. . . for Lauren and Lauren: August 2015

August 31, 2015

Things that make me cry lately . . . . .

pants: old navy   sandals: target

A cancelled date night.  

Hearing our baby's sweet heartbeat.  


Watching Addilyn on her first pony ride. 

Peeing in my pants while throwing up for the what feels like the millionth time.  Darn you poor bladder control.  No thanks to you Addilyn. 

Every other episode of Parenthood.  Okay every episode of Parenthood. 

The fact that I'm already wearing the size bra I did at the very end of being pregnant with Addilyn. 

The thought of anything happening to this baby.  

Things that don't make me cry.  These pants from Old Navy that I got for $12 last weekend.  Draw string lose waist.  Yes please!  

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August 27, 2015

13 weeks


I forgot how awkward it feels to grab your somewhat baby bump for a picture.  I have every intention of doing baby updates like I did with Addilyn, but know fully well that it may not happen, and I'm okay with that.  It's a miracle that I got a picture and am dressed as this week has been rough.  Addilyn and I both got nasty colds and have been feeling pretty miserable.  But hoping we're on the mend! Here's week 13:

I'm pretty sure my "bump" wasn't this big till after 20 weeks with Addilyn.  Baby number 2 and your body remembers much quicker, right?  I definitely hit the my clothes don't fit right way phase faster this time around.  I am so ready for Fall where leggings and tunics are a daily choice.  

I have been SO much sicker this time around.  I threw up at least a few times a week with Addilyn and felt nauseous, but once on medicine I felt a lot better and only threw up a few times a week.  I felt pretty much over nausea by 16 weeks with Addilyn.  This time? I feel pretty much awful all the long, throwing up about five or six times a day, even with medicine.  Thankfully, I've had a few days this last week where I have felt almost normal in the mornings, but the afternoon and evenings are a struggle.  I'm sleeping terribly because it takes me forever to fall asleep, thanks to feel so uncomfortably nauseous.  I am so so thankful that I am pregnant, but this first trimester has been rough.  

For the first two months all I could handle was carbs.  Bread and butter, or plain pasta.  Bagels, and bland cereal.  And eating often all day long.  Thankfully now I can handle most foods, and more spread out.  I'm a huge fan of those laughing cow cheese wedges and often eat one in bed right before I try to fall asleep.  

Before getting sick this week I had a few mornings last week where I felt more like myself.  I had a little more energy, which makes me excited.  I'm hoping come second trimester that continues and I that the nausea gets better!  

Weight gain? I never shared number updates with Addilyn and honestly struggle with this part.  It's hard for me not to compare myself to others or what they say is "normal", and I just don't want that to be a part of these belly updates!  I told myself I wouldn't worry about it, but that is easier said then done.  I gained a good amount at the beginning of Addilyn's pregnancy too, as eating carbs and eating often was all that helped me feel okay.  Before getting pregnant I was working out daily and eating pretty healthy, so it definitely feels weird to feel the exact opposite.  But I'm reminding myself it all was fine in the end and my body is going to do what it needs to do and SO much of it is out of my control!  

We will definitely be finding out the sex of this baby at my 20 week appointment.  I can not wait! We've only had one ultrasound at 7 weeks, and as long as everything is going well, we'll only get one more at my 20 week appointment.  It's weird to go from having so many appointments when I was pregnant with Addilyn, to having only been to the doctor a few times.  While I still worry and feel anxious, as I'm sure every mom feels, I feel much more calm this time around.  It's nice to know what to expect a little more and to not have any complications like I did with Addilyn.  

I still have a hard time believing we are pregnant!  The bigger my belly looks, and the more we talk about it, the more real it feels.  I am so so thankful for this little baby and already can't wait for March!

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August 26, 2015

Telling our families . . . . . .


This time around things were totally different and it was so much fun surprising our families.  When we were going through our fertility treatments our parents knew just about everything. They knew the day we waited for our phone calls to find out if we were pregnant.  I wouldn't have had it any other way, as their support and prayers were so important to me.  But it was not any "surprise" when they found out we were pregnant with Addilyn.

This time, they all knew we'd be thrilled to get pregnant, but like us did not expect it to happen.  So they were shocked, needless to say!  Also keeping a secret for 2 weeks from my mom was embarrassingly hard, but we wanted to wait until I had gone to the doctor and until my dad was in from out of town.  We normally have dinner at my parents on Monday nights so we decided to tell them then.  My sister knew the day I took the test as I texted her nonstop, but no one else knew.  I made a big sis shirt for Addilyn but didn't put it on until everyone was there.  We told them Addilyn had a new trick to show them and made everyone go in my parents' sunroom.  I changed Addi's shirt and had her run ahead into the room.  They were so surprised and it was just the best!  Here's a video:


After dinner we went to Chris' parents house and did the same thing.  They weren't expecting us and came outside when we called.  Addilyn ran up to the front porch and it took a minute for it to set in the she was going to be someone's big sis.  I wish we had that on video tape too! 


We had so much fun surprising our families.  What a blessing to get to do that!  This baby is already so so loved!

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August 25, 2015

Wishing for . . . . . .


more banana chocolate chip muffins like we made on Monday.  Addilyn and I ate just about the whole batch in two days.  

the desire to do outfit posts again.  This awkward, sick stage of pregnancy is making that feel just about impossible. 


a healthy weekend.  Both Addilyn and I have had nasty colds this week and I'm ready for them to be gone!

more cool weather like this week.  It has been wonderful.  Hoping the high 80 temps for next week are wrong. 

sweaters for Fall.  These two are my favorite and on my wish list.  Is it too early to make a birthday list for November? 


a break from this "morning" (really afternoon, evening, nightime) sickness.  Hoping the second trimester brings just that!  A few more days and we're there! 

Hope you are all having a great week!

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August 24, 2015

Why I should never go into Aldi again

Now this happened awhile ago and I wasn't even pregnant, which would make it at least a tiny bit rational.  But I figure I should tell this story.  Which may make me look like a complete pyscho or highly relatable.  Let's hope for the second.  

I tutor most Mondays and we desperately needed groceries so I ran to Aldi, which is near the library where I tutor.  Now I used to shop at Aldi all the time.  It is way cheaper and they have most things you need.  But since Addilyn my money saving techniques have sadly stepped down a few notches as ease wins over and over these days.  Part toddler normal and part my fault I think, Addilyn sucks at errands.  She won't stay in the cart for long and the idea of having to bag my own groceries, maneuver tiny aisles and walk my cart back for my quarter sounds much harder than going to Target or Walmart.  So we usually only pick Aldi once a month when we all got together, or I go only. 

So to Aldi I went.  I had a long list and enjoyed the ease of shopping alone.  Got in the line, and just as the cashier was midway ringing up my groceries I realized I didn't have my debit card with me, which is all Aldi takes.  I frantically call Chris hoping maybe he can give me the numbers on the card and I can pay that way.  I call three times in a row and no answer.  (By this time he's home from work and with Addilyn instead of my mother in law so I feel like he should be answering).  I get to pay and tell the lady I don't have a debit card, to which she says she can't do anything and that's the only way I can pay.  I almost start crying and ask her what I'm supposed to do as if she should know.  

She said maybe there's an ATM at the bank, which if I was thinking wouldn't work because hello? no debit card.  I tell her I'll figure something out and be back.  Leaving my groceries in the cart I go to my car and start crying.  Like ridiculously crying after I call Chris three more times with no answer.  What if this was an emergency?  Why isn't he answering my phone?  I pull into Walgreens (banks are closed because it's after 5) thinking maybe I could use my credit card in the ATM.  Obviously I'm dumb but was smart enough to not even go inside.  

I call my mom, because of course you do that when you're in a real crisis.  I'm crying at this point as if I my dog died or found out some other awful news.  (Clearly there has to be something else bothering me. Let's just say there was something else.)  Now I absolutely love my mom and think she is the best but sometimes she is not the best at being sympathetic.  She tells me something along the lines of "you can either make this ruin your day or you can choose to just let it go."  Okay. Thank you mom.  

