Sep 1, 2016

Heidi's Southwest-Inspired Nursery

I really should stop saying I'm going to do so and so on the blog on a certain date because that date always ends up passing by without my promise coming to fruition. I am the blog procrastination Q-U-E-E-N these days. Lucky (or unlucky) for me, little miss is now 4 days past her due date (KILL ME NOW) and I'm frantically trying to fill my free time with anything but thoughts of why this little babe is so darn stubborn! With all this waiting time, I finally have a moment to share Heidi's nursery with you all (silver lining?). Maybe she's been waiting for this post and NOW she'll make her grand entrance to the world? Wishful thinking, I know. This girl has a mind of her own and seems perfectly comfy with her current set up. She really should read this post and see what goodness is waiting for her on the I right?

Friends, this nursery was a true labor of love. One that I toiled over via Pinterest and Instagram while on our 3,000 mile road trip...making pin boards and trying to envision something stylish, yet girly, for a room I'd never stepped foot in. I knew what sort of nursery I wanted in our Florida house, but this rental in Cali, my mind jumped from theme to theme. I was all over the place (both literally and figuratively). Thankfully, a dear friend created a private pin board of fun things for Heidi's nursery and it was full of Southwest-inspired touches from Aztec-patterned blankets to cactus prints and boho rugs. I wasn't sold on the idea until the moment I saw THE room and found THE rug. It all fell into place from there. 

Crib: DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-Way Convertible Crib | Crib Sheet: LittleMoose by Liza  | Rug: Suzani Rug via Rugs USA | "Greatest Adventure" Wood Wall Sign: WilliamRae Designs | Cactus Pillow: Pottery Barn Teen | Red Fox & Fuzzy Ostrich Stuffed Animals: JellyCat | Faux Fiddle Fig Leaf Tree: Hayneedle | White Faux Fur Rug: Hobby Lobby

A sweet, feminine take on Southwest style for a new start out West. Seemed super appropriate for this new chapter of life and now this nursery has easily become our favorite room in the house! Not hard to see why, it's the only room with new everything...and everything all in its perfect place. I love to sit in the glider, morning light streaming in, and think about the sweet sounds that will someday fill the room. It's where I come to pray for Heidi and the kind of person she'll be, the kind of life she'll lead. It'll be the place where lots of beautiful memories will be made. Gives me chills just thinking about it all. But on to the details!

The crib and crib mattress were the only two pieces of the nursery we brought with us from Florida (thanks, Mama B!). The rest, well, I had 7 weeks to scramble and shop for once I'd landed on a theme. Needless to say, most of my third trimester meltdowns were nursery-related. Amidst unpacking boxes and trying to get the rest of the house functional, all my heart wanted to focus on was this tiny 12'x13' room. I ended up hating almost every decor option at stores like Babies R Us and BuyBuy Baby, so most everything I ordered from places like Etsy, Target, and Amazon. Because of that, we spent a good amount of time waiting for nursery mail to arrive week after week. Talk about frustrating! I got to be REAL good friends with the UPS, USPS, and FedEx men. They probably thought I was a hoarder with all the packages they were delivering. As we rounded the corner into week 39, all pieces were delivered and tiny details hung and polished. Nursery complete!

**the Moses Basket is a family mom used it for me and my sister, my Aunt with her daughter...and now our little Heidi. :)

Moroccan Pouf: Maison Marrakech | Glider: Wayfair | Pillow & Throw: Target| End Table: Nate Berkus for Target | Heidi Book: Amazon 

I'm not sure why I felt the need to get this room 100% finished before Heidi's arrival. Part of me thinks it's because I had a beautiful home ripped out from underneath me (dramatic, much?) and I wanted this one room to be PERFECT. She deserves it...heck, I deserve it. The other half of me was nesting so hard I couldn't see straight. Either way, I'm so happy it's done and that it all fell into place so much more seamlessly than how I typically decorate a room. Totally a God thing. Probably ridiculous to say out loud, but He's been in the details of every aspect of our move and this pregnancy...nursery was no exception.

