Happy Friday! I’ve been thinking about the things I feel have made my pregnancy better – things other than prenatal vitamins (though they are important – I take these) or yoga pants.
These five items because they have either a) helped me savor the journey or b) made me feel more comfortable. There are also some clothes and a pillow I love and may share in the future, but these were the ones I could fit in a snapshot.
If you’re pregnant, I totally recommend these to you . . . or that you give one of these to a pregnant friend!
Mommy-in-Waiting Pregnancy Journal: Filled with Bible verses, questions to help a mama reflect, a calendar to record pregnancy milestones and doctor’s appointments, and places to attach photos, this journal is a really sweet keepsake.
Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap: This soap came to the rescue when I had an itchy tummy around week 19. I’m not sure exactly why it’s so soothing, but a fellow mama recommended this soap for pregnancy and you can bet I ordered mine on Amazon that very day. The reviews show how this soap is used and loved by both pregnant women and manly men. Lol.
NatureWell Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Lotion: My mom gave me this, and it’s fabulous. It goes on silky smooth and is great keeping the tummy moisturized, as well as legs and feet. The dreamy coconut scent is bonus.
I’m convinced that the pumpkin craze sweeping Pinterest and grocery stores each fall is a good thing. No matter the weather, once October hits, I feel justified in tossing a can of pumpkin into my grocery cart during any given week. I have never once regretted having pumpkin in my pantry when that pumpkin craving hits.
There are soooo many good pumpkin recipes out there. Here are 10 no-fail recipes I love featuring this beloved fall ingredient, plus 3 I have my eye on to try out in the coming weeks. Enjoy!
We’ve had a couple of brisk mornings this week. I’ll take it. But the calendar says it’s is in full swing, so let’s talk FALL! Here are five things I’m loving lately and think you will, too!
The Republic of Tea’s Pumpkin Spice Tea – Of course you love anything pumpkin spice, right? I’d like to encourage you to branch out from coffee to tea. My mom thoughtfully gave me this tea when I was in Arkansas a couple of weeks ago, and it is soooooo good. Here’s how I like it best: Steep one bag for 4 minutes, then add a good splash of vanilla almond milk. It tastes rich and decadent but not too spicy or sweet. Add a teaspoon of honey if you want a little extra sweet. You can buy 50 tea bags in a cute reusable canister here. Makes a great gift! (Clearly. Thanks, Mom!)
Lauren B. Beauty Nail Polish in L.A. Smog – This is the best quality nail polish I’ve ever owned, and now I know why. I just found it on Amazon, and it’s not cheap. This came in my Causebox (another amazing gift idea btw) subscription last year. I forgot about it in the spring and summer and now that fall is here, the dark, smoggy color is so fun. Deep down I think wearing nail polish in “L.A. Smog” makes me feel tough. Maybe I’ll wear it during labor.
Old Navy Women’s Plaid Flannel Shirt– I went shopping with my stepmom, Dana, at Old Navy Labor Day weekend, and this shirt is one of my favorite finds. I was so pleased to see that long button downs and tunics are still “in,” because long shirt + leggings are the comfiest for me right now. Plus it feels efficient to wear clothes during pregnancy that aren’t strictly maternity. There are several colors to choose from in this style and many other button down styles this season.
Noonday Daybreak Earrings – These earrings are my first piece from Noonday, and I am so impressed. I love that this company is making a difference by selling jewelry and accessories made by artisans around the world. These came in the goody bag I received at The Happy Hour Live event, and I’d love to save up and purchase other pieces as Christmas gifts for girls in my family. The quality is really great.
Coconut Cream in Coffee – Know what’s magic? Hot coffee blended with a spoonful of coconut cream. A recipe I made the other night called for a can of coconut milk. Mine was in the fridge, so I scooped out most of the top part (which is the cream) to save for this wonderful reason and used the rest of the milk for the Indian recipe. Using an immersion blender yields the frothiest coffee in my opinion.
Now I’m realizing that the only thing I personally bought out of these items was the $2 can of coconut cream. But that’s how gifts are supposed to be, right? Favorites.
Happy weekend, friends! I hope you get to do something fun. Alex and I are going to an alumni book talk at his college buddy’s house. The book? Frankenstein. I laughed at first, but I’m loving this read!!
There are less than 100 days until Baby B’s due date! Time is flying, but at the same time, I see and love how God is helping Alex and me savor this very sweet season.
Below, I answered some of the questions people most often ask. Not really. I just made up these questions just in case you wanted to know the answers. I also just want to remember these things.
