Dear Friday, Where did April Go?

Dear Friday, Thank you for finally showing up. For staying free of plans and for welcoming me home tonight after work. I need you, big time.

Dear April, You on the other hand... you flew by, what the heck?! I don't even know what happened this month or where my days went. On to May, I suppose! 

Dear Bengals, Loved the pick last night! Everyone loves to hate and complain, but I'll leave the drafting to the experts and just get excited about the season as a fan. Can't wait to see who else we draft this weekend. Welcome to Cincinnati, William!!

Dear Kitchen, Watch out. This pregnant lady is on a mission to tackle some freezer meals this weekend and I mean serious business!

Dear Jared, I promise I'll attempt to look halfway put together when we go on a date Saturday. The closet is slim pickins' these days but we'll see what I can come up with. Either way? I can't wait to have a night out together! If only that night could be on the beach...

Dear Little Man, We are so in love with you already it's not even funny. It's so fun picturing life with you and we can't wait to welcome you home. We are going to be super cool parents, promise. Just like you will be the perfect newborn who sleeps through the night immediately and never cries. ;)

Dear Blog, It is getting more and more difficult not to type our baby's name on here. I still can't decide how I feel about sharing it publicly on the blog... but I feel close to caving, haha!

Happy Weekending, everyone!!! 

With the 24th Pick...

Let's just come right out and tell it like it is. I have been feeling totally uninspired this past week hence the lack of blog posts. After such a fun, celebratory weekend- I was left with sinus pressure/headaches and total exhaustion the past few days. It was all I could do to drag myself into the office and actually accomplish things! I've truly tried to not complain much throughout this pregnancy because overall I know I've had it pretty darn easy. However, at 33+ weeks I am definitely starting to feel all the "fun" late pregnancy effects. Trouble sleeping, aches and pains whenever I get up and even a little swelling in my feet by the end of the day. (Not quite cankle status, but still noticeable to me!) When I get home, the only thing I really want to do is nap, but it seems there is always something to do- such is life, right?

I think sometimes it's just difficult to think of things to blog about when my mind is on baby-related things about 95% of the time. Heck, I can barely concentrate at work right now because my mind is so baby focused! I told Jared it's like I've got senioritis, just counting down the days until our baby is here and I go on maternity leave. However, today at least it's an exciting day in the office. It's NFL DRAFT DAY!!!

It's always a flurry of excitement around here during the draft and I'll be keeping my ears open for any name-dropping going on in the building. My Bengals don't pick until 24th tonight unless any crazy trading happens (which I don't expect it to) but I can't wait to see who we snatch up. Between attending the combine and stalking all the "Path to the Draft" shows we can, Jared and I are pumped to see who the first few picks are as well. I love seeing these guys' dreams of playing in the NFL come true. It's nice to see them while they're still a little bit humble and before they're big millionaires.

Last year I posted 18 phrases that you can chime in with (or listen for) tonight and they are pretty much all still true. Minus that Johnny Manziel one... can he just go away already?? Who's watching the draft tonight? Who do you think will go first overall? Who else is taking a nap pre-draft so they can make it through round one?? :)

Under the Sea {Baby Shower #2}

I feel so fortunate to have such great family and friends. I know everyone brags on their own (as you should!) but man, I just have the best ones hands down ;) This weekend we got showered in love and gifts for a second baby shower- this one with all of my side of the family. My mom and sister went all out with the ocean/under the sea theme in keeping with our nursery and it was too adorable. Not to mention the fact that my sister drove 9+ hours to be in town for this event!!
There was a great spread of food which included some of my favorite things like crack dip and the most amazing cookies from the best bakery around.

We played a few fun games but the best one hands down was having the guests make play-doh babies while I opened gifts. When I was finished opening gifts they all turned their "babies" in and I had to award prizes for funniest, creepiest, most lifelike, etc. I think everyone had a good time with it and it was so funny seeing what everyone came up with!

Of course the gifts were exciting and humbling and so appreciated! We got lots of much-needed items and of course little man's wardrobe continues to grow. My mom also outdid herself with another precious blanket that I am in love with!

It was great being surrounded once again by so many sweet women and just feeling all the love from family and friends. My dear friend Cassie prayed over me and my little guy before she left which meant so much. And my lovely Lacey is going to have her little girl in less than 3 weeks- I can hardly believe it.

Major thanks to my momma and sister for a wonderful, fun-filled afternoon- they are the BEST.

And I couldn't end this post without at least mentioning that today is my adorable niece's 3rd birthday! Her favorite parts of the baby shower were definitely the Oreo truffles and my giant whale balloon ;)

So About that 30 Before 30 List

Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday! Between those, some birthday donuts from a coworker and a super special gift from Jared it was a wonderful way to celebrate turning 29. It was also apparently a wonderful excuse for any relative of mine to post embarrassing, childhood photos of me on Facebook. I'm pretty sure I looked like a boy for a loooong time (despite the number of ruffles on my outfits) so maybe I'm getting a sneak peek of what my little boy is going to look like?! ;)

My birthday also reminded me that I should check in with that little 30 before 30 list I started a few years back and see where I stood with things. Most of the things I've crossed off have links back to relevant posts about them. For those interested, here's the breakdown of where I'm at on this checklist:

- 12 of the items are completely crossed off the list.
- 6 of them are works in progress that will for sure be done before I turn 30.
- 5 haven't been started, but 100% CAN happen in time.
- 5 items that would be incredibly hard to accomplish, but aren't totally ruled out.
- 2 items that just aren't going to happen pre-30th birthday.

The five that need to happen are easily attainable and probably the ones I'll start with first. I need to totally give up pop for 60 days straight. While I drink far less than I used to, I want to cut it out completely and I'm hoping two months without will totally break me from the habit. Also in this category is to crochet a gift from someone, get involved in our church, regularly donate to charity and treat myself to a day at the spa. I think I'm saving that spa day as a celebration for my birthday NEXT year. It just makes sense.

The five items that would be tough to accomplish? Hey, I'm not ruling them out but at least I'm being realistic about them. A baby on the way makes a few of these things less practical. Maybe if I can cross off some of those easier ones I mentioned I'll feel the motivation and drive to cross them all off. I figure there are 12 items in the not done/not sure of category so why not try to finish up one each month??

If you've been around here any time at all you know I love settings goals and making lists. I truly feel like it's the only way I can challenge myself to actually do things I want to do. My list ranges from big, monumental, life-altering things, to silly personal things I've always want to try and achieve. Do you have a list like this? What should I do when this one is finished?? I don't think I can bring myself to make a 40 before 40... that just seems too far away!

On Turning 29

Well, I'm official 29 today. TWENTY NINE. Still not totally sure how/when that happened but sure enough, I have started the final year of my 20s today. I'm definitely not freaking out over it, honest to goodness I'm not. Though it sounds weird to say I'm now 29 years old, I feel great and know life is moving in the right direction- what more could a person want?!
New Girl fans- I've been waiting forever to be able to use this GIF ;)
I haven't made much of my birthday this year, especially compared to year's past- but I think that's because I've been so busy celebrating our baby on the way to even think about myself. This little healthy boy is really the only gift I need! I'm content to just spend an evening with Jared like any other night, although he's already been spoiling me :) Plus my family and friends always find sweet ways to celebrate with me and make me feel special on this day, too. It's nice to feel the love and I appreciate all the well wishes.

Part of me feels like I should have some big, profound post to write today. This pivotal moment in my life... a birthday, a baby on the way, the final year of my 20s. But guess what? I don't! I'm really just thankful for another year, thankful for the millions of ways I've been blessed in the past 365 days and excited about what another year will bring. Each year is filled with so much goodness and so many happy memories- I'm just excited to start another year that is sure to be filled with the same! So today, I'll just be happy. I'll just soak in today for what it is, laugh a little more and enjoy a free birthday treat or two along the way ;)

Cheers to 29!

