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What are you waiting for?

Sep 2, 2016 by

What are you waiting for?

Being pregnant has been, far and away, the most life changing event in my life. Working through the days, weeks and months without my husband’s help has led to a ton of self-sufficiency I did not know I had. Some days I feel like a super hero, others more like a wimp. But mostly, I feel like I have been plunged into an alternate reality where sleep doesn’t happen, cake is perfect breakfast food and I’ve forgotten how to relate well to others. This is especially true when it comes to interactions with strangers. I feel like I should be handing out pamphlets to strangers explaining why it is not ok to spontaneously rub my tummy or why they maybe should keep their terrifying war/birthing story to themselves. (I’d rather go in blind, thank you very much).

Everyone. EVERYONE. Everyone wants to know how I’m feeling. I can’t decide if they want to hear “I’m great, thank you”, or if they really want to know that I have a giant gas bubble in my abdomen that will not move and I’m afraid will erupt at an inopportune moment. Any. Minute. Now.  Obviously, my friends and family are genuinely concerned. It’s those other people who are the problem. Some people, I think, are truly interested in hearing all the gory details about my current size (whale) and symptoms (exhaustion) so that they can offer all their unsolicited advice.

So, they press for information. “Craving anything?” –Nope.  “How are your ankles? Your feet? Swollen yet?” –Nope.  “You’re having a girl? Is your face breaking out? You know they steal your beauty!” –Nope. People in grocery store check-out lines are always the worst. I don’t know what it is about the grocery store. It’s always there I get the most ridiculous remarks: “Just wait till you see how bad your stretch marks are!” “Enjoy her now, just wait till she’s up all night crying!” But nowhere is safe. I get unsolicited advice in line at the coffee shop, when I’m walking my dogs, and at the post office too. Last week, at the post office a woman congratulated me on having the nerve to be single and having a baby (my wedding band no longer fits on my swollen fingers), but then chastised me over driving a pick-up truck because “Where did I plan to put the car seat?” She left me, smiling to herself and said, “Just wait for the terrible twos! You’ll wish you had a partner then.”  Ugh.

It’s funny because when I googled “unsolicited pregnancy advice” there are hundreds of pages featuring women complaining about this same thing. How do we not understand this then? All the new mothers out there were recently pregnant mommies-to-be, logic insists that they should then understand the complexities of being pregnant and the rules surrounding speaking to pregnant people! Right? Am I missing something?

My pregnancy is a happy one. We tried for a long while to get to this point. We dealt with our fair share of heartbreak before happy news and two pink lines. So, when someone tells me to “just wait: it gets worse”, I kinda want to sucker punch them in the throat. It’s almost like people are surprised that I’m not miserable, or they’re slightly disappointed I’m not uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong: there are definitely bad days, it’s not all sunshine and roses. But, its still pretty damn amazing.

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“Just wait” they say. You know what it is I am waiting for?

That moment when my poor, sweet husband has to see his 7 month pregnant wife for the first time in real life, and not make a horrible face!

The first time my husband can put his hand on my tummy and feel his daughter kick. (She’s got good rhythm and a particular affinity for James Taylor.)

I’ll “just wait” until my husband is here to rub those inevitable swollen feet for me, while we re watch Disney movies to ensure we are up to date on all things kid related. (I still haven’t seen that frog one.)

I’ll wait until I can have that first glass of red wine after nine months of sobriety. Did I say glass? I meant bottle.

I’m perfectly happy to “just wait” for that moment when we suddenly realize we’re officially a family of three… or the first time she smiles at her daddy. I’m so excited to see the amazing father my husband will become.

The rest of all that nonsense? That’s just part of the journey and some things are totally worth waiting for.




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Hello Again!

Jul 31, 2016 by

Hello Again!

As I’m sure you can see, the summer got away from me and I took some time off from the blog. Mostly because I traveled A LOT! (More on that to come!)  I wanted to appreciate each moment and not be caught behind my computer screen. I was able to spend some time with my grandparents, distract myself from hubby’s deployment and deal with some life changing things going on in our world.

