awkward & awesome tuesday


My skin while I'm pregnant.  Don't they say that you're having a girl if you feel like the baby is stealing all your good looks?  Yeah, this thing is after my previously clear skin, so I'm thinking it may be a girl...

Again, pregnancy brain.  My dogs may not make it through the birth of this child - I forgot Gatsby (YES, AGAIN) this time at the groomer's.  Good thing she didn't mind watching him for a few extra hours...

Crying (uh, maybe a little loudly) for the entire duration of Saving Mr. Banks - WHY are there no Disney movies where at least one person doesn't die?  

Trying to pick somewhere to go out on New Year's Eve - I refuse to pay $60 for a ticket to an all-inclusive party when I won't be drinking!  My requirements are valet parking, ample seating, and nothing too loud.  In other words, my idea of a perfect New Year's Even is pretty much in line with my grandmother's.  

One of my yoga teachers preaching to me about how I should have a natural (read - unmedicated) birth.  I'm fairly sure I pay my doctor for this kind of advice, and I really hate it when women push their way of doing things on other women.  It's a feat to give birth no matter how you plan to do it, and let's just leave it at that!  


Darrell found a phone right outside our car when we parked to go to dinner one night.  He called a few people in the recent calls, finally reached the owner, and when the man came to meet us at the restaurant to pick it up he paid for our dinner.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  

Waking up around 6 every morning lately.  I know, you wouldn't think this would fall under awesome, but lately I just haven't needed as much sleep.  It's been SO nice to have the extra time in the morning.  

Christmas in general - we have such generous friends & family, and this week we used all the gifts cards (which are the BEST gift) to buy D some new clothes, which were so needed.  He really gets the shaft lately with someone needing maternity everything.  

Buying our baby's crib and rocking chair at Pottery Barn.  My amazing mother bought us a gorgeous crib and helped us out with the purchase of our rocking chair.  They are so gorgeous that I might just assemble the crib next week - although I doubt my husband will let me set it up until closer to April.  If you're curious, we got this crib in espresso, and this rocking chair in parchment twill (both majorly on sale right now).  


taking it down an inch or 5

photos via the fashion guitar, the daybook, and pinterest

So in my effort to not hurt my pregnant self with a stiletto-ed plunge to death (or ya know, just severe embarrassment), I've been reconsidering my footwear selections.  I'm usually loath to give up my few extra inches, but lately a few bloggers have changed my mind.  The Daybook namely, with posts here and here, has been making sneakers look better than ever.  When I saw her burgundy pair for nearly half the price I just couldn't resist.  I'm completely in love with these leopard slip-ons, as well.  Any other styles I should know about?  


friday link love

I'd say happy weekend, but truly it has felt like one long vacation since last Friday.  I love the holidays!  We both have today off, so we're going to do a little sale shopping for Darrell - he is desperately in need of some new clothes.  I hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing weekend, whether that means ransacking the mall or cuddling up on the couch.  

I love Mindy Kaling, and she continued to impress me in a recent interview with some wonderful (and true) advice.  

Three pretty hairstyles, in case you're going out on New Year's Eve.  

I found the hubbub around this product to be sort of captivating.  Check out the comments, people are so opinionated! What do you think: genius baby distraction tool, or akin to child abuse?  

I've got a Nordstrom gift card to use, and these are in my sights.  

Such a simple, perfect outfit.  

A slightly controversial blog post about biblical literalism, but I thought it was beautifully said.  


maternity style 04

wearing: dress - banana republic, belt - target, pumps - steve madden

This was one of those days when I just didn't feel like advertising "I'm pregnant!" to the world, because let's face it - a bump just makes you something to stare at.  I mean that in the best of ways, I think pregnant bellies are the cutest thing, but sometimes you just don't feel like getting that much attention.  For such days, I believe the formula is tent dress + belt + heels, at least for as long as I can get away with it.  


happy birthday darrell

Happy, happy, happiest of birthdays to my husband, baby daddy, partner in crime, love of my life, and best friend.  

Also, he gave me the ultimate Christmas gift last week and finally got rid of his handlebar mustache, but only if I promised to document it for all the world to see.  I'll give it to him, it was pretty impressive.  


wrap it up/your guide to creating the perfect package

To me, Christmas shopping is not the dreaded occasion that many believe it to be.  I find true joy in lingering around stores until I find the absolute perfect gift, whether it's a candle with one of their favorite scents or a scarf I saw them once pin on Pinterest.  Wrapping, however, is entirely different thing.  Wrapping feels like this daunting mountain you have to climb before you reach the finish line.....especially today, when it's really down to the wire.  You have a stack of gifts you worked painstakingly to procure, and yet they still aren't ready!  But it must be done, so today I'm hoping to remove some of the fear from it.  Especially maybe for the few men who read this blog?  I hear lots of guys say wrapping presents is a woman's skill.  Pshhh....read on, for my super simple (idiot proof!) gift wrapping guide.  

Start out with all your essentials - 3 or so rolls of wrapping paper, plain boxes, gift tags, a variety of ribbons (I prefer plain ribbon to curling ribbon!), PLENTY of tape, and scissors.  If you'd like, some little extras to tie on are always lovely, like these jingle bells.  I also know lots of people who like to tie on those $1 glitter ornaments you can find at Target & Walmart, and that's a great addition!  

Cut your paper to size.  This means trimming off ALL the extra.  Fold it around the box in a few places to figure it out.  Now, so many of the paper rolls have this grid pattern, which is insanely handy.  

Once you're all measured out, wrap the longer ends of the paper around to the bottom of the box, and tape in place.  

This is the part most people hate, but it's really easy IF you got the right amount of paper.  With your thumbs, fold in the corners of the paper at the corners of the ends to make to triangles on top and bottom.  Cross the edges of the paper over one another, and tape the triangles into place.  

It's easier to do this with one end of the present done, and you can stand it on its end.  

Now, we have to jazz it up!  

I really prefer real ribbon to stick on bows - I get that they're easy, but they so often fall off.  

So measure your (real) ribbon out, then wrap it from the middle point around the top of the box to the bottom, cross in the middle, and bring it back around the other sides of the box to the top (and um, try to ignore my chipped manicure...)

Tie a knot, then a bow.  

And trim the excess of the ends, into diagonal lines.  (Cutting ribbon into diagonal lines keeps it from fraying!)  

I like to tie my extras onto the center of the bow, so I put a little bunch of jingle bells there, and the gift tag.  Then you trim off the excess string from your add-ons and....

voila!  The perfect present.  


friday link love

I saw this quote the other day and it was just immediately one of those things that resonated with me, because of how true it is.  Of course, we're all reflecting on the previous year and if you asked me, I'd have to say that 2013 was a year that answered.  It answered questions like 
"is the first year of marriage really as hard as they say" 
"who are my real friends?" 
and most importantly "are we ready to be parents?"  

The answers were good and bad: we loved our first year of marriage; but I think that's because we lived together first.  With all the changes in our life, most of my friends surprised me with how wonderful they could be, even those that are thousands of miles away.  Of course, the "are we ready to be parents" question already has a pretty final answer, and I'd say that was the defining moment of our year - it definitely set us on a certain path for 2014, and we're so excited to see where it leads.  

Okay, so I'll stop getting so emotional on you, it is Friday after all!  Our plans for the weekend include parties, movies, and the Nutcracker.  Also, it's basically a 10 day weekend because of a few days off around Christmas.  I'll be posting sporadically though, so stay tuned!  
I hope you have wonderful holiday with lots of lovely things planned.  

How adorable is this tutorial for wall art?  I am seriously considering this for above the crib!

Can you guess these 30 rock quotes from a gif?  I'm a major fan and it was harder than I thought!