I pull into Target thinking I could use my Target card and get cash back.  Run in there and buy shampoo, only to find out the max you can get is $40.  So I almost start crying again to the lady when she says I can only do one transaction and leave with my $40.  I am right next to this smaller grocery store at this point, to which I just say forget it, I'll just start over with my list and shop here.  I walk in and right away see strawberries, which I needed 3 cartons of for a salad and dessert I was making.  They were $4 each.  As oppose to Aldi's $1.50.  I still have some sense of saving money and just couldn't do it.  Walk back out to my car and drive back to Aldi.  Probably still crying.  And probably calling Chris a million times, who still isn't answering.  

Go get my cart from Aldi, but know there is no way all my groceries cost $40.  So like a homeless person with no money (humbling, sure?) maybe still crying, I start putting back groceries that I don't absolutely need for the next few days.  When I get to the checkout near the end of the cashier ringing me up, I'm honestly staring at the total going, nope, can't get that one.  Okay, now add this one.  Until I'm at $40 and some change.  

It's pretty obvious I should probably never go there again.  And perhaps the most dramatic shopping failure ever.  Or not.  Please tell me something similar has happened to you.  

Just lie.  

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August 23, 2015

On baby #2


Most of you know our journey to get pregnant with Addilyn was not easy.  After a few years of infertility, two failed IUI's, and and early miscarriage we got pregnant with our miracle baby after three rounds of IVF.  We were told the chances of getting pregnant on our own were super slim.  So after Addilyn was born we decided we'd "try" for a baby right away, knowing it was unlikely.  I knew I wanted another baby but felt pretty convinced it'd have to happen through fertility treatments or adoption.  My heart just didn't feel content pursing either one yet, so we decided that we'd wait until Addilyn turned two to figure out our next step.  If we weren't pregnant yet we'd either meet with our fertility doctor or start pursing adoption.  And I honestly I felt overwhelmed my both and did by best to not even think about it until Addilyn turned two.  Thankfully for the most part I felt peace and contentment with where we were and waited.

Well two weeks before our sweet girl turned two I got a positive pregnancy test while on vacation in Florida.  12 weeks into this pregnancy and I still am shocked that it happened on its own.  I know people always say that after you have a baby your body and hormones can change, but I tried to never take comfort or put stake in that as I had a diagnosed problem and the chances were so slim.

I know fully well that God can do anything, and credit Him for every blessing we've been given, especially our two miracles.  I am so in awe of God's faithfulness and goodness.  We couldn't feel more excited or grateful and can't even wait to meet our sweet baby the beginning of March.


And in case you were wondering Addilyn is super excited.  Since the day we found out we were pregnant she's talked about the baby in my belly.  Gives my belly kisses, asks if the baby is sleeping and tells the baby she loves him or her.  She'll surely be in for a shock come March, but for now it's pure excitement.


As always thank you for your sweet words, prayers and excitment for our baby.  What a blessing to have been able to share our journey with so many and to feel loved and celebrated by others.  We know how lucky we are!  Thank you. 
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August 20, 2015

It's coming . . .

dress: c/o shein  shoes: famous footwear  

First of all, thank you so much for your comments on our baby #2 announcement.  It is so wonderful to be celebrated and loved and we couldn't be more excited. I have a post ready for Sunday with some more detail about baby #2!  Blogging has definitely not be a priority the last month and half as I have been feel ridiculously sick and tired.  But hopefully that will change soon.  

Today's high was 75 and it was windy and I loved it.  It makes me so anxious for Fall.  Probably mostly because I don't have any shorts left that fit me and want to wear leggings and tunics every day.  It has become harder much faster this time around to find clothes that are comfortable and fit. I didn't feel like I was in the awkward stage with Addilyn until closer to 12 weeks, were as I feel like I've been here for at least six weeks!  This dress is nice, but I was hoping it was a little stretchier all around, so sadly I'm not sure how long I'll be able to wear it for!  

But, this cute lace kimono came with it and I know I'll be wearing it throughout my pregnancy.  Here are a few other things I'd love to own from shein that would be perfect for Fall and a growing belly! 
 


