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PREGNANCY - *37 weeks with baby #2*

(this update's a little late... but better than never right?!)

How far along: 37 weeks -- FULL TERM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain so far: 38lbs

Feeling: Like labor could happen at any time now. I've had severe "nesting" this last week, I finished his nursery (well... we still need curtains, but that's it!!), as well as cleaned like every other room in our house...nesting at it's best. I'm to the point where I have weekly doctor appointments, but this next week I'm skipping- due to Thanksgiving. So I'm already SUPER anxious for my next doctor appointment, when I'll be a little over 38 weeks to check and see if I'm dilated at all!

Movement: He still is a mover in there! His movements are way more cramped now, but he still loves to stretch out and stick his bum out one way and his feet way out on the other side of my belly. He also loves to kick me in the ribs every night... can't even be mad at him for this 'cause I love feeling him move around in there, and I know I don't have much longer!!

Contractions: HOLY CONTRACTIONS!!! I get them all the time. Yesterday I actually had contractions ALL DAY. None of them were very strong, or close enough together for me to worry about actual labor, but there were a couple times I wondered if labor was about to happen! My body is doing some serious prepping! I also get a few painful contractions that wake me up every night. I have a feeling labor with this little guy will go quick.... we'll see!!

Best moment this week:
I packed my hospital bag, and it was surreal. This time around I had a better idea of what I actually would use at the hospital. It was fun packing his little outfits, hats, and socks too... I just still can't believe we're so close to meeting him!!

What's In My Hospital Bag... for baby #2

My hospital bag this time around is much lighter than the first time!
If you want a more in depth breakdown of what exactly is in my bag, and why...
keep reading!

For Mom:

Nursing bras, light-weight robe, comfortable tank tops for nursing, and comfortable pants. All things comfortable. I also went out and bought some bigger sized boy short undies, for the supersized pads you wear at the hospital... those things don't fit in regular undies!!! I also prefer nursing bras (especially in the first few weeks of nursing) without any under wire! The ones in the photo above are the ones I use, and I bought them from Target, check them out here if you want. They're the most comfortable nursing bras I have. It also helps to have SUPER comfy nursing bras... since you'll need to be sleeping in them too!
Along with the nursing theme- I bring my own nursing pads.

Last time I brought my own pillow... and I'll do it again this time NO DOUBT! I'm a pillow freak, and I take my pillow anywhere I go that I'll be spending the night. This time around, I'm also bringing my super fuzzy blanket (from Target)... Maybe it's because I'm due in cold ol' December, but I just want to bring a fuzzy, cozy blanket. I also plan to take some newborn photos in the hospital, so I figured a nice, white, fuzzy blanket will be a helpful prop :)

As far as toiletries... I'm trying to stay to the very basics here.
Toothbrush, razor, basic hair accessories, my Norwex face cloth (I use this as my makeup makeup remover I have EVER used by the way... I will never go back to wipes, or makeup remover goops, this cloth wins), face wash, and super minimal makeup. This time around I'm actually getting eyelash extensions about a week or two before I'm due. My sister is an aesthetician, and does them... so I'm taking advantage of it. I've had them before, and the ease of not having to deal with mascara- AMAZING! I love not having to put it on before I go somewhere, or having to scrub it off.... I'm also excited to not have to worry about any running mascara in those first couple weeks after birth, where the simplest/dumbest things make you cry.
I never wear a lot of make up, so I really don't plan to wear much (if any) in the hospital after giving birth...

As for electronics- again, super basic- chargers (phone & camera) and a nice quality camera!

For Baby

Again, the majority of the baby supplies I use right after birth- are provided by the hospital (diapers, wipes...etc.). This makes packing for the little guy pretty simple!

I LOVE baby sleeping gowns- in fact, we didn't use these just as pajamas- in the first few weeks we had Gavin in these all the time around the house! With newborns it's like you're constantly having to change their diaper, so the "gowns" make this so much easier than pants, or having to unbutton/unzip other clothes. Sleeper gowns for the WIN!

Baby hats, "mittens" (to keep them from scratching themselves) and little socks.

I packed some muslin swaddle blankets. I love how lightweight, and soft these are- perfect for swaddling.

We bring our own Nuks just because we prefer to, most hospitals offer them.

BOPPY PILLOW! This one is also slightly more so for Mom... I use it for breastfeeding. It's a must have for me, no doubt.

Last but not least, a going home outfit

There you have it folks.
I always enjoy seeing what other Mom's pack for their stay in the hospital-
I'm pretty simple and basic, so hopefully this gives you some good, realistic ideas on what to pack for your own hospital stay!!

PREGNANCY - 36 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 36 weeks 

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain so far: 38lbs

Feeling: I feel like the end of this pregnancy is really, really creeping up on me! I can't believe I'm only 1 week away from full term (WHAT?!!).

Movement: Little man LOVES to stretch his bum out one way, and shove his little feet out way on the other side of my belly... and this one  sometimes gets painful! He's a strong little guy! At night, he always gets his feet up under my ribs! I know I'll miss feeling all his little movements. He still gets hiccups at least 3-4 times a day.

Contractions: I get contractions all the time during the day... my body is really starting to practice for the big day!

Best moment this week:
I'm going through all of Gavin's old baby clothes, and hanging them up for this little guy to wear. It's so sweet seeing all of my old favorite outfits and shirts that Gavin wore when he was a baby. It's exciting to know soon I'll be putting them on this little man... but also bittersweet that my little Gavin is already so big, and continuing to grow up so fast on me! 

Pregnancy #2 Favorites

I always enjoy reading about other mom's favorites and must haves for pregnancy.
It gives me good ideas, and sometimes I think, "YUP! That's my must have too!"

So I decided to put together the things I couldn't live without for pregnancy #2.

I cannot sing the praises of coconut oil enough!!! I use coconut oil and a few drops of rosehip oil every day on my belly, thighs, butt, and boobs (basically anywhere pregnancy causes me to grow...) to prevent itching and stretch marks! I love how moisturized it leaves my skin feeling, and rosehip oil is a miracle worker for skin health as well!
I use organic extra virgin coconut oil, and Trilogy's organic rosehip oil.

Comfy clothes during pregnancy are obviously probably my #1 must have!
But, I also feel slightly too bummy running all of my errands in sweat pants... (sometimes I don't care) but sometimes I want to look cute, while still feeling comfy with this big ol' belly!
These Motherhood Maternity leggings are my new BFF.
I have two different pairs, and they are literally so comfortable I feel like I have no pants on.

Just go buy this stuff right now.
It is HEAVEN in a jar.
(and I am not paid to say this!)
For starters, it smells AMAZING.
It's also 97% natural, paraben free, sulfate free, gluten free.
It leaves my skin smoother than ANY OTHER PRODUCT I have ever used.
I use it in the shower, mostly on my belly, bum, boobs... everywhere I want my skin to be soft and constantly regenerating to avoid stretch marks!
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this stuff!
(I use it when I shower at night, then as soon as I'm out of the shower I lather on my coconut oil and rosehip oil)
Farmhouse Fresh is one of my new favorite companies. Highly suggest checking them out!

I try to have two salads a day, usually one for lunch and one with dinner.
I really try to keep up on my leafy greens!
I go for mixed green salads, so I get a good variety of all the leafy greens.

My go to salads are:

Mixed greens salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing, topped with bleu cheese crumbles and apple chunks!

Mixed greens salad with Caesar dressing topped with grilled chicken.

Those are by far my two favorite salads I just don't seem to get sick of!

This is a new must-do for me this time around during pregnancy.
I noticed this time around, that somewhere towards the end of my second trimester I was starting to gain the thigh and butt weight! Just like I did in my first pregnancy.
And it's not solid, nice butt weight, it's cellulite, not-cool weight gain in my butt and thighs.
No thanks this time around!
So I started doing 50 squats, every morning and night while I brush my teeth.
You would not believe the difference this has made in my booty!!
I really can't believe it!
I stick to doing this religiously, every time I brush my teeth! It takes only minutes, and I literally have no cellulite on my thighs or butt anymore, and my booty is actually firmer and bigger! GOOD bigger!
Woo hoo!
I've also read doing squats can really help with shorter labors! YES PLEASE!
I also plan to do this challenge once I reach 2 weeks before my due date:



I shoot for drinking between 60-90 ounces of water a day.
Right now I aim for about 80 ounces of water every day.
(I base this off of the "half your body weight, in ounces of water" rule)
As I continue to gain pregnancy weight, I try and continue to up my water intake.
After delivery, when I'm breastfeeding and losing weight, I DO NOT decrease my water intake.
Water is SO important to keep up your milk supply, not to mention the million other benefits water has for your body!
When I was breastfeeding Gavin, I drank no less than 90 ounces of water every day, aiming for 120 ounces.
I have a 32 oz water bottle that doesn't leave my side during the day,
it helps keep me on track with drinking enough water.

