Meet Jack!

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Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Sorry that I have been MIA on here, but also…not really sorry because I have been on a “maternity leave” of sorts! :)

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Everyone, meet baby Jack!

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Jack Benjamin Cohen was born on September 18th and he is perfect! We are so very in love with him…especially James! Seriously, watching James with his baby brother is about the cutest thing I have ever witnessed. James’ transition into the role of Big Brother has gone so much more smoothly than I was expecting and I’m so so very proud of him. He loves kissing Jack, doing tummy time with him, and he always includes him when we’re going to do things. For example, I’ll say, “Come on James, time to go to music class!” and he’ll shout, “And JACK JACK TOO!” haha He’s so sweet. I am so happy that my boys will have each other as they grow up.

So, back to Jack! He was 7lbs 15oz and 20inches when he was born - smaller than James. James was 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches. But, Jack was also born earlier than James was, at 38 weeks 3 days. Jack looks so much like James, but also very different. Jack’s nose is much pointier than James’, and Jack has a pointier chin as well. James has Ben’s strong chin (and under bite, which is the cutest), whereas it looks like Jack might have more of my jaw line. We’ll see! But Jack is blonde with big blue eyes, just like his brother. :)

Life with two kids is hard, but wonderful. But hard…haha I’ll do a whole blog post on this soon. Currently, we’re just figuring things out and settling into our new normal as a family of four (five!! Sorry Gunner!)

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I’ll be posting Jack’s birth story in the next few days so check back for that! If you’d like to read James’ birth story in the meantime, you can click here.

Thank you all for following along during my pregnancy, and for all of the continued prayers, words of encouragement, and love! I’m so thankful for you all and for the opportunity to have a “normal”, uneventful, scare-free pregnancy!

So thankful for my beautiful boys! And for all of YOU.

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Mommy Monday: 33 weeks pregnant with number two!

33 weeks! Yay! Getting so close!!

So, I have a new symptom this past week that I did NOT have with James. It is excruciating hip/pelvis pain...definitely NOT labor pain or contractions or anything. It's like...joint/nerve pain in my groin and hips and pelvis and it is SOOO PAINFUL. When it "flares up" I can't even really walk and it takes my breath away.

Now, before I get scolded for not going to my doctor, let me reiterate: this is NOT labor pain or contractions. Trust me I'm sure of that. It's definitely pain from everything loosening up, and pressure being put on my pelvis and nerves. And I have my next appointment with my doctor next week, so I will definitely talk to her about it then. But I'm sure there is probably nothing to be done about it, because I've done some research and it sounds like this is something that some women have during the last bit of pregnancy and you just have to ride it out. It's ROUGH though!

Have any of you experienced this during pregnancy?? Any tips?

These days, I am just so achey and exhausted and I haven't been working out - I do go for walks pushing James in the stroller about 4-5 days a week and I usually go 2-3 miles. But, other than that I have been just giving everything I have to stay awake and to keep the house from becoming a total disaster. This whole pelvis pain has not been making it any easier!

BUT, there is the occasional day where I feel full of energy and strong, and today was one of those days, and you better believe I took advantage! I got so much cleaning done AND I got in a prenatal booty workout from Knocked Up Fitness (click here for the prenatal workout program I'm doing)

Ok, that's all for this week! At my doctor's appointment next week I'll be scheduling my final ultrasound and my cerclage removal...things are getting real, guys!! I'll for sure update you guys when I have all the details!

Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 33 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 3.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? Lots! All above and around my belly button.

Sleep: Definitely experiencing more insomnia, and when I DO sleep, getting up around five times during the night to pee!

Best moment this week: As I put James to bed the other night, he kept giving me the hugest hugs and kisses and holding me so tight. He wouldn’t let me leave. I finally laid my head down on his bed beside him to try to help him fall asleep and he stroked my face and arms and hair for 15 minutes just staring at me. I finally left him, and within 5 minutes I got a text from my husband. His office is right next door to James’ bedroom. His text said: “He’s singing. Sounds like it’s about you.” I LOST IT. Like ugly crying so hard. Because how in the world did I get so blessed as to be loved SO much, so purely by that sweet little human? I swear, motherhood will rip you to your core, humble you, and make you ache in the BEST way possible. I can’t imagine how my heart could possibly grow any more without bursting! But I know somehow it certainly will and that both scares and thrills me.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Apple Jacks!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm huge! People are frequently telling me I look like I'm going to explode. It's lovely.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy! But definitely moody/sensitive/cranky...etc...

Symptoms: Pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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Mommy Monday: 31 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Happy Monday!

I hit the 31 week mark on Saturday, and I am so incredibly thankful to be feeling so well still! This pregnancy has been such a blessing...easy, fast, "normal"... I can't stop thanking God for this experience.

Today, James was sitting next to me on the couch and I felt the baby kicking. I asked J if he wanted to feel the baby, and placed his little hands on my stomach. James felt kicks and looked at me with this really amazed smile on his face and his eyes gleamed. Then, he laid his head on my stomach, and wrapped his arms around it, and just held his baby brother...it was seriously so special and so sweet. But THEN, as if that wasn't adorable enough, J jumped up, ran over and grabbed his water cup. He brought it over and held it up to my stomach, giving his baby brother a drink. I almost died, it was the most precious, sweet thing I have ever seen. I'm so proud of James...he's a truly one-of-a-kind little boy and he is already the best big brother!

James and I made no-bake toddler cookies and they turned out so yummy! James had so much fun making them and he did a really great job. He was very focused, haha. Baking is serious business! You can get the recipe we used for these cookies HERE

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 31 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 1.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Not great!

Best moment this week: James hugging his baby brother in my tummy and sharing his water with him. I mean, what more could a mama ask for? :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Oh boy, yes haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out...it looks kind of like a unicorn...haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. But a little cranky. And A LOT emotional. haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, at night heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Thanks for following along! I love all of the e-mails and messages that I get from you guys! This is such a fun community, and I am so grateful to have connected with each of you!

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10 Things + Life Lately

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Hi friends!

I thought I'd just share a little life update in the form of 10 random things!