Someone pointed out the other day that Darrell and I need a Christmas tradition (we don't have any!), and I think next year perhaps we'll start the "new pajamas" opened on Christmas Eve one.  We can start me off with these!

This makes a pretty good point.

This cool and casual Hatch Collection dress needs to get into my closet!  Post-Christmas present to myself?

I adore NYC, but if you've ever visited you know that this tourism ad is fairly true.

13 things mentally strong people avoid.

I don't know how I forgot about this childhood favorite cookie, but I made some this week and they were so delicious!

Merry Christmas!  


maternity style/03 - party dressing

We had our little Christmas party this weekend, and although I've already talked about it quite a bit, I did want to share my outfit.  It serendipitously showed up on our doorstep the day of the party, and fit perfectly.  When does that EVER happen!?  

I haven't worn much body-conscious clothing since I've been pregnant, so it was definitely a big "whoa" from everyone when I came out in this Saturday night!  Darrell sees me every day, and even he was surprised by how much the bump stood out.  Truth be told, there is this super awkward stage during pregnancy where you kind of just look like you ate a big meal, so body-con is maybe not the best silhouette, but lately my bump has shown a lot more.  In the past couple weeks I've finally started wearing some of my more fitted maternity purchases.  I LOVED the color of this dress when I saw it, and my mom bought it for me (half off!) from Zulily, but it's still available on Nordstrom!  

wearing: dress-olian maternity, shoes-sam edelman, bracelet-forever 21

*photo credits to my friend joanna bayer, and jess leitch


awkward and awesome tuesday


Feeling distinctively American when talking to Isabella Oliver's customer service.  “yes, see, I put in the wrong zip code for my order….post code?  is that the same thing?  well sure then, the post code, whatever.”  just get that dress to me lady, even though i am surely not sophisticated enough for your fancy european maternity clothes.

Pregnancy balance issues: oh yeah, I can totally do that yoga pose.  Grab foot, extend leg, fall flat on the floor.  Yeah guys, i’m fine.

Deciding to make homemade red sauce for dinner, them realizing we don't have enough of any one SINGLE type of noodle to eat dinner without mixing then.  I call it "pasta di due" which really sounds better than "half penne half linguine.”

That moment when someone says “I can’t wait to give you the gift I got you!”  and mentally you think "get insert-name-here a gift…"

When the waitress at brunch takes drink orders, and it’s “decaf coffee (me), bloody mary, bloody mary, bloody mary” and she asks if I’d like to reconsider.  Um, no thanks ma’am, though I would love to have one, I’m pregnant.  Really, this was just awkward for her.


The nesting instinct.  My home life is suddenly a personal contest to try and bake the most things in a week.  So far I’ve made these this, and this.  

A double date at the Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Gardens - it was, just as my husband described it, magical.  There was mistletoe, thousands of twinkling lights, a live band, and so much hot chocolate!

Watching You’ve Got Mail for the 100000th time, hearing Kathleen Kelly say “because when you read a book as a child it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading does” and realizing how very excited I am to start reading to this baby.

The dress I ordered for our party showing up exactly 4 hours beforehand, and having it fit perfectly.  When does that EVER happen?  

Getting together with friends to celebrate Christmas this past weekend.  It was certainly a more low key party than the one we threw last year, but lovely as ever to have everyone we love in our home.  We have another big bash this weekend that we're really looking forward to!  

*Awkward and awesome posts are now going to come with our weekly bump pics!  We snapped this just before heading out to the light show at the botanical gardens, which explains the head to toe long johns and fleece.  


a gift guide for the mama-to-be

So I am not a huge fan of gift guide series' - honestly, I don't know what your husband or your child would like for Christmas, so I won't presume to tell you what to buy them.  However, I do know what I'd love to get as a baby mama-to-be, and I figured I'd share my picks!  

1.  A gorgeous smelling candle, to cover up newly icky smells.    

2.  Harry & David pears - this is a bit of a decadent gift as it's about $40 for 10 pears, but they are the most delicious pears ever!  I crave juicy fruits constantly nowadays, and I'd love to get a box of these.  

