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Friday, June 28, 2013

5 things Friday + links

1- Getting a pedicure with friends
2- Celebrating the mister's birthday
3- Our super clean bathroom (and living room and kitchen) thanks to a friend who came to clean one day
4- A quick update to my notebook to add a pocket for papers
5- Snuggles with our pooch

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How do you follow your favorite blogs?

Have you heard Google Friend Connect and Google Reader are going away? There are a few other readers you can use to follow this blog:

I also promote my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook. Have you followed or liked yet?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today, I'm celebrating my husband. It's his birthday and as I've been saying for a few months now, the day the baby cannot be born. I really want our child to have his/her own birthday ;-)

I'm so thankful for this man I've gotten to call husband for the past three years and I will soon have another name, Dad. I can't wait to see him hold our little one and to play with him/her. I hope s/he takes after him in his love for learning, reading and ambition.

And now, to totally embarrass him. A few weeks ago his mom was in town and I mentioned I hadn't seen very many baby pictures (if any) of Brandon. A few days later I got an email with lots of pictures of Brandon over the years, everything from baby pictures to his sports head shots to graduation photos. It's hard to pick a favorite, but this is one of them.

Don't you just wanna pinch his cheeks?!

If you follow the blog via Google Friend Connect (GFC) don't forget GFC/Google reader will be gone July 1st! You can follow using Bloglovin'

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Artwork for the nursery (+ sneak peek)

    I'm so excited to share a few glimpses of the nursery with you today and showcase my friend Lindsay's artwork we have in it.

    Our very loose theme for the nursery is travel/places. Since the mister and I are from different states (Tennessee and Colorado) and have made our home in yet another state (Massachusetts), we love to show home state pride and embrace our current location.

    We want to teach our child to be proud of where s/he is from, yet know home is more about the people you're with than a dot on a map.

    This little collage above te crib features two of Lindsay's newest prints highlighting home and going places. My husband is a photography enthusiast and the photography print reminds us to take lots of photos to document this baby's life.

    Three beautiful prints from Pen and Paint: top right Oh, The Places You Will Go print // bottom right I Love Photography print // left Home is Where Ever I'm with You print

    You can connect with Pen and Paint via
    shop // blog // twitter // facebook // instagram // pinterest

    Her shop features much more than prints fit for a nursery; there are a beautiful selection of notecards, artwork and other paper goods. Head over to her shop! Lindsay has graciously offered 15% off purchases through July 1st with code HELLO15.

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    38 weeks + an early lesson to newbie-parents

    Has it really been FIVE weeks since I posted my last pregnancy update?

    My blogging schedule has gotten a little bit irregular. As I mentioned last week, I have been trying to be intentional about getting rest in these last weeks before Baby arrives. So thanks to everyone for hanging with me. I do hope to get a few posts scheduled so it won't be total crickets around here once this little arrives.

    On Friday, the mister and I ventured to take a few maternity photos. I think this was a lesson to prepare us for parenthood even before the baby even arrives. We had the not so great idea to multitask and bring the dog with us, so he'd get some outside time and we also stopped for coffee on the way.

    We tried to juggle too much. I was carrying my drink and a little sample cup I couldn't pass up (thinking it would make a fun addition to our maternity photo shoot) in one hand and had the dog's leash in the other. Brandon was carrying his hot coffee, camera bag and tripod. You'd think one of us would have had the foresight to see things could end badly.

    The photos I'm sharing today, were the only ones we were able to take on this outing because as soon as I picked up the sample cup, of which the contents had melted, I poured it down my front! My shirt and baby bump were covered in vanilla frapaccino...

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    summer squash + bean medley (recipe)

    I love summer squash and can't get enough veggies lately. It was also a quick meal to prepare, taking about 30 minutes from start to finish (including cooking time for brown rice I served the squash medley over). The ingredients were also fairly common, so I didn't have to pick up a bunch of extras at the grocery store.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    permission to slow down

    Monday marked my first day of leave. It's technically not maternity leave until the baby arrives, but my absence from the office has everything to do with being 37+ weeks pregnant.

    At first, I had visions of working right up until the day I went into labor. Why waste a moment of leave if I'm not holding a newborn in my arms? But as summer plans fell into place at work (our building is undergoing a renovation and our office was relocated for the summer) and I realized the amount of time off I accrued, I began to consider what taking some time off before the little one arrives might be like.

    Three days into this time off, I'm so thankful I did it. I approached this week somewhat cautiously, not wanting to send myself into labor by trying to accomplish everything on my to do list immediately. I am pacing myself with errands, cleaning and preparing parts of our home for the little one.

    A friend graciously offered to come over and help me clean. I couldn't turn her down, but had a hard time determining what I want her to clean. What messy part of our home am I willing to share?

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    (almost) summer essentials

    We haven't had much summer weather yet, but I can tell the warmer days are getting close. I walked the dog at 11am yesterday and he was panting a. lot. 

    Below are some of my favorite summery accessories. Can you guess which ones I own and what's still on my wish list?

    colorful necklace: Lisa Leonard ruby red necklace (fair trade)
    comfy sandals: Birkenstock Gizeh sandals

    What's on your favorite summer accessories list?

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Explaining where I'm from

    I used to dread the question, "where are you from?" My answer was complicated. I had no idea what it meant to grow up in one place. Even Facebook asks my hometown and I don't know what to fill-in (it's blank).

    My dad was in the Air Force, so that left me with a somewhat different sense of home. Although we were never stationed overseas, by the time I was 13 I had lived in five states. I knew virtually nothing about the state that was on my birth certificate: Florida.

    To further complicate things, I married a guy from Tennessee ;-)

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    wear at 36 weeks

    I'm guessing it's pretty common at this stage to be tired of wearing maternity clothes. Over the weekend, there were two baby showers to celebrate Baby G and I ended up wearing non-maternity clothes to both.

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    life lately

    Are you on Instagram? I've noticed lately, it's my favorite form of social media to check from my iPhone. I'm more likely to check Twitter or Facebook when I'm on the computer.

    Last month, I started using A Beautiful Mess' new app to add text, filters, boarders and more to my photos.

    top row:
    a fun weekend at my aunt and uncle's // time with my man // I can't get enough fresh fruit

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Overcome the Lie

    Life is full. I am grateful to have a career I love, an incredibly supportive husband, dear friends and be part of a church community that loves and challenges me.

    Most days are hectic. Whether it's going to work and then community group, spending a Saturday doing housework and running errands or going to church, a bar-b-que and coming home to walk the dog, I find myself out of breath more than I want to admit.

    If I look at the past few weeks, the miles we've covered and the people we have spent time with, I am so grateful. But I also realize life is a juggling act. My husband balances a 35 hour-a-week job, a 10 hour a week internship and a full course load in seminary, all while working on various home improvement projects to our 90+ year old home. I work full-time, volunteer at church and try to keep up with the house.

    And we're about to add a baby to the mix. I find myself wondering how we will manage. Will there be a pause button or will we crumble under the weight of it all?

    Thankfully, we are not alone. I know there will be some bumps along the road and we will not get things right on the first, second or third try. But God's grace abounds and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    The List: June

    a few highlights from May:

    my personal goals for June:
    • Finish putting together the baby's room
    • Relish the days of having fresh peonies in the house (photo 1 & 3)
    • Tackle a few DIY projects, including this one and this one
    • Spend a day or two cooking meals to freeze 
    • Keep up with thank you notes (photo 4)
    • Setup phone dates with a few out-of-state friends
    • Finish reading Baby Catcher and start reading a non baby/parenting book
    • Enjoy a few more dates (photo 2 & 5 are foodie dates we've enjoyed so far this month)

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    A shower filled with blessings

    Even though my mom passed away over a decade years ago, I am blessed to have amazing women in my life. While none of these women can take her place, they honor her memory in sweet ways. Last weekend, I gathered with several women who have known me ranging from 17 years to my whole life.

    My maternal grandma, aunts, friends I've known since high school and a friend of my parent's who came to my mom's baby shower when she was pregnant with me gathered in Northern Virginia for the special celebration. I was so grateful for the chance to celebrate this new life growing inside me with so many who have loved and spurred me on over the years.

    It was truly a sweet time. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of salads: chicken salad, black bean quinoa salad (using this recipe), fruit salad and a lettuce salad. 

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Efficient Homemaking {eBook review + giveaway}

    When I was in high school, I had a friend who was seven years my senior. I met her through Young Life. I remember my mom getting a new vacuum cleaner and giving her old one to that friend, Keyne. I didn't get it at the time, but Keyne told me owning a vacuum improved her "quality of life."

    About 10 years after hearing Keyne rave about that hand-me-down vacuum, I learned what she meant. When I was finally on my own, my cousin gave me his vacuum since he'd recently gotten married. I quickly realized a good vacuum can make all the difference in the world when it comes to keeping a clean house and improve our quality of life. I recently rediscovered that with the purchase of a new vacuum you may have spied if you follow me on Instagram.

    Having lived on my own, with roommates and now being married, I have had opportunities to hone my skills around the house. I never really thought of this as homemaking, but know the importance of having a home that's well cared for.

    Recently, my friend, Hannah who blogs at Simply Add Coffee, wrote her first eBook called Efficient Homemaking. It's filled with practical advice and tips related to keeping up with cleaning, cooking, and other house hold chores.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    A weekend road trip

    Over the weekend, we drove to Northern Virginia. A dear friend hosted a baby shower my grandma, aunts and a few close friends got to attend. It was a sweet time.

    We also got to spend some time in DC, taking in a few museums. It seemed as though the weekend was filled with firsts and lasts. Our last road trip before parenthood, Brandon's first Smithsonian museum and so on.

    We visited the Museum of Natural History and the American History Museum. Visiting the museums on a humid June day reminded me of my childhood. My grandparents have lived in the area all my life and we often tool a trip to one of the many Smithsonian museums when we'd visit.

    We packed a few "insurance" items for the eight hour road trip. I decided if we had the hospital bag and car seat we wouldn't need them ;) and thankfully we didn't!

    I can't wait to share some shower photos, but neglected to get any with my iPhone. I'm actually using the BlogsGo app to write this post!