  1. James has started becoming really attached to certain toys and it is the cutest. In particular, he loves his stuffed animal raccoon. He'll bring it to the kitchen table and use his little kitchen set to make meals for the raccoon, complete with plate, cup, silverware, etc... It's the sweetest thing!
  2. Ben started an MBA program this past spring and I am so proud of him! He is working full-time at Amazon still (more than full-time, actually) as well as doing full time graduate school. Plus we're having a new baby soon... I keep joking that this will be the year Ben has a breakdown. haha But really, he is amazing. We are so blessed to have him as the head of our family.
  3. I started a garden! I know I mentioned it before, but it has truly become a hobby that I love. I plan on doing a whole blog post about starting a garden soon, so let me know if you have any questions. I'm CERTAINLY no expert, haha. But I can share MY experience with getting started and why I love it so much.
  4. Ben and I both turn 30 years old soon!! Ben's birthday is next week and mine is end of September. It feels so weird, but I am also really excited. There is just something about the idea of being in my thirties that is appealing! Just seems so grown up and settled and like no pressure or...I don't know how to describe it. Do you know what I mean? We'll also be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary next week!!
  5. James started doing the cutest thing. He goes "WOOOOOOOOWWWW!" haha Today I was watering the plants and when the water would spray funny or blow in the wind James would smile big and go "wwoooooowwwwwww1" and just get this big wide-eyed look on his face. He is the very best.
  6. Ben and I feel bad for Gunner (our dog) because before we had James, Gunner was our baby. We did EVERYTHING with Gunner. We took him on hikes and backpacking trips. We snuggled all the time. I took Gunner on two long walks a day. Now, he definitely does not get as much attention. It makes me so sad to think about, but it's really hard to give the same kind of attention to a pet once a child comes around. Ben and I are planning a "Gunner Day" for Gunner's 10th birthday in August. We're going to have my mom watch James for the day and take Gunner for a hike and buy him a cheeseburger and spoil him rotten with attention. :) Because soon, there will be ANOTHER baby...sorry Gunner! haha
  7. I was in need of a new water bottle, and Ben got me THIS ONE (click here) and I am OBSESSED! It keeps my water cold for hours...like, even keeps icecubes in it for a really really long time. I drink so much more water now that I have it! Plus it is the PRETTIEST seafoam color. I highly recommend it. I want the bigger version now, in pink!
  8. We've almost lived in our new house for a year! I can't believe it! I love this house so much!
  9. James' second birthday party is in less than two weeks (as is his second birthday). It's going to be a construction zone themed party and he is already getting so excited for it! He carries around one of his invitations and asks me to read it to him and walks around wearing one of the construction hats that we have for party favors. haha I can't wait for him to have a special day celebrating what a wonderful boy he is! I'll do a blog post about the party and all the decorations!
  10. Ben and I have been binge watching The Sapranos. Neither of us had seen it yet, and we are hooked!! It's so good. Have you seen it? What are some other good shows that we should watch next?

Have a great night, friends!

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Mommy Monday: 27 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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27 weeks pregnant, and feeling great! Although, some new symptoms: bloody noses (I had these  A TON when I was pregnant with James!), and heartburn!

So, last Monday, I had my one hour test to check for gestational diabetes. I found out the next day that I had failed that one hour test and therefore had to go in and do the three hour test. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with James, so I wasn't too worried about it. It was more of just a pain, because for the three hour test I had to fast (no coffee even!!), and it takes ...THREE HOURS. So, just kind of miserable and inconvenient.

But I did it last Wednesday, and I found out on Friday that I PASSED! Woohoo, so NO gestational diabetes for me! Hooray! Bring on the doughnuts! ;)

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Today I got my hair cut - three inches off and it feels SO much healthier!! The last time I got it cut was...November?? haha So it was WAAAYY over due. Here are some before and afters - nothing drastic, but just way healthier!!

I think that's all for now! This is my last week in the second trimester - so next Mommy Monday post will be the start of my THIRD TRIMESTER! Seriously, where is the time going? I've started sorting through James' baby clothes and getting them all moved into the dresser for baby boy number two. It's making me so emotional but also so excited. James has been helping me go through his old clothes and it is just so so cute! He has so much fun looking at them all, haha.

I'm really feeling emotional about the fact that there are less than 13 weeks left in this pregnancy, meaning only 13ish weeks left of it JUST being James. I know it will be so great and fun and happy (and hard, haha). But I can't help but think about how precious this time is with just James - just me and him, one on one every day. I will miss this era. It's such a special time in life that we wont get back and I'm so thankful for it. I love that little boy so incredibly much! How is he going to be TWO YEARS OLD in a few weeks?!?!?!

Alright, onto this week's survey:

How far along: 27 weeks 2 days - almost to the THIRD trimester!!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last week's appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yep! All maternity at this point! I'm big, guys. Real big. haha

Stretch marks? A ton around and above my belly button! Aaaahhh, motherhood. :)

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Finding out I passed the glucose test!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! He is an active little boy! So much fun! I will miss feeling him move once he is born, since we aren't planning on having any more kids. It's such a special experience!

Food cravings: Pasta, doughnuts, fruit, ice cream... HA

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! Big time!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Some (very few) Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? The top part is out, the bottom part is in.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: MOODY/emotional

Symptoms: Bloody noses, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, tired, crying at nothing... It's great! hahaha

Thank you for your continued prayers and good vibes! It is SO incredibly wonderful to be able to experience a "normal" pregnancy!! Only 9ish weeks until I get my cerclage out! Woohoo!

 

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How To Cultivate A Peaceful Morning With A Toddler

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My robe is from Pinkblush: Click here to shop

Hi friends!

As a mama, there can be a big adjustment when it comes to mornings. What used to be a quiet, slow, calm time of day, with young kids morning time has the tendency to be hectic, loud, and wild. I used to savor the quiet of the mornings. I used to ease into my day with a cup of coffee and the news and meditation...it was a time of quiet reflection, planning out the day ahead, and setting the tone for a positive, collected, productive day.

But when you have a little one, you are often times jarred awake by a cry or a "MAAAMAAAAA" and with that you are thrust into the day, full-speed ahead. Screaming, yelling, running, throwing, playing, clanking, scrambling to get a breakfast together...it's definitely a far-cry from the days of quietly easing into your day! Don't get me wrong - it's great and fun, and I love it! But...just saying! haha Some mornings you just want to have a quiet, peaceful, calm start to your day.

