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Friday, October 30, 2015

Goodbye October, Hello November.

Welcome November

Goodbye, October. 

Goodbye to only drinking the pumpkin spice latte.

Goodbye, second-trimester. And to trying to convince myself that I should still be able to do everything I could do before I was pregnant.

Goodbye, pumpkin parties and fall dates (although I'm secretly hoping that November brings along some fall dates, too).

Goodbye to living apart from Christopher.

Goodbye to only calling our son "Little" and "Baby Jacobs."

Goodbye to a favorite month of mine. I look forward to seeing you next year, old friend. 

Hello, November. 

Hello to adding the caramel apple spice into the hot drink mix.

Hello to my little family being reunited!

Hello, third-trimester. And to realizing I'm having a baby in about 2 months, so it's understandable if I can't run up 5 flights of stairs or carry all the groceries in by myself.

Hello to a month so full of thankfulness.

Hello to my baby shower!

Hello to celebrating Thanksgiving.

Hello to Black Friday shopping.

Hello to the only month in which I celebrate both fall and Christmas.

Hello to breaking out the Christmas decorations, the Christmas music and movies, the Starbucks red cups. After Thanksgiving, of course!

Hello to finally picking a name for our babe!

Hello to a month full of magic. 

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this November?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

29 Weeks: Things I want to remember.

The last week of October means fall dates and pumpkin patch visits! 
  • First things first: I passed my glucose test! I do not have diabetes, nor do I have to stop eating copious amounts of sugar. Not that I'm doing that. No, you have a problem.
  • I've been so excited that I'm due in January because there's a brand new women's wing of the hospital opening at the end of the year, and that's where I'll have my baby. I found out yesterday that they pushed their opening back two weeks after my due date. So I will not be delivering at the fancy hotel-like new hospital. When my doctor told me this, he said "I have to tell people, the team taking care of you is more important than your thread count." This made me wonder if people complain about the sheets a lot, and if I would be judged for bringing my own sheets. Please advise. Again: No, you have a problem. 
  • Interviews kicked off this week...we went to Miami last week, and are headed to Ohio this week. It's so crazy trying to imagine having a baby in these places. Life is weird. But also really good. 

29 weeks down, 11(ish) to go. That's 77 days, in case you were wondering. This. Is. Real.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

just write: like playing cards.

I can still picture it
after all of this time,
how you’d share with me your secrets
as I would tell you mine.

and we’d lay upon a rooftop
trading secrets like playing cards
as we stared into the sky
hoping to see a shooting star. 

I think of you sometimes,
when a star is on the move.
I’ve heard you’re doing better,
and I hope that’s really true. 

I know that I’m no longer there,
that you’ve found someone new.
I just hope that she is someone
who you can tell your secrets to. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Last-Minute Costume Ideas: DIY Edition.

last minute halloween costumes

We've all been there. "There" being the place where it's the week before (or the day before!) Halloween, and you have no costume. This usually happens because 1) You procrastinated and never quite made it to Party City, or 2) You were not going to go out. You're an adult and you have better things to do than dress up and go to a party. But then, you realize you don't have anything better to do, and you don't want to be old and boring, so you're going. But what about that costume? 

Don't worry, I've got you.

Mary Poppins. This is perfect, because you've probably got almost all of these things laying around your house anyway. Black skirt? White shirt? Umbrella? Oversized bag? You may have to run to the store to pick up a thing or two to perfect your costume, but this one is way easy.

Pineapple. I love this one because you could go as exaggerated as the picture above, or you could make a tiny little headpiece, making this appropriate for a fancier party. Bonus: Don't have a yellow dress? Wear a red one. Boom, you're a strawberry.

Your favorite emoji. The link above has 10 easy DIY costumes, so pick the emoji you use the most and go with it!

PiƱata. How cute is this? Just swing by Wal-Mart (or even the dollar store!) and pick up some streamers, and you're set! 

Audrey Hepburn. Because honestly, when are you going to get to dress this classy ever again?

Gum-ball Machine. This one will take a little bit more DIY-ing and a lot more pompoms on your part, but how adorable is it?! And so pretty and colorful, but still easy to pull off at the last minute. This one's a winner for sure.

Didn't find what you're looking for? Check out last year's suggestions.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Love Letter to Fall.

the best things about fall

I fall in love with different things about different seasons. I love that each season has big, defining things that everyone recognizes, and also little things that just make it perfect, even if it's just perfect to me.

