Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baby came early! :: The Abridged Version

I was pregnant.

Now I'm not.

Our sweet little Bubba Gump wiggled her way deeper into our hearts on December 12, 2014. We love her and have had such joy in watching her grow and learn so far. We can't wait for what the rest of our lives as a family has in store for us!

If you're interested in reading the long version of Bubba's arrival, here is the story.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Baby came early!

The baby came early. As with anything that happens early, we did not expect this to happen! So here's the story.

On December 10, my doctor told me I was dilated to a 3. (WOO!) But I was still feeling normal and didn't feel like the baby was coming any time soon. He did mention that my blood pressure was a tiny bit high enough that he was going to induce me on my 39 week mark. (This was also a bonus because he was going out of town over my actual due date.)

On December 11, I'd been having contractions all day, but they were random and they didn't hurt, so I was just trying to ignore them and relax. The main reason I was trying to ignore them was because that night was supposed to be our last date night out without a baby. But they started hurting right before dinner, even though they were still random and far apart. So I downloaded a contraction tracking app on the way to dinner so I could have a record to know what to do! But I knew that the hospital was a ways away - maybe even the next day.

When we got home, I decided we better take our 38 week pregnancy picture (just in case). But I wasn't going to the hospital. The baby wasn't coming yet...

We then decided to make some cookies to take my mind off the contractions. We did. And the contractions got stronger and quite close together all of a sudden. My tracker app was showing they were generally about 6 or 7 minutes apart. But there were times when they were 3 minutes apart. At this point I started to wonder if we needed to get ready to leave for the hospital, but I wasn't convinced quite yet.

After the cookies were done at about 10 P.M., I decided I'd just go to bed and see if relaxing helped slow the contractions down. Then I would know that I was right and the baby wasn't coming yet. (I have to mention that my true reasoning for putting off going to the hospital for so long was because I did NOT want to get sent home! The hospital is a good 20-25 minutes away, so coming home was not an option for me.)

Off to bed we went. Steve was soon snoozing away and I was at least relaxed. My contractions did slow down to about one every 20-30 minutes. And I only know this because I frantically looked at the clock whenever I felt one.

Suddenly at midnight I sat straight up in bed with an enormous contraction! Without waiting for another to come along, I woke up Steve and we got to packing the last minute things in our hospital bag. Contractions were coming along at a steady 4-5 minutes as we were getting everything ready.

We got to the hospital at 1 A.M. and they checked me. I was still only dilated to a 3 at this point, and my doctor wanted me to walk for an hour to make sure I was progressing. After walking around that hospital floor for the longest hour of my life (as contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes) I was dilated to a 4! We fist pumped all the way to the delivery room because we weren't going home!!!

I decided to get the epidural much sooner than I anticipated - because ummm...OW. Contractions hurt, guys! ;) Although, I felt like I was handling them pretty well. The anethesiologist, anasthesialogist, guy with the heavenly epidural came in around 3:30 A.M. and I got the epidural going. Note: That hurt more than anticipated. Everyone says it's mostly pressure, but mine was mostly pain. Not to mention that he had to do it twice because the little tube was kinked the first time so it wasn't flowing right. Ouch times 2.

After the epidural was going, it was neat to focus on my contractions and the baby's heart rate. I thought that this would be the longest part - waiting for the baby to descend. However, every time a nurse came in to check my progression, I was more and more dilated. They kept commenting incredulously, "This is your first baby??" Yes! My baby knows what's going on, yo!

At about 10 A.M. they started talking about pushing and making sure the doctor was on his way. The nurse said, "If you can, try to take a 10 or 15 minute power nap so you can be relaxed and rested when we start pushing." HA. That's funny. I just sat there and listened to the baby's heart rate.

I was also a little nervous about pushing because you hear all those stories of women that push for hours before the baby comes, or they push for hours and then end up needing a C-section. Nothing against C-sections -- that just seems like a lot of work, and then suddenly you need a C-section.

However, I got lucky once again and this baby knew what to do. We probably pushed for about 15 minutes before she started coming. I actually had to sit and wait for a moment for the doctor to get ready to deliver her. After he was ready, a couple more pushes and our little bug was here!

