Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Day 2015

Knowing that this would be our last Christmas kidless, we wanted to make sure we saw as many family members possible in one day!

We started the day off around 7 a.m. at our house.  I've always said that we will wake up on Christmas morning in our own bed and with a baby on the way, this is more important to me than ever! Stryker got his annual big chew bone and toys along with some fresh tennis balls.

He was pretty satisfied.

We all know that I am not the best wrapper in the world, so this is the best he got this year!

We went back and forth opening presents from each other.  D.J. did good this year.  Some Bath and Body Works, Victoria Secret, TOMS, and most excitingly a full interior detail of my car! Perfect timing before baby Brown makes his arrival in March!

D.J. got lots of jackets - sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts - you name it, he got it! He got a Lifeproof phone case, a football, Redskins flag and more!

 Around 8 a.m. or so, we drove over to my parents and opened up all the presents Santa brought us there! Nana, Uncle David and Anne were all there to watch us open gifts this year too. Julie's big present was a Kate Spade watch. Bobby got money for a ski trip, D.J. got a ticket to Carrie Underwood with me, and I got Christmas dishes and a watering system for my plants!

Before we drove up to the Brown's for the weekend, we made a quick stop at my cousins down the street to see their awesome trampoline.  They were having a BLAST! Notice what everyone is wearing - looks like summer time! 75 on Christmas was such a treat, but we are all ready for the colder weather!

We got on the road to D.J.'s house around 12:30 p.m. and had a great weekend up there.  Saturday was the annual holiday party at their house.  We ate lots of food, watched the Redskins clinch a playoff spot, did some after Christmas shopping in Fredericksburg and relaxed on Sunday before heading home.

I am so glad I decided to take the three days of work off this week.  I was not ready for the holidays to be over and needed to spend some time doing nothing and preparing for baby's arrival! Lots to do before March!!

Hope you all have a great New Years and ring in 2016 with the ones you love!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Our Christmas Eve Celebration

With this Christmas being our last without the babe, I was just a little more into the holidays and wanting to be around family.  Everything will change soon, and being able to share special moments with all the ones we love most was even more meaningful this year!

We always go to church on Christmas Eve.  Mass starts at 4 p.m. but it really just starts when the church is full, which was around 3:30 p.m. this year.  We were back at the house around 5, took some family photos (thanks to self timer) and waited around before heading to my aunts for dinner!

Gotta love this guy.

The girls wanted to take a picture since the boys were not in the photo mood.

Before heading to my aunts, we exchanged gifts from the siblings.  It's always a tradition that we exchange gifts the night before Christmas with each other.   My sister got me the most beautiful necklace with the baby's initial on it and my brother knows me well - gift certificate to the manicure place I love!

Christmas Eve dinner at my aunts house is always a big event.  This year we had over 25 people for dinner. My aunt does an amazing job cooking for everyone - turkey, ham, casseