My First Pregnancy: Weeks 29 & 30

Hey everyone! Yes, it’s another two-for-one post. The past 2 weeks were pretty busy between my job and traveling to Michigan over the weekend for my baby shower, so I didn’t get the chance to sit down and write. So here we are!

The past 2 weeks have been active ones for this baby. She is noticeably stronger and she is in the habit of sticking her back and booty up into my right side’s ribs. I can tell she is running out of room between my pelvis and ribs (I have a short torso), so now there’s nowhere to go but out. 🙂 It is making sitting more uncomfortable and I have to recline quite a bit to get her out of my ribs. It made the car ride to Michigan a lot more uncomfortable than last time when I was just 20 weeks along.


She is hiccuping at least once a day, sometimes twice. I figured she’s in the head-down position because I can always feel the hiccups down in my pelvis and my midwife confirmed it this week…she is head down! There is still a chance she will wiggle around over the next few weeks and change position, but at that point, she was head down.


Our weekend getaway to Michigan was a lot of fun and I’m so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. My baby shower was put together by family friends, Cortnee Kirby, Carly Crone, Anita Schlabach, my sister-in-law Hannah Troyer, and my mom. It was a beautiful shower with such cute decorations and delicious food. Especially the macaroni salad and the cake! The baby and I (and Nathan) were given lots of fun gifts and she has a full wardrobe of very cute clothes now.


The rest of the weekend was just relaxation with my family. We stayed at my brother Randy’s house where we enjoyed the pool and had a campfire each night. I got to spend time with both of my parents which I really enjoyed. I don’t get to see them often so I tried to soak up every moment.

My brother Randy and my sister-in-law, Hannah, are planning to come down when we are moving into our new house to help us get situated before the baby comes [hopefully!]. My mom & brother Daniel will be traveling down to Tennessee a few days after my due date so she can be around to help us out with getting settled in and with the baby whenever she decides to come (if she hasn’t come at that point). It will be a crazy time so I’m very grateful that she will be coming to help out. I have no idea what to expect but I know I have an amazing husband who will do whatever it takes, and we also have such a generous group of family and friends who are willing to help. I’m one lucky woman!

See you next week!



Happy New Year & Some Pics

Hello again, friends! I hope your holidays have been relaxing and this post finds you excited about the upcoming year. Nate and I got home late on New Year’s Eve and neither of us were feeling well, so we were bums and stayed home alone on the couch to celebrate.

We had a wonderful time with Nate’s family over Christmas. We have a lot of nieces and nephews running around on that side of the family so there is never a dull moment. As you can see, the Christmas tree drowns in gifts for all of them. I love it!


We got some amazing pictures of the Northwest as we flew overhead, both on our way and on our return. Here you can see Mount Rainier (background) and Mount Adams.


Mount Saint Helens was in view as well. Here you can see it by the wing.


Isn’t it amazing what you can see from your plane window? I’m always fascinated every time we fly. Here is a great view of Chicago at sunset.


All in all we had a great trip but we are not quite ready to get back to the daily grind. I have a few more days until I am back at work so I’m trying to soak up every minute. Vacation is never long enough!





Merry Christmas!

Hello friends!

Merry Christmas from the skies. Nate and I are on our way to his family out in Washington where we will be for a week. So far travel has been smooth and wonderful! Everyone seems extra cheery on Christmas flights. Our flight attendants are even wearing ugly Christmas sweaters. 🙂

I wanted to drop in and say “well done” to everyone who stuck to their Christmas budgets. I know it can be very hard. Giving is fun, but we have to remember to stay on track so we aren’t trying to recover the next year. I hope the season has been enjoyable and that you are taking the day to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends.

If you had a harder time with Christmas expenses this year, let this be an encouragement to you to try again next year. A good thing to do is think ahead, right now, to next Christmas. Will you be traveling? Who do you plan to buy for? What is a reasonable amount you can aim to save in one year? Start planning for next Christmas right away, and you will find that it makes the season and buying gifts much, much easier? Remember to include your spouse on the plan so you can work together toward one goal.