So there you have it.
A short list of my pregnancy favorites & must haves so far this pregnancy!

PREGNANCY - 34 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 34 weeks 

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain so far: 35 lbs

Feeling: I feel great! I feel like my belly isn't quite as big this time around, but when I compare photos from this same point in pregnancy with Gavin, it's about the same size! With Gavin, my belly got massive at about 38 weeks and continued to get even more massive right up until he made his arrival. So I'm guessing the same will happen this time around. ;)
I've been sleeping better at night too lately, which seems backwards. I wake up every time I roll from side to side, just because my low back gets so sore at night. It doesn't bother me much during the day anymore, which also seems backwards... usually things are starting to feel worse and worse during the 3rd trimester! I'm hoping I continue feeling this awesome for these last 6 weeks of pregnancy! ...I know the last few weeks are usually tough though... so we'll see!

Movement: This little guy moves around all the time! He's super active! He's head down, with his tush on one side of my belly and feet on the other. He likes to stretch out, which sometimes is almost painful! His little foot will stick out of the side of my belly, and his butt out the other! It looks so funny! He also gets hiccups at least a couple times a day. I just LOVE all of his movements... I know I'll miss it, so I try to soak it all in the best I can! Even the painful jabs and kicks ;)

Contractions: I get a lot of Braxton hicks contractions throughout the day. I've been getting them for a couple months now. Some of them are getting pretty strong and uncomfortable, so that's a good sign! body is practicing and gearing up for the big day!!! eeeek!

Best moment this week: This past weekend Aaron had a conference at a water park only about an hour and a half away from home, so one of the nights Gavin and I went and stayed there. Gavin absolutely LOVED the water park! He was going down slides, running around, just having a blast! It was also my birthday that weekend, so it was a great way to spend it!! We all had so much fun! I just couldn't get over how old Gavin looked :( He's growing up so fast! It was nice to have a super fun little trip with just us and Gavin, because soon, we'll have a baby brother tagging along everywhere!!

PREGNANCY- 32 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 32 weeks... ONLY 8 WEEKS TO GO!?!?!

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY!

Total weight gain so far: 34.6 lbs

Feeling: I feel exhausted! But at the same time it's like I have supermom powers, because I want to be doing as much as possible with Gavin while I can! I think it's really hitting me that A: winter is coming and we will be stuck inside for the next 5 months, and B: baby is coming, and life is going to get turned upside down for awhile. So I'm trying to do as much as I can with Gavin while it's easy to get out, and while it's just me and him. Also, everything is starting to get harder... a lot harder... like putting on socks, trimming my toenails is nearly impossible, shaving, getting out of bed, sleeping... I'm starting to remember what the 3rd trimester is really like again... ;)

Cravings: I feel like I went a couple weeks where I had some serious cravings, nothing weird or crazy, but I would really want something (broccoli, cauliflower, cookies...) and this past week now I feel like I didn't have any sort of cravings! My "cravings" seem to come and go, and they're usually cravings for veggies or or the other...

Movement: Wow, this little boy is SO STRONG! He kicks and pushes his feet out one side and his butt out the other, and man sometimes it kind of hurts! Which makes me nervous knowing he has 8 more weeks of growing left to do still!!... At night a lot of times I wake up to his feet up in my literally, under my lower ribs. I LOVE all of his movements, even the somewhat painful ones, but yikes, I think he's going to be one big, strong baby!

Best moment this week: I finished painting little man's room!!!! It was SO awesome to get that room cleaned up, and start bringing furniture in! I repurposed a desk into what will be a changing table and I set up his crib!!! (I set that mother trucker up BY MYSELF! I felt so accomplished... well, Gavin "helped" me, which was pretty darn cute too). I've just LOVED getting back to working on his room, it's so much fun. I can't wait to have it put all together :)

All About Pregnancy #2

Well, I'm at 31 weeks in this pregnancy.
It's been so fun comparing this pregnancy to my pregnancy with Gavin.
I absolutely LOVE being pregnant, it's such an amazing, miraculous, crazy 9 month journey...
So I decided to put together a fun post all about this pregnancy... so far!
So, here you go:

1. How Did You Find Out:

It was early for me to be taking a test, but I had like 50 of these super cheapie Wondfo pregnancy test strips... so 6 days before my expected period... I decided, why not. So I took one! I had just laid Gavin down for his afternoon nap, so it was like 1:15pm, and I went and took one. Left it on the counter for a few minutes expecting for nothing to show up, and when I came back, I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, or if there was a super faint (and I mean, SUPER faint) line there.
See for yourself...