Here are a few things I have been doing that have helped James and I to have a calmer, more peaceful, slow morning together:

  • Light a candle: James loves watching the flame flicker while he eats his breakfast. He asks me every morning to light our candle. It helps to create such a peaceful scene and it mesmerizes him!
  • Play calm music: I have started playing either worship music or Jack Johnson in the mornings. Music sets the mood, and I've noticed that the whole atmosphere is so much calmer and more peaceful when we have our "morning music" playing softly in the background.
  • Plan out breakfast ahead of time: Toddlers can wake up ravenous, and the key is getting a quick meal to them ... STAT. It can be so stressful to try to come up with something quick to make while a toddler is screaming or whining. I like to plan out breakfasts for the week. For example, Monday, Wednesday, Friday we'll have scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. Tuesday and Sunday, we'll have oatmeal and fruit. Thursday and Saturday we'll have waffles and fruit and yogurt. Just an example. I don't do that exact schedule every week, but knowing what I'll be making in the morning makes it a bit easier and calmer. I usually will give James a bowl of berries to tie him over while I cook his breakfast.
  • Go outside: Now that the weather is warm, we have been heading out into the back yard right after breakfast. I bring my coffee, James plays with his water table and trucks, and we watch bugs and birds fly around. It's so nice to get fresh air in the morning, and James is able to run around and play independently and explore while I get to have a quiet time to enjoy my coffee. :)

What are some of your tips for cultivating a peaceful morning with little ones? I'd love to hear any of your tips/tricks!

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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Mommy Monday: 21 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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My kimono is from Pinkblush - they have so many cute ones!! Click here to see all the kimonos

Happy Monday! 21 weeks already...wow!

Today, my dad asked me what I was doing at this time during my last pregnancy, and it got me thinking. My pregnancies have been so different - thank God.

During my last pregnancy, at 21 weeks I had been on bedrest for one week and we were all holding our breaths, holding out for viability at 24 weeks. You can read my 21 week blog post from my first pregnancy here.

It's pretty emotional and surreal thinking back on all that we went through last time around. I am so incredibly thankful for how well this pregnancy is going. I seriously can't stop thanking God for letting me experience a "normal" pregnancy! I pray that it continues going as smoothly as it has thus far!

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On Saturday night, Ben and I had a date night! It was a blast. We went to this super fancy restaurant and it was just a really special, fun night. Our dinner reservation was for 8:45pm and it was a serious STRUGGLE to stay awake, haha. But we made it and had such a wonderful time. I love that man so much!

My dress is from Ingrid & Isabel, but it's no longer in stock. Click here for a similar one, and click here for a similar sleeveless version. I also LOVE this one.

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Now for my 21 week survey:

How far along: 21 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I have no idea! I have my next doctor's appointment next week, so I'll update then!

Maternity clothes? Yes! Pinkblush and Target are my go-to!

Stretch marks? Yeeeessss...trying to embrace them! haha

Sleep: I've been a bit restless, so not great!

Best moment this week: Date night!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Muffins! Baked goods!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: Boy! Yay!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! But also grumpy. haha

Symptoms: RESTLESS LEG - it's so bad!! I didn't have this with James, and it is so so so very annoying!! Spider veins, stretch marks, bigger boobs, heart burn, always thirsty, congested, lower back is sore

Thanks for reading!! See you back next Monday for my 22 week update!

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Mommy Monday: 20 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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I hope all of you mamas out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

We headed to the family cabin in Montana and unplugged for a long weekend...it was so refreshing and nice. We spent time reading, hiking around, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. No phones, no internet, no e-mails, no work. Just being in the moment with each other.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant now ... half way through this pregnancy and I can hardly even believe it! This pregnancy is FLYING by! It's seriously going so fast, I kind of want time to slow down a little bit. We aren't planning on having any more children after this, so this is my last time being pregnant and it is bittersweet. I feel so blessed to be able to experience pregnancy - TWICE! And I feel so incredibly blessed and thankful that this pregnancy is going so smoothly!

Ok, can we just talk about spider veins for a quick sec?? Um, I have gotten SO MANY lately! I only got a few after my pregnancy with James, but this time around my legs (particularly my knee area) is covered with them! Oh the joys of pregnancy symptoms. I'm not complaining...like I said I'm really thankful for every single part of this experience. I'm more just throwing that out there for those of you who may be experiencing the same thing. I am covered with spider veins and ever-growing stretch marks. But hey, my boobs are bigger so there's that!!

I've been feeling the baby move so much over this past week! It's really fun! I can feel his kicks and rolls getting stronger and more substantial and I think we'll be able to feel them from the outside any day now.

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I'm soaking up every second with my sweet little James. I'm so excited for him to have a little brother. I know adding another baby to our family will only add to his life, rather than detract from it. But it is still a bit sad to think of him not being the only baby any more. I know it will be an adjustment for us all! I am so excited to see James as a big brother!! He'll be so sweet with the baby, I just know it.

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Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 20 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  To be honest, I've lost track. I'll update this next time I get weighed at the doctor!

Maternity clothes? Pretty much exclusively!

Stretch marks? Some new ones...all of my stretch marks are around my belly button.

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Playing in the mountains with Ben and James.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, feeling a lot lately.

Food cravings: Mexican food, fruit

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: A boy! Hooray!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: Spider veins, stretch marks, bigger boobs, heart burn, always thirsty, congested, lower back is sore

Have a great week, friends!

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I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

Mommy Monday: Gender Reveal! 19 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two

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It's a...BOY!

We are SO excited to finally be able to publicly announce that we're expecting our second little boy! We couldn't be more thrilled! Seriously, the idea of being a boy mom makes me so so incredibly happy! I am really excited that James will have a little brother to grow up with and for them to be able to play together!

We actually found out that we are having a boy at my 12 week ultrasound, so we've known for awhile. But I really wanted to wait until after our anatomy scan (which we just had a few hours ago!) to double check and confirm before we went ahead and told everyone. Just in case it actually turned out to be a girl, haha. 12 weeks is super early to be able to tell from an ultrasound, but the technician and the doctor were both pretty darn sure that they were seeing a boy. ;)

Even so, it was a relief to have the gender confirmed today at our anatomy scan!

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Speaking of the anatomy scan, everything went so well! Baby boy number two looked perfect and is growing just as he should be! My cervix is still closed up tight and long, just as IT should be. They even told me that I don't have to come in to have my cervix checked any more! I only need to come in if I have something I'm worried about or if I have new symptoms, so I'm basically a normal pregnant person now! Yippee!

I am so relieved and thankful that everything is well with the baby and with me! Such a nice change from our anatomy scan with James!! Read about our anatomy scan for my first pregnancy here.

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 19 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  Up around 11lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! They are the comfiest!

Stretch marks? My old ones are looking so rough, haha

Sleep: It's been ok!

Best moment this week: Playdate with James' friends from music class!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! So fun

Food cravings: Fruit, frozen blueberries

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! People are starting to ask if I'm expecting...which means I'm at the point where there is no question that I'm pregnant!

Gender: Yes!! Another sweet boy!!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still. This really freaks Ben out, haha.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! And emotional!

Symptoms: Acne, heart burn, bloody nose, congestion, light-headedness, round ligament pain.

Thank you all for the continued prayers and good vibes! So grateful for a smooth pregnancy thus far!

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Mommy Monday: 18 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday!

I'm 18 weeks, two days pregnant and feeling great! I had an ultrasound last thursday to check my cervix since having the cerclage, and all looks perfect. My cervix was still over 4 cm and completely closed! I'm so thankful! I also got the clear to begin (gentle) workouts again... woohoo!

We go in next monday for our anatomy scan, so they will check my cervix again at that appointment. With my last pregnancy, we discovered my shortened cervix (only 1.2cm!!) at my 20 week anatomy scan, so it will be nice to pass that point in this pregnancy with no complications! Read about my experience during my last pregnancy here.

We also will be confirming the gender at the anatomy scan, so expect our gender reveal next week! We are so excited to FINALLY share what we are having with all of you! Go ahead and leave your guess in the comments: Boy or Girl?!?! :)

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It feels so nice to be able to start easing into some workouts again! I've been doing prenatal workouts from Knocked Up Fitness... click here to learn more about the workouts. They are amazing for pregnant mamas! Definitely check it out!

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I love this comfy, cute maternity top that I got from Target recently! I linked it and a few similar tops below!

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Alright, that's all for now! Here is this week's survey:

How far along: 18 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my last week, up 10lbs since beginning of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Constantly on the hunt for cute, affordable pieces!

Stretch marks? Still no new ones yet!

Sleep: Super congested so it hasn't been great this week!

Best moment this week: Seeing the new baby flip and move around on the ultrasound last thursday!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! The past few days I've felt a ton of movement!

Food cravings: Doughnuts. :) And Mexican food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, announcing next week!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ Moody/ Emotional ... you name it!

Symptoms: Acne, round ligament pain has really amped up, tight muscles, tired, irritable, shortness of breath, forgetful...I'm a mess, haha.

See you back here next Monday, friends! Be sure to check back because we'll be announcing the GENDER!! HOORAY!

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Review: Elfbox!

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Hi everyone!

I wanted to come on here real quick to tell you guys about this incredible new company that some friends of ours started: Elfbox.

Now, let me start off by saying this is NOT SPONSORED. I am just genuinely very excited about this service and our whole family really loves it!

So, what is Elfbox? It's a monthly toy subscription! Every month, you get a new box full of toys, tailored to your child (or childrens') ages! The toys are all non-electronic, high quality, classic toys. You get a mix of toys that are sensory, music, motor skill, and problem-solving oriented. You play with the toys for a whole month, and then you receive a new box full of NEW toys. Once you get the new box, you send back the old box full of toys (it's free to mail it back). If there is a toy that you'd like to keep from your box, you simply don't send it back and you will be automatically charged for the (discounted) price of the toy. It's seriously SUCH a cool idea!

We have received two boxes so far, and I was nervous that maybe the second box wouldn't be as great as the first one. But really I think it's almost better! James was SO excited when a new green box showed up at our door. He knew exactly what it was! I shared some videos of him opening his new Elfbox on Instagram, it was so cute!

Anyways, if you guys want to try out Elfbox for yourself, you can get your first month for only $10 by signing up HERE

Also, I have been reading up on a more minimalistic motherhood (I'll write a whole post on this later). But I love the idea of eventually getting down to having maybe five toys of our own, and then just getting Elfbox every month. We'll see if we can actually make that happen. ;)

Click here to sign up for Elfbox and recieve your first box for only $10!

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Have a great weekend!

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Mommy Monday: 17 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Sorry that this post is going up a day late! This past week/weekend was packed!

Ben was at training for his new position at work, so James and I stayed with my parents all last week. We went to the tulip fields, and also visited a really cute park with a little farm. James LOVED seeing all of the animals! He was so adorable - he kept going and sitting down next to the chickens. And at the tulip fields, he had so much fun with all of the other little kids! He and the other little boys kept chasing each other and yelling in each other's faces. James had the time of his life, haha.

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We also had a fun play date with some of our friends from music class yesterday. I love watching James play with other kids! He is so adorable and I love watching him have fun and interact and explore!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday - just my quick, monthly check. All was well! The baby's heartbeat sounded great and everything is going as it should be! On Thursday I have an ultrasound to check on my cervix. Prayers that there are no changes since I had the cerclage put in a few weeks ago!

Ok, I'll get to the survey in just a moment, but real quick: how beautiful is this dress?? You guys, it is not a maternity dress, but it works PERFECTLY with a bump! Win! And it comes in the most beautiful green floral print as well. Click here for the dress

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The best part is, this dress is UNDER $30!! And my shoes are only around $12! Click here for my shoes

Now for this week's survey:

How far along: 17 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my doctor's appointment yesterday, up 10lbs since beginning of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Yes! But trying to find lots of non-maternity pieces that will work through pregnancy as well!

Stretch marks? My old ones are showing hardcore now!

Sleep: Not bad!

Best moment this week: Watching James sit with the chickens at the farm, and watching him run around with all the other little kids at the tulip fields!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not much, but a few little thumps!

Food cravings: Junk food. Give me ALL the junk food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ Moody/ Emotional

Symptoms: Acne, aches, tight muscles, tired, SHORT TEMPER, haha

Thanks for reading! See you back here next Monday, when I'll fill you in on the results of my ultrasound!

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Mommy Monday: 14 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Click here for my dress (Comes in so many colors and under $100! It's my favorite dress ever!) // Click here for my shoes // Click here for my necklace (It's customized with James' name on it - you can get any name put on it! I love it so much!)

I hope you all had the happiest Easter!

We had such a fun weekend! Saturday we had a lazy morning and we all watched Homeward Bound together in our jammies and it was just such a nice, cozy day. Yesterday, James and I went to church with my parents. Then later, Ben James, Gunner, and I headed to my parents' house for dinner with extended family and an Easter egg hunt for little James. It was James' first Easter egg hunt and he did SO well!! He loved it! My cousins set it up for him and it was the cutest most fun thing!