Right now, I'm having a big love affair with fall. It happens every year-why shouldn't it? For a season, everything is just about as perfect as it can get.

I'm in love with how alive everything makes me feel in the fall. The colors, the smells, the sounds. They're all so extremely alive. When I see all the fall colors of the decorations around my apartment, I feel like magic is real. When I smell pumpkin coffee, I want to wake up and enjoy the day. When I listen to the Autumn in New York station, I want to chase every dream I've ever had. Fall just makes me want to celebrate being alive.

I'm in love with the pumpkin and apple flavors that overtake everything this time of year.

I'm in love with the tiniest chill that starts to visit with the wind and makes me feel like I could stay outside, dreaming all day long.

I'm in love with the soups and the hot drinks and the baked desserts.

I'm in love with the glow of the candy corn lights hanging in my kitchen. With the smell of the seven different varieties of pumpkin-scented candles that make my tiny little apartment seem so cozy. With the fact that no matter where I am in my apartment, there's a pumpkin in sight.

Fall, I'm in love with you. There's so much to look forward to and be thinking about, but today, I'm just going to be overwhelmingly in love with fall.

What parts of fall do you love?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

28 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Reunited with the love of my life this week!

Twelve weeks to go. I don't know why, but twelve seems like such a smaller number than thirteen does. The first thing I thought of this morning was how we waited until I was twelve weeks pregnant before we made it public knowledge...and it felt like forever. But now that there are only twelve weeks left, it feels like the shortest amount of time. Time is a really weird thing. 

  • Christopher came home. He's been gone for two months (more on this later), and while I like to be all, "I am woman, hear me roar" about things, being pregnant alone is not fun. He's been home for two days and it just feels so nice that my little family is back together again. It's the best to have him with me to feel the baby moving and see first hand what's going on, rather than explaining it over FaceTime. 
  • Target deleted 75% of my baby registry. Two weeks before my baby shower. NOPE. Apparently it was a universal problem, and it kind of made me feel bad for them...because they singlehandedly screwed over a group of hormonal women who want presents. Not exactly the group you want coming after you. Update: Everything has been added back and we are back in action. 
  • We bought our first article of baby clothes. We popped into a Ross to look for something, and I couldn't help but browse the racks of tiny little clothes. Clearly he needed some fox footie pajamas. 
28 weeks down, 12(ish) to go. I feel like I should be freaking out, but I'm really not. Mostly because Chris is home and there's someone to share the freaking out load. Marriage is great. Now...I'm off to take my glucose test. Let's hope those two donuts I ate yesterday don't find a way to bite me in my ever-growing backside.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

just write: a treasure trove of wealth.

chelsea jacobs poem

how silly it is to think
you're made up only of yourself,
when you and I both know
you are a treasure trove of wealth.

you are a priceless french mosaic,
a small piece of every soul you've ever met.
your heart is a vintage roadmap
of every place you've ever left.

your imagination is constructed
of every story you've been told,
the way you feel towards others built by
every hand you've tried to hold.

so when you look at your reflection,
know it's not just made of you...
it's everyone you've ever loved
and the ones who've loved you, too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015...Are You In?

Should I participate in NaNoWriMo

This is my yearly post in which I beg encourage everyone to please participate in NaNoWriMo. Don't let the numbers or the deadline scare you, just jump in and do it! 

If it seems like it's too much for you to even try, just tweak it for yourself and your schedule. I'm all about breaking the rules this year.  I started my NaNoWriMo 2015 on October 1st, and I now have a little over 10,000 words written. Is it as much as I wanted to have done? No. But is it 10,000 more words than I would have otherwise? Absolutely. Challenges like this one do exactly that: Challenge you. Which, in turn, usually ends up with you doing better than you would have done without it. 

If you're thinking about writing along (PLEASE DO) here are a few things to get you started: 

If you're thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo, I want to encourage you to do it. If you're thinking about writing anything at all, I want to tell you that you can do it. If you're pondering chasing any type of dream whatsoever, and an opportunity or a step in the right direction comes along, I want to cheer for you: TAKE IT!

What do you have to lose by trying? You can do it, I promise. Just try. Hole yourself up in a coffee shop and let magic pour out onto your keyboard. Wake up a few minutes early and scribble some magic down in your journal. Stretch yourself. There is magic inside of you, and this could be exactly what you need to release it. So just jump in. 