I’ll be off the grid until we are back from our vacation, but everyone please be safe and have FUN! ❤




A NOLA Adventure

Get ready for a major photo dump, people…

I’ve had my first cajun experience, everyone. It was a blast! My friends invited me and another friend along for the ride to New Orleans. It was a gas-and-hotel-expense-paid trip. All I would have to pay for is my food and any activities. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. Lesson number one on This, That, and the Budget: if someone offers you a great deal to travel (AKA: mostly free), you DO IT!

We left early Thursday morning and got back Sunday evening. A solid 2.5 days to explore the city and all it had to offer. Before I say anything else about this trip, I would just like to take a moment to say a huuuuge THANK YOU to Peter (& Jaye) for inviting me! It was a great experience and I’m so glad I have the memories.

The first thing I did was make my handy dandy packing list…like I always do. It rarely changes from trip to trip.


So off we went…and 8 hour journey all the way to NOLA.


We got into the city around 2:30 pm or so, checked into our hotel, and then it was off to explore a bit before dinner. Our hotel was just a few blocks from the French Quarter so we headed that way [on foot] and hit up Jackson Square. We saw the St. Louis Cathedral and the statue of Andrew Jackson. We heard a battle of jazz bands in the square and fortune tellers tried to lure us to their tables as we passed by.


But their trickery did not work. We headed toward the place everyone told us we had to visit…Cafe Du Monde! Famous for their beignets and chicory coffee, we stood in line and purchased sugary goodness. We headed across the street to the river and enjoyed our powdered sugar-covered snacks.


We had dinner that night at ACME Oyster. Strangely, not one of us ordered oysters. But I did try my first grilled chicken po’boy and it was pretty darn delicious. We headed back to the hotel to get rested up for the next day.

Friday we spent the morning tracking down a tasty breakfast which we found at Cafe Beignet. I had a delicious omelette with Louisiana ham and white cheddar. We met a sweet older couple who sat at our table and offered to take our picture.


When we offered to do the same for them, the woman said, “Oh that’s alright. We have plenty of pictures together.” To which her husband replied, “I want a picture.”

I mean c’mon! How sweet is that?! Sweeter than a beignet, that’s for darn sure.


We strolled through the French Market later that day while enjoying daiquiris in a go-cup. Yes, you can carry your alcohol with you in NOLA. It was pretty fun!





We enjoyed a hearty seafood dinner that night. My pile of shrimp was mountainous and I wasn’t able to finish it all, which is saying something. I can put away some shrimp. Yum!! We headed back to the hotel afterward and watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls, rested up and headed back out the next morning. A streetcar adventure was on the agenda that day…


We took a streetcar to the north side of the city where the famous New Orleans cemeteries & City Park are. We walked through quite a few rows of the cemetery which were eerie, haunting, and beautiful.

City Park was next on the list and we enjoyed quite a few hours of browsing the park, seeing what it had to offer. It would have been much more fun if we were children and could enjoy “Storyland” and the amusement park there. But it was fun nonetheless. We enjoyed the sculpture garden instead, where we found a giant…safety pin?


Yep. A safety pin, indeed. Lunch rolled around quickly. Instead of getting anything worth much substance, we dined on the one and only…you guessed it…beignets! We also had ice cream. It was the best lunch. Ever.


That evening we explored the city a bit more. We walked through the casino briefly, just to see what it was like. I’d never been inside a casino before…unless the Las Vegas airport counts… We had a delicious sushi dinner which I am still dreaming about. I learned to use chopsticks for real [thanks, Peter] and I need to keep practicing. At some points I definitely used my hands to pick up my sushi and shovel it into my mouth. Pretty picture, I know.

The next day was Sunday and we started the long journey back to Nashville. We had great conversation, terrible [but delicious] junk food, and an all-around fun trip back to the Volunteer State.

From this trip I learned that New Orleans is extremely unique. A city all its own. There is such a mesh of cultures there that make it a truly fascinating place to be. I could definitely use more time to explore. I can’t wait to go back one day with Nathan in tow!

Have you ever been to NOLA? What was your favorite thing you experienced? What should I do next time I’m there? Thanks for reading, friends!