So, this particular post has to be one of the most emotional and wonderful blogs I have EVER written…. because it’s about time we share our happy news with you.   This blog and its followers has become more than just a community of army wives and teachers, it has become an extension of my life. Your love, support, questions, worries, and shared frustrations have lifted my spirits so many times. You’ve supported me during some of the crazy heartbreak along this pathway to motherhood, and so–it is with overwhelming joy and tears streaming down my face that I get to tell you WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!

Love the Everyday: Pregnancy Announcement with pets

I want to close by saying thank you to all of you who have supported us (and me for so so soooo long). We love you guys and are so grateful to share this experience with you. I plan to recap the first trimester in a future blog post, to be able to share with you the ups and downs of pregnancy and all the emotions that go with pregnancy after miscarriage. But at the same time, I hope to remain sensitive to those of you who are still trying, and still waiting on motherhood. My prayers and thoughts are constantly with you, and I hope to be able to celebrate your joy in the very near future.




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Do you know what this weekend is?

Apr 20, 2016 by

Do you know what this weekend is?

I am so excited for Sunday night. Are you?

I’m a super nerd. I know this. However, I’ve been marking weeks off my calendar in preparation of the new season of Game of Thrones. Those of you who know a bit about the story and follow my blog might be a little bit surprised by my obsession given the violence encapsulated in this story….but if you can get past that, the story line is addicting, the character development is fabulous and I am totally engrossed in the “what’s going to happen next” feeling I get as I watch it.

Not only that, but it is something that my husband and I like to do together. We love to get comfortable on the couch and line the coffee table full of yummy snacks as we discuss what happened in the last episode and make predictions about what will happen next. In the past we’ve even held a GOT premiere party with all of our friends, eating themed snacks in preparation for the show to air. Nerdy? Yes, but so much fun.

Premiere party ideas for Game of Thrones! #gameofthrones #GOT #excited Click To Tweet

So, if you’re wanting to throw your own GOT party let me recommend these incredibly yummy Lemon Cakes in honor of Sansa Stark. This was such an easy recipe and I loved both making and eating them. Especially eating them. Let me know what you think.


Game of Thrones Food| Sansa Stark's Lemon Cakes |


Do you have any TV shows to recommend that you love to watch with your spouse?

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6 Tips for Finding Affordable Wedding Invitations

Mar 9, 2016 by

6 Tips for Finding Affordable Wedding Invitations

Revamping an old post here on wedding invitations today. You can find the original on my Wedding Photography Blog over here!

I was inspired again by all of my friends and family getting hitched and engaged recently to look through some of the articles I used to write about wedding planning. I think as a society we have been bombarded with TONS of wedding information and it is really hard sometimes to filter through what is actually helpful. I’m pretty sure that for most people wedding planning can easily become one of the circles of hell.
Cheap Wedding Invitations: Tips for finding a good deal |

I know that when I was looking I wanted it all. I wanted the pocket invitations with the four enclosures and pearl shimmer paper. I wanted beautiful calligraphy on envelopes and wax seals. I wanted high grade paper and personalized RSVP cards. I wanted it all to match and I wanted it to be beautiful… They, however,  wanted $1200! WHAT!?!

What normal person can spend thousands of dollars of their wedding budget on the invitations alone? That’s craziness! When I mentioned it to my then-fiance he suggested folding notebook paper and making our own. He was kidding, kind of, but he was also right! We wanted to have one hell of a party, we couldn’t be spending a huge chunk of that just inviting people to the party!

Searching for invitations for a wedding of 150 guests was throwing me very far over my budget. It was depressing. It was awful and it was one of those things I didn’t think about when I was allocating money for each category. I forgot about the price of stamps. I forgot about putting address labels on hundreds of envelopes. I didn’t think about this in my budget and I became a little cranky.

It can quickly become incredibly expensive! Here’s some help before you get started:

1.Figure out what you really need. You can go really overboard if you aren’t careful. Do you need an enclosure for accommodation information if you are putting all the same info on your wedding website? Do you need to send a separate RSVP card with an envelope or could you think about using an RSVP postcard or having guests RSVP online? What about that secondary inner envelope? If you aren’t having a very formal ceremony that inner envelope might not be necessary. Remember if you are including a reply card you need to DOUBLE the number of stamps you are purchasing. Stamps are expensive. FYI.