Have you ever participate in NaNoWriMo before?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Life is Good. Let's Talk About It.

Life can be rough. The world can be an ugly, terrible place at times. And we certainly talk about those times...and talk, and talk, and talk about them. When there's bad in life, it seems like it can't be talked about enough. 

But life is also good. There are a million little reasons to be happy, and I don't think we talk about the little things nearly enough. 

Life is good. So let's talk about it. 
  • A good thing in my life lately: These candles. From Wal-Mart. Anytime you can get 5 candles for $10, it's a good thing. But when the candles smell amazing and not at all cheap, it's an amazing thing and we should talk about it. Note: You also need the pumpkin spice collection. For some reason I can't find a link to that one. 
  • Also on the subject of candles: Target has a blueberry pumpkin candle. A BLUEBERRY PUMPKIN CANDLE. For whatever reason, it's not on their website. But it's $7 and you need to get it and experience a whole new level of happiness. 
  • I've been waking up and lighting a candle or two next to my bed before turning the lights on, and drinking my coffee by candlelight. It's not quite having coffee in front of a fireplace, but it'll do. It's such a nice and cozy way to start the day. 
  • In more happy news, I had my first ever fall experience at a Trader Joe's. It is fall flavor wonderland. If you like pumpkin flavored things and have a TJ's near you, you need to go. I have spent every day since trying to figure out what all I can put pumpkin butter on. Hey, it's not my fault that the baby likes pumpkin even more than I do. 
  • I truly believe that October is just a happier month. I just wake up happier and more refreshed in October-which is really saying something, because sleep and I aren't on the best of terms right now. But it's October! How can you not wake up and be happy to be alive in such a wonderful month? 
What's good in your life today? Let's talk about the good things!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear Pre-Pregnant Me.

Hey girl.

Congratulations on being almost 6-months sober! No, you didn't become an alcoholic. You're having a baby!

I know, I know. Not the plan, right? But listen, just because you're actively trying to not have a baby does not mean that you're not supposed to have one. Hear me out.

Right now, you're in the middle of a wild and free phase. You're making travel plans, counting down the days until Chris is done with rotations so you guys can go adventure all over together. So when you wake up on a Wednesday and see a plus sign on a white stick, your first reaction will be one of being upset. You will spend months feeling guilty about that, but try to cut yourself a break. It's okay, I promise.

When you tell Chris, it will be on a night where you had plans to attend a school function. When you tell him that you can still go because you know it's important, he will grab you by the shoulders and say, "That doesn't matter. Nothing else matters."

He will be so, so right.

Some people will be happy for you and some won't. Some people will say congratulations and some will say I'm sorry. It's all very confusing, but none of it matters.

You don't know anything about having a baby, but I'll let you in on a secret I've recently been let in on: No one does. Even if they've been planning for years, no one really knows about having a baby until they actually have one.

All those wild and free dreams you have? They don't go away. But one day, without even realizing it, they start to include a little boy. You start to dream of traveling with the love of your life and a wild-haired blonde boy. You start to dream of trips home to see your parents so he can play in the treehouse you know he will have in their backyard. You start to dream of making a new home somewhere, with you and Chris and this little guy and Gatsby. The more time that goes on, the more perfect these dreams become.

And it's hard. It's harder--physically and many other ways--than anyone could have prepared you for. But you're also stronger than you would have ever thought. I haven't even met him yet, but I can already tell you: It's all worth it.

One day, on a Wednesday, you will wake up to an incredibly normal day, with no idea how much your life is about to change in a few short hours.

One day, on a Thursday, you will feel the distinct kick of a tiny little foot, and that will be the moment you fully realize that that you're adding a real, live human to your family--a tiny little human with his own personality, who will be all yours.

One day, on a Friday, you will be spending your day off filling in blank spaces on the calendar--match day, graduation, interviews--and it will be like the final piece of a puzzle just clicks in for you. Of course you're supposed to have a baby. Of course he's supposed to be at match day and graduation with you. Of course there's supposed to be another member of your family. Of course. 

So, you're in for quite the ride. You will be upset, you will be frustrated, you will be sick, you will be fat, you will be terrified. But just hang in there. Because your moments of clarity are coming. The excitement is on the way. Just hang in there.

Oh, and one more thing. Do me a favor and go out tonight and get sushi. The good kind--the cold, fresh, raw kind. And get a beer with that. Trust me, you have no idea how much you really love beer until it's the middle of the scorching hot summer and you can't have one.

You're about to grow up real fast. But you're going to surprise yourself in the best of ways. And six months into the future, you won't be able to imagine your life playing out in any other way. So just hold on. You've got a good thing coming.

What do you wish you could go back and tell yourself? 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

27 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Every single morning, Gatsby snuggles on my stomach while I drink coffee. He's already BFF with the baby. 

And just like that, it's the middle of October. Which just so happens to mean that this baby is 27 weeks along. Which just so happens to mean there are only 13 weeks left until he gets here. 

Let's just take a moment of silence for all the tasks that the baby books say I should have completed by now. 

  • I got to have lunch with Meg and her brand new babe. I held the little munchkin while Megan filled me in on all the dirty details I asked about (side note: It's super awesome to have friends who just recently had a baby, because they haven't forgotten the scary things about labor and having a newborn and things I need to know!). The entire time I was holding that tiny little babe, I just kept thinking, "It's literally a matter of weeks until I will be holding my own tiny human." So. Crazy.
  • He's so big now that I can feel him moving on both sides of my stomach at the same time. Before, I would just feel a jab or movement in one specific spot, but he's grown so much that I can feel his hands and feet (that's my guess--who knows what it really is) on opposites sides, wiggling at the same time. 
  • The one thing we didn't find when we registered was bedding...there were only two options in the store and I didn't like either one of them. I had looked on Etsy and other small shops like that, and of course there are hundreds of perfect options...that are going to cost you hundreds of dollars. It just seems a little crazy to me to pay $95 for a sheet that my kid is most definitely going to puke on at some point. Anyway, my mom suggestion I look online at Target...and holy fox goodness, I found the perfect bedding.
  • My baby shower invites went out this week! I'm so so exited to celebrate. My mom throws the best parties, so I know it's going to be a magical day. Spoiler: The theme is "A little fox is on his way." I swoon. 
27 weeks down, 13(ish) to go. If you were wondering how many days 13 weeks is, the answer is 91. Ninety. Freaking. One. We are less than 100 days away from meeting this little guy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

just write: the brightest stars.

sometimes when a perfect season
is coming to an end, 
it's hard to feel excited 
when you can't see around the bend. 

and so you try to cling to 
the quickly fading light, 
and hold on tightly to the past,
afraid to see the night. 

but though you feel the sun is setting,
know you've nothing left to fear.
for the sky is always at it's darkest
when the brightest stars appear. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Savoring the Seasons That Fly By.

October, November, and December are my very favorite months. Although they're two distinct seasons (fall and Christmas), in my mind, it's a 90 day magical season.

We talk a lot about savoring seasons, about making the most of them and getting all you can out of them, but that kind of talk is mostly reserved for seasons that aren't the best and times that are hard. So how to you go about savoring the best seasons? The ones that fly by no matter how badly you want them to last?

Be present. You may not be able to spend all your time doing exactly what you want to celebrate your favorite seasons, but nothing will waste your life and make you miserable faster than wishing you were somewhere else, doing something else. So no matter what your life looks like, be present this season.

Do your favorite things. You already know this season is going to fly by, so make a list of your favorite things that you really want to do. When you have free time, look at your list. An hour you would have spent browsing Facebook can turn into an hour of trying your hand at that pumpkin cookie recipe you love.

Make time for who and what is important to you. We all know we're going to have to rearrange schedules and to-do lists in order to make time for things. Really, we do this every day. Just make sure you're making time for the important things and people. Sure, you can make time to organize your spice cabinet...but is now really the best time for that?

Take a moment to soak it all in each day. For me, nothing flies by faster than December. Last year, I made it a mission to spend at least five minutes sitting in front of the all lit up Christmas tree with my cup of coffee every day in December. Sometimes I spent an hour drinking coffee and listening to Christmas music, sometimes it was just five minutes. But it made me feel like I got a little bit of Christmas every single day, and it was so nice.

