Fletcher's First Easter

Last weekend, we celebrated Easter with Andy’s side of the family up at Fletcher’s cousins’ house!

IMG_5780.jpg

It was so fun to dress Fletcher in his little bunny slippers that our friend Jayme gave him! This little hooded cardigan is one of my favorite articles of clothing that he owns and I’m so sad that this was the last time he wore it! It’s now in a bin of his outgrown clothes on a shelf in our basement that we’ll save for baby #2.

IMG_5809.jpg

We ate lunch with the family and then Fletcher opened his Easter baskets — he received so many nice gifts from his aunties, uncles, cousins, and grandma!

IMG_5793.jpg
IMG_5794.jpg
IMG_7169.jpeg

We took a few family photos and then we were on our way home!

IMG_5788.jpg

Andy suggested swinging by our favorite froyo shop on the way home and I’ll never say no to that!

IMG_5954.jpg

On Easter Sunday, some of my family came over for lunch! Fletcher sported his cute little bib that his Auntie and Uncle gave him!

IMG_5939.jpg

My mom made her famous chicken parmesan, along with some cheesy bread, and a few veggie sides. We made a replica of the classic Olive Garden salad, and raspberry lemon bars! I used the same recipe for our favorite cranberry bars and just added white chocolate chips, raspberries, and lemon zest instead of cranberries!

IMG_5979.jpg

My parents brought Fletcher a fun little Easter basket filled with all kinds of goodies like bubbles, a stuffed bunny, and a ton of books!

0FDAFDBA-376E-4B3C-9B5E-A624E541FB1B.jpg

We also snapped a few family photos of us to add to his baby book!

After lunch, we all went for a walk to the park where we sat outside for awhile to enjoy the gorgeous day. It was upper 70s and sunny and we kept saying how long it has been since we have had a beautiful Easter Sunday like this one.

IMG_5991.jpg

Once everyone left, we took Fletcher around the house to “look” for his Easter basket since we didn’t have time that morning.

IMG_5996.jpg

He loved opening his gifts with dad!

IMG_5997.jpg
IMG_6002.jpg
IMG_6004.jpg

We’ve started a tradition to get him a card for each holiday and Andy always chooses a great one for Fletcher!

IMG_6008.jpg
IMG_6014.jpg
IMG_6015.jpg

My mom used to always take flat lays of our gifts when we were little and I always loved looking back at previous years’ gifts so I’ve started doing this for Fletcher, too.

IMG_6028.jpg

Fletcher just entered Leap 4 (Wonder Weeks) and has been SO into books lately! He loves to hold them and try to turn the pages all by himself.

What did you do for Easter?
Favorite Easter candy?

Fletcher's First Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Fletcher’s first Valentine’s Day and his very first holiday celebration!

IMG_4565.jpg

We usually go out to dinner each Valentine’s Day evening, but since we had an appointment that night, we decided to have an at-home celebration with the three of us.

IMG_4521.jpg

Our first stop was a trip to the dentist yesterday morning and then we swung by Starbucks so I could grab a latte before heading home. I added a pump of cherry and a pump of vanilla syrup to my latte for a little something different and it was so delicious!

IMG_4541.jpg

Once we got home, I fed Fletcher and he ended up spitting up all over his new Valentine’s Day outfit but I was so proud of him for keeping it clean while we were out and about! I tossed it in the laundry so that it would be clean when we headed out later that afternoon and then we spent the rest of the morning playing and reading books before he took a nap.

IMG_4544.jpg

He’s been super alert lately and has started to follow objects and people with his eyes, which has been so fun to experience!

IMG_4573.jpg

After more feeds, naps, and diaper changes, we snapped a few pics and then headed out the door to meet Andy at Fletcher’s pediatrician’s office for his one month well visit.

IMG_4529.jpg

He’s definitely not a fan of getting into his car seat, but once the car starts moving, he’s happy as a clam and then usually falls asleep within minutes.

