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!

bumpdate: 29 weeks!

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Good news, everyone: I did not labor (or go into labor, to be more precise) on Labor Day! Instead, I spent some quality time with my family for the weekend, ate mama’s good home cookin’, and soaked up 3 full days of no work. I hope you did something fun/relaxing/refreshing this weekend, too!

How big is baby: Butternut Squash | 29 weeks
How I’m feeling: Overall, pretty good! I have been feeling the need to do more prenatal yoga, or something that will help my body adjust better to the discomfort of carrying extra weight and stretching all over the place (a lovely picture to paint, don’t you think?). I’ll definitely need to implement a routine of practicing yoga along with our daily walks.
Weight gain/loss: I’ll be weighing in this week at my doctor’s appointment, so hopefully my celebration of not having diabetes didn’t push me off track.
Stretch marksStill nothing, but the flare up I had a few weeks back of itchy red bumps all over my legs hasn’t quite faded entirely. The red bumps deflated, but seemed to have left their mark… and my pale stems are the perfect canvas to show those blemishes off.
Sleep: For the most part, if I’m 100% surrounded by pillows, I’m okay. Not great. Not terrible. Just… okay.
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: This weekend at my parents’ house, I ate like a queen. Veggies galore, organic everything, and had a verbal reminder every couple hours to make sure I’m drinking water.
Symptoms: The heartburn is alive and active, and my poor esophagus probably wishes it’d had the better fortune (thus far) of being my appendix. I’ve also been told that Braxton Hicks contractions could start at any time, so every tug or sharp pain I feel, I wonder “was that it??” I’m fairly certain I haven’t experienced one yet, but, then again, how would I know?
Movement: We’ve started a lot of sideways movements this week, and from my perspective, it makes my tummy look ALL out of whack! Plus, it means I’m getting a foot up near my rib cage which elicits a very distinct “ooooh!” sound from me, regardless of the company I’m in.
What I’m loving: J and I have one piece of furniture to finish for Emmy’s room, and then we will be all set to start filling the place with clothes, diapers, books, nursery must-haves, and decor to make this mama bird feel right at nesting home :)
What I’m looking forward to: My first baby shower is this weekend! I’m so excited to celebrate my baby girl with some of the closest people to me, that I can’t wait for E to meet!
 Best moment of the week: J was out of town this weekend, and while I missed him, I did enjoy my time with my family. Each day offered something different, but I got good time to relax, time to be productive, time to have fun, and time to just enjoy the company of 3 of the people I love most in this world :)

One Year as Homeowners

On August 28, 2015 we closed on our house, and on August 29, 2015 we moved in and began the crazy adventure of homeownership. One year later, and so very much has changed about our lives, and our home!


First-time homeowners!

I’ll never forget the first couple of weeks in our house. In fact, the very day we closed on our house, we had the water turned on and immediately found leaky pipes under our two of our three sinks (welcome home!). Thankfully, it was a quick fix that only required us to buy new faucets. We also discovered an alarming amount of insects while we cleaned, and so dawned our relationship with the exterminator. One week later, it rained really hard and I discovered three leaky windows, which I caulked shut as a solution because J was out of town (what’s a girl to do?). Then a few days later, we learned how to unclog the pipes under our kitchen sink because I put too many veggie peels in the disposal. Since then, we’ve discovered several things that needed fixing, including but not limited to: exposed wires in our attic (fire hazards!), an external leak that ruined a bit of drywall in our bedroom, an outlet that went bad, and our A/C blower motor/computer went out this summer requiring $700 worth of repairs (that’s just the cost for labor, praise God it is still under warranty!).

We’ve had to learn a lot, and doing it quickly has been our only option. But we’re still just happy to be in our home, so we try not to stress too much about anything. We definitely laugh a lot (sometimes as a way of saying “unbelievable,” but trying to make light of the situation), we shrug our shoulders a lot because sometimes you can’t really do much else, we pray a lot for blessings and favor (which God has truly provided in abundance), and we have gotten really familiar with all the hardware and home improvement stores in our area.

pano living room

Our living room/dining room in late 2015.

