April Goals

It seems hard to believe that March is already done - I feel like just yesterday I was outlining my March goals! Crazy how the time flies when you're busy and preggo.

Let's see how I did for March on my goals, shall we?

March Goals:

  1. Observe Lent with a sense of hope: This is a hard one to quantify, but I think I did an okay job on this during March - I give myself a solid B. Lent has almost flown by, and since David and I are so busy sometimes I'm so distracted that it's hard to set intentional time to pray every day. I'm also not halfway through Luke's Gospel yet, but I'm planning to pick up some steam here in the next few weeks.
  2. Prepare for baby: Welllll, we're not done with the baby's room yet, but I do feel a lot more prepared as the days go by. We're halfway done with our Lamaze class, I've done more planning and shopping for baby, and have been doing a ton of reading on baby-birthing and baby-care. We still need to get our car seat and get it installed, and have a lot of other small things to finish up, but it shouldn't take us too long.
  3. Be intentional with my time: Again, I only did average on this goal. I took less naps than I anticipated, but the days just seemed to fly by without any rhyme or reason, so I didn't feel like I was being intentional about my time. Oh well, there's always next month, right?
Let's move on, shall we?

April Goals

1. Get ready for Baby G

We really have no option but to get this done this month. Baby G could be just a few weeks early and be born at the end of April, so we've gotta get ready! We have a few touchups left on the nursery left to do, and then we need to make sure we've got all our essentials for newborn life organized and prepped for him/her to get here. This includes buying a dresser/changing table, hanging art, and general cleaning - as well as packing the hospital bag! Yay!

2. Try to slow down - at least occasionally

David and I exchanged work/personal schedules this morning, trying to organize everything we've got going on in April. It's already looking insanely busy - and it doesn't even hit until tomorrow! Because we're going to be busy (think 2 weddings, bachelorette party, baby shower, doctor's appointments, work meetings, traveling, and #1 in this list), I want to make sure and slow down to enjoy this last little bit of pregnancy while I can. That means occasionally slowing down - taking a night off for a date night, relaxing together, and mentally taking it easy while we still can.

3. Get our social life on

Baby G is going to change the way we spend time - and probably pretty drastically the first few weeks. I want to make sure and spend time with friends this month, while it's still just me and not me + baby. This includes some long-overdue phone dates, dinner dates, and hopefully more correspondence catch-up than March included. Plus, this month is Easter so we're going to have to party for that reason alone, right?

4. Practice with my new camera

Because I had such a specific reason for buying my new camera, I really want to get some intentional practice in with it this month, for baby's sake. We don't have the budget right now for a lot of family portraits or baby sessions, so I'm hoping in April I can practice enough to make my time and purchase worth it!

5. Enjoy the spring weather

It was 78° yesterday, and got up to 70° today too - I want to take advantage of this beauty while it lasts...because most of the time Nebraska transitions directly from "chilly" to "desert" in the span of a week. I don't want to miss it this time around! This hopefully will include a lot of walks (which have the added benefit of making baby come quicker) and reading on our newly-washed porch.


How about you? What are your goals for April? 
HG


Late night blogging

Let's be honest, there's probably a reason why most people don't blog after like 10:00 p.m.
Because most people are in bed then. Or at least doing something more interesting than staring at their computer screens, trying to come up with something to write while ignoring the earthquake in their stomach.

Not me!

Currently David is out with some friends at places where one consumes alcohol, and I was feeling sick so I decided to go home and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Then Baby Gokie decided it was a great time to have a party in my womb, so much so that he/she is shaking the rafters in there.

bumpity bump bump

I'm not kidding, my stomach is shaking back and forth from how excited and worked up it is. Multiple sides of the "room" at the same time, and ferociously punching the walls, as it were. It's kinda crazy. The baby, not my stomach. [Hard to consistently refer to the baby as a genderless being because pronouns are helpful, no? Hard but worth it.]

So currently I'm stalking some mama blogs, reading more birth stories, and trying to figure out a way to calm the baby down enough so I could get some sleep, for goodness's sake. (Goodness sake? Goodness sake's? I never know what the right use of that phrase is. And I was an English major. Shameful, I know.)

Though I would love to continue this riveting post, I am now going to try to walk around a little bit in an attempt to lull the little one back to sleep, and then quick hop in bed and try to fall asleep before he/she wakes up again. We've got some golfing and breakfast plans for tomorrow, and I'd like to be mostly awake for them if I can.

