Aug 22, 2014

Dreaming of Fall

Just call me Mrs. Grinch, but I have been loathing summer this year. It's just not the same when you're pregnant, don't have access to a pool anymore, and can't be sipping on margaritas. Unfortunately for me, summer in Texas usually lasts a few more months. That won't stop me from dreaming about fall, though!

Here's what I'm most looking forward to about my favorite season.

Cooler weather.
Guys, I am struggling this summer here in Texas. And it hasn't even been a bad one! We've only seen 100 degrees a few times! I'm blaming pregnancy for feeling overheated 24/7. I just can't even deal. I'm so sick of it that I've taken to remaining in the house from lunch until after dinner so that I don't have to get in a hot car and be tempted to turn up the A/C to full blast. I made dinner in the crockpot the other night in hopes that I wouldn't be sweating by the time we sat down to eat. Wrong!

I miss not sweating.

Yeah, BYE.

Cool weather clothes.
I'm a big fan of boots + leggings + tunics + sweaters. I love feeling cozy and comfortable; layering is my favorite. I'm looking forward to long pants now more than ever since shaving my legs is becoming a progressively more tedious task.

Not sure how these would look 30-40 weeks pregnant butttt, loving these outfits hard.
{1 // 2 (Pinterest dead end) // 3}

Fall foods.
Butternut squash everything. Oven baked goodness. Apples and pumpkins. Comfort foods. These are my jam. I almost bought a pumpkin pie this week at the grocery store but had to stop myself. Speaking of pumpkin...

Pumpkin spice lattes.
I KNOW. I know. Everyone and their 2 year old daughter and their grandmother loves the much adored and unhealthy fall drink. But there's a reason everyone loves it! I'm not loyal to any particular coffee shop and even love to make my own at home. Again, I'll probably have to restrain myself from buying one as soon as they're released because I don't want to experience the first sip of "fall" while sweating it out in the dog days of summer. And having it iced it just NOT the same.

Football season.
There's something so wonderful about the football weekends of fall. For us, it's all about the Aggies, and we always at least have the NFL games on in the background on Sundays. There's just something so relaxing to me about having football on at all times, even if it's a game I'm not particularly interested in. Our new house is pretty close to one of the local high schools, too, so I think we'll try to make it to one of their games this year. (Since I went to high school in Connecticut, I have yet to experience a Texas high school football game. For shame!)

Truth. {Source}
Getting outside.
Exercising outdoors is just about a billion times more enjoyable when it's cool outside, no? I've been trying to walk when I first wake up or right before the sun sets but, you guessed it, it's hella hot and humid out at both of those times.

The arrival of Zoe.
I had to throw that one in there. I can't believe we'll be meeting our baby girl in a few short months!

Linking up over at Conversion Diary for this week's 7 Quick Takes! Be sure to go check out everyone else's :)

What are you looking forward to most about fall? Or are you praying for a long summer (bite your tongue!)?

Nursery Inspiration

A few months ago, I was asked what the theme for our nursery would be.

I honestly hadn't even thought much about a color scheme at the time, let alone a theme. I didn't know nurseries typically even had themes! I hadn't started pinning nurseries I liked on Pinterest, since I had wanted to wait until we knew if we were having a boy or girl. When we found out Zoe was a girl, I had an easier time determining what I didn't want. I'm not big on anything super girly or overdone, so not a lot of pink, no frills, no princesses or ballerinas, no zoo animals and no sea creatures.

I eventually decided I really liked the combination of pale lavender + white + gold. If other colors appear in the decor, well that's okay too. I just really like the idea of a cool toned, minimalist room with gold accents. Metallic things (glitter!) are probably the girliest things I gravitate towards and that sounded fun to add touches of.

When I finally started my perusal of girl nurseries on Pinterest, there was no lack of inspiration. Below are my favorites.

 {Left // Right}

I can't get over that floral dresser and the nesting doll prints. On the right, kind of loving those star decals, or any large decal for that matter to create an accent wall.

  {Left // Right}

I know they're starting to go out of style, but I'm still loving animal head mounts. Also gallery walls. Are those going out of style too? I hope not. 

I died when I saw that sheep rocker. It was on Land of Nod (I wish I never stepped foot on that website) but I can't find it anywhere online now. I also think the little hanging branch of special clothes is adorable.

As I started to look more at nursery decor, I realized I was unintentionally gravitating toward a theme after all: whimsical + woodland creatures. 

Ignore the polar bear rocking horse. We can just pretend he's a white forest bear. And yes those are zoo animals in the middle but I love the portrait style of the prints!

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}

I can't wait to go pick out some paint this weekend and to get started on finally putting this vision together. As far as furniture goes, I'm a big fan of the Jenny Lind cribs or the Gulliver crib from good old Ikea. We're repurposing a 5 drawer dresser from our room, but it's a little too high to be a changing table so we'll need to see what's out there for that. We haven't thought much about gliders vs. rocking chairs yet, either.

Nesting mode is officially in full swing, friends!

Aug 20, 2014

Bump Day: Starting the 3rd Trimester [28 Weeks]

Yikes, it's been 10 weeks since I published my last Bump Day post. I've talked about the pregnancy here and there in other posts, but I'd say it's about time to dedicate big ol' update to 28 weeks!

First things first: we have a name.

We've actually had one since mid-June, right after we found out the gender (it's a girl, by the way, if you missed that in the past!). I love the idea of waiting until the actual birth day to find out if you're having a boy or a girl and naming him or her right then and there...but we couldn't wait. At least not this time.

So without further ado, we will be naming her...Zoe Marie!

Choosing a first name was a lot easier than I thought it'd be. We had it narrowed down to a few but immediately agreed on "Zoe." It's always been a favorite of mine; we found out after deciding on it that it means "life" and is actually a Jewish translation of Eve. Pretty cool! Middle names, we learned, were super hard to decide on. I had loved the idea of a saint's name, but neither of us have a particular connection to one or another. We ended up choosing "Marie" because it's the same as mine and because of Mary.

This was not a deciding factor, but I think it's pretty cool she'll get to share her name with a Sesame Street character. Sesame Street was my favorite growing up so you best believe it will be on most mornings in our house.

In pregnancy news, I just cannot believe I'm in the last trimester. The first trimester moved so slowly, but the second one was here and gone before I knew it. Part of me wishes I could stop time to prepare more for the little one. I feel so unprepared! I just cleared out the room that will be her nursery last week. We haven't even gone to look at paint colors or furniture yet. Some people have the nursery completely ready by this point! And don't even get me started on our registry (we don't have one).

Last week I took my glucose test, failed it, and had to take the 3 hour one a few days later which was hands down the worst part of this pregnancy so far. I chugged the flat orange soda like a champ (thanks college!) but proceeded to feel light-headed and sick to my stomach for the remaining 3 hours. I couldn't concentrate on anything and when I was done, I wasn't even hungry or thirsty...I just wanted to get straight into bed and let my awful sugar coma continue its process. Thankfully I passed that one, and you know I had some celebratory ice cream when I found out.

Also, I'm starting to feel very large. At my doctor's visit last week, I realized I only had about 5 more pounds to gain before I hit my recommended weight gain. In 3 months. Considering I'm pretty sure I gained more than 5 pounds in the past month, this scared me a little and made me mad at myself for not eating a better diet and walking more since March.

Of course I won't be doing anything dramatic during this last trimester, but I have started to roughly count my calories and make exercising more of a priority. I know weight gain is so different for everyone, but I don't want to get in a danger zone where it would make anything more complicated.

The good news is that Zoe is measuring right on cue and is moving around like crazy! She was a little quieter than normal this past weekend. I did a kick count but what I felt seemed too subtle. Now I understand why moms freak out when their baby stops moving in their normal patterns. She's definitely back in action now; this morning as mass, I felt like my belly was shaking all over the place!

Here is a bump shot from Sunday:
Other random tidbits...

- I've been craving cherry limeades like crazy
- I started reading Bringing up Bebe. Some of the things French women do make a lot of sense and I'm already finding myself tell Landon we have to do those things (yeah, we'll see!)
- My back is still hurting, but not nearly as bad as it was for the past month or so
- The summer heat has been draining me, even if I make sure to stay inside during the hottest times of the day. I've been napping a lot.
- I really can't begin to remember how it feels to sleep through the night. I think that's all I want for my birthday in May.

Tell me: how are all of the other pregnant mamas out there feeling? Make sure y'all are treatin' yoselves well!

Choosing to Be the Light

I didn't think I was going to write about everything going on in the world today, but I don't see how I can write any other sort of blog post without sharing my thoughts.

I don't feel like I'm knowledgeable enough to speak on what's going on right now in the Middle East or even just a few states away in Missouri. It's all very confusing and heartbreaking. I feel like we're not doing enough in any of these places, but then again I don't have any better suggestions. I feel as though I have nothing to offer those who are going through more pain and suffering than I've ever known.

I'm having a hard time simply remembering to pray for the end of these horrific situations. It's way too easy to lose hope and trust. It's also way too easy to tune it all out and to just go about your life as if nothing bad is happening outside of your bubble.

Haley's post yesterday really spoke to me about hope and perseverance. She quoted St. John Paul the Great who said "Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song." As Christians, we are called to live our lives a certain way. This includes seeking out the light of Christ and sharing it with others in whatever way we can.

Just because things happen that are complicated and confusing doesn't mean we just give up hope. We are called to be the light of the world, especially during these dark times. It is a conscious choice we must make.

I'm thankful for those who are able to share words of peace and solace with everyone who is as just heartbroken as I am. I greatly admire those who are defending their faith and what they believe. I'd like to say I would do the same, but that's a lot easier said than done when faced with such hardship.

But most importantly, I'm thankful for a God who challenges me and everyone else to pray harder than we ever thought possible and to live out what we believe--to be the light in the darkness.

It's not easy. I have such a difficult time articulating my firm belief and trust in what's to come. But perhaps if we can just take each day as it comes and remember to be that beautiful light to all, it will help to show others the hope of what's promised to every single one of us.

Please remember to keep all of those who are suffering in your prayers, and to pray without ceasing.

Aug 10, 2014

Weekly Goals; August 11-17

I'm a chronic list maker. I love writing down to-dos on paper, on my phone, on my Macbook stickies. The problem is that I'm not one of those people that lives to check things off her to-do list. I kind of just write lists to get it all out of my head, and then they get buried away and I don't really refer back to them.

Not very productive.

I've been intrigued by the idea of Bullet Journaling for the past few months. I've tried (and failed) at keeping one in a plain notebook. Recently though, I saw a set of cute little pink Moleskine-esque journals with the grid pages recommended for this type of journaling. They were on super sale at Barnes and Noble, so I picked them up in hopes they'd reignite that bullet journaling inspiration.

(They haven't yet.)

Life's about to get crazy. The rest of August brings a hectic work schedule for Landon, out of town visitors staying in our barely unpacked house, the start of football season, and the beginning of my third trimester. Whew. I got exhausted just typing that.

In my continuous effort to find a better way to set goals and plan, I decided now might be a good time to try setting some realistic goals on this little blog and to recap how they go the next week. I'm choosing to ignore the people who think telling others your goals doesn't really help and actually makes it harder to stick to them.

This week, I'm going to pick a goal or two from a few different categories. These could be daily things I want to accomplish/add to my routine or just one off things that need to be checked off my to-do list...which I plan on keeping with bullet journaling in my pretty new notebook. Hopefully this will be a thing until the little one pops out in November. But! It might not work for me, and that's okay too. Here's round one...

-Keep up with bullet journaling throughout the week
-Publish 3 blog posts

-Daily prayers with Landon
-Read the Daily Readings

-Sew 2 things
-Paint for fun

-Exercise daily
-Finish 1 pregnancy book
-Research safest/best cribs, bassinets, car seats, strollers, cloth diapers

-Organize/decorate guest room
-Stick to daily cleaning schedule

How do you go about making sure you achieve your goals? Let me know what works for you!

Sunday Mishmash: What I Wore + Answer Me This!

I think Sundays are becoming my favorite day of the week. Lately, ours have included going to mass and being lazy bums. I'd say that always sounds pretty perfect :)

Yesterday we drove to Homestead Heritage in Waco to meet my parents for lunch. According to my mom, it had been 6 whole weeks since we last saw them. Not okay. I went to Cafe Homestead for the first time with one of my best friends when she graduated from Baylor in May. From my understanding, they make and grow everything there from scratch. And you can tell! We walked around a little and got to see their pottery studio and gristmill. Their grounds are gorgeous and I'm sure are a lot more enjoyable when it's not the dog days of summer ;)
Today we went to mass and then a permanent parishioners brunch. Our church is actually a campus ministry so the ratio of college students to permanent parishioners is a little high. We're hoping to get a little more involved this year and it sounds like there are some exciting things planned for everyone. And brunch. Brunch was awesome. Where else can you get a plate full of breakfast tacos, muffins, and deviled eggs all in one place?
27 Week Bump Shot!

Top -- Target Maternity via thredUP
Belt -- Forever 21
Jeans -- Target Maternity
Sandals -- Old Navy

I decided it was about time I linked up for Kendra's Answer Me This questionnaire. I love reading everyone's responses!

1. What do you still want to do this summer?
This is a hard one for me because...I'm kind of over summer. I was over it before it even began. Just call me a Summer Grinch. If Texas got hit with a sudden cold spell (HAH! yeah right!) tomorrow and I had to start wearing leggings and drinking hot chocolate, I'd be okay with that. Pregnancy + 100 degree weather = me being a complete grump unless I'm in a freezing cold building.

2. What's your favorite kind of pie?
I don't know if this counts, but I've been going crazy over peach cobbler this summer. It's definitely a weird craving because I'm not usually this into cobbler/pie. A close second would be peanut butter and chocolate pie, though ;)

3. How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?
My sleep schedule is so messed up that I'm not even really sure what I benefit most from. I'd say an average of 8 hours, which I usually kind of sort of get...however, those 8 hours are interrupted with lots of waking up from tossing and turning and getting up to go to the bathroom.

Naps are good.

4. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?
I'm weird about pools of water. It kind of freaks me out if they aren't on the clear side, and it kind of freaks me out if I don't know what my feet are touching on the bottom. On the flip side, public pools really gross me out. So maybe the pool of a family member or friend :) But I do love going to the's just been awhile!

5. Do you know any poems by heart?
I can't say that I do. I was never much into poetry but it's something I'd like to learn more about/read more of at some point!

6. Do you use the public library?
Yes! My mom's a librarian and really encouraged us to take full advantage of them. Because of that, I always check the library first to see if they have a book I want to read before buying it and even if they don't...I'm reluctant to buy books.

Off to polish off another blog post that'll go up soon. See you cool cats later!

Aug 5, 2014

Hi There

I think I've fallen into the trap that's happened one too many times before with blogging.

It's the one where I'll write all these posts and then save them to edit later. "I'll hit that publish button once I find some good pictures to go with them," I think.
{Drafts on drafts on drafts}

But then these poor little posts stay in Blogger limbo because I start to think they're really nothing special anyways. I probably just shouldn't post them.


Here's the thing about this blog, though: it's my blog. It's my little diary! It's my way to connect with you all and meet new friends. Why wouldn't I actually post about whatever's going on in my life if there are things I'd want to remember or share with others?

So instead of regretting not getting my Edel post up 2 weeks ago (it's already been that long?!) or not writing weekly pregnancy posts, I decided it's time to hit that invisible reset button, remind myself why I started The Sweet Wonder this year, and just move forward already. Sound good?

To start it things off, here's what I've been up to lately:

- Making to-do lists like they're going out of style.
If, God willing, I get pregnant again in the future (goals), I'll have a baby. Or a toddler. Or a kid. And I won't be able to devote a whole week to deep cleaning the house or making a freezer full of meals for our next pregnancy. My naturally scatterbrained self wants to bring as much preparedness to November just because, why not? It might be the only time for the next 20+ years that I'll have this much control! I want the house cleaned, freezer stocked, new home decorated, and nursery set up. It's go time, people.

- Feeling the baby move all. the. time.
It's awesome. This is another thing (along with ultrasounds) you 4th, 5th, etc. time moms can tell me if it gets old. I feel like the answer is no. This whole bonding with baby thing is really happening now, especially when Landon can feel her too. It's
{Last week at 26ish weeks.}

- Having a lot of rest days.
Another thing I probably won't be able to do for many many years in a few short months. Nearly every mom I met at Edel told me to take advantage of it being able to rest as much as possible! I realized I hadn't been; if I spent most of the day in bed with my heating pad and some YouTube, I felt like the laziest person ever. After I heard it's okay from moms who have been there...and finally listened to my husband who had been telling me the same's felt darn good.

- Dreaming of Aggie Football season.
No, really. 23 days! And our internet/television provider finally got their behinds around to picking up The SEC Network, so the decision of do we or don't we sign up for cable has been on the table lately. With Landon being the football fan he is and me being a close second (okay, just kidding, I still have no idea what they're talking about half the time) I hope the answer is a resounding yes.

{This video got me in all the feels last night. I think we might need to make sure our first dog looks like Reveille.}

There you have it! It's good to be back. Keep an eye out for me, would ya? And if it starts being a while since you've heard from me...feel free to poke me with a stick.