Bubba was born on December 12 at 10:50 A.M. She was 6 pounds 13 ounces, and she was 19 inches long. I got to do skin-to-skin with her right after she was born and she was so sweet. She even reached out and touched my face a couple times. My first thought was, My body just pushed this enormous baby out of me! I know she's not enormous, but when you compare her to the opening she came through, she's enormous. The body and this miracle of life still amazes me. There are moments I still can't believe my body helped host this sweet little one, helped her grow, and then bring her into the world.

For most women, that first moment with their little one is the most precious and emotional. Like I said, I was still amazed at what my body had just done.

THIS was my favorite moment...

Seeing him be such a proud papa and look at her with such love was unbelievable. I love this guy!

The part of this whole experience that seemed the longest and most drawn out was the next 48 hours in the hospital. I mean, it was clean, the staff were all amazing and friendly, we could bring in whatever food we wanted, etc. But I just wanted to be at home in my own bed.

Here we are finally getting ready to go home!

She is so teeny tiny in that giant carseat!!

We got home and were reminded of what amazing neighbors we have. We have been so blessed in our neighborhood. They've all shown so much love and care as they've brought us dinners, offered to help watch her if I needed a nap, and just plain shown such interest in our lives. I love our ward and neighborhood more than I thought possible!

And here is our sweet little Christmas present waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. :)

Overall, the experience was was great and was smooth sailing. So for all the horror stories you hear about labor and giving birth, know that there is probably a normal, run-of-the-mill story like mine where things go well and just as great as anyone could hope for.

We love our little girl and all that she has helped us learn in the short time she's been here so far. She has been such a challenge and such a blessing. We can't wait to keep learning as she grows and shows more of her personality!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

36 weeks :: Belly Progress

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your holiday was filled with loved ones, yummy food, treats, and lots of relaxing. Ours was certainly low key, which baby girl and I greatly appreciated.

Here is the progress belly picture for 36 weeks. I wore a different outfit than usual, but you can still see that the belly is bigger. I can tell I'm growing, and I'm happy to announce that I'm not completely miserable yet. My back is stiffer and I'm slower, but I'm still feeling good!

The time table is starting to feel crazy! We can't believe that in just a month (or less, eeps!) we will have a cute little dino hanging out in our house with us. We've got all the clothes washed and put away, and all the gear is just hanging out in her room. We just need to do some organizing and rearranging and we'll be ready for her to join us.

The doctor is starting to check my progress and my body is starting to recognize what's going on. Hooray for my body not being completely clueless. And the baby is in optimal position for being she has been for the past few months. Our shy little dinosaur hasn't looked at us for months. Oh well - I'm glad she's getting ready to come join our little family.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

34 Weeks :: Belly Progress

Seriously? 34 weeks?! Each day seems to move slowly, but then I look back and find an entire month has passed me by again. It's good and bad. Good because I'm keeping busy and the time flies. Bad because I realize everything I still have left to do! AH! We're slowly whittling away at the baby to-do list. We will get there.

Once again, can you tell I'm excited for Christmas because of those socks?? We're having a hard time keeping Christmas decor out of our house at the moment. But I will prevail! I just keep repeating: Putting up Christmas decorations will not make Christmas come any faster. Plus, I still have stuff to do before then!

It's finally getting colder around here. And I realized that winter coats don't fit me right now. Whoops! Steven and I came up with an amazing invention. I'm going to crochet a prototype soon and try it out. If it's good enough, I'll let you all in on the secret when it's finished. Steve is convinced we're going to get rich and retire early because of this idea. I'm a little skeptical, but we'll see how it all turns out.

Hope you are enjoying this chilly weather more than I am! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Harry Potter Halloween 2014!

I hope you all had a loooovely Halloween. Or as I was calling it around here - Harry-ween. My Harry Potter Halloween was not as cool as I had planned. The only new things this year were the two owls I got and the sorting hat I crocheted. I wanted to make a giant Aragog and some of his kin, but it just didn't happen. And I don't feel too bad about it because I have been a little bit overwhelmed with my life in general. You know ... baby coming in a couple months and all that jazz.

So here was the end product for Harry Potter Halloween 2014.
If you want to see more detail, check out my Harry Potter Halloween from 2013.

Here is the sorting hat that I had so much fun crocheting. And it whipped up super fast from some chunky yarn that I abandoned from an earlier project (from like 3 years ago). And Allison at Crafty is Cool shared her sorting hat free pattern right here. Woo! I'm so glad she did!

Work is still crazy, my hormones are raging, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with life at least 3 times per day. I know it'll all be fine. It's just a lot coming at me at the same time. I have checklists everyday and I try to take it one thing at a time. It seems to be working so far.