But it hasn’t all been corrective updates; we’ve done some fun projects, too! My favorite project, hands down, was adding board & batten in our dining room–it just did so much for the front part of our house! We made a “catch-all” area by our front door for us to hang our coats and kick-off our shoes, J has built a lot of stuff for the garage (aka: his workshop) and a few things for the house, we planted an orange tree, we planted a lemon tree, we transplanted an oak tree in the front yard that didn’t make it (RIP tree), and we’ve refinished old things to give them a new look. We’ve gotten a new bed, a new (to us) dining room table, a new (to us) lawn mower, a new outdoor trashcan (isn’t amazing the things homeowners get excited about?!), a new (to us) day bed/trundle, and I can’t even begin to list all the differences in decor around the house. (Hopefully someday I’ll get around to taking pictures for a home tour! Maybe once the nursery is complete??)


Our living room/dining room present day. (can you spot the changes? haha)

Life in general has changed a lot for us since we signed that gigantic stack of papers, too. Shortly after we moved in, we found out we were pregnant. And a short month later, we found out we miscarried, and came home to recover. We hung up Christmas lights on our roof and the healing continued through the next few months. Then, we got pregnant again so quickly, and this one stuck (thank you, Lord!), so rooms have shifted: where we once had a music room and a guest room, we now have a guest room/music room and a baby room. A few months after we moved in, J’s sister and our brother-in-law moved into a house a couple of streets over and we hang out with them more than we ever have (and it’s awesome). And over these past 12 months, some of the close friends we shared so much of our life with a year ago have faded into friends we just “see around,” and some people who we’d just see around became much more apart of our lives. And, soon, a little girl is going to turn our entire world upside down–in the very best way.


Our dining room with the board & batten!

As I look around our home tonight while I write this and reminisce, I am so thankful for the past 365 days here. Though some days weren’t so perfect, all those imperfections have given our home (and life) such character that I would never trade in for anything else.

…All aboard, the adventure continues!




bumpdate: 28 weeks!

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Alright, here we are in the THIRD TRIMESTER! I’m so amazed at how quickly time has gone by during this pregnancy. It’s crazy to think that we’ve reached the end of August, and now only September and October will go by before it’s the month our Emmy arrives. And still, there’s so much we have left to do to be ready. But, honestly, will we ever feel 100% ready for something as life-changing as this? I’m gonna go with: probably not. So… here’s to adulthood!

How big is baby: Large Eggplant | 28 weeks
How I’m feeling: I found out at my doctor’s appointment this week that I DO NOT HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES (!!!!) so I basically feel like I’m on top of the world and I can now happily eat my frozen sweet treats. *All while still reminding myself that sugar has about zero nutritional value, and too much of a sweet thing is a rotten thing.
Weight gain/loss: I’m perfectly on track at 18 lbs! Doc was pleased, and I was too.
Stretch marksNothing yet. This is the home stretch, skin (no pun intended). We can do it!
Sleep: I’ve been mostly okay, but I’ve definitely noticed a bit more discomfort than I used to. I’ve also been waking up almost completely flat on my back fairly often, soooo… pretty sure that needs to stop.
Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream is true love. Then I need a good balance of salty (like, a warm salty soft pretzel…mmmm). The truth is, though, that I’m really trying to eat more vegetables for the sake of my baby’s health & tastebuds. I usually eat a diet pretty rich in the veggie department, but I’ve slacked a little lately. And now is not the time to be a slacker!
Symptoms: The heartburn has again reared its ugly head. Every time I feel the fire rise up in my esophagus, I just try and imagine that I’m creating another strand of my little girl’s hair (per the wives’ tales).
Movement: She’s still moving a ton! I’m sure people could spot my tummy moving from a far, if they happened to look at the right moment.
What I’m loving: I returned everything I originally bought for the nursery, and now I feel like I can finally think clearly about how I want to decorate. Rustic, country chic, some emphasis on birds, some emphasis on Peter Pan, and florals. There we have it.
What I’m looking forward to: My first baby shower is right around the corner! I’m sure it will feel a little surreal for me, like these things usually do. But I want to make it a point to enjoy every moment of it and not let myself feel overwhelmed or stressed about any little thing! These things are supposed to be fun, and fun it shall be!
 Best moment of the week: No question, COLDPLAY. Oh my goodness, I don’t even have the proper words to express how much I loved that show. It was incredible, it was inspiring, it was an experience [adventure?!] of a lifetime. I will absolutely make it a goal to see them again, anytime I can! Miss Emmy Faye seemed to like them, too :) The first song she ever responded to with movement was “Yellow” by Coldplay, so it was extra special to feel her kick during that song at the concert. Also, the whole weekend was packed with pure Crustin time; just me and my J, and it was wonderful!