bumpdate: 35 weeks!

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I’M AN AUNT AGAIN! My sweet niece, Charlotte (Charlie) Anne was born on 10/18/16 at at 1:09 AM; 7 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches long and absolutely beautiful (follow me on Instagram @christiecarol for photo updates of her, Emmy & more)! I got to hang out in the delivery room right up until it was time to push–and my rock star sister-in-law pushed her out in ONE contraction… I mean, who does that?!! (short answer: probably not me, but I’ll cross my fingers!). While I was there, though, I took in as much as possible. I had many moments of panic and anxiety thinking “this is going to be me in less than a month…” but then holding Charlie reminded me that it will all be worth it when I get to meet my little Emmy Bear! Oh goodness, I can’t wait!!!

How big is baby: Honeydew Melon | 35 weeks
How I’m feeling: Overall, pretty good. I haven’t quite hit the point where I am begging for someone to “get this baby out of me,” although I’m about to explode with excitement for her to get here after meeting her cousin Charlie! It could also be that I’m still riding that high from the birth of a new little addition to the tribe and am just too over the moon to think of anything to complain about. :)
Weight gain/loss: Well, I look massive in my opinion, so I’m assuming there’s been some weight gain, but I haven’t been tracking. I guess I’ll find out (and hopefully not in shame) at my next appointment on Monday (we’re starting the every week visits now)!
Stretch marksStill good! Hoping for the best all the way to the end!
Sleep: Ah, here is something to complain about! This has been so uncomfortable. Which is really sad, because I’m so tired all the time and by the time I get to bed I just want to zonk out. But then my back hurts. Or my hips hurt. Or I have to pee. Or my brain is going a thousand miles a minute about how I still haven’t cleared space in my freezer for breast milk storage.
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Nothing specific. Just trying to eat healthy for my girl!
Symptoms: Tired feet (ugh), swollen ankles (boo), aching back (ouch), and here’s another weird one for you: itchy underarms? I’m not actually sure that last one is due to pregnancy, but when I google “itchy underarms pregnancy symptom” you wouldn’t believe how many women have this! Of course, I switched deodorants about 2 days before the horrid itching started, so I think that’s the culprit. Never had a reaction like that to a product before, but, as I’ve learned, pregnancy affects EVERYTHING.
Movement: She’s still a good mover, which I’m finding to be an increasingly important thing the further I get into this. She tends to move a lot more at night lately, but during the day she likes to stretch out and make my tummy look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Pretty cool trick, little lady.
What I’m loving: Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess that today I’d say baby Charlie being here. Not an obvious answer at all. …But for real, I just want to go hang out and hold her all day. What I’m hating? Not being able to because I have to work :( My blessed maternity leave will thankfully overlap with my sister-in-law’s so we can chill together with our baby cousins/future besties!
What I’m looking forward to: Meeting my Emmy Faye! After experiencing it all with Charlie, another month just feels like too long to wait for my girl! After 37 weeks, I’m going to be doing all that I can to get her to decide the earlier the better!!
Best moment of the week: Two best moments: First, you guessed it, Charlie being born! (DUH) Second, two of my friends from my college years got married to each other at a gorgeous ceremony in Austin, TX this weekend, and it was a mini reunion for a bunch of us! I got to see so many friends I haven’t seen since New Year’s, who were all hilariously enthralled by my pregnant belly, and seeing them was absolutely wonderful! Someday (hopefully) soon they will get to meet the baby behind this bump in person, and that is going to be so so surreal.

bumpdate: 34 weeks!

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Just when I think I’m the biggest I could possibly be, I get bigger! I’m down to 3 options for bottoms: 1 pair of jeans (I can only wear to work on Fridays), 1 pair of black pants, and leggings (although, there are several that no longer work for me). And I’m at the point where I can’t justify buying more maternity clothes. So, while the weather is still warm, I’m still wearing maxi dresses.

How big is baby: Cantaloupe | 34 weeks (Again with the fruit comparison confusion… I’m pretty sure she’s been a cantaloupe before. Are we now just supposed to imagine a larger cantaloupe??)
How I’m feeling: I think I must be getting used to not feeling great most of the time, because I feel like I’ve felt a little less miserable this week. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there has been plenty of groaning about my back hurting, or my feet hurting, or having bad heartburn, but my overall composure has been a little better I think.
Weight gain/loss: I weighed in at the doctor as having gained 28 pounds so far, although, the day before I was at 26 pounds total. I told her I blamed the fact that I wore boots that day (they don’t let you take them off) and a jacket (because I thought Fall was here, but it was just a tease), and she said I was probably right. But my girl is 5 pounds total now!
Stretch marksNada. Just a few more weeks, tummy, you can do it!
Sleep: J and I have been forgoing our walks more consecutive days than we have this whole pregnancy, and it’s just because we seem to have a harder time waking up. I know it’s all due to the time change coming, but we have to wait all the way until November 6 for that! I hate dark mornings :( unless it’s the weekend and I don’t have to get up for work!
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Still craving milk, and not much else is standing out to me at the moment!
Symptoms: Most of the puffiness seems to have gone down, but the back aches, tired feet, and heart burn are the same, if not worse. There was one day this weekend when my back hurt so bad, it made me feel sick all over. But a little nap sure did the trick.
Movement: This girl loves to move! And hit mama where it hurts, like the ribs and the hip bones. And just dig into my sides because apparently I’m not wide enough.
What I’m loving: ALMOST being done with the nursery! I just need to do a tiny bit more decorating, we need a couple small things (crib sheets, crib skirt, changing pad cover, only fun stuff!) and need to organize her clothes, and that’s about it! I can’t until it’s ready for her! Actually…. I just can’t wait until she’s in it!
What I’m looking forward to: Still waiting for my niece! Come on, Charlie!!!
Best moment of the week: I had my last baby shower this week! My coworkers threw me one and it was beautiful and they got me set-up with the last big items I needed on my registry. I feel so blessed to work in a place that cares so much! It’s going to be fun to bring E to the office to meet everyone!

bumpdate: 33 weeks!

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So, let me give you a little backstory here: My Grandma passed away on March 13 of 2012. Justin’s Nana passed away on November 17 of 2006. We miscarried our first baby in November last year. How do these three dates now correlate? With Emmy Faye. We found out we were pregnant with her on March 13. We found out she was due in November, same month we’d miscarried our first. And now the doctor has set her date of arrival (by induction) on or before November 17. Weird, right? If I had any doubt that God was still all over this pregnancy… well, how could I? I just don’t believe in coincidences.

How big is baby: Pineapple | 33 weeks
How I’m feeling: Okay, the Complain Train still has not left the station. I’ve still been feeling easily stressed over the state of the baby room and our house in general. I have about 3 different to-do lists, all a mile long, and no significant time to cross things off. But I have to remind myself that–though our due date is around the corner–we still have time.
Weight gain/loss: As far as I know, I’m still okay? I haven’t been too worried about it these days because I have stayed on track thus far, and my girl needs all the nutrients she can get right now!
Stretch marksStill all good! The belly growth usually sneaks up on me–what seems like–overnight, so faithful moisturizing is what I’m all about! And unfortunately, no improvements in the veiny legs department :(
Sleep: Oh, sleep. It seems that I can sleep all day and night, and still wake up tired. Not necessarily sleepy, just physically tired. But it’s just good practice, right? Learning to function after a night of interrupted sleep, and with a body that feels as thought it could fall to pieces at any minute. Prayers for energy, because the constant tiredness does not mix well with the constant nesting!
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Dairy (of all varieties!), vegetables, salty food more than sweet currently, and a very lightly indulged craving for coke.
Symptoms: Back aches that my sweet husband so willingly offers to try and massage away (the answer is always yes), swollen feet (and legs in general) and puffy fingers from time to time but not too terribly bad yet, and still the persistent heartburn.
Movement: Will I ever not be in awe by this? I sometimes just stare at my stomach and find myself smiling. I just wonder what she’s doing in there! As for the movements I’m not so fond of: rib cage and hip bones. Ooof.
What I’m loving: Being in the stage of nesting where the things I still want/need for the nursery are all smaller things that will just be “finishing touches” (I’m expecting there to be A LOT of “finishing touches” over the next few weeks). The nesting has absolutely taken over my entire house though. Drawers. Closets. The trunk of my car. Even my freezer. Not one area is safe from being completely torn apart and put back together in a new and hormone-approved way. But, I have to say, it’s been wonderfully refreshing!
What I’m looking forward to: My niece being here! It could be any day now, and I just can’t wait to meet the little girl who is making my nephew a big brother, making my bro/sis-in-law parents to 2 under 2, who will surely make all of us spoil the heck out of her!, and who will hopefully be one of Emmy’s besties! I keep jumping at my phone every time I get a text, wondering if it’s the “heading to the hospital!” message. And I’m hoping that message comes on a weekday since the hospital she’s delivering at (same as me) is just down the street from where I work!
Best moment of the week: I had another baby shower this weekend, and it was so wonderfully sweet! So many women, who have been in my life since I was a young girl, came to celebrate my little one with me and it was so special. I also got to see so many sweet faces of people whom I haven’t seen in a while, so I was overwhelmed by it all that day. We got so many beautiful (and essential!) things for Emmy Faye, and I couldn’t be more grateful to my mom, my sister, and the few other amazing women I love who helped pull off such a lovely shower!

