Tuesday, July 26, 2016

27 Weeks



Here  we are at 27 weeks, stepping into third trimester territory. As much as I want this baby girl to take as long as she needs to grow, I am also dying to hold her. With every movement, I fall a little more in love. Oh sweet girl, I can't wait to meet you. 

+The nursery is coming together better than I imagined. I can't wait for the crib to arrive so I can finish decorating! More pictures to come once it's all set.
+Heartburn shows up every evening. (If you have any remedies for this, please share!)
+Baby girl's wardrobe is quickly growing but shh, don't tell her daddy. 
+My rings are shrinking, or my fingers might be turning into sausages. The jury is out. 

-B

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

25 Weeks


Holy moly, we are more than halfway done with baking this little babe and I couldn't be more excited! Here's what is happening/happened this week: 

+The nursery is underway.
+The cutest baby clothes are quickly piling up. 
+My clothes are getting tighter, like much much tighter.
+She is kicking more each day (praise the Lord!) 
+Many of my family members got to feel her move on Sunday night.
+We decided on a pediatrician. 
+We signed up for a hospital tour. 

-B

We Are Expecting!



It all still feels like a dream. After trying to grow our family for three years and losing three precious babies along the way, our prayer has been answered. As I type this, I am still in utter amazement that I was chosen to be this little one's mama. It is such a humbling experience, one that I will never take for granted. 

Back in February, I was preparing to start a round of Clomid and like every month, I decided to pee on a stick -- just to see. And the faintest of faint lines appeared, so I naturally I texted a picture to one of my dearest friends and we both agreed it was just my imagination. So, the next day, I took another one. It was a little darker but not much. I repeated this for about four days until I saw a very definite blue line. I finally let my darling husband in on this very exciting and scary secret. Once we agreed it was definitely positive, I rang the doctor and a process I was oh so familiar with began. Blood tests were scheduled for every 48 hours to see if my HCG levels were rising. Well, here's the thing... in the past, they always went down. So when they called me and told me they had more than doubled, I barely believed them. From that point forward, everything has been textbook. At my 12 week appointment, my doctor looked at my and said, "At this point, you can enjoy your pregnancy like you never had any issues in the past." And just like that, I felt like I had graduated from a prison of heartbreak and disappointment. 

While, for the most part, this pregnancy has been "textbook," I find myself fighting fear more often than I would like. Some days I just feel like it's too good to be true. But I am reminded that this little girl is a gift from God. Yes, you read that right... it's a GIRL! 

My heart is so very full and I am counting down the days until October. In the meantime, I am obsessing over every little and not-so-little kick, sweet baby shoes, and what color to paint the nursery. I can't believe this is my life, and goodness, I wouldn't change a thing. 

God is good and I am so humble and grateful that I am able to experience this gift. 

Thank you to all of those who have prayed with me, for me and for this sweet baby. I believe whole-heartedly she is a miracle and direct answer to prayer. 

XO, 
B

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday

Even Hollywood's greatest script writer couldn't have crafted a better Saturday.

In honor of Mother's Day, my family, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, all gathered at my grandparents house to celebrate my Abuela. She is truly an admirable woman. While we often need an interpreter because her Spanish is about as good as my English, I hope she knows the profound impact she has had on me. My grandparents moved to the United States in the late sixties from Cuba. The story of what they went through to come here is remarkable and for another day. Leaving many of their loved ones behind, they came to America with nothing but big dreams and full hearts. It wasn't easy by any means, sacrifices were made, but they saw many dreams come true. And while my grandparents' bodegas excelled, their riches weren't there. My Abuela's biggest prize was her family. She has loved her husband, her children and grandchildren with a fierce passion. 

My youngest cousin whipped out the old photos, solid move. And we all huddled around the back porch at my grandparents' farm and went through hundreds of photos. Pictures from Cuba, pictures of family and friends, the stories flooded us, jokes were made, and laughter filled the air.

As I reflect on this day, I can't help but smile. The Lord has blessed me and my family beyond measure. I am so very thankful. 

Like I said, the best script writer couldn't make this up.

-B




Friday, February 19, 2016

Learning to Love Your Body after It Betrays You


While I wish this post was about the size of my jeans, it's not. It's not about what people see or how I feel in a bathing suit, it's about being betrayed over and over again.

After each loss, everyone assures you that it's "not your fault." And while it usually comes from a place of grace, it has been a one of the more difficult comments to stomach. It's my body rejecting the one thing it was designed to do. What do you mean it's not my fault? 

In my darkest moments, I find myself thinking, "Chris could have a baby if he was with a different woman, a woman who is not broken," or "My body will never be able to carry a baby full term." The thoughts are scary and sad but most of the time, I can push them to the back of my mind. 

Somewhere between grief and pushing negative thoughts out of my head, I have learned to love my body. And yes, it has failed me and it may be to blame for my consecutive miscarriages but this body, it's the only I got, I can't trade it in. 

So we have called a truce. 

While this body is not perfect it has allowed me to see beautiful faces, to hear I love you's, to run and travel to remarkable places. I have gone diving and climbed mountains in this body. I have cried and belly laughed in this body. I have scraped  knees and broken bones in this body. But most importantly, this faulty body, has made me a mother, three times. 

For all of these things and reasons not listed, I have trained myself to love the body God gave me, with all of its imperfections and flaws. Of course there are things I would change if I could, like my uterus, I will continue to choose to embrace every inch of this 26 year old body and give thanks for all that it has allowed me to do. 

-B

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hawaii Part I

This past December Chris and I found ourselves on a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. From the fresh fruit to the beautiful green mountains, Hawaii is a little slice of heaven. 


While we were there, we had the privilege of doing a sunrise photo session with Cait Schlabach Photography. Besides our wedding photos, which are less than great, we have no "real" photos of us. Don't get me wrong, we have selfies for days. But we wanted something a little more special to hang on the wall. I never knew when I booked this session, that we would be capturing some of our fondest memories. 

Cait produced the most beautiful photos and was incredible to work with, I truly couldn't be more thankful. 

If you happen to be visiting Hawaii or are lucky enough to call one of those magical islands home, do yourself a favor, contact Cait and allow her to create a gallery of your most cherished moments.




Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Best Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe



The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am a chocolate chip cookie enthusiast. There are few things I love more than a gooey, chocolate-y chip cookie. To be honest, I could eat the dough and be completely satisfied, which may be why I love this recipe so much. Even after you bake the cookies, they still have that perfect doughy taste. They're phenomenal, trust me. 

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed lightly
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (or more) cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325F 
2. Mix flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl
3. In a separate bowl whisk butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in egg then yolk and finally, vanilla. 
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients with spatula. 
5. Fold in chocolate chips
6. Cover dough and chill for at least 2 hours (this is key!)
7. Remove dough from fridge and defrost for 10 minutes
8. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (wax paper works too) 
9. Roll dough into tall balls, about 3 tablespoons of dough each
10. Bake 11-12 minutes and then remove from oven and allow cookies to bake on the sheet for 10 more minutes.
11. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool (or just dig in, no judgement here) 

Enjoy! 

-B