3.  Some chic AND comfy booties, to make all my leggings + sweater ensembles cuter.  

4.  A pretty set of Dominos, for playing games on winter nights spent cozied up inside instead of out on the town.  

5.  A pretty scarf, to dress up maternity basics.  

6.  Hunter Wellies in bright red, because they brighten up any rainy day.  

7.  A pretty cross blanket, for taking Sunday naps.  

8.   Rich body butter, for keeping her skin smooth and unblemished.  This one absorbs incredibly well, and has a really lovely, subtle scent.

For the record (hi honey!,) my #1 pick is a prenatal massage, which sounds heavenly right about now.

*FYI - There are no affiliate links in this post.  I just really love these gift ideas!  


friday link love

Happy Friday!  I am so excited for this weekend, because Saturday we are throwing our annual Christmas party.  I love getting all of our friends together, packing way too many people into our little apartment and serving up spiked cider & champagne.  Also, Darrell's mother is graduating this weekend, so we're going to watch her walk across the stage and get her diploma.  Such an accomplishment!  

Whether you're celebrating in sequins this weekend or staying in with movies & hot chocolate (which sounds pretty blissful actually) I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  

Here are my favorite links from around the web this week.  

19 signs you're doing better than you think.  

How far we haven't come: women in the media this year.  

Have you ever had pancakes with cornmeal?  Let me tell you, they are life changing.  

If only I had these kind of hair skills!  Such a pretty updo for any holiday party.  

Best news of the year?  The European Union Food Safety Administration says DIET COKE is safe!  

A little girl signs her Christmas concert, so her parents can follow along.  So sweet.  

All the season's festivities have me thinking of dresses, and I'm considering this pretty option from Hatch collection.  


maternity style/02 - a trip to artemis shop

wearing: cardigan from old navy, scarf, darrell's from h&m, "treggings" from isabella oliver, t shirt from everlane, boots from steve madden

Yesterday was a cold and sunny day in St. Louis - the kind of day that makes you actually like winter, if that sort of thing is even possible.  What snow was left was really glistening.  I sometimes get a little stir-crazy working from home, so I decided to take my friend Jillian up on her invitation to go visit a local-to-her shop in Lebanon IL, called Artemis.  Artemis is a Northwestern transplant, and that definitely shows.  The store is filled with vintage-y treasures, and the kind of dresses that make you wish you had the social life of a princess.  Soooooo many pretty things.  

Just the sign alone, right?  

They carry my favorite paper company, Rifle...

and display all their jewelry in the most charming of ways.  

They also appear to be as into ampersands as I am.  

Their dressing area was so adorable, I could've stayed and tried on clothes that won't fit me in a month alllll day long.  

I ended up choosing this blouse, which I'm hoping (fingers crossed) will accommodate the bump until I'm 7 or 8 months.  It's pretty roomy, and just plain pretty.  Also, it worked with leggings, and leggings are basically my everything these days.  

Since I can never resist spreading a little holiday cheer, I picked up the pink ornament (in the center!) to share with all of you.  You can enter to win it below, and if you do, I'll send this hand painted beauty straight to you.  I could have made off with this entire bowl of ornaments, they were so lovely and unique.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you'll all visit Artemis, and if you don't live nearby, check out their online store (which, I was thrilled to find, carries nearly everything their store does AND free shipping!)

*ps - i was invited to visit the artemis store as a blogger and receive 25% off anything i purchased.  however, i wasn't given anything for free or required to buy anything - i just really loved that blouse and wanted to purchase the ornament as a gift for one of you!  


Drinking Chocolate with Nutella

I really had planned to call this recipe just "Perfect Hot Chocolate" because it is, to me.  For everyone else, who likes their hot chocolate like Swiss Miss, it may be a bit much.  That's why I ended up going with drinking chocolate - because this is as close as you're going to get to actually drinking chocolate.  This is a "Christmas movies with the family, snow falling outside," serious hot chocolate.  Plus, there's Nutella in it, and Nutella makes everything 10x better.

What You'll Need: 
2.5 cups whole milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 a vanilla bean
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Nutella
a generous amount of marshmallows!

To make it: 
In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk it in as thoroughly as possible.  Then add the cinnamon, sugar, and the scraped out the inside of the vanilla bean.  Keep heating the cocoa until it's to optimal serving temperature (to me that is just before boiling).

Stir in the Nutella quickly, and serve immediately.

Don't be stingy with the marshmallows - as many as everyone wants, even if that means adding more mid-mug.

On a related note, the holidays can be really stressful, so if you feel like replacing that Nutella with Bailey's (I wouldn't recommend using both) you go right ahead.  Just make sure you don't end up on the naughty list!  

*photography by danny robinson


awkward and awesome tuesday

So full disclosure - this is a post series that one of my favorite blogs (The Daybook) used to run but no longer does.  I miss it, and I thought it would be fun to start it up again on my own blog.  I even tried to rename it, but Awkward & Awesome is just too perfect.  Hope you enjoy it, I'll try to keep it up ! 

I always travel with my little Gatsby dog in tow on work trips to my hometown (where our offices are.)  Well um, I accidentally LEFT HIM THERE leaving the office last week and didn’t realize until I was ALL the 90 mile way back to St. Louis.  I blame pregnancy brain.  Luckily, my parents were able to watch him for a few days.

Darrell makes chicken to take for lunch at work all week every Sunday night.  Usually I love the smell, even being vegetarian, but this week I was on the verge of throwing up the entire time it was in the oven.  I'll be sequestering myself in the bedroom with candles next Sunday.

When my husband gets home from work and says “um, did you get dressed today?”  No…..no that didn’t actually happen.  Oops.

People I don’t know all that well calling me “little mama” after they find out I’m pregnant.  No-my-name-is-Mary-thank-you-very-much.

Getting up to pee a record-breaking 6 times last night.  Is this training for when the baby is actually here?  


The big pile of snow we got in St. Louis this week.  So gorgeous.  So Christmas-y.

Cyber Monday sales lining up with my second trimester.  The deals I’ve gotten - I feel like I have some semblance of a maternity wardrobe now, and it’s not all Target and Old Navy - I got some fancy stuff too.

These brownies.  So decadent, and so delicious.  They were intended for a holiday party Darrell was attending alone, but he forgot them.  More for me!

Festive dates with friends.  On the list: the lights at Botanical Gardens, The Nutcracker, and a trip to the ice skating rink (where the above pic was taken last year.)  (ps-it's from my friends super cute blog!). Those pink cheeks!

Discovering an old Christmas album from my childhood, now constant rotation.

Darrell reading our baby book of choice.  The cutest.

Cuties.  Yes, the little oranges.  I easily eat 5 or 6 a day.  

*photo credit: ben vogelsang


the real deal/swedish hasbeens boots

I love a bargain as much as the next person, but good boots are one of those areas where I tend to go the route of quality.  My Frye boots get more wear than any other pair I own, I love my Hunter wellies above all else, and no shoe besides Uggs (yes the "ugly" fuzzy Uggs) will really make me happy when there's been snow.  Lately, I've really been considering investing in a pair of Swedish Hasbeen boots.  These basic shoes with wooden soles bring a comfy charm to any outfit, and I just think of them as the ultimate "cool and casual" shoe.  

I once bought a pair of Swedish clogs from a knockoff retailer I found through Pinterest, and although they'll remain unnamed, just know that the quality certainly left something to be desired.  Especially when I compared them with the Hasbeens I picked up a few weeks later.  

So since I've deemed them worth it, I've been gathering some favorites - and watching for sales. 