The Weekend with Perfect Weather

This weekend I might have just barely caught up on sleep and relaxation- finally! Friday night Jared and I made sure to have zero plans and it was exactly what I needed after a couple of sleepless nights prior to that. I'm definitely at the point where sleep is getting more and more difficult- ugh!  With an open calendar we decided on cereal for dinner, we worked on a puzzle for awhile and then popped in a movie before calling it an early night. We felt like a couple of old folks but I don't care, it rocked.

Saturday was a big day in our world- we toured the hospital our little one will be born at. Since I'd never been there I wanted to get familiar with the place and have a better idea of where we'd be on the big day. The tour was fantastic and I'm really glad we went. I had such a weird mix of emotions coursing through me the whole time we were there. To actually be there seeing where we'd welcome our boy into the world?! There was excitement, anxiousness, anticipation... everything rolled into one!

We had the entire Saturday free so after the hospital we spent some time outside in the gorgeous weather and treated ourselves to Dewey's Pizza as well. This is only the second time I've had it but goodness, it's delicious! We did a half Dr. Dre and half Ryan's Inferno- you can check out their menu here if you're curious.

Sunday we let ourselves sleep in a little and then went to the late service at our church which was fantastic. I love feeling like you're in the right place at the right time and our pastor's sermon really hit home with us both. It was another beautiful day so we took a quick walk around the property before heading out to meet Jared's family for a quick pre-birthday lunch for me.

We indulged in some delicious cupcakes and I got a couple of gift cards, including one for a mani/pedi which I am pretty excited about and can't wait to schedule. There is seriously nothing better than a little pampering to treat yo'self, especially when you feel large and frumpy ;) We've got a busy week ahead of us but with mostly fun things- so bring it on birthday week!

Linking up with Biana!

Football Friday... Kinda.

I know what you're thinking-- why is Erin writing about football in the middle of April? Well that's because football goes year 'round! Yesterday the 2016-17 NFL schedule was released and as always, I'm dissecting and analyzing it about ten different ways. From an employee standpoint, from a fan standpoint, from how it effects the holidays- you name it, I think of it. Overall it's not a bad schedule for my Bengals and from a work viewpoint I'm happy that we're away both Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends. I also think it's pretty cool that my guys play in London this year although my 4-month-old and I will not be in attendance.

Okay, enough football for now. Well, until the end of the month when the NFL Draft takes place. Any Chicago friends going to partake in the festivities? One day I'll make it there but until then I'll just stalk all the coverage I can. Since we had a chance to attend the combine this year, I'm really excited about seeing where some particular players end up!

Alright, now I really AM done with the football talk ;) I'm so incredibly glad to see another Friday though. I'm in much need of the low-key weekend Jared and I have in mind. There were a lot of busy evenings and sleepless nights this week and I feel like we barely saw each other! Luckily we'll have plenty of time to hang this weekend and I truly can't wait. The more pregnant I get, the more I seem to look forward to weekends... the office is wearing on me these days, I can tell you that much.

So bring on the beautiful weather, Ohio. I see sunshine and 70s on my radar for the next few days which couldn't make me any happier! Enjoy your weekend everyone!!

New Phone Photo Dump

Jared and I just recently upgraded our cell phones. Don't get too excited- they aren't the top-of-the-line iPhones or the newest Samsungs or anything... but they were upgrades for us nonetheless. We've had Boost Mobile for about 15 months now and overall don't have many complaints, if any. Now with our newer phones I have a legit, decent camera which is pretty exciting. Can you even call yourself a blogger if your cell phone camera sucks? I don't think so!

Since I'm on top of my photo organization, I had to quickly upload all the photos and videos from my old phone so they didn't just end up in the drawer on a dead phone never to be seen again. Today I bring you the photo dump of random photos of mine that didn't make it to Instagram or otherwise see the light of day. Okay, NOW you can get excited ;)

I realized I never documented my new hair cut. Again- I must not even be a blogger! I only got about an inch and a half cut off and some side bangs since mine had totally grown out. The reason it's a big deal is because last time I got a haircut prior to this one was July of last year. Yikes! Anyone else go that long between hair cuts??

Also- I'm loving my FitBit. I mentioned that Jared and I also upgraded to these from the freebie ones we'd been using and I'm glad we did. I'm struggling a little more every week to get my steps in but it's still a great reminder while I'm at work to get up more often and take breaks and stretch my legs.