If you're up and about like I am, know that I sympathize. And that I just cannot WAIT til the reason I'm up and about is in my arms with a sweet baby smell to envelop me. It juuuuust might be worth it then. :)
HG

Working overtime is worth it

...when you get to reward yourself with fancy grown-up toys afterward!


Please excuse our really messy bedroom - we're getting ready to leave for a long weekend in Columbus...plus our room is never really "clean" except for the hour after I clean it each weekend. 
But I digress.

We finally bought a camera! Yes, we were camera-less before this. (My birthday present from 2000 finally quit on me last year, poor baby.)

I was/have been convinced for a long time that we needed a camera before Baby Gokie got here. I love looking at pictures of myself when I was a baby, and I didn't want to short our child of that opportunity. D and I both have iPhones but the pictures are just not the same, you know? So I was insistent that we get a camera before he/she arrived.

David wasn't as convinced, and since he's the money man in our relationship, we made a compromise - if I worked overtime enough to pay for one, we could get a camera. Et voila! Camera. (Somehow the fact that he buys a new tool every time we go to Menards wasn't a factor in our discussion, although I'm convinced it should have been. Boys...)

I pretended that my old bear Jickey was a baby for awhile and "posed" him for practice.
I'm pregnant, don't judge me too harshly.
Now I've been reading and researching ferociously online about how to shoot with something that doesn't also make phone calls, and I even started a new Pinterest board on newborn/baby photo shoot ideas.

I'm a woman obsessed. 

don't worry, I wasn't going to leave you without a bump shot! 31.75 weeks!

If you've got any good recommendations on tutorials or video series, shoot (teehee) them my way! I'm always open to suggestions. I'm obviously a newbie when it comes to cameras and such so I'd love any advice you've got.
HG

Lenten motivation

My Lent so far can be summed up with one of my all-time favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Avila.



I've definitely failed in my sacrifices quite a few times so far, and I know I will again in the next 25 days. But I've found that if I keep this quote in mind, even in my times of failure and weakness, I'm much more willing (and able!) to keep in mind why I'm sacrificing and why we journey with Him these 40 days.

I have a tendency to let myself off the hook too easily this Lent - mentally I tell myself it's because I'm pregnant, but just because I'm growing a person inside me doesn't mean I shouldn't sacrifice just as well as every other year. I have to remind myself to "be stern" and not give myself too much slack for being pregnant.

We have only a little bit left in Lent, so keep heart if you're struggling as much as I am. He sees it all and appreciates even our failures in efforts to join His suffering.

Prayers -
HG

Boy or Girl? In Defense of Waiting

If you hadn't figured it out yet, David and I aren't finding out what the gender is of our little baby til he/she arrives - didn't when we could have, and don't plan on it for any future kiddos.


It's funny because it was the first thing both of our parents said to us when we told them we were expecting -- "Don't find out what you're having!!!" Completely unsolicited from us, both sets of 'em were pretty adamant about their opinion and definitely wanted to make sure we knew it.

Before that, we weren't really planning on finding out, for a multitude of reasons, but it was still funny to see their reactions and for them to agree on something in general! :)

What are our reasons, you ask? Good thing I'm gonna make a handy-dandy list of all the reasons we chose not to find out, and will continue to do so for our future children.

Reason #1: Save $$$

Because we are newlyweds, recent graduates from college, and low on the cashola front, a big reason we chose not to find out the gender was to save money. David works in the financial field, and heard from different coworkers and other new parents that not finding out if you're having a little girl or boy is super helpful when it comes to saving money.

If you don't find out boy vs. girl, you're much less likely to buy gender-specific items that can only be used for that gender, especially of the big-ticket items (bright pink carseat, or a bunch of truck-themed nursery furniture). It just makes common sense to buy gender-neutral items if you're planning on having more than one child! (It's also more environmentally friendly, which is always good.)

little over the top, no?

If you're anything like me, not finding out also helps relieve the enormously magnetic pull that cute baby things have, especially when browsing Target. I am a complete sucker for cute baby things - as are most women, I'm pretty sure, and especially pregnant women with crazy baby hormones running through their veins. If we knew we were having a little girl, I guarantee pretty much every trip I've taken to Target would have resulted in "just one or two!" cute little girl things thrown in the cart, which definitely adds up after 9 months of waiting.

