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Monday, November 30, 2015

Goodbye November, Hello December.

And just like that, Thanksgiving weekend has passed and we're back to real life. Except this month, real life is all about celebrating Christmas. Sure, I have to go back to work today and tackle a long to-do list, but I'm currently drinking peppermint mocha coffee out of a snowman mug (that I got at the dollar store 3 years ago, holllaaaa), listening to Christmas music and staring at my Christmas tree. If that's what real life looks like, I have zero complaints about welcoming December. 

Goodbye, November. 

Goodbye to the coziness of fall.

Goodbye to pumpkin coffee and baking pumpkin everything.

Goodbye to fall decorations-tiny pumpkins and scarecrows and sunflowers.

Goodbye to the beginning of the perfect touch of chill in the air.

Goodbye to Thanksgiving.

Goodbye to the weeks until the baby comes being in the double-digits.

Goodbye to a romantic month of fall dates, pumpkin patch outings, and sweet thanksgiving celebrations.

Goodbye, fall. Goodbye, November. You were one of my favorites yet. 

Hello, December. 

Hello to my favorite month of the entire year.

Hello to all Christmas, everything, all the time.

Hello to being able to count the weeks until the baby comes on. one. hand.

Hello to peppermint mocha taking the place of pumpkin spice.

Hello to Christmas decorations and making my tiny apartment look like a Christmas village.

Hello to drinking coffee by a lit Christmas tree every morning.

Hello to a month full of list making, present shopping, and being sneaky.

Hello to watching every Christmas movie I can get my hands on.

Hello to only listening to Christmas music.

Hello to the last full month of just me & Christopher.

Hello to Christmas parties.

Hello to some of my favorite days of the entire year: Going to see the Christmas parade at Universal & Christmas Eve & Christmas dates!

Hello to living in the moment, to soaking up every moment of magic, to savoring this festive, perfect season.

Hello, December. I sure am glad to see you. 

What are you saying hello and goodbye to this December?

Friday, November 27, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS & 33 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

It's the day after Thanksgiving, which means HELLO, CHRISTMAS! If you think I will be spending today doing anything other that listening to Christmas music, putting up the tree, and drinking hot chocolate, you clearly don't know me. 

Christmas is my favorite thing in the world, but I also adore fall, so I am very serious about waiting until the day after Thanksgiving for anything Christmas-related. But here we are, so bring on allllll the Christmas! 

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, but it was also 33 weeks for me and baby Jack!

  • Last week, we traveled all over. We covered North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas in just four days. It was an adventure and I'm so glad I got to see those places that could be potential new homes for us! However, I do believe I have hit my traveling limit until the baby comes. Traveling while pregnant is hard. 
  • Speaking of: Wanna know what else starting happening this week? Contractions. I've been having Braxton Hicks for a few weeks now, but this week they started to hurt. Is the baby coming? Nope! Just my body playing pranks. Really cool. I feel like the last two months of pregnancy should be super chill and pain-free since you're gearing up for a life-changing and most likely pretty painful experience, but hey, no one asked me. 
  • Thanksgiving was yesterday, and I obviously took my "eating for two" responsibility very seriously. Gotta keep this little guy fed, am I right? 
  • This holiday season is the most sentimental one yet. I want to enjoy every second of it just being Christopher and me, but at the same time, we keep talking about how next Thanksgiving and Christmas, we'll be a family of three! It makes me view the holidays in a whole new light, especially Thanksgiving. My heart has never been so full!
33 weeks down, 7(ish) to go. PS: That's less than 50 days. WHAT IS LIFE.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to you! I hope you have a wonderful, magical day filled with family and friends and entirely too much delicious food. I hope you watch the Macy's Day Parade in a home full of holiday cheer.

If you go Black Friday shopping tonight, I hope you have a safe late night/early morning full of good deals and warm coffee.

Most of all, I hope your day is full of overwhelming love and thankfulness. I hope that you make memories today that will fill your heart with thankfulness for the entire year to come.

Let today be a reminder of how much we really have to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving! xo

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just Us: Our Thanksgiving.

Today is one of my favorite days of the entire year. It's a festive day full of love and chaos and really good food. It's a day that kicks off the Thanksgiving celebrations, and it's a day of celebrating how thankful I really am for Christopher and our marriage.

This will be the third year we've celebrated our own personal Thanksgiving, and it's a tradition I'm so glad we started.

Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, we go to Whole Foods. I think this is probably their busiest day of the year-it's absolutely chaotic, and that's part of the fun! We pretend we're rich for the day and pick out appetizers, drinks, desserts, the whole nine yards. Then we go home and cook everything and have the best night ever, eating delicious food and celebrating life and all we have to be thankful for.

I have never been more thankful for Chris than I am this year. We're right on the cusp of all these big changes, and every day is filled with so much unknown. But in a time where it would be very easy to freak out and miss out on all the good, I'm able to look at my very best friend and know that no matter what, he will be by my side. And because of that, I'm able to cherish every moment.

I love you, Christopher. I've never been so thankful to have such an amazing life partner. You're my babe, forever and always. 

In the hustle and bustle of tomorrow, don't let the holiday pass without taking a minute to tell your significant other that you're thankful for them!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The World Can be so Ugly. The World Can be so Beautiful.

I was watching a movie with Chris last Friday night, and he paused it so he could finish dinner. I picked up my phone and was alarmed by the onslaught of pictures of the Eiffel Tower and the hashtag, #prayforparis. Over the next few hours, I watched as a horrific, heartbreaking story developed.

My heart broke for the people whose lives were torn apart on a seemingly normal Friday night, and when I woke up the next morning, my heart broke for the baby I'm carrying inside of me. I sat on the couch watching the sun come up, and wondered why I thought that bringing a baby into this world--a world clearly so awful and evil--was okay.

It sounds dramatic, I know. But the thought of my baby having to grow up in a world where things like this honestly aren't shocking just really rocked me to my core. Because when he comes out in a few weeks, I won't be able to protect him from evil like this. I won't be able to shield him from the fact that there are awful people in the world, and that sometimes the world can be a terrible place.

But as I sat there, snuggling Gatsby and waiting on Chris to wake up so we could spend the day at Universal, I thought about how Jack being born into this world also meant that he would get to one day experience sunrises and lazy Saturdays.

He'll get to experience the wonder of waking up to presents left by Santa. He'll get to learn to read books. He'll get to play in the mud with his grandpa and read books with his grandma. He'll have my best friend as his cool uncle to bail him out of trouble every now and then. He'll get to go to school and make friends. He'll get to come home to parents who love him.

He'll get to experience the thrill of the first time he asks a girl on a date. He'll get to fall in love, and go on a journey to meeting someone he wants to spend his whole life with. He'll get to discover his passions.

He'll get to discover how good chocolate tastes. He'll make memories on his summer breaks from high school that he won't know are some of his most treasured possessions until years later. He'll get to feel the rush of going to his first party. He'll sit around bonfires on the beach, he'll go to concerts, he'll discover what his favorite beer is. He'll meet his favorite people, discover his tribe, and change the world.

And he'll get to do all of this because sometimes, the world is a beautiful place.

So yes, it breaks my heart to think that one day, he'll have to learn how real evil is in this world. But he'll also get to learn how beautiful the world can be. And I think that is the best thing I can ask for.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Foxes and Fairy Tales: A Perfect Fall-Themed Baby Shower.

My baby shower was nothing short of perfection. Every single detail reflected my personality so much, and it was just the most beautiful day. It was a party full of all of my favorite people and my  favorite things! 

The day was all about the little fox on his way! This invitation (which will probably be hanging on my refrigerator forever) could not have been more perfect, and it came with a matching insert that said "Please bring a book instead of a card." So baby Jack now has pretty good library started with notes from people who love him already. I swoon. 

A little secret about these: They are some of the best macaroons I have ever had. They are way better than the ones from Whole Foods. Another secret: They are from Sam's Club. In the frozen section. You're welcome. 

A friend made that blanket just for Jack! How sweet?!

No baby shower is complete without fairytale elements of some sort! These letters were cut out from storybooks and then covered in glitter. Fairytales and glitter-my favorite things!

I can't wait to hang this in my apartment! The colors are perfect. Also, that giant stuffed fox...he came home with me, and him and Gatsby have been getting to know each other.

Little foxes and gold pumpkins: More of my favorite things in the world. Obviously, this guy came home with me. Pro tip for throwing a baby shower-if you're buying decor anyway, buy things the guest of honor will take home and use for her nursery! It was the sweetest gift to be able to take these home and know they will one day decorate my little man's room!

Instead of a guest book, guests took pictures in front of this backdrop, holding a chalkboard with a message for baby Jack! 

If you happen to be wondering the way to my heart, it is not with a bouquet of flowers, it is with a bouquet of forest creatures. 