So, I tucked the strip back into it's package, and decided I would wait and take another Wondfo test the following day. I didn't tell Aaron I took one, because I knew he would look at that little test strip and say "Babe you're crazy, there is NOTHING there".
So the following morning around 10 am I took another Wondfo test...

Ok, this time, I kind of let myself freak out- because I was pretty sure THAT was a positive test line! I remember showing Aaron when he got home, and he actually saw the faint line too! His eyes kind of lit up, but we were both still a little hesitant, and didn't want to get too excited yet... especially because I was using super cheap tests that I'd never used before. So, we decided we'd go buy some of the First Response early result tests and I would take one that night!

That night around 7:15pm, I took the test and set it on the bathroom counter, jumped in the shower and decided I would just look at the result once I was done showering. So here's what was waiting for me when I got out of the shower:
I saw it right away.
Most definitely, A LINE!!!
So of course I yelled out to Aaron right away to come look at it!
He saw it too- so I knew I wasn't crazy! ;)
I was actually so excited, I texted my mom right away and sent her the picture! But told her not to tell anyone else!

Then the real fun began-
using up the rest of the First Response tests, and watching the positive test line progression!

2. Did You Have Morning Sickness?

I actually felt best in the mornings. But around week 5 or 6 nausea kicked in. It would start anywhere between mid morning to afternoon, and it was wicked. I would just constantly feel nauseous, and feel like I needed to puke. Nothing would sound good, but I knew I had to try and eat. I never actually threw up, not even once. Some days were better than others, and ginger tea with lemon was the only thing that would temporarily help my nausea.
Around week 9-10  the nausea was totally gone and I was feeling great!!
With my pregnancy with Gavin, I had "nighttime" nausea- from week 5/6 through week 12, every day like clockwork, from 4:00 until I went to bed I would feel really nauseous. I never threw up either with Gavin, but I constantly felt like I needed to in the evenings.

3. What Was Your Gender Guess?

Since my pregnancy sickness was so different this time around, I thought for sure it was going to be a girl. As I got closer to 20 weeks, when we would be having the gender scan... I started to feel like it was a boy. People would say, "It's totally a girl" and I would kind of start to respond with "Yeah, I'm not so sure anymore...". My gut instinct was right... ANOTHER BOY! Both Aaron and I were somewhat surprised, just because we expected it to be a girl based on the differences in early pregnancy with sickness and what not!

4. What Were Your Nursery Ideas/Inspiration?

I painted the nursery a light gray. We have off-white craftsman trim and doors in our house, which I LOVE. The contrast with the light gray and the white trim looks so crisp and clean. I never go with one particular theme, because I've never been much of a "theme" person. But my inspiration and the feel I'm going for in his room is a rustic, woodland, cozy, manly room! If that makes any sort of sense...

5. What Are The "BESTS" About This Pregnancy?

- feeling baby move

- feeling his hiccups... he gets them a few times a day

- I feel like I know a little more of what to expect this time around

- maternity clothes are fun this time around since I'm due in winter versus being due in August like I was with Gavin! I still think the summertime maternity clothes are best, because I pretty much lived in maxi dresses... and you can't really get any more comfy than that. BUT, fall maternity style is so cute, I still love it! And lets be real, all maternity clothes are pretty stretchy and comfortable!

6. What Are The "WORSTS" About This Pregnancy?

- my back got sore WAY earlier this time around than in my pregnancy with Gavin

- dealing with the early pregnancy nausea was tough this time around. I desperately wanted to slow down, lay on the couch, and relax.. but Gavin didn't miss a beat, or slow down at all! I didn't expect him to either! So I had to just deal with it, and still be Mom! It was tough, and some days were really, really hard. Thankfully Aaron is an awesome husband and Daddy, and he really stepped up and helped out!

- with this pregnancy I feel like I totally lost the ability to nap. Which super sucks. Gavin takes really good 2-3 hour naps every afternoon, and some days my eyes would just burn I was so tired, so I would lay down to try and nap... and I could NOT fall asleep! This past week I've been able to take some short naps during his nap time... but it's just weird, because I am usually a nap queen! I love taking naps, but pregnancy just threw off my nap game!!

- having a big ol belly has made playing with Gavin a little harder. There's a lot of times I want to get on the floor and play with him, and for a split second I think of laying down on my stomach, and then it's like "oh yea, duh, can't do that!" Swinging with him on my lap is not possible anymore, and hasn't been for a few weeks. Going to the park with him, and climbing through the tunnels after him is no longer an easy feat.

- the emotional and mental aspect of this pregnancy is SO different than with Gavin. With Gavin, I wasn't at all worried about life with a newborn. It was going to be Aaron, me and our new baby. Big deal. I mean, I knew life would be SO different, but Aaron and I KNEW that, we were expecting it. NOW... I think of how life will change for GAVIN. I know it will change for Aaron and I too, but I don't "worry" about how we'll handle it. I do tend to worry about how it will affect Gavin. I know it's a normal worry all mom's have at some point before welcoming a new baby, but it's hard to think about how much Gavin's life will change, and yet he has no clue what's coming! It doesn't take away from the excitement of having a new baby, but it's definitely an added aspect I think about often! (and how can you not?!)

So all in all, I've had one amazingly smooth pregnancy.
Thank you Lord!!!
I still pray every night for a smooth labor and delivery...
I'm SO excited to meet this little boy, and see how he decides to enter the world.
what will labor be like?
what will delivery be like?
what will life be like those first few weeks at home?
So many exciting things to look forward to!
I know it won't all be easy,
but I'm hoping and praying it's smooth sailing here on out!

PREGNANCY- 30 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 30 weeks

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY

Total weight gain so far: 30lbs. I'm gaining almost the exact same weight I did with Gavin! I gained exactly 40 lbs with Gavin, so I'm curious to see what it is this time around!

Cravings: SWEETS!!!...and still cauliflower... for the last like 6 weeks I've been doing so good on not craving sweets. All of a sudden this last week, all I want is Burger King chocolate chip cookies, brownies, cake, Oreos... it's horrible. Thankfully, I've been able to stay strong and say no, but I did give in once and go through the Burger King drive-thru and order some cookies. I. Had. To.!!!!

Movement: Nothing new here, baby boy still moves around like a wild man. Now that he's bigger, it's feels like more of the "rolling"/"sliding" sensation, but he still kicks and jabs like crazy too. Loving every second of it! He also gets hiccups a couple times a day- just like his big brother did! So that's cute :) Not so cute is when he must kick or head-butt my bladder- there have been some close calls there...little man is strong, and my poor bladder must literally be only about the size of an acorn... so ya....

Looking forward to: It's supposed to be beautiful Fall weather this weekend, so I'm really looking forward to spending as much time outside enjoying the fresh, Fall air! October is also my favorite month of the year, it could be because it's my birthday month ;) so I'm excited for October! ...although I also can't believe it's already OCTOBER! Holy cow- where is the time going?!?!

PREGNANCY- 29 weeks with baby #2

This pregnancy update is late... oops! And the bump picture is pretty pathetic this week, I know. It's the best I had since I haven't taken my official "bump" picture. hashtag slacker.

p.s. the leggings are from Motherhood Maternity, and could quite possibly be my favorite maternity clothing purchase yet. They literally feel like I'm wearing no pants... which is freaking AWESOME!... since I'm all about comfort. Oh, and they're super adorable! I snagged a couple different pairs when they were on sale for only $10! 

How far along: 29 weeks

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY

Cravings: broccoli & cauliflower... STILL!

Movement: Baby boy is officially big/strong enough that I've had a couple painful kicks/jabs already! Which makes me nervous for the next 11 weeks to come, as he only gets bigger and stronger! YIKES!

Miss Anything: Sleeping through the night. I can't remember the last time I slept an entire night without waking up. I wake up every time I roll from side to side. I also REALLY miss being able to have Gavin lay in my lap, or on my chest... I remind myself it's only a couple more months, and then it will be back to normal, and I'll have my TWO babies laying on me!

Looking forward to: Finishing the nursery! It has been SO hard to find the time to work on this little guys room! It's definitely not that I don't want to, it's just been impossible to find the time to get away and DO IT! I only have a tiny bit of touch up painting to do, then it gets easier because it's just brining in furniture, decorating... etc. I'm also getting excited for washing all of the adorable baby clothes!!! ...and soon I'll be packing another hospital bag!! eeek!... so surreal!

PREGNANCY - 28 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 28 weeks! HELLO 3RD TRIMESTER!!!!!

