Friday Favorites

Here’s a look at what I’ve been loving this week (plus allllll the emotions that have come with it).

We have been slowly, but surely, sorting through all of the gifts we got at our baby shower. (You couldn’t even see our couch after I’d brought everything out to sort through.) I am simultaneously so overwhelmed, yet so grateful for the love already showered on Audrey.

Similar Necklace (Noonday is an amazing company; look into their story!)

I’ve been emotional this week, and I figured out the possible source: I truly love being pregnant. There are parts that are unpleasant and uncomfortable, but I love feeling her near me 24/7. I know that one day soon, she will not be part of me in the same way and that makes me a little sad. (This is getting to sound a little like PPD, but I promise I feel “normal” even with all these emotions.) I cannot wait to hold her for real — that will be an emotional yet exciting day!

I hear that some mom’s start to feel guilty about their older children when a new baby comes. Call me weird, but I’m feeling a little bit of that about our pup. Baby stuff is everywhere, and I can’t help but feel like she is being pushed aside a little bit to make room. She’s only a dog, and I know she will adjust well once the baby is here. For now, it brings me a lot of joy when she still wants to snuggle with me.

See – that was a pretty emotional round-up there. But, something I want to start including in my Friday Favorites is some music that I’ve been into that week, and maybe that’ll lighten the mood. I pride myself on having a broad appreciation for music, and my tastes change often enough so that I don’t tire out on one genre or another.

I’ve been listening to a playlist on Google Play Music called “Feelin’ Good in the ’90’s” or something like that, and I love it! When all this music was on the radio, I wasn’t old enough to connect with the lyrics or appreciate the bands much. Now that I’m an adult, re-listening to a lot of bands like Everclear, Gin Blossoms, and Blues Traveler gives me a greater appreciation of the more pop-rock ’90’s tunes, not just grunge (which I’ve listened to avidly every since I can remember).

Also can we all just give a *praise hands emoji* to the raw-ness of ’90’s music videos?! Great stuff. Enjoy!

xo,
Jan

Weekend Snapshots

Friday was a bit of an adventure in food for me. I decided that morning that I should start taking the extra effort to pay attention to my nutrition (particularly my macros) so that it isn’t super difficult for me to bounce back when baby is here.

So I did avocado on some grainy toast with sea salt for breakfast. Avocado is always a good decision. Always.

But then, Friday was also Cinco de Mayo. I had cooked dinner all week, and I needed a night where dinner came a little easier. So I loosened my grip on that whole “macros” idea from that morning…

And Casey’s taco pizza it was! Plus, Alex found liquor-free Jose Cuervo for only $2 a bottle, so I did get to enjoy a virgin margarita. Our makeshift Cinco de Mayo dinner (plus the Blues winning Game 5 of the series) did not disappoint.

Sunday was our baby shower / Alex’s diaper party … what a day! I loved every minute of it — our friends and family went above and beyond! Here are some photos from the shower.

The weather was B-E-A-utiful, the decor was whimsical, and the company was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better day! I am truly amazed, and so thankful for all of the love shown for Baby Audrey already. Alex and I feel so full. <3

Oh, I had to include this sweet photo of my husband and my pup snuggling this weekend, too. *heart eyes emoji*

xo,
Jan

Friday Favorites

“Friday Favorites” are going to look a little different than they have in the past; I want to use them more to chronicle my week, and what I’m loving that week … more of a practice in gratefulness! Hope you enjoy!

1. Lists! Something I’ve loved doing recently is getting a modest list of to-do’s down in the morning. Some mornings, I head to work first thing. But, for days when I am home, I like to see a do-able list that I can get through that day.

Zip-Up Hoodie

2. Coffee! [First: Shout-out to my newly-married friend for this “Hot Mama” mug (here’s an equally adorable mug).] To keep my caffeine intake to a minimum (especially since I like enjoying a diet coke in the evenings), I am drinking Folgers Half-Caff (get a 10.8 oz can here) in the morning. I’m honestly not a huge fan of “budget” coffee, but for some reason, Folger’s half-caff hits the spot for me, even without sugar and cream. That’s a win, I’d say!

Cloudy skies on Monday

3. The weather. I am so hesitant to be thankful for the weather recently; our area has been under flash flood warnings for a week now. Not only that, but it’s been very hard to rely on the temperatures and weather conditions each day. But, if anything, the weather made for some neat photo opportunities. Here are a couple more photos to show how diverse the weather was this week…

Clear skies on Tuesday

Too rainy to even take photos outside on Wednesday or Thursday

I think it is safe to say that the pup was way more bummed about the weather than I was.

4. Breastfeeding class! Alex and I attended our first (and only) breastfeeding class in preparation for baby. We both learned so much, and it started to feel a little bit more “real,” having to think about all the details that go into breastfeeding. What an adventure all of THAT is going to be!

Well, we’ve got a fun weekend planned up ahead. So here’s to warmer, drier weather, Lord willing!

xo,
Jan

Wallet-Friendly Finds: Springtime Maternity

I have this thing with Spring — I love all the greenery and flowers growing back, but the rain has been annoyingly resilient over here! Regardless, Spring is a good transitional season to figure out what pieces to keep in your closet for days that range from warm and sunny, to cold and rainy. I’ve picked out some of my favorite, affordable springtime maternity pieces from different shops, and linked them for you so that you can find them!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or affiliated post. All opinions are my own.

ZULILY

Lace-Yoke Belted Maternity Tee | Floral Off-Shoulder Top | Crochet-Accent Maternity Shorts

Zulily’s got great options for warmer days. A tee with a lace yoke can be dressed up or dressed down. Cold shoulders are definitely on-trend right now, so I thought this off-shoulder top was perfectly springy, and will make you feel a little cuter on your rough days during pregnancy. Also, dresses and skirts are a great way to go when you’ve got to endure some heat with your bump, but you cannot go wrong with a cute pair of maternity shorts. Show off those legs, girl!

MOTHERHOOD MATERNITY

Striped Maternity Dress | Black Destructed Maternity Jeans | Anorak Maternity Jacket

I have been loving stripes during my pregnancy; they do a good job of complimenting the baby bump! This striped maternity dress is honestly perfect for any springtime event.

Jessica Simpson was on point in designing her maternity jeans. They fit my body perfectly, and I am a true curvy girl. I promise there is hope for you out there! Aren’t these black distressed jeans the perfect amount of edgy? Love ’em.

And we all need a good jacket for those rainy spring days. This anorak maternity jacket is seriously so cute. It’s durable, neutral, and perfect for the season.

NORDSTROM RACK

You’ll notice that I’m on a pink kick here with Nordstrom Rack. You know what, I’m not ashamed. I don’t think I own any pink otherwise, so I think now is the time to embrace it!

Infinity Nursing Scarf | Maternity-Nursing Sleep Dress | Lattice Studded Maternity Sweater

I love this bright pink infinity nursing scarf from Itzy Ritzy — it would be perfect with a loose or fitted black dress! Plus, it is an item that you can take with you past pregnancy; you can wear it as a scarf until it is time to feed baby, then you can put an arm through it and stretch it over you and your baby as a nursing cover.

Since we are stubborn and aren’t ready to turn the A/C on yet, there have been nights where our house is near 75 degrees, which is very uncomfortable for my already uncomfortable sleeping situation. A maternity sleep dress is the way to go so that you can stay cool under the covers, but you are covered up enough to let the dog out in the morning. This one is also a nursing dress, so all you have to do for middle-of-the-night feedings is unsnap the straps.

And, for those days where it’s drizzly, dreary, and not as warm as you’d like, there is this adorable maternity sweater. The lattice sleeve makes it perfect for a transitional season like Spring. Plus, I love maternity pieces that have some sweet detailing; cute maternity clothes (that are also affordable) is hard to come by!

And that’s it! Pregnant or not, what are your staple items that you must have for the springtime??

xo,
Jan

Weekend Snapshots

We got so. much. rain. this weekend. I know the rain is a huge blessing to the earth, but gosh… I thought we might need a kayak to get out of the neighborhood safely. *quack quack*

Anyway, rain or shine, I had the great pleasure of being part of my best friend’s wedding this weekend. We’ve all been waiting very (im)patiently for this awesome couple to get hitched. Every single part of it was uniquely them: the Irish car bomb before the ceremony, the gigantic barn where all the festivities were held, the option to have pizza at dinner, the DJ playing most of the music on vinyls… it was a dream!

Fortunately, there was a break in the rain for several hours in the afternoon. I loved this: they chose not to see one another before the ceremony, but they wanted to have a special moment on opposite walls of a barn, where they clinked their glasses before sharing an Irish car bomb, and the photographer got some of the sweetest photos of them. I was already starting to tear up. :’)

Due to the rain, our pup had to lay low inside a lot. I felt like I had eyes on me at all times. o.o

My brother turned 20 this weekend, so we celebrated over his favorite food (and thing in general, I’m sure): pizza. It is actually impossible to get a good photo of him. Look, here are some more from last summer when I was trying to capture memories of our July 4th trip to the lake…

See?! I’ve accepted it. I guess if what I really want is an authentic photo of this guy and his personality, this really does the job. Happy birthday, Jared!

One last thing I want to show you. I went to WalMart just to get some groceries… but then…

This bathing suit. I couldn’t. It is 0-3 months, and looks even tinier in person than in this photo. I knew when I picked it up that it was so, so impractical; I mean, what purpose does an infant have for a cutesy bathing suit? She won’t even be able to sit up yet, and I’m going to have to keep most of her skin covered and protected from the sun…

But I knew why I had to get it… had to… it’s all about the pictures. 🙂

xo,
Jan

Springtime Babymoon

Last week was a hard week for us. I won’t get into details, but there was many-a-sleepless-night for several folks in my family, including myself. Alex and I have had this “babymoon” (our last trip with just the two of us before baby girl arrives) planned for a long time — but, by the end of the week, I was exhausted, anxious, and I could come up with ten reasons we shouldn’t go on our babymoon. The weather projected rain all weekend and low temperatures, so I was increasingly un-excited about going.

Alex spoke a lot of positivity and wisdom to our situation, and said that, if anything, all the reasons I was anxious and bummed should be the reasons we needed a weekend away. He was so right; the things I was anxious about were things that I’d only add unrest to if I were home to worry about them. Plus, it was going to be cold and rainy at home anyway, so why not spend it at the lake house?

Since it was rainy outside, we had plenty of time in the lake house to be disconnected from social media and technology, and enjoy time with each other uninterrupted. We were able to catch up on TV shows, do some reading, and we got to see our St. Louis Blues bring home a series win against the Minnesota Wild!

This was a “babymoon” without the usual pomp and frills. We went to our family’s lake house, and did things that we would normally do if we were down there (minus kayaking and swimming, because spring is yucky.) We didn’t plan or pay for an extravagant vacation; sure I would’ve loved a long vacation, but our financial priorities actually left us feeling very satisfied about the simplicity of this trip!

We were only a short trip away from one of our favorite restaurants; my belly was happy, and even the baby was very satisfied with our dinner choice.

I mean, can we just take a moment to admire this beautiful french dip sandwich? Gosh. And the bacon and chive potato salad? Heaven. I am not usually the type to order the same thing twice at a restaurant, but I’ve definitely had this dish more than once. Not ashamed.

All in all, it was great to get away for a couple of days. When we got home, it is almost like I forgot what I was freaking out about before we left. The problems that had come up the week before had been resolved on their own, without my constantly worrying over them.

I learned a lot from this little bump in the road; our worry doesn’t ever fix a problem. It just gives us more gray hair, and gives us the false illusion that we have some semblance of control over the events in our lives… good, bad, or ugly. I realized that, by being anxious, I was robbing myself of being present and kept myself from having gratitude for the many blessings upon blessings in my life.

My mom told me last week that she often looks at the day ahead of her, full of to-do’s and commitments, and frets about whether it will all get done. And somehow, it just does. (She’s a wise woman, she is. I am so thankful for her.)

Jesus even instructed in Matthew 6 that surely, since God keeps all the birds of the world fed, He will satisfy whatever it is that we need. And the truth is, we don’t always know what we need, or what’s best for us, or what will help us grow, but He does. We run around frantically trying to keep ourselves and the people around us fed, clothed, and happy. At some point its time to rest, and trust that it all will get taken care of, because somehow, it always does.

xo,
Jan