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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Antelope Island :: 26 Weeks

After our birthing class on Saturday, my cute husband took me out to Antelope Island for a romantic little date - watching the sunset on a blanket with our picnic. We have so many memories here - this is where we first told each other we loved each other and held hands. I love coming back here and remembering all of those sweet times and relishing in new memories. I love these few photos we took - can't wait to bring our baby here on many future family adventures!

These photos are totally blurry but I still loved them so tried to sharpen them a bit and post them anyway.

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Bumpdate" :: 26 Weeks

Pregnancy is different for everyone. I have to say, for the most part, I have loved pregnancy! I think I love it so much because I am constantly amazed by what our bodies can do. Growing a baby is truly such a miracle. I am so proud to be a woman.

Since I'm just getting around to blogging about our announcement/gender reveal, I'm going to share updates from throughout my pregnancy so far and then I plan to post updates every 2-4 weeks or so.

First trimester: Challenging. With Rheumatoid Arthritis, I was off all medication and I started to flare quite a bit, all throughout the month of November. That combined with the afternoon nausea (started at 2-3pm everyday without fail) was no fun but honestly, it passed quickly. Based on what I had heard, I thought it would be worse but by the time we found out and then the nausea started, it was really only a month/month and a half before second trimester. I have not thrown up at all during this pregnancy so I consider that one of the best blessings. I was a little lax with my typical healthy eating because bread and cheese were all that sounded okay to ward off the nausea. I ate a few too many nachos, quesadillas, and grilled cheese. I was so tired the first trimester throughout the work week, I would come home and each day go to bed 30-60 minutes earlier than the night before; by Thursday night some weeks, I was going to bed at 6:30pm - no joke! I also had this weird dry mouth - I even attempted to make my own "moisturizing toothpaste" and it didn't help. 

14 and 15 weeks - I really thought I had a bump then...not quite!
On the way to the gym...somehow this is when we already remembered to take photos (haha).

Second trimester: Exactly as everyone tells you - as soon as I hit second trimester, instant relief and enjoyment! As I look back on my second trimester, I would do it all over again. I started to exercise again (because I finally had the energy) and hardly felt/looked pregnant until I reached closer to 20 weeks. A few times I asked myself, "Am I really pregnant?" I'm finally starting to feel pregnant in the last few weeks of my second tri.

Some fun(ny) moments so far:
  • Feeling baby move in my stomach at 19 weeks, it felt like little butterflies or fish in my tummy. Baby moves more and more every day now! 
  • Even better, Braden feeling baby boy move for the first time just before 20 weeks - we were sitting on the couch at home on a Friday night and he put his hand on my tummy and baby pulled out his ninja skills. The movement was light but obvious and Braden's eyes lit right up! "Was that baby?" Now Braden puts his hand on my belly and talks to baby every night before bed. 
  • When baby moves in my tummy, Braden says "it is like whack-a-mole!" Don't worry, we don't "whack" too hard!
  • Our first ultrasound at 20 weeks - it's a boy! And it was so cool to see all of the organs and spine on our little baby boy.
  • "Bumping" around on the beach, I was so excited when my cute baby bump decided to appear on our trip to the Philippines/China - ask all of my family, friends and colleagues, I wanted so badly to look pregnant for so long and it finally happened!
  • Eating hot wings every night for 3 days because it is the only thing that sounded good.
  • Subway sandwiches...I didn't crave them per se but wanted them a few different times (which is never the case when I'm not pregnant). I think it was just because I love love love banana peppers, especially on a subway sandwich. And don't worry, I had them heat up my deli meat 45 seconds to make sure it was safe from listeria. 
  • Feeling so nauseous one time, the only thing that could make me feel better was a crisp bean burrito from Taco Time - seriously? 
  • That one time I ate a small package of red vines for dinner...that's it. Many missed dinners during first trimester. 
  • I have not had a lot of cravings and for the most part, continue to eat a healthy,varied diet but man, when you want something, you want it now
Now at 26 weeks, baby is as big as a head of lettuce, almost 2 pounds or so. I've gained about 15 pounds now. I'm wearing only maternity clothes (starting about 23 weeks). My belly button is still in but feels like it is more stretched by the day. Tummy is getting nice and round. Sleep is slowly getting more challenging and I wake up a couple times during the night to go to the bathroom. The hardest part about sleeping is the pregnancy dreams. These are the worst. I have had the strangest dreams, most of which have nothing to do with my baby but are rather just really creepy. I'll spare you any details. 

The best moment this week was Bray putting his hands under my belly while I was sleeping and he said he could feel baby's spine and everything as he was kicking around. Baby is moving so much lately and Braden and I both just love it. 

I'm most looking forward to birthing my baby boy and welcoming him into the world. People think I am crazy when I say this but I'm excited to experience birth and see what my body can do. I attended the most amazing breastfeeding class this weekend with Lactation Link and I feel so much more prepared and excited to bond with my baby boy through breastfeeding.

I'm currently reading Bringing Up Bébé and loving it! I may have to share some highlights when I'm finished. 

And here are a few "bump" photos so far:

19 weeks! Excited to finally see an itty bitty bump. 

{20 weeks} 
This is from our gender reveal party.

21 weeks in China - I had so many layers on in this photo because it was so cold!