IMG_4582.jpg

We were happy to hear that Fletcher went from 6lb 2oz at his last appointment to 7lb 13oz! Way to go, buddy! :)

IMG_4608.jpg

After his appointment, we all headed home where we ate dinner and then opened cards and gifts from each other.

IMG_4606.jpg

Andy and I also split this little dessert and it was the perfect ending to our Valentine’s Day!

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?
Favorite dessert?

A Different Kind of Christmas

Due to a couple of things that have recently popped up, our Christmas celebrations looked a bit different this year. Andy and I had good intentions of celebrating our “last Christmas” with just the two of us, but after the craziness of the last few weeks, we were both exhausted yesterday and ended up taking three hour naps. We’re hoping to celebrate together this coming weekend instead.

Andy’s dad has been having some serious health issues and we’ve also had a few other things pop up that have been a lot to deal with. We are both feeling a little worn out and it was so strange to find myself not looking forward to Christmas and instead craving the fresh start of a new year.

My new planner is on its way to our house and I’m really looking forward to re-evaluating my routines and schedule for 2019 as we adjust to our new life with baby. Lately I’ve been chatting with my friend Gina about this past year and it has been so helpful to talk it out with her since she and I are very similar in terms of our mindsets towards life / home / etc. There were so many great things about 2018 (work + baby + house) but also some habits and events that need to get ditched for the new year. I’ll write more about this later as we transition into 2019 because I have a lot to say on this topic. :)

After that talk about the new year, let’s take a look at the last few days. I took Wednesday off of work due to scheduling a whole string of appointments back to back. First up was the allergist — I wanted to meet with one to chat about why this allergic reaction was so severe and how to prevent it from ever happening again. It was SO helpful to meet with him and the answers that he provided were not at all what I was expecting. I’ll be sure to share more once my blood work comes back and things are clearer, but I’m SO glad that I took the time to meet with him!

IMG_2940.jpg

From the allergy appointment, I headed straight to the chiropractor for a quick adjustment before heading to my 37 week OB check. My doctor was running behind due to a birth, so I ended up waiting in an empty exam room for quite awhile. I was able to get a good chunk of this book read, which has been helpful as I start writing my birth plan this week (way late in the game, but life happens).

IMG_2970.jpg

I worked from home Thurs and Fri due to more chiro appointments and then on Saturday morning I headed out to a prenatal massage that my aunt had set up for me (seriously, I have the best aunt ever). It felt SO good to relax with an hour-long massage!

IMG_2979.jpg

On Sunday morning, I baked some of our favorite pumpkin bread, had our groceries delivered, and took a long nap before Andy and I headed out to look at Christmas lights.

IMG_2996.jpg

We drove through a few neighborhoods and also wandered through the arboretum for a quick visit since they were having a holiday light show.

56727498066__0633CABF-CDA0-4E06-BB35-10E578AD5C08.jpg

Andy also finished up the baby’s dresser (new paint and new knobs) and brought it up to the nursery, so I spent some time putting away all of his little clothes all organized by size. This felt SO good to get this checked off our list because now his room is basically done except for hanging his bookshelves and adding a few decor items.

IMG_3029.jpg

On Christmas Eve, Andy’s sister called to let us know that their dad wasn’t doing too well so we made the decision that Andy would drive up to visit for the day and I would stay home. I’ll share more on this later, but I was / am under travel restrictions per my doctor due to baby so we opted for me to stay home. Later that evening, my sister and her little family came over for a super casual Christmas Eve. Our plans have been so up in the air with so many things going on, so we literally pooled our fridges and pantries to see what we had and ended up with an awesome spread. Veggie tray, fruit, turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin bread, chips and guac, and homemade muddy buddies. We ate, hung out, and then opened gifts before they headed home to put the girls to bed for the night.

We had quite the interesting Christmas morning over here — I was having a lot of upper abdominal pain on Christmas Eve — making it hard to get comfortable while Andy and I tried watching a movie. I eventually gave up on laying on the couch and headed to bed. I woke up around 3am with the pain increasing so I called the birthing center to talk to the nurse; she wanted us to come in so she could check on the little dude to make sure everything was okay especially since I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for the past three days and noticed an increase in swelling.