So from our littlest punkin: Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoy the autumn season as much I do!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

30 Weeks :: Belly Progress

Hey, my friends! I am here to give a quick update about the sweet babe in my belly. I know I've been a little MIA for a couple weeks. I had a block class for graduate school ending, and I've been pretty swamped at work. I think I say that a lot, but it's the truth.

Here is where we are today. Well...a week ago. ;)

And here's an update on the rest of our life - the fast version:

-Still pregnant. Still excited!
-Ended up dropping the graduate class I was going to take the second block of the semester. I've been so busy, I knew I needed to take things off my plate in order to be able to have time to get ready for baby.
-Started putting up things for Harry Potter Halloween 2014!
-Finally got blinds up in baby's window.
-Crocheting a few more things for friends and Etsy sales.
-Still working on projects for baby's room.
-Went to a birth prep and baby care class. We are so glad we did because they eased some of our first-time parent anxieties.
-We finally registered for baby things for baby showers.
-Recently my really cool brother-in-law saved our lives by fixing our bathroom. It was a serious problem, and we are so grateful for him and his quick action. Like a real-life superhero!
-Still working my buns off at work and trying to get everything set for when I leave.
-Still increasingly amazed with the step-upness (yes, I just made up that word) of my sweet hubs. There aren't enough words, so I have to make my own.

I'm proud to announce I still love being pregnant. A month or two ago I was almost ashamed to say that because so many women complain about being pregnant and all that comes with it. I didn't want to see like I was bragging. Yes, there are things that aren't so awesome about being pregnant. Yes, my back aches much of the time. And yes, it's much harder to control my gassiness. But it's worth it. I've been blessed to have a relatively "easy" pregnancy, and I'm thankful for that every single day. I'm absolutely loving feeling this sweet little parasite jump and hiccup inside me, and we cannot wait for her to join our family.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pregnancy Journal Scrapbook :: In Progress

The moment I got pregnant, I started imagining this amazing pregnancy journal scrapbook.

This is just the beginning. It's been a great place to make a spot for each ultrasound picture. (My doctor's office is cool and I get an ultrasound with every visit!) Then I can journal about different details of the pregnancy that I don't want to forget. I'm already a little behind. I blame that on getting baby's room ready. The craft room has become a complete sty since we're temporarily storing things in there that need to be organized and moved.

I originally thought I was going to do a mini Project Life album. I've been following Laura Rahel for a little while, and she's got me a tiny bit excited about Project Life. It all seems so simple to do. However, I have so much craft stuff already that I refuse to add more to it at this point. I just got the Project Life album cover and the Project Life journaling cards. I'm hoping to do a purge/reorganization project soon in the craft room. We'll see if and when that happens.

Here is the album cover I chose. We had already picked the teal color for baby's room, so I continued that theme with the scrapbook.

Then I raided my paper stash for all of my favorite girly papers. Does anyone else save certain paper for some amazing project you have planned? Well, I do. That's probably why I'm a paper-hoarder. This was the time to bust out that beautiful paper! And I think I'll also make a goal to just use the paper I want to use, instead of saving it for years. ;)

Here is just one little spread in the book so far. I'm planning to print out all the progress pictures I've been posting on the blog, plus some that I haven't posted, and include them in the book where they belong chronologically. So far I'm loving that the papers aren't all exactly the same and that there are hidden treasures throughout the pages.

There ya have it! My pregnancy journal scrapbook thus far. I'm loving creating it. I think about it much more than I probably should. I can't wait to show you the finished product!

Do you have any suggestions for remembering details of pregnancy or when you had little children?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Baby's Room :: Sneak Peek

Hey! Guess what! We are finally finished with all the painting in baby's room! Exciting, right?!

And guess what else! The dresser, changing table, and crib are all set up and ready to be filled with teeny tiny clothes, diapers, and toys! Double exciting, right?!

Do you wanna see a sneak peek? I had a feeling you would.

This picture shows you the color we chose. It's adorbs, and I love it more each day. It's actually a little more green looking than in this awesome phone picture. When we first finished the walls I was afraid I wouldn't love it because it was "too bright." At least that's what I kept saying. But as it's been there and I've seen it in all types of lighting, I've fallen in love with it.

And again, what else can I say about this guy? He put together that dresser and changing table with very little help from me. I just sat in the corner and watched him and talked the whole time. He's so great. And I love that when I asked him to stand next to his hard work, he crouches behind it like this.

There will be better pictures to come in the near future since the basics of the room are set up. We're thinking pale pink and a gold-yellow will be the other colors in the room. What do you think?

Friday, September 26, 2014

DIY Paper Autumn Crafts

Earlier this month I showed you my super easy and simple autumn mantel for the coming fall season. Hopefully it gave you a little bit of fall crafting inspiration that you can do yourself on the cheap. In fact, it was so cheap it was FREE!! I love when that happens.

Now I'm going to share the whole process for the crafts I made for the mantel. If you saw my DIY paper Christmas trees from last year's Christmas (super great quality pictures, you're welcome) then you'll see the process for the pumpkins is very similar exactly the same. That's why I didn't include any progress pictures for them. Just kidding. It's because I forgot to take any pictures. You're welcome, again.

In a nutshell, I picked out autumn-y paper from my scrap stash. Then I made a stencil out of one of the cardstock papers of a pumpkin shape. I would imagine just using a circle could work as well. I just thought the butterfly-type shape would sit more straight.

After cutting a million pieces of paper, I folded them in half, used some tape and taped the pieces together. I tried to line up the sides as much as I could, but I just had to trim some of the edges to make them look even.

Then I remembered that pumpkins have stems. I grabbed my twine, opened up one of the sides of each pumpkin, and made loops with the twine. Glue those in, hold them together for a bit. Then you're good to go. I think it would have been cute to add some vines or something with ribbons, but I wasn't that ambitious in the moment. Maybe I'll add them later on a day when I'm feeling particularly crafty again.

Now, on to the little leaf art thingy I made. I'm really not sure what this is called. Again, cut out strips of my autumn-y paper. Sketched and cut out the shape of a leaf. I wanted to do a maple leaf, but I knew my drawing skills weren't that advanced. I figured I'd stick with the tear drop shape.

Then I put that cut-out on top of the glued-down strips, and glued that down. I trimmed the whole thing a little bit because it was originally 12 by 12 paper. But I thought there was too much white space on the sides.

After trimming, I remembered I had some fun fall stickers and embellishments. I added those and here we are!

I love my pumpkins. They gave my living room just the right amount of autumn coziness. Even though it's been in the 80s and 90s this week. Boo. I hear this weekend is supposed to have more of a fall feeling weather-wise. Hooray!

What cool crafts have you been making? Or have you been decorating for fall? It's all so exciting and I can't wait to do some more in the coming weeks!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Autumn Mantel 2014

YAY! It's getting chillier outside, so I can finally justify starting some autumn crafting! And in just a week or two, I'll start some Harry Potter Halloween crafting! Anyone else as excited as I am for that?

It seems that Sunday mornings have kind of become my crafting days. And I'm fine with that at the moment. I find it relaxing and somewhat meditative. I loved this message someone shared on their facebook this morning.

A message from Dieter F. Uchtdorf
from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Since I'm all kinds of excited about fall, I wanted to change up my mantel in the living room. I'm not nearly as cool as those women that change every single thing on their mantel and surrounding area for every season. One day I'll be that cool...and I'll have stuff to even do that. For now, I just change a little bit to make it feel more fall-ish in my home. It isn't a huge change, but my home feels cozier already!

As you can see, I literally only changed what is sitting on the mantel. I did take one picture off the wall so I could put that little leaf craft I made this morning in that space. I really enjoy how the bricks of the fireplace are also an orange/red (painted by someone that previously lived here), and it just matches the fall-ness so well.

Did you see the two crafts I made that are now gracing my living room? I already told you one a second ago. I'm sure you all know exactly what I'm talking about since you look at my mantel every single day, right? Oh. Ok, then I'll show you.

I love how these turned out! I really wanted to put a big bunch/pile of fake pumpkins on the mantel because I could use them all autumn long. However, we're always trying to save up for something, am I right? Right now, it's the little baby dinosaur in my belly. So I decided not to spend any money...and really I don't need to! I think these turned out great. However, I might go see what the dollar stores around here have in stock sometime soon to add to the pile. We'll see how much motivation I have later on.

I'll share how I made the pumpkins and leaf picture in a later post. (Although they weren't that hard and you could probably figure it out just by looking at them.)

What have been some of your favorite fall crafts or decor that you're going to add to your home this year?

Happy autumn crafting!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our journey to bring baby to our family.

Just a warning that this post is super-duper long. I tried to break it up with pictures so it's not just a bunch of text on a page. I debated making it two posts, but it didn't make sense to break it up. I hope you enjoy reading about some of our journey to bring our sweet baby to our family.

I recently realized that I never really shared much about our journey of bringing baby to our family. I was ready to start sharing about our wait and frustrations with the world...and then we got pregnant! I still thought that it would be relevant to share our story because it's a serious and common issue that I don't think gets enough attention.

So here is Steve and Lynnette's story of bringing baby to our family.

We start in March of 2012. We just bought our first home and I was one month away from graduating with my bachelor's degree. It was such an exciting time of change and anticipation of what our future held. We had been using birth control for our first four years of marriage. Since I was about to graduate, and we had just bought our first home, we decided it was time to start trying to fill our home with the little pitter-patter of little feet on our wood floors. I make it sound like it was a snap decision, but we had been praying and pondering if it was the right time for us for a while. We felt like the time was right. And even though I think one will rarely feel completely "ready" for a family, we felt we were generally ready emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

My life looks so full of promise and fulfilled plans!
Also, that little girl thinks I'm crazy...

Well, as you can imagine (since I'm telling the story) it didn't happen right away. After about 6-ish months of trying, I told my lady doctor that we were trying but it hadn't happened yet. He told me that it can take many couples an average of between 6-12 months to actually get pregnant. The timing has to be just right and blah, blah, blah. I believed him and I still do. He said to let him know when it had been about a year of trying, and if it still hadn't happened he would tell us about some options for moving forward. I felt listened to and more confident leaving that appointment.

The year mark rolled around and hubby and I were getting quite frustrated. I think because my doctor had told me that at a year we would talk about options, it made me think that I was broken because I had hit the year mark with no results. Obviously, I'm not broken. It's just our journey. But at that time of frustration and confusion, I was upset. I prayed so much, and I cried a lot too.

I called the doctor and found out that he had gone to a different practice. Whaaaat?? I totally didn't know what to do. I ended up going to a different doctor at the same practice that had the soonest appointment I could get. (Luckily, I love that new doctor something fierce.) He did an ultrasound and told me it looked like I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Uhmm, I had no clue what it was (I still can't really explain it fully), but the doctor didn't seem too worried that it would completely prevent me from actually getting pregnant. He tried a few simple rounds of Clomid to see if that would help make sure I ovulated at the right time. Nothing happened after a few months. He referred me and hubs to a fertility specialist in the area.

Our very first home!
Now, this is the part where it gets fuzzy. I think Steve and I were scared to go to the fertility doctor. I think we were scared that one of us would have something severely wrong that would completely dampen and/or extinguish our hope of having a family biologically. We weren't against adoption or other options, but like many couples, we wanted to know our options for biological children.

After nearly a year of putting it off, we went in for a consultation with the fertility doctor. I really liked him, which put my mind at ease. He told us that anything we do is up to us, and we don't have to do any tests/procedures/treatments that we aren't comfortable with. They put us in control of the situation, which felt great since we had felt like we were in control of nothing for the past almost 2 years.

How long will our journey be?
Steve finally went in for his test, and his results came back normal and with flying colors. I had my initial ultrasound and they confirmed the PCOS and we talked about possible treatments and what the next steps could be. Again, they made sure I understood everything and then put the decision into our hands. It was spectacular.

We decided to move forward with the first treatment option they talked to me about - a round of Metformin. This was another pill to hopefully make me ovulate at the correct time. It is a pill that's actually used for people with diabetes, but they had found that it also makes women more fertile in some cases.

I waited the allotted time after taking the pills, took the ovulation tests on the right cycle days, and I still hadn't had a positive ovulation result. I called the doctor, and they had me come in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that I had two eggs that were ready to ovulate, but they just hadn't made their move yet. They thought it looked like an excellent chance to try an artificial insemination to make sure it's timed correctly. This seemed like a quick decision, but I thought that if they thought it looked ideal, then we'd just go with it! So they instructed me on how to give myself this certain shot (totally can't remember the name of this treatment) and the rest of the procedure.

It all had to be perfectly timed, and I was stressed that something would be off by just enough minutes/hours/moments that this would fail. But I was also just hoping it went well, and even if it didn't work, I was hoping we'd have a positive attitude and move forward.