Because we don't know what we're getting around May 23, I can browse those sections all I want when I'm in Target, but can't buy any of them because it would just be a waste of time. (I'll admit to buying ONE set of cute gender-neutral leggings that were on super clearance, only because I couldn't pass them up...$1.98? Heck yes.)

Reason #2: Name Picking

One of the funnest things about pregnancy, in my opinion, is trying out a bunch of different names for the little person that's coming soon. Of course, this is also one of the hardest parts, but David and I have loved trying to decide what our little one's name options are. We definitely don't have the same taste in anything names (anyone who knows us in real life knows the truth of that statement) so it's been both entertaining and ...interesting to try and decide on names.

If we knew we were having a boy, we'd have had half the amount of discussions about names by this point. What fun is that? Having multiple options for each gender is super fun. I can't imagine narrowing that down into just one or the other because it's just so much fun, y'all. 

I've also heard many a horror story of mamas and dads knowing the gender, picking the name, and telling it to their friends/relatives/acquaintances -- then getting a bunch of negative feedback on the name. If we spend so long trying to pick one out, I could not care less what you think of it! If we don't know the gender, we don't even have the option of spoiling it for ourselves.

Sorry if you thought I was going to share our names here. Fooled you! We're keeping them under wraps til the big reveal.

Reason #3: Zero Disappointment

Early on in the pregnancy, I was really hoping for a girl, and David was really hoping for a boy. I think we've pretty much reversed our opinions now -- I'm secretly hoping it's a boy and David's loving the idea of a little girl. Especially as new parents, we're constantly changing our opinions about literally every parenting decision we've made so far, and I'm pretty positive that isn't going to change anytime soon.



Not knowing the gender has (obviously) made both of us open to either gender, for the entirety of the pregnancy. If we had found out at our ultrasound, one or the other of us was bound to be at least a tiny bit disappointed with the news, even if we'd never admit it. And if we found out, we would've had no option to go back and reverse that decision. And we've both changed our opinions since then! 


Reason #4: Best Guessing Game Ever

One of my other favorite things about not knowing what we're having is that it's just a constant topic of conversation - whether between David and me, our parents, our siblings, friends, other pregnant women, strangers on the street, etc. etc. People are beyond excited to look at my belly and pass their judgement on what they think it's going to be. Kinda hard to do if you know what you're having, eh? (Unless just you two find out and don't share...which, if so, you have more stamina than I ever could).

I have actually quite a few pregnant friends who are expecting around the same time as me - two found out what they're having, and two didn't. All we can talk about when we get together is what the baby's going to be! It's so fun to compare belly sizes and shapes and see the differences and to wonder if that's the cause.

If you find out, you also don't get the fun of participating in the old-wives-tale tests (the pencil test, shape of your belly, the Drano test, Chinese birth predictors, etc.) at showers and just for fun.

In case you're curious, every one of my "tests" has predicted a boy, and David and I both have strong feelings that it's a boy. :)

Reason #5: Making Labor Worth It

The biggest mental and emotional reason we decided not to find out was really for my sake more than anything - to have a goal when going into labor. Of course moms who know what they're having still have the goal of finally meeting and holding their baby when they go into labor - I am not saying they don't at all. 

hilarious

But as a first time mom, one who's pretty nervous about the whole thing, one of the biggest motivators for me is going to be finding out what the little baby is at the end of the whole painful ordeal! We've been talking a lot about ways to keep your "eyes on the prize" in our Lamaze class, and this is definitely going to be my biggest motivator when I finally do go into labor.

Most, if not all, of these reasons are going to continue for the rest of our kiddos - because I don't think we'll ever find out what we're having. If you're expecting I'd love to hear your opinion on finding out - and if you're not, maybe these reasons will sway you into holding off on the big reveal! 

Thinking baby thoughts -
HG

5 Faves | Pregnancy things

Because who doesn't love a TMI post about little babies and the weird things your body does when you're growing one inside you??

nope, not twins. only one bebe in there

1. I've been binge-reading birth stories lately. Grace's linkup is a lifesaver for an anxious mom-to-be like me, who often has too much time on her hands. I think I can get through all 263 (!!!263 babies!!!) by the time May 23rd comes, don't you?

I love especially reading all the different ways/experiences all mamas have with gettin' babies out into the world. I'm trying not to be too control-freak-like when it comes to planning what's gonna happen when Bebe decides to come, so I like reading about all my options and seeing what all these other moms had planned vs. what actually happened. Obviously I have some "best-case-scenario" hopes (short labor, no epidural, etc...) but I'm not banking on having them come true because I hate being wrong more than I hate changing plans at the last minute. Therefore - no plan, no disappointment!

2. Baby G has been doing some cute tricks this last week - if I pat/tap the side of my belly when he/she is moving around, they'll respond by kicking back at the exact same spot. A couple times yesterday they matched the numbers of pats and kicks, too!

I also finally got baby to respond to a light on my stomach this morning, kicking exactly wherever I put my phone-light. SO cute. And sometimes SO unbelievable that the little thing inside me is able to respond so intelligently.

3. I've been having a harder time sleeping as every day passes, between waking up in a gross full-body sweat (told you, TMI) even when we set our heater at 58°, to major spinal pain if I don't switch sides during the night about 9,000 times (lucky David!). As per usual, the nightly and sometimes twice-nightly trips to the bathroom don't help with the solid night of sleep either. Small sacrifices, I know, but still annoying when I dream back on the dead-like sleep I used to get before pregnancy. Sigh.

I couldn't bring myself to buy one of these...so I'm using a regular pillow.
4. David and I are slowly narrowing down our list of names - we have a boy's name (first and middle) pretty much decided on, and the girl's first name, but still debating the middle name. I am getting more and more impatient for baby to get here because I want to share the names we have. I am probably pretty biased but I think they're awesome [says every new mom ever, I know]

5. We've also been debating for the last month at least on how to pick godparents for the little one. Does anyone have any advice in that arena? We have lots of options but can't decide. If you advice for us please share!

In other pregnant news, sending up prayers for Katie, who's been diagnosed with preeclampsia & put on bedrest, and for her husband as they have to get ready for baby a lot sooner than anticipated. I am ready to be done being pregnant (for now) but certainly not in circumstances like that. Send her a line of support if you get the chance.

Linking up with Hallie because I had 5 things!

HG

currently


wearing: this Liz Lange maternity tee from Target & these Gap maternity jeans I've raved about previously
eating: a delicious Fuji apple from the grocery store yesterday, and the box of Cheeze-Its I unearthed in our pantry at lunch...yay!
pondering: if it would be worth it to upgrade our internet subscription, because working from home makes waiting for projects to download really frustrating and eats up a looot of my time
wanting: to be able to shop in non-maternity sections again. I'm dying over the new J.Crew spring/summer catalog & almost caught myself drooling when I wandered through the summer clothes at Target. I'm not all selfish but part of me wants the baby to get here soon so I can start wearing normal things again!
excited about: the windows for the nursery coming in this week, and hopefully getting the baby's room really done and put together by the end of March...a girl can dream, right?
thanking: my wonderful husband who both reads my blog and does all the dishes and does his very best to understand and empathize with my crazy pregnancy hormones
watching: Grey's Anatomy (I've burned through 8 seasons in an embarrassingly short amount of time...so embarrassing that I'm not even going to mention it) and the 8th season of the Office, for the second or third time, with D
drinking: tons of water thanks to the best Christmas present ever and Twinnings Black Mixed Berry Tea, which I've been rationing because you can't buy it anywhere in Lincoln so the next time I run out, I have to order online
anticipating: our very first Lamaze class tonight...eep...and the return of warm weather!
sewing: hopefully within the next week the curtains for the nursery, and my nesting hormones are kicking in because I'm also contemplating getting our bedroom new curtains and some basket liners for the new shelves in our bathroom
listening to: a claude debussey album because I exhausted my country playlist for the week by 11 a.m. this morning and needed a change. Jake Owen to Debussey was drastic enough, right?
feeling: baby kicks like crazy when I bend forward at my desk for too long...apparently the little one doesn't like having his/her head squished by me attempting to read my computer screen
drooling over: this mixed pattern tee from anthropologie, and trying to decide if I could alter something I own like it? or maybe I could go daring and even pull this off?

and...
hoping: you all have a wonderful Monday!
HG



7QT #9: Friiiiiday


Gosh, it's finally Friday! Sometimes the hours between 10 p.m. Sunday night and Friday at 4 seem like they'll never end. Celebrating with Jen!