Changing Pad Cover: Grace and Cruz | Herringbone Gray Lamp: Target | Dresser: IKEA Hemnes | Hexagon Wall Shelves: West Pine Company | Pink Candle: Paddywax Heirloom Candles | Gold Filament Dresser Knobs: World Market | Tiny faux succulents: World Market | "No Whining" Print: Hammerpress | Ceiling Light Fixture: Target (now discontinued)

And now we wait. Wait for girlfriend to drop it low and make her grand debut into this crazy, crazy world. I'm BEYOND ready to see her face and snuggle the crap out of her. And ready to be done being pregnant. Am I allowed to say that? Who knows...but I am. We've tried ALL the old wives tales and "labor-inducing" foods ever suggested and big fat GOOSE EGG to it all (for my next trick, I'll stick my thumb up my rear and whistle Yankee Doodle from a mountaintop--that should do it!) save your comments. Sorry, that's sounds harsh, but the sheer quantity of unsolicited labor advice I've gotten these last couple weeks has me wanting to murder well-meaning humans. Baby rage is still alive and well in yourself! I've decided all those who've gone into labor after eating eggplant parmesan or spicy food or getting pedicures have done so out of pure coincidence. Their bodies were already ready for baby and mine's just...not. Not yet, at least. She's gotta come out by 42 weeks, so come hell or high water I'll be birthing a babe before long. I just need to not psych myself out during the agonizing wait. Easier said than done, right, mamas?

Custom Book Ledge Shelves: Dunn Rustic Designs | Hanging Wall Planters: Amazon | Yarn Wall Hanging: NW Urban Cottage Shop | Ivory Striped Swaddle Basket: Pottery Barn Kids | Woven Rattan Book Basket: Target

Oh, and I should mention, that ADORABLE Aztec Alphabet Print was designed just for Heidi by my amazingly talented graphic designer of a cousin. I found something similar on some website wanting a bagillion dollars for a wrong color print, so I asked and she worked her designer magic. Couldn't be more in love with the result! Don't worry, we won't teach Heidi from that alphabet, but it's one of my favorite fun details of her nursery. Had to shout it to the world. Thanks, Linds! Another BIG shout out to the husband for putting all the furniture together and hanging everything on the walls. There's a special seat for you in heaven, I just know it. ;) D also hung the pendant light after a heck of a fight with it. He's come a lonnggg way, folks. Proud wife right here.

Longest (and most rambling) nursery reveal ever? Likely so. But I want to remember every tiny detail until the day I die, so blog it all, I said! And I finally did. You're welcome, you've made it to the end, and thanks for reading. ;)

Side note: if you've got some good baby vibes, prayers, positive juju, and/or love to send our way, we could use it! I need this baby girl in my arms, like, yesterday. COME ON, HEIDI! We are SO ready to meet you!

Aug 10, 2016

Bump Watch: Week 37 [& a PinkBlush GIVEAWAY!]

[Items in this post c/o PinkBlush Maternity, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the businesses that support this blog!]

In case you were curious, we're safe and sound in our new home in California (have been for almost a month and a half now--crazy!), we're unpacked, and we're 3 weeks until baby (also #CRAZY). I would have updated you all sooner, but...ahem...see items above. It's been a bit crazy around here, as you can imagine. I really thought I'd be better about blogging my pregnancy journey, but thanks to Snapchat, Instagram, and my own personal journal, I've felt less a need to sit behind a computer screen and type about it all. Freeing, actually. There might be something to this whole "micro-blogging" thing. 

In other news, see that gorgeous floral robe up there? I've basically been living in that thing since the day PinkBlush Maternity mailed it to me. Want a sneak peek into my hospital bag? Well, there you go...that robe will be one of the first things I pack! It's incredibly soft and just darn so beautiful to look at, really. Makes me feel super feminine and as far as the hospital goes, it will likely keep me from feeling frumpy and disgusting post-labor. Perfect for late-night feedings too, I imagine. I'm going to squeeze every ounce of use out of it possible! Want one of your own? It's your lucky day! Head on over to my Instagram and enter to win $75 to PinkBlush! don't have to be pregnant to win! PinkBlush also offers non-maternity items that are just as beautiful. More info on go and win you something fabulous.

Since it's been, oh, 17 weeks since my last Bump Watch post, without further adieu....

Baby's the Size of: a winter melon, whatever the heck that is.