I had to stay up until like midnight to give myself this shot (can you believe that Steve wouldn't help a girl out and give me the shot?!). The shot was like the last effort for this cycle to make those eggs ovulate. Then Steve had to go in at a certain time the next day to "give his sample," and I had to go in a couple hours later to do the insemination. Luckily, nothing went wrong, traffic was great, and everything went off without a hitch. After the procedure, as I lay in the office letting gravity (and faith, hope, all my will power) do it's job, I felt at peace. I was prepared for whatever result was coming, and we would move forward with faith.

Was there hope on the horizon?
Then we waited. Of course, this whole time I'm just wondering what we would do if we had twins, since the doctor told us there were two eggs ready to ovulate. Whaaa?! Obviously, I wouldn't have minded having two lovely bundles of joy, but it was intimidating. I was trying to keep my hopes grounded in reality. I figured that this procedure is done very nearly to how babies are actually made, so I knew it might take a couple tries to actually conceive. I didn't want to think that just because we had doctors' help that it was going to happen right away.

After waiting the amount of days to take the test, it was that magical morning. The morning I get to pee on a stick. Ahhh, yes. It was definitely magical. Luckily, it was a weekend, so neither of us had to go to work. I was glad so then I wouldn't be extra happy and keeping a secret or extra sad and keeping a secret while I was at work.

After peeing and waiting those few minutes - which weren't that anxious this time because I was really tired and I had slept through them - I looked at the stick. I could not believe my eyes. There was a positive sign! I checked the instructions again to make sure I read them correctly, and then looked at the stick again. It was positive! I made Steve climb out of bed to come and see for himself. Mostly because I didn't know what to say because words were not forming in my brain.

Baby's first picture at just 6 weeks!

It was such an incredible feeling! We weren't expecting it to happen on that first try, so we were speechless! I called the fertility doctor on Monday morning, told them I had a positive test, and they scheduled me for an ultrasound and blood work to confirm my test. And above you can see our sweet baby's very first photo. Steve couldn't go, which was sad. But it was so great to hear the tiny little heart beat beating rapidly. Who knew something so tiny could bring such joy to our lives? After the doctor left the room to let me get dressed, I definitely cried some happy tears. It was really happening.

The doctors and staff at the fertility clinic were so uplifting and excited for us. They gave us a little bottle of sparkling cider, and a card they all signed. Like, seriously?! I never expected such love and support from a doctor, and it was so sweet to know they were thinking of me.

So here we are. Trying to enjoy every fleeting moment of this pregnancy. I love when Steve rubs my baby bump and gives me a hug. He's the sweetest ever, and I know he'll be such a sweet father to our little one.

And here is our sweet little one at her 19 week ultrasound. First of all, can we talk about the amazing technology we have these days?! I think it's so incredible that I can see that much detail so early. But she looks like a cutie to me, and we are so excited to meet her this winter!

If nothing else is gained from me writing this, I hope it brings to light at least a tiny bit of attention to infertility in general. Obviously, I wasn't completely infertile in the true definition. However, it's a problem that invades the lives of so many on so many different levels, yet we won't talk about it. Once people in my life knew about our situation, people came out of the woodwork to show support and encouragement. There were those people that didn't understand and gave unnecessary advice, but there were people that loved me and understood my sorrow, however short-lived it may seem now. Please know that there are other people who are in the same situation and can give you support in your time of frustration and sorrow.

Here are couple blogs I loved reading. These two women (even though they probably don't know I think so) are really amazing and I loved reading their posts. I still read them now because I feel connected to them. I should probably make sure they know that. ;)

Laura is so cool, fresh, and I love looking at her cute crafting adventures: Laurel Lane
Elisha is real and has cute funnies on her blog about infertility: Waiting for Baby Bird

Sunday, September 7, 2014

24 Weeks :: Belly Progress

It is crazy to see this belly! It happens so gradually that it just seems normal. Then when you look back at your first picture, you realize just how much you've changed. And then you realize that this is the point where you start to get even bigger. And I can't imagine it at this point. It weirds me out.

Yes, you read that correctly. We've been listening to Christmas music on a regular basis for the last month at least. Normally I'm the grinch that says there may be absolutely NO Christmas music in my vicinity until the day after Thanksgiving. However, since she's due really close to Christmas, it's all we can think about. We're just extra excited!

And in case you are like me, and somehow forget what you looked like's a reminder.

I just keep thinking I'm not really as big as I think I look. But I am. It's really exciting, and I love feeling her grow in there! I just never realized the difference until I put the two pictures next to each other.