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY

Cravings: broccoli & cauliflower... steamed or roasted. I kind of want to eat this with every meal lately...

Best moment this week: Nothing out of the ordinary- just enjoying the fall weather, trips to the orchard, and all things FALL! Trying to make sure I soak up all my time with it just being me and Gavin... soon we'll have another little boy around!

Movement: So much movement! This little guy loves to totally contort my belly into the strangest shape... it's really alien-like sometimes, so funny!

Miss Anything: Being able to move and bend like I could without a baby belly- even just simple things like having Gavin swing on my lap, is pretty much not possible anymore, which is kind of sad :(

Looking forward to: We start having doctor appointments every 2 weeks now... which makes it even MORE real!! 

PREGNANCY - 25 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 25 weeks

Baby's name: starts with a J ;)

Gender: BOY

Best moment this week: We had Gavin's birthday party last weekend - which was so fun! He was crabby for about the first half of it... "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to" seemed to be his theme song for the day! Oh well, he can get away with that for a little while yet. ;) It was still a super fun day, and once presents came into the picture he was happy as could be! It was also fun to have the family over so they could all see our new house, which we're almost totally settled into!

Movement: Little man is a mover in there! I love it! I have a feeling he will be as active as his big brother is...

Miss Anything: Sleeping on my stomach. I really, really, really miss that... :( And when I roll over in bed to see Aaron peacefully sleeping on his stomach, I miss it even more!

Looking forward to: A long over due, RELAXING weekend!!! yay! Not even going to let myself do any of the projects I want to!!! (a diy shiplap headboard, fall wood decor....sounds so enticing, but forcing myself to just lay low and relax!)
I had to throw this pic in here from today also...
this bump is just getting crazy! I can't believe I have another 15 weeks of growing this baby yet to do.... (um yikes)
....and in other exciting news, today I finally got a hair cut after over a year and a half without one! YIKES!
hashtag momlife.

PREGNANCY - 24 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 24 weeks

Baby's name: We finally decided on a name! BUT... we're keeping it a secret until he's born :) Hint, it starts with a "J".

Gender: BOY

Best moment this week: Working on the nursery! I love being able to watch the room slowly come together! It's also a huge plus to be done with the painting and onto the fun stuff like picking furniture and decor!!

Cravings: anything healthy. I think my sweet tooth kind of over ruled me for awhile these past few weeks, so recently I've really been craving healthy foods, and less sugar. It's a miracle!

Movement: This little boy has really picked up the pace in there. He moves around SO much! Every night he usually gets a little crazy in there, and I love it!

Miss Anything: I really miss having a not-sore back! My low back has really been bothering me, I think I just overdid it with the move about a  month ago, because since then my poor back has been really sore. Even having a chiropractor for a husband only does so much when you're pregnant :/ I've also reached the point where my belly makes it slightly more difficult to paint my toenails, and shave my legs. Yay pregnancy...

Looking forward to: Our doctor appointment this week! For no reason in particular, I just love going to the baby appointments! I love hearing that little heartbeat :)
I'm also really hoping for a boost in energy...that would be just fantastic since the past few days I have felt like I'm literally just dragging myself around to do anything. I sleep like a rock (for the most part) at night, but wake up feeling tired, and continue feeling that way throughout the day until I go to bed. Ugh! Baby must really be growing, because he's stealing all of his mamas energy!!

Gavin's 2nd Birthday

My little boy is turning 2 in a couple days...
(enter sappy mom post...)

I honestly can't believe my sweet baby boy is 2 years old.
I can remember the day he was born like it happened yesterday.
Everything about it.
Everything from (finally) being in labor, the delivery, and then that awesome, miraculous moment I first laid eyes on him and snuggled him on my chest.
I honestly think every now and then we have little bits of heaven here on Earth...little glimpses as to  what pure bliss feels like...and finally holding your newborn baby for the first time is most definitely one of them.

Now, somehow 2 years later, here we are with a little boy who runs around like a wild man all day, gives the sweetest kisses, and still manages to melt and steal my heart every single day.

I think I've just given into the fact that I will NEVER understand how time can possibly fly by so fast.

I've also given into the fact that this little 2 year old boy has taught me more about myself than anyone else has so far in my life.
Most importantly, he's taught me that love at first sight absolutely does exist,
and that though not all days are easy, every single day is a blessing and should never be taken for granted.