David and I finally put up the crib this week! It's embarrassing, really, how many times I've walked into the nursery just to stare at it and try to imagine what it's gonna be like to have a little person sleeping in it. And SOON.

I am beyond excited. Once the whole nursery is done I'll make a big tour post, but I couldn't resist sharing this little bit.
Today is, in order of importance: my dad's 60th birthday, International Pi Day, and Albert Einstein's birthday. In celebration of all of that, I want to buy a pi cake-pan every year, but never have gotten around to it. But how fun is this?


My general inner dialogue when I see something like this.

Caitlin was here all week and instead of thinking ahead or being someone who just does normal things, I managed to not get a single picture of either her (for proof, of course) or us together. We went to dinner last night and realized that the next time I see her we might have a baby on our hands! Terrifying, yes. Awesome, yes.

In apologies for the previous post this week that included a lot of embarrassing pictures of her and me together, here's a nice one of us two from my wedding:
photo cred the talented Brooke Choquette

I'm quickly running out of parenting books to read. Does anyone have any good suggestions for me? I've read quite a few but I know there are THOUSANDS out there. If your recommendation is a Catholic mama/writer all the better! Hit me up in the comments.

I'm officially 30 weeks huge today. Here's my view from the top of this belly-that-feels-more-like-a-mountain:

It's a little overwhelming.

Can you believe Pope Francis has been the pope for more than a year now? Here's one of my favorite quotes from the past year of his papacy:

"Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives." (from Lumen Fidei)
I need to take this quote and run with it in my daily life more...especially during Lent. Happy late one-year-a-versary, Papa F!

That's about it for me this week. Hopefully you all have a wonderfully warm weekend...Nebraska's finally turning permanently towards spring, I think! Yay!


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Look at baby Hannah

Because I love embarrassing recaps of other peoples' lives on the internet, and because one of my friends from college just commented on a photo of me from 2009 (yes, you'll get to see it, promise), I thought I'd make my own here seriously shameful collage here.

And to make you happy, I'm ordering it year-by-year, so you can see just how long it took for me to start looking/acting like a normal person.

[Forgive me for some of these. I would say that I wasn't really this weird...but... you literally now have photographic evidence that I was. Yikes.]

2008


This was one of the first photos tagged of me on Facebook. Junior in high school, being a big rebel and jumping in the "NO WADING" pool on UNL's campus. 


That's me with two of my cross country pals, Norah (left) and Bridget (in the back with the fishy face). I think I wore that tshirt more than any other piece of clothing I've ever owned. 

2009



Yup, that's Caitlin in the front, in a Snuggie, no less, and me doing something bizarre with my hands in the dark background. Isn't the internet wonderful?


I had NO idea this picture even existed. That's Katherine on the left, the first time we actually hung out - we lived across the hall from each other, and then both went on a FOCUS-sponsored camping trip. We've been friends ever since and this still very accurately represents our relationship. [P.S. Do you like my tie-die giraffe shirt that says "Happy Birthday" on it??]


Kelly, you didn't think you'd get away without showing up here did you? 2009 was a quality year for post-Husker-game photo ops. In the dark. After sweating through 90° games for 5+ hours in the hot sun.


Less embarrassing photographic evidence that I went through a HUGE tie-die phase. What was I thinking? Also isn't Caitlin adorable??

2010


This is me + my 3 roommates from sophomore year...in a very attractive picture of all of us, obviously. Don't we look young and free of care?


I'm including this photo to mainly beg the internet's help in finding these flip flops again...they were the best things I've ever bought. Target circa 2010. Somebody's gotta have them still, right? 


I don't think big goofy bangs were in in 2010, but apparently that didn't stop me.


We dressed up as men for Halloween that year. [left to right: bro, gangster, nerd, hipster]. Nuff said.

2011


The first photo of David & me by ourselves I found on my FB. Before a dance, I think? 


Family vacation, and apparently STILL in my tie-die phase. YIKES SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME.


We dressed up as Jim & Pam that year for Halloween. Nailed it, right?

2012


David and me on our first family vacation together. It was sunny, I think.


Abbey Road mixed with jumping picture? Roommate picture from my senior year...love these girls.


One time we tried to rescue a dog that was lost, and he spent the night at our house. In a house full of college girls near the end of the semester. AKA we did zero homework that night.