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I was seriously dying over James' Easter outfit and how CUTE he looked!! His little tie was just the most adorable thing. I want to dress him up in fancy clothes every day!! His shirt is my favorite color - mint! And his slacks are a bit big so they will fit him for all of our events coming up through the summer!

I'm also so obsessed with the dress I wore - it's not a maternity dress. I barely squeezed myself into the dress and had to have Ben zip me up, haha but it worked with my little bump!! It's just the most feminine dress with such pretty detailing and I love the length. It's very classy and elegant and perfect for any occasion. It comes in a lot of colors and is under $100 which is SUCH a great price for the quality!! (Click here for my dress)

So, I am officially in the Second Trimester now!! Hooray!!

This week, I'm getting my cerclage, so please send all your thoughts and prayers and good vibes my way! I'm pretty nervous for the surgery and just want to get it over with!

Oh also, I found the BEST maternity jeans ever...seriously. If you're pregnant, GET THEM!

They are really comfortable (like leggings), and are super cute and actually fit well unlike a lot of maternity jeans. They come in several colors/ washes. Click here for the jeans!

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 14 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: 6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Like these maternity jeans I've been raving about!! (Click here for jeans)

Stretch marks? No new ones!

Sleep: Not great - SO congested!!

Best moment this week: James doing his Easter egg hunt! And watching James during the church service yesterday! He's so sweet!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: I *think* a few little flutters - but none that I'm absolutely positive about yet. I have an anterior placenta this time, so it will probably be harder for me to feel movement until later on.

Food cravings: Pineapple!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Oooooh yes. ;)

Gender: We know! But we're not announcing yet! ;)

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring now! :p

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: My weird dreams are gone, yay! Now symptoms include congestion, weakness, shortness of breath, and moodiness.

Have a great week, friends!!

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Mommy Monday: 13 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Mommy Monday!

As I mentioned in last week's post (read last week's post here), I met with Maternal Fetal Medicine on Wednesday for a "pre-op consult" because I am getting another cerclage this pregnancy. You can read about my whole scary experience with finding out that I needed an emergency cerclage during my first pregnancy here.

This time around I was told right away: "Once a cerclage, always a cerclage". So, I got in the mindset. Last time around was so scary and unexpected and urgent and complicated. THIS time will be calm, planned, relaxed, no big deal, and not *necesssary*, just a precaution. As of my appointment on Wednesday, my cervix was still over 4cm which is GREAT - super long. At my 20 week scan during my first pregnancy, my cervix was down to 1.2cm, which is extremely short. I was SO relieved that my cervix was still so long at this week's scan!

So, basically, the doctor gave me two options:

1. Get a cerclage done in the next week or two as a precaution. That way, we make sure the cerclage is done under calm and controlled circumstances and that my cervix is super long and we wont have to worry about it the rest of the pregnancy.

2. Monitor my cervix every two weeks and if is starts to shorten, put a cerclage in.

With option two, I potentially would not need a cerclage at all if my cervix does not shorten - which sounds super appealing! BUT, my cervix could possibly shorten super quickly before it is caught and I could lose the baby. And a really short cervix like I had before makes a cerclage a lot more risky (ie, bleeding, puncturing the bladder, etc...) So, I decided to just do the cerclage now. I'll be scheduling it for in the next few weeks, so I'll keep you all updated on that!

Definitely not looking forward to it, BUT this time around will hopefully be a lot more relaxed and pleasant. :)

In other exciting news: WE FOUND OUT THE GENDER!!

I'm not going to say much more about this yet because we aren't going to publicly announce for awhile. The ultrasound tech asked me if I was going to be doing genetic testing, and I told her the ONLY reason I would do it would be to find out the gender sooner. She said, "Well, I can just look and see if I can tell" and I was like, oh YES. haha And she could. And the doctor confirmed. It's REEEAAALLLY early - like, usually you can't tell on an ultrasound until at least 18 weeks and I was only 12. But they were PRETTY confident. :)

So exciting. I can't wait to announce to you all when the time comes! Go ahead and post your guess in the comments below: Is baby Cohen number two a BOY or a GIRL??

Also, I have gotten a few requests about items that I think are necessary vs. unnecessary for a new baby. I'll try to put together a blog post soon going over all of this! If you have any specific questions feel free to leave them below and I'll answer them!

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Yesterday, Ben, James, Gunner, and I went for a drive into the National Forest where we live. We went exploring and Ben shot his bow and it was SUCH a beautiful day! Days like that make me so thankful for this growing family of mine! I am truly blessed!

Who else is doing the Knocked Up Fitness prenatal program with me?? Comment below and let me know so that we can hold each other accountable! And be sure to follow me on Instagram (@annamcohenblog) so we can check in with eachother! Click here to learn more about the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program!

Ok, now for the weekly survey:

How far along: 13 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Last Wednesday I was 116lbs at the doctor's office - but that's with clothes and shoes on. When I weigh myself at home I usually don't wear clothes, so that's where I got my pre-pregnancy weight of 107lbs. From here on out, I'll just use the weight from the doctor to make it easier and since I don't have a scale any more anyways to weigh myself at home. :)

Maternity clothes? A few pieces! Maternity leggings and pajamas are LIFE!

Stretch marks? No new ones, but I feel like my old ones are stretching back out. BOO!

Sleep: Oh my goodness, CAN'T GET COMFORTABLE. haha I'm scared. If I'm having trouble getting comfortable this early on, I don't know what I'm going to do come third trimester! Also, the insanely weird, horrible, detailed, REAL-feeling dreams are just getting worse! haha You guys, they are so bizarre!!!

Best moment this week: Hiking with my family in the mountains!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: Crunch wrap supremes and sub sandwiches.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, and I feel like I popped even more over the past day or two!

Gender: We know! But we're not announcing yet! ;)

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On, but I'm going to take them off and put on my place holder ring soon because I already notice them getting super tight and it makes me claustrophobic.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and emotional!!

Symptoms: Weird dreams, dry skin, acne, tired, congested, aching pelvis,

I'll see you guys back here next Monday for another update! And check back later this week for another non-mommy-monday post!

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Pregnant Again!!

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If you follow me on social media, you saw that last weekend I announced that I'm PREGNANT! Ben and I are expecting our second baby in September and we are SO excited! Sorry it took me a week to get this blog post up... I actually started writing it last Sunday and...well, here we are! I'm pulling the #momlife card. ;) Going forward, I will have a new pregnancy post up every Monday for Mommy Monday, starting this Monday with my 12 week update!

