Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pregnancy Reflections

I can't believe that I am nearing the end of pregnancy and will soon be welcoming our baby girl into this world! At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was good about journaling and taking pictures to document this special time, but unfortunately, with the move from Nashville to Denver and just trying to keep my head above water, I slacked off on doing that. So as I near the end, I thought it would be fun to share some reflections here, as well as some of our maternity pictures!

Overall, I've had a pretty amazing pregnancy. The toughest part for me was definitely the first trimester. There was about a four week stretch where I was pretty nauseated every day and had a few major headaches. I was also still taking daily progesterone shots from our IVF cycle - which added more hormones to my already hormonal changing pregnant body.... which was not fun, ha ha! Luckily, I had my essential oils to carry me through, and ever since that bad stretch ended, and I was able to stop taking the shots, I've been feeling great!! I've really focused on eating nutritional food, exercising, taking my LLV Supplements, and using my essential oils to help me to stay healthy and feeling good.

The second trimester was heavenly - just like all the mamas I know told me it would be! It's definitely the best time during pregnancy because you're feeling much better, have a little baby bump that you adore, but you're still comfortable and have energy to move and do things, ha ha! This is when we took our babymoon, and I felt amazing the whole time. Thankfully, this was when the bulk of our move was - from Nashville to Denver - and that couldn't have worked out more perfectly for the 18 hour drive to our new home state of Colorado.

I've continued to feel pretty good during the third trimester, other than tiring out more easily! I blame most of the tiredness on moving into a new house at 35 weeks pregnant. That was never our intention, but of course, we should have known that renovations would take longer than we expected. We were scheduled to have all projects done by end of March and move in at the beginning of April, giving us plenty of time to settle in before my due date. Well, the end of March turned into the end of April, and we moved in on April 30th - just about 5 weeks out from my due date - and whew, was it a whirlwind! Moving is not fun at any time, but especially not when you're so pregnant you can't bend down, you can't lift things, and you get out of breath after taking about 10 steps. Let's just say that I have the best husband in the world, who managed to do almost everything by himself, while still balancing work and taking care of me.

The past few weeks we've he's spent every free moment unpacking boxes, getting bedrooms and the nursery set up, finishing some last minute paint and house projects, and putting together all the baby things. Of course, I have helped out as much as my body would allow, but I have taken the time to rest and keep baby safe and sound! Everything isn't perfect yet, but I'm so happy with the home we've created so far and can't wait to bring our baby girl home here!!

Now, let's talk about these amazing pictures - isn't the scenery just beautiful?! They were taken at Mount Falcon, right outside of Denver. If there is one thing I've loved about living in Colorado so far, it's definitely been the beautiful scenery, and we haven't even touched the surface of all there is to see yet. We can't wait to get out and explore a little more once Lela is here and a little older to get out - I see a lot of family hikes in our future! I got lucky and found the most amazing photographer to capture our maternity pics, and she will also be taking Lela's newborn pics!

I will cherish these pictures forever - I think they truly reflect how much happiness Chris and I have to be celebrating pregnancy and what it means for us. We've dreamed of this for so long - almost 4 years to be exact, and honestly, there were times I thought it would never happen. I longed to carry our child so bad, but year after year, that dream seemed so far away. But God had other plans for us, and an even bigger plan for our one little embryo, Lela, and I am so thankful for that. I never want to forget the the smiles on our faces as we await the arrival of our baby, and the way it feels to be carrying her. Even on the hardest days of pregnancy, I never forget the blessing it is for all of moms to be able to grow and produce life - a life that God has so intently created. What a treasure!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well."
- Psalm 139:13-14

Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring Things

Hey guys! It's finally feeling like spring here in Denver, and I could not be more excited! This year's weather has been crazy, huh? I know spring came late for most parts of the country, but I think it's finally here to stay. I am so excited about patio weather, planting flowers, and soaking up the warmth from the sunshine. I am still adjusting to Denver's weather - compared to the south, it's much more dry and a still a little chilly at night. But I'll take it if it means I don't have to deal with mosquitoes and the southern humidity come summer time, ha ha!

