Monday, October 10, 2016

A Nursery Tour

Our baby girl is due to arrive any day now and the final touches have been made to her sweet nursery!  Holy nesting, friends.

I am beyond happy with the way everything came together. I searched high and low for the perfect mobile and could not find something that fit in her space. My (super!) talented friend handmade the most beautiful floral mobile and it truly is my favorite thing in her room. 

Now, we wait. Let's go, baby girl! 

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. 


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. 


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. 


Saturday, May 7, 2016


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.


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. 


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. 

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) 



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Waiting on God

It has been 3 years but often times feel like 300 since my husband and I have been trying to grow our family. In early 2013, a little more than a year of being married, we decided that it was time to have a baby. We had no idea about the roller coaster we just boarded. 

In April, we found out that we were pregnant and shortly after lost the baby. Grieving this loss was a very long process, I struggled with all the common questions: Why me? Was it something I did? Of course, the only answer I found was to wait and trust in the Lord during this difficult trial. 

After 3 months, we started trying again. A year and a half passed and we still weren't pregnant so we began fertility testing. My blood work, my very expensive blood work may I add, was fine. There were no real issues that they could see. However, after many ultrasounds my physician spotted a large mass on my uterus. So we scheduled surgery. Right before my surgery, I found out that I was finally pregnant, naturally. WHAT! I was beyond thrilled. Unfortunately, this baby went home to be with the Lord and their sibling. I was devastated but in a way had restored hope, I was able to get pregnant on my own, praise the Lord. Well, we moved forward with the surgery. They found two polyps and the mass tested positive for a fibroid but was also filled with endometriosis. It's very confusing, the human body is incredible, that's all. After the 3 month waiting period we were given the OK to start trying again. 3 months rolled around and well my husband was sent on deployment for the next 8 months, bad timing to say the least. 

He finally came home in September. My doctor prescribed me clomid but we had a trip planned to Hawaii so we decided to wait until December to take it. About two weeks before our trip, I was having lots of cramping, I instantly knew what was happening. I went to the ER and told them I believed I was having an ectopic pregnancy. By the end of the week, my trip had been cancelled and I had been given two doses of methotrexate. Hear me out, sitting in the Labor and Delivery Unit and being given a shot that ends the life in your body has to be the most unnatural thing a woman can go through. I lost it. I honestly don't remember much from that night besides that without my husband I couldn't have made it through the next few days. This loss felt different. I felt hopeless and empty. I felt like the one thing I was designed to do, I couldn't. I felt robbed and angry. The list goes on. 

The good news is this, the Lord never gave up on me. I was sinking but as soon as I put my eyes back on him, I began to feel his presence and power. My hope began to restore. I found an online infertility group that is Christian-centered, I got back into the word of God, and did a lot of praying and soul searching. 

I know that God is not done with us. I believe that I will be a mother eventually. I don't think that I would have this desire if that was not in God's plan for me. However, His timing is perfect, whether I understand it or not. 

So I continue to pray. Seeking the Lord's will and searching for a clear answer about my next steps in this journey. 

If there are any woman struggling with infertility that would like to join a christian-centered group, please feel free to leave your email below and I would be happy to share the information with you. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Sunday Recipe: Quick & Easy Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

Almost every Sunday night, our family gathers at my mom's house for dinner. It's always the perfect end to a busy weekend. Since this little tradition has started, I have been given the honor of dessert duty, which I truly love. It gives me an excuse to bake something unhealthy and test out new recipes on a very bias audience. This weekend was hectic and time was limited so I whipped up a quick and easy monkey bread. The best thing about this recipe is that any leftovers can be enjoyed in the morning with a warm cup of coffee! 

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks of butter
2-3 tsp. cinnamon 
3 cans of biscuits
1 cup of sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine white sugar with cinnamon in gallon ziplock bag and shake well
3. Cut biscuits into fours
4. Put each piece of biscuit into the cinnamon/sugar mixture
5. Spread coated biscuit pieces out in bundt pan evenly 
6. Melt butter with brown sugar
7. Bake for 35 minutes
8. Allow 30 minutes to cool before putting it on a serving dish
9. ENJOY! 

Notes: I cut off a small piece of butter from one of the sticks and coat the bundt pan with it to reduce the bread from sticking to the sides. 


Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Fresh Start

Hey there, 2016!

While there were many sweet moments in 2015 that I hope to remember forever, I couldn't be more excited to welcome a new year and a new blog. 

I started The Story of Him & Her shortly after Chris and I got married in 2011 to share mini-life updates with our friends and family. So much has changed in the past four years and that little space just didn't suit me anymore. It is time for a fresh start, a new place to document bits and pieces of my life.

Thanks for joining me on this exciting new journey!