Six Months

I have pages of notes from the last six months, but I can’t seem to find the time to get them posted. So instead of continuing to let them pile up, I’m just going to start here. Maybe I’ll catch up some day.

Thought 1

Pretty sure she peed on the carpet this morning at 2:30 am (during her 2nd poopy diaper change) and I just covered it up with a blanket and pretended I didn’t see it.

Thought 2

Her pooping is out of control (four times in 12 hours). It’s been like this all week…like, I’ve never, ever seen this much poop. On her. On me. On everything. I’m blaming it on teething. That has to be it, right?

Thought 3

I’ve created a monster. In my attempt to be a cool, go-with-the-flow parent, I failed to establish a nap routine. As a first-time mom, I think this has been the hardest thing to figure out because I’m not with her every day. BUT, I have tried very hard to establish a bedtime routine, and that hasn’t done shit. (Yes, you guessed it, she’s still not sleeping through the night).

Thought 4

I’m so tired. For the first time in six months I’m actually feeling exhausted, and a little hopeless. I’m not sure I’ll ever see eight hours of sleep again.

Thought 5

EJ is three days shy of sixth months and weighing in at 13.2 lbs and 24.25″. She’s going to be in her 3-6 month clothes until March. I guess we’ll be rocking sweater dresses in May (since her 6-12 month stash is all winter clothes).

Thought 6

There are nursing pads all over the house—in the washer, on the nightstand, stuck to my foot—and I’m so over it.

Thought 7

Pampers diapers are so expensive… but they might be worth it, if it means I don’t have to spend every morning scrubbing poop out of her pajamas.

Thought 8

Mom guilt is real. I still don’t like watching her leave for daycare in the morning.

Thought 9

I’m super sorry if I’ve become the smelly kid. Sometimes I can’t even remember the last time I showered.

Thought 10

I know I’m biased, but she’s so cute I can hardly stand it.


Thought 11

I’m drowning in puke-covered laundry. Part of me thinks I should double my wardrobe (so I don’t have to worry about it). The other part of me thinks I should cut it in half (and force myself to do it more often).



I’m so behind, but it’s still kind of funny.

The week before EJ was born:

This is so weird.

This is my usual, and unfortunate, response to life-altering events; things that are so surreal I can’t actually figure out how to wrap my brain around them and respond in an adult manner. I just utter these profound words. Like when Jay proposed, instead of saying, “Yes! I love you SO much!,” I said,”This is so weird.” No, I will never, EVER live that down. [To be fair, there is a bit more to the story, but we will save that for another time.]

And here I am again saying, “This is so weird.” This tiny human is going to want out any day now, and instead of thinking about how amazing all of this is, I just keep thinking about my knees being up to my chin and my vagina hanging out for the world to see, and all the other gross stuff that goes with birthing a child. Oh, and the fact that I’M BIRTHING A CHILD. There is something living inside of me. That’s weird, right?

Tying my shoes is the hardest part of my workout, but I refuse to let someone tie them for me. I am not a child. I’m just squashing the child inside of me. And that’s uncomfortable, for both parties, I assume.

As I’m prepping for this life altering event, I’ve made sure to take care of the really important things: haircut + color, pedicure, sugaring. I’m not sure how much of the next few weeks (months, years) I’ll be able to control, so I thought some grooming would at least make me feel better. That way, when I can’t shower more than once every few days, my greasy hair won’t have any grey streaks and my toes will look nice.

Are you wondering about sugaring, or did you just skip over that part? Let me explain. My hair stylist is also an expert in hair removal. She was quite adamant that once I was pregnant I needed to let her assist me in that area as well…

The “sugar” goo is made of lemon, sugar and water, and is supposed to be better for your skin. I thought this meant it was also less painful than waxing. That was a very incorrect assumption. It has to be stretched across your skin and it’s much sticker than wax. Like, really sticky. So needless to say, the first time was a bit of a surprise.

It was also a surprise that when I left things were still sticking together…

To be fair, the second time was better. In part, because I knew what to expect, but mostly because Beth was done in <5 min. I also knew how to get the sugar off this time. Thank, God.

However, the third time… oh, the third time… that was brutal. I had a newbie and she was, let’s say, thorough. I expected 5 minutes and it lasted 20+. Numerous times I  considered just rolling off the table and calling it good enough, but I figured the whole experience was good prep for labor. I just kept telling myself this pain would pale in comparison.



Girly Grunderpants

Yesssss. I can finally make nursery purchases… And buy those cute metallic moccasins I spotted at Baby Gap… And those headbands with little bitty bows. All the important stuff, ya know?

I have a different post detailing my second trimester and our gender “reveal,” but I thought I would share my nursery plans first. (Again, the important stuff.)

Before we even found out the gender I had created a boy and a girl inspiration board. Putting a room together is one of my favorite things—I may have missed my calling—and I couldn’t wait until December to start.

Baby boy would have gotten a room like this: modern + woodsy + organic, with a fairly neutral color palette. While I love so many colors and styles, this is where my head went when I thought about having a little boy. I was also thinking Jay would appreciate the paper mache deer head. Turns out paper mache, or any form of deer art, is not a compromise for the real thing…


Now, when I sat down to create baby girl’s nursery, I didn’t intend to make it so… girly. I never thought I would actually use pink—how cliche, right?—but there is just something so perfect about blush that I couldn’t help myself.