Don't beat yourself up when something doesn't meet your expectations. Fall, and especially Christmas, usually comes with a list of things you can't wait to do. I know I have this list (okay, lists) every year. Sometimes everything gets crossed off, sometimes it's January and I haven't so much as baked cookies. Life happens, and that's okay. Don't let missed expectations ruin the season--just enjoy it for what it is.

How do you savor the seasons that fly by?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Stopping to Take it All In: Med School Update.

As of a few week ago, we turned in all of Chris' residency applications. After so long (years, really!) of talking about what he wanted to specialize in and where we wanted to live and a million other details, it seemed so weird and amazing and final.

Christopher has started to get interview offers, and it seems so surreal. Each time he gets an offer, I feel like my heart just might explode with pride and happiness and all sorts of emotions (even the ones that are in the freezing cold lands of Wisconsin). For every email I see come through (the offers come via email), I just think, we did that. All of our work up to this point has been for this. 

Small side note: Yes, I do realize Chris is the one working hard in med-school and not me, no need to be rude and bring that to my attention. But like I said, we're a team. The past four years has included a heck of a lot of teamwork, and it's all been for this. 

Every night shift where Chris didn't get to sleep and I stayed awake trying to convince myself there wasn't a serial killer hiding in my closet, that was for this. Every time his alarm went off at 3:00 AM and he had to get dressed in the dark because he wanted me to sleep. Every time he had to miss out on something fun. Every time he would come home to take me on a date, only to get called back in to work. It's like every interview that comes in is saying, hey, you did it. It was worth it. And I am so proud of us. I'm proud of Chris, I'm proud of myself, I'm proud of our marriage. We did it, and it was worth it. 

There's plenty more to look forward to. Match Day (March 18th), graduation (May 20th), and starting a job (Job! Not School! YES!) in a new city with a new house and a tiny new family. But for now, I'm just savoring this season. A season of anticipation and hope, a season of seeing how all of our hard work is starting to pay off, a season having so many big things hovering, but just enjoying the now. 

I'm a part of this online group of Doctors' wives, and it has members from wives of med-students all the way to wives of doctors who have been working for decades. The ones who have med-school and residency long behind them use the hashtag #itgetsbetter when they post about certain things, and it's like a reminder to those who are still early on in their journey to hang in there, it gets better. 

I totally believe it gets better. I know there will be a day when Chris has a work schedule that includes a normal amount of hours and a much larger paycheck. I know there will be a day where I won't have to work if I don't want to. Where we'll be able to buy a house. Where dinner together won't seem like a luxury. So yeah, I know, it will get better. 

But you know, it's also pretty good now. All of those things will be wonderful whenever they happen, but I don't need them to be happy. I'm happy now, in this season we're in. So I'm going to savor it, every last second.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Do This, Instead.

Have you ever picked up a health magazine or clicked on an article that promises to help you get your ideal body by making changes that you won't even notice? One of those "Do this, instead!" articles? You know the ones.

When you're craving chips and queso, eat kale chips and salsa, instead! 

When you want to go to happy hour with friends, meet up at the gym, instead! 

I've seen some pretty good recommendations, but most of the ones I see are like the examples above. Yes, it would be better for me to eat kale chips and salsa. In fact, I like kale chips! However, if I'm craving chips and queso, I am most definitely going to notice if I eat kale instead. In fact, I'm probably going to eat an entire bag of kale and then still eat the queso that I am still craving, because the kale just didn't do it for me.

I saw something like this in a magazine today, and it made me think about actual lifestyle changes that I would say "do this, instead" about.

So here's my list of things to do instead for a much happier life.

I promise there's not a single kale chip to be found.

Be kind, instead. When unkindness is the easiest option, choose kindness. Be kind to others instead of being rude. React kindly when a situation is calling out the meanness in you.

Be positive, instead. When negativity is taking over your thoughts, choose to be positive. When you're itching to critique the things around you, look for the good and voice that, instead.

Speak gratitude, instead. When complaints slip out of your mouth without you even realizing, strive to speak thankfulness. Instead of talking about what you're lacking, or what your day is lacking, say the good things about life out loud.

Compliment someone, instead. When you want to roll your eyes at how long it's taking the cashier to ring up your four items, compliment their smile. Instead of telling a co-worker how they screwed up the printer, compliment them on their presentation.

Be generous, instead. When someone asks if they can cut in front of you in line because they're running late, let them. Pay for someone's coffee. Clean up for someone. Something I've learned lately--being generous doesn't have to be expensive.