 Here are my two favorite pairs:  

*ps - i wasn't compensated for this post by swedish hasbeens, I just love their brand

photo credit to a beautiful mess, editing by me


friday link love

Hope you all have a lovely weekend planned!  Here in the midwest, we are apparently getting snowed in - or it could just be a bit of overblown panic, since this is our first real bit of winter weather this year.  Either way, my husband is going to be out of town and I have yoga teacher training all weekend, so nothing terribly exciting around here.  I have two Christmas parties next weekend (one is ours), so I've decided to revel in the opportunity for relaxation.  My plans include Chinese takeout and either "Love Actually" or "You've Got Mail."  Perhaps both.    

A few of my favorite things from the web this week...

Pretty much how I feel on the weekends, since being pregnant.

I didn't even know this style of Swedish Hasbeens existed, but I LOVE them. Good thing Christmas is coming up!  That cognac leather just kills me.

Seven pairs of black tights that never rip.  The Commando pair is my personal favorite.  

These brownies look insanely delicious.  And dangerous.

How to find the people that are right for you.

World births and deaths in real time.

Are you smart enough to be a citizen?  (Yeah, my score is going to stay a secret.)


maternity style/01

wearing: top - pink blush maternity, j. crew leggings, sam edelman louie boot - aka the most comfortable booties ever

When I started shopping for maternity clothes I have to admit, I was seriously bummed out by one thing: the clothes are, in general, extremely matronly.  Dresses mostly hit below the knee (at least on me, I'm 5'3), low necklines are hard to find, and a lot of tops are drapey and oversized.  When I'm already feeling bigger than usual, the last thing I want is to look schlubby in clothes that I'm swimming in (except maybe during a weekend Netflix marathon).  This struck me as a really odd phenomenon, because a lot of women who are pregnant are in their late twenties, so I'd assume most still want to look cute and even - dare I say - sexy while they're pregnant.  

So I was pretty thrilled when I found out about Pink Blush Maternity.  They have an amazing selection of cute tops - all plenty long enough to pair with leggings (my current favorite thing to wear) and all totally affordable.  Most of their items are under $30.  This top is the first thing I picked up from them, but it certainly won't be the last.  I'm eyeing a few dresses right now - particularly this body & bump conscious lace option that would be perfect for a holiday party.  

note: their clothes run small!  if you are normally a medium, get a large, etc.  their size chart is accurate, which is the only thing that guided me to go a size up, so definitely check it out.  

*all opinions and ideas in this post are my own - i was not compensated or even asked by pink blush to promote their line, i just really like it!  


spend or save: maternity jeans

I had pretty much always worn Gap jeans - I think their "always skinny" fit is a great approximation of a higher-end jean at a more reasonable point (around $60 full price.)  The denim is thick and soft, and their washes never look cheap.  

I know that a lot of pregnant chicks swear by the "rubber band through the zipper hole + belly band" equation, but I could just never wrap my head around the idea of walking around with my pants undone the entire day.  No thanks.  After I had worn the 5 or 6 flowy dresses I own about three weeks in a row on rotation, I figured it was time to take the plunge and buy some new pants.  I went into Gap and was pleasantly surprised - their demi panel option (a wide elastic band that sits below the bump) was a perfect fit.  I bought the size I was before pregnancy - that's right, don't go up a size, they stretch out in all the right places.  I've also washed and dried them in the machine, and they're great afterwards.  I'd actually recommend it, it helps them keep their shape.  

 When trolling around at the beginning of my pregnancy getting an idea for what I'd need to buy, I read the most positive reviews about J Brand maternity jeans.  A friend of mine even asked me if my Gap jeans were J. Brand - inspiring this post.  I'll admit, I haven't tried any of their styles on - $218 just seems a little nuts for jeans to me, maternity or not.  If you have, leave a comment and tell me if I'm wrong!  If you're like me, and love Gap's jeans pregnant or not, you can head on over to their site.  FYI, they pretty much run amazing sales the entire month of December, so while there isn't one today keep checking.  

