38 Weeks (And How I Told Spencer)

Today is my original due date! Don’t worry, my first trimester ultrasound adjusted my actual due date to 12/5. I still have 2 weeks to go! We’re expecting baby to come any day, but I’m hoping he comes after Thanksgiving.

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I realized today that I never said how I told my husband I was pregnant! Here’s the story, morning glory:

Monday, March 24, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – negative.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – negative.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Home pregnancy test – POSITIVE! Since we’d had two miscarriages in the past, I decided to keep it to myself until I could stop by Modesto Pregnancy Center to confirm (and think of a clever way to tell Spencer).

Thursday, March 27, 2014.

Appointment confirmed – I was pregnant! I thought ALL DAY about how to tell Spencer. I finally got out of class at 9:30pm (darn senior seminar) and went to Target to pick up some Dr. Pepper. It’s my husband’s drink of choice, so I knew it would be PERFECT for telling him. I threw together a small basket with a note attached, called him, and told him I had a surprise for him when I got home. I presented him with the basket when I walked in the door and let him try to figure it out. It took a few minutes, but he eventually got the message!

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Thoughts on Change

As I drive home from work today, the autumn air beckons me to roll the windows down and allow the wind to whip tangles into my hair. The fresh, cool air is such a welcome change from the baking sun that usually has me blasting the AC to make the short drive home bearable. My tummy is full of healthy foods that are good for the growing baby that’s gently nudging me from inside my belly. The smell of farm-grown basil and onions from a nearby field fill my car with a delicious scent that makes my mouth water. Moments later, I smell the familiar odor of a dairy farm as I drive past the familiar orchards of my childhood. My eyes well up with tears as I think of all the blessings that have occurred in the last six months.


Six months may not seem like a long time or a significant career opportunity for “just a temp job,” but for me, this job was God’s perfect plan.

  • A job that I enjoyed driving to every day – Because of where my job was located, I had two options for travel: freeway or back roads. Most days, I chose the latter. These were familiar roads through my childhood neighborhood; I even passed my elementary school on the way. Over six months, I saw a barn built from nothing, political signs advocating the preservation of these acres as farmland, new orchards being planted, hay being harvested, fresh produce stands run by kids on summer break, multiple breeds of animals (including a coyote), and countless stunning sunrises that took my breath away.

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  • A job that came at the exact moment we needed it – With my husband’s lay off eight months prior, our emergency fund drained, me finishing my last semester of college, and no government aid to be had, we were days away from having to move out of our tiny apartment and rent a room from family. God provided this job at our greatest hour of need, allowing me to work a solid 25 hours a week until my husband found a full-time job two months later.

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  • A job that allowed me to work part-time while I finished school – Not only was I finishing my last semester, but my new boss gave me permission to work on homework during my down time. Yes, I was being paid to do homework on the job. Not only that, I was able to finish all of my coursework (including my senior thesis) a month before school was out.

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  • A job that allowed for a healthy start to pregnancy – Although I did not tell my employers about my pregnancy until I was 23 weeks along, I’ve been blessed with the ability to take care of myself while still working part-time. I was able to schedule prenatal appointments with my doctor without trouble. I was very lucky to not have any morning sickness. Instead, I spent my entire first trimester eating everything in sight. My job allowed for me to eat whenever I needed to, and I was spared any strenuous activity (except for walking back and forth to the ladies’ room). Working half days gave me the ability to schedule a two-hour nap right after work when I needed it and still have time to be productive in the rest of the day.

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Two weeks from today, I will be starting back at the job I had previous to this one – working as a writing tutor at the CSU Stanislaus Writing Center. It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and I’m so excited to be returning. In light of this news, I gave my two weeks’ notice at a job I started in February. Although this temp job hasn’t been one of the most exciting or fulfilling jobs, God placed me there at that exact moment for an exact purpose. And that may be the greatest blessing of all.

24 Weeks

24 weeks

How far along: 24 weeks! 16 weeks to go!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 19 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ – 1 lb a week.

Monday: Piyo Sweat, Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Piyo Define: Lower, Zumba choreo review at home, taught a Zumba Kids demo class
Thursday: Taught Zumba
Friday: PiYo Core & Define: Upper
Saturday: PiYo Sweat
Sunday: 2 hours of clearing out the nursery
I’m loving the PiYo program so far! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I’m waking up at 2-3 times a night now.