At 2 years old my sweet little Gavin loves:

to swim- he's an absolute little fish in the water
going for 4-wheeler rides
playing in dirt (of course)
anything to do with trucks, tractors, motorcycles
"mowing" the yard with his little mower
picking on Harley
his blankie :)
and so, so much more!!

I spend every day, all day with this little guy, and I would not trade that for the world.
Watching him grow and learn about this big world around him,
is such a blessing.
I honestly thank God every day for blessing me with this little sweet heart.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!!!!
Mama loves you more than you will ever know!

DIY Giant Magnetic Chalkboard

DIY Giant Magnetic Framed Chalkboard

I have been DYING to do this project!

I've seen so many cool, BIG chalkboards.
Some people have them painted right onto their walls, which I considered doing, but our walls are pretty textured, and I didn't want to sand them down, because, well then that's a non-textured, chalkboard chunk of wall forever... unless you repaint, retexture... and you get the picture.

I wanted a giant chalkboard I could move if I wanted, and I wanted it to be magnetic.
So... since I didn't find any tutorials with what I wanted...
I do like I normally do, and come up with my own little plan for exactly what I want.

This time, it was a 3'x5' magnetic chalkboard, made out of galvanized sheet metal.
I had plenty of sheet metal at my disposal, since my dad owns a heating and cooling business.

So here's exactly how I pulled this little big project together:

I started by picking the size: 3'x5'.

So I got my sheet metal, cut it to size, and folded all the edges in/under 1/2", to provide stability. Otherwise this thin sheet metal will wobble and kink, and once you get a kink or wrinkle in it, there's no getting that out. Folding the edges doesn't totally fix this possible problem, so you still need to be careful when handling the sheet metal, but it does help a lot with strengthening the sheet.

Then it was time to paint! (I used Rust-Oleum's chalkboard paint)
I did 3 coats of chalkboard paint, following the dry times between coats.

For the frame I used 1x4 pine boards.
I love using pine for accent pieces, I used pine for my DIY Floating Shelf too. I just love the character it has, with the knots and the grain of the wood. You also can't beat the price.
I wanted the top and bottom boards to overlap a little, as you can see.
You can really frame your chalkboard however you want.

I stained the pine with 1 coat of Minwax walnut stain, and finished it off with 3 coats of the Minwax poly.

Once my 3rd coat of chalkboard paint was dry on the sheet metal, we got to work on figuring out how to attach this thing to the pine boards!!

We opted on using some super strength glue, as well as 1/2" screws to make sure the sheet metal was secure, and not bendy once up on the wall. So we glued all the edges on the back (unpainted side) of the sheet metal, to the back (unstained side) of the pine boards, then secured it with the 1/2" screws.
(this way all of the screws are hidden, and are on the backside of your frame)
THIS... getting those screws through the metal, was quite a job. Good thing I had my husband Aaron :) This was his job. It was not easy...

In the photo above you can see how we attached the sheet metal/chalkboard onto the backside of the frame.
In this photo above you can see our 1/2" screw into the sheet metal, and the frame.
Once we had the sheet metal all attached to the frame, it was time to screw it onto the wall! We marked where we had studs, and screwed the chalkboard into the studs using deck screws.

If you don't have studs where you're hanging your chalkboard, you will want to use anchors.

The screws we used to hang the chalkboard on the wall were silver, and stood out against the dark stained trim frame. So I used some of my left over Oil Rubbed Bronze Rust-Oleum spray paint, and with a q-tip, just painted the screw heads so they blend in with the dark wood! 

One the chalkboard was all snug to the wall, we were mostly done!!

I let the chalkboard cure for 7 days actually... which normally would have been torture for me to wait so long, but working on the baby's room throughout the week kept me distracted! Check out a sneak peak of his nursery here by the way! 

After the 7 long days of curing, I "primed" the chalkboard.
This just consists of covering your brand new chalkboard in chalk, then rubbing it in with a dry cloth, and then just cleaning it off with a damp rag.
Since chalkboards are porous, if you skip this step, your first few drawings will more than likely end up being pretty much permanent... and you don't want that!
I went through a few pieces of chalk priming my board, since it's a BIG friggin' chalkboard!

Once I had it all covered, I rubbed the chalk in good with a dry, clean cloth, then just wiped it all off with some damp paper towels, and VOILA!!! 

Ready to ROCK & ROLL with this baby! 

I LOVE it! 
I can't wait to get some fun magnets for the kiddos to play with on this chalkboard too!

