November 11, 2015

Growing Two: 29 weeks

Just wanted to jot down some thoughts from where I stand at week 29 of pregnancy. A random week to do so, but here I am. So much is going on lately! And mostly good things. The days are going slow but the weeks are going by fast, and I can only imagine that the pace will pick up as we're right on the cusp of the holiday season.

August 27, 2015

Growing Two: 18 week update

I haven't been great at documenting this first pregnancy. I'm not really sure why. I mean, we are SO excited and thrilled about this adventure. We waited for what felt like so long, and now we've been blessed with two babies to love! We are overjoyed to say the least. So here's my attempt to catch up!

10 weeks - notice sleeping Cooper in the background!

August 26, 2015

We have news!

You may have already seen this on social media, but in case you missed it...

We are over the moon excited and feeling so thankful for these gifts from God. I am so thankful for each and every one of your prayers. It is amazing to have people congratulate us and tell us they have been praying for us all of this time. Praise God for His perfect timing! This is better than we could have ever pictured!

July 24, 2015

Our Love Story: Part 2

from the archives: taken on our second date

To read part 1, click here.

A couple days into settling into life at home in Virginia for the summer, Michael called me. A few days later, he called me again. And then again. Soon we were pretty regularly talking on the phone about every other day, and usually our conversations lasted for a couple hours. I think once our record was three. And that's saying a lot for me, because talking on the phone isn't really my favorite thing. It was all of the getting-to-know-you stuff - basically we were dating on the phone since we couldn't do it in person.

July 23, 2015

Our Love Story: Part 1

A couple weekends ago, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. I can't believe we have been married for 5 years! But really, it does feel like we've been together for a long, long time. I can't remember what it feels like to NOT be married. Our lives are so intertwined now, and I love that comfortable familiar feeling of sharing my life with my best friend. I know it's mushy but it's true, and I think I'm allowed some sap once a year! So, in honor of our anniversary, I decided to finally share the story of how and when we met. It is unnecessarily long and detailed, so much so that it's divided into 2 posts. So read at your own leisure :)

April 22, 2015

Kale & Black Bean Salad

This past weekend I was trying to figure out what to bring to a cookout using ingredients that I had in my fridge... and I came up with this. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out! The kale doesn't get soggy and I liked that it was a bean salad that was packed with veggies. I have the feeling I'll be making some version of this a lot this summer! Later I thought if I had a red onion that might have been a good addition, or maybe a red bell pepper, or substitute feta for the parmesan. You could even add quinoa to bulk it up. I think you could use a number of ingredients and it would turn out great as long as you've got a good base dressing. My favorites are homemade dressings, or the Good Seasons packets, which are basically homemade just easier. Homemade is so much better than store bought!

April 9, 2015

Favorites lately

This is a post of some random products I've been loving lately. I'm not getting paid by any of these brands, just wanted to share because I always love hearing what others are using and really love. A personal recommendation is always better!

1. Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque - I am in love with this mask. Lately I feel like my pores have expanded to the size of pepperonis. Not sure if it's my age or what, but I feel like my face never looks smooth anymore. I can truly feel this mask going deep into my skin, and when I wash it off my face feels really cleansed and fresh looking. It makes a big difference! I use it a couple times a week, much to my husband's chagrin (apparently face masks are scary!).

April 6, 2015

When life doesn't go as planned

I've been putting off sharing this for a long time, because I wasn't ready to talk about it. Maybe I wasn't ready to acknowledge it. I've been in a rough spot for a long time, and it's been difficult to process through my emotions. I finally feel like I'm in a place where I can and want to talk about it, so here goes.

Michael and I have been trying to start a family for over a year, and it hasn't happened for us yet.

I never, ever thought we'd be here. When we didn't get pregnant in the first couple months, after doing some research online the statistics brought reassurance and I was sure we'd be pregnant within six months of trying. Six months came and went, and so did seven, eight, nine... and before I knew it, I was looking back at one whole year of trying and failing to get pregnant.

February 10, 2015

Whole30: DONE!

Yesterday was my last day of the Whole30! While I am pretty excited to try some foods that I missed (cheese, homemade bread, chips & salsa), I am not feeling the urge to completely binge or go crazy on those foods. I miss them on occasion, but what I learned from doing the Whole30 is that I don't need those foods in my diet. If I get home from work starving and craving pizza or something bread-y, I can take a little time to cook a clean meal and I am completely satisfied. It's been empowering to realize this.

It was definitely a challenge, but it really got so much easier by the 3rd and 4th week. I would say the hardest part was being completely strict, as in no leeway or cheat meals allowed. For the future, I've decided that I am going to do my best to eat Whole30/paleo during the week and then give myself some freedom on the weekends. It also taught me how to eat at home. It's so easy to choose to eat out, because, duh, it's easy. But since there really isn't much in restaurants that is Whole30 compliant, I had to eat at home, and it really wasn't bad. In fact, it was good. No, every meal was not amazing. Some were awesome (we made both shepherd's pie and pork chops twice!), and some meals were simple and nothing to write home about. But even if it's just okay, and I can still be satisfied and feel great afterward. It's good food that is nourishing my body, and that's what matters.

January 26, 2015

Favorite Whole30 Items from Costco

This is probably not ground breaking information, but I just thought I'd share in case others are looking for Whole30 compliant foods to buy at Costco. On my first Whole30 shopping trip it took me forever to scan through the ingredients on each product and figure out what was compliant. That store is huge, but if you know what you're looking for, it makes the chore a lot easier!

January 20, 2015

Whole30: 10 days in

I'm 10 days in and I have to say, eating Whole30 compliant hasn't really made my life all that different. We are eating delicious food, I feel full after a meal, and we're still doing the same things with our day-to-day schedule. Just maybe a little more time spent in the kitchen prepping (on my part anyway...).

Random notes & thoughts:

+ It really isn't that hard to eat well during the week. Every night in the first week I craved bread, a glass of wine, dessert, SOMETHING with sugar in it, but I am slowly getting used to it. This is interesting to me because I'm not that much of a sweets person, but I guess sugar has always been somewhere in my diet, so when I can't have it I crave dessert. We make mocktails if we're feeling weak - seltzer water and fresh lemon juice - or sometimes I'll have some hot raspberry tea. They certainly don't have the flavor that I'm used to in the evenings, but it really helps to be sipping something.

January 12, 2015

Whole30: The Start

Pardon the radio silence - I know it's been awhile! And I know 2014 was overall sparse... I took some unintentional time off from blogging, simply to have a mental reset. I felt like I needed to reevaluate what I spend my time on and find out what was worth my time. I don't know if I'm fully back to blogging, but I wanted to document my experience through Whole30, just to keep track of this own personal goal of mine.

I started Whole30 yesterday. Thankfully Michael is doing it with me, even if he's already said he wants a "cheat day" on the weekends. I don't blame him - this diet is no joke. It is whole foods only, omitting all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and alcohol. It sounds pretty scary when you read that list.

It all started when I read this post by Anna almost a year ago.