Friday, September 22, 2017

September Joy

Happy Friday, friends! Today I'm trying something new and linking up with Stephanie and her crew to share 5 things that bring me JOY. I'm also linking up with ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites! 


As of yesterday, I am 34 weeks pregnant! That makes this pic a few weeks old, but I especially love this new nursing top that I got, which is currently doubling as a maternity top :). This pregnancy has been such a blessing. Can you believe that I've not eaten a single Tums since being pregnant? I have been so fortunate with minimal nausea, no morning sickness, etc. I am so thankful that it has been such a pleasant experience. Now we are less than 6 weeks from meeting our miracle boy, and I am just so excited! Through this pregnancy, God has shown us truly how great he is, and I know this is just the beginning.

Comfort food has been my thing lately... Last week I made my Sausage Stars recipe, and I snacked on them all week. I ate them for breakfast a few days, for snacks, and one night I had them with a side salad for dinner... they're good anytime, any day!
Sausage Stars and Alfredo Pizza... YUM!! 

This week, I made my very favorite Alfredo Sauce, which my sister-in-law introduced me to, and then we put the sauce on pizza with grilled chicken, spinach and mushrooms... it was so good! Comfort food has been my jam lately, and as a woman who is 7.5 months pregnant, it brings me JOY ;). 

I could go on and on about how supportive our friends and family are... We have been especially reminded lately as they have all showered us with gifts, love, and support and our two bridal showers. We had one in IL and one in IN to celebrate with both our our families, and let me tell you... the mamas, sisters-in-law, and friends in our lives went above and beyond to throw us beautiful baby showers. This baby has everything he could possibly need and more, and we are so very thankful! It brings me JOY to see everyone celebrating our baby boy. 

Here are a few pics from both of our baby showers: 


From left to right, the first pic is my niece, Layla, and I at our IN baby shower. This little girl is SO EXCITED to be a big cousin. I have no doubt she will be the best helper. The 2nd picture is my Great Aunt Toby, myself, and Lee at our IL baby shower. I love that our baby has a pic with his Great Great Aunt. The bottom left is Lee and I in front of our adventure themed cake at our IN shower. If you can, zoom in on the detail... this shower was SO cute and personal! The bottom right is my mom, myself, and her bff and our IL shower. It was so fun to celebrate with everyone, and the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star theme was adorable. 

Today is the first day of fall!! I am so excited! Although we have a high of 95 degrees today, I'm embracing fall despite the weather. I think next week it is supposed to cool down into the 70's and 80's, and that will, without a doubt, bring me joy. I love celebrating each season by decorating my house, enjoying seasonal activities and foods, etc. Lee has gotten my fall decor out of the attic, and I'm hoping to put it out this weekend. This week we started celebrating fall by watching Hocus Pocus. It's a silly kid movie, but we enjoyed it none-the-less. Bring on cool weather, leaves changing colors, and everything cozy! 

The final thing that brings me joy today is that it is FRIDAY!! I am so thankful it is the weekend! We  have a busy one planned: Tonight we are going to be productive around the house, tomorrow we'll go to our niece's 4th birthday party, and tomorrow evening Lee's buddies are throwing him a diaper party. While  he's at the diaper party, my step-mom and I (my brother and I love to call her smom for short ;) ) are going to a wine and paint party. No wine for me, but I'm excited for the pallet painting! Then Sunday we are hoping to finish up some decorating in the baby's room. It's going to be a great weekend full of time with friends and family! 

Have a great weekend everyone, and happy FALL!! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pregnancy Month 7

Can you guys believe that we are only 8 weeks +/- out from meeting our baby boy? This whole pregnancy seems to have flown by! These past few weeks have been a tad rocky, but overall the pregnancy is still going great. As I get bigger, I'm starting to get more uncomfortable, but that is to be expected.

Around 31 weeks I got a little worried bc the baby hadn't been moving much, and I called the doctor. They told me to go home and drink a sugary/caffeinated drink and wait about 20 minutes. Then I had to lay on my left side for an hour and measure his movements. 15 is what I counted. The nurse said that his movement is great, and I didn't need to go in. This little guy is usually super active, so even though his movement was OK, it still had me a little worried. Thankfully, I had an appointment a few days later, so the doctor decided to do a non-stress test and measure his movement, heart rate, and my contractions. I was not having any contractions at the time, and the baby measured just fine! This made me feel much better.

Also at 31 weeks, I really started to feel the baby moving around higher up and poking at my ribs. So far he has been very low with his movement, but now I can feel him moving all over the place. That same week, I think I felt him hiccup for the first time! Lee and I were watching my belly move each time he hiccuped, and it was so cool.

As far as our baby preparation goes, we are cruising right along! We spent part of labor day weekend getting the crib put together. Lee had put the dresser and glider together the week before. We had our IL baby shower in August and were completely spoiled with all kinds of goodies for the baby. We've been cleaning out and organizing closets these past few weeks making room for all of Baby F's new stuff, and leaving space for even more stuff, since we'll be having our IN baby shower in mid-September. Our baby is already so loved, and SO SO  spoiled!

Over the past month we also finished our 4 week baby class, chose a pediatrician, and signed up for CPR class, which we'll take later in September. Now that we're feeling a little more prepared, we are counting down the days to meeting Baby F. As you can guess, Baby F's name is still on our to-do list, but we're getting closer. Another thing we are excited about is we are now going to the doctor every 2 weeks! We had previously been going every 4 weeks, but since we're getting closer to my due date, we'll be seeing the doctor more often.

We are still so so excited and thankful about this pregnancy. I have been hugely blessed with minimal pregnancy symptoms, and am so grateful that this has been such an enjoyable experience. We're praying everyday for our baby and his health, and I am still praying for all of the families who are still waiting on their miracle. I'm *trying* not to take a single day of this pregnancy for granted, because I know how much of a blessing it truly is. Thanks for all of your love, support and continued prayers! Here are our most recent bump pics of Baby F:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sausage Stars

Sausage Stars... YUM!!

I wish I could take credit for this delicious recipe, but I can't... there are so many renditions of this recipe floating around online. Today, I'm sharing my version of it. These little snacks are so stinkin' good! If you need a good snack to whip up during football season, for your next holiday party, or even for your next pot luck... give these a try! Here's how I make mine:

16 oz. sour cream
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1 lb. ground sausage
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 12 oz. package wonton wrappers*

This recipe makes about 36 Sausage Stars.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, cook up your sausage in a skillet. While your sausage is cooking, mix in your garlic salt and crushed red pepper. You can add more crushed red pepper, or even use a hot version of the sausage if you want your Sausage Stars to have a little kick. It your sausage is greasy, drain the grease once it's cooked through. My sausage wasn't too greasy, so I didn't have to drain it.

Place your wontons in a cupcake pan, and bake empty for about 5 minutes.** While your wonton shells are baking, mix your ranch mix and sour cream together in a medium size mixing bowl. Then dump in your shredded cheddar and your cooked sausage.

Take your wontons out of the oven and fill them with 1 large tablespoon of your sausage/ranch/cheese mixture. Place your snacks back in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until filling is warm and wonton corners are browned.

These snacks are SO GOOD! We love to  have snacks and appetizers for my family get togethers, and this recipe is always a big hit. I've even been known to have them for dinner with a side salad when I get a craving! Some of the other recipes I've found call for peppers, olives, etc. in the sausage stars. I like them without the veggies, but you could add any chopped veggie to the mix and give the recipe your own twist.

*I had about 12 wontons left once I made my sausage stars. I just put mine in the fridge to use for another recipe later, but if you want to use all of your wontons, you could fill your stars less full and use all of your shells that way.

**I have made the recipe before without cooking the wonton shells first, but the bottom will be soft. If you do that, cook them about 10+ minutes total in the oven. I like to cook the wonton wrappers by themselves first to allow the bottom to get a little crispy.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pregnancy Month 6+

Wow... can you believe how close we are to meeting our baby boy? Less than 10 weeks and he will be here. We are so excited.

This past month has been a busy one! At our last appointment (around 27 weeks), baby boy was measuring around 2 lb. 3 oz., and growing right on track. He is an active little guy, and I love feeling all of his kicks and wiggles.

This past month I took my glucose test, which was not too bad, but unfortunately I failed.... so then I had to take the 3 hour test as well. The 3 hour test required that I fast for about 12 hours prior to my 8am appointment. By the time my appt was over at about 11:20am, I had fasted for 15 hours and I was so hungry! Thankfully, I was able to meet Lee for lunch right after the appointment, and we got great news that I PASSED! Praise the Lord!

In addition to the glucose test, this past month we finally made some progress in baby boy's bedroom... we (mostly Lee) got the room painted, his furniture purchased, and his car seat/stroller purchased as well. We are still working on getting his bedroom furniture put together, but we've gotten to dresser and glider done, and next will be his crib.

Overall, I'm still feeling pretty good as far as pregnancy symptoms go. Lots of feet/hand swelling, which I expected would happen being pregnant through the summer. This past week or 2 I am just now starting to notice my big belly, and am getting uncomfortable. Sleeping on my side all the time is causing me some back pain, and bending over has become a task I try to avoid, but those are all symptoms I've expected would eventually come. I keep telling myself that if this is the peak of my symptoms, I'm a lucky lady!

During the last month we took our babymoon, a weekend getaway to Nashville. We also celebrated our 5 year anniversary on this trip, making it extra special. We stayed at the Opryland Resort. If you've never been there, I recommend checking it out! It is a beautiful place. We walked around and saw the resort, laid by the pool, ate way too much good food, did some shopping, and we also caught a Matchbox 20 Concert, which was my birthday gift to Lee.

As I'm finishing this blog post, I am now 31 weeks pregnant, and this pregnancy is more than 3/4 over! These past 7 months have flown by. I'm starting to have a mix of emotions: excited to meet our baby and wanting that time to be here, thankful to have this big baby bump and not wanting to wish way this pregnancy, and feeling a little nervous about going into labor, which will be here in no time.

Other than some swollen hands and feet, a mix of emotions, and a growing baby, we don't have much else to report for this month, which is great!! That being said, here are some updates of our baby bump. It's been OVER a month since my last bumpdate, so there's some extra pictures this time... next month's bumpdate will have a few less. :)

Normally this blog post would stop at 28 weeks, but since I'm late posting, here are weeks 29 & 30 as well!