A couple of other things I'm loving? This ridiculously cute outfit we were gifted last weekend. My kid is absolutely going to be dressed better than me at all times... it's not even funny how stylish he'll be!!

I tried out this new cleaning solution and so far I'm a big fan. It's more natural than some of the harsh, bleach-filled stuff I'd been using which is what I was looking for. It also smells really good; Jared compared the smell to a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, lol!

The aftermath of a baby shower is quite scary. I'm still sorting through everything we got and just barely starting the process of organizing it all. It's a fun process, don't get me wrong- but one that will take awhile. Hopefully I can get everything sorted prior to the next shower! I love that we have a good library started for him now. And that last picture I cheated on, I didn't take it on my phone but since it was the last picture of the baby shower it was too fun not to share ;)

What's hiding on your phone???

Games We Play

Jared and I are board game and puzzle people. That is no secret around these parts. I have always loved games and I'm so glad Jared enjoys them too. I loved them growing up and remember constantly begging my sister to play games with me. I also seem to remember her quitting halfway through the games ALL the time because she would get bored. (Hi, Brittney!) Once on my birthday I got a new board game. Littlest Pet Shop board game to be specific. My mom made Brittney promise to play an entire full game with me and I was ecstatic. Brittney was not. There is photographic proof of this very game and how fun it was:

But I'm getting off topic. Basically- I love games! The other day Emily mentioned Dutch Blitz on her blog and I had to politely let her know I am the reigning champion of that game. Someone introduced me to this game probably 6-7 years ago and it's one of the craziest card games ever.

Rummy is of course a classic card game, but one we love to play. We actually have a running tally of our game, we just play when we feel like it whether it's one round or seven rounds and continue to add to the score. We're racing to a million. No, seriously- we are playing a 1,000,000 point game and I can't wait to see who wins this one! We've had our tally going for about three years now.
Yep, we even play with the power goes out! ;)

Monopoly, Clue and Sequence are other classic favorites of ours, and ones we like to break out with our best friends whenever we have a game night. It's even better if your Monopoly is Disney-themed and/or your Clue is the one from The Office ;) It makes things a little easier when you lose or the games get heated. Aka- every single game.

A game we no longer play? Jared and I have spent many a date-night's playing Battleship, a game I regrettably got him one year for Christmas. You guys... I cannot beat him. At BATTLESHIP. I mean, isn't a lot of this game just up to chance?? Why can't I win?? Why can't I even come close to winning?? I have boycotted this game until further notice.

What are your favorite games to play? What should we add into our game night mix??

Feeling So Loved {Baby Shower}

Yesterday was our first baby shower and I cannot put into words how loved our little family feels right now. You always know it'll be a day with lots of gifts and love, but until you actually are there amidst all these people who are celebrating with you, I don't think you can fully grasp it all. It was overwhelming (in a good way) at times seeing all of these women gathered around to welcome in our little guy to the world. We were completely spoiled!

My MIL and SIL put together this shower for Jared's side of the family and some family friends as well. They went with a storybook theme and completely outdid themselves with the entire thing. It's also safe to say baby's library is officially stocked! We got so many great books from everyone. You can never have too many books amiright? ;)

The food was delicious and book-themed as well which was so adorable. I helped myself to seconds with no shame... You only get to be the pregnant chick for so long!!

We got so many wonderful gifts and received so many encouraging cards and words throughout the day. The women of Jared's family are pretty darn great if you ask me. I'm so thankful to have married into this big, fun-loving family. The day was just full of laughter and excitement. We got some really sweet handmade gifts, more clothes than I thought I'd ever see and a good stash of diapers and wipes started.
One of Jared's aunt put together this fun clothesline that I kept pulling out of a laundry basket- it was never ending!!

My mom was invited to come to this shower so it was fun having her there; and helpful when we had to cram our cars full in order to get all the goodies back to my house ;) My mom also made this awesome rag quilt for our little guy which I'm pretty obsessed with- it's SO perfect for his room with the pops of green and orange we are trying to work in!

