Baby #3 is a...

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BOY!!!

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We can’t seem to get enough boys around here! You can just refer to us as the wolf pack now, because I think three boys qualifies us. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Verrrrrry surprised that this little person is another boy (because I always think I’m having a girl and I’m apparently always wrong!) but I am so thrilled. These boys are my entire life and I have become a better person because I get to be their mom.

I didn’t grow up in a household with boys, so I am constantly leaning into the Lord’s wisdom for how to handle situations that I am SO not equipped to handle in my own right. These boys have challenged me, caused me to have to get sharper and lean into my intuition and grow in my parenting approach (believe me, reading a lot of parenting boymom books these days…) I am giggling at how funny my life looks every day with these loud, funny, imaginative, wonderful little boys. I truly believe God knows exactly who our family is supposed to be and I am just so honored that I get to raise another little boy in sweet family. I truly feel like it’s a big responsibility, since we are living in an amazing age where women are more empowered with opportunities than ever before. It’s going to take mighty, humble, confident men to thrive right along side all these empowered women and I truly feel the call to do my very best with my boys. They are going to be (and already are!) such incredible men! I’m overwhelmed with love.

Soooo since I won’t be having tea parties with little girls, alert to all my girlfriends - I’m gonna need my fill of tea time, manicures and skincare shopping. Please do those things with me.

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We are SO excited to meet you, little man!!! Your brothers are already planning presents for you, discussing where you will sleep and who will get to wrestle with you first (Everett has dibs, but Daxton is pretty feisty so we’ll see!)

We love you so much! Can’t wait to meet you in November!!!

P.S. - Shoes are matching New Balance for infant & toddler (on sale!)

Preparing for a New Baby.

He's coming soon. It's only a matter of time now.

I've been a little anxious, not necessarily about the baby coming (because I'm excited to meet him!), but more about all the things I want to get done before he comes. And I also feel pretty limited, because some days I feel absolutely fantastic and super productive, and some days I have a lot of back pain and contractions and I'm restricted to sitting or laying on a heating pad to get some relief. Those days are tricky, figuring out how to still have quality time with my toddler, even though he's super active - "Mommy, play golf with me!", "Mommy, play choo choo with me!" I want to enjoy every single one of these days, I want to relish the marrow out of each moment with my family, and I want to remember.

I am preparing for the new boy. I am preparing for a shift in season. I am preparing for my life to never look or feel the same again. It's sort of hard to prepare for the unknown, but I am doing my best based on previous experience. I just know there are always wild cards! But in an effort to be ready, in mind and body and spirit, I am focusing my dwindling energy in the following areas:

Spending Quality Time with Family.
I shared last week about how we made time to get out to the Pumpkin Patch. It was so so fun, playing around the farm with no agenda except to HAVE FUN. We are making an intentional effort to do some special family things before baby boy #2 arrives. We are also just making time to be intentional with seemingly uninteresting things - like encouraging Everett to help me bake muffins for him (he stands on a stool and helps me dump flour and honey into the mixer - yes, it's a complete mess), like flopping into piles of leaves out in the yard, like making a trip to Target a special mommy-son date with a treat at the end :) I'm just trying to make everyday moments charged with life, because soon these days will be over and the season will look different.

Finishing Last-Minute House Projects.
I've been very reliant on my family members for these projects, and I am so so grateful that they are willing to oblige me. Last year we were gifted a beautiful mahogany dining room set that I've been slowly repainting a chalky, antiqued white. It's been a long process, something I started when I was newly pregnant (don't worry, I've been using a safe paint!), and I am just jonesing to get all the pieces finished up before the baby arrives. Taking a month to go to New York and then having some pregnancy setbacks (AKA being forced to sit and lay) kind of threw off my time line for completing this project, but I am still attempting it while I can! We will see how far I get.

Washing/Folding Baby Clothes.
This one is so therapeutic. Pulling out all the newborn/baby items from their storage space in the attic has been super soothing for me - the nesting urge is so present and real right now! Folding and washing these sweet little baby clothes has flooded me with memories of Everett's first few months. I'll admit, those were hard times for me, and I've been flooded with reminders of sleepless nights and zombie-like days and the unending cry of my colicky baby. But they were also significantly rich times, knitting my heart to the eternal spirit of my beloved boy. I am in awe that I get to do this again; I am so privileged to be entrusted to foster another little soul within my care. I am so excited and nervous, all at once.