Bite your tongue, instead. When you want to lash out at someone, choose silence. When gossip and stories about someone are bubbling on the tip of your tongue, bite your tongue and manage your regrets in the long run.

Forgive immediately, instead. When someone cuts you off in traffic, brush it off. When a coworker takes credit for something you did, deal with it immediately and then forgive them instead of letting it fester. When your husband forgets to stop by the grocery store, accept his apology and move on.

Focus on the happy, instead. When there's so much to be unhappy about, remember that there is so much to be happy about. When you have seventy-four problems, focus on the one thing that went right today. Find reasons to be happy every single day.

Small changes make a big difference. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

26 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Just a fun little story for you: I took this picture at work to send to Chris, and somehow (Thanks, Apple TV), it got broadcast on the office flat screens during a staff meeting. Casual. 

Twenty. Six. Freaking. Weeks. How? When? How? Why? HOW? <- This is pretty much what plays on a loop in my brain currently. Let's just say I am very thankful for moments spent with pumpkin scented candles and cups of fall tea. Because if you think you're an anxious person, just try throwing being pregnant in there. It's a party, that's for sure. 
  • At my doctor's appointment, it took her a bit to find the baby's heartbeat because he was kicking the heartbeat monitor. He did not want his heartbeat listened to, thank you very much. She asked if he gets his feistiness from me, and I told her it may be a possibility. 
  • The doctor gave me a list of things I have to do this month...things like take a prenatal class, pick out a carseat, find a pediatrician...all things that seem very end stage to me. It made me start to panic, and I immediately got in my car and told the baby he needs to stay put, please and thank you.
  • At the same appointment, I got a teddy bear with the recording of his heartbeat inside. I swoon. 
  • I went to Trader Joe's (because of the baby, duh) to stock up on pumpkin goodness, and I said something about blaming all my purchases on being pregnant to the cashier. He replied that he would have never known I was pregnant had I not said anything. Then, I stepped away from the counter to get my groceries, and he said, "WHOA, okay, yeah, I can definitely tell." Thank you, kind stranger. Thank you.
26 weeks down, 14(ish) weeks to go. I know these 14 weeks are going to be gone before I know it, and I'm savoring every single day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

just write: street by street.

street by street poem

sometimes you long to go back
to the place from which you came,
but once you finally make it there,
you find it isn't quite the same.

and no matter how you try to fit
into old homes with your old friends,
the times of fitting in those places
have clearly come to end.

so street by street you drive the town
until you become much more aware,
it's not the place you miss so much
as who you were when you were there.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why I'm Refusing to Compare Myself to Other Women.

Why I'm refusing to compare myself to other women

We've already established that I know nothing about having a baby. However, with the giant wave of advice that comes with getting pregnant, I've recently learned a few things. Allow me to share them with you.

You are supposed to eat right. Depending on who is telling you this, the meaning of "right" varies greatly. I'm still confused on if it means only meat and veggies, no meat at all, fat-free things, full-fat things..but either way, bottom line, you're supposed to eat right. But, you also get to eat whatever you want for 9 months!

You should take it easy. Relaxing is good for the baby! So is taking what you normally do down a couple of notches. But, you should also exercise so much that you only gain the literal weight of the baby. 

You need to basically plan their entire life before they even get here. You need to pick a preschool, and an elementary school, and probably go ahead and register them for middle school, too. Don't forget to start a college fund! But, you should not stress AT ALL. It's bad for the baby. 

You should save all of your money. Baby's are expensive and they are going to need every spare penny you have. But, you should also buy a $2,000 stroller and a temperpedic crib and take lavish "baby moon" vacations. 

And don't even get me started on vaccination advice. 

So yeah, I've learned a lot.

And by that, I mean I've learned nothing at all.

Except that it is absolutely pointless to compare myself to other people. Moms, soon to be moms, and non-moms...they all have good advice and bad advice, opinions that matter and those that don't. It's just human nature. But holding myself up next to every single person's standards, it would just eat away all of my peace.

I'm going to do my best, that I know for sure. I'm going to gain more than 8 pounds, but I'm going to love him fiercely. I'm going to eat my fair share of pumpkin cake, but I'll eat a salad every now and then, just for him. I'm going to save enough to buy him the things he needs, but I'm also going to buy a PSL and chick-fil-a every now and then.