bumpdate: 32 weeks!

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Things are getting pretty real. My niece is due in about 2 and a half weeks (!!!), which is a big milestone for me since our pregnancies are so close! And at our appointment this week, our doctor scheduled the date of induction for November 17 if she doesn’t come on her own before then! It’s crazy that I know for certain the day she will be here by–if not sooner! I was a little wary of the thought of being induced at first, especially since it’s 2 days before my due date, but since waiting until 41 weeks would push me up against Thanksgiving weekend, I’d be happy to have her here earlier than later so we can enjoy our first holiday as a family of THREE! I have a whole heck of a lot to be thankful for this year!

How big is baby: Jicama | 32 weeks
How I’m feeling: My hormones have definitely started to have a little more control over my emotions these past few days. I’ve been getting easily stressed out over things like figuring out my maternity leave from work, finances, essentials we still need before she comes, and then a bunch of little things that aren’t even necessarily related to baby. I’m repeatedly needing to remind myself that no matter how impossible certain situations seem, I’ve faced them in the past too and the Lord has never forsaken more. I can look back on so many hard times and see the beauty that He brought out of it. And still, I get stressed, and let my mind race at night when I should be sleeping, and let my to-do lists haunt my thoughts, and let myself turn this really exciting time into a really scary time, sometimes. And, honestly, most of the time the stress isn’t even on my radar; I’m just overjoyed and overwhelmed by the love I already have for this girl. Which is how I know that this week’s come and go stress can be blamed on those pesky hormones! (And we can go ahead and blame them for the scatterbrained-ness of this rant).
Weight gain/loss: I’m still right on track, surprisingly! My doctor even said I was “perfect!” I really should have recorded her saying that!!
Stretch marksI’m nearing the peak of the stretching, and I’m still in the clear! Hoping to slide by without developing any! Then there’s the spider vein on my shin that becomes more prominent week by week (that popped up amidst this pregnancy but I’m not sure if they’re related)… I sure wish there was a magical oil for that!
Sleep: I guess it was a good thing that I got so much sleep last week, because that went by the wayside this week. Like I said before, my mind tends to race at night and keeps me from drifting away into Peaceful Slumber Land. No matter how many pillows I surround myself with. BUT, one sleep habit that I have come to treasure this week (after having gone without it for so long) is cuddling with my hubby in the mornings. I push all my pillows aside and drag my massive pregnant body to his side of the bed where he can be big spoon and we can both feel Em moving around. It’s the little things :)
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Okay, so the milk cravings are still there–like, even putting milk in my cereal, which, if you know me you know how uncommon that is. Also, there’s still the constant thought that a burger sounds good, and the weird pop-up craving for fried chicken from time to time. But despite all that, I’m still determined to fit in as many veggies as possible!
Symptoms: Obviously, the emotional hormones. The backaches have gotten almost nightly, and J has been the best masseuse. I also have been getting more frequent sharp pains in my lower abdomen, which I asked the doc about and she said it was just my ligaments stretching as Emmy goes through another growth spurt!
Movement: Oh my! Her movements have gotten so strong! It’s gotten to where I can often tell when it’s a foot because of the size and shape… so crazy!
What I’m loving: The progress on the nursery has been so awesome! We ended up rearranging the room a bit, and I’m really happy with the flow of everything now. We also hung some things on the wall, so it’s all beginning to come together in such a nice way!
What I’m looking forward to: I have another shower this weekend, and I am SO  excited to see many of these people, because I don’t get to see a lot of them very often! In fact, I haven’t seen many of them for most of my pregnancy, and some I haven’t seen at all. It will be a sweet time to celebrate Emmy and hug the necks of so many women I just love!
 Best moment of the week: This past weekend, my sister-in-law and I spent the whole day working on organizing the nursery and sewing cute little baby headbands to sell at a local craft show coming up! We had a lot of fun, and I felt incredibly productive, which is one of my favorite feelings!

