Health, Love & Fire: July 2015

Counting Down the Weekends

Monday, July 27, 2015

As our weekends without a baby dwindle down and my nesting instinct continues to rise, we've been trying to get lots done! This weekend my goal was to get stuff checked off our to do list, but also enjoy some time together just the two of us! Dan took the day off on Saturday so that we had the entire weekend together which was so nice! We had some things already planned out for the weekend, but lots of down time as well.

Friday after work we did a little shopping for the baby and for a birthday party we were attending later in the weekend. We got a bite to eat after shopping and then headed home to curl up in the bonus room and watch movies for the rest of the night where I proceeded to fall asleep on Dan's shoulder.

Saturday we woke up early to walk Cooper and get ready before heading down to the local festival. If you remember me talking last year about the time I wore a tirara and got myself a husband where I talked about how Dan and I met during our local festival several years ago. Normally he ends up working the Saturday of the festival so it was nice to have him home this year. We headed down and had breakfast at the Rotary pancake breakfast and then enjoyed the parade from the station parking lot. After the parade we headed to our friend's house to celebrate their twin's first birthday. It's hard to believe it's already been a year since they were born, especially considering the fact that she and I have the same due date so it really started to make me think about the fact that our little girl could join our family at any time!
This was from a year ago when I met their little ones for the first time! 

After the party we relaxed for a while at home and then decided to go out to dinner together and head back down to the festival to watch the fireworks. It's been several years since we got to watch the fireworks together and since Dan's parents, especially his Dad volunteered and put so much time towards the festival and fireworks in the past, it's always nice to watch them and think about how much he would have enjoyed the show.
Sunday we got so much done on the baby front! We started our day with a short walk (still trying to get those steps in!). I'd been putting off going through the pile of mail and junk drawer in the kitchen that keeps growing so while Dan made breakfast, I sorted through coupons and mail to get things organized and filed away. We spent our afternoon making freezer meals for once the baby is here. This is something I'd been wanting to do for a while, but never have the freezer space. Since our new freezer will be delivered this week, it seemed like the perfect time to get everything all prepped! We also finished all baby girl's laundry, installed the car seat in my car and finished packing our hospital bags and even had time to make dinner for my dad and visit my mom after she got off work.

It was a busy weekend, but we still got time in to rest and relax. I can't believe how numbered our weekends are before our little girl arrives! I find myself wondering every week if this will be our last weekend before she's here. Hopefully she'll hold out a little while longer, but I'm feeling much more prepared for whenever she does arrive.

Dealing With the Stress of First Time Parenthood

Friday, July 17, 2015

In a matter of weeks my life will completely change and (and if you clicked on this post, yours might be changing too) has been changing for the last 8 or so months. I suppose this blog post should be titled, letter to myself as a first time mom but I figured there may be more of you are feeling the same way as I am and it would sound a little less self involved to include all you new parents to be. Pregnancy for me has been relatively easy (knock on wood), with only extra monitoring and tests to make sure everything continues to go well. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband and awesome family who are always concerned for my (and the baby's) well being and helping me through any difficult moments. But as the day inches closer to where that little girl will be in my arms for the first time, I find my anxiety level rising and the fear creeping in. I begin to ask myself questions like am I really ready? or How is this going to change my relationship with my husband? There are so many unknowns when it comes to becoming a parent or the birthing process in general that has me a little freaked out.

Now that my belly makes it hard to deny the fact that I'm pregnant, I get questions even from strangers asking if I'm ready for the baby. I'm not exactly sure what response they're looking for when they ask this, should I run away screaming, burst into tears, or act like I have it all together? It seems to me, anyone who thinks they have it all together and everything perfectly prepared for their first child is probably lying. It's nearly impossible to be completely ready for something so life changing and uncharted, which is why the planner in me is freaking out a little. So as I spend every evening sitting in the nursery wondering what changes lie ahead, I let the planner take over a little and put together lists of things I can do to feel a little more prepared for the unknown. These tips and this post are as much for me as they are for anyone else. Hopefully by writing this all down, I'll feel a bit less anxious and it will help me prepare for our little one to arrive.

Do Your Research:
Read books, blogs, articles and whatever else you can find about labor, postpartum tips, going home with your newborn, and must haves after baby. Those links are just a few of the favorite blog posts I've found. Some of this can be helpful and some can be downright scary, but for me it helps to have an idea of what to expect. Many times books and blog posts sugar coat what to expect during labor or the weeks following. I love how each of those blog posts helps prepare you for the reality ahead in a way that's informative but comforting at the same time. I try to stick to one topic at a time so as not to overwhelm myself more and take things in the order that they come. There's no sense in reading all about what foods to feed your baby once they can have solids when that's months away, so stick to things that will help you in the near future.

Talk To People: 
Lucky for me, I have several close friends who have had kids within the last year so I have a plethora of options when it comes to getting advice. I also happen to have several friends who work in labor and delivery, one of them being my Mom so whenever I have a random question or freak out moment, I have someone to turn to. I'm sure the advice nurse at my Drs office also appreciates this, since I've only had to call and bother her once. Having friends and family who I can take to coffee or go on a walk with and chat about what to expect or things they found useful has really helped calm my nerves. While talking to people won't change or effect some of the crazy things that will soon happen to my body, it makes me feel a little more prepared having some idea what lies ahead.