Okay, I think that's enough for now. Plus 2013 is like just last year so I can't really call that "nostalgic" yet. Hope you enjoyed this random collage of photos. I laughed my head off compiling them!
HG

Five Faves: beauty supplies

Because I'm a vain and vapid woman who can't think about anything other than beauty products & nail polish on a daily basis (heeeeavy sarcasm intended), I thought I'd do a five-beauty-product-favorites this week, because why the heck not?

Plus I always turn to bloggers like Grace and Carolyn and Jenna when I'm in need of a new spring in my beauty step...blogs are where it's at for beauty product recs, yo.

1. Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara

Both Grace and Dwija have posted about the wonders of this mascara in the past, but I am here to reiterate their statements: this is by far the best mascara I've ever tried. I used to think that all mascara around the $6-$8 range was created equal. Oh ho ho, was I WRONG. This mascara kicks all other mascara butts in mascara-offs.

Of course it's not listed online so I can't remember exactly what I paid for it at Target last time but it's around $7 and it's lovely. It seriously stays soft on your lashes and prevents that annoying "my eyelashes are sticking together" conundrum, and it's not too crazy full. When I want to party, I put on two coats and I'm golden. It doesn't flake off or pull off, but washes super easy. (I think they even make a waterproof kind, but don't quote me on that.) All in all, grand prize winner in mascara-land.

2. Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer

I tan pretty easily in the summer - I hardly ever use sunscreen and I got my first official sunburn in Mexico on our honeymoon...yeah, that was fun. I always thought products like these that promised you results were a load of c-r-a-p. Until my then-roommates Caitlin & Katherine convinced me to try this one. I was an instant convert.

This lotion does a great job of taking your skin from a "hibernating albino bear" to an "active normal person" level when you've been cooped up inside for an entirely too long Nebraska winter. I have rather olive-y skin thanks to my father, so I use the medium-to-tan skintone one and it works like a charm. It not only graaadually changes your skin so you don't look crazy but it's also just a good all-around lotion. One time I bought the firming version because it was on sale and I like that version too (although I'm pretty sure it was created for old ladies) because it makes my skin feel more elastic-y.

It's a little pricey - I think around $10.99 for one of these pump bottles but worth every penny in my book.

3. Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Hair Oil

Once again a big shoutout to Caitlin who urged me to try this stuff on my hair. My hair is naturally very curly, frizzy, and pretty much does whatever it wants. I've tried everything out there to get it to sort of stay put or get a little bit of shine in it, and nothing does the trick like this does.

I originally used it only when I knew I was going to straighten my hair later in the day, because it does a fantastic job of de-frizzing my mane so I can use 0.00% hairspray after the job's done, but I've transitioned into just using it as my only product when I wear my hair down. It gives me a nice bit of shine without being too Grease-y and weighs down my wispy bits so it looks like I tried (to most people) to look nice.

The bottle looks tiny but one bottle has lasted me approximately 10 months and it's only like $4.95 so it's totes worth it.

4. Essie Nail Polish


I know, I know, everyone in every country in the world has heard of the gloriousness of Essie nail polish. If you walk by the little display at Target it basically makes fun of you for not trying it if you haven't yet. It took me a very long time to finally bite the expensive nail polish bullet but I am so so glad I did.

Yes it's more than I was previously paying for polish (ahem the $0.99 bottles at Walgreens was my go-to for a very long time) but it pays off by: not chipping, not coming off in 1.5 days just because you wash your hands like a normal person, not being too shiny or overpowering, and coming in all the pretty colors you could imagine.

I love my dark grey & pink & red that I've got right now, and I'm itching to add more to my collection when I get the chance. $8.49 at Target is 9x what I was buying before, but 10 times worth it. (See what I did there?)

5. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelettes


File this again under the category of things-I-never-thought-I'd-buy...as you can tell I'm often very wrong about predicting my own behavior. These things are a lifesaver. For some reason the very idea of washcloths kind of disgust me (bad childhood memories? idk) so these disposable wipes are purrrfect. They smell good and take off all your makeup in one fell swoop without falling apart under a little pressure.

They're listed at $4.49 on Target's website but they are usually on sale, especially if you check the clearance sections or buy multiple beauty products at the same time, which you should after reading this post.

I'm obviously not a fancy enough blogger to have any of these be affiliate links so go buy these things solely on their own merit at your beauty store of choice. (I think it's safe to say that I practically live at Target, based on this post alone. Whoops.)