2. SHOP AROUND. I cannot stress this enough. Check out many, many, many places. Try out where you might stumble across a budding graphic designer who will cut you an amazing deal on personalized invites. Look into places like local printing stores, Staples and Office Max, where there are printing centers. See if you have any local small businesses that do printing or a high school or community college with a graphic design class. Look into all your options before you decide on one thing.

3. Simple is cheaper. Know that anything that requires massive assembly, lots of pieces or intricate bows is going to be more expensive. Consider the possibility of ordering without the bow and adding the bow yourself… or handing that task off to your craftiest bridesmaid. (Adding the bow is a bit more difficult than I had anticipated when I did mine. Just saying, you might want to pay extra for that if it is something that will give you a headache later.)

4. Be careful about postage! Know that any oddly shaped invitations are going to cost more to mail! Check with the post office to see what sized envelopes mail for the cost of a normal stamp, and how heavy they are allowed to be.

5. Combine products: Consider companies that offer things like “Seal-and-Send”, “All in one” or “3-in-1” type invites that allow you to compile a package deal that includes the invitations, reception card and response card. These are often less fancy than others but also include a much lower price tag.

6. Sign up for email notices! Most companies will send out regular sale information and it’s awesome! Additionally, you can often find promo coupons and other deals if you are added to their email list. Stay on top of this and you could wind up saving 40% or more. Places like send a 50% off coupon almost every week! Some companies do seasonal only sales, so if you know your wedding date well in advance you can really get an excellent price by buying in the off season. For instance, autumn decorated invitations might be much cheaper in the spring, and so on.

wedding invites


Me personally? I decided to go with Invitations by Dawn.  This company offers awesome sales regularly and some really great values in the “3-in-1” style invites.

Were they 100% exactly what I had in mind? No, but at the end of the day, I am still  married to the love of my life. And the truth is, no one is going to remember those invitations anyway. (They will however remember the fried dough instead of cake. Yes, that’s right, I said FRIED DOUGH.)

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First steps for the newly engaged: Where to begin?

Mar 7, 2016 by

First steps for the newly engaged: Where to begin?

“We are officially engaged!!! Now what?”

When I received the long-awaited phone call this weekend from my dear friend announcing that she and her high school sweetheart were finally engaged I was jump-up-and-down excited. Her voice was happy on the phone when she was telling me her news and then shifted to nervous confusion when she added: “I don’t know what to do now”.

Oh,this is the simple part! And the fun part!

Step one:
Enjoy. Bask. Stare at your ring. Hold hands with your honey. Make diamond sparkles on the ceiling of the car as you drive. Take selfies. Imagine your honeymoon. Enjoy the moment. These early, blissful moments as you prepare to start the planning process are fleeting and rare and beautiful. Embrace them. Take a week or two and just let the idea of marriage simmer. Enjoy the excitement that your friends share with you. Enjoy every phone call you get to make to announce your engagement. Love it. It goes by all too quickly and you should be able to linger a little in the “happiness bubble” that is a new engagement.

We're Engaged! Now what_

When you’re newly engaged it is easy to be overwhelmed. Take a moment and breathe in the happy.!… Click To Tweet

Step two:
While you’re lingering in the happy bubble, it is a good time to call all your nearest and dearest to spread the news. You don’t want someone you love to have to find out on Facebook that your boyfriend popped the question! Make sure you make a list of those people you’ve called and those you haven’t. (On your real to-do list: Decide if you want to send engagement announcements now, and also if you want something printed in the paper as well. This will give you plenty of time to have engagement photos taken!)


engagement photos| What do do first when you're engaged? Step 3:
Then, start dreaming. Buy the magazines and make the Pinterest boards. This part is fun too! Ask your friends for advice. Look through other peoples’ wedding albums and dream. Dream big. Plan your dream wedding, think about all the things you’d do if money were no question and you could do anything. Now is the time for dreaming. You can make all the big decisions in a week or two. For now, you dream. You stroll up the aisle in the hardware store and grab paint chips to see which colors go well together. You make zero decisions and you don’t look at prices. You’re engaged! Take a moment to love this time period in your life.


All the other decisions come later.

Right now, right this minute, you relax and you be in love.


Colorado natives looking for engagement photos? I know just the photographer! *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*


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