General Thoughts/Feelings: Feeling all the feelings right now. Excited, nervous, terrified, joyful, peaceful, prepared, not name it, I rotate through it on the daily. On one hand, I can't stand the wait to meet her...but on the other, I'm nervous about having a human being to take care of and worry about for the rest of my life. I know, we should have thought about that 9 months ago, right? We did, believe me...but as reality sinks in, those moments of doubt bubble up as well. 

I'm also selfishly sad about it no longer being "just the two of us" with regards to D and I. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to add to our family, but I'm still mourning the loss of life as a team of 2. It's a weird feeling. We've had almost 16 wonderful years of it being just us, more than most get before little ones arrive...but I can't decide if that makes this all easier or harder. I know Heidi will bring us more joy than we could ever imagine and I'll get over it once she's in our arms, but let's face it...jaunting off to Napa or LA or Hawaii won't ever be an on the whim event. Our days of throwing a suitcase in the car and jetting off will become slightly more complicated (although we're gonna do it, dang it!). Have baby, will travel, yes? Just things I ponder on when the insomnia hits.

As for labor, I'm only slightly freaking out about it. I feel prepared thanks to our 5 week birthing class and my super supportive midwives...but everyone handles pain differently, so it's hard to gauge how hard this might actually get. I feel like I have nothing to compare it to, so the unknown is...scary. That being said, every time I start to feel the panic rise up, I remind myself that women are doing this everyday, I am built to do this, and the pain will be a mere blip on the radar of my life compared to the sweet gift I'll get at the end. Mind over matter, am I right?

Food Aversions: Not a darn thing I won't eat. Well, except the things I still can't eat. Although I've given up on avoiding feta and blue cheeses. Pregnant rebel here.

Food Cravings: Deli sandwiches...which I can't have. I've decided an Italian sub be my first meal after she's born. That and a spicy tuna roll and glass of wine. If the nurses offered to hook me up to a wine IV while I breastfeed, I'd do it. As far as everyday cravings go, I'm still in love with fruit and my sweet tooth has taken over my daily breakfasts. I used to be a hard boiled egg and toast chick, but these days, cinnamon raisin English muffins have been on my mind non-stop. And Sunday morning banana pancakes have become a new tradition. I'm not mad about it. ;)

Health/Fitness: I've been trying to keep up with walking along with doing some of the stretching and breathing exercises we've been learning in birthing classes. I feel like I've spent this pregnancy more active than normal, but in different ways...all of it mostly centered around moving and unpacking. That whole process took us WAY longer than it's ever taken in previous moves, but I also had an extra person in tow. Going up and down stairs now feels like running a marathon, so doing it 20+ times a day had me beyond exhausted during the thick of unpacking. Braxton Hicks kept me in check though. As soon as they'd amp up, I'd hit the couch. 

Doc Appointments: I have my 37 week appointment on Thursday (they're weekly at this point), but at my 36 week appointment, we got to see little love via ultrasound and confirm she's head down (yay, Heidi!) and nice and comfy along my left side. Explains why I've been feeling lots of rib kicks on my right side. Girlfriend may have a professional soccer career in 18 years. Everything else measuring right on track for my due date and no issues to worry on (thank the good Lord!).

Weight Gain: Total for the whole pregnancy = 17lbs. Not too bad if I do say so myself. My goal was to keep it under 20, so I'm happy even though I've definitely noticed a decline in muscle tone. I'm looking forward to a couple rounds of 21 Day Fix after the all clear 6 weeks postpartum! Also, no belly stretch marks! We still have 3 weeks to go, but I'm optimistic.

Symptoms: That whole idea of pregnancy coming full circle and reverting back to 1st trimester fatigue, hunger, and just feeling not quite that lovely...yeah, I'm there. No nausea or anything of that sort, just plain uncomfortable in too many ways to count. Hard to get up, hard to sit down, belly feels heavy all day, and I still have limited eating and breathing room. My emotions are back on high alert again, but I'm trying to enjoy these last few weeks because it's all gone by too fast!

Sleep: Pregnancy insomnia has worked its way back into my life again. I had a bout of it the beginning of the 2nd tri, but now it has me wide awake from 3am until 5am...and sometimes I never get back to sleep. I attribute it to not being able to get comfortable and turn my brain off. Naps have become an essential part of my day needless to say.

Movement: She's running out of room in there, but every evening it's like she saves all her energy up to give me a slightly uncomfortable after dinner dancing show. D's always telling her to "behave in there!" It's adorable.