We met with doctors and specialists this past fall to discuss our fears and concerns regarding trying for a second baby (if you aren't familiar with my story, I had a somewhat scary/stressful pregnancy with my first son, James). We felt confident after our talks - and after LOTS of deep thought and prayer - and felt like it was the right time to start trying. We both really want one more child, and our conversations with the doctors really helped to put our minds at ease. Read more about our thought process/concerns/conversations with doctors here in this blog post.

Anyways, once again we got pregnant right away! With James it was *literally* our first try, and with this one it was within a month. We feel so blessed and we were (are) SO excited! When I first took the pregnancy test and got the positive result, Ben wasn't home from work yet and I had just put James to bed. When I saw the two pink lines, I instantly fell on my knees and started sobbing. I prayed so hard and told God that I was SCARED - but so thankful. I know he has a plan for this baby and for our family, and I know that His hand will be on this pregnancy just as it was with James'.

After I spent some time crying and praying, I felt SO overwhelmed with peace and joy and the strongest sense that everything would be ok, no matter what happens, no matter what this crazy journey has in store for us...we'll be ok.

I told Ben when he got home from work and he was shocked but super happy and excited. He instantly wanted to tell everyone and we did tell all of our parents that night. I'm pretty sure he ended up telling all of his coworkers/siblings/etc... within a week or two. haha For some reason this time around was much harder to keep a secret. We just wanted to tell everyone right away. We ended up publicly announcing last Saturday when I was 11 weeks, which is slightly early. But we figured even if something ended up happening, we would want the love and support of our friends and family, and I would probably blog about it and share about it on social media anyways because that is like therapy and such a great outlet for me.

So, here we are! We had our first ultrasound at eight weeks and saw and heard the baby's heartbeat. It was so special. It was like a dream, reminding me so much of when we first saw and heard our little James. But this time feels so incredibly different as well. I nearly had an anxiety attack as Ben and I waited in the room for the ultrasound. It just brought back so many memories of all of those weekly ultrasounds, checking my cervix, holding my breath, praying desperately that they wouldn't see a change in my cervix and that our James would be safe. My last pregnancy and labor and delivery definitely changed me. It changed my entire perception of this process. But, while I am so much more aware of just how much can go wrong during a pregnancy, I feel such an incredible peace that it will all work out and that I will be able to handle anything that comes my way.

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First Trimester Symptoms

My main symptoms during the first trimester were fatigue, nausea, and CRRRAAAAAAZZZZYYYYYY dreams, haha. Seriously, the WEIRDEST most in depth, detailed, bizarre dreams. I'm still having them most nights, and I'll often times wake up in the morning thinking what. the. heck. haha

My fatigue hasn't been as bad this pregnancy as it was during my first trimester with James. Maybe it's because I have a toddler now and I just couldn't possibly give in to being exhausted because...well, it's just not possible to nap and lay around all day when you have a one and a half year old.

My morning sickness started around six weeks and lasted until around ten weeks. Which is much shorter than it was with my first pregnancy, and my nausea definitely was not nearly as bad this time. Now I don't have any morning sickness *knock on wood* and I'm hoping it stays away the rest of this pregnancy!

I will give more detailed updates in my 12 week post on monday! This is just a quick little intro to pregnancy number two! I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into by getting pregnant again and by signing up for two kids under three years old, but I'm sure that whatever is in store is going to be beautiful, wonderful, and perfect in it's own way and I am so thankful for this blessing and for getting to experience pregnancy again! I almost can't even believe that we're going to have another little one running around soon... it's too good to be true! James is going to be the BEST big brother! It's going to be so much fun!

Thank you for following along on this new adventure! As always, your thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, and good vibes are MUCH appreciated! And if you have any questions please don't ever hesitate to reach out either in the comments or through e-mail!

See you on Monday!

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Baby After Bedrest? My Thoughts On Baby Number Two

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Warning: This will be a long one, guys! It's probably the most personal blog post I've ever written.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that my pregnancy with James turned out to be a really challenging and scary one, leading up to an even more frightening birth experience.

To summarize, I was given an emergency cerclage and put on bedrest at 20 weeks due to having a shortened cervix. Being on bedrest for the next 16+ weeks was the most challenging experience of my life, both mentally and physically. It was 16 weeks of being terrified for my baby's safety, my body deteriorating, and being bored and antsy and...it was just a really really emotional and hard time.

I ended up having my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks and I was taken off of bedrest at that time. At 39 weeks 3 days, I went in for my weekly check in with my doctor and he noted that my right leg was waaay more swollen than my left leg. He said he wanted to have me induced and to check for a blood clot. I was sent right over to the hospital where I was admitted and was told I would be given an ultrasound on my leg to check for blood clots. The doctor on call who would deliver James came in and basically told me that there was a good chance I would die suddenly and that she was very very concerned. When I told her I was scared she said "I think that's reasonable, I am too." Um. Without going on and on too much here, what AWFUL bedside manner. It REALLY messed me up, to put it lightly. I burst into tears and was horrified (read more details here). Bottom line, I DID NOT have a blood clot. They went ahead and broke my water and I went into labor and delivered James without any further complications. (Click here to read our birth story)

I haven't opened up too much about the mental aspects of how all of this affected me. I'm not sure I really want to. I have shared with my close family, because I DEFINITELY had (and still do have) a lot to work through. It was a traumatic experience from the moment I was told my cervix didn't look right at the anatomy scan. Then after all of that and being told I would die, I was thrust into the throes of new motherhood which is a huge life-altering experience on its own, let alone after all I had been through. I still struggle with everything that happened. I'm scared. My anxiety is through the roof. I'm more emotional. I'm more aware of how very quickly life can be taken away, and how fleeting and fragile and precious life is. I'm still healing emotionally, and probably will be for a long time. My experience, without trying to be too dramatic, has forever changed me - has forever changed my mind - and it will haunt me for the rest of my life in some form. BUT I ended up with the most beautiful little boy, and I am absolutely so grateful for how everything turned out!!

At first, Ben and I were pretty scared to even think about the possibility of having another baby. We both want more kids, but we are also SO SO SO VERY happy with just James. James is EVERYTHING. He is our perfect blessing - healthy, happy, strong, whole, beautiful, smart... we are so thankful for him and for the fact that we were blessed with a son and that we all came out of that pregnancy and labor and delivery SAFE. We are so thankful to be parents, and we thought "why mess with what we have?" Because what we have is perfect. Why risk having to go through that again? Why risk me dying? Why risk losing a baby if all didn't go well? I was suffering from PTSD and so so unbelievably scared to even consider doing that again.

