bella

Ahoy Its a Boy // Baby Shower



One of the highlights of being home in New Hampshire for a week and a half was celebrating this pregnancy with family and friends. In keeping with the "Ahoy, It's a boy!" invitations my family sent out, everything was nautical themed. The biggest travesty of the evening was the lack of pictures (the problem when the guest of honor is the one who is usually snapping a photo a second) but it was an evening full of advice, family friends, and really good food.

^This girl helped my mom and sisters plan the shower and it is such a treat having her back in New Hampshire! Jen's been there since the beginning and if you've been reading for awhile you may remember when I wrote about her wedding story/my wedding story/her becoming Mormon story. The short version is ours is a friendship that has grown a lot since high school and some of my happiest moments these past few years have been because of her. She also happens to be a mom/baby nurse (I'm sure there is a technical term for that) and is a great resource for this pregnant lady ;) Really I just need her to move to Findlay. That would be perfect.
end "I love Jen" rant


^we happen to have a resident artist who let us borrow some paintings from the studio for the evening  and I love how they added to the decor! (I have one talented Grandpa) 
^Here's a bit of the table decor shot before the food was set out. For finger foods we had a veggie plate, my favorite goat cheese bruschetta, a crab dip, another delicious spicier dip I don't remember, and a few other things that are escaping me at the moment. I had to remind myself to talk and not just eat the whole night :) 
^Brownie Sundaes are one of my all time favorite desserts so instead of finding something "nautical" we went with something I love. This shot was taken before the rest of the toppings were put out but we had a full Sundae bar with warm brownies to top with ice cream. 
^^Caught talking baby things with my pediatrician (who is no longer my doctor but still our great family friend/neighbor) -- if only we lived closer and she could now be baby G's doctor.

^We started the evening with lots of mingling and eating (everything but the sundaes - those we saved for the end) before we started games and presents. Jen had a fun "name that baby food" game which I opted out of (high chance of regurgitation and all) but the funniest was when we asked everyone to cut a piece of string they thought would fit around my belly. The only rules were they couldn't use their own waist as a guide. There was only one of about twenty strings that was shorter than my actual measurement :P 
^My mom taking my actual measurement after the guests had cut theirs (side note: evening baby showers are wonderful. evening/indoor lighting for baby showers is not)
^the winner! 
^I loved this shot of the three generations chatting at the shower. One of the biggest treats happened to be the people that ended up being in town that weekend. My good friend Hanna (on the left) has since moved to Utah but her family happened to be vacationing in Cape Cod that week and they made it up for the shower! Likewise, my aunt from California was visiting my cousin from New York and they were able to come up for the weekend. With a few more unexpected family additions, I was feeling very lucky and loved :) 
^hanna, me, and my littlest sister (who is still a tiny bit shorter than me)

^one more of the ocean tablescape 
^my little sister maddie and friend melanie

^As I opened presents we had each woman give her piece of advice on motherhood that we wrote down with the gifts. Not only did baby get so many darling outfits and toys, but I got some invaluable tips and insights into this next step. 
^We're about to come full circle here -- when the baby you used to babysit is old enough to babysit your baby :P 
^the three of us were pretty happy to be reunited (here's my favorite old picture of me and hanna only because I couldn't find the one of all three of us in high school with matching green dresses... ) 

Overall, it was such a wonderful excuse to get together with lots of old friends who feel like family. This little baby is so loved already :)

P.S. My dress is NOM's Charcoal Stripe Ellie thanks to BD Maternity and is the most comfortable dress I have to date. The quality is fantastic, it stretches in all the right places, and the combo of stripes/ruching hides any unflattering lines. I'm excited to layer it with sweaters and pair it with boots the rest of this pregnancy but happy that it will work equally well with sandals if baby #2 wants to grow during the summer months. Basically, I'm thrilled with this dress.

Also, it is worth noting that a few of the older generation at my shower mentioned their surprise at how pregnant ladies these days are "flaunting" their bumps with more fitted maternity clothing (they expressed equal amusement at the term "bump"). My grandma said the reason she wears fitted clothing nowadays is because during pregnancy she only ever wore incredibly flowy fabrics that hid the bump...and after 6 pregnancies, she was DONE with flowy clothing. Interesting huh?

You're So Fat!




"You're so fat!"  was one of the first things my little sister giggled when I arrived in New Hampshire two weeks ago.

I'm sure she lovingly meant something along the lines of "you are so pregnant" or "that baby is growing so fast"  ;)

Either way, I am so grateful for a body that is successfully growing this baby so big (at my last appointment he was measuring a week or two ahead of schedule!). One of my biggest anxieties in my early pregnancy was not getting enough nutrients. My prenatal vitamins refused to stay down and food in general was not very appetizing. On top of that, the doctors were initially worried about my weight (or the lack thereof) and it was harder than I thought to put (or even keep) the pounds on those first few months. So when I'm being rational (and not overly hormonal and emotional), I am quite proud of these pounds.

That said, it's been quite the mental shift to step on the scale and hope the number is a bit higher than last time.  It's been an even bigger mental shift to think about exercising without the usual associations of "getting in shape" or "losing weight." Before I got pregnant, I was potentially in the best shape of my life (something about marrying someone who believes in daily exercise more strongly than he believes in eating and finally having the time to make it more of a priority). The idea of progress was addicting for me and I loved hitting goals and feeling myself get stronger.

Now though, it is quite comical to watch me even attempt to do a pull-up. And you know what? That's okay.

I've never really been a fan of the idea of being "gentle with yourself" -- it always made more sense to push yourself to be better. But, with everything else that my body is doing right now, being gentle with it is exactly what I need. It means it's okay to walk instead of run, to laugh at my dwindling rock climbing muscles, and to embrace the extra pounds. It still blows my mind that this body can grow a life...and that is something to celebrate.

^So I've traded out my running shoes for my favorite walking shoes for the moment...and while I'm looking forward to the time I have a waist line again, I am trying to enjoy these last few months for the big, fat, miracle that they are ;) (I couldn't resist) 

A few more pictures from a walk in my family's neighborhood in NH:
^the bump at 26.5 weeks 
^I'm not sure if this year happened to be a particularly good foliage season in New Hampshire, or if it is just hard for me to remember living in a place this beautiful (this is the street I grew up on). 


^ I ordered the Breast Cancer Awareness edition of these shoes (which has since sold out but they have others from the collection here) and I love when companies support good causes. In addition to a featuring the American Cancer Society's logo on their awareness line, this company has a few other initiatives they're working on including hosting a breast cancer walk in San Francisco. 
After sharing on facebook someone asked - so I'll share here too: I ordered half a size up from what I usually wear and I wear them without socks (but my feet are also a bit bigger than they were a few months ago ;). 
^growing up, we used to ice skate on this pond in the winter :)

^I can see less of these feet every day :P
^no, this doesn't happen to be a fairytale...it just looks like one

sweater: sister's closet
vest: other sister's closet (what goes around comes around ;)
denim: Pink Blush Maternity, c/o
shoes: GoWalks, c/o (find other colors here - search GoWalk)
beautiful backdrop: New Hampshire

a few of the other fun colors:

Full disclosure: this post is financially supported by Sketchers via Linqia which means that I get paid a small commission for each time you click on one of the outbound Sketchers links (regardless of whether or not you purchase the shoes). Thank you for supporting this blog and the companies that make it possible for me to spend so much time doing something I love. 

A Morning in the Orchard


There are few things more quintessentially New England than apple picking in the fall. Over Columbus Day, cousins and aunts from California, Maine, and New York were in town (how convenient that we had my baby shower later that night!) and we treated them to a proper New Hampshire morning.

Never mind that we picked the very last day of the season (pun intended) and that it was a bit chilly, but we all had fun hunting for the last few apples in the orchard, especially the little ones.

I took way too many pictures (there are quite a few more after the jump and another hundred or two on my hard drive) but I couldn't get over the beauty of the green orchard and the changing leaves in the background. Now that I'm back in Ohio, these have me dreaming of more fall in New England.  Here's a bit from our morning:


^the Earnshaw sisters (this is one of my favorite pictures of us)

^right beyond the orchard the leaves were changing in full force

^a little 26 week bump and fall layering (these Nine West boots are so so old but have served me well -- and there is nothing better than a pair of great boots you don't mind traipsing through a damp orchard in)

^this trip I was limited to stealing my sisters' belts (and pajama pants)...nothing else fit ;)

^there were far more apples on the ground than on the trees at this point but that was okay :)

^helping our little cousins find the last apples (technically they're cusbys, our term for cousins' babies ;)


There's a whole lot more from our day, outfit details, and a new family nick name after the jump!

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