Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014, another one for the books

Oh 2014: 
Another year past as a family of three. We are so thankful for a wonderful year full of blessings and good memories. Our biggest and best memory, of course, is finding out that our family was growing. We spent the majority of the year looking forward to transitioning to a family of four and preparing for Hayden's little sister to arrive. 
This year was a little different than the last. I feel like we didn't have as much time to slow down and take things in - we were always on the go! We celebrated second birthdays and 29th birthdays. Hayden started preschool, wore a cast for a couple weeks, and moved into a big boy bed. We traveled around the country and made it to Austin, Charleston, New York City, Disneyland, and Tahoe. We made some big changes in our house, finishing our kitchen, (almost) finishing our master bathroom, and adding a nursery. After two and a half years, our house truly feels like a home and we love spending time here. 
We had some challenges this year and we learned how to value one another even more and value our precious time together when work, pregnancy, and parenthood demands ate up most of our time.  We learned to cherish this season of our lives and to continue to build a stronger marriage in spite of the craziness.
We lost a precious family member in August and were grateful that Hayden had two years to get to know the wonderful man that was his Great Grandfather. 
2014 was a year of change and growing. It was eventful and busy but we still had time to enjoy the quiet moments of our lives and to appreciate all that we have. In 2015, I hope we have a quieter year and more time spent together. We are looking forward to our biggest change yet as we welcome Baby Girl in just another week or two. We are excited for what lays ahead and grateful for what we've learned from 2014. 
Farewell 2014 and happy new year to all!
Jess, Nick, and Hayden  

Monday, December 29, 2014

christmas 2014 recap

We had a lovely Christmas with our favorite two-year-old. This year felt a bit more relaxed than most with both Hayden and I getting a chance to nap in the middle of the day! We spent the first couple of the hours of the day at home opening presents and playing with toys with Hayden. He received a play car garage from Santa and that present has been a hit each day since. 
Even though we only got him a few presents, he was still overwhelmed and we ended up saving some to give to him when Baby Sister arrives (as a peace offering ;) ). His other favorites were these crayons, and this coffee maker.
After our morning at home, we headed to my parents' house for brunch and another round of presents. Hayden was a happy kiddo and Baby Girl got spoiled too with lots of fun art and gold and white accessories and clothing.  Once the nursery is put together, I'll make sure to share all the fun things we have in there!
After nap time, we had one more stop at my aunt and uncle's house for more family time and dinner.
Despite naps, all of us were in bed by 8 pm and asleep before 8:30!
Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

a christmas miracle

After all our worrying and prayers over the last week, we got the best news on Christmas Eve. Nick, my mom, and I went to the hospital for the EVC procedure to try and turn baby girl from breech into the correct position. After waiting in the hospital bed for the doctor to arrive, we had one final ultrasound to make sure the procedure was still needed. To our great surprise, Baby Girl had turned direction sometime between Friday and yesterday. She is head down, ready to go- making the EVC and a potential planned c-section and everything else unnecessary. 
I know we had a lot people praying for this result along with us and I'm so happy for this small miracle. We had a crazy Christmas Eve with some serious car trouble, and most of the day did not go as planned. Last night, Nick and I sat on the ground in front of the Christmas tree assembling Hayden's gift. We had a fire lit in the fireplace, Love Actually on in the background, and we were sharing the plate of Santa's cookies. It was the first calm moment we had experienced the entire day. Right then, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and joy and was finally able to process what a gift we had been given.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a peaceful and joy-filled day with your loved ones. Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers over the last few days.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Baby Girl Update

Last week I went in for my 36 week appointment and they checked her position. The doctor found that Baby Girl was breech and immediately told me that she would be scheduling the ECV (version) procedure at the hospital for next week to try and turn the baby. 
If you haven't heard of an ECV it's a procedure where they push really hard on your belly from the outside to try to get the baby into the downward position for birth. It has about a 50 percent success rate and has to be done at the hospital in case the baby goes into distress and they need to do an emergency c-section. If it doesn't work, they schedule a c-section for 39 weeks.  
Needless to say, this wasn't news we were expecting to get. I assumed I would have a similar birth experience to the one I had with Hayden and go into labor naturally. I had a different doctor in the practice than anyone I've had before and she didn't explain much about my options or the risks involved and I was too shocked to ask the right questions. 
So this weekend I've been feeling scared and nervous and a little stressed with the thought that there is an outside chance baby girl could be here next week. I spent the weekend washing baby clothes, packing hospital and Hayden bags, and trying to get the nursery thrown together, albeit a little haphazardly.
I know that there are some doctors that are willing to deliver a baby breech naturally, but I don't think anyone at our practice does that. There's also a lot of success stories on the internet of women who were given the same prognosis and their babies turned on their own by 39 weeks. So I'm not giving up all hope that I can avoid the c-section. In the end we want to do what is best for our baby. I'm scheduling a call with my regular doctor as soon as I can today to talk about the options and come up with a game plan. If we decide to do the ECV, it will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday because we are supposed to have it done between 36 and 37 weeks which is a tight timeline  with Christmas this week. 
Anyway, I know this is definitely a first world problem and in a few weeks time we will have our happy, healthy baby girl regardless of how she comes into the world. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel a little scared about everything. If you wouldn't mind sending a few prayers our way this next week or so. xoxo

Friday, December 19, 2014

five on friday

1. Less than a week until Christmas!! I can't believe we are already here. We are finishing up some last minute projects this weekend for the house and then focusing on family time for the next two weeks. All of our out-of-town family have flown in this week and I'm so happy to have everyone here for Christmas. 
2. A bit more progress...  Since my last update on Tuesday, we've had even more progress in the bathroom. In fact, today is the last day for our contractors to work here. All the tile and grout is done and looks amazing. Today they are adding the shower head, baseboards, mirror, and toilet to the room. We still have plenty on our end to do but it's all looking much more feasible than it did a week ago. 

3. Christmas movies What are your must-watch movies each season? For me it's: Home Alone, Love Actually, and It's a Wonderful Life. Since we haven't had time to watch any so far, I think Nick and I need to have a movie-watching binge this weekend. 
4. 36 weeks.  Today I go to the doctor again- I'm at the point where I'm going every week from here on out. At this point, I'm feeling so so pregnant and really the only thing I think I have going for me is good pregnancy hair. ;) I am planning on doing some packing of the hospital bag and organizing for baby this weekend. The end is in sight and I can't wait!  
5.  Last day in the office... Yesterday was my last day going into the office for the next 5 months. I'm going to be working from home exclusively before and after the baby is born. I only go in two mornings a week anyway, but it will be nice not to commute for a while! 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

reno progress

So, as is customary in the world of renovations, we are behind schedule. We thought we would be wrapping up last week but we are still looking at a week or more of work to do. It's mostly because some things we ordered are taking their time showing up to the house and delaying progress. Our shower head came in 4.5 weeks after we ordered it. Our sink came in, was cracked and the replacement should be here after Christmas. Despite some setbacks, we have seen some good progress in both the bathroom and the baby's room. 
The bathroom now is painted, has 2 of it's 3 light fixtures and tiling began last week. Since we are doing subway tile to the ceiling it's pretty time intensive. Our contractor thinks he'll be done with that today and can move on to the shower floor and the rest of the bathroom floor. The tiling should be done by Thursday/Friday this week.
  We also removed the door that leads into our room and installed a barn door. The door opened up into the bathroom and made things feel a little cramped. Now with the barn door, we can slide it along the wall. Plus we love the unique look.
Speaking of doors, the french doors are in on the other side of the room and I love them. It is so bright in the baby's room now with the doors and a window. Thanks to my mom, dad, and sister, we were able to get the room painted in a weekend. I chose a pale peach for the walls- I didn't want traditional light pink, but I still wanted some really airy in there. I love the color and even with no furniture or decorations, it feels really soft and feminine.
The nursery is currently housing boxes of tiles and other supplies but I'm hoping to set it up by Christmas or at least New Year's!  
Even though the main part of the bathroom will be done this weekend, we have to wait for our shower door (it couldn't be ordered until the tile was complete) along with the sink. In lieu of a traditional vanity, we picked out this solid piece of walnut with a rough edge which we will use as a floating vanity shelf. Nick has taken on this project himself and it's looking really good- lots of epoxy and sanding and time but it's definitely the look we are going for.
Finally, we are getting new carpet on our stairs and in all upstairs rooms. The carpet we currently have is terrible- it was replaced just before we moved in and is the cheapest carpet ever, it stains very easily and is scratchy. The new carpet is being installed on Monday and is an eco-friendly carpet so it will not have any bad chemicals or gross stuff in it. I actually haven't seen it since we picked it out a couple months ago so it's a surprise for everyone ;)  
While our contractors have been amazing and going above and beyond on the job, we won't be sad when these projects are 100% done. Showering in Hayden's bathroom, around his sleep schedule and having to go downstairs in the middle of the night to use the bathroom aren't my favorite- but it will all be worth it in the end! Until then, let's hope for no more delays and smooth sailing for these projects! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

on slowing down this holiday season

Usually at this 10 days before Christmas date, I start to get anxious about all the things I have to do, the plans we need to make, the cards I need to send, and the last minute presents to buy or wrap. Not so much this year. I still can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner but I'm not feeling stress about it, just excitement for all that family time and for Baby Girl's due date to be even closer.
I mentioned before that I ended up Christmas shopping back in November, right after Halloween. I did all my shopping online and was able to get almost everything wrapped several weeks ago. I did this mostly because I knew that I would be tired and super pregnant by the time the actual holiday season rolled around, so my usual shopping in the stores wasn't going to be as easily accomplished. However, an unexpected side-effect of shopping so early was that this Christmas season has been a lot less hectic and stressful. Yes, we are renovating several rooms upstairs (#chaos) but overall we've had a more mellow and less commercialized holiday season than in the past- and I love it. 
We've had more time to do activities with Hayden, stay home and just enjoy each other's company rather than running 10 million errands each day. I love that Hayden has a real sense of joy and excitement about the season this year and even though he's a little young, I am trying to teach him about the true meaning for the season.
Our quieter holiday season has translated into less stress, money, and time decorating the house and more time for us to spend with our families. I know that our slowing down is a definite byproduct of this supergiant pregnant belly but I am hoping that we can continue this less-is-more tradition for the years to come.
So for the rest of the season, we plan on reading books, wearing the heck out of our Christmas pajamas, baking a little, and savoring time together as a family of three (for a little longer anyway!).
I hope you are also having time to enjoy the holidays!  

Friday, December 12, 2014

5 on Friday

1.  35 weeks pregnant- My due date is a bit over a month from now and I'm definitely feeling it!  This bump is legit and I'm feeling myself slowing down and just feeling not great in this final stretch. Even going on a 2-3 mile is getting to be a lot for me. But overall, I can't complain- I've had a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy and am so thankful for that. 
2. #25daysofchristmas So, I can't commit to the elf on the shelf or a daily advent gift/calendar thing for Hayden. However I decided to try to do one special and holiday-ish activity with Hayden each day. Nothing major or even really planned out in advance- just something small to keep us feeling festive this season. So far we've done some baking, decorating, and crafting. I'm really enjoying these little activities, especially knowing my time is going to be in demand in the next month or so!
3.  Kids are unpredictable. The end. This week Hayden's decided to take to sleeping in until 9 am, but conversely not napping and getting way overtired by the time 6 pm rolls around.  The last couple weeks he was taking 3 hour naps and sleeping great during the day - so who knows?!
4. Cookies all the time. Have you ever had Trader Joe's Peppermint Joe Joe's?? I'm not much of a chocolate eater or store-bought cookie fan but these are amazing. I may have eaten the whole box (minus a couple) this week by myself... Definitely dangerous to have around.
5.  Fall of Giants. Have you read this book or others by Ken Follett? One fortunate side effect of pregnancy-induced insomnia is that I have plenty of time to read lengthy books that would otherwise take me forever to get through. I finished this 850 page book in about a week and a half, thanks to many 2am - 5 am reading sessions. It was so good and now I'm on to the next one in the trilogy, Winter of the World. I highly recommend Fall of Giants if you like historical fiction and have plenty of time on your hands ;) 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sparkle and Shine with Chairsh

I am excited to be working with Chairish once again, this time sharing my favorite holiday party looks! I love getting dressed up around the holidays and there's no better time to don sparkles than this season! While Chairish is known for selling vintage furniture and decor, they have recently expanded and are now selling beautiful vintage jewelry and accessories. They have necklacesearringsbraceletshandbagsscarves, and many other amazing one-of-a-kind items listed on their site. The inventory is huge with thousands of items. It's the perfect go-to site for unique and meaningful holiday gifts... or a little something for yourself! 
Sparkle and Shine with Chairsh

Browsing their extensive selection of jewelry and accessories, I put together 2 party looks that I would be more than happy to wear this holiday season. 

Look #1: Black, pink, and gold: I love the combo of black and pink together. (Those were the colors of our wedding!) I think black keeps pink from looking too girly and adds a little sophistication to any outfit. I chose this forgiving (keep in mind- I am 8 + months pregnant!) dress from Modcloth and a variety of black and pink accessories to dress it up. I especially love the black cocktail ring and black clutch that would be a perfect match for this fun dress. 

Look #2: Sparkly silver and pink: What can I say, I just love the color pink! I adore the big bow at the neckline of this dress - so festive! For this look, I went with some softer accessories, and created a more simple, though still elegant look. Those earrings would look fabulous with the sparkly silver dots on the dress. 

Want to shop the looks above? Check out all the items in the links below. Also, be sure to check out Chairish when searching for the perfect accessory for your next holiday soiree!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

christmas house

Let me start by saying 35 weeks pregnant + a sick but exuberant 2 year old + 4 weeks of house renovations + work deadlines + the holidays does not make me a very good blogger. However, I couldn't let a year go by without documenting Christmas at our house. As with everything this year, we are trying to simplify in the name of pregnancy exhaustion! I think Hayden and I decorated the house in an hour and pulled out only a few of our 7 Christmas boxes from the garage- but, it's just enough and I love the little Christmas touches around our house. 
The entryway is a little festive with a gold and white paper garland and a TJs boxwood wreath. I love love fresh greenery at the holidays. 
More greenery + some pretty votives on the hall table. 
Oooh the tree.... This poor tree was purchased and delivered the day after Thanksgiving and then it sat with just lights until last night when we finally managed to find time to hang up our ornaments. However, you may notice it's leaning to the left slightly (my fault- trying to put it up on my own). Also, the lights went out on the bottom left, and now as I sit here, the top of the tree is looking a little dark too... Maybe, maybe I'll buy some more and try to string them in between the ornaments. In all likelihood, it may stay as is. (Again- pregnancy exhaustion!) 
Our mantle looks pretty much the same as it did last year. Would you believe that Hayden hasn't tried to touch the stockings once? I'm amazed. (Now that I said that he'll probably go straight for them!) 
 That's our little Christmas 2014 tour, bad iPhone pictures and all! It feels quite cozy in here, even with all the construction going on upstairs! 

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