Gray and pink for baby Leanna

Happy due date, baby girl! Yes, I’m still pregnant, and this little lady doesn’t seem to be making any moves. Regardless of when she decides to come, we’re as ready as we can be for her! Putting the nursery together was a lot of fun, and I love the way it turned out. We wanted to make sure it was a calm, sweet space for her (and for us, since we’ll be spending plenty of time in there I’m sure!).

We tried to keep things fairly neutral, with a few fun pops of color throughout.

We started with nice, gray walls. Luckily, when we moved in, we painted the whole house this color so we didn’t have any major painting to do! My mom and I found the fabric for the window treatments and table at Mill Outlet Village off Durant Rd. in Raleigh – it was a lot of fun to find and really got me excited about the nursery as a whole. I love the way they turned out together.

DSC_0405We got the awesome glider chair from my grandfather’s store. It’s so comfortable and way too easy to fall asleep in.DSC_0397

Chair side table

That’s obviously not Leanna in the frame, just a baby I borrowed to make the room feel more real. :) My sister and I found this antique milk glass lamp at a little store in West Jefferson over the summer. When we saw it on display, we knew we had to have it! It was in great shape, and with a little cleaning, looks great on the table. The framed prayer was given to us by my Aunt Martha, and the little keepsake box from Adam’s Aunt Cathy. The plate is part of a sweet handpainted set given to us by our family friend, Phyllis, who is basically an aunt. :) The frame with the cute baby in it is from my parents.

Adam and I both have a love for the outdoors, and wanted to incorporate that into her room somehow. We hope she’ll discover the same love for the outdoors, and we can’t wait to take her on adventures. We found these sweet watercolor animal prints on Etsy for above her crib – my favorite is the little hedgehog, and Adam loves the bear.

We stuck with gray for her crib, and added one more animal to the mix with the little lamb mobile that will hopefully help lull her to sleep.

DSC_0398 DSC_0399 DSC_0408 DSC_0409For above her changing table, I found an antique window for $12 at a store in West Jefferson over the summer. I was going to get super crafty and make her a banner for it, but I realized that someone on Etsy could probably do it way better than me. I was right! :)

We got the dresser from my grandfather’s store, and I hope it’ll transition into a “big girl” piece of furniture for her one day. We got the baskets from Pottery Barn Kids, and who knows if I’ve got them stocked with the right things! :) I figure as long as diapers and wipes are within reach, we’ll be in good shape.


My mom had a bookshelf/media piece at home that fit perfectly with the other furniture we found. We were happy to take it off her hands! I can’t wait to start reading to her – so many of the books we’ve received from family and friends are some of my favorites from childhood, and a lot of new ones too!

The little “Isn’t she lovely” print was a gift from my dear friend Jessica, and the frame with her ultrasound was one of the first gifts we received (from Adam’s sister Andrea, her husband Matt and our two nieces). The basket is full of sweet soft animals for her to squeeze on, and of course, the always sought-after Sophie the Giraffe to chew on (Otis has already identified that he likes that toy a lot. We may be in trouble.)


DSC_0407All-in-all, Leanna’s room is full of love from people in our lives. We are so grateful for all the sweet gifts, thoughtful prayers and well-wishes that we’ve been given over the past nine months or so. The Lord has blessed us so richly with loving family and friends, and I’m so grateful that Leanna will have the same. We can’t wait for her to arrive! Any day now…

Change is coming

We’re one week away from baby Leanna’s due date, and let’s face it, she could really come any time now! It’s hard to believe that after all the waiting, we’re about to meet our daughter. I can distinctly remember wishing back in March/April that I would start showing more so that I felt pregnant and not just chubby. There’s no denying it now. There’s a baby in there and she’s about to come out!

The nursery is ready and the hospital bag is packed. Now, we wait.

And if you know me, waiting is not my forte. And change isn’t either.

Adam and I have been talking a lot about how much our lives will change, but we keep reminding ourselves that while things will be different, they’ll be better. They’ll be better in ways we can’t comprehend right now because, well, we’ve never had a kid before. I find myself worrying over irrational things like, “Will Otis think he’s not loved?” and “Will I ever enjoy cooking a meal again?”