I also decided to make a cute burlap "play" banner.  
I have a similar burlap banner on my floating shelf that I love, as well as the burlap banner I made last year for Gavin's birthday... tutorial for these banners is here by the way! 
These banners are SO easy to make, it literally took me a total of 15 minutes!
I think it gave the chalkboard its very last, finishing touch!


This chalkboard was a super fun project to do, and it really wasn't all that hard either! 
It's now one of my favorite things about our house!!

Baby J's Nursery Sneak Peak

Well first and foremost, our baby boy #2 finally has a name!! 
It took us awhile to decide on a boys name, we had a couple that we kept going back and forth between.
Then we finally had the right combination of first & middle name- and it was like BAM- that's his name! So we knew! 
We've decided to keep it a secret until he's born, which is what we did with Gavin also.
BUT, it does start with "J" ;) So from here on out I'll most likely be referring to him as 
Baby J.

I really just started to get to work on his nursery this weekend. Aaron and Gavin went out of town for the weekend, which meant this mama FINALLY got to do some projects around the house that desperately needed to be done! 

With the help of my mom, we started, and pretty much finished painting his nursery.
We also took a glorious trip to hobby lobby...which is always WAY too much fun for me...
So I got almost all of the decor I need for Baby J's room, as well as this super cute decor I just added to my living room...
Hobby Lobby is SO AWESOME!!!

Back to nursery fun though-
I'm going for a rustic, woodland, adventurer feel.
I can't use the word theme, because I never have one "theme"...
I painted the walls a light gray, called Gray Matters from Sherwin Williams, I LOVE IT.

So, here's a little sneak peak into little Baby J's nursery

I can't wait to continue working on his little room!
Working on a baby's room is one of my absolute favorite things to do!
I can't wait to start bringing in furniture, bedding, ...etc.!

So much to look forward to!

PREGNANCY - 23 weeks with baby #2

How far along: 23 weeks

Baby's name: We finally decided on a name! BUT... we're keeping it a secret until he's born :)

Gender: BOY

Best moment this week: I finished a project I've been dying to do........ that I'll be sharing a tutorial post for soon!!!... It's a giant, 3'x5' magnetic chalkboard in our playroom! I didn't have a tutorial to follow, since I had entirely my own idea on what to use and how to do it. I was nervous how it would turn out, but it is AWESOME! I'm so happy with it, and it's finished and curing as we speak! SO HAPPY! I can't wait to share it with you!

Cravings: still just banana pancakes...

Miss Anything: Red's Apple Ale. We had some family over for a mini-swim party, and I really missed being able to sit outside in the sun and enjoy a Reds, like everybody else. #boo. I also miss having swimsuit bottoms that actually fit..... 

Looking forward to: Aaron is taking Gavin home to his parent's for the weekend, and I'm staying home to finish the million little things we still need to get done from the move! I'm also going to have a girls weekend with my sister and mom, who will help me with all my little projects - one of them being painting the baby's room!!! YAY! So I'm actually excited for a lot this weekend, it will be a super productive weekend, but also fun since I get to spend quality time with my mom and sister! yayy!!

DIY Barnwood Towel Hanger

DIY barn wood towel hanger
Comin at ya with a super easy, and cheap DIY project!

I have about 1,000,004 little, crafty, decor projects I want to do in this house...
and this was one of them!

We didn't have any sort of hand towel hanger in our bathroom, which was not going to work for me. 
I couldn't stand leaving our hand towel in a bunched up pile on our countertop any longer!!! 
So today, I finally took the 30 minutes of time it required, and came up with my handy little DIY towel hanger!

So, here's what I did:

Here are the few things you'll need:

The hose clamp you can get from a local hardware store.
The hook/hanger I just got from Target.
The glass bottle I got for a couple of dollars from Michaels.

We have a pile of old barn wood out in our garage, so I went and grabbed a piece. 
Cut it to the size I wanted, and sanded it down... not totally smooth, but basically just getting rid of any splinters and real rough edges.

Next, I figured out exactly where I wanted my towel hook, and the bottle. Once I had that figured out, I screwed my towel hook into the board. 

The hose clamp and the glass bottle are slightly trickier. We used a small screw (1/2" long) to attach the hose clamp to the board. We pre-drilled a small hole into the hose clamp, then by hand, just screwed the 1/2" screw through that hole, and into the board. The hardest part was just getting the hole into the metal hose clamp (all in all, not too tricky). Once the hose clamp was attached to the board, I just tightened the clamp around the top of the bottle, until it was secure.

Then all that's left is to hang it where you want it!


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