Meal Prep: 
So often when people have a baby, people offer to bring you meals, but that only lasts for so long. After the rush of visitors have slowed down and you're still left exhausted and out of creative meal plans, having something you can pull out of the freezer and pop into the crock pot for an easy meal is key! Plus, you're never really sure that the people who bring you meals will bring something you like, so this way you always have a backup plan. I've got several pins with ideas posted to my pinterest page that you can check out HERE for a place to start. I plan to make a dozen or so freezer meals that I can use once the baby is here for an easy dinner or leftovers to have in the fridge.

Treat Yourself:
I'm a firm believer that carrying and growing that little one for 40 weeks is tough work and you should treat yourself for doing just that! Whether it's a pedicure when you start having a tough time reaching those toes without getting out of breath (seriously it's a struggle) or a prenatal massage to help you relax and release some stress, take some time for you. It will be all about baby for a while once he/she is here, so taking some time before they arrive to relax and rest can only help prepare you for what's ahead.

You can only read and prepare so much. Give yourself time to breath and take it all in. My goal is to prepare things like my hospital bag, have freezer meals made, get the car seat installed and have things around then house cleaned and organized in the next couple weeks and give myself time to breathe and enjoy the last few weeks of it being just the two of us in the house. Take time you soak it all in and reflect on everything that's happening.

33 Week Bumpdate

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week: 33

Total Weight Gain: About 21 pounds

Symptoms: Feeling more tired as the weeks go on and everything is becoming more difficult to do, especially anything that including climbing stairs or bending over. I'm finding myself getting out of breath pretty easy and simple things like getting out of bed or going for a walk are becoming harder and harder. I'm hoping I'm not getting the pregnant waddle yet.

Cravings: Still usually on the sweet side when I crave something which is somewhat unusual for me. The other day Dan and I saw someone carrying a coldstone ice cream cake and that's literally all I wanted for the rest of the day!

Sleep: Depends on the night. Seems like my new norm is to wake up at least once or twice a night to use the bathroom and then it takes me a few minutes to get comfortable again. Overall, it seems like the last week has been a little better sleep wise.

Clothes: All maternity!

Workout: Went on fewer walks this week, but still trying to stay as active as possible. It's getting a little tough when I'm outgrowing most of my workout and normal clothes and all I want to do is wear PJs all the time.

Nursery: Just adding a few finishing touches and then I think we will be good to go. I am trying to finish a couple decor pieces with her name on them so I can take photos of the nursery before she arrives to post once we announce her name.

Movement: She's still moving around like crazy, although seems to be running out of room. I get lots of kicks to my ribs and upper abdomen of her trying to get more space which is definitely causing more discomfort for me. Unfortunately when I'm only 5'4" there's not much extra space for her to grow.

Best Moment This Week: Celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary!

Missing: Being able to fit in all my clothes and not feel out of breath with everything I do!

Our Announcement ::  Weeks 4-12  ::   Weeks 13-14  ::  Weeks 15-16  ::  Week 18  ::  Week 19  ::
It's A Girl!    ::   Week 20  ::  Weeks 21-22  ::   Week 23  ::  Week 24  ::  Week 25  ::  Week 26  ::  Week 27  ::
Week 28  ::  Week 29  ::  Week 30  ::  Weeks 31 & 32  ::  

Celebrating 5 Years

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Today's the day . . . 5 years ago today I walked down the aisle to my best friend and became his wife. So what better post to share to celebrate today, than the party or the reception of our wedding! But before I get into that, just a short letter to Dan.


Who would have thought that after a brief conversation years earlier, that we would meet through your roommate and start dating. From the moment we started really getting to know each other, you always told me there was just something that you couldn't describe. Everything in our lives may not have come easy, but our relationship definitely did. We would spend hours on the phone that first year, and even nearly 9 years later, I still look forward to our calls when you're on shift. I can't imagine tackling life with anyone else, and I definitely can't imagine a more perfect dad for our little girl. I'm so lucky to not only be married to the most amazing husband, but also to my hero and best friend! Happy 5 year anniversary! I can't wait to celebrate tonight & for years and years to come! I love you!
Okay now back to the photos you really came here to see . . . our reception!
When planning our reception we wanted a fun atmosphere with lots of talking and dancing. Instead of a full dinner, we provided appetizers, cake, a s'mores station, and a candy table. We didn't have assigned seating, and we actually didn't even provide enough tables and chairs for every guest to sit down in the hopes that people would be up dancing and mingling and that's exactly what happened! It was such a relaxed fun atmosphere, and really exactly what we had hoped for. Just by looking back on the images captured during the reception, you can tell just how much everyone enjoyed it.
When it was time to cut the cake, both Dan and I knew we were going to have fun with it. No matter how many times I told Dan I wouldn't shove it in his face, he knew better!