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August 19, 2015

For the Love

I've had an awesome opportunity to part of the launch team for Jen Hatmaker's new book, For the Love.  It came out yesterday and I can't wait for you guys to read it.  It is funny, truth telling and a book that I will definitely read again and again.  I am re-reading it again now and I feel like there are too many lessons and challenges to share in one post, so I'll probably do a few in the next month or so.  

The first chapter is called Worst Beam Ever, and I think any woman could relate to.  The idea that we are expected to "do it all" and have everything put together.  I'm sure woman have always struggled with this, but I imagine social media making this a heck of a lot harder battle.  It's so easy to compare your life to someone elses and feel inadequate about what you are or are not doing.  


Jen compares your life to walking on a balance beam, and that there is no way to balance it all. Some things have to come off your beam if you're going to make it.  

And I think what's on and off your beam definitely changes throughout seasons.  For example, cooking dinner a few nights a week is normally something I like to try (key word try) to keep on my beam.  Cooking dinner even one night a week while disgustingly sick and nauseous and pregnant? Completely off my beam.  

One thing that has been hard for me since getting pregnant is that Addilyn and I leave our house far less than we did before.  We almost always went somewhere, even if just an errand, before nap and again after a nap.  Lots of playdates, time outside, and going places.  The last two months? That just isn't possible for me.  If you can believe it I have maybe been to Target twice in the last 10 weeks? Shocking, right? Running errands, going to parks, being outside in the heat?  Completely off my beam right now.  There was a part of me that felt really guilty at first, and like I was not being the best mom to Addilyn.  But I'm learning that this is just a season and it's okay.  

Last summer I trained for the marathon.  It was a huge time commitment and was really important to me.  This summer?  There's no way.  Not just because I am pregnant, but Chris has a new job, and he can't sacrifice the time in the mornings or to come home from work early so I could run.  It just wouldn't work this year, and is not a priority.  

This last year I wasn't in a small group.  I wanted to join this mom's group at my church, but first of all it was during Addilyn's nap time, but more importantly we were going through our never ending battle with leaving her in childcare and I just couldn't do that twice a week.  But I am craving fellowship and accountability now, as well as Addilyn has made some good progress in the nursery. While I am still nervous about her in the childcare, being in a small group in on my beam this Fall and I'm excited to make it happen.  


"Wise woman know what to hold onto and what to release, and how to walk confidently in their choices - no regrets, no apologies, no guilt." 

I think it's so freeing to remind yourself that you can not and do not need to have it all together.  That everyone has their strengths and gifts and hobbies and no one will have all the same priorities.  We do the best we can with what we have, and need to find joy in just that.  

I'm excited to read the book again, and share how God's used it to challenge me, as well as make me laugh quite a bit.  If you haven't ordered it yet, here's the link on amazon.

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August 18, 2015

Some exciting news . . . .

baby number 2 announcement

We couldn't be more excited to share that baby #2 is due March 5th!  God is so good and we are beyond thankful.  We got to hear the sweetest little heartbeat at my 12 week appointment today.  We weren't sure when or how we'd get to use these tiny baby booties again, but God has yet again answered our prayers and blessed us with another baby.  More details to come . . . 

baby number 2 announcement
baby number 2 announcement


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August 16, 2015

Bloom, Baby

 tee and bloomers: Jade & Grey designs   moccasins: c/o freshly picked

 I've shared plenty of shops on my blog before and have made some sweet friends through working together for collaborations.  But this shop's owner and I were great friends well before she started her shop.  Brittany and I went to college together and she was truly the greatest blessing that came out of my college experience. I only stayed at Bethel for a year and there were some hard things that year, and I am so thankful for Brittany's friendship.  We don't get to see each other very often, but she will always be one of my dearest friends.  She is sweet, funny, an amazing mom to her three adorable kids, beautiful, and insanely talented.  She has an etsy shop called Jade & Grey designs, but also sells a lot of her things in local boutiques.  She just started designing t-shirts and came out with her first one.  I LOVE it and think she needs to make some adult ones.