Again, irrational.

But, I think that through it all, God is showing me that change is a necessary part of growth. I know it’ll be hard, but it’ll also be so much fun.

It’s appropriate that as our lives are about to change, the seasons are shifting too. To me, fall is the most visible shift for the seasons. I feel like all of the other seasons gradually fade into place, but not fall. Fall comes with some drama. In the south, we deal with humidity throughout the whole summer, and then we wake up one morning and it’s crisp. Within a few weeks, the trees put on a show and we truly have a reprieve from the summer heat.

Fall reminds us that some of the old things have to pass away for us to be made new again. As we prepare to become parents (holy cow), I know that some things are going to have to fade away to make room for the new. I’m coming to terms with the fact that things have to change – I just don’t know what they are yet. But, I believe that for each thing I have to push back, I’ll gain something better.

Change helps us grow. And I know this little girl kicking around in my belly is going to help us grow and love in ways we never knew possible.

Sweet girl, we love you so much already, and we can’t wait to meet you soon.

Just a few essentials

I can’t believe I’m only one week away from my THIRD trimester. Our little girl is now the size of a bunch of bananas (thank you, weird apps for giving me such an odd size for my baby) and is getting bigger every day.

As I’ve been reflecting on the past 27 weeks, the biggest thing that comes to my mind is how fast it’s all gone by. It’s still amazing to me that God is knitting together our daughter in my womb, and that He does it all in nine months. There’s so much beauty in that, and I don’t want to forget it. I did find myself wishing I’d written more down, so here goes!

I’ve started a pretty good list of essential items for pregnancy. These are things that worked great for me, and many of them came at the recommendation of friends. Here are just a few:

Mama Bee Belly Butter

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
I just started using this a few weeks ago, and boy, is it the bomb. I love it because it doesn’t have a scent and it keeps my stretching stomach moisturized all day. I haven’t had any trouble with stretch marks yet, so hopefully this will only keep the good trend going! For $13, it’s totally worth it and it lasts.

Maternity Tank Tops
I started wearing these in the first trimester and they’ll probably carry me all the way through. Basically, they’re just stretchy, long tank tops that hold you together and shape you up so you feel good and look good in your clothes. Because, let’s face it, your stomach isn’t the only thing (or the first thing) that grows when you’re pregnant. Target’s are awesome, and they carry them in the colors boring people like me need most – black and white.

A Giant Water Bottle
Go ahead and start drinking water from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. It makes you feel better, and yes, it makes you pee more. Go ahead and embrace the stereotype and invest in a good water bottle. I’ve got a Camelbak Eddy (pictured) and I love it because it has a straw, allowing me to drink without using my hands. Lazy hydration at its best.

Tracker Short IIILululemon Tracker Short III *4-way stretch*
I’ve continued exercising throughout my pregnancy, which I’ll share more about in another post. These shorts are the ticket. Yes, they’re a little expensive ($54), but I’ve heard from numerous friends who have bought in a size up (as I did) and then sold the shorts on ebay after baby (or just saved them for their next pregnancy). These babies hold up, and they have a large, stretchy waistband that allows for your growing gut. Just throw them on with a long tank or tee and you’re ready to go!

Target Underwar
I noticed near the end of my first trimester that my Victoria’s Secret standbys weren’t doing the trick. Ladies – you want to be comfortable. Just give in, go to Target, and buy some big, cotton underwear. They feel amazing, even if you’re only wearing them around the house.

Vicks VapoRub/Nasal Strips
One thing nobody ever told me about pregnancy was how a stuffy nose might follow you the entire time. This has been the case for me, and is often why I don’t sleep well at night. The best news? There are very few things you can take for congestion while pregnant, and I didn’t feel comfortable popping a pill every night. I toughed it out for a while, but eventually found some relief with Vicks VapoRub (just a little bit under my nose right before bed) and nasal strips. I usually do one or the other – sometimes I get tired of the strips because they make my nose itch (and you can’t scratch because you’ve got a giant band-aid on your face). Either way, these are good to have in the cabinet.