After we cut the cake, it was time for dancing. We started the night off with our first dance followed by my father-daughter dance, where Dan joined in with his mom halfway through. Dan and I danced to Everything by Michael Buble and my Dad and I danced to Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman.

After some more mingling and pictures, it was time to fill the dance floor for the rest of the night and enjoy ourselves with our friends! I love these photos and all the fun that exudes out of them so much! 

We ended the night leaving in Dans Dad's BMW. It was a day I'll never forget and one I am so thankful all our friends and family were able to be a part of. 

The last 5 years have completely flown by, and we are happier today than we were then. Life just keeps getting better and better and I can't wait to see what the next five and the next fifty bring!

Venue: Vista Hills Vineyard & Winery
Photographer: Emily Haven Photography
Wedding Dress: Rosewood Bridal
Tuxes: Men's Warehouse
Flowers: Showcase of Flowers
Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal 
Cake: Lambs Thriftway

Ceremony - Oregon Vineyard Wedding

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

And now, my favorite part of the day . . . or at least one of my favorite parts . . . the ceremony! It was the perfect temperature as I walked down the aisle at 6:30pm as the sun peaked through the trees and could be see shining on the vineyards in the background. We had been engaged for nearly 2 years and together nearly 4 and it was the moment I had known was in our future since shortly after we met. This day was not only special because it was our wedding day, but because it was also my grandparent's and great-grandparent's anniversary as well. It may have been a Thursday evening and we may have heard from several people how strange the date seemed to them, but to us it was perfect! I was so thankful that even though my grandfather had passed away a few years earlier, that my grandma could be there to share her anniversary with us. The ceremony started with Dan walking his parents down the aisle, followed by my brother walking my mom and grandmother to their seats. 
Then it was time for our wedding party. . .
One of my favorite parts of the ceremony, was our flower girl and ring bearer. There may have been a 28 year age difference, but it was the perfect combination walking down the aisle! 
And then it was my turn. I remember my Dad turning to me before the music started and telling me to take my time, smile, and enjoy the moment. 
The ceremony was over before I knew it and we were officially husband and wife. We kept it short and sweet, including parts that were important to us like why the day was special and who shared their anniversary with us. We also decided on a sand ceremony for our unity celebration and enjoyed a few laughs throughout the short ceremony. 
And before I knew it, our officiant was telling Dan to kiss his bride and announcing that we were husband and wife! 
And after five years (tomorrow) we are still just as happy to be married! 

Venue: Vista Hills Vineyard & Winery
Photographer: Emily Haven Photography
Wedding Dress: Rosewood Bridal
Tuxes: Men's Warehouse
Flowers: Showcase of Flowers
Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal 

Family & Wedding Party - Oregon Vineyard Wedding

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy Monday! Are you sick of looking at wedding photos yet? Sorry, I'm not! :) Today I thought I would share the photos we took after the ones of just Dan and I, our family and bridal party.

Once we finished our first look and spent a little while taking photos of just Dan and me, we had our families show up for family pictures. Luckily we both have small families so this went really quick and was fairly painless.

After we finished pictures of just Dan and I, it was time to take some with our family. One of the photos I really wish we had gotten was one of both of our families together, but I'm so thankful for the one's we have!
Next it was time to bring out our bridal party. Of course they had already been watching us take family pictures and the boys especially had been making faces and cracking jokes to get us to laugh.
I really couldn't be happier with all the amazing people who were a part of our special day, especially our families and wedding party. Not only were they supportive and helpful, but truly made the day so much fun (as you can see from many of these photos).
The guys definitely had more fun with their photos than the girls. But that doesn't mean that we didn't have a good time. The ladies who stood next to me were my best friend, a friend from high school, a friend I had met through my Mom several years earlier, and two friends who were more like sisters that I grew up with in New York. And while our relationships may have changed over the last five years, it meant so much to have them there with me on my wedding day!

Like I said, below you will see Dan with his Groomsmen, and just how much fun they had together that day! He had his best friend as his best man, his best friend's brother in-law who quickly became one of our best friends after joining the family, two friends who he met through the fire department, my brother, and my best friend growing up. Even though they hadn't all spent much time together before our wedding, they all got along and joked around like they'd been best friends for years!
And lastly was the choice of our flower girl. As you'll see in the ceremony photos, our ring bearer was actually one of our good friends who looked more like a groomsman, except that he carried the ring pillow down the aisle and walked with our flower girl. While it was definitely non-traditional, it made the day so much better!! Our flower girl was a girl that Dan and I had been watching since she was just weeks old. I'm fairly certain she's the reason Dan is so excited to have our own little girl in a matter of weeks. She was completely adorable that day and even made people laugh during the ceremony! I can't believe she's 8 now!! 

Even just looking back at these photos it brings back such fun memories of that day and I can't help but smile! I'm so thankful that our family and friends could all be there to support us and make the day so memorable! 

Venue: Vista Hills Vineyard & Winery
Photographer: Emily Haven Photography
Wedding Dress: Rosewood Bridal
Tuxes: Men's Warehouse
Flowers: Showcase of Flowers
Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal