Jesse’s 10 Year Project

I’m going WAY out of my normal posting today to share a little bit about Jesse. You’ve seen him and heard about him A LOT over the years. He’s contributed to the blog quite a bit by helping me with projects, building furniture, and cooking delicious food. He also wrote a series on managing personal finances a few years ago. Jesse is a jack of all trades, plus he’s fun, hilarious, handsome and a truly supportive partner. All of that being said, I want to support Jesse’s projects the way that he has supported mine and this blog. I’ve alluded to Jesse working a lot lately, but I didn’t say what on. Well, he was finishing recording an album. Jesse - 10 Year Project

He’s been writing, recording, and producing an album over the past 10 years. This project started before Jesse and I were even dating. He’s always been writing songs, but has thrown out a ton, like 50 plus, of them over the years. When we started trying to get pregnant he got really serious about finishing though. He started writing more often and really found his “sound.” In the months leading up to Mara’s birth he recorded all of the songs in his man cave, which he turned into a home studio. After everything was recorded he started the production piece. He sent some of the songs off to an actual producer for the sake of time, but he also did some himself.

I’m so incredibly proud of the finished product and I’m even more proud of my introverted husband for sharing this piece of himself with the world. He is so private about his music, but he put this album online, shared it on social media and even submitted it to a few music blogs. 

The sound of the album is a little folksy and it is very simple. Just Jesse and a guitar. I definitely have a few favorite songs that I’ve caught myself humming or singing at random. That may also be from hearing them over and over again for over two years. Just kidding, I really do like them. Especially the second song, “Waiting for You” because it’s about me. It makes me feel special. My absolute favorite song is “Going Home” though. It’s seriously so good!

I hope you’ll give it a listen! If you like it, download it! Share it on social media! Like his musician page on Facebook!

Thanks for supporting our family’s creative outlets by reading this blog and listening to Jesse’s music! You guys are awesome!


These past few months I haven’t been up to a whole lot of things that are productive, but I have watched a lot of tv and movies. I’ve always been a binge watcher, so having quality shows was a must! Also, since we weren’t going out as much Jesse and I needed something to do together that required zero effort on my part. I feel like people are always asking for show recommendations, so I thought I’d share my two cents on what’s kept me occupied for the past year.

First, there’s my old reliables, Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl. I have seen each of these shows at least 3 times through. They are my favorites! I started rewatching Grey’s when we got home from the hospital with Mara because I had seen it so many times (currently on round 4). My logic was that I still found the show entertaining, but because I already knew what was going to happen I could feed her, change her diaper or have her cry and not really miss anything. Obviously, this is one of my favorite shows and if you’ve never seen it, or if you’ve only watched it once, it’s well worth a repeat! Grey's Anatomy

I feel the same way about Gossip Girl. I’ve seen that show 5 times and it just doesn’t get old to me. I love all of the characters, except Jenny and Vanessa, and we are like best friends. It’s also great as a postpartum/background show for me because I’m so familiar with it. Seriously. My biggest postpartum advice is rewatch a favorite show or movie series. It doesn’t require extra focus and having something familiar on makes you feel less alone during a 3am feeding session. Gossip Girl

Now for shows when you are enormously pregnant and a permanent part of the couch. During my pregnancy I watched family shows, Parenthood and Fuller House in particular. The family theme just seemed to grab onto my pregnant hormones and emotions and suck me in. I’d also lump Friday Night Lights into this category (though I watched that one awhile ago). It’s SO good, it’s definitely on my rewatch list! Parenthood and Friday Night Lights are also shows that a spouse may be interested in watching with you. Jesse would watch a few episodes, but he would get bored with the family drama. Friday Night Lights

While I was pregnant I also started the show Jane the Virgin. It is current show, so I only binged the first season. But the character is pregnant so it’s almost like having a pregnant best friend. Only with way more drama and problems then you’d ever want to deal with in real life. I watched the entire first season over two days while we were snowed in. Jane the Virgin

Other shows that I recommend would be: Scandal, The Vampire Diaries, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon a Time, and Pretty Little Liars. These are all current shows that are very entertaining if you like drama, suspense and a little supernatural. I also loved musical shows like Glee, Nashville and Smash, though they are no longer on.

As far as tv shows to watch as a couple, my recommendations are pretty nerdy because Jesse and I are pretty nerdy. Sorry. Our all time favorite show that we watched together is Chuck. It’s got it all! Comedy. Drama. Action. All of it. We binged this show together a few years back and loved it. I seriously could not recommend it enough!Chuck

We also loved The Office. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you haven’t seen it have you been living under a rock?! you should give it a try. The Office

We were very sad when ABC’s Galavant was cancelled. It is a musical comedy and we both loved it. Which is saying a lot considering Jesse usually isn’t a fan of musicals. Galavant

There are also a lot of great fun, lighthearted shows on tv currently, so you could binge for the summer and then pick up again in the fall. We are HUGE fans of Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and Last Man on Earth. Jesse has said multiple times that he wishes he could erase his brain and go back and binge Last Man. It definitely has a ton of man humor. Last Man on Earth

On a more serious note, we have also watched Lost, Heroes and Sherlock (the Benedict Cumberbatch one). Lost and Heroes are kind of old (we did watch the Heroes reboot too though) but they are really the first shows we ever showed mutual interest in. Sherlock caught us off guard. We never thought that we would like it but one night when we were bored we gave it a shot and were hooked! It’s so intriguing and so British. Sherlock

Currently, we are watching The 100. It’s like a post-apocalyptic, dystopian show and it has started to get pretty good! It is technically a “teen” show, but we both still really like it. It’s like the Hunger Games or something of that nature. After Mara goes to bed and we finish our chores we will watch an episode together. As the season has progressed we’ve started watching two or three some nights. That’s usually a regret when the baby/alarm starts screaming in the morning.The 100

Now sometimes it can be hard to find a new show. Nothing looks good, or you just don’t want to commit to 8 seasons of a show. That’s when movie binging comes in! Jesse and I have watched all of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbits, Harry Potter, Star Wars, X-Men, Underworld, and Fast and Furious movies in the last two years. We will watch 30 minutes to an hour each night during the week and then a whole movie on a weekend night. I love series because it gives you a chance to really get invested in a story and in the characters.

Watching TV together is a great way to unwind from the day, but also spend time together. It gives us another thing in common and more inside jokes, plus plenty of time to cuddle on the couch. I really hope you enjoy my suggestions! And of course if I missed something that you are really into watching, let me know! I’m always looking for new shows!

Mara’s Birth Story and Beyond

Hello? Hello? Mic check… One. Two. Three. Is anyone still out there?

If you are still out there, I’m sure you thought I’d given up and quit this whole blogging scene a while ago. But I haven’t. I’ve just been having a baby and trying to keep said baby alive. Jesse and I have been doing a pretty good job though. I mean, look at this sweet little face. Totally alive. And totally adorable. IMG_3212

Aside from being horribly sick in the beginning of the pregnancy and replacing my toes with sausages and being exhausted at the end, I had a pretty easy pregnancy. If you had asked 37 week pregnant Ashley that, she would have disagreed. It’s crazy how that pregnancy amnesia kicks in once it’s all over! Anywho, on to the story of how this little sweetness came into the world!

I left work at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon for my 38 week appointment. I had been having a few spaced out contractions throughout the day and was about 2 cm dilated, but wasn’t expecting anything to happen any time soon. I had meetings scheduled for the next day and wasn’t supposed to go on leave until the following Monday. In my head I’d have a week off to finish getting prepared and to relax a bit. Haha, what’s that about best laid plans? Baby Girl had not been moving quite as much the past few days, but I didn’t think too much of it. I figured she was just out of room and getting ready for her grand entrance, but when I told my OB about it she was concerned. She put my on the fetal monitor and kept an eye on me in the office for about an hour and nothing seemed abnormal. However, my reporting a change in movement concerned her and she said she wanted to go ahead and induce me, just to be safe. I agreed and so she said “I hope you’ve got your bag in the car, because you’re about to have a baby.” Luckily, I was packed and ready to go. IMG_2897

She sent me right across the street to the hospital, it was now about 4:30 pm. I was alone and freaking out. I had called Jesse, who had just gotten off work, and he said he was going to take a shower, eat dinner, and then meet me there. I believe I said a few choice words to him and then he said he’d be right there. He wasn’t. He did do all the things he said he was going to and he still made it there before I finished all the paperwork. I hate it when he’s right. My mom also came over to the hospital, she actually beat Jesse there even though she stayed at work to finish stuff up before coming. At this point I was mad at everyone, except my best friend in Florida who stayed on the phone with me until I could get myself together.

Once I was all situated my OB came in and broke my water, around 6:30pm. I dilated to about 4 cm after 3 hours, so they started Pitocin. After an hour of Pitocen I was really starting to feel the contractions, and I was tired after being at work all day. I had been working overtime almost everyday for two weeks beforehand to get everything ready for my leave, so I was pretty burnt out. I opted for an epidural so I could get some sleep, and I am so so so glad I did. My labor progressed through the night until about 7am, then it was time to push!

I only pushed for about an hour. It would have been less than that except Baby Girl was moving around in the birth canal! Every time I pushed she would move her head, so she was blocking herself from being able to go under the pubic bone. My OB (who was on-call that night so she was there for my whole labor and delivery) finally had to use the vacuum to move her head down so I could push her the rest of the way. In retrospect, this is hilarious and a total reflection of my stubborn little girl, but at the time I was not amused. I was surprised, and happy, that Jesse was a trooper and he did not pass or leave the room at all! He was there holding my hand and encouraging me the whole time. It’s one of the things I remember most vividly.

Our baby girl, Mara, was finally born at 8:30am Wednesday morning, a whole two weeks early. She was 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 ¾ inches long and absolutely perfect. She was laid on my chest right after she popped out and she picked up her head and looked me right in the eyes when I said “Hi Baby.” Then they took her away to clean her up and check her vitals and so they could stitch me up. My epidural had worn off at this point so I felt every stitch, which was the most painful part of the whole experience. IMG_3064

After she was out and there, all I wanted to do was sleep. In fact, the exhaustion I felt for the first few days was the hardest part. That and the fact that breastfeeding just wasn’t working out for us. I would say I had a pretty bad case of the “Baby Blues” and was teetering on the edge of possible Postpartum Depression, but I didn’t have time for that to happen.

Ten days after bringing Mara home she became very ill. She couldn’t eat and what she did eat she projectile vomited right after. At first we thought maybe it was just reflux, but the vomiting became more forceful and the amount increased and we knew something was wrong. We stayed up holding her in shifts that night wearing towel ponchos as she continued to be sick. We took her to the pediatrician first thing the next morning and he sent us to the hospital to have an ultrasound of her stomach. He believed she had a condition called Pyloric Stenosis, which is when the Pyloris (the sphincter at the bottom of the stomach) essentially grows closed and does not allow food to pass through into the intestines. The food has nowhere to go, so it is forced back up. This condition can only be corrected through surgery to cut open the Pyloris. All of this of course scared the shit out of this new mom!

The ultrasound showed that she had an enlarged Pyloris, but not enough for the surgery so we were sent home to basically wait it out. At this point Mara was 13 days old. She continued to be sick the whole day and by that evening she had gone 8 hours without a wet diaper. I called our pediatrician and he told us to take her to ER. Once we were admitted to the ER they put Mara on an IV and were told that they could not admit her for Pyloric Stenosis because her Pyloris was not enlarged enough. She continued to vomit while on the IV, so we were finally admitted because she was only getting worse.

The next day we had two more ultrasounds, during the third she threw up on the radiologist, before they finally confirmed she had Pyloric Stenosis. Apparently, baby girls do not usually have this condition, it is more common in male babies at a later age, which is why they were hesitant to diagnose her. They had taken out her original IV for the ultrasounds and then could no longer get a good vein on her arms or legs so they had to put an IV in her head. We had the sweetest nurse, Brian, who kept saying that she was a princess and the IV was just her tiara. That evening she started vomiting blood because there was nothing else for her to vomit (we were not allowed to feed her due to all of the ultrasounds). Talk about scary! Brian fetched the pediatrician on-call and they spoke with the surgical team immediately. After this they scheduled her surgery for the next morning, but we still were not allowed to feed her. They gave her medicine to help with the pain and she finally slept some. IMG_2967

She had her surgery the next day, which went perfectly. It was about an hour long surgery, but with prep and post-op procedures we didn’t see her for two hours. The absolute longest two hours of my life. Afterwards, we were able to slowly able to reintroduce food. It took several feeds before she was able to start keeping things down and I felt like such a bully because she just kept wanting more food. We were finally released when she could eat 3 oz. every three hours, which was 5 days after we were admitted (2 days after the surgery). IMG_2937

We were told that once all was said and done she would be a completely different baby, and boy was that true! She started sleeping at night, only waking every 3 hours to eat. She became more alert during the day and she finally started gaining weight. She still struggles with pretty bad reflux, but despite it she is a happy little girl. She is all smiles and chatty in the mornings and she sleeps 8-10 hours through the night. She loves to be moving, whether it’s having a dance party or riding in the car and she loves to eat. She has a little scar on her belly from surgery, but that is starting to fade with time. 3 month collage

Now that she is healthy and starting to sleep for longer stretches, I’m hoping to return to the blog world! This week I am working my final week at my job and then I will be home full-time with Mara. She will have most of my attention, but I’m going to need something to do during naps. I can’t make a lot of promises but I do promise that this won’t be solely a mommy blog. I will talk about my kid because she is perfect and wonderful, so how could I not? But I plan on focusing mostly on projects, crafty things and lifestyle, like I did before.

I look forward to catching up with whoever is out there still! And thanks for sticking around!

Hello 2016!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone’s holidays were full of joy and fun!

Jesse and I both had off from Christmas Eve through January 1st and we were very productive with our time. I started “nesting” aka, I went through closets and put together a very large Goodwill donation. You gotta squeeze that last deduction in before the new year! 😉 Jesse had some work to do in his office too, which he did get most of it done. Jesse’s office/man cave is becoming the nursery, but we had to wait to move stuff until his work was done. Now we are ready for painting, moving furniture and probably more purging over the next few months before Baby Girl gets here. With our time off we also had a spa day, went out to eat a lot and had a few relaxing vacation days. I’m definitely not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Bleh.

We spent New Years Eve at home, where we struggled to stay up until midnight and had popcorn instead of champagne. That time on the couch definitely gave me a lot more time to reflect on the past year than most other New Years. 2015 was definitely not my favorite year. It was pretty dark for me as we tried to conceive and I struggled with being stuck in a job I didn’t really care about. I faced some criticism on the blog toward the end of 2014 which affected me more than I wanted it to and on top of already being pretty down it zapped me of my creative mojo. Not having that hobby definitely didn’t help my mood, but it’s hard to care when you’re just not in the mood.

On top of all of those feelings in April we lost one of my uncles unexpectedly, suffered a miscarriage in early July, and then lost another of my uncles to cancer in October. I’ve never experienced so much loss in such a short amount of time and it was rough. But in the midst of all that, we got pregnant with our precious baby girl at the end of July. She truly is a beacon of hope to what otherwise would have been a very dark year. She also serves as a reminder that in the midst of all the difficulties of this past year, there were also some happy times. And when I say reminder, I mean she has a tendency to kick me extra hard when I get too bummed out. It’s like she’s saying “Cheer up mom! It wasn’t all bad!”

In light of that I wanted to do a recap of all the happy things that happened in 2015, now that I’ve gotten all the sads out.


I turned 26 and celebrated my birthday with great friends. We also got to meet several of our friends brand new babies.

January Memory


We celebrated Jesse’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. We also got a fairly large amount of snow and went sledding and built a snowman.

February snowman


I accomplished two goals off my bucket list, so this was a really good month. Jesse and I met Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional at a small show with his new band Twin Forks. I also ran my first 10k with an average mile of 10 1/2 minute miles. This is actually something that I would love to do again after I recover from birthing Baby Girl.

10k complete


Jesse and I celebrated our 4th year of marriage. For my anniversary gift Jesse surprised me with tickets to see Bryan Adams in Raleigh, NC. This was another item off my bucket list and it was a phenomenal show.

Bryan Adams


I went to a bachelorette party, which is always a good time. We also had help getting all of the tile in our guest bathroom laid. It looks so good! I got Jesse tickets to see Garrison Keeler do a recording of Prairie Home Companion, one of his bucket list items.

Garrison Keeler


Jesse and I took a week long vacation to go to a wedding in the Outer Banks. All of our friends were there and it was a grand time. We also went VIP to a Dashboard Confessional and Third Eye Blind show, where we met Chris Carrabba again. We also went with friends to Smith Mountain Lake and spent a weekend swimming, jet skiing and wishing we had a lake house. Another of our friends also gave birth to a precious baby in the middle of the month.

June Memory


We hosted our 3rd annual 4th of July party, which had an action hero theme. I was Lara Croft and Jesse was John McClane from Die Hard. We visited with family on the Eastern Shore one weekend. We also did Paint Nite, which was a ton of fun. On the last day of the month, we found out we were expecting Baby Girl!

lara croft costume


My work hosted a day at Busch Gardens for all of the employees. Since I couldn’t ride anything we gorged on food and saw all of the shows.

August Memory


We had our first and second ultrasounds to see Baby Girl. One of our friends scored us tickets to watch the World Cycling Championship from a VIP tent, which was a truly awesome experience. We also announced our pregnancy and entered the second trimester. Jesse also got a new job, with a promotion.

UCI World Cycling Championship


One of my best friends from college got married in mid-October and our old college group was reunited for the first time in two years.

October wedding


We found out that we were having a girl, not a boy like we had originally thought. I saw the Newsies with girlfriends. I felt Baby Girl kick for the first time on Thanksgiving. And Jesse’s sister had a baby.

21 Weeks


STAR WARS! Plus Jesse felt Baby Girl kick for the first time during the Star Wars premiere and all of my siblings got to feel her during the week of Christmas. We also finally paid off Jesse’s student loans (now we just have mine to go).


Looking back at that list, it’s impossible for me to doubt that we are blessed and that there is always sunshine after the storm and sometimes right in the middle of the storm. Jesse and I had a year full of adventures, accomplished so many goals and spent so much time with people that we love. 2016 is going to be even more full of adventure and love. We are so excited to meet this feisty little girl and love on her.

How was your 2015? What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Gender Reveal and 24 Week Bumpdate

Whew! The holidays are such a crazy time of year! I love decorating the house and spending time with loved ones, but boy does it wear me out! Especially being pregnant and having a tiny being sucking my energy up. But I wanted to pop in to document, and to share, how pregnancy has been going thus far.

First things first, in case some of you hadn’t seen on social media, baby is a GIRL! Jesse and I are absolutely thrilled. We really did think it was a boy but it never really mattered. I’m especially excited because I’m going to finally have a chance to create a super girly nursery for her. I’m thinking pink, gold and glitter. I’ve been working on a mood board, which I will share on the blog after the holidays.21 Weeks

Another big change has been that I’ve got nesting urges and more energy. I can get in the zone and start cleaning and organizing random things and not even realize how long I’ve been at it. That is until I stop and realize my feet hurt and I’m hungry. Also, I can feel Baby Girl kicking and moving a lot more now. That started at about 21 weeks, and it’s just been getting stronger. Jesse was just able to feel her this weekend. We were at the movies seeing Star Wars for the 2nd time and Baby Girl just went nuts. He felt some really strong kicks, which was exciting for both of us.


How far along? 24 Weeks
Baby Size: A cantaloupe
Total weight gain/loss: I’ve gained a total of 20 lbs. which is right on target, especially since 8 of those were making up for weight lost in the first trimester.
Maternity clothes? I basically live in maternity leggings now and I’ve bought quite a few more tops. I wear as many of my non-maternity tops as I can, but it’s getting harder.
Stretch marks? Yes. I don’t have any on my belly yet, but other areas are pretty bad.
Sleep: It’s gotten way better. I alternate between using 5 regular pillows and the pregnancy pillow. I still wake up a few times to adjust or use the bathroom but not as frequently as every two hours.
Best moment this week: Jesse feeling Baby Girl kick!
Miss Anything? Sushi, like real raw fish sushi. And wine. At parties I walk around sniffing people’s wine. It’s weird.
Movement: Yep! She’s my little warrior princess kicking and punching all the time.
Food cravings: Still pizza and Coke. I also eat way more ice cream than I used to. Jesse also makes me homemade veggie sushi at least once a week.
Gender: GIRL!!!!
I will be back this week with a few photos of the house for Christmas, so stayed tuned! Also Jesse and I both have the whole week after Christmas off, so we are going to start working on the house. I’m hoping to have a post or two to share since I wont be at work all that week.

19 Weeks

I’m really bad at this whole “getting back to blogging” thing. Honestly, I’ve been feeling much better! I have more energy, Jesse and I have been spending most weekends out of the house (even if I fall asleep as soon as we get home), and I’ve even been doing some seasonal decorating. All of that means that taking “bumpdate” photos is kind of on the back burner most weekends. I definitely don’t want to stop them though, not for you guys, but for me. I want to look back at how my belly is growing and how this pregnancy is progressing. That being said…