When did you find out you were pregnant?
I found out on Alex’s birthday, May 20th, one week before we moved. While I hadn’t had any morning sickness, I woke up a few mornings that week feeling really thirsty and hungry, which was weird for me. And on my run the day before, I felt tired about 2 miles in to where I stopped running and walked home. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d cut a run short like that. It wasn’t like anything was hurting or wrong other than I just felt exhausted.
Anyway, on Saturday, May 20th, I woke up early to run with The Kenyan Way. We had plans to go to St. Arnold Brewery that afternoon to celebrate Alex’s birthday with friends, and I thought about how I didn’t want to drink beer on the off chance I was pregnant. So, literally the first thing I did at 5 am was take a pregnancy test. Within the minute, that little plus sign popped up and my heart skipped a beat or two. I walked out of the bathroom to rummage for a piece of paper in the kitchen and scribble “Happy Birthday Alex! (OMG)” on it to place next to the test. By the time I’d done that, Alex had gone into the bathroom and seen the test. He came out saying calmly, “Did you look at this yet?”
We both were pretty quiet as we drove to Memorial Park a few minutes later. I prayed a whole lot during that 10 mile run and just let myself go through all the emotions. Looking back, I think it was the best thing I could have done after finding out.
How big is she now?
At 26 weeks, she is about 14 inches head to toe and 2 pounds. Depending on the pregnancy app, that could be comparable to a head of iceberg lettuce, scallions, or a Tickle-Me Elmo.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, my favorite part is that there is a miracle growing inside of me. There’s just no denying how amazing God is to create life. I love that she kicks so often now. She especially wiggles and kicks when I am still – sitting with my feet propped up or when I’m laying down in bed. Knowing she is alive and doing her thing is such a comfort and I continually thank God for the gift. She is already a bundle of joy. I really do like the growing belly, though it seems to feel cuter and littler in the morning than at the end of the day.
Have you had any weird cravings?
No, unless ice cream and pickles count (not together…ew). I’m more opinionated about food – how much, how often, what I eat – than ever before, and I *try* to eat mostly healthy. Alex is still waiting for an urgent “I need a Grande Chalupa meal from Taco Bell PRONTO” middle-of-the-night wake up from me. (He loves that place J)
What’s hard about being pregnant for you?
Frequent potty trips. I’m no stranger to drinking lots of water throughout the day and therefore lots of bathroom breaks, but it has gotten out of hand. Also I’m starting to wake up more during the night needing to change positions (and of course to use the bathroom) and with lots of thoughts swirling around in my mind.
How are you feeling?
Physically, I feel great. Sure, by this point, there are a couple of things I could complain about (see above) but overall I feel really good. Also, I’ve felt uncomfortable running at times over the last few weeks and so have begun to walk/run more. I’ve also started doing some prenatal yoga, which feels relaxing and wonderful. I plan to stay active, whether that’s with running, walking, yoga, swimming, whatever, as long as it is safe and not painful.
Emotionally, I have had a handful of out-of-nowhere heavy cries, mostly in front of Alex. He is awesome at letting me cry it out and not making me feel crazy. Being pregnant is stretching me spiritually, which I think is probably just a glimpse of how motherhood will stretch me. When faced with something I’ve never experienced before (in this case, growing a baby, laboring, and becoming a mom), I tend to worry. But God, He is SO gracious. Over and over He shows me that if I will just look into his face and trust in His goodness, no matter the outcome, this doesn’t have to be so scary. And He has provided awesome mom friends to speak truth about this season and help prepare me for what to expect in labor and motherhood.
Do you have a name for Baby B?
No. Naming a child feels like a huge responsibility and is more difficult than I ever thought it’d be! Alex and I have a running list of our favorites. At this point I think it could be fun to narrow it down to two and wait until she’s born when we can look at her and decide which one fits best. J
How can I pray for you?
I would cherish your prayers for a full-term, continued healthy pregnancy and delivery. Most of all, please pray that I will trust Jesus with each little and big thing that comes along and that our baby girl will someday too. Please pray He continues to grow Alex and me in wisdom and in our marriage and prepares us for the journey of parenthood.
Thank you for sharing the joy with us!
I want to acknowledge that while baby talk and bump pics can be full of joy for some, they can bring heartache for others. For those who have experienced loss, infertility, or are in the hopeful yet uncertain season of longing, I just want to say you are not alone, and most of all, God sees you and loves you deeply.