I also finally gave in and bought a Snoogle pillow. It takes up our whole bed, basically, so I hope it works. Tonight, I try it for the first time! Stay tuned.

These are just a few of the things that I’ve loved having around for pregnancy. The rest are mostly food items, because Mama’s got to eat. I’m sure the third trimester will bring on a few more products, and I’ll do my best to share my favorites! Week 27, here we come!

It’s a girl!

A few weeks ago, we hosted a gender reveal party for family and a few friends. Adam and I knew the gender going into the party, and I’m so glad we did. Here I was thinking it was a boy the whole time and when the ultrasound tech proudly announced it was a girl (and, it was VERY clearly a girl on the screen), I think I went into a bit of shock. Not that I wasn’t thrilled – I was just so surprised after being so sure I knew what baby Pike was.

It was a lot of fun to have a little secret for a few days – it gave us the chance to dream about our little girl and talk about her just the two of us.

Family helped us out with the food for the party – we did BBQ chicken sliders (which were absolutely delicious), my grandmother made her awesome coleslaw and my mother-in-law whipped up a tasty pasta salad. I had a few finger foods out and made some sangria. It was a fun, laid-back afternoon at the house.

For the big reveal, I had some cupcakes made from my favorite dessert place in Raleigh – The Cupcake Shop. I was tempted to get my favorite flavor (strawberry) but I figured that would give away what we were having right away. Instead, they filled some of their vanilla cupcakes with a pink buttercream that you could only see after taking a bite.

And boy, was that an exciting bite! It was so fun to see everyones’ reactions and to celebrate together. That was definitely my favorite part of the whole day. My grandfather, B-Bob wasn’t able to come, but we sent a cupcake home and had him bite into it to find out. My aunt said he just looked up and smiled – so glad he got to have the surprise too. Check out a few fun pictures of the day:

DSC_0266 DSC_0268 DSC_0270 DSC_0272 DSC_0273 DSC_0274 DSC_0275 DSC_0277 DSC_0279 DSC_0280 DSC_0283 DSC_0284 DSC_0286 DSC_0287 DSC_0288 DSC_0290 DSC_0291 DSC_0293 DSC_0295 DSC_0300 DSC_0302 DSC_0303 DSC_0304 DSC_0305 DSC_0308 DSC_0311 DSC_0313 DSC_0314 DSC_0322 DSC_0341 DSC_0342 DSC_0343

Why turkey isn’t the all-time star of Thanksgiving

Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.

Sure, it graces the cover of the November Southern Living issue in all its glazed and basted glory. It takes centerstage on dining room across the country, all while in your head you’re carving the dang bird like a Norman Rockwell illustration. NOTE: Nobody looks like that family, no matter how hard you try. Why? Because nobody is really that excited about the big bird we associate with Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong. I could eat a turkey sandwich every day, but that doesn’t mean turkey is my number one draft pick on the last Thursday of November. When I PHD (pile it high and deep – thanks to my great-grandfather for that expression) on Thanksgiving, my plate most definitely includes the following, listed in order of importance:

Dressing. Holy moly whoever came up with the idea to put this mess in a casserole dish deserves a MAJOR AWARD. End of story.

Sweet potato casserole. Any time you can mix a delicious, nutrient-packed vegetable with gobs of sugar and delicious sweetness, it’s a party. Sign me up.

Corn pudding. My grandmother’s famous recipe lives on, and even though we eat it throughout the year, it’s a top pick for Thanksgiving.

Bread. Straight up carbs. They rule. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Ham. I love nothing more than sneaking a few tiny pieces off the plate before everyone comes in to make the rounds. Give me that honey baked goodness.

Everything else at Thanksgiving is fantastic, but that’s my starting five. I’m pretty sure my pants are a little tighter after last week’s festivities, but I don’t feel bad about it. Not one bit. Bring on the Christmas festivities, y’all!

Late-night food (with recipe!)

Post adjustment: This night, I also managed to set off the smoke alarm. Watch out.