As time went by, and James turned a year old, I began to feel a pang of baby fever. My little boy was becoming a toddler and babyhood was slipping away so quickly. I pictured having another little one close in age with James for him to play with. Ben and I talked, and decided that I should sit down with my doctor and talk about if it was a good idea for us to get pregnant again, or if it was NOT recommended. We didn't want to be selfish by getting pregnant again just because we wanted another kid, and then put the new baby at risk because of a shortened cervix, or risk me dying, or upset James' perfect, happy, charmed little life.

I met with my doctor and laid out all of my thoughts, concerns, fears, questions... he looked at me, smiled and said "have a baby!" He explained that bottom-line: I DID NOT HAVE A BLOODCLOT. Bottom-line: Nothing happened to the baby. Bottom-line: Everything turned out FINE and I made it nearly to my due date, and maybe would have longer if they hadn't moved things along. Bottom-line: we will NEVER know if I even NEEDED a cerclage and bedrest at all, because my cervix never changed and I maybe would have made it full term even without all of those precautions. Bottom-line: I may not even have any issues with my cervix next time around. My doctor said, "If you were my wife, we'd be having a baby. Hopefully I'll see you back here soon pregnant!"

I was relieved, but still skeptical. My doctor recommended that I meet with Maternal Fetal Medicine, since high risk pregnancies and all of that are their specialty. So I did. I met with ANOTHER doctor from MFM, and he basically told me the EXACT same things that my doctor had. This doctor told me that if I get pregnant again, I wont be put on bedrest because it has been found to do more harm than good in most cases, because of inactivity and how it can increase the risk of blood clots, and also how bad it is for a person mentally. He said I also wouldn't have a cerclage again. He explained that there is no scientific evidence that a cerclage or bedrest do any good or make any difference. He told me to get pregnant.

A number of emotions went through my head after my meetings with the doctors. I was relieved and excited. I felt a bit angry that I had been through a cerclage and bedrest for maybe no reason, but then quickly I felt guilt for feeling angry because God knows I would have done ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING in the entire world to keep my son safe inside of me until he was able to survive in the world. I felt confused. I felt a LOT of skepticism. These doctors were not the doctor that did my cerclage and put me on bedrest and monitored me up until I was around 30 weeks pregnant - did they REALLY know??

Ben and I have discussed everything at length. Most of all, we don't want anything to negatively impact James. But having received such adamant and confident assurance and encouragement from two separate doctors, we feel very encouraged and excited that we have the option of trying for baby number two, if we choose to do so.

A lot of prayer is going on over here. Prayer for guidance and for strength and for the right decision to be made and for God's will to be made known. We will see what happens. We will see what we decide to do. But for now, I am clinging to the words of each of my doctors, telling me that I have to remember that EVERYTHING TURNED OUT TO BE OK. My son was born full-term and healthy, and I did not have a blood clot. I wouldn't be considered high risk going into another pregnancy.

I'm ok. James is ok. I am ok to get pregnant again.

But I'm still scared.

So we'll see. But that is where we are at. We have been given the go-ahead by two different doctors, and Ben and I would both love to have more children. But we'd also be SO SO SO fine with just having our bright, sweet, shining little boy! I am an only child and I loved it.

Whatever we decide to do and whatever happens, I pray that it is God's will.

So that's where we're at!

Have any of you had another child after having a scary or hard pregnancy and/or birth experience? I'd really love to hear your story if you have.

 

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29 Things

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Well, today starts the beginning of the LAST year of my twenties! So strange! My twenties have been amazing...so much has happened, I've achieved so many things, I've learned SO much... and honestly, I'm looking forward to turning 30 next year! I think being in my thirties is going to be really fun!

But, I definitely plan on enjoying this last year of my twenties to the fullest, because each year it becomes more abundantly clear to me that time never slows down and you can't ever go back. Living in the moment and truly cherishing and embracing where you are at right now is so important. Especially since becoming a mom, I have come to know this with the utmost clarity, and it is both a beautiful and sobering realization.

Today, I wanted to share real quick 29 things that I've come to know, think, or question in my 29 years of life!

  1. Family is REALLY all that matters.
  2. Time is so fleeting.
  3. NOTHING is a given in life.
  4. Humility, kindness, and patience are qualities that I think make a person the very most beautiful.
  5. Daily exercise is so important for both physical and mental well-being.
  6. Marriage to your best friend is the best thing in the world...along with being a mom!
  7. People always say that being a parent is the best, but you HONESTLY don't understand this until you have a child of your own. You just can't possibly understand the bond and love and incredible fear and hope that comes along with being a parent. It's breathtaking and magical and incredible.
  8. In the end, NOTHING matters...not things, not money, not social status...JUST love and family.
  9. Traveling outside of the country is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself.
  10. You are NEVER wasting time when you are reading.
  11. Your skin, hair, body...everything starts to change as you get older, when you get pregnant, as you go through different experiences. It serves a person well to embrace these changes rather than wrestle with them. Because wrinkles, stretch marks, scars...they all are signs of a life truly LIVED.
  12. If you want something badly enough, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.
  13. I'm an introvert. And I like it.
  14. The more sleep the better...but nothing beats an early morning when the world is quiet and still.
  15. Being in the backcountry away from it all is good for the soul.
  16. I'm getting more and more interested in makeup as I get older, and I'm having so much fun trying out new products and techniques...I always bought drugstore makeup until recently. But the nice stuff really DOES make a difference!
  17. Don't be so hard on yourself. Have high standards for yourself, push yourself, always strive to do better...but don't punish yourself. Be kind and loving. Appreciate all that your body, your mind, your heart do for you every single day.
  18. Laugh more.
  19. Get outside every single possible chance you have.
  20. Eliminate toxic relationships from your life.
  21. Hold on dearly and fight for all of the GOOD and precious relationships in your life.
  22. My number one piece of marriage advice: Always seek out the BEST in your partner. You find what you look for. Look for the good, the beautiful, the pure in your loved one.
  23. Always be true to yourself.
  24. Say 'no' more.
  25. Say 'yes' more.
  26. Create something you're proud of.
  27. Discern truth for yourself. Look beyond what you've always known, what you've always been told...figure out what YOU believe, what YOU agree with, what you DON'T agree with, what is worth fighting for to YOU, what YOU want to change.
  28. Better to be quiet than to talk about things you don't know anything about.
  29. Spend less time staring at your phone or other electronics, and more time being present with loved ones, watching a sunset, reading a book, meditating, drawing, creating, LIVING.