I'm going to do the best job I can do, and part of that is refusing to compare myself to other people. And for now, I think that is enough.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Traditions You Should Try This Year.

Candy Party. 

My mom and I host a make-your-own-candy every October and it always goes down as one of the best nights of my year. If you've never done anything like this, it's definitely the tradition you should add to your fall.

What it is: A DIY party approach to all the Halloween candy that you no longer get showered with as an adult.

How to do it: Look up recipes for your favorite candy. We always make reese's cups, gummy worms, almond joys, and tons more. Yes, you can actually homemake these things. 

Pre-buy all the ingredients, print out all the recipes, and invite your friends over for a night of candy-making. Start the night off with soup and cider, and then hit the kitchen! It's so messy, but so much fun. Chances are, only about half of the candy will actually be edible, but you'll have an incredibly fun time making it.

Once everything is made, pack everyone their own trick-or-treat candy bucket to take home!

Tip: Last year, we pre-measured all the ingredients and put them at separate "stations" with the recipes--this cut down on time and mess by a lot! Also, don't forget any extra pans, spoons, plastic wrap, etc. that you'll need!

Visit a Pumpkin Patch. 

What it is: You, visiting a pumpkin patch. You're welcome.

How to do it: Look up a pumpkin patch near you, plan a day to go, and make the most of it. Some of them will have hot cider and donuts, and you should definitely participate in that.

Spend entirely too long looking at every single pumpkin to pick out the best one and take way too many picture. Then swing by Target on your way home and pick up a pumpkin carving kit, and have the best night ever. Put on a fall movie or some autumn music, drink apple cider, and carve your masterpieces.

Tip: Check the weather first. Try to go on a day when it's cooler, but if you live somewhere warm like I do, then make sure it won't be raining. Because 1) That's gross, and 2) They usually shut down when it rains.

Fall Date.

What it is: A date night full of your favorite things to celebrate fall!

How to do it: Pick a night that works, and plan your date before...don't just wing it! We always go eat somewhere fun, go pick out pumpkins, and carve our pumpkins while we drink apple cider. It's simple, but it's one of my favorite nights of the year, because it's us celebrating fall together, and I love that.

Tip: Don't put too much pressure on this one. If all you can afford is having a picnic in the park, then do that and make it the best freaking picnic you've ever had.

Personal Thanksgiving. 

This is one of my favorite days of the entire year. Chris and I started doing this two years ago, on our first married Thanksgiving, and I think we'll do it forever. It's so important to make time to celebrate important things together, and a family holiday like Thanksgiving can sometimes be over before you even got a chance to be together, just the two of you.

What it is: Celebrating Thanksgiving with your significant other, just the two of you.

How to do it: You can really do this one however you want, but the way we celebrate is my favorite. The day before Thanksgiving, we go to Whole Foods (yes, it is chaotic and we are crazy, but that's the fun of it!) and pick out things to cook that we normally wouldn't buy--because, you know, we don't tend to usually spend $50 on cooking dinner for just the two of us, even though that's insanely easy to do at Whole Foods.

We go home and cook our dinner together, which is so much fun. And then we just spend the night eating and drinking fancy things and talking about what we're thankful for together. It's so special.

Tip: We go to Whole Foods because they have a lot of almost all-the-way-made things, so the actual cooking we have to do is minimum. If you don't do this, still make it different than a normal dinner, but don't pick out extremely complicated recipes you've never tried. You want the focus to be on each other, not on how frustrated you are in the kitchen.

I just love fall! What fall traditions do you have? 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Spending Your October: A To-Do List for Adventuring Through the Month.

Happy October! It's one of the best months of the year, and it's definitely one of my favorite months to spend. We get thirty-one days of October magic, so make sure you spend them well! Here are some ideas to get you started. 

1. Go to a pumpkin patch! The best location for cute pictures, ever.

2. Carve pumpkins. Quick story: One time, we were carving pumpkins outside (in the dark), and Chris was throwing pumpkin slime at me. Some of it hit my face, but I was really focused on what I was doing, so I left it there for a second while I finished what I was carving. But then it started sliding down my neck. Except it wasn't sliding, it was crawling. And making noise. Because it wasn't pumpkin slime, it was a frog. 

A frog landed on my face and I just left it there because I thought it was pumpkin. 

Moving on. 

3. Make hot apple cider. Put this on the stove (or in the crockpot!) in the morning, and your house will smell amazing all day.

4. Look up fairs around you! It's the time of the year where fairs and festivals pop up all over!

5. Read a thriller. Last October I read Gone Girl...stay tuned for this year's choice. 

7. Watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

8. Have a make-your-own-candy party!

9. Make caramel apples! Pro tip: After you make them and cover them in whatever your heart desires, use an apple cutter to cut them into slices that you can actually eat, as opposed to getting 90% caramel on your face and 10% actually in your mouth.

10. Go thrifting for oversized sweaters and baggy sweatshirts.

11. Each time you feel thankful for something, say so out loud. Work on voicing your gratitude instead of your complaints.

12. Check out Bath & Body Works' fall line. Smell like a pumpkin, or an apple. Up to you!

13. Watch the Friday Night Lights Pilot. I was shocked by how many of you told me you'd never seen this show!

14. Go on a fall date. With your boyfriend or your husband or your best friend or your sibling...just have a night of your favorite fall things!

15. Go to Target, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and browse the halloween costume section. Once you've had your laughs at the adult costumes (the best), then move on to the pet section. 

16. Get the Sephora Play! Box. It blows Birchbox out of the water, let me tell you!

17. Make an effort to love out loud. I think that so often, I just assume that the people I love know I love them. This month, make an effort to say so more, both with words and actions.

18. Pop some popcorn and celebrate the return of fall television! Scandal! Blacklist! Welcome back!

19. Make a list of some fall traditions you want to start! You know I will have some suggestions for this.

20. Bake something with apples.

21. Decorate your house for fall. 

22. If you have a dog, buy them a pumpkin. Gatsby got his own tiny pumpkin last year and I really don't know who it brought more joy to: Me or him. 

23. Drive somewhere the leaves are turning colors. Just enjoy how pretty everything is in October!

24. Have a picnic. October is prime picnic season.

25. Spend a morning outside, reading a good book.

26. Have a bon-fire. Bonus points for s'mores!

27. Go stargazing. Grab a blanket and go lay in the grass or on a roof and just watch the stars. 

28. Go for a walk. Pour yourself a hot drink and just go for a walk without the intention of really getting anywhere, but just to enjoy it.

29. Surprise your co-workers or roommates with Halloween candy.

30. Dress your pet up for Halloween. You know you want to.

31. Celebrate Halloween however you want to!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

25 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember + HAPPY OCTOBER!

October is here! One of the most magical months of all! I love every second of October and its boots and sweaters and pumpkins and happiness. It's just the best. 

Also, I'm 25 weeks pregnant today. I won't even say BUT HOW?! Because I have come to terms that I am living in some sort of twilight zone-ish alternative universe in which everything to do with the baby is moving at warp speed. 

I'm fine, really. 
  • This is my second favorite month, next month is my third favorite month, and December is my favorite month. Every year, the span between this day and December 25th is so full of magic. Every year, it flies by. The only difference is that this year, I've got a baby due about two weeks after Christmas. So the thought of the next three months flying by is insane. And maybe a little bit terrifying. 
  • I always wake up on October 1st and feel absolutely giddy about what the next three months hold. This year is no different...there's the candy party, fall date, baby shower, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, CHRISTMAS's the best. But today, I woke up thinking how next October first, I'll be feeling the same way, except that I'll have a tiny little love in the picture to do it all with. The thought of that fills me with so many emotions, I can't even begin to explain it. How crazy and unexpected life is. How beautiful. 
  • I now wake up when he says so, because I can't sleep through his moving around. I imagine he's stretching and waking up, saying, "Yo, mom, where's that pumpkin spice coffee at? Let's get on that."
  • My mom and I registered for the little guy this week!! So surreal and so FUN. My mom is my best friend, so it was so much fun to do that with her. And it was fun because at least half of the things we saw, we were both like: "What is this? Do we need this? Probably. Right? Why are there so many things? Whatever, it's going on the list." Of course, we went into the process armed with venti Pumpkin Spice was needed. 

25 weeks down, 15(ish) to go. 15 has never seemed like such a tiny number. 

Happy October, guys! I hope you have the most magical day today. I'll be over here eating anything pumpkin that I can get my hands on and praying for weather cool enough to break out my boots. 

How are you celebrating October being here?