And no, I’m not talking about grabbing a huge heat-lamp warmed slice from I Heart NY Pizza on Franklin Street. I’m talking about the kind we’re making right now in our oven on Chapanoke Rd. It’s almost 10 p.m. and we’re working on dinner. And I don’t want to forget it. :)

This happens more often than not at our house. No matter how hard I try to get things prepped ahead of time, we always manage to eat deep into the evening. One day, I hope I don’t look back and pretend everything was perfect and that all my meals were well-plated and served with a smile by 7 p.m.

In this fantasy, I’m also wearing a cute apron, pencil skirt and heels, because that’s what they do in the commercials. Oh, and I have arms like Kelly Rippa. And my dog is well-behaved.

The point is, life isn’t perfect and I like that our dinners take time. I hate that I apologize incessantly for how late we eat (to my audience of one, Adam), so I guess this is my way of saying I’m not really that sorry. I like that we eat late-night food because sometimes it means we have one more glass of wine than we ought on a weeknight – gettin’ crazy in my late twenties. Look out.

And, it makes our evenings together just the two of us (well three, hey there Otis I love you too) just a teensie bit longer. These days are precious, why not make them last?

So, in short, we eat late. And I make a mess. But it’s a mess I love.

Pizza with brown sugar veggies and prosciutto

  • Pizza dough ball (I buy mine at the grocery store – one of these days I’ll give it a go of making it myself. But that day ain’t today, sister.)
  • Olive oil
  • One half a red onion
  • One red bell pepper
  • One green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 10 ounces, weight fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (TIP: put it in the freezer before slicing. It makes you not want to curse at a ball of flimsy cheese.)
  • 8 slices prosciutto (you can add more cause this stuff is delicious)

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees (put your pizza stone or pan in the oven as it preheats).

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, peppers and brown sugar and toss/stir for several minutes, or until onions are brown and cooked. Set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on a pizza stone covered with cornmeal. Drizzle on olive oil, sprinkle on a little salt, followed by a little Parmesan.

Lay slices of mozzarella evenly over the top of the crust. Arrange caramelized onions over the top of the mozzarella. Randomly lay slices of prosciutto over the onions. Om, nom nom.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into squares. Serve immediately and delight in your amazing ability to be awesome. You Italian goddess, you.

Simple steps to achieve a perfect, lazy Sunday afternoon

Alternate title: The afternoon I wish I had every week

Ah, Sundays. They’re always so full of promise. The last day before we go back to the grind, and, as the good Lord says, they’re meant to be a day of rest. I’ve had my fair share of lazy Sundays after church, but here lately, I haven’t had too many. There’s always something I need to clean, an errand I need to run, a project I need to tackle. That’s all well and good, but this post is all about achieving rest on Sundays.

Step One: Get all of your ducks in a row the week prior. Make grocery lists, get supplies for any projects and shake all your stress out before the weekend hits. Note: this is something I hardly EVER do. I tend to throw my grocery list together on Sunday, and the later it gets, the more I hate getting out of the house. By getting things together a few days early, I can give myself more unplanned time on Sundays.

Step Two: Pray for rain. Nobody wants to stay inside on a pretty day. If the weather is good, pray you have a cold or something like that.

Step Three: Stake out your spot on the couch. One thing I’m VERY excited about for our new house is that we’ll have TWO living room couches. Adam, I’ve loved splitting a couch with you over the years, but I ain’t gonna lie – I’m pretty pumped about having my own sofa space soon.

Step Four: Throw a bunch of tasty things in a crock pot. Since our crock pot is out of commission for a few more weeks (packed up in storage until we move), I had to settle for a hearty shepherd’s pie today. Too much work. What’s awesome is chili or something that ends with shredded chicken and other delicious flavors. All while you’re on the couch. Breathing in the goodness. Now, that’s afternoon delight.

Step Five: Throw that to-do list you had out the window. If you didn’t get it done on Saturday, it’s probably OK to save it for a weeknight or next Saturday. This is something I rarely am able to do. If laundry isn’t running and I haven’t bleached something, I just don’t feel right. But, I think it’s important to have a lazy Sunday every now and then, so I’m hoping I can achieve the elusive step five sometime soon.

Step Six: Kick back. Relax. And stop stressing! It’s Sunday, and yes, you have to go back to work tomorrow, but why wish the day away when you’ve got it?!

Now, where’s that rain…?