bumpdate: 31 weeks!


While J was taking this picture, our little girl was squirming all around making my stomach take on such funny shapes! I can’t believe that she’s big enough now to do that! And I also can’t believe that we are 2 months away from meeting her!

How big is baby: Coconut* | 31 weeks
*This is another week where I am sincerely confused by the fruit/veggie comparisons. On one website, she’s compared to the size of a coconut. On another, an asparagus. …what?
How I’m feeling: Maybe I’m just feeling particularly cranky today, but I have definitely felt better in this pregnancy. Yet, despite my overall physical tiredness and the readiness for her to be here already (with two months to go, I know), I’m reminding myself that this is all a blessing from the Lord and thankfulness should always be my first response. So, let me start over: Thankful. I’m feeling thankful, always and always, for the gift of this child.
Weight gain/loss: I’m feeling like I’ve probably gained a lot more weight since my last weigh-in, because, for one thing, my belly is even bigger now (J keeps reminding me that he thinks I’ve “popped” again). Also, I’ve been a little indulgent lately… whoops.
Stretch marksOne day this week, I woke up with a squiggly pink line on my tummy. And I panicked. But, thankfully, it was for no reason… it was just a wrinkle line from my shirt! But you better believe I laid the oil on thick that night!
Sleep: This weekend I was blessed with ample time to sleep. I was able to sleep in on both Saturday and Sunday, and also take a 3-hour nap on Sunday afternoon. I don’t usually like to “waste my day” by sleeping, but lately I’m unapologetic about it. As my mom would say, “stock up on the sleep now!”
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: So just when I thought this category wasn’t really applicable to me anymore, I start craving stuff all over again. Cheeseburgers. Chicken salad. Milk? (that last one is really weird for me!) And of course, fro-yo forever.
Symptoms: This week was mostly just the backaches, the tired feet, and tiredness in general.
Movement: Little girl packs QUITE the punch! There’s usually at least one moment in the day when I find myself expressing an audible “oooh!” because she jabbed me somewhere in my side.
What I’m loving: Putting our nursery together! There’s still a lot to be done, but we have THINGS now! Clothes storage is going to be the most difficult thing, I think, but working on the nursery each day is one of my favorite pastimes.
What I’m looking forward to: Being within 9 weeks of my due date, I’ve gotten increasingly more excited to meet our Emmy Faye! I mean, I’m completely ignoring the how she will get here at the moment and focusing entirely on her being here. It’s insane to think that in two months, J and I will be parents to this little girl!
 Best moment of the week: J and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary this week and, though it was a small celebration, it was a night with my favorite person in the world just reveling in the wonder of the love we share. What could be better than that?!


One thing I’ll never forget about our wedding day was the establishment of our little life motto for our marriage: No Rain.

no rain

It’s the reminder that God hears even the silliest of prayers, and He responds in the most miraculous of ways, if only you keep your eyes open for the signs (pun intended) and blessings all around you.

As the story goes, we prayed and prayed and prayed that God would not let it rain on our wedding. We prayed that He would “carve out a time” as our Ceremony and Reception went on that the rain would be held back. And even though there was rain on our wedding day–LOTS of it–we had faith that God spoke through a railroad crossing sign and He wouldn’t let rain ruin our day. And that’s exactly what happened: from the moment I arrived at the venue to make my walk down the aisle, as the music swelled, to you standing there waiting anxiously at the end of it, not another drop fell from the sky until we left as Mr. & Mrs.