19 weeks

How far along? 19 Weeks
Baby Size: An heirloom tomato
Total weight gain/loss: I’ve gained 7 more lbs. in the past few weeks, and I’m definitely starting to feel “big.”
Maternity clothes? I went shopping last weekend and got a few more tops. My other tops dont really fit any more, so I’m running out of options.
Stretch marks? I’ve seen a few crop up recently. Yikes! But I’ve been using a cocoa butter cream so hopefully I wont get too many.
Sleep: Still using the preggo pillow and I usually get a solid 3-4 hrs. before I wake up and spend the rest of the night getting an hour or two here and there.
Best moment this week: Being able to eat several dishes with meat!
Miss Anything? I still miss my regular diet and eating veggies without gagging. I’m also starting to miss my pre-preggo body as I get bigger and have to slow down.
Movement: Maybe? I still can’t tell the difference between baby and gas or hunger. I really want to feel some movement!
Food cravings: Still loving Coke and pickles. Pizza is definitely my favorite thing right now though.
Gender prediction: Jesse and I both still think boy. We find out next week!
My energy has definitely been coming back. I feel better and better each weekend. Most people say they were back to normal by 20 weeks, which is Monday, so fingers crossed! Also, I’ve started building my registry and let me just say that it’s one of the most overwhelming things I’ve done!

16 Weeks

Hi folks! I missed a week of bumpdates because last week was just a lot to handle. My family lost one of my uncles to cancer so we had the memorial service and visitation, not to mention all of the emotions that go along with losing a loved one. Our baby’s due date is actually on this uncle’s birthday, which is so special. Thank you to all those that messaged, texted and sent prayers! They meant so much to me!

16 weeks

How far along? 16 Weeks
Baby Size: An avocado
Total weight gain/loss: I’ve gained 4 lbs. since week 12, so I’m right on schedule.
Maternity clothes? I bought more maternity leggings and a few maternity tank tops. The tank tops are long and cover my butt, so I wear them with the leggings and cardigans most of the time. So comfy!
Stretch marks? Still not yet
Sleep: After almost a week of bad sleep I got out the pregnancy pillow and have been sleeping much better and usually through the night.
Best moment this week: Hearing baby’s heartbeat at my doctor’s appointment on Thursday.
Miss Anything? I miss my appetite. I’m still having strong aversions to a lot of foods, like meat and green vegetables, so I don’t get to eat what I want most of the time.
Movement: Not yet, but my doctor said I should feel some movement before my 20 week appointment.
Food cravings: Still loving Coke, pickles and potato chips. This week I’ve also been on a breakfast pizza kick.
Gender prediction: Jesse and I both still think boy.
I’ve felt my energy returning in bursts and some days I go without nausea for most of the day, so I really hope that as this trimester progresses that will keep improving. Fingers crossed!

14 Week Bumpdate

Hey again! Thank you all so much for your well wishes and congratulations on my big news. Jesse and I are so excited for our little bundle of joy to join our family in April! This week I have been feeling a little better as far as nausea goes, but definitely still struggling especially in the evenings. One of my best friends is getting married this weekend and I’m roadtripping with my girlfriends to the wedding, so I’m hoping for a good weekend in regards to not feeling very sick so I can have a good time! 14 weeks

How far along? 14 Weeks
Baby Size: A lemon
Total weight gain/loss: My scale isn’t the same as the doctor’s office, but I’ve gained back most of the 6 pounds I lost.
Maternity clothes? Two pairs of maternity leggings (which are amazing) and a Belly Band since I can’t button any of my pants any longer. I’m also thinking I will buy a new dress for the wedding.
Stretch marks? Still not yet
Sleep: I’ve been tossing and turning more frequently, which makes getting up for work a struggle, but I’m still clocking 8-9 hours a night.
Best moment this week: Setting up my maternity leave through my work. I can’t wait to have time off with my baby!
Miss Anything? Still missing my energy, but fingers crossed that returns soon.
Movement: Not yet, but hoping to feel some soon!
Food cravings: Dr. Pepper has been replaced with Coke and I can’t get enough Brunswick Stew!
Gender prediction: Jesse and I both still think boy.
I can’t wait for this weekend with my best girlfriends. I’m nervous about the three hour car ride and being tired most of the time, but we will still have great time! Have a good weekend all!

My Greatest DIY Project to Date

Hello? Anyone out there? I know that the blog has been quiet for sometime now, but I have been working on a very special DIY project. Baby Rowlands AnnouncementYep, Jesse and I are having a baby! And for me this first trimester has been tough. I’ve been very sick and my energy level has been at zero. After work I’ve literally been going straight to bed, and almost once a week I’ve totally missed work due to being sick. I’m hoping that the further I get into the second trimester the more I will feel like myself though! And hopefully get back to this blog, which I really have missed terribly.

Actually, to be totally honest over the past year I was struggling with who I was. I was not motivated to do anything creative and was kind of depressed. A lot of that had to do with Jesse and I trying to get pregnant and it just not happening, some of it was work stresses. Trying to conceive was a hard process for us. I struggled with ovarian cysts, pulled a muscle in my back, and in late June we lost a pregnancy. After we lost our first pregnancy, about a week after we found out we were expecting, we decided to step back from trying. We booked a trip to Disney World and tried to relax. Well, we never made it to Disney because low and behold the next month we found out we were expecting again, and this one has stuck! Despite feeling so sick and tired all the time, I have a joy that I finally will get to be a mom and it is definitely breathing new life into me. I’ve had so many nursery ideas and I’ve got a long list of projects that we need to finish, and I can’t wait to get started!

All that being said, this has been a journey for me and I want to celebrate every step. This includes weekly bump updates here on the blog. If those aren’t your cup of tea, if anyone is even out there any more ha!, feel free to skip. This won’t be a total mommy blog, but it will get a regular mention. So without further ado, here’s the Week 13 bump! 13 weeks

How far along? 13 Weeks
Baby Size: A peach
Total weight gain/loss: Due to being so sick I’ve actually lost 6 lbs. but I’m hoping to make up for that soon!
Maternity clothes? Two pairs of maternity leggings (which are amazing) and a Belly Band since I can’t button any of my pants any longer.
Stretch marks? Not yet
Sleep: Sometimes it takes a while to get to sleep, but I’m still getting 10+ hrs. a day
Best moment this week: Announcing our pregnancy to everyone.
Miss Anything? Just being myself. I’m hoping to get that back in the next few weeks.
Movement: Not yet, but this kid is always moving when they do an ultrasound
Food cravings: Dr. Pepper, Starbursts, and Ranch Dressing
Gender prediction: Jesse and I both think boy.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope to have more, less baby-centric posts up soon! :)

Finally Coming Together

Woah! I can’t believe that I’m finally writing more than one post a month! And to boot this one is actually about some home DIY! Jesse and I have been taking our sweet time working on our guest bathroom but this summer we’ve actually made a lot of progress. The last I left you in the bathroom saga, this is what we were working with: destroyed bathroomYep, that’s a giant hole in our bathroom floor next to where the toilet formerly was. We had noticed some water damage and it resulted in taking out the toilet and all of the tile, plus replacing the subfloor. We even had to replace a few floor braces, which was quite the task. We worked on it a little at a time, and then took the whole winter off. Finally come May we had some help from my father, who is a contractor, to lay the tile. new guest bathroom tileJesse and I had never tiled before, so having someone there to help was HUGE. He had all of the tools and he was able to knock the floor out in a day! One of the ways he was so fast was that he laid the tile by just eyeing it. No spacers or anything like that! Gray bathroom tileThe cement backerboard and the tile were laid before lunch and then after lunch we did the grout. The tile was on super sale for $1.99 per sq. ft. at The Home Depot. It’s the 12×24 Metro Charcoal porcelain tile and I am absolutely in love with it! I chose a light gray grout in the hopes that it would look less dirty than white over time and that it would compliment the tile. It definitely is complimentary, but only time will tell it’s durability. pretty blue bathroom makeoverAfter the tile was done, it was time for painting! The paint is Olympic Alpine Valley, it kind of reminds me of Tiffany Blue. The truth is I wanted to paint this room a pale pink, but Jesse was absolutely not on board. Instead I went with the girliest blue I could find that I thought would pair well with a few pale pink accessories. I’m totally a great wife. guest bathroom total makeoverI gave myself a deadline of before our July 4th party to finish painting so that we could put in our brand new toilet before filling our house with people. There’s nothing like a toilet shortage when there’s 30+ people hanging out at your house. That self imposed deadline definitely kept us motivated and now we are so close to being done! Painting the cabinet is one of the last major things and it’s already been primed. painting bathroom cabinetsWe will be painting the cabinet this weekend and then I think we will end up painting the wood trim in this room. I know that we (aka Jesse) have been opposed to painting the trim, but we put in some new white trim since we could not find wood to match and we love it. I think the room can work without painting the trim around the doors, but I also want to paint the closet doors, so I feel like we don’t have much of a choice. 😉

So do you love my new tile as much as I do? How about the paint color? Does it have that girly vibe that I’m looking for?

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