Baby Items Purchased: ALL OF THE THINGS. I feel like we're bleeding money at this point. What's one more swaddle blanket?
 Nursery is alllllmost done...just waiting on a few pieces of decor to arrive and we'll be set. 

Best Moment Recently: FINALLY getting to park in one of those "expectant moms" parking spots! I dutifully snapped a photo and felt like I'd completed some sort of pregnancy rite of passage. 

What Does Daddy Say?: That he's so ready for me to stop buying furniture and nursery decor that he has to put together! Bless him, he's been such a warrior picking up my slack, and then some. Lately (as the reality of labor sets in), he's been worried about how he can help me in the delivery room. How to soothe and comfort...what will I want, what will I hate? I keep reminding him he'll likely see a version of me that I'm not sure I've ever seen before let's just take one moment at a time. We'll figure it all out along the way. Our nightly prayers consist of his hand on my belly and lots of prayers for me, Heidi, and the preparedness of our home and marriage. I quietly pray for him and the changes coming his way. He needs them just as much as I do. So grateful for such an incredible husband to share this journey with.

Looking Forward To: Seeing her sweet face for the first time in the flesh. Holding her. Smelling her. Seeing D love on her. Having my mom in town for 3 weeks (bless her). And getting my body certain ways, at least.

Another memorable moment the last 6 weeks? Our beautiful maternity session with Mallorie Owens Photography. THAT LIGHTING! I still die over it. I've shared a few sneaks on Instagram from the session, but I wanted to share another here to showcase the PinkBlush maternity maxi dress I wore for the second half of our shoot. It was 100 degrees outside that day and this dress was perfect for showing off my then 31 week bump while keeping me cool in that darn heat wave! Now who wants to enter that Insta-giveaway, hmmm? DO IT. More from our maternity shoot to come...someday (my famous last words, huh?).

WHEW! Long post, guys...thanks for sticking 'round. This is likely my final pregnancy update before Heidi arrives, so soak it all in, folks. That's what I'll be doing these last few weeks. CANNOT believe we're officially on baby watch! EEEK! This pregnancy has FLOWN by. I hear the song "You're Gonna Miss This" playing in the background of my mind from time to time...and to tell you the truth, I so totally am.

Jul 16, 2016

Road Trip Essentials

[My stay and this post come to you c/o TownePlace Suites by Marriott. While there are sponsor links throughout, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the businesses that support this blog!]

 D and I truly are no strangers to road trips (we've driven the 10+ hour route from FL to NC too many time to count), but this cross-country move was definitely the longest and most tedious one we've ever endured together. Maybe because I was 30-ish weeks pregnant, maybe because our car was loaded down with an extra 900 lbs...probably both. After logging in over 3,100 miles on the road from Central Florida to Northern California, I feel like I learned a thing a two about road tripping...most notably, the things you need to take/do in order NOT to kill yourself and any of your travel partners along the way. HINT: you may still want to kill yourself and/or your travel partner at varying points in your trip...but not because of boredom. Road tripping is just plain HARD sometimes. You're a liar if you say it's not. I may or may not still be delirious from our journey...jury's still out on that one. 

Tasty Snacks - You've got your gummie bears, your pistachios, your granola bars...those are just a few of our favorite travel treats (and local roadside fresh fruit stand scores, too!). But whatever you choose, try and have a good mix of healthy and non-healthy items, just to keep it interesting. Also, bring a small cooler with bottled water and drinks for the kiddos (if you've got them in tow), so you won't have to keep dolling out $3 at every gas station you stop at. Just replenish your cooler every morning with free ice from your hotel and boom, you're back on the road!

Camera - Don't just rely on your your iPhone for road trip pictures...grab your DSLR and keep it on the dashboard. You never known what gorgeous scenery you'll see just outside your windshield! Our drive through Colorado had me snapping photos and recording Snapchats the entire way. You may only do one big road trip in life, so be sure to document it all. Side note: I also recorded a handful of beautiful miles via our GoPro sitting up on the dashboard...and took a few dozen films with my Instax Mini, just for some unique ways to capture the experience. If you have either of those, bring 'em along as well!

