the unspeakable tragedy that would forever alter her life. But the real story is this: Through all the tears, pain, upheaval, sadness, and struggles, it was Stephanie's faith—and the abundant love of her beautiful family—that brought her back to life. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a reminder of just how strong the human spirit is, and how instrumental faith can be in overcoming what life throws at us."
    —Ree Drummond, author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Since this book is only available in hardcover, I will be reading it on my iPad. I have this thing where I only like to read books in paperback because reading a hardcover feels like reading a textbook.  Anyways, I will be downloading the book this afternoon and enjoying the summer afternoon reading while it lasts... Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Recap - Under a Maui Moon

I just finished reading this month's book club selection, Under a Maui Moon and pretty much enjoyed the entire book. This book is definitely a light summer read and a sweet story of rekindled romance between a couple that have been married for over 20 years. I loved reading about the beaches of Maui and the amazing sunsets over the ocean. Anytime I read about a tropical paradise, I just love being transported there in my dreams, even if it is only for a few moments. This book did seem to lack some depth at times and really was more of a light romance novel with just a few twists and turns. If you are looking for a quick and light read for this summer, then check out this book. I am excited to see the book club ladies on Thursday, discuss this book, catch up on each others lives, and choose our next book club selection. I will post our next book selection later this week!

23 Weeks

Each week in this pregnancy goes by so fast at times and so slow at other times. I find myself counting down to each weekend when I can sleep in, nap a few times, and stay in my pajamas as long as I want to. I love being able to take it easy and relax and have really enjoyed spending time with family and friends. We have been hanging at the pool a few times, going to several GJ Rockies baseball games, and plan to visit the farmer's market this weekend. Here are my pregnancy updates for this week:

How far along? 23 weeks
Total Weight Gain? 5 pounds
Maternity Clothes? I have been wearing mostly maternity pants/capris, but I am still able to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy tops. I am trying to get the most use out of my pre-pregnancy clothes before I have to pack them away. 
Stretch Marks? Nope!
Sleep? Never enough! If I could sleep 8-10 hours straight each night, I would be in heaven!
Best Moment this Week? Feeling baby girl move all the time! She loves to kick at night when I am relaxed on the couch and her kicks are mostly soft with a few good strong ones.
Miss Anything? Sometimes I miss having a glass of wine, but the craving for that is rare.
Movement? Yes, lots of it and love every kick and flutter I can feel from baby girl!
Food Cravings? I love fruit popsicles right now and still on a cereal kick.
Anything Making you Queasy? Not really, but my nose is definitely more sensitive these days.
Gender? Girl! I have been thinking about colors/themes for her sweet nursery and have narrowed it down to my top two... stay tuned for updates on this in a few weeks!
Labor Signs? Nope!
Belly Button In or Out? In, and it is crazy how shallow my belly button is. I think it might pop out in a few weeks!
General Mood? I have been a bit overwhelmed this week with work and house stuff and trying to learn that I can let things go and that everything doesn't have to be perfect. I have a lot of work to do on this!
Looking Forward To? It has been an incredibly hot summer this year, so I am already dreaming of cooler days this fall!

I am starting to get in countdown mode for when baby girl arrives and can't believe we only have about 17 weeks to go! I can't wait to meet our daughter!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! I hope your day is filled with fun and relaxing with family and friends. I hope we all remember the importance of this holiday and say a prayer of thanks to the men and women that protect our country each and every day. We should always have a moment of reflection and gratitude on this holiday and remember that our freedom is not free and should never be taken for granted. I am so thankful to live in this beautiful country and will be celebrating America all day long!

If you are looking for some holiday inspiration, here are just a few pictures from my 4th of July Ideas board on Pinterest. Enjoy!

The cake is gorgeous and a perfect way to display the red, white, and blue!

A beautiful American Flag inspired pie!

A fun treat for the kids and easy to make!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

22 Weeks

Can you believe it is July? Michael and I found out we were pregnant 4 months ago today and in just 4 short months to come, we will be meeting our little girl. The next few months are going to be filled with lots of planning prepping for our little one and trying to soak in every ounce of summer while we can. Here is my pregnancy updates for the week and a picture of my growing belly! :)

How far along? 22 weeks
Total Weight Gain? 3 pounds
Maternity Clothes? Most definitely! I plan on doing some shopping in the next few weeks for some more shorts and tank tops for this hot summer weather. 
Stretch Marks? No
Sleep? Not great. I hit a wall each afternoon around 2pm and wish I could fit in more naps. I am trying to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night in order to feel well rested. 
Best Moment this Week? Putting together the baby registry and imagining our little girl playing with the toys, wearing the adorable pink clothes, and riding in the stroller.
Miss Anything? I am still craving sushi at times and miss sleeping through the entire night.
Movement? Yes, lots of little kicks from baby girl. She had a really strong kick on Sunday night that was so strong it kinda startled me!
Food Cravings? Still eating lots of cereal, yogurt, and cheese and I love the Strawberry Real Fruit Slushes from Sonic :)
Anything Making you Queasy? Not really, but sometimes baby girl is moving so much that it kinda makes me feel car sick (but it's totally worth it)
Gender? Girl! I found this adorable outfit this weekend online and waiting for it to go on sale so that I can snatch it up for baby girl.
Labor Signs? Nope!
Belly Button In or Out? In, but my belly button is sure getting shallow!
General Mood? Most of the time great but with this heat and my energy wavering, I have times of complete exhaustion and annoyance at little things.
Looking Forward To? My family will be coming for a few visits in the next couple of months to help us prepare our house and the nursery for baby's arrival. I love seeing my family and feeling their excitement to be grandparents!

With little baby moving each and every day, I get more and more excited for the remainder of this journey and can't wait to meet our daughter this fall!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Baby Registry at Target

Putting together the baby registry has been something that both Michael and I have been looking forward to. I have been thinking about what kind of list we wanted to put together and did some research before we actually put together the registry list. I asked a few of my girlfriends that have had babies recently what they would do different if they could do their registry again and received some great tips. I also found this fantastic link on Pinterest that helped guide our registry making process.

Once I had a good list pulled together, we decided it was time to make a trip to Target. We spent our Sunday morning in Target looking through the baby section armed with our handy dandy scanner to add items to our registry. We spent time looking at the various types of strollers, car seats, bouncy seats, bottles, baby monitors, and so much more. Michael was really interested in finding safe and sturdy items and I of course was loving all the cute pink girly stuff to look at. We wanted to keep our registry fairly simple and stuck to the basics that we know we will need in time for baby's arrival. If you would like to check out our registry, you can click here and view the list. Michael and I both enjoyed the time together and are excited for the coming months in anticipation of our little girl's arrival!