IMG_3037.jpg

Note, this is why they tell you to pack your hospital bags a month before your due date. Mine were about 70% packed but when I say “packed” what I really mean is that everything was in a pile in the corner of our master bedroom. So, here we were at 3:30am throwing things into my Nike bag as fast as possible so that we could head to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 4am and were immediately taken to a triage room. They hooked me up to a machine to monitor baby’s heartbeat and then did an ultrasound to take a peek at him. Thankfully, all was well and she said the abdominal pain is just my body getting ready for him to be born but that it was good we came in to have him checked. She said I need to start taking it easier — focusing on more rest and taking some baths to relax. I feel like that’s always easier said than done, but now that work is winding down, I think it will be a little easier. We thanked her, headed out to the car, and arrived home around 5:30am.

Snapseed.jpg

Christmas Day was super low-key around here after our random middle of the night hospital run. Andy gave me this devotional for Christmas and it was the perfect gift to crack open yesterday morning while sipping a hot cup of coffee. The rest of the day was spent doing a quick treadmill workout, reading, taking a long nap, and watching The Grinch on tv.

My goals for today involve getting that hospital bag 100% packed and finishing our birth plan — wish me luck! ;)

What was your favorite part about Christmas?
Do you enjoy driving around looking at Christmas lights?

Thanksgiving + Black Friday Weekend

After attending a few meetings, I left work around lunchtime on Wednesday since it was so quiet in the design studio!

IMG_2602.jpg

I had some time to kill before an appointment later that afternoon, so I headed to The Galleria to knock out some Christmas shopping and to browse through Barnes & Noble for a bit. I picked up a few things for Andy’s gift and then put my feet up with an iced Americano with a pump of gingerbread syrup at the bookstore. An afternoon at B&N was just what I needed before the holiday weekend and I’m so glad that I made it a priority. I whizzed through this book (would highly recommend it!) and then started this one but plan to head back to the store in the next couple weeks to read more of it as we get closer to baby time!

IMG_2639.jpg

Upon arriving home later that evening, I did some of our Thanksgiving prep to make the morning a little smoother. I quickly whipped up a batch of homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and freshly squeezed orange juice), and prepped a pomegranate so that it would be ready for the salad I was making the next day. This was my first time dealing with a pomegranate (I usually buy them pre-seeded), and let’s just say it was a labor of love. I did the whole “peel it in a bowl of water” trick but it was still very time consuming and messy to say the least!

IMG_2647.jpg

The next day, we successfully hosted our first Thanksgiving with his side of the family. Andy and I made turkey, ham, lemon-garlic green beans with almonds, cornbread, and a fall salad while his siblings brought a few other sides and dessert to complete the meal.

IMG_2642.jpg

Side note — we recently picked up one of these tools and it is seriously the best thing ever! It saves so much time and makes your life a million times easier — would highly recommend picking one up if you don’t already have one in your kitchen drawer.

IMG_2646.jpg

I threw together this autumn-inspired salad and really liked how it turned out! It had spinach, fresh cranberries, candied pecans, pomegranate arils, pumpkin seeds, roasted sweet potatoes, red onion, and apples. I tossed it with a homemade dressing that contained pure maple syrup, olive oil, fresh lemon + lime + orange juice, onion powder, black pepper, salt and cinnamon. I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all throughout the weekend and it’s definitely one that I plan to make again!

IMG_2648.jpg

Andy’s sister and brother-in-law brought pies and I swear, there’s nothing like pumpkin pie with whipped cream and a cup of coffee! It definitely hit the spot!

IMG_2650.jpg

After the family left, Andy and I settled in on the couch to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It was the perfect ending to Thanksgiving Day.

IMG_2657.jpg

The next day, we headed out for a little Black Friday shopping later in the day (mainly to avoid the crowds). We wound up purchasing this little gadget and a new Christmas tree since the one in the photo above is way too tiny for our new living room! I took a nap upon arriving home and then we spent the evening watching Home Alone 2 (we typically watch a holiday movie or two every weekend leading up to Christmas).

IMG_2669.jpg

On Saturday morning, my sister and I ran an errand, grabbed coffees, and walked around the indoor track while catching up. We both agreed that this is something that we should do more often since it’s way more fun to walk with someone than by yourself. :) Another nap happened when I got home that afternoon (seriously, story of my life these days), and it felt SO good!

Sunday was spent washing all of our baby’s clothing while Andy painted the dresser for the nursery. I’m hoping to get all of his clothes organized by size this week so that we can start putting his room together in anticipation of his arrival. I also finished all of the thank you cards from our baby shower and worked on a scarf that I’m knitting — it was such a relaxing day!

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving?
Did you do any Black Friday shopping?

First Round of Holiday Treats

On Saturday, morning, my small group and I met for a virtual meeting (we meet every other time in person) and I always leave feeling so refreshed! It’s been so fun doing this study with these girls and also hard to believe that this is our third year together.

IMG_2548.jpg

I’ve been trying to get creative with ways to stay active until my treadmill arrives, so after doing a few things around the house once my small group meeting was done, I headed to a track to walk for a bit while I listened to the latest episode of my favorite podcast. It’s so strange to feel exhausted after something like going for a s l o w walk — definitely not something that I’m used to but am reminding myself that growing a human takes a lot out of you!

Upon arriving home, I started prepping for our sister baking night — on the agenda: homemade Chex mix, Oreo truffles, and Muddy Buddies!

IMG_2557.jpg

I mixed up the first batch of dry ingredients before they arrived so that we could get started right away. Our family has always added Kix and Cheerios to our homemade Chex mix (and omit the bagel chips) — I think the Kix are my favorite part!

I had also prepped the Oreo truffle filling earlier that day. It was my first time making the truffles in the food processor and all I can say is that it was a total game changer. It crushed the cookies super fine and then it swirled the cream cheese in so smoothly! I rolled the truffles into little balls and then put them on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet before popping them in the fridge so they could harden. That way, all we would have to do that evening was just dip them in melted chocolate — easy peasy.

IMG_2560.jpg

Once my sister and her girls arrived, we got to work right away!

IMG_2562.jpg

As batches of the Chex mix baked, we dipped our truffles (which are seriously the BEST thing ever if you’re an Oreo fan) and whipped up a delicious batch of Muddy Buddies. We discovered the secret to good Muddy Buddies is to make more of the sauce than it calls for and it use less cereal so that each piece gets coated and kind of clumps together.

It was so fun to spend the evening making holiday treats with them and we’re already looking forward to making / decorating homemade sugar cookies in a couple of weeks! This holiday season feels like it is flying by so we are trying to do as many holiday things as we can before the season passes.

IMG_2573.jpg

The next day, Andy and I hit the shops to knock out a bunch of Thanksgiving-related errands. Our first stop was Starbucks for a holiday drink — I swear, each year the gingerbread latte tastes better than I remember.

IMG_2576.jpg

On our way to grab T-day groceries, we made a few pit stops at furniture stores since we’re still trying to find the perfect dining room table. There was a table we liked at West Elm, but we felt like the color was a little too warm for our liking. We’re super picky about furniture and I feel like we are starting to annoy ourselves with the search for a table. The one we really want is something like this but in a cooler toned wood.

IMG_2570.jpg

We also stopped at a Macy’s furniture gallery but quickly realized that the tables there weren’t really our style — it was still fun to pop through and look around though.

IMG_2579.jpg

After enough messing around with furniture shopping, it was time to get down to business. This was my plan of attack that I crafted before we left the house that morning.

IMG_2584.jpg

After three different grocery stores, we finally had everything we needed! We came home, ate a late lunch, and then I headed out to meet my auntie for a coffee date. Catching up with her was the perfect end to a long weekend!

Favorite Thanksgiving side dish?
What recipe does your family like to make each holiday?