Assembling Baby Gear and Creating "Stations".
Stations are going to be my best friend, according to all my mama friends of multiples. I am assembling swings and rockers and pack n plays strategically in different areas of the house (including next to this bed of mine) so that my new little guy can hang out while Everett plays and while I scurry around and do dishes, fold laundry and you know, do the life things.

Buying Last-Minute Items.
Everett might have broken our baby monitor (he's such a Bam-Bam), and we might have lost the cord to his sound machine while we were in New York. There are all kinds of little things that need some upgrading or replacing, and I have been slowly making these purchases so that our budget doesn't balloon out of control in December, which is already the most expensive month of the year. Thankfully, we have most everything we need, so I've just been filling in the blanks here and there. The Cat & Jack section at Target has been a nasty lure, but I've resisted the temptation to buy all the things. I still need to make a few necessary purchases - can anyone recommend some bottles and nursing bras that you really loved?

Blog Collaborations.
I am so grateful for this blog of mine. I love writing and sharing and I especially love the record it's served as a place for our family memories to live. It's opened up some really fun, unexpected opportunities over the past year, and I can honestly say there is nothing that I would rather be doing with my margins of time. In fact, I am trying to figure out how to continue to grow this space and balance the whole motherhood gig. And from now until Christmas I have some really fun collaborations ahead that I'm excited to share, so I am in the process of getting those buttoned up :)

What advice can you lend a mama in the final stage of pregnancy? Any last-minute preparations you made before your baby arrived that made all the difference? I am so open to all input over here - please share in the comments friends! xox

P.S. - I forgot to mention that I got my nails and toes done this week. I rarely forget to pamper ;)

Pregnancy Presents + a Giveaway with That Glow Co.!

Today I'm teaming up with That Glow Co. to share some pregnancy gift ideas and to giveaway a 1st, 2nd or 3rd Trimester Gift Box to one lucky reader! Details below :)

Pregnancy is such a special, insane whirlwind of a time. Especially in the first few months, when you might feel sick (really sick), but you're not really telling people yet. I shared the news with my family and best friends early on, but chose to wait until 14ish weeks to really start telling others.

A few of my dear friends were really thoughtful during those early days of this particular pregnancy. My friend Liz hand delivered some 1st-trimester-friendly snacks right to my door, including her favorite popcorn snack and organic ginger ale. Just a few things that she had grown to love along the way of having her own children. My sweet friend Natalie mailed me a slew of Preggie Pops, because someone had told her those help with early nausea. These little gestures made me feel so loved during a time when I could barely move or take good care of myself. I am so grateful to these sweethearts for taking the extra time to think of me and make me feel special. We all need that during pregnancy!

That Glow Co. curates gift boxes especially with the pregnant mama in mind. Based on which stage you are in your pregnancy, the boxes are tailored for the needs and desires of that particular trimester. They kindly sent me a 2nd-Trimester box, which was stocked with pregnancy essentials, including snack goodies, beauty treats, survival must-haves, even a mocktail! It is packaged so pretty and really would make the perfect gift for that friend, sister, cousin or loved one who is going through the exciting and sometimes challenging season of pregnancy.

A few photos below of our own unboxing situation. P.S. Lately, when anything comes in the mail for me, suddenly my toddler thinks it's a gift for him, too. Repercussions from birthday month. Kid ate all my treats!

This was THE BEST tasting cookie. And it was loaded with folic acid and a slew of other vitamins and minerals, making it a "healthy" cookie?!

For some reason the nail file and nail polish aren't pictured here, but it looked the same shade as what's already on my nails :) Meaning, I love it.

This one made me laugh. A little compact mirror that says, "Objects in mirror are sexier than they appear".

Wine!!! Okay, it's fake wine. But it tasted delish and it was at least from wine country.

See? Kid totally consumed all my treats. It's a good thing I like him so much.


Now for a giveaway! One lucky reader will win a That Glow pregnancy box, in the trimester of your choice. You can choose to send it to yourself (if you're pregnant!) or you can have it mailed as a gift to a loved one who is expectant! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Please note, you must leave a comment on this post in order to be entered for the giveaway :)


Many thanks to That Glow Co. for sending me this gift and sponsoring this giveaway. You can find That Glow Co. on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Baby #2 - A 20 Week Bumpdate.

This has been, simultaneously, the fastest and slowest pregnancy ever. The first trimester dragged on for an eternity and I thought there would be no end in sight with all the nausea, exhaustion and headaches. But oh my goodness, the second trimester is flying by - the only reason I'm able to remember where I'm at in this pregnancy is because the belly of mine is growing like mad. I am definitely bigger this time around than I was with Everett - sometimes I give myself grace like, "hey, it's a second baby, these things happen!", and then sometimes I'm legitimately worried that I'm growing a 19-lb. human inside of me. I've already grown quite a bit since these family photos were taken a few weeks back by the wonderful Rachel Koontz.

I thought it was high time to resume the bumpdates that I had going the last time I was pregnant. Because its fun. And actually, I have been referring back to those bumpdates lately, trying to remember what I felt like back then. So it's helpful, at least to me!


How Far Along: 20 weeks - 5 months!

Gender: Unknown, but only for 1 more day!

Name: haa yeah right. Ideas please??

Sleeping? Yes! Thankfully. Although I'm beginning to think I need the body pillow I used the last time I was pregnant...

Eating: Fruit! And big breakfasts! My appetite has picked up significantly in the past few weeks, and I am hungry around the clock. Though by dinnertime I couldn't care less about eating. So my day starts out really hearty and healthy and kind of peters out... I wish I wanted to eat more vegetables, they are still grossing me out. Stevie's been force-feeding me asparagus and tomatoes. Yuck.

Emotional Check: I feel like my normal self - none of the mood swings I was experiencing during my first pregnancy! I used to cry all the time, but this pregnancy hasn't been anything like that. In fact, I am just feeling really energetic and alive these days. I'm trying to take advantage of this second tri burst of energy before it leaves me in the third tri. Meaning I've got like 6 half-finished house projects going on right now :)

Movement: Yes! I started feeling the baby move around 17 weeks, which was really reassuring and special. Feeling the baby move is always a turning point for me; beginning to feel connected to this alive little person inside. It's pretty remarkable, actually. I love the feeling, and it makes me super grateful that I am able to house this little treasure inside my body.

Looking Forward to: Finding out the gender this week! And going on a babymoon to London this week! <-- We are heading across the pond for a dear friend's wedding, but we are treating this little baby-free getaway as our last big alone trip before we become parents of two. My oh my. The time is passing me by, friends!

Wearing:
BCBG Maxi Dress (old, I've linked to a few similar below)


Stevie and I are doing our best to be intentional as a family of 3 before things change this holiday season. We want Everett to know how special and loved he is, even with all the changes of a new sibling that are upon us. Any ideas on how to get the most out of being a family of three? Any fun ideas for special dates to do with a 2-year old?

A great thanks to Rachel Koontz, Eyesong Photography for taking these lovely photos of my family :)

Christmas Gift.

Even though I've had months to process this news, I still find myself asking, "Are we really ready for this again?" This quickly expanding body and oscillating emotional rush has been exciting, exhausting, and starkly different from the last time around. This first trimester was largely a season of coping for my little family. Stevie traveled for work a lot, Everett ate a lot more chicken nuggets than I like to admit, and I did a fair amount of throwing up. #tmi?

Everett has been working on his brotherhood skills. Like lifting up my dress in public to "see baby" and "hug baby".

Stevie has been wrapping his arms around my expanding middle and praying for this little one's future.

I've been eating bagels. It's been a lot of bagels, guys.

It's a very good question, "Are we really ready for this again?" I guess the answer doesn't really matter, because it's happening! God has a really good track record for knowing better than me and giving opulent gifts that I must navigate how to handle. You know when someone gives you something so much richer, fancier and more perfect than you could have ever given them? That's me, that's my God, and that's this little wonder inside of me. Everett is the magnificent proof that I can do this. I was clueless, dumbfounded and a little ridiculous, and somehow a story of motherhood has woven itself so wonderfully into my life by way of his vivacious presence.

And speaking of gifts, this baby in my belly is coming home for Christmas. :) Oh December, we anxiously await you!