I am excited to finally start organizing the nursery now. My goal is to find a place for all the gifts we got this weekend before we have baby shower round 2 in a couple of weeks with my family! How does one little person need SO much stuff? ;)

The Good Things

Y'all... it has been a week. And you know what I mean by A WEEK when I start my blog post off with a good y'all. It was just one of those weeks where something seemed to go wrong every day. Why does life seem so stressful sometimes? I know deep down I'm living a great life and have so much going for me and my family, but there are also times that it just gets overwhelming, ya know? I admit, I felt like a crazy person with my up and down emotions over the last few days but I guess that happens to the best of us from time to time. (Pregnant or otherwise!)

It was a little bit of everything... car problems, house repairs, money stresses, changes at work. Ugh, talk about a headache. I'll spare you most of the details, but sometimes life is just annoying and overwhelming even when in the back of your mind you know everything will be okay. So instead of dwelling on how many things went wrong this past week, I'm trying to hold my head up and think about all the good things that are going on around me.

-A sweet gift from Amanda. This book is so adorable, especially since the nursery is ocean themed! It arrived on the perfect day too where I just needed a little something to make me smile.

- Freddy's frozen vanilla custard with Oreo. Sometimes you just don't ask questions when your husband wants to pick up milkshakes before dinner.

- Coloring as a stress reliever. I find myself reaching for the colored pencils more and more often and I truly find it relaxing when I'm having a stressful moment.

- This morning I have my 30 week (well, 30w3d) appointment and those are generally a positive. It's nice to hear that everything is going as it should be so hopefully I get a good report again this morning. I'm officially at the point where I see my doctor every 2 weeks!

- Having some downtime to myself this weekend. Jared is having guys night and I am opting to stay in and relax and/or get some things done and/or get my nails done. We'll see where the night leads me but regardless, having some unscheduled time to myself will be glorious.

- Also this weekend is our first baby shower! I cannot describe how surreal that sounds/feels but I'm looking forward to celebrating our little man with Jared's side of the family.

-I won $100 Visa gift card through a Twitter party which was pretty stinkin' cool. While I wanted to treat myself to something, I used it for all practical things we need/will need. Boring maybe, but it was nice to not spend "my" money on household items. Prime Pantry for the win!

It's easy to lose sight of the good amongst the crazy, but I hope you can take the time to see it, too. Happy weekending!!!

Currently: April Edition

It's time again for one of my favorite monthly link-ups. The "Currently" posts are some of my favorite to write and favorite to read as well; I feel like I actually get to sit down with all my long-distance bloggy friends (and meet new ones!) and see what everyone else is up to this month. Link up with Anne and Jenna to join in the fun. Currently I am...

Making: Meal plans and actually sticking to them- I'm determined! I mentioned Monday that meal planning has taken a back seat in our house so I'm ready to get back on track. This work-week we're making Chicken Taco Chili, burgers, a Spinach/Veggie Quiche and we'll have plenty of leftovers for a night or two as well.

Wishlisting: A few things here and there. My birthday is this month but I've honestly pushed it aside a bit as my brain seems to be in baby mode at all times. People have been so generous already with baby gifts so it's hard to think of myself. I do have an Amazon wishlist I add to whenever I think of something random I'd like; otherwise, I'll forget. My most recent adds have been bamboo cutting boards and some more stoneware for our kitchen. You know you're old when...

Cleaning: Ev-er-y-thing. The spring cleaning bug has definitely hit us and Jared and I both are enjoying the process, oddly enough. We are tackling things little by little and continue to drop off donation boxes on a regular basis. I truly wonder if we'll ever get to a point where we're done donating? It's sad how much unused stuff has sat in our house for so long, but it's great to see it leave! PS- there are adorable spring cleaning stickers in our Etsy shop if you're interested!

Posting: As much as I can! Spring always seems to be my favorite time to blog. The changing weather (although often confusing in Ohio) and the flowers that are trying to bloom just signal to me that it's a new time of the year and my creativity seems to come out more. I've got dozens and dozens of posts in my draft but never enough time to do them all! ;) Hashtag blogger problems, right?

