Fletcher's First 4th of July

We’ve never really been big 4th of July people — which I both love and am kinda bummed about at the same time. For one, it’s really nice to just have an extra summer day off but I also wish we had some patriotic traditions to partake in as well.

Here’s a recap of our 4th of July in 2018 and in 2017 (this post makes me miss my long hair!) if you’re interested!

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This year, we kept it pretty low-key since Fletcher is still so little but I hope to incorporate some festive activities once he gets a little older so that he remembers Independence Day as one filled with lots of celebration and red, white, and blue!

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Earlier in the week, his cousins came over for our first 4th of July photoshoot in matching Old Navy tees! We plan to make this an annual tradition with the cousins!

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We’ve gone to the mall on the 4th in years past, so we decided to have Fletcher join us for his first trip to Mall of America.

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The verdict? He LOVED it!

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He loved the sights, the people, and experiencing things in the shops!

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Some of the highlights were the LEGO store, the Disney store, and of course, Barnes & Noble due to the books!

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We ran out of time to hit Nickelodeon Universe so we will most definitely be heading back so that he can experience that — we think he would really enjoy walking through the park and seeing all of the rides, characters, and kids.

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While we were trying on shoes in Nordstrom, Fletcher added his own little festive flair of fireworks in his stroller! We had already changed him twice due to spitting up so he ended up leaving the mall in a soggy, drool-filled polo and a diaper since we ran out of clothes! Note to self — time to start putting 3+ outfits in his diaper bag when we are heading out for a full day!

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All cleaned up and ready to head home!

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Speaking of Independence Day, I’ve been enjoying using my lettering skills on our driveway! Here’s a patriotic themed one I did recently!

Do you have any special 4th of July traditions?

Fletcher's First Memorial Day Weekend

It was a gorgeous MDW over here! Today’s a bit of a washout, but the last two days have been nothing but clear blue skies, tons of sunshine, and 70 degrees.

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On Friday evening, the clouds and rain cleared off to reveal a beautiful evening so we ate dinner outside on the deck and then Andy put out our new American flag that he purchased on the way home from work.

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We made mini pizzas out of these little gems that I picked up from Costco the other night and paired them with salad and watermelon. Side note, the above photo of my trunk was the result of going shopping while super hungry, ha ha!

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We also headed out to the local trail for a walk — it was so refreshing after such a gray, cold, and rainy week!

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We love this trail because it feels like you’re out of the cities and really out in nature.

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The next morning, I headed out to a local garden center to purchase flowers! This activity, paired with the bright sunshine made my heart so happy. Upon arriving, I chatted with one of the gardeners on site to ask about which flowers would be best for my front porch based on sun / shade cover.

After learning some tips and tricks, I walked around and started adding plants to my cart. While shopping, my auntie called me and she ended up joining me at the garden center! It was so fun to catch up for a bit while looking around at the different types of plants!

While I was plant-shopping, Andy and Fletcher headed to the arboretum with my Mother-in-Law and then went out to lunch. Fletcher had so much fun with Grandma!

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Upon arriving home, I immediately started planting. I ended up rearranging the pots a couple times, but am quite pleased with how they turned out.

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Now I just need to keep them alive until the end of the summer. :)

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Later that afternoon, we went on another walk and this time we stopped for an ice cream cone along the way.

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It’s always so fun to see Fletcher’s reaction when we go for walks — he just soaks it all in.

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He got another tooth this weekend so he’s been chewing on all the things lately! Poor little buddy!

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On Sunday, we spent the morning cleaning up around the house before heading out to run some errands and walk around one of our favorite lakes.

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It was Fletcher’s first trip to Home Depot and he slept the whole time! We didn’t really find what we were looking for, so we headed to the lake to walk around.

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On the way to run another errands, we decided to swing by Starbucks for a refreshing drink after our walk!

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Andy ordered their Strawberry Acai Lemonade and it was SO good — literally the perfect summer drink!

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I went with my usual venti iced americano. :)

We stopped at another store to look at their mulch and house numbers selection (we’ve been doing some minor updates to the front of our house since we moved in towards the end of the season last year) but didn’t see anything we loved. I read on the front porch for awhile and then we made dinner before Andy headed out for a bit.

While Andy was out running an errand, Fletcher and I went for a long walk. While Fletcher snoozed in the stroller, I caught up on a podcast.

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Fletcher also got a new seat this weekend and it was all fun and game until he tried to climb out of it. He is constantly surprising us because he just seems so much older than his four months! :)

We’re enjoying a lazy day at home today since it’s pouring rain and we go back to work tomorrow!

What did you do for MDW?
Twist, chocolate, or vanilla cone?

Fletcher's First Easter

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

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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.

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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!

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

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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He loved opening his gifts with dad!

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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).

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?