I hope you have a great week this week!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Painted Plank Wall Decor DIY

I consider this project only partially DIY. The cool thing these days is to find pallets, take them apart, and make amazing and cute things from the boards. Well, that intimidates me. So when I found this unpainted plank thing, I totally got it because I knew it would be lovely in my home. And it would be easy to paint and make awesome.

I went out to the garage and found all the paint sample jars I had purchased over the past year or two. I crossed my fingers and hoped they were still paint and not blobs of gross. After some vigorous shaking, I had four different paint colors.

I started by doing every other plank, let those dry, then did the other planks. I did tape off the planks I wasn't painting just because I didn't want the hassle of other colors showing through. This was the easy part. I thought it would be difficult because I had to do some paint color mixing to get the shades light enough to match what I wanted.

I'll have you know that, no, I did not mean to have that streak of lighter color on that second plank down. But if you saw this in person, you'd see that a couple other planks are kind of streaky because of the mixing of colors. I didn't mix well, and I didn't wash my brush between a few colors because I was hoping it would become a teensy bit streaky. In my experience, I like things best when I just go with the flow instead of trying to plan out every tiny detail. Plus, that turns out to be a lot more work.

The next part was the difficult part. I wanted a word on this, something different than "home" or "love." I enjoy things that say that, but I have other objects like that in my home already. Plus, if I'm making this myself, I might as well make it personalized to us. After making a list of nearly 20 words/phrases, I decided to go with something a little bit silly. But it's still something I love.

As you can see, I went with "be amazing." I was having a real dilemma choosing between "be happy", "be brave", or "be amazing." And then I was having a dilemma about whether this would sound like it was an order instead of something inspirational. I'm hoping people see it as uplifting. I guess I'm in my house most of the time, and I get to decide. I mean, I live here, right?

The writing is not even close to being beautiful and perfect, and I don't care much. As it hangs there, I might do some touch ups if something keeps bugging me over and over. But sometimes the most imperfect things in my home are my favorite.

I love how it's pretty understated. My walls are a light gray color, and the colors in the living room are shades of gray and blue and brown. I already have other things that are extra colorful that stand out. So I just wanted this to fill that spot by my stairs with something sweet. I think it turned out perfect!

Hooray for nesting! Am I right? If it hadn't been for my sudden urge to want to craft something while Steve was out with the scouts, I don't think this project would've been finished for many moons. Let's be honest, I originally bought that plank thing last summer. He he.

Did I mention that baby's room is getting the last coat of paint this weekend? Then I get to share our progress and ideas for the fun stuff with you!

I linked up this project over at DIY Show Off. This is the link to That DIY Party. I'm still never sure I did the link correctly. Hopefully it all works for you! But please check out the other cool things people made over there.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crocheted baby blanket - DONE!

Very first baby project (besides getting the baby on the way, of course) is finished!

You can find the free pattern for this baby blanket on right HERE. The pattern says to embroider a whole bunch of flowers all over the pink parts of the blanket, aaaand that's not going to happen. Mostly because I'm kind of lazy to do all that work, and I'm also not super girly. I felt like all the flowers may be a bit too much. I tend to think it's girly enough just because there's pink on it. :)

I added one of my bunnies to the pictures to up the cuteness factor. She's so tiny on that big ole blanket!

Oh man. So cute.

We are starting the journey of painting baby girl's room. Hubs is really stepping up despite how much he really hates painting. Again - super hero. Hopefully we'll have some good pictures to share with you soon. We also made our first big purchases for baby's room at Ikea. We're very excited about getting the room ready. Very exciting. Also a tiny bit stressful because the fall semester of graduate school is starting. But we'll make it work!

Have you seen any other cute baby crochet or baby DIY projects?? I'm really excited to make some cute things soon!

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY Dresser Ideas :: For a First Timer

Hey there party people!

Steve and I have been working on clearing out future baby's room. And we have furniture in there that either needs to exit our lives or be DIY-ed and refashioned.

Enter: This dresser.

I believe Steve said that all his brothers have used this dresser. And trust me, it shows. It looks like either little ones or a dog have chewed on some of the edges, and there are chips all over it, drawings inside the drawers, some of the drawer tracks are skeewhompus, and one of the back legs is broken so it wobbles.