Joining Hallie and the rest for ye olde linkup!



Spring has...sprung?

Gosh, I sure hope it has, anyway. Yesterday was 60, and today the high is 73. Can you even believe it? I'm counting down the hours until I can crack open my windows and let the breeze mess my desk up while I continue to work.

If it were more green/springlike outside, I'd put some pictures up. But everything in our neighborhood is still brown and icky, so I won't bore you with blah photos.

Instead I'll update you on the nursery's progress! It's been awhile since I posted about it, so here's what we've done (in total):
1. Tore down plaster/lathe walls
2. Installed insulation (there was NONE before)
3. Installed drywall
4. Wired and put in ceiling fan and light in closet
5. Primed & painted
6. Bought, cut, & painted trim
7. Installed trim (including old baseboard)
Left to do:
1. Install new windows when they come in
2. Sew & install curtains
3. Finish furnishing 
Here's some pictures to prove what we've done:

from the nursery looking into our living room

back left corner of the nursery, and our crib mattress

Don't it look purty? I promise even though these photos make it look completely different, the wall color is the same throughout the whole room.

We've also been updating the bathroom, because our house didn't have an exhaust fan in the only bathroom in the whole house. (who in the heck knows why). That meant we (cough David cough) had to re-drywall the ceiling after installing a new light fixture/fan combo, so we had to paint the walls as well. I decided to go crazy and paint the ceiling + a couple inches down the walls a blue as well, to match the tile in the tub and because I like blue.


Just last night, David installed the trim separating the two, and I LOVE it. It turned out much better than I even imagined...and I had pretty high hopes.

We're hoping the windows get here in the next few days, so we can finish the nursery and breathe a sigh of relief, since the baby's due date is approaching quickly!!

For funzies here's a bump shot:
excuse the water marks on the mirror. gross.
also I'm wearing shorts already, don't judge me.
I'm at 29 weeks, and baby's getting stronger and more aggressive every day. He/she really likes to kick and jump on my bladder still, and is just more active in there all around. I've been craving lots of fruits - apples and grapes mainly, with an occasional hankering for chocolate cupcakes. I've started to feel more tired in the last few weeks, which apparently comes with third trimester status.

How was your weekend? I'm already looking forward to the next one, which for us is gonna include some high school basketball games, my dad's birthday party, and more nice weather. Yay!
HG

Happy Lent, y'all.

First of all, yesterday I posted at Two Catholic Girls a giant list of links to other bloggers who have/had great ideas for Lent. If you're still scrambling to decide on your Lenten penances, check it out here. (Don't worry, I'm sure Jesus procrastinated at some point in His life. Right?)

I really really love Lent. This morning at Ash Wednesday Mass with David, I was really happy. Not only because we got to go to Mass on a non-weekend, but because it was Lent.

my ashes are there still - barely!
And then in my head, I was like, well that's not really the emotion we're going for during Lent, is it? Happiness isn't really the goal of giving up your favorite things (TV, copious amounts of chocolate, your pillow, radio in the car, whatever it might be.) Most of the time giving those things up makes us suffer... Yes, it's a petty form of suffering but it still feels like real suffering. I know I'm never very happy looking at a pile of warm brownies when I've given up sweets for 40 days. [Grumpy. And angry at my taste buds, mostly.]

But at the homily, which was geared towards all the grade school-aged children, the priest reminded me (and everyone else, too) that the purpose of Lent is hope. Hope for Easter. Hope that Jesus will rise from the dead giving us the opportunity to live with Him, eternally in Heaven, forever, when our lives on earth are done.

And let's be honest, that's true happiness, isn't it? Definitely not the world's definition of happiness, but in light of eternity, it's real, honest-to-goodness happiness.

via
So then and there I decided I wasn't going to stop feeling that happiness I was feeling flooding through me. I'm sure in the next 40 days I will need to be reminded of this, as I always am. [I'm also thinking my pregnancy hormones aren't going to be super helpful for my self-control. We'll just have to see how that goes.]

I hope you all are having a blessed Lent so far. Know that I'll be gazing longingly at any and all sweets in the next 40 days with the best of 'em.
HG


March Goals

February is FINALLY over -- hooray!! The shortest month always seems to drag on the longest for me, and this year wasn't any exception. With bitterly cold weather I'm not sad to say goodbye to February and hello to March, an infinitely better and hopefully warmer month.

Since it's a new month, time for me to update my goals on ye olde blogge.
But first I have to see how I did for February, right?

February Goals:
1. Craft like a crazy person (including baby quilt, embroidery, QOV stitch project, etc.):I did almost all of my to-do items for this goal! I started and finished the baby's quilt, which you can see here. I finished 3 embroidery projects, including one for Cari's project for Quilts of Valor.
2. Finish baby's room (including mudding, sanding, painting, crib, etc.):Again, almost all of this got completed during February! We (and by we I mean David, of course) got the mudding and sanding done pretty quickly, and then we painted. We're now waiting for new windows to come in, and working on last details for the room to be complete, including baseboard, repainting the doors/trim, and doing a deep cleaning. We also ordered a crib (this one, if you're curious) which should be here in the next week. 

3. Keep baby healthy (including classes, paperwork, smoothie-making, etc.):I finally filled out our pre-registration forms for the hospital, registered for a Lamaze class and hospital tour which both start in the next couple weeks, and have done some working out to keep me and baby in shape. I always have room for improvement when it comes to that, though, so this might be repeat goal for March.
4. Celebrate our 3-year "anniversary" (dating, not marriage):We had a ton of fun celebrating together. We actually went out on Valentine's Day...without a reservation...and only had to wait for a table for half an hour! It was a blast. Hard to believe we've been together for 3 years already!
5. Keep up with correspondence:I forgot to send out Valentine's/Galentine's Day cards, but managed to write and respond to a few letters this month. 
Not bad for the worst month of the year. Now onto March!

March Goals

1. Observe Lent with a sense of hope
Ever since my reversion to the faith in college, I've loved observing Lent (I always wanna type "celebrate" but that's sort of the opposite of the point, isn't it?). My spiritual life has been sort of cast off recently, so I'm looking forward to Lent to spend some time with Jesus in a more intentional way every day. I haven't decided my sacrifices, but I'm thinking some reading, hopefully more visits to Jesus in person, and giving up some pregnancy craving.



2. Prepare for baby
My doctor said at our last appointment that really the baby could come at any point now, which sort of terrified me by realizing how unready we are! This month I am hoping to:
          finish baby's room
          decorate walls
          buy carseat and have it installed
          keep reading anything & everything baby-related
          work out (see here for what I'll be doing!)
          start on baby announcements/baby book

3. Be intentional about my time
Now that I'm in my third trimester, I'm starting to feel some of those first-trimester symptoms again: tiredness, achy body parts, and lots of other things that I won't mention here. This means that when I get a free moment, I end up asleep on the couch. This month I'd like to try to be more intentional about my time, because when I nap the day gets away and then it's time for bed! If I keep this goal in mind through the whole month, hopefully it'll help me keep on top of my goals and feel less guilty when I do plan time for naps throughout the week.

March is a busy month for us -- friends like Caitlin visiting, baby classes, baby showers, appointments, etc. Hopefully this list of goals will help me not see it whiz by me when I come to post on April 1.

What are some of your goals for March? I'd love to hear them in the comments!
Happy planning-
HG

Day 6 of 7...struggles

I have absolutely nothing to write about today so here goes literally nothing. Feel free to skip this post entirely or keep reading if your Saturday is as cold, snowy, and laid back as mine has been. 

First off -- an embroidery update!

There's a quick sneak peek of what I've been working on lately. It's going to be a gift for a mama-to-be who knows she's having a girl. I found an inspiration image on Pinterest (of course) and took off. Can you guess what it's going to be? (Besides hopefully more cohesive than it is now?) 

David's currently hard at work adding trim to separate our newly blue ceiling in the bathroom. And when it's 2 degrees outside, that means sawing on the porch with earmuffs and taking frequent breaks to make sure he doesn't accidentally cut off his hands due to lack of feeling in them. 

I'm being a lazy bum on the couch, taking a break after cleaning the house and scrubbing the toilet (best. chore. ever.). 

Here's a random picture of our faux mantle with the best wedding present ever -- Avett Brothers lyrics with St. Therese and St. Patrick (our two confirmation saints) standing by and our Lady of Czestochowa right in front. 

Well that's all the nothingness I have for you today! For us the rest of the weekend involves maybe some pizza tonight and a baby shower tomorrow. 

Peace --
HG