While I have had a lot of luck with my initial design, I have run into a few snags along the way:

1) I’m not sure I’ll have space for any table lamps. I had two picked out and I kind of loved this one. Must find another place in the house…

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2) The fabric I found (which was perfect) is not recommended for children’s bedding. I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for a replacement. I almost gave up and created my own, until I came across this gem from Spoonflower. Thank you, fabric Gods. BTW, did you notice how good this fabric looks with the lamp above? I’m having a hard time letting go.


3) The door knob curtain tie backs are not going to work. They just don’t make sense with curtain rings (which I had to use because my curtains were just a tad bit short and the next size up was too long). I’m a little sad about this because they were also adorable.

4) The frame/print situation has caused some serious decision paralysis. The first grouping I put together included a print I bought back in the spring, but when I went to place my frame order I realized it wouldn’t fit in any of the size options. Once I decided to give up on using that print in the gold frames, the 8×10 frame size was sold out. I could only find gold gallery frames at one other site, and of course, that site had to give me two size options: 8×10 or 11×14. Rather than just picking one, I decided it would be wise to figure out which prints I really wanted (and what size they all came in). Here were some of my options:

Precious, but not the right vibe.

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As much I love the floral print, I had my heart set on a floral crib sheet. I couldn’t do double time.Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 1.46.51 PM.png

Meh…the gold didn’t fit.

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In the end, I picked these three because I want this baby girl to be fierce in her beliefs, sweet in her demeanor, and to own whoever she is. #StrongFemale

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The downside: they all come in 8×10 and 11X14. So much for helping me make my decision…



Oh, Baby

IMG_1617First Trimester

When you are newly pregnant and someone asks, “What’s new?” it takes everything in your power not to blurt out, “I’M PREGNANT! I’M PREGNANT! I’M PREGNANT!”

It’s really the only news you have.

About anything.


For example, an average conversation goes like this:

Anyone that doesn’t know you’re pregnant: “How are you?”

What you’re thinking: Barely functional. Nauseous. Gassy. Like, really gassy… I burp like a dude.

What you say: “Great. You?” (Mostly because it takes too much energy to say more.)

What you’re thinking: I can’t really focus on you right now because I’m trying to stand upright and not think about vomiting…or the fire rolling up my chest. The heartburn’s a b****.

Anyone that doesn’t know you are pregnant: “Blah…blah…blah…What did you do last weekend?”

What you say: “Pretty low key weekend—did a lot of lounging.”

What you’re thinking: I didn’t change out of my pajamas. Getting to and from the couch was a big enough challenge for the weekend. Who needs to do dishes or vacuum? 

On the upside, I finally started watching Mad Men. Verdict’s still out.

I’m trying really hard not to give in to pregnancy cravings. I will not use this as an excuse to eat poorly… but damn, I WANT A BAGEL.

I’ve eaten more bread (sprouted, don’t worry) and crackers (a box of Nut Thins every three days) in the last few months than I have in the last year. Paleo is not an option in the first trimester. But let’s be honest, Paleo really isn’t ever going to be an option for me. Jay would throw a fit.

It’s ironic that the first trimester is so critical to pregnancy yet most women eat so poorly—it’s pure survival mode. I ate what I could stomach when I could handle it and had to forget anything green for awhile. Seriously, I haven’t seen a vegetable in weeks. Hopefully my prenatal vitamin is working and I didn’t completely ruin my unborn child’s life (already). You know, my vitamin is actually green… #CountIT

While I have some beef with pregnancy, I decided I wasn’t going to complain (as much) this time around. I’m not superstitious, but I’d rather not jinx it. I was reading through my notes from the spring and came across this:

I don’t give in to pizza very often, especially on Thursday nights, and especially not Casey’s pizza; but Jay wanted to eat pizza and watch basketball and I was having a weak moment after a 12+ hour day of work on Wednesday. And you know what? It tasted good, really good.

…but baby did not like Casey’s pizza.

I spent a good portion of my night on the the bathroom floor having flashbacks of my stint with food poisoning after a bad decision with an LAX Starbucks Caesar salad. I hit a new low that night—and not because I was laying on the floor (which has been very much neglected since this whole pregnancy thing happened)—at one point, I thought about not getting up from the floor. My stomach felt like it was in a vice grip and I was just so damn tired. What was the point of getting up? I needed a shower anyway.

Don’t worry (were you worried?), I didn’t actually decide to poop my pants on the bathroom floor.

Week 9

First ultrasound down—moving baby + heartbeat = good news. However, I was little surprised when I walked into the room and realized what kind of ultrasound I was in for… ah, the joys of pregnancy.

Week 13

Second ultrasound down. We were both so nervous, but again, we saw the baby move and we heard the heartbeat. I am so thankful.

PS I need to get better at peeing in a cup.

Week 14

What happen to feeling better after the first trimester? Am I going to be one of the unlucky ones that feels like this the entire time? I’m starting to panic.

