Friday, December 12, 2014

Baby Harrell [weeks 35-38]

38 weeks

In case you missed it:
Our pregnancy announcement.
Telling our families.
Our gender reveal party.
His name and the meaning behind it.

Baby is the size of…  a leek! [38 weeks!]  He weighs about 6.8 pounds and is over 19 1/2 inches long.

Big Developments… He has a firm grasp and his organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb. (!!!)

Cravings? None really… still mostly just sweets and other things that are not good for me. :)

Aversions? Still nauseous most of the time.  Zack just chooses what to eat for dinner and doesn’t consult me anymore… he’s learned finally that truly nothing ever sounds good and I end up eating whatever is set in front of me despite how it sounds.

Sleep?  Definitely feeling more tired these days.  Not sure if that’s because I’m tossing and turning all night or up and down going to the bathroom… but I am usually ready to sleep at any point throughout the day. 

Other Symptoms? Lots of heartburn.  I keep the Tums beside the bed so that when I wake up in the middle of the night I can just eat one and go back to sleep—which usually works.  Still feeling lots of little kicks up in my ribs, but my midwife says his head is nice and low which is good!  Also, I am starting to get a little swelling in my hands and feet, but not too much.

Big Events?  We attended the Beach Boys concert, which JJ either loved or hated—he was dancing around in my belly through the whole thing!  We also attempted (& failed mostly) at a few maternity pictures…

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I can’t believe that I am at 39 weeks today!  My due date is in ONE week!  I simply cannot believe it.  I am equally terrified and excited for labor and to meet this little guy… we are just hoping he makes his big debut before Christmas. :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Beach Boys at the Beach

This weekend was one I had been looking forward to for awhile!

Let me backup a bit…

Almost a year ago my family and I were supposed to go to Hawaii for a work convention, but our plans got derailed a bit when my favorite little niece Harper was due during the exact time we were to be away!  We heard that during this convention in Hawaii the Beach Boys would be performing… and I was pretty bummed.

I have so many great memories growing up listening to the Beach Boys with my parents and jamming to their relaxing carefree music in the car.  I couldn’t picture a better setting than listening to them perform in HAWAII with my family… so I was sad we missed that opportunity. (But well worth it, of course!  We still got to go to Hawaii… and Harper got to join us!)

hawaii

(I was even more sad when I heard that John Stamos aka UNCLE JESSE showed up in Hawaii to do a special performance too…but I digress.)

Anyways, my parents heard that the Beach Boys were coming to Oregon and they immediately bought tickets for our family to go—I was just hoping I would be able to hold out on having baby JJ until after this weekend. (Spoiler—still pregnant! :)

Maybe it wasn’t the ideal Hawaiian setting, and maybe there were no special Uncle Jesse appearances… but we still had a pretty great time.

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I was pleasantly surprised with the concert.  I mean, I think technically only 2 of the original members were there??  But they put on a great show!

After the concert we spent some time at the casino… Which even before I was pregnant I got a lot of weird looks because I look so young, but looking young with a huge 9 month belly in a casino is a whole new level of strange looks.  Ohhhh well. :)

The next morning we had this great idea to head out to the beach to take some maternity pictures.  Zack and I decided to not spend money on professional pictures and we were looking forward to getting some taken on the beach instead by my family…

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In theory, it was a good idea… but of course the Oregon Coast in December did not cooperate and we got caught in a downpour about 3 minutes into our shoot.

Well, we tried.

Once we got back to the hotel and changed into some dry, warm clothes, we at least got a couple iPhone pictures in the hotel lobby. :)

IMG_3597IMG_3596Typical. :)

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Overall, it was a great weekend with my family.  We are so thankful to spend these last few weeks making great memories… but now we are ready for our little guy to get here! :)

…and thanks again to my mom and dad for the early Christmas present!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Jonathan James Daniel

jonathan james daniel

To our baby boy:

I can’t believe it’s almost time to meet you!  December is here, and I am pretty confident in saying you will be born this month!  It’s already hard to imagine what life was like without you in it.

Even now, your dad and I have such a fierce love for you.  Words cannot begin to describe what a blessing you have been to us, and we know that will only grow stronger once you are born.  You have taught us so much these past 9 months, so much about ourselves as individuals, our marriage together, and our relationship with the One who knows you already, who is actively forming and shaping you as I type this now.

To say you are a miracle would be an understatement.  We both have been dreaming about your existence since we were young.  We both feel that were made to be parents… it’s in the very core of who we were created to be.  But that doesn’t make us any less nervous to fulfill that calling. :)

As any parents do, we too have tons of hopes and prayers for your life… I often find myself awake in the middle of the night feeling your little movements and praying for the man you will become one day. 

When picking out a name for you we wanted something solid with a whole lot of meaning attached to it.  Your dad has had your name handpicked since he was a little boy, since his grandma read him a certain Bible story… and like that story, we are praying you will learn and possess certain attributes from your namesake(s).

Jonathan

The meaning of Jonathan is “God’s gift” and we could not feel stronger about that… You are truly God’s gift to us in a time of uncertainty and you have already taught us to trust God and His timing in things many times over the past 9 months. :)

Like Jonathan in the Bible we are praying that you become a strong man of faith. We pray that you are brave, loyal, a natural leader, and that through Jesus you learn to become a good, selfless friend to all those you come in contact with…leaving people better than before they knew you.  Most importantly, we pray that you become one who is dependent on God above all else.

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James & Daniel

We feel so lucky that you will be able to have a relationship with and be loved by two of the greatest men we know… our fathers, your grandfathers.  We wanted to include both their names as your middle names, because we hope they hold as special of place in your heart as they do in ours.

Like Jamie & Daniel we pray that you can always have a sense of humor.  Life is full of many ups and downs, but these two have taught us not to take those downs too seriously.  :)

Like both your grandfathers, we pray that you are slow to anger in times that matter, but that you have a strong sense of right and wrong and that you will not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.

We pray that like them, you are hardworking and dedicated to whatever you decide to do.  And above all else, these two men have been a constant reminder in our lives to love everyone.  Their strong ability to connect with others and show selflessness has been inspiring throughout our lives… and we pray you can have that too.

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We could not be more excited (and terrified) to be your parents. 

We know that life is full of surprises and we all go through our fair share of trials and tribulations… but one thing for sure is that we will love you unconditionally no matter what. :)

We simply cannot wait to meet you little boy… we love you so much already!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide with YogaOutlet.com

Happy Black Friday!  Anyone up early this morning doing some crazy shopping?!  The past few years I haven’t gone, but before that it was a big family tradition to wake up early and hit all the deals… we have a lot of good memories from those chaotic outings. :)

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*Sidenote* I hope everyone’s Turkey Day was filled with lots of family, food, and of course, thankfulness. :)  Our last Thanksgiving as a family of two was a success, but we of course were extra nostalgic this year… we sure do have a lot to be thankful for!

Anyways, while hundreds of thousands of people are out and about running through stores and going wild—some prefer to stick to the online holiday deals.

One company that I’ve grown to love especially is YogaOutlet.com.  Not only do they have a ton of insane Black Friday doorbuster deals going on today, they have put together a Holiday Gift Guide… this makes it so simple to find the perfect gift for anyone in your life! (And any price point. :)

Here are a few of my favorite items included in the gift guide…

yogaoutlet holiday gift guide

one. Wrapped Spot Lined Journal- $14.95, This hard cover notebook with a stylish leopard print cover is complete with lined pages, black ribbon bookmark, and acid-free pages.

two. Gaiam Eco Total Body Balance Ball Kit- $21.95, The anti-burst balance ball includes a total-body workout DVD with 2 targeted workouts as well as a bonus DVD with a complete workout.  Also included is a blaster pump and resistance band.

three. Prana Randa Jacket- $98.95, The Randa Jacket is a flexible and comfortable fit for any fitness activity.

four. Pure Karma Silver Sword Crop- $46.95, Spice up the studio with these boldly printed Silver Sword Crop leggings.  Made with eco-friendly, recycled material from the USA.

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I’m a big fan of a lot of these items, and in full disclosure I received a gift card in exchange for this post with my honest review.  With said gift card I purchased the following items:

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Gaiam Eco Total Body Balance Ball Kit. (Also pictured above.)  I chose this ball because I’ve heard they’re good for labor… I have yet to try out the workout dvd that was included (for obvious reasons), but I can’t wait to try it out post baby-bump. 

Cozy Orange Glow Maternity Tank. (In indigo blue.) I was skeptical about this tank, but I love it!  The stretchy material is so comfy and perfect for my expanding belly.

Also in this picture are the Cozy Orange Wanderlust Maternity Pants which I previously reviewed here… (and still love!)

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For those of you that just skimmed to the end of the post, here’s a recap of the important stuff—Insanely cute and comfortable yoga gear, cheap prices for every price point (and person on your list) on their 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, free shipping over $49, and a 15% discount on your first purchase… What are you even waiting for?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pregnancy Essentials [#thecirclelinkup]

I’m linking up today again with Kiki at In Its Time to share a few of my latest pregnancy essentials.  I am by no means an expert on pregnancy… if you’ve read any of my “bumpdates” then you know I haven’t had an easy go of things, but there are a few things that have really helped me through these past 35 weeks.

top ten pregnancy essentials

one- Motherhood Maternity Leggings. These leggings are the most comfortable things in the world!  I have black and grey, but I wish I would have invested in a few more colors earlier on in pregnancy.  Also, in store and online at the Motherhood Maternity website they frequently have BOGO free or 50% deals on these!

two- Extra Spearmint Gum.  Dealing with constant nausea and heartburn is rough… but I’ve found that chewing a piece of mint gum really helps me out.  This has been my go-to flavor for the past few months.

three- Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter.  Most articles and books you read say that stretch marks are mostly genetic and there’s not a lot you can do to prevent them… I however did not want to chance it.  I ordered this belly butter and use it frequently, and so far *knock on wood* I haven’t gotten any stretch marks. The lack of smell was really nice in the first 2 trimesters too when I was sensitive to any strong smells.

four- Adidas Women’s Ultimate Fleece Sweatpants. During my second trimester when my normal clothes started getting a bit too uncomfortable, Zack decided I needed a good, cozy pair of sweats.  We went to the Adidas outlet where they were having a BOGO free sale for all fleece, and Zack and I both got some!  (Only mine were a size or two bigger than my pre-pregnancy size. :)  It’s been nice to have a big pair of sweats to change into after a long day of work… I highly recommend it.

five- Honey Crisp Apples. It’s been no secret that for the past few months I’ve been obsessed with apples.  These are my variety of choice… so delicious!

six- Peppermint Tums.  Heartburn blows.  Tums help.  ‘Nough said.

seven- Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins.  At the beginning of pregnancy I researched all the different prenatal vitamins and immediately ordered the top of the line brand with the best reviews.  Well, after a few days of throwing those up (sorry) I could not even stand looking at the package of them.  Enter these gummy vitamins… I am really bad at taking them consistently (sorry baby!) But they don’t make me vomit… and that’s always a plus.

eight- Snoogle Body Pillow.  My sister let me borrow her snoogle the second she found out I was pregnant and it. is. wonderful!  I haven’t slept well since I found out I was pregnant… but I’m convinced it would be even worse without this.

nine- Hot Chocolate.  Along with apples, this has been a big craving.  So delish!

ten- Gilmore Girls.  Or Netflix in general.  I’ve spent a lot of time these past 35 weeks on the couch and in bed.  My go-tos have been the Office first, and now Gilmore Girls.  I’m currently watching Season 4, I wonder how far I’ll get before our little bundle gets here! :)

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What are some of your life essentials lately?  Pregnant or not, everyone has a few things that help get them through a rough day… I’d love to hear yours!