And then bumpin' it on the beach at 22 weeks...

almost {24 weeks}

And today at 26 weeks (don't mind my messy bed)...I've definitely popped!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mini Gender Reveal :: {It's a boy!}

Braden and I had so much fun putting together a mini gender reveal party. We planned it for the day of our first, 20-week ultrasound,  also when we found out the gender. Our ultrasound was at 2:30 and the party was at 6 so thank goodness we did not have to wait too long. I think everyone was anxious. My mom kept texting me bribes to try to find out early...hahaha. I was filled with so much anticipation. Our ultrasound went so smoothly and we loved seeing baby boy move around in my tummy and everything looked perfect for that point in my pregnancy. 

We talked about so many different ways of doing our party: balloon popping with confetti, slicing the cake, opening a present with gender-specific baby clothes, etc. We landed on the balloon because we thought it would be the cheapest and simplest option. It was pretty simple, but not super cheap. Here is what we spent on the gender reveal party overall:
  • $28 for solid gold balloon off Etsy - we got it with the two blue and pink confetti so we could just bring them both to the store after our ultrasound - we did pay a little extra for faster shipping, we researched and researched (looking on amazon multiple times) but could not find a large gold balloon anywhere like this one we found on Etsy
  • $15 just to blow it up at Zurchers because the balloon was so big (we thought this would only be a dollar or two)
  • $30 for additional balloons and decor
Overall, the balloon cost us just over $40 whereas a cake/cupcakes would have cost us about the same or less and the baby clothes could have been even cheaper. Cost was not a concern for us but just saying, a balloon is not necessarily the most cost efficient way to go if you want the big, gold impressive balloon like I did ;) 

^Braden made this adorable, yummy lemon cake and I did the gold lettering for the top of the cake

Before we popped the balloon, we went around the room and had everyone say their guess for the baby's gender. 13/15 people said they thought it was a girl. Well, see for yourself ::

It's a BOY!

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the video: 

^My absolute shock and excitement to find out we are having a baby BOY! I just can't wait to have a mini Braden running around. I hope he is exactly like my sweet husband. If I have a "Braden baby," we will be golden. 

Even though I thought baby was a girl, I must have instinctively known it was a boy because I wore blue to the gender reveal party ;)

20 weeks pregnant and finally "popping" - I am loving every moment of pregnancy!



I have been getting a little "crafty" lately - which if you know me, you know I do not craft. But this sign turned out so cute! I didn't want to spend $15-20 on etsy for a sign like this so I spent about $3 and made it myself instead. 

We are so excited to welcome this beautiful baby boy into our home!

We loved having a some family and close friends here to celebrate this moment with us. We love you all!

The party was so much fun and we are glad we did it. We cleaned up the confetti immediately that night but needless to say, we are still finding little pieces of blue confetti around our house :) 

We are putting the final touches on the nursery and will be sharing photos soon. We LOVE how it is turning out!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Life Lately :: Winter

We love living in a place with four is so fun to see how the plants and sun change throughout the course of a year. Although I do enjoy every season, winter is not my favorite. But we have fun as much as we can and find the little joys in winter in Utah!

Exploring around our new home and walking around at Big Cottonwood Regional Park - we love the trails there and the fun playsets. Perfect place for a Sunday afternoon walk.

^ Hanging out with our cute nephew, Hayes. He is quite the little chef! Braden was making me a salad and he pulled up a chair and started cutting tomatoes and lettuce with a butter knife...adorable!

^ Braden also built the tallest lego tower with him...Hayes loved that!

^ Hayes in his cute little kids basketball tournament!

^ We had another Empower Mali Board Meeting while Yeah was in town. It was so fun to see this dear friend traveling all the way from India! Even more fun, I was about 19 weeks pregnant can hardly tell.

Ice skating with our cute {second} cousins on New Year's Day. It was an adventure but this little girl, Darby, did not give up. Braden was {as always} so cute with the kids.

^ This basically describes my January...I was trying to nail the messy bun because you know, #momhair but still no luck. So this is pretty perfect for me.

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Drives through the canyon are always a perfect way to relish in winter beauty.

Skiing at Solitude

Even though I was pregnant this ski season, we still made it a priority to go skiing a couple of times while I still could {i.e. before I got too big and could still fit in my ski pants}. We had a free ski pass to Solitude and Powder Mountain from the Warren Miller Movie (plays every October) so we made good use.

Solitude was absolutely amazing! It has recently snowed so it was the perfect powdery, bluebird day.

The highlight of the day was definitely going down a steep, groomed black. Somehow Avee fell backwards on her butt and slid all the way down...she started to head into these trees and we freaked out. It was hilarious!

^ Look at that snow! It is literally shining.

Ice Castles in Midway

The ice castles are always a fun treat during the winter. It's a little far out there in Midway but worth it for a good time. The kids especially love it and we cannot wait to take our little there! You have to snatch tickets quickly because our winters in Utah have been so warm the last couple of years and the ice castles are not open for long before they start to melt.


^ These ice slides are so cool! The line is so long but the kids absolutely love sliding down on trash bags.

^ Baby bump at almost 20 weeks!

Skiing at Powder

And our last ski day for the season was at Powder...such a beautiful, big resort! We had so much fun and always look forward to going back.

^ It's a little dark but cute Braden wrote "I <3 Liz" in the snow and took a photo with the gopro...always a charmer. I love my cute husband.