Handmade flowers all over the house...I swoon. 

No fall shower is complete without some apple cider!

 Book pages like this were hung all over and made into garlands. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Rude Farmer and Things You Should Probably Not Say to Your Pregnant Friends.

Last week, there was a farmer set up outside my apartment selling some produce. We stopped by his table, and he said, "If you don't mind me saying so, you look amazing." To which I replied, "I don't mind at all!" But then things started to go downhill.

Farmer: "I've seen so many women use pregnancy as an excuse to gain hundreds of pounds."

Really? That seems a little excessive. But okay. Can I just pay for this banana bread now?

Farmer: "It took my wife a matter of days to be back down to her pre-pregnancy weight!"

Chris: "Great! We want this banana bread.

Farmer: "The best advice I can give you is this: Don't feel like you have to listen to anyone's advice. Just do what you think is best, you'll figure it out. Everyone is going to give you unsolicited advice, but just ignore it."

Me: "That is good advice! Thank you."

Farmer: "But, if I could just give you one piece of advice..."

Did you not just hear the words that came out of your mouth? Stop. Just let me pay for this freaking bread.

Farmer: "How old are you?"

Me: 23.

Farmer (turns to Chris): "So, your sexy, 22 year old wife from last year, she's dead." 

Chris and I just look at each other because 1) We had no idea that I had died last year, so that was a shocker, and 2) What is happening and can we just leave now. 

Farmer: "She's dead, and she's never coming back. This-gestures up and down at me-is what you've got now. The sooner you can make your peace with that, the happier you will be."

Me: Tries really hard to not throw banana bread at farmer's face. 

So, that was quite the experience. I have so many things to say about it, but I'll just leave it there and let you use your imagination about how I feel.

Which brings us to some things you should probably not ever say or do to someone who is pregnant. AKA, more weird and rude things that have happened to me and I feel the need to share with you, in case you have pregnant friends.

what not to say to pregnant friends

Grab their stomachs. Especially if you are not close friends with them. This is not something you say, but it gets the number one spot because it will never stop being weird to me. Never have I ever seen a pregnant woman somewhere and just decided I must put my hands on her immediately.

Say things like, "Aren't you so glad you're past the hard part?" We waited to tell people about the baby until the end of the first trimester, and a lot of people think that morning sickness (which is horribly named, because nothing about it is limited to the morning) ends promptly at 12 weeks. And for some people, it does. But do you know when I stopped throwing up? A few weeks ago.

Also, in the grand scheme of, you know, having a baby, I don't feel like the first little bit is the hardest part, but that's just me.

Ask, "How much weight have you gained?" I feel like this is just common sense. Never ever ask this question. To anyone. Ever.

Say things like, "You have no idea, just wait until _____." I obviously know nothing about having a child, because I've never had one. But you know what's not fun at all? Having people tell you that you have no idea. So when your pregnant friend mentions that her back is killing her, shooting back with, "You think your back hurts now? Just wait until you have to carry a toddler around!" helps no one. Pregnancy is hard. Just let it be hard without trying to assert your vast knowledge of hard things.

Ask, "You're not eating _____, are you?" Either the answer is no, and there's no reason to talk about the food I am missing out on, or the answer is yes, and there's no reason for you to tell me why it's a horrible idea. If your pregnant best friend is eating sushi and drinking saki bombs, then by all means, feel free to have a conversation with her. But resist the urge to talk to your pregnant acquaintance about the dangers of that second cup of coffee. Trust me, she's heard it.

Make negative comments about having kids. In case you missed some vital days of school, I'll fill you in on something: Being pregnant leads to having a kid. Why people think it's okay to tell me all the negative things about having a kid, when I am clearly about to have a kid, is so confusing to me.

Ask things like, "Are you having an epidural?" Or, "Are you going to take this medication?" Exception: Totally ask these things if, when you hear the answer, your response will be: "Great!" And then move on. However, these questions usually come with a prepared rebuttal speech and that is just exhausting. Trust that if I've made a decision, I've done my research.

And, I think it goes without saying: Don't be a rude farmer who tells people the days of being sexy are behind them. You might get banana bread thrown at your face.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

32 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Gatsby took the bassinet being set up to remind us all of who the real baby of the house is. I seriously cannot wait to see him and the baby together...I really do think they'll be best friends. 

  • We started getting serious about making room for the baby this week! We sold our sectional to make room for his crib and rocker and all that goes along with it. Because we live in a teeny tiny studio, and-I don't know if I've mentioned this before-renewed our lease three days before I found out I was pregnant. So this is make it work time, people. 
  • I washed all his tiny clothes this week. It blows my mind that a human being can be so small that they can fit into those itsy bitsy pants (that definitely have a little fox on the butt)...I'm pretty sure I won't believe that until I actually see it. 
  • I'm definitely freaking out more this week. For starters, it is my professional medical opinion that Jack grew three sizes overnight. It's like I woke up to find a bowling ball in my stomach. A very strong bowling ball that has decided to nestle his feet under my ribs and practice kickball. Secondly, this whole time, I've known that the last bit was going to go by the quickest..I've said that the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flies by more than any other time of the year, so I know once Thanksgiving hits, he'll be here before we know it. Well, guess what next week is? THANKSGIVING. AKA pretty much Christmas, AKA almost Jack's birthday. 
32 weeks down, 8 weeks to go. Until then, I'm just focusing on enjoying every second of this holiday season with just Christopher and me-next year will be much different! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

just write: too bright to see the stars.

chelsea jacobs poem

I learned to wish on airplanes
in a city too bright to see the stars. 
if there’s one thing that you’ve taught me,
it’s to look for magic wherever you are. 

so tonight I’ll use this flying wish
and hope that it comes true. 
I’m just asking this airplane
to bring me back to you. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Lattes & Other Great Loves of My Life.

Like most of the country, around the end of September, I fall into a deep love affair with pumpkin spice lattes and, even better, the creamer that makes it taste like I'm having one every morning at home. Now that Thanksgiving is next week (YES, NEXT WEEK. How this has happened, I do not know.), peppermint mochas are on the horizon. Since we're about ten days from all Christmas, everything, I thought I'd write one more post about how magical fall was and how it brought several great loves of my life, not limited to the pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin Butter. Hello, heavenly spread. I don't know why I've never bought this before this year, but I'm in love. I've spent the past two months trying to figure out just how many things I can get away with putting this on. The verdict: A lot. (PS: I got my pumpkin butter at Trader Joe's). 

Pumpkin Tea. Being pregnant comes with caffeine limits (unfair, since it also comes with being exhausted), so cup after cup of pumpkin coffee wasn't an option this year. Pumpkin tea, though, is fair game. Plus, it's lighter than coffee and creamer, and still a way to cozy up with a hot drink that smells like fall. 

Apple-smoked Chicken Sausage. The only way you're getting me to try a healthy alternative to anything these days is if it's delicious and requires extremely minimum effort on my part. This meets those's delicious, and I can legitimately have dinner made in 8 minutes. That's what winning looks like, friends. 

Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Lipgloss. Alternatively titled: The shiniest way to taste pumpkin. 

Leggings, Boots, & Oversized Tops. Honestly, I would dress like this all the time if I could. And now that I'm seven months pregnant, I most definitely can. Thank you, little babe, for letting me decide that leggings are pants, even if only for a short time. 

Candles. The fall-scented candles are always my favorite, and I look forward to them all year. But this year, I've been lighting them as soon as I wake up so I can pretend I'm drinking my coffee by a fire place. It's cozy and magical. 

Having a Clean House. Maybe it really is nesting (it's gotta be something, because I am not one to enjoy cleaning), but lately I can't get enough of having everything clean. It's just so much more relaxing to be in an environment that's clean and clutter-free. I know my mom is reading this and cursing the high-school version of myself for never feeling like this. 

What were the great loves of your life this fall?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mondays are for Coffee Talk.

I love blogging because it makes me write almost every day, but it can sometimes seem like if I'm going to show up here, I have to have a post that's well thought out or deep or pinterest-perfect. These are great, but a lot of little things-like coffee talk-slip through the cracks because they don't fit into these categories. So today, let's just have coffee talk.

If we were getting coffee-or maybe a popsicle, depending on Florida's fickle mood about seasons lately-here are some things we'd talk about:

1. I've always had such a hard time getting rid of things, because I form a sentimental attachment to almost everything I bring into our house. I once kept a spatula for a good three weeks after it melted in the dishwasher, just because it had been a wedding gift (from who knows who), and I loved our wedding, so I needed to keep it. My's weird.

Anyway, it's so funny to me how easy it is to get rid of stuff now that the baby is on the way. Selling and tossing and donating stuff isn't nearly as hard when it's to make room for's just stuff. IF I miss it, I can just go buy it again later.

2. I've been loving the caramel apple spice drink so much that I want one every single day. Buuuut, I don't love the idea of paying $5 for one every day when I feel like they aren't that hard to make. So I looked up a copycat recipe, went to Target, and made some for me and Chris before our fall date a few weeks ago. He took a sip, told me it was delicious, and did not touch his cup again. I drank some of it, thought it tasted super weird, but blamed it on too much sugar and weird pregnancy tastes. I tried again a few days was disgusting. I thought I must be doing something wrong, read the recipe again, gave it one last gross. 

The next day I decided to give my money saving efforts one more go before I resigned myself to spending all of my money on grown up apple juice, when I got the ingredients out of the refrigerator and realized that I did not, in fact, have apple juice. I had white grape juice.

I made four caramel apple spice ciders with grape juice.

Poor Christopher.

3. I got new glasses and I cannot get enough of them. I also got new contacts, and the fact that I've been choosing to wear my glasses instead of contacts just shows how much of a love affair we're having. They're Dolce & Gabbana-from Target, because I'm I have D&G tastes and a Target Budget (just kidding, I have Target tastes and a dollar store budget. But moving on.), and are probably the nicest glasses I will ever own. Chris keeps complimenting me on my "Gucci and Gabbana" glasses, and I'm letting it stick.

Happy Monday, friends. Wishing you lots of coffee and a beautiful today. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Nothing Inspires Me Quite Like Fall & Winter.

nothing inspires me quite like fall and winter

If I had to choose a way to describe life right now, I think I'd say in love. Or maybe enjoyed. Or I'd choose content. Or savor. Or possibly inspired. 

I am just so in love with life right now. I'm in love with Chris being home, and I'm in love with getting to spend so much time with him.

I'm so enjoying how the weather is, how I've been able to break out the boots and sweaters. Only for like an hour in the morning, but still...I'll take what I can get.

I'm so content with where I am. There's so much up in the air right now, like: Where will we match? Will we be happy with it? When will the baby come? What will life be like once he gets here? Will we be able to make everything work? Regardless of the uncertainty, I'm still so perfectly content with this stage. It's unlike me, but even though I have zero of the answers, I have so much peace.

I'm savoring every moment. After spending so much time away from Chris, I'm soaking up even the normal moments as if they might be snatched away from me at any time. And really-isn't that how we should always live? I'm savoring the mugs of pumpkin spiced coffee, the early mornings snuggled under the covers, the nights spent watching movies and feeling the babe move all around, knowing that pretty soon, he'll be moving out in the world with the rest of us.

Being pregnant is hard-for real, it's really freaking hard work-but I'm still savoring this season so very much.

And absolutely nothing makes me feel inspired quite like fall and winter. The scents, the weather, the tastes, the colors, the coziness. The happiness of all that this fall means to me. I just wake up every day feeling so thankful, and so inspired to just live. Sure, sometimes I wake up in pain, or on the verge of throwing up, but even then-I'm still so inspired by this beautiful season.

What's inspiring you lately? 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

31 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Looking at the calendar this morning, it is absolutely crazy to me that it is somehow the second week of November. More than that, though, it's crazy to me that I've been pregnant for 31 weeks. Even more that that, though, it's crazy to me that it means there's only 9 more weeks until Baby Jack's birthday. 

So yeah, lots of feelings happening over here. 

  • My baby shower was this week, and it was absolutely perfect. I can't wait to write all about it and share all the pictures. My mom managed to throw the most magical party that reflected my personality so well, and it was the best day ever. Foxes and fairy tales and tiny macaroons...pure magic. 
  • Getting baby presents was so much fun. Going through them the next day with Chris was the best. Everything feels so real now. If babe was born tomorrow, he would have somewhere to sleep and something to wear and a carseat to ride home in and a stroller to go out in. Of course, none of that stuff is put together or washed, but hey, it's here, and that fills me with so many feelings. 
  • I went to the eye doctor this week, and after saying how far along I am, she asked me, "How sure are you that you're pregnant?" So, there's that. Happy Thursday, everybody. 
31 weeks down, 9(ish) weeks to go. <-- In case you didn't notice, that's a single digit. Time to wash those baby clothes!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

just write: sweet glances.

the girl who loved to write poem

I remember when we first met
and the way you'd look at me,
like I was the only one in the room
and the prettiest girl you'd seen.

I keep memories of those sweet glances,
I lock them safely up inside,
because the way you look at me
has slowly changed with time.

but it's nothing to be sad over,
for I can't quite tell you how,
but being seen as pretty is nothing
next to the way you look at me now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Two Months of Long-Distance Marriage Taught Me.

Because medical school is full of lovely surprises, I spent August 18th-October 20th living across the country from Christopher. I didn't blog about this because I feel like it wouldn't be that hard for someone to figure out where I live, so I didn't exactly want to broadcast my solo living situation to the internet. You've all seen pictures of my dog, so you know you could probably take him in a burglary situation.

But now you know-I lived alone for two months, and it sucked. Going to bed every night without my best friend sucked. Being pregnant and going to doctors appointments alone sucked. Getting bigger and more uncomfortable and having no one around to help out sucked. I'm all for being positive and finding the good in things, but sometimes things just suck, and it's okay to call it like it is.

But as of two weeks ago, my little family is reunited, and all is right in the world. And by all is right, I mean that I have my person home to do fun fall stuff with me, and that my late night cravings are finally accompanied by someone to go get them for me.

Like any good challenge, this one came with some life lessons. Here's what I learned:

It's the little moments that I love the most. Sure, vacations and big events and fancy dates are great, but it's the little moments of married life that I cherish the most. Things like falling asleep watching a movie together, or deciding to skip making dinner and just go to Chick-Fil-A instead. It's the little things that make life so good.

Having a dog is the best decision ever. I would have gone crazy without Gatsby. If you have to spend a lot of time alone, get yourself a puppy!

I hate cooking for myself, but I love baking. The idea of dirtying one, maybe two dishes to cook meat and vegetables for myself? Absurd. The idea of dirtying three dishes and two pans and the entire kitchen to bake a pumpkin cake for myself? Totally reasonable.

I take way too much for granted. I love my husband and am so thankful for him all the time...but now, extra so. Having to take the trash out by myself and take the dog out alone at night and not having anyone to curl up with and talk to when I had a bad day just showed me how lucky I am, and how huge of a blessing my marriage is. I love being in love, and I love having a partner in life.

Have you ever had to spend time away from your significant other? What did you learn?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Give Yourself Permission to Start Fresh Before the New Year.

give yourself permission to start fresh before New Years

You know when your house gets so messy, that it seems pointless to tidy up, because it really just needs a total overhaul? So you put off things like hanging up the laundry, because you need to clean your closet, and it doesn't make sense to add more clothes until you clean it...which, you have no idea when you'll actually get around to doing.

Just me? Cool.

Anyway, I think we treat life like that sometimes. We get to a point where there's so much we want to or need to change, that we just change nothing. We want to be healthier, but we refuse to so much as go for a walk until we've had a chance to construct an entire workout plan and spend $300 at Whole Foods on healthy groceries. We want to be more domestic, but we're going to keep ordering takeout until we get around to making a month-long meal plan. We want to spend more time bettering ourselves, but we're not going to so much as crack open a Bible until we've had a chance to look up a devotional and buy a book or two to read through.

See what I mean?

That's why New Years is so powerful. It offers a chance to look at every area of our lives, decide where we want to change, make meticulous lists and goals, and then overhaul our whole lives. And it's great! Having a brand new year can be the best motivation to make changes that we really do need to make.

But also, give yourself permission to start fresh today. Before the new year. To make a change without the craziness of year-long goals and reevaluating every inch of your life. You can start fresh whenever you want to.

New Years does hold a special kind of magic for starting over, but so do you. So don't live the next two months unhappy about something. If you don't like your life, change it. No matter what the calendar says.

Do you find it easier to start fresh at New Years or on your own time?

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's Not Just for Thanksgiving: Being Thankful This Month & All Year Long.

being thankful

No matter who you are or how much emphasis you put on thankfulness in your daily life, you can't deny that Thanksgiving just brings about an attitude of thankfulness. For me, all of November is just full of constant reminders to be thankful. The month is full of magic and happiness and reasons to overflow with thankfulness.

Every November, I'm always thinking about how much I have to be thankful for. Drinking coffee outside with my husband, having a picnic with our pup, lighting pumpkin candles at night, getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving together...these are all things that make me explode with happiness.

Right now, at the beginning of the month, I want to stop and tell myself to let this month be a reminder to practice thankfulness all year long.

After November has passed, after fall is gone and Thanksgiving has ended, when the holidays have come and gone and Christmas music is a distant memory, there is still so much to be thankful for.

Logically, we know there are things to be thankful for. We know that if we had dinner last night, we're luckier than a lot of people. We know that if we have a bed to sleep in, we should be thankful for that. But knowing something and putting it into practice are two different things.

This coming year, I don't want to just know that I have things to be thankful for; I want to practice thankfulness all year long. In the same way that November fills me with gratefulness, I want the whole year to be one heart explosion of thankfulness after another.

Cheers to November. To Thanksgiving. To being thankful. And cheers to keeping that thankfulness alive in our hearts all year long.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

30 Weeks: Things I Want to Remember.

Baby got to visit Lake Eerie this week! 

To say that I'm at 30 weeks feels so surreal. On one hand, when I think about the day I found out, it feels like an entire forever has happened since then. But 30 weeks just sounds so serious! Like, this is happening. It's crunch time!

  • This week was so much fun, getting to travel together for residency interviews. Even though he hasn't made his grand entrance yet, it was our first time traveling as a little fam! Getting to see fall colors and have some cooler temperatures was so nice. However....I have no warm maternity clothes. I live in Florida! So I spent a few hours freezing before I just layered everything I had in my suitcase on all at once. I also may or may not have purchased some bedazzled gloves from a CVS, but that's a story for another day. 
  • My baby shower is this weekend, but we got our first gifts this week! It's odd, but actually owning baby things in person makes everything feel more real to me than anything else that's happened up until this point. 
  • I'm so uncomfortable. There's just no way around it. He's gotten so big that he's always squishing or pressing down on or kicking something. I feel so heavy and it's hard to breathe. What's hard about this is realizing that it will just continue until he gets here, because he only gets bigger from here. That's obviously good, but it's rough. Somebody pass the Chick-Fil-A. 
  • On our trip last weekend, somewhere between Cincinnati and Cleveland, we finally settled on a name. Now that he has a name, I feel like I can start to imagine him as a crazy. 

30 weeks down, 10(ish) to go. TEN. Baby Jack, we are so excited to meet you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Different, But it's Good.

I made Halloween plans around a year in advance for this Halloween. The second Taylor Swift released her tour dates and I saw that she was going to be in Florida on Halloween, I knew that’s what I would be doing. Because one, Taylor. Duh. And two, seeing Taylor with everyone dressed up and dancing around in costumes...hello, magic. 

I’m trying to think of another way to phrase this next part other than “and then I got pregnant” because I hate when people say things like that to me, like my life is worse because I had sex and it resulted in a human life. But in this case, the phrase fits..."and then I got pregnant."

So I’m not seeing Taylor on Saturday. Because dropping $200 to spend the night dancing around in a costume when you’re in a "wild and free and you only live once" phase and dropping $200 to spend the night dancing around in a costume when you’re in an “about to have a baby” phase are two very, very different things. 

This isn’t to say, “well, life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would, bummer.” It’s to say, life is way different than I thought it would be a year ago. And it’s good. 

I wasn't dancing the night away with Taylor on Saturday. Instead, I was celebrating the last day of October by freezing my face off and seeing actual fall leaves. The last weekend in October found me catching frostbite by Lake Eerie and exploring cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati and Indianapolis, places I never knew I wanted to see. 

Last Halloween, Chris got off work early (a rare occurrence) and we celebrated by getting queso and margaritas for lunch. This year, he didn't have to work at all (pure bliss) because we're on the residency hunt. But since I've got a baby hanging out in me for another 11 weeks, we celebrated with apple cider instead. 

Last Halloween was fun. Getting margaritas in the middle of the day with my husband, getting dressed up and going out with my friends, it was all so fun. It was a fun season. It was great. Seeing Taylor Swift end her tour on Halloween? That would have been incredibly fun. 

But traveling and seeing new places and exploring towns I haven't yet gotten the chance to fall in love with? That was perfect. Being equal parts terrified and excited while trying to imagine a life in one of these towns with my tiny family was a magical way to spend the weekend. 

On Halloween this year, we had lunch in Indianapolis. We were finishing up when a couple with a baby dressed up as a pumpkin sat at the table next to us. They ordered beers and laughed with each other and showed off their little pumpkin who waved at everyone in the restaurant. They were clearly having the best Halloween ever with the people that were the most important to them, and seeing that made my heart feel so full. Because maybe next year I'll be sitting at a table, having a beer and talking about life with Chris while we laugh at our little guy, dressed up like a pumpkin. 

So life is different now. More different that I could have imagined at this time last year. But it is so, so good. 

I'll catch you next tour, Taylor. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Happy Writing! You Can Do it.

The magical month of October has come to a close, and NaNoWriMo 2015 is officially here. And so I wanted to tell you, blogger, writer, poet, can do it.

Remember, the magic doesn't lie in a month, in a deadline, or in a process. The magic lies in you. And whatever writing you are setting out to achieve, you have enough magic inside of you to reach that goal. Whether you do it in November or December or in one year or in can do it. You will do it, so long as you just keep writing.

Whether you're setting out to write a novel or a song or a poem or a story, you've got this. Whether you're writing for the world to see or just for the pages between your journal, there's a reason you should write. 

So write. Keep writing. Write when the words are overflowing out of you and write when you have to pull them out of yourself. Write to understand things, to stay alive, to ask your questions. You are a writer. So write. 

Happy writing...Through November, through the holidays, through 2016, through always. You are a writer, and you can do it.

PS...if you haven't joined The Novel Blogger yet, do it! Sometimes seeing a bunch of other people strive for the same thing you're working towards can be just the encouragement you need. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

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

Happy November! November is such a magical month because at the beginning of it, we get full-blown fall, and by the end of it, it's time to celebrate Christmas. If that isn't a good month, I don't know what is.

There are 30 amazing days in November, and you get to decide how to spend them. Here are my suggestions:

1. Drink a Caramel Apple Spice Cider.

2. Participate in NaNoWriMo. 

3. Swing by Trader Joe's and pick up some fall goodness. I especially recommend the pumpkin butter, the pumpkin chai latte mix, and the pumpkin roobios tea.

5. Make a list of soups, hot drinks, and other November goodness you want to make. If there was ever a month to make soup for almost every meal, it's November.

6. Practice Thankfulness all month long. It's not just for Thanksgiving!

7. Remember that sometimes, the best part of the holidays is just being. We can get so caught up in making holiday plans and wanting to make sure we get to do everything we love about a certain season, but sometimes the best part is just relaxing, soaking up all the best parts of fall and Thanksgiving.

8. Get a fall picnic blanket. I realize that in some places, it's starting to get too cold for picnics, but here in Florida, we're just hitting prime picnic blanket weather. Even if it's too cold where you are, get a picnic blanket, light some candles, and have an indoor picnic--it's just as fun!

9. Make apple-cider sangria. Perfect for your picnic! Also, please drink a glass for me. I love this baby, but I miss fall drinks.

10. Plan a Thanksgiving date. A thanksgiving celebration for just you and your boo!

11. Plan your Thanksgiving. Are you traveling? Having company? Cooking something? Make your game plan!

12. Take some time for yourself and reflect on everything you're thankful for about 2015. Every November, I sit outside with a cup of pumpkin coffee and my journal, and write down the biggest things I'm thankful for since last Thanksgiving.

13. Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

14. Light some fall candles in the morning before turning all the lights on. I've been doing this in the mornings while I drink my coffee and it is so cozy. Second best thing to having a fire place!

15. Check your fall list-anything you really wanted to do that didn't happen? Don't pressure yourself to get everything done, but was there something you were really looking forward to that just hasn't happened yet? Do it!

16. Make a list of everyone you need to buy Christmas gifts for. 

17. Pick up a winter candy apple lotion from Bath & Body Works. 

18. Make a Thanksgiving craft. Place cards for Thanksgiving dinner, or a banner that says thankful, or whatever you want!

19. Bundle up and go for a walk. Walks during chilly weather just make you feel alive.

20. Go crazy and really clean your house before the holidays. You'll be so happy you did!

21. Make a list of Black Friday things to be on the lookout for. 

22. Write Thanksgiving letters or cards to the people you love. 

23. Spend an afternoon with your significant other and talk about what you're thankful for. Go to a park or a coffee shop and talk about why you're thankful for each other.

24. Start a Thanksgiving tradition. 

25. Watch the Macy's Day Parade. 

26. Celebrate Thanksgiving! 

27. Watch Elf! My family always watched this Thanksgiving night to celebrate the start of Christmas!

28. Break out the Christmas decorations! The day after Thanksgiving, of course.

29. Get your first red cup of the season! White chocolate peppermint mocha! It's Christmastime, people!

30. Catch up on the sleep you lost over Black Friday by laying in bed, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Christmas movies. Hello, perfect day.

How will you be spending your November?