Best moment this week:  Announcing the full name for our baby and beginning the process of clearing out the nursery!

josiah samwise

Hardest moment this week:  Telling my temp agency about my pregnancy. I’m still not sure what will happen!

What I’m missing: Sleep. And cocktails. I’ve been making mocktails with sparkling water lately.

Movement: He definitely moves more on certain days than others. He’s getting quite wiggly, and I’m pretty sure he had the hiccups this week!

Cravings:  Thanksgiving dinner. Soup.

Queasy or sick: I’m feeling great!

Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery clear-out so we can start putting the room together!

Strange Dreams:  Last night I dreamed my grandma was 38 weeks pregnant. Her, my mom, and my aunt went to redeem treat receipts on the last day and I couldn’t go with them for some reason. My mom tried calling to see what I wanted, but the phone was too complicated for me to figure out how to answer it. I called her back 30 second later, and they were already walking in the door. I was really upset.  I woke myself up sobbing, “It’s fine.”

Another dream crossed Hook with the mole people episode of Bones. It was SUPER weird.

23 Weeks

23 Weeks

I hit my 23rd week on Friday! It’s the start of my 6th month!

How far along: 23 weeks!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 17 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ lbs a week.

Monday: Piyo Align, Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Piyo Define: Lower, Zumba choreo review at home, taught a Zumba Kids demo class
Wednesday: Piyo Define: Upper
Thursday: Taught Zumba
Friday: 1.5 mile walk, PiYo Sweat, 4 hours of cooking
Saturday: PiYo Define: Lower
Sunday: 1.5 hours of housecleaning/organizing
I’m loving the PiYo program so far! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny, but I officially “popped” this week. There’s no mistaking the shape of this belly!

Sleep: I’m waking up at 3:30am on a consistent basis. I usually toss and turn the rest of the night, sometimes getting up 3 times a night. I spent pretty much all Sunday afternoon sleeping to make up for my crappy sleep patterns.

Best moment this week:  Saturday was fantastic! I got my hair chopped off, which I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks now. I also got to go on a date with my hubby! He took me out to lunch at Olive Garden, and then we went shopping at Hobby Lobby to get some crafty supplies to make nursery décor!

Hardest moment this week:  My horrendous sleep pattern as of late…

What I’m missing: Cooler weather. I can’t wait for fall!

Movement: I SAW my belly jump for the first time this week during worship team practice!

Cravings:  I had a desperate craving for a mushroom swiss burger this week, so I picked one up for lunch. No regrets!

Queasy or sick: I was feeling queasy all day yesterday, but that was probably from lack of sleep. Napping seemed to help a lot.

Looking forward to: Starting back at the CSU Stanislaus writing center as a tutor! I loved tutoring last year, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to go back to it!

Strange Dreams:  I’ve had several strange dreams lately, but I can’t remember any specifics.

New haircut!

New haircut!

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22 Weeks

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I meant to post this last Friday, but we left town before I could post!

How far along: 22 weeks!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: About 17 lbs so far. I’m gaining an average of ¾ lbs a week.

Monday: Taught Zumba
Tuesday: 2 mile walk
Wednesday: .5 mile walk
I’m starting the PiYo program on Monday! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, dresses, dresses. I’m also loving my Gap workout pants.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: It’s in the triple digits this entire week, and our tiny wall unit doesn’t reach the bedroom very well. We’ve been moving the mattress to the living room floor every night to try to stay cool. It’s extremely difficult to get up off the floor while being pregnant, as I have to rock myself a few times before I can get onto my knees to stand up. I feel like Amy Mathews when Eric tells her “You wobble like a weeble!”

Best moment this week:  Getting to spend some time with my friend Heather, who has been living on the East coast for school! We got pedicures and watched Frozen.

Hardest moment this week:  Dealing with the discomfort of the weather! UGH!

What I’m missing: Cooler weather. I can’t wait for fall!

Movement: I feel kicks throughout the day now, especially after I have sugar. Spencer got to feel him move for the first time last week!

Cravings:  I had a random craving for cherry Laffy Taffy this week, which is weird because I HATE cherry flavored candies. I bought a bag that day and finished it off by the next day. Oops!  

Queasy or sick: Still avoiding lots of chicken or eggs, but otherwise I’m feeling fine. I have been experiencing some round ligament pain recently.

Looking forward to: A weekend away in the mountains!

Strange Dreams:  Lots of weird dreams lately. Many of them revolve around Zumba.

10 Weekly Goals

I’m still recovering from my blogging hiatus over the last few weeks. My hours at work have been cut back as of this week, so I have some more time to dedicate to blogging.

I need to get back to my weekly goals. They keep me motivated throughout the week so I don’t just eat gallons of ice cream while watching Friends or take naps all day.

Since I haven’t posted my goals in a while, I’m starting with a fresh slate. I’m focusing on progress, not perfection.

This week’s goals:

Marriage/Homemaking Goals:

  1. Write a love note to Spencer
  2. Read part 3 of Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage
  3. Plan a freezer cooking day
  4. Sign up for a childbirth class

Personal Goals:

  1. Finish reading 1 Samuel
  2. Exercise 4 days
  3. Schedule a dental appt

Financial/Hobby Goals:

  1. Post 2 blogs
  2. Finish my BeachBody coach training
  3. Read 1 chapter of Drama Ministry

What are your goals for the week?


20 Weeks

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Hello, it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve updated. Since I blogged so heavily in June, I decided to take a short break (which turned into a 2.5 week break). I used to blog all the time, but I have a habit of burning myself out. While my goal is to blog more regularly, I’m still working on finding a pace that works well for me. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

How far along: 20 weeks! I can’t believe I’m halfway done already!

Gender: BOY!

Weight gained: This is one of my main frustrations this week. A month ago, the nurse told me I wasn’t gaining enough weight. The other day, she said I was gaining weight too rapidly. I’ve officially surpassed my highest weight ever. I need to monitor my weight gain extremely carefully over the remainder of my pregnancy in order to make sure I’m still healthy.

Monday: Taught Zumba
Thursday: Taught Zumba
I just received the PiYo program in the mail yesterday, so I’m anxious to get started on that! Want to join me? Click here!

Clothing Choices:  Dresses, shorts & tanks, and pajamas when I’m at home.

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I’m usually up at least once in the middle of the night, sometimes more. I’m also taking afternoon naps more often.

Best moment this week:  I officially became a BeachBody coach! I’m so excited to share my story with others and help them reach their fitness goals! Want to know more? Visit my coach website!

Hardest moment this week:  Other than the weight struggle, I was in a minor car accident last week, and I’ve been having a rough time dealing with the insurance company.

What I’m missing: Wine, bubbly, and raw cookie dough.

Movement: Feeling my baby move is literally my favorite thing in the entire world. I wait all day to feel those flutters!

Cravings:  I’m actually starting to have some food aversions. I did acquire some free pie pumpkins this week, so I’m excited to start making some pumpkin muffins and pancakes! I can’t wait for fall.

Queasy or sick: I’ve experienced some mild nausea every day over the past 5 days. I think it’s weird that it took until halfway through my pregnancy to start experiencing some of these symptoms. I think it might have something to do with my diet recently, but I can’t stand the smell/thought of eggs, chicken, or most meats lately. I still haven’t been sick, but the idea of these foods has almost put me over the edge a few times in the last few days.

Looking forward to: Having some quality alone time with my husband, settling down on a name for the baby, and seeing our baby again at my prenatal appt next week!

Strange Dreams:  Lots of weird dreams lately. My favorites were:
1) I was back in New Zealand. I was naked. I was completely okay with that.
2) I was in a talent show. My talent was making & eating raw cookie dough.

17 Weeks

How far along: 17 weeks

Gender: Unknown

Weight gained: Holding steady at my current weight

Saturday: attended a Zumba class
Monday: Taught Zumba
Tuesday: Bikini Arms, Sunset Stretch from the Beach Babe 2 DVD
(I did as much as I could)
Thursday: Taught Zumba, worked on choreography afterwards

Clothing Choices:  Dresses!

Belly button: Inny

Sleep: I wake up a lot now, mostly due to nocturnal sciatica.

Best moment this week: Doing an impromptu photoshoot with JMP Photography & celebrating our anniversary!

Hardest moment this week: Dealing with nocturnal sciatica and back pain

What I’m missing: Sleeping painlessly through the night

Movement: Can’t feel anything yet – I can’t wait!

Cravings: All kinds of things – FRESH MINT, frozen yogurt, holiday flavors (pumpkin, peppermint, salted caramel mocha), onion/garlicky things, tea, etc.

Queasy or sick: Still feeling great!

Looking forward to: The holiday weekend & a trip to the beach with my hubby!

Strange Dreams:  Here’s screenshots of a text I sent the morning after I had my strange dream this week. Haha!

photo 1 photo 2


Here’s some more pictures from this week. I was home a lot this week, so there’s lots of pictures!

"Fancy" updo for my photoshoot

“Fancy” updo for my photoshoot

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Whole wheat chocolate chip pumpkin protein pancakes

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

Screenshot from photoshoot

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago - Love you, Lizz!

One of my favorite pictures from my bachelorette party 4 years ago – Love you, Lizz!

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Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Fresh strawberry mint lemonade

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

Brown butter fish & zesty quinoa salad

I've been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

I’ve been waiting for this sale for 3 months!

My Tuesday morning

My Tuesday morning

My husband "missed seeing me," so I sent him this selfie.

My husband “missed seeing me,” so I sent him this selfie.

Sunset over the river

Sunset over the river

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting

Baked pumpkin oatmeal with dark chocolate chunks and vanilla bean swirled cream cheese frosting



A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

A clean car & an oil change for my hubby

It's official!

It’s official!

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Lemon, cucumber, raspberry, mint infused water

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

Surprise anniversary trip to the beach for the holiday weekend!

The spoils of our "gift card" date

The spoils of our “gift card” date

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Also, my friend Kelly and I think we invented a new meme. It’s called “Or else.”



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4 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, we celebrated 4 years of marriage!  It’s hard to believe that it was 4 years ago, we were dancing the night away with friends and family after months of planning.

Every year, we’ve scheduled a photo shoot for our anniversary. It’s so much fun to see how we change each year. This year, our friend Scot Woodman did our anniversary photos. He also shot our first and third anniversaries for us, and he’s going to be doing our maternity/newborn photoshoots. We love Scot!

I try to do something different each year. (Update: I added a page of us through the years!) This year we went around downtown Modesto, but we went to different locations than we have in the past. Here’s our photos from this year!

My favorite

Building a Housecleaning Routine

For the last few weeks, my goal has been to begin and establish a daily cleaning routine. I’m embarrassed to say that when I’m in school, I don’t clean regularly. Dishes and laundry got done, but I was lucky to vacuum once a month. Tasks like cleaning the bathroom or dusting were even more seldom (I know, I know… it’s disgusting). Starting a new cleaning routine for the first time since last summer seemed intimidating at the very least. Overwhelming is more like it. The sad thing is, I have an app with a PAID subscription with a cleaning list already on my phone. I’ve had it since January. It’s called Motivated Moms, and I love it. It’s a wonderful app. It even has an option for adding in a daily Bible reading plan. The funny thing is, once I got behind on my Bible reading plan, I stopped using the app completely! Isn’t it ridiculous that I stopped using my cleaning app because I fell behind in Bible reading?! Sometimes it’s sad the way the simplest things can throw off our entire routine.

The cleaning list in the app is broken into two main categories – daily and today. The “today” tasks rotate weekly/monthly, and they’re usually bigger tasks. You can add your own tasks as you need. My daily tasks include:

  • Empty trash
  • Feed pets
  • Wipe out bathroom sinks
  • Make beds
  • Change kitchen dishcloths/towels
  • Clear/wipe kitchen counters
  • Dry/put away dishes
  • Plan/cook dinner
  • Sweep kitchen & entryway
  • Wash dishes
  • Do laundry

This past week, I decided this was the week to begin. I started with the goal of spending 30 minutes a day dedicated to housecleaning. Many SAH/WAH moms are able to do their daily cleaning tasks build into their regular schedules. I wanted to do the same, but since I work in the mornings, I decided to do my housecleaning as soon as I got home from work. As with all of my goals, my focus is on progress, not perfection.