Addi is wearing one of her Bloom, Baby shirts and a pair of her bloomers.  I LOVE them!  Now unfortunately Addilyn and I are no professionals when it comes to modeling and photography but we did our best.  Even if most of the pictures were of Addi and her signature move with her hands above her head saying "Ta-daa!" or "Cheese!"


The tee is super soft and I know we will get lots of wear out of it!  The cute little bloomers are well made and soft and comfy feeling.  She also has teethers, bibs, adorable onesies and lots of other adorable things! All which would make great shower and baby gifts.  Check out the rest of her stuff here!


Follow Jade & Grey on facebook here for discounts and updates.  Brittany is giving you all a 15% discount code on any order using code bloombaby15.  Also tomorrow morning I'm doing a giveaway on instagram for a tee and bloomer of your choice!! Thank you so much Brittany.  We love you!

And one more signature pose for you.  Hope you all had a great weekend!




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August 13, 2015

One of those days


This just about represented the mood in the Vale house yesterday from both Addilyn and I.  It's felt like a long seven days over here as we've been without Chris for all but a few hours on Saturday.  He left our family vacation early and we overlapped an afternoon at home and then he left for a work trip.  Thankfully he got back late last night, and we did well for the most part until yesterday.  Addi didn't sleep great the night before, woke up early, super crabby and had a bug bit on her eye that made her look like this: 


Perhaps adding to her crabbiness, although I'm leaning towards more just a two year old bipolar toddler day.  But man, I had a hard time pulling it together.  I was ready to call quits for the day by 9:00.  I can't really think of a point to this post, other than saying when the day was said and done it made me thankful for these things:

1. That Chris doesn't travel a lot and that when he is home he is a great dad and does a lot to help take care of Addilyn.

2. That I have family close by to come over, as they did a few of the days and play with Addilyn to give me a little break.

3.  That hard days end and a new day starts.  A good reminder that days that seem daunting have to end.

4.  That I'm not a single mom or a mom that has a husband that is gone often.  Those woman are amazing and I have tons of respect and admiration for them!

5.  That it is almost the weekend and Chris will be home the whole time!

Hope you all had a good week and are ready for the weekend too!


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August 11, 2015

Sushi dates and old clothes

top: ?   jeans: kohls   watch: c/o Jord watches   bracelet: nickel and suede

I'm pretty sure I haven't worn this top for four years and was just about to get rid of it, but thankfully tried it on again and loved it.  One of the rare times it helps to get something around for that long.  I seriously have clothes that I don't know when the last time I wore them was, yet can't get rid of them. While I've gotten rid of quite a bit of things the last two years, I could definitely afford to purge some more!  I wore this outfit to sushi with my sister, which feels like forever ago.  Maybe someday we can make that a monthly thing, okay Lauren?


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August 9, 2015

Hello there!


I meant to write a post last week before we left for vacation but that didn't happen.  And it has been nice to have a longer break from my computer and blogging!  We spent the last week with my family in Galena, IL.  It's a little town about 2 1/2 hours away.  My parents, sister and her family, brother and sister in law, and grandma were all in a big house for the week.  We had a great time!

There's a super cute little downtown where we got to spend a few afternoons walking around.  Shopping, ice cream, chocolate, and a yummy dinner.  


One of the days we went out on a boat, which is kind of interesting with four kids.  My poor niece Annie struggled with the life jacket.  More than Addi, which at first she was not a fan either.  I wish I had a picture of Annie.  It was kind of comical, a little pathetic.  Poor girl!  But we caught one fish and each kid took a picture with it.  Addi in all serious, held up her crackers and said "Here fishy, want a cracker?" 


There was a pool in the neighborhood and we went there everyday.  Addi LOVES the water and it's so fun watching her.  She constantly goes under water and holds her breathe and even started kicking and paddling too.  Swimming lessons need to happen soon!

 Sorry future Addi, but your little white bum is too cute! 
Candy store overload 

It was such a good week together! So thankful for my family and time together.  Hope you all have head a great week and weekend.  


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