Today is an exciting day because we are finally able to move into our new house!! I could jump through this computer screen with the level of excitement I have right now. We bought and closed on the house back in February, but since then we've been undergoing some renovations - which took wayyyyy longer than I anticipated. Don't they always? Anyway, it's all complete for the most part, so move in day is today!! I can't wait to share more of the house with you once we get settled. The next few weeks will be all about nesting and getting ready for baby Lela to arrive - only 5 more weeks to go!

Since spring decided to finally grace us with her presence, I wanted to round up some spring things I love or have had my eye on! Have a great Monday and happy spring to you! XO -

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Babymoon at Amangiri

When Chris and I found out we were pregnant, we knew we wanted to take a babymoon. We both love to travel, and we wanted to take one last trip just the two of us - a trip to celebrate finally being pregnant and enjoy the dwindling time we have left as non-parents. This isn't to say we won't travel anymore after becoming parents - we just know that travel becomes a little more tricky and that a trip with just the two of us will be few and far between once our baby girl makes her debut!

We were still living in Nashville when we originally planned our babymoon, booking a long weekend stay at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. It's a place I have always wanted to visit, but plans took a turn once we found out that we were being relocated to Denver at the beginning of the new year (read more about that here). While we could have easily just flown back to Tennessee for this trip, we decided to cancel it and start looking at places to visit on our new side of the country - the west!

I reached out to my sorority sister and travel agent, Taylor from the The Simple Sol, to help us plan the perfect western getaway for our babymoon, and she came back with so many great suggestions - one being Amangiri. I had actually heard of this resort before, from one of Chris's high school friends who had been there a few times, and it immediately sparked my interest because it looked like no where we had ever been before.

Amangiri is a luxury resort tucked away in the canyons of the American Southwest in Canyon Point, Utah - right on the border of Arizona. It seemed to be everything we wanted in a babymoon - the perfect mixture of relaxation plus adventure, so we booked 5 nights at this remote hideaway and started counting down the days until we arrived.

When we got there, we were instantly blown away with the amazing scenery and the way the staff greeted us - we knew we were in for a special trip! The resort itself is so peaceful, with stunning views of the canyons during the day and the stars at night. Although there is only one dining area, you never get tired of it because the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu offer so many great options. Another plus is that you can be as active or as lazy as you would like. There is plenty to do - from hiking to horseback riding, but also many reasons to just relax - by the wood burning fires playing games, at their amazing spa, or in the heated pools (we were there in February, so it was a little chilly, but the pools felt amazing).

Since I am pregnant, there were many activities I couldn't do, so we stuck to hiking and the spa. We did a sunrise hike and a sunset hike, both of which were spectacular! The resort made the sunset hike even more special by having a viewing spot complete with blankets, wine (don't worry, I only enjoyed a sip or two), and hors d'oeuvres to watch the sun set behind the canyons when we finished our hike. You'll see pics below! We also spent a full day at the spa - complete with a couples massage, enjoying the heated pool, and relaxing by the fire with our books. Other than that, most of our time at the resort was spent playing games - we really got into Monopoly, ha ha!

One activity we did off the resort and loved was a guided Canyon Tour. These slot canyons were like anything I have ever seen - just stunning! Antelope Canyon is definitely worth checking out, as well as Horseshoe Bend. We loved having a guide because he taught us so much history about the canyons, plus took some great pictures of us exploring. We also did stargazing with an astronomer at the resort one night, which was a really cool experience!

I can't say enough good things about this amazing resort - it was truly a remarkable place! It made the perfect babymoon, but would also be great for a honeymoon, or even family vacation! There were a few families there during our stay, and we saw them doing so many fun family activities - like horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, etc.

It was the perfect trip to take and spend some quality time with each other before our lives become bombarded with baby Lela, ha ha! But in all seriousness, I am so thankful to have had that time with Chris, and even more thankful that now our trips will have a plus one. We are looking forward to making many travel memories with her as well, but our time alone at Amangiri will always bring back great memories and a big smile to my face.