Monday was the day I implemented this new routine. After going months without any semblance of regular cleaning, I severely underestimated how much work it would be to start out. I spent about an hour cleaning, instead of the 30 minute goal I had. I also had met my mom for lunch that day, so I didn’t get started until after I returned home. Here’s how my routine looked:

1:39pm – arrive home, sort mail, answer texts, open blinds

1:43pm – make bed, put away clean laundry, feed cats

1:49pm – put on music, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, clean kitchen sink, change kitchen towels

2:12pm – sweep kitchen & living room

2:21pm – rest

I didn’t even come close to finishing my cleaning list, but I decided that progress was better than nothing!


On Tuesday, I had lunch with a friend, followed by running some errands. I didn’t arrive home until later in the afternoon. I still did my cleaning after I arrived home, but I was determined to finish my entire list. This time, I was able to accomplish the entire cleaning list in just under an hour!

3:07pm – arrive home, sort mail, open blinds, check social media, put on music

3:12pm – empty trash, wipe bathroom sink, (Spencer made the bed!)

3:15pm – put away clean dishes, wash dishes, wipe sink/counters

3:27pm – sweep kitchen & living room

3:34pm – rest to pet kitty (Pippin was whining)

3:36pm – pick up dirty clothes, return shoes to closet (done with daily tasks!)

3:38pm – clean out purse/wallet, dust ceiling fans, clean bathroom mirrors

3:48pm – sweep bedroom, vacuum rug

4:01pm – rest


On Wednesday, I came straight home from work, and I was RAVENOUS. It was also watering day, and we only have one sprinkler. So making/eating lunch and moving the sprinkler every 10-15 minutes lengthened the cleaning process by quite a bit.

12:18pm – arrive home, open blinds, start lunch, change into shorts, sort mail, start sprinkler

12:29pm – continue cooking lunch, put away clean dishes (cleaning up as I cook), move sprinkler

12:39pm – eat lunch while watching 15min of Doctor Who, move sprinkler 2x

12:59pm – wash dishes, change kitchen towels, declutter kitchen table & counters, wipe down kitchen surfaces, wipe sink, move sprinkler

1:17pm – make bed, wipe bathroom sink & front of shower door, feed cats, pick up laundry, put away sprinkler

1:23pm – sweep kitchen & living room, start a load of laundry

1:30pm – rest for a few minutes

1:37pm – clean shower (I only cleaned one wall because the shower is FILTHY and I was tired)

2:03pm – declutter top & front of fridge, dust top of fridge, dust bedroom

2:10pm – rest


On Thursday, I had a lunch date with a friend at 1, so I wanted to get all of my daily tasks finished before she came to pick me up. I was in a frenzy to get things done as fast as possible. I did the rest of the “today” tasks after I arrived home.

12:26pm – sort mail, open blinds, put clean dishes away, wash dishes, pick up laundry, change kitchen towels, wipe kitchen & bathroom sinks, wipe down kitchen surfaces, set out beans to defrost for dinner

12:36pm – empty trashes, fold/put away 1 load laundry

12:43pm – sweep kitchen, living room, and bathroom

12:51pm – rest/lunch date

2:27pm – arrive home, open blinds, clean mop pad, mop kitchen, dust living room & all light fixtures

2:42pm – clean microwave & inside of fridge door

3:11pm – rest


On Friday, I was exhausted when I came home from work. It was watering day again, so once I finished with that, I took a nap. I didn’t get everything on my list done for the day, but I’m proud of the work I accomplished.

12:35pm – arrive home, open blinds, sort mail, start sprinkler, put lunch in oven

12:37pm – pick up laundry & shoes, put away clean dishes, wash dishes, set stubborn dishes to soak, move sprinkler

12:49pm – change sheets, make bed, refill soap dispensers, move sprinkler

12:59pm – lunch, put away sprinkler, nap

4:08pm – sweep porch & walkway, feed cats

4:14pm – rest

Overall, I count this week of housecleaning as a success. I’m still working on my housecleaning tasks on a daily basis when I get home from work. The apartment looks a million times better than it did, even though it’s just little things that get done each day. It’s the little things that count.