*ps: i wasn't compensated for this post at all.  i have just really loved gap's jeans since i've been pregnant


our christmas card

So I thought I would write up a little post on the Christmas card we chose to send out this year!  

We chose Tiny Prints, which is a great company we love, and very affordable.  I have looked at Minted, and I used Pinhole Press last year, but they are honestly a little out of my price range. I used to only send out about 30 cards, but it seems I need more each year.  Now I could easily send 100.  That probably has something to do with being married, because my husband has a huge family.    

We also love the quality of their paper and the wide variety of designs they have.  You can go really classic, or a bit more funky like we did this year.  

We didn't pay any fancy photographer to take our photos, my friend Joanna is just good with a camera and sweetly offered to come to the park with us to take some snapshots.  

Here are my tips for getting a good picture, without hiring any professionals: 

1.  It's a holiday card, so I like it to look seasonal.  Wear something classic you know you look good in - no need for a new outfit.  Sweaters and peacoats are great.  Don't force your man into anything he isn't comfortable in, or the pictures will look fake.  Jeans are fine!  

2.  Take a lot of photos.  We have a pretty nice camera, and in about 30 minutes I think Joanna snapped over 150 photos.  Just so you don't think our dogs are TOO well behaved, here is a shot of us wrangling them into submission.   I think we only had 10 photos total in which we were all looking at the camera.  

3.  Try to take photos during the last hour before sunset.  Have you heard the term "golden hour" before?  There's a reason that's the best time of day to take photos!  The light is almost perfect then (around 4 pm in the US this time of year) so I didn't have to edit these photos at all!  It also meant no fancy camera settings were necessary - we shot these on the auto setting.  

4.  Have fun!  If you've got a fake smile going or you just weren't in the mood to take pictures that day, it might be better to put it off.  You don't want it to look forced!  And for the record, I love our outtake photos as well.  Sometimes the imperfect shots would also make a great card.  

Got any other tips for the perfect holiday photo?  Any other favorite places to get cards?  

*ps - There's a reason I didn't link to the card we went with.  Tiny Prints doesn't like outside websites linking to them - in fact I got an email from their pr team asking me to take some from last year down!  I didn't mind, they were incredibly nice about it.  Something about trying to control all of their advertising from inside their office.  Just google their name and their website will pop up.  


our big announcement

It's possible I've never had a Thanksgiving with so much to be thankful for!  I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend with your loved ones - and I'm so glad you came back after my long hiatus to hear our big announcement.  

We're having a baby!  

Here are the big details: 
He or she is due on June 14th.  Darrell's birthday is December 23rd, which he has always hated, so our child's birthday being as FAR from Christmas as possible made him pretty happy. 

I am somewhere between 12 or 13 weeks along (pregnancy isn't an exact science, apparently).  

We are going to find out the gender of the baby, at our appointment on January 16th.  I am too excited to start buying baby clothes to wait until June!  

I have been the luckiest pregnant woman in the world: no morning sickness, and really no nothing other than being more tired than usual.  I'm going to chalk all that luck up to a consistent yoga practice and my vegetarian diet.  Also, I started taking prenatal vitamins right when we started trying, and apparently building up some of those nutrients in your body before you're even pregnant can help you better handle the hormones that cause morning sickness.  

It's not noticeable to everyone yet, but my belly started sticking out pretty quickly, and I have had some challenging few weeks as far as getting dressed.  For weeks 7-10, my regular jeans were really uncomfortable, but maternity jeans were still too big, so I had a three week period of wearing nothing but tights and flowy dresses.    

Just for fun, here is another gif of photos we took back when I was about 9 weeks.  It's kind of fun to see the tiny progression (although I'm totally aware that I may be the only one who can even tell a difference!)  

I'll be back to regular posting this week, and I promise it won't ALL be baby stuff.  
When you're trying to keep your blog feeling authentic and "you" and there's such a big secret, it's hard to keep the content going.  I didn't feel like it was all real until I could share our big news, so I'm so happy that I finally can!  

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