Tasting: Okay- confession session. Orange soda. Since I've tried to limit my caffeine while pregnant (I miss you Mt. Dew) I've been feeling water-ed out lately. I drink SO MUCH water every day that I need a little sweet treat from time to time, alright?! Orange soda- which I typically don't drink has been my go-to. Even though it's sugary at least it's caffeine-free.... Judge away.

Happy Wednesday everyone! What are you Currently up to??

Goals for April

Happy Monday and Happy Opening Day, everyone! You know football will forever have the #1 spot in my heart, but I still get excited for baseball season each year, too. I'm hopeful that Jared and I will be able to get to at least one game before we have a baby- we've been eyeing a couple of the fireworks nights coming up. Gotta' admit... Snapchat was on it with the fun filters for today! Even if I do look like a boy ;)

So while I'll be in my office downtown, watching everyone else head to the parade and the game- I figured I could tackle a few things ;) That's right- it's time for another edition of Erin's goals and updates for the month! Here's what I was able to accomplish in March:

Keep Walking. Overall I'm still hanging tough with this one as it's my main form of exercise these days. Not every week is perfect and there are definitely some days I just know I need to rest and that's okay! In general I'm still trying to aim for about 7,500 steps a day.

Blog Consistently. Success! I blogged more times in March than I had since last summer, so that felt good to actually plan for and execute.

Decorate for Easter. Check! We don't have a ton of Easter decor but I made sure anything we did have was proudly displayed for a couple of weeks. I just need to keep gradually adding items each year.

Host a March Madness party. Not quite... but sorta? We had 3 friends over one night to watch basketball and Jared whipped up some buffalo chicken dip for everyone. It was a fun night and I'm glad we did it, but let's just say my desire/energy to host anything is dwindling fast these days.

In baby-related goals we also checked off a few things:
✔ Finalized maternity leave details.
✔ Read/still reading a couple of great pregnancy books from the library.
✔ Got our chair all set up in the nursery.
✔Scheduled our hospital tour/classes.

There were a couple of things I didn't completely get to but I still feel like a lot got done in March! It truly is hard to believe it's April right now. The weather is playing tricks on me so I keep forgetting it's Spring in general but it really is! Here are my goals for the remainder of this very busy upcoming month:

Order one more photobook. 
I've been on a roll with these and just got my Disney one done which I am obsessed with! Realistically, having one more year's worth done and printed pre-baby would be a great feat. (PS- in case you missed it last week I wrote about my photo organization/process).

Meal Plan more efficiently.
In an effort to be completely honest let me just tell you all- I have sucked with meal plans since becoming pregnant. Whether it was no food sounded good, or only certain foods sounded good or I was hungry at weird times... I have been a wreck! There are have been far too many dinners out or last-minute trips to Kroger to pick up one or two items just to get a meal on the table. You all should seriously feel bad for Jared! ;) I'm determined to stick with our plans this month so things not only run more smoothly but so we stay on budget, too.

Start stocking the freezer.
Also in the food category but I want to start stashing away some freezer meals/items for after the baby's born. I want to really have a lot of good, healthy options so I'm planning on doing one freezer day in April and one in May as well. I'll do some old favorites of ours for sure, but want to add some new options (including breakfast foods!) into the mix. The easier food can be postpartum, the better.

Keep walking.
Jared and I upgraded our FitBit's last month from the Zip to the Charge HR and I feel extra motivated now that we have them. I'm still aiming for an average of 7,500 steps a day which I think is totally doable. It's really hard for me to get away from my desk at work (no matter how hard I try- seriously!) but with a treadmill at my house and the nicer weather/longer days- there should be no excuses.

Baby-Related Goals:
- Enjoy two baby showers and promptly write thank-you's. I cannot wait to celebrate our little guy with both sides of the family and friends this month.
- Decide on/schedule maternity photos. Still up in the air if we'll do these or not, but if so- we need to get them on the calendar ASAP!
- Finish designing art for the nursery. I'm a perfectionist and these are taking longer than they should, but I'm anxious to finish, print and frame these items.

What's on your to-do list this month? Leave mea  link if you post about your monthly goals, too!