Comfy Beds - Some days while on the road, the only thing I look forward to at the end of the day is a clean, quiet room where I can safely lay my tired head. Towneplace Suites has been our saving grace this particular road trip. We stayed at various ones across the USA (Savannah, Atlanta, Nashville, to name a few) and spent 10 consecutive nights at one here in California before we moved into our new home. As extended stay hotels go...Towneplace Suites is the best (especially where military families are concerned---military discounts available)! FREE hot breakfast & coffee each day, FREE wifi, spacious rooms with kitchens and large bathrooms and closets for storage, fitness centers, pool, BONUS...they're pet friendly! Plus, they're always located in great areas close to loads of local attractions and dining options. As a military family, we've stayed in LOTS of hotels while in transit to new bases, but Towneplace Suites continues to rein supreme for those long stretches of displacement. 

UPDATE: Towneplace Suites just began their partnership with Weber Grill! Starting today, the extended-stay hotel brand will roll out new high-end Weber stainless steel Summit® Gas Grills at more than 100 hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

"Barbeque enthusiasts staying at TownePlace Suites hotels can beef up their stay with unlimited access to new premium grills, tools, spices and seasoning in the outdoor patio area. Inventive recipes inspired by TownePlace Suites' In a Pinch market and created by Weber Grill Master Kevin Kolman can be downloaded from Available recipes include All American Steakburgers, corn on the cob with basil-Parmesan butter, and more. All guests need to do is B.Y.O.M. (bring your own meat)!"

Good Tunes - Good music changes everything. It's critical to keep you from losing your mind while on the road, especially when conversation wanes and you just want to zone out a bit. We had our iPhones full of songs we loved, but we blew through all of those the first 2 days of driving. When we hit dead spots in radio reception or areas where only 3 stations were available and they were all country music, we were thankful we also had Sirius XM Radio. D got a 2 month free trial and boom, our music woes were solved! 90s on 9 was my personal favorite, but we also got a lot of mileage out of 80s on 8, Pop2k, Z100 and Y2Kountry.

Comfy Clothes - Seems like an obvious recommendation, but I saw so many road-tripping gals wearing wedges and strapless dresses. IS THAT COMFORTABLE? WHO ARE YOU GOING TO VISIT? There is literally no one I was trying to impress at the Tennessee Visitors Center or the 7-11. NO ONE. So, I opted for my most favorite maternity shorts, tanks, and slip on sandals. But if your eggo's not preggo...choose breathable, flexible pieces that are easily packed and cute, yet comfy for the long haul. And don't forget those sunnies!

Road Trip Toiletries - Chapstick, Wet Wipes, hand lotion, tissues, oil blotters for your face, and a hair brush...just a few things I had in the glove box ready to go when it was time to get out of the car and face human beings. Going through multiple climates and elevations, my skin got so dry, so the chapstick and lotion were godsends. The wet wipes were useful for sticky hands and for nasty rest area bathrooms {shudder}.

GPS - Self explanatory. While getting lost can be fun, it can also delay your trip and add extra hours of unnecessary headaches. I love a good old fashioned paper map (and having an atlas on hand is quite fun to look at from time to time), but a GPS will be the most efficient way to get from here to there. 

Safety Gadgets - Spare tires, jumper cables, first aid kit, flashlights, a clearly don't want to have a reason to use them, but better not pull out of the driveway without them. Murphy will find you! Just my two cents. ;)

Sun Visor - If you travel the open road in the dead hot of summer, make sure to have one of those nifty reflective sun visors to put in your front windshield when you're not in the car. We drove through the "American Heatwave of 2016" and thank our lucky stars we had that thing! Plus, it's a nice little deterrent for looky-loos if you decide not to lug your whole life into your hotel room at night.

Pillow, Blanket, and Windex (yes, Windex) - If your driver is a sweet one and doesn't mind the quiet, it's always nice to catch a few zzz's in the passenger's seat. I, for one, almost never sleep in the car (I feel like I might miss something and want to keep D awake, for safety reasons), but I did bring a pillow for my bum and to support my back for those long segments of driving. As for the can't take pretty photos out your windshield if it's covered with bugs, now can you? One small bottle and a few paper towels go a long way in keeping your car looking fly...less.

Cash - Keep a couple bucks or coins on hand for grabbing extra snacks or for paying any tolls you may run into while on the road. 

Anything else you'd add to this essentials list? Shout it out!
Happy road tripping!

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