Those are just the top 29 random things that came to mind as I started typing...sorry if they are super random! haha But anyways, I've learned a lot and I know I have a lot MORE to learn too.

Here's to a new year of creating, adventure, love, productivity, and self-improvement! Thank you all for your love and for following along!!

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Momiform 101

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Hi there!

As promised a couple of days ago, here is my post on Momiform 101!

I know that personally, as a mom, I am always looking for outfit inspiration and ideas!  Us mamas need to think, not only about looking cute and put together, but also about comfort and functionality, as we are usually chasing around little ones all day long! I've basically figured out a formula for outfits that work well for my lifestyle, and I thought I'd share some outfit inspiration for all of you other active mamas out there. :)

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When getting dressed in the morning, I think about what my day will consist of...usually some or all of the following:

  1. Playing with my son
  2. Working out
  3. Cleaning
  4. Work
  5. Running Errands

So, right there, I know that I need to choose clothing items that I can move in, and that can transition from a workout or chores around the house, to something stylish and polished for running errands or going out into the world. In other words: LEGGINGS. haha

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I have quite a collection of cute leggings, and I'm always getting new ones because they really make the Momiform. You can pair patterned leggings with a basic, plain colored top, or choose solid colored leggings and pair them with a brighter top. I also love wearing a cozy sweater with leggings to dress them up a bit.

I really like finding plain leggings that have an unexpected little detailing on them, like these, these, and these.

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I love pairing my leggings with comfy but cute t-shirts, sweaters, cute sweatshirts like THIS one, and long-sleeved thermals. Unless I'm wearing plain black leggings, I usually keep it pretty tame up top - not many patterns.

These t-shirts are great to stock up on! I also love this, this, and this.

This sweater is also a great staple. I also love this, this, and this.

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Lastly, shoes! I pretty much always wear a good pair of tennis shoes because I need to be able to chase James around, and not worry about walking on grass or dirt. Tennis shoes ensure that I am ready for anything!

Here are a few that I love here, here (on sale for 25% off!!), and here.

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For warm layers, I love cute, sporty jackets and vests. This, this, this, and this are all favorites! Ben just got methe pull-over version of this, which I'm wearing in the first picture of this post, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so much. It's so warm and cozy!! The vest would be great. Here is a full-zip version as well!

There you have it! My lesson in achieving the perfect Momiform! ;) Throw on a cute hat like this one to protect your face from the sun (or cover up that un-washed hair) and you're golden!! I hope you enjoyed this and that it was able to give you some ideas!

Being a mom and dressing comfortably and functionally does NOT mean you have to look frumpy!! You can still look sporty, cute, and put together! It's important for us to feel GOOD and to feel like we LOOK good, as moms...as women in GENERAL! Don't ever settle for feeling less than your best. You deserve to feel BEAUTIFUL and stylish, mama! 

What's your go-to momiform??

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One Year Old Update...We Have A Toddler!

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Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Life has been so crazy busy/wonderful lately, and I have SO much to fill you all in on (life update blog post coming soon!!)!

But, in today's post, I'll be focusing on one of the biggest things that's happened recently: James turned one year old! Isn't that so crazy?! The past year has gone so fast.

His birthday was July 23rd, so he will be 14 months old here in a week or so. He started walking around 13 months, and now he walks EVERYWHERE! It's so much fun! He seems to love the freedom that walking gives him and he always has the most proud look on his face when he is toddling around. It's so cute!

He has 10 teeth, including two big molars, and his hair is getting longer although it is still blonde and whispy. :) Just like mine was! I didn't have real, substantial hair until I was two. It was so blonde you could hardly see it, and that's how James' is.

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James LOVES water. Ben was away in Idaho hunting for elk the first two weeks of September, so James and I stayed at my parents' house on the lake. James had so much fun playing on the beach and wading, and he even stuck his face in the water and splashed around as I held him out in the deeper water. He loves it!

He is fearless and SO curious about everything. It's so different from how I was as a child and am today...I've always been timid and scared of getting hurt or getting in trouble. James has no fear...he charges ahead with enthusiasm and bravery and excitement, and it is so inspiring!

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Next Tuesday, James and I are starting a music class at the local children's museum! He really enjoys music and clapping and dancing, so I think he is really going to love this class! It's every Tuesday morning through December and I'm hoping we can make some mommy and baby friends!

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A year later and I FIIIINALLLLY feel like I have this mom thing figured out! I've totally fallen into stride and I've got a handle on things and life is just so beautiful and fun and relaxed now! :) I love being a mom so much, and James is just the most fun, wonderful, smart, sweet little boy. I'm so lucky to be his mommy! I love trying new things with him and watching him learn and explore. He is so friendly and bold, and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. Every time we go out in public, he makes friends! He waves and smiles at and chats with EVERYONE we pass, which forces me to come out of my shell a bit, because I'm so shy and like to fly under the radar, normally. It's good for me to be around James. I have a lot to learn from him! :)

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Anyways, I'm happy to be back blogging again. It was a much needed and very nice break, and like I said, I'll tell you ALLL about what I've been up to and why I stepped back from blogging/social media for a bit in my next post! Look out for lots of newness in the next few weeks, and LOTS of exciting collaborations and projects which I've been working on!

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Recipe Box: Healthy Baby Bars

Happy Monday!

James is turning one year old on Sunday (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??) and we are having a little Birthday party for him. Well...it was going to be little, but somehow we have over twenty people coming now! It will be fun to celebrate our sweet boy with our friends and family!

I am going to be baking James a cake from scratch, and I'm going to be using this recipe. It's all healthy ingredients and has no sugar in it. I make this a lot for James, but usually I cut it into bars for him to have as breakfast or as a snack. For his birthday I will leave it as a cake and I'm going to make a home made icing for it.

Anyways, here is the recipe I use for these healthy baby bars!

Here's What You Need:

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of sugar-free applesauce
  • 3 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here's What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add all of the dry ingredients. Then, add in the mashed bananas, apple sauce, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Coat a cake pan with cooking oil. Pour the batter into the pan, and place the pan into the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done with a toothpick (should come out clean).

Let the cake cool.

Slice into bars, if you'd like, or leave as a cake!

Enjoy!