Since then, the last four years have been a testament to God’s goodness, no matter how much life weathers us. And you, my love, have been the anchor holding me to that truth even when I get discouraged.

J, I have seen you grow so much in the past year; in your leadership, in your convictions, in wisdom, in your work ethic, in the knowledge of how to fix all kinds of things that have gone wrong in our house (yay homeownership!), in your carpentry skills, in your desire to create things or bring broken things back to life. I’ve seen you stay strong, despite the disappointment and confusion, when life threw us something unbelievably painful and I didn’t recover so quickly. I’ve seen your face light up while making project that you’ve diligently researched and planned for come together, and it’s not because of the sweat. I’ve felt your hands gather up my hair as I so gracefully heaved into the sink or toilet or trashcan or disposable bag every morning for 3 months after we found out about our greatest adventure yet, and you never fell ill yourself because of it (praise hands). I’ve felt your arms wrap around me just because it’s a Tuesday night and you’re glad to be home having dinner with your wife. I’ve heard your unwavering voice speak scripture and prayer over me when the anxiety of the past came to haunt my present, and I’ve seen you lean on the Lord to overcome your own anxieties when they try to cripple you. I’ve heard you laugh and joke with me probably every day this year, and I’m so thankful for that alone. And soon I’ll get to watch you become a daddy to our little girl, and teach her to be as strong and courageous and caring and funny and kind and faithful as you are as she grows.

In every way, J, you have shown your love for Christ and, through His grace, shown your love for me.


And as our story continues, I’m more in love with you day after day, I’m more sure that God has never forsaken us and never will (No Rain!), I’m more excited for our future together, and I’m more thankful that it was you out of everyone in this world that our Father chose to be my truly better half.


Four years, going on forever.
Happy anniversary.
I love you more than I know how to say, my J.

bumpdate: 30 weeks!


Well, hello 30 weeks! I can’t believe we’re in the 10-week countdown. In just 7 weeks, our girl will be full-term, and it’s just a guessing game from there on out when she could make her debut! So much is left to do still, and time is FLYING by… but I could not be more excited to meet our little miracle!

How big is baby: Large Cabbage | 30 weeks
How I’m feeling: Still feeling really good! Definitely have more moments of discomfort doing normal things like sitting or standing for too long, but it’s nothing I can’t handle yet.
Weight gain/loss: I’ve gained a total of 21 pounds so far, which the doctor says is right on track!
Stretch marksStill in the clear! I’m nervous that one day I’m just going to wake up with a tummy that has popped WAY out there and looks like something out of science fiction movie. Hoping that doesn’t happen!
Sleep: I’ve been finding myself really needing to turn over to my right side at some point in the night because I start to get achey from laying in one position too long. I may need to start trying out other prenatal sleep positions and see what works best.
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I have been craving fro-yo for about 3 weeks now and have not found any time to satisfy the craving. Hubby is gonna have to step up his support game and help make it happen soon (J, you reading this?!)
Symptoms: Heartburn, back aches, feet that get tired really fast, and a pretty noticeable increase in hormones making me hyperemotional.
Movement: So much movement! We found out our little wiggle worm is 3lbs 1 oz (a tiny 24th percentile!) and her development looks great! Doc is expecting her to be about 7 lbs, which means that she’s going to more than double in size in the next 10 weeks!
What I’m loving: We made so much progress with the nursery this week! The dresser is painted and in the room (just a few finishing touches and we can start putting some of her things in it!), and we’ve acquired a few more sweet pieces to add as decor thanks to my first shower this week!
What I’m looking forward to: J and I are celebrating our 4 year anniversary in just 3 days, and though we won’t be doing anything big, I will cherish this as our last anniversary before we become parents! Such sweet things to celebrate lately :)
 Best moment of the week: I had the absolute best time at my baby shower this weekend! My sweet sisters-in-love threw the most beautiful celebration of our Emmy Bear, and I was overwhelmed by all the love I felt from everyone there. I wish every day was a tea party in my little girl’s honor!