Originally I was thinking of making this dresser into the changing table for the baby's room. It has a lip on the top that would be great for the changing pad to rest against, and then other things won't fall off while I'm holding on to baby. However, I just wasn't feeling it. Also, I have never repainted/refinished furniture before. I didn't want to screw up on something for the baby's room. Also, I didn't want to feel bad if I changed my mind and gave up before the baby came.

We were just going to put it on the curb or donate it, but then we came up with a brilliant plan. Ok, it's not that brilliant, and I've seen it done lots of times. It just felt brilliant for us. We have been wanting a taller TV stand for our television in the basement ever since we moved in. We measured and this dresser is a great fit for the spot where our TV stand would go! DING DING DING!!! It would create some great storage and be something new-ish for our home. Wins all around!

Now the question remains - what do we do to the dresser? I only have a couple vague ideas at this point. I decided since it was going in the basement, and it was my first attempt on DIY painting a dresser, I wanted to try something fun and maybe a little "out there." However, it can't be too time consuming because I'm afraid I'll lose heart in the middle of the project.

So does anyone have any ideas? Send me pins, pictures, comments, emails, etc. so I can see what you've seen and imagine. I'm having trouble really attaching myself to an idea for this.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So excited for Fall!

Autumn - Fall - Halloween - Leaves - Pumpkins - Chilly - SO EXCITED!!

Every year right after our anniversary, I convince myself that it's getting cooler outside. (It's not.) I just get so excited for Fall and everything associated with it that I convince myself that the heat is still hot, but it's a cool heat. Anyone else? Or am I the only really crazy one about this? I don't care if I am. :)

If any of you follow me on Pinterest, you've noticed lately that there have been a large amount of Harry Potter party ideas being pinned to my board. I started a tradition last year of making our little entryway into a cool Harry Potter spot for the tricker treaters. It was so fun to make all the crafts and just be creative in ways I've never been before.

So, as you can imagine, I will be doing this again! I figure I'll just add bits and pieces every year. Soon I'll be that weird, crazy lady on the block that has like an entire Harry Potter land in her yard for Halloween every year. And I'm fine with that.

If you'd like to see my Harry Potter Halloween from last year, you can see the finished product HERE. Just looking at it makes me antsy to start some crafts for this year!

When I was out shopping with my mom earlier this summer, we found these!

Are you kidding me right now? Hedwig and Pigwidgeon just made their grand entrance into my life. Also, they're kind of fun to have hanging out in my craft room currently.

I'm also planning on making some spiders to either put on my house or on the yard, some colored jars for potion ingredients, some more dementors that look cooler, a more realistic sorting hat, and MUCH MORE. I also plan on getting/making some sort of silly Harry Potter pregnancy shirt. Not sure what will be on it yet. And I am going to try and do it all for as cheap as possible. I think last year I only ended up spending like $30 or so. That's a huge win considering how much I actually made.

I'm making myself too excited. I need to go do other things now that my summer semester of school is out! YAY!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrating half way!

I am so excited! I was getting ready for work and suddenly realized that I was officially 20 weeks pregnant! The first half of the pregnancy has blown by. I think the main reason for that is because it's been relatively easy so far. We were waiting and waiting for sickness, and I was blessed that it never happened. I have started to get the occasional belly stretching pains, but I'm still so excited that she's growing that I can tolerate it. :)

Here is some progress! I'm really excited that I'm starting to look pregnant instead of a little chunky.

And my 20th week of pregnancy was our 6th anniversary! Woot! We decided to take it easy this year and go to a fancy-ish steak house and enjoy some amaaaaazing ribs and steak. YUM!

I certainly have loved every second of our 6 years of marriage. And I can't wait for eternity with this handsome fella.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Ogden Temple

Hubs and I got a really great opportunity to visit and walk through the Ogden Utah LDS Temple open house. They recently tore down the old temple and built this newer, bigger, and more efficient one for the growing needs in the area.

If you are in the area, I strongly encourage you to go. It is so beautiful, and it is so exciting that the temple will be open soon! Ogden-ites have been anxiously awaiting the opening for a long time!

You can reserve tickets HERE for tours of the temple.

I love attending the temple (no matter the location) because of the Spirit I feel there. No matter my situation or circumstance, I feel peaceful and loved. I learn new things about my Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and myself every time I attend. And I remember how truly blessed we all are when I go.

If you would like to learn more about what happens in LDS temples, visit HERE.
If you would like to see some pictures of the interior of an LDS temple, visit HERE.