Week 17

I’ve felt a lot of weird things over the last four months, but I didn’t recognize this… I think I feel you moving, baby. It’s like a faint pop or twitch. And if Thursday night was any indication of your behavior, we are in for some long , crazy nights.

Week 18

Whew. No Cystic Fibrosis. No Trisomy 13. No Down Syndrome.

Week 19

For most of my life, I’ve barely filled a B cup. And I’m totally ok with it. I really, really don’t want anything more. Unfortunately, my chest has seen more expansion than my stomach and it’s time to say goodbye to my 34 B’s.

But bra shopping is the worst. Really.

Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I started at the sale rack. A nice lady suggested some 36 C’s and I begrudgingly headed towards the fitting room. YOU GUYS, I put on two bras that resembled the kind I used to see the old (70+) women in the pool locker room putting on after water aerobics. It was NOT ok.


Greetings from the Cabin

I’m in the middle of nowhere, in a deer-themed cabin, with minimal internet access and zero cell service. Yes, I said deer-themed, the one next door is moose-themed. The artwork is atrocious, unlike this West Elm print, which I actually find charming. And despite the ill-placed, crooked art, I think the deer curtains and John Deere green blinds take the cake. No, wait, I forgot about the musty smelling deer shower curtain. That wins. However, I could probably look past all of this if our bed didn’t feel so similar to the carpet-covered cement floors. Our memory foam has made us bed snobs. Even Jay said he would rather sleep on the shady looking couch.

On the upside, there aren’t any bed bugs.

Our First Year

Being homeowners has been a big step up from being condo owners. It’s like going from a dog to a baby. It’s the next step in big kid life, but it’s soooo not the same thing (not that I ever want a dog — and I don’t have a baby — but you get my point). Anyway, some funny things have happened in the last ten months. Maybe I’ll put these on next year’s Christmas card.

We put up a mailbox.

Yeah, I know, woo-hoo, big deal. BUT you don’t understand; this was a 5-day ordeal. For some unknown reason, when you buy a newly constructed house, it doesn’t come with a mailbox. WTF. I tried to avoid the no-mailbox thing for a few days, but the mail woman was getting annoyed. The following weekend we spent at least five hours in various hardware stores. It went something like this:

“I like this one, but it’s too much money.”

“I like this base, but not the box. What about the one we saw at Lowe’s?”

“I like this one.”


“This one!”

“We don’t have those tools.”

“What about this?”

“Nah, I don’t really like that color. I like the one at Home Depot better. Should we just go back to Home Depot?”

“Let’s try Menards.”

“What’s wrong with black?”

“I”d like tan… or bronze … I think it would look nicer with our exterior.”

(eye roll)

“Let’s try Menards in Cedar Falls.”

“This one should be easier to put in.”

“Oh fine, let’s just get the black one. I’m hungry.”

Fast forward two hours: I have a headache, Jay is sweating in the driveway, and the post of our new mailbox sits at a 30º angle. We pulled out the post and tried again in the morning. Despite our best efforts, the post still ended up crooked. We finally admitted defeat and called in reinforcements; Jay’s Dad came up on Thursday, we had a mailbox Thursday night. FYI to anyone who needs to buy a mailbox, don’t try to go the “easy” route; it’s not easy. Suck it up and use the quick-crete. You’ll thank me for it when you have half your weekend back.

 We tried to shower without curtains.

Bad idea. Turns out the tiled showers are not walk-in. AKA water does spill outside of the shower. And it’s cold, oh, so cold.

We planted a tree.

Then we dug it up. Linden trees attract Asian Beetles like I attract sunburns, except there is no sunscreen in this world that can stop those awful things. Too bad we didn’t know that before we brought the tree all the way home and dug a huge whole in our newly laid sod.

We painted.

And then we re-painted. It just wasn’t the right color of green. Thank goodness it was bathroom…and my mom helped…both times.

We tried to landscape.

We bought two very pretty hibiscus bushes and a burning bush. Now the bush looks like it got BURNT. Sad face.


We lost our salt and pepper shakers.

They were only $10, but seriously, we have found everything from the move except those S&P shakers. I held out for a solid 6 months before ordering new ones. Then Jay gave me these cute birdies for my birthday.


We didn’t get a snowblower until February. 

Most precipitation in years. I have nothing else to say about that.

We thought our bathroom fans were broken.

They were SO loud. When the builder came over to look at them, he just wiggled the plastic vent around and “fixed” it. And then we felt stupid.

We planted our first garden.

We spent $2 per onion plant. You get one onion per plant. How much do you pay for an onion at the grocery store? Just think about that for a minute.  #gardennewbies

On a different note, high-five to me. I’ve eaten something green every day. Have you?


Sneak Peak


Our amazing photographer, Paige Peterson, has posted some of our wedding photos on her blog. You can check them out here:

Just in case you are wondering about our other vendors…

Floral: Adam Covington, Cedar Rapids

Food & Drink: Bread Garden, Iowa City

Cupcakes: Scratch, Cedar Falls

DJ: Kasey Keller, Quad Cities

(And a lot of help from family + friends!)

On a different note, please let me know if anyone is interested in buying wedding decorations!