Friday, July 25, 2014

What I’m Loving Lately

Well, it’s Friday and today I am officially 19 weeks!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my life and the random little joys I’m appreciating lately.  And let me tell you, since I’ve been pregnant those little joys are few and far between… so I take advantage of them when I find them! :)

The Skimm


Have you guys heard of the Skimm?  I love to be informed about what’s going on in the world, and I usually can be found checking my CNN app once or twice a day… but to be honest, I don’t always understand the logistics of what I’m reading.  A lot of news articles don’t tell you the history behind the story, they expect you to know exactly what they’re talking about…and a lot of times I don’t!  Enter: The Skimm.  In their own words,

“TheSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you - across subject lines and party lines - and break it down with fresh editorial content.”

So each weekday morning I receive an email filled with news updates.  Not only is it great to be informed, but the emails are written in a way that’s entertaining too! :)  To read an example of the emails that are sent each day, check them out here.  Or to sign-up yourself click here!

SoftLips Cube


I received this SoftLips Cube (Blueberry Pomegranate flavor) in my Spring Vox Box via Influenster.  To be honest, I’m a loyal Burt’s Bees fan—I have yet to find a chapstick/lip balm that comes close to my love for good ol’ Burt’s… but this cube comes close.  I loved the scent of the cube, which was unexpected, and when applied it gave my lips that tingly feeling that I love… it makes me feel like it’s really working, ya know?  Overall, do I love it better than Burt’s?  No.  But it’s nice to have options…and the cube packaging is pretty fun too.

Sisterhood Everlasting


I want to write a whole post dedicated to the books I’ve been reading lately (maybe next week?) but I wanted to share this one now.  I used to LOVE the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books when I was growing up.  I read all the books, and watched the movie multiple times—I had such a strong connection with the characters, I loved growing up with them as I read.  Well apparently I have been living under a rock and never knew that Ann Brashares wrote another Sisterhood book, but this time they are all grown up!  I read this book in like 2 days, I loved getting caught up with my favorite characters lives.  I was half expecting the book to be cheesy and young, because that’s probably what I would think of the other books now… but I was surprised by the more adult themes and mature subject content.  It makes sense, but it was just unexpected.  I loved it!

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars


Over the past 19 weeks I have been surviving on granola bars and Saltines…I wish I was joking.  Other foods are phased in and out depending on my temperamental nausea… but granola bars and Saltines have been my go-tos.  My current granola bars of choice are the Nature Valley Crunchy variety.  I’ve been enjoying them with some yogurt in the mornings, and as snacks throughout the day.  So far, so good.  Honorable mention to the Odwalla Chocolate Chip Peanut bars, also a solid choice.

Last but most certainly not least…

I am absolutely LOVING the invites my sister made for our GENDER REVEAL PARTY!!!

Originally, Zack and I weren’t planning on doing any sort of big reveal when we had our gender screening ultrasound.  But if you remember, I threw my sister a big party for her gender reveal—and it was so much fun! 

My sister was anxious to start planning some sort of reveal for us, so we agreed to some sort of low-key BBQ or something to reveal the gender of our little bundle… but if you know my sister, she doesn’t exactly do low-key. :)  We are definitely excited to see what she comes up with, and most excited to find out if we will be having a little boy or girl!

I have now fully embraced the idea of a big gender reveal bash and have invited lots of family and friends.  I CAN’T WAIT!

Anyways, check out the invitations she sent out to everyone:

gender reveal invite

Perfect for us. :)

Now we are hoping and praying that all goes well during the ultrasound and that Baby Harrell cooperates so that we can actually find out the gender on the scheduled day!

What have you been loving lately?!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baby Harrell [weeks 13-16]

16 weeks

Baby is the size of… an avocado! At 16 weeks Baby Harrell should be measuring around 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces.

Big Developments… “Its legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his/her eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. His/her ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of their scalp has begun, though its locks aren't recognizable yet. He/she has even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his/her heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.” (Baby Center)

Cravings? Nothing really.  Still.

Aversions? Still pretty much everything.

Sleep?  I am starting to nap less throughout the day, but still feel exhausted by about 10pm.  I am still not sleeping well throughout the night, and I have the strangest dreams!

Other Symptoms? Nausea.  I am still getting sick once or twice in the mornings, and then have random nausea throughout the day.  I am getting used to the feeling of being nauseous and have gotten used to eating while feeling sick, which feels pretty counterintuitive.

This week is the first week I have noticed my stomach growing!  I woke up feeling bigger and told Zack to take my picture! :)  I am starting the feel the aches of my stomach growing, and my feet and back are starting to get really sore after working all day… I’m sure this will only get worse, but so worth it! :)

What I Miss?  Coffee, turkey sandwiches, and clam dip… which my aunt makes at family BBQs and I really missed eating it!

Maternity Clothes?  I bought my first few maternity items… a new bra, and a tank top.  I loveeeee how comfortable my new bra is, but I think I’m going to take it back and get a bigger size.  I wasn’t really thinking long term when I bought it.  The tank top is so nice too because I wear tank tops under everything—and this one is not so tight now! 

The bra was bought at Motherhood Maternity, and the tank top on Zulily.

My pants no longer button, so I’m going to need to figure that out soon, but I’m at that weird in-between stage where maternity pants are still too big, but my regular pants are too small.

New Baby Items? My parents bought a little Tigger “Lovie” for our baby.  Harper has a Pooh one that she LOVES… I can’t wait to get little pictures of Harper and our baby with their little Pooh and Tigger “Lovies."

We also got a crib!  A family that my cousin Jessie nannies for was getting rid of theirs and generously offered it to us.  We are definitely on a tight budget and this was a huge blessing.  We are so grateful!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What’s in my Bag—[a link-up]

A little break from the pregnancy posts for something different. :)

In Its Time

I’m linking up with Kiki over at in its time for her monthly Circle link-up.  I can’t believe I haven’t participated in this link-up since March!

This month we are sharing what’s in our bag…

In my family, I’ve always been known for having a big purse filled with the most random things.  (See #5 below for an example. :) This past year I’ve been trying to downsize, mostly because you get tired after hauling around a big purse all day! 

So, what you see below is what is in my smaller purse, the one that I currently carry with me daily.  I do however have a bigger purse filled with other, probably unnecessary, things that I can switch to in a moment’s notice… To be honest, I usually just throw my smaller purse inside the bigger one—I’m so lazy.

purse final

1. Compact mirror—I don’t hardly wear makeup… so it seems silly to carry a little mirror around.  But sometimes you just have to make sure there’s nothing in your teeth, you know? :)

2. Movie tickets—Zack and I got these as a gift and the one time we went to use them we left them at home!  So now I carry them in my purse, just in case!

3. Coffee punch card—Self-explanatory.  Although I haven’t used it in awhile since my coffee habit has diminished almost entirely. :(

4. Mint gum—I have always loved chewing gum, but since getting pregnant my gum chewing habit has increased significantly.  My mouth will just randomly start to taste really bad and it will make me super nauseous.  The gum helps that.

5. Play Dough—This is definitely random… but a few years ago we were having a family game night over at my cousin’s house and we were playing Cranium.  One of us got a Sculpturades, where you have to sculpt an object for people to guess… only when we went to get the dough out, it was all dried up.  Luckily, I had Play Dough in my purse!  (I have no idea why I had Play Dough in my purse at the time, but I’m glad I did!) For obvious reasons, my cousins thought this was hilarious, and now I will receive random gifts of Play Dough from family members which, of course, end up in my purse.

6. Wallet—I have a bigger wallet/clutch in my big purse, but when we went to Hawaii I wanted a smaller card carrier that I could just throw in a beach bag, that would hold just my ID and credit card.  My cousin Jessie let me borrow hers, and she has yet to ask for it back… I told her to let me know when she wants it.

7. Burt’s Bees Chapstick—My favorite.

8. Barf Bag—Just in case. #pregnancyproblems

9. Sea Bands—In case you missed this post… I’ve been super nauseous all day every day.  I’ve been desperate and have tried literally everything.  I’ve heard that Sea Bands help a lot of pregnant women… sadly, I am not one of them.

10. Random junk—Bobby pins and change.

11. Other random pregnancy necessities—Tums.  Jolly Ranchers.  (See #4.) And a random pen… not a pregnancy necessity, just nice to have sometimes.

12. Inhaler & Hand Sanitizer—Two potential life savers. :)

That's all! :)  What's the strangest thing in your purse?!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Telling Our Families

Zack and I were SO excited to tell our families the BIG news!  We wanted to wait until after our first ultrasound, just to make sure everything was well with our little baby… but we were too excited!

That, and I had been so sick, and since we work with my parents it was getting really hard to hide!

Here’s a little compilation of some of the videos we took when telling people.  It will be so fun to show our little baby one day.  He/she is SO loved already. :)

music credit: Good Start—Jingle Punks from the YouTube Audio Library

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Trimester Recap

first trimester

This picture is from 13 weeks, and I still look about the same today—not much going on in the growth area (yet.)  Not the most flattering picture, but read below and you’ll understand why. :)

If you missed the last post, read that here…That will explain a lot. :)

So today I am in the middle of week 15 of pregnancy!  We are heading to our midwives’ office later today for a little check-up, and I can’t wait to hear that little baby’s heartbeat again!  I wanted to document a little about my first trimester though before I forget all about it… :)

How We Found Out


We found out we were pregnant the day after Easter, so I was technically about 5 weeks along already.  We were down in Southern Oregon celebrating Easter with Zack’s family and I started to notice strange symptoms.  I was really tired, I started feeling pretty nauseous in the mornings and throughout the day… along with a lot of cramping and just bloated feelings.  I told Zack that either I was pregnant, or there was something wrong with me, because I just felt off!

We are super blessed to have only been “trying” for a month or so… technically we weren’t “trying” yet, but we (obviously) were not using any form of prevention.  Without going into too much detail, I have struggled with a lot of womanly issues in the past few years so I had fully prepared myself for the possibility that I would have difficulty trying to conceive. 

It just goes to show that God’s plans were far greater than our own, because I turned out to be Fertile Myrtle… and we were shocked that it happened so fast!  It caught us a little by surprise, but overall we just feel super blessed.

Anyways, we bought a pregnancy test on our 5 hour drive home, and ended up not being able to wait to take it.  I took it in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant… and I just prayed like crazy waiting for the results.  The line ended up popping up right away, and I just started crying happy tears, I was in total disbelief.  As I was washing my hands and getting ready to go out and tell Zack the news, I was just hoping no one walked in, they would have thought I was a crazy person.

So that’s how we found out… We have some good videos that I want to share from when we told our families, but I will save those for another post.

First Trimester Recap

pregnancy announcement copy

Cravings: Fruit.  That’s about it.  I was so sick that absolutely nothing sounded good except fresh fruit… but then I would eat it and the idea of it would make me nauseous for a few days.

Aversions: EVERYTHING!  Absolutely nothing sounded appetizing and I could throw up almost on cue.  Luckily, I’ve gotten a bit better since then, but most of the first trimester was Zack trying to force me to eat, and then I would throw it all up.  Gross, but true.

Sleep: I have honestly not slept a solid, uninterrupted night of sleep since before Easter.  The week before we left to celebrate Easter down South, I started waking up with bad cramps… which was probably implantation pains or whatever, (so I’ve read) but since then, I just can’t catch a good night’s sleep.

Other symptoms: The nausea is the biggest most overwhelming symptom.  Other than that, I just feel bloated and tired all the time.  Zack has been so great, he has had to pick up the slack on a lot of household duties including most of the cleaning and cooking… but he has not complained for a second.  I am so grateful for him… I would not survive this without him by my side!

What I miss: Being able to eat healthy foods…or any food for that matter.  Sleep. Not feeling nauseous all the time. 

**I miss these things, yes.  But in perspective—I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be pregnant and experience this all.  It can get a bit disheartening at times when I just feel so sick… but I try and remind myself that it is all worth it.  If I can endure these minor symptoms and grow a healthy baby… it’s totally worth it!**

New baby items: Our families are so excited for this little baby!  As soon as we told them the news we started receiving little gifts. :)  Our first gift was little Portland Timbers socks from 2 of Zack’s cousins.  They are SO cute…and of course Zack is quite the soccer fan, so he will be putting those on our baby every day. :)  Then, on Mother’s Day, my sister and cousin, Jessie, both spoiled me (and baby) rotten with tons of sweet gifts!  Among the amazing gifts were our baby’s first onesies!  We also received one more onesie from my aunt a few days later, which is unpictured.


This baby is so spoiled already. :)

I wanted to thank everyone for the sweet wishes and emails from our announcement.  I know I’ve said it a million times already (and will probably say it a million times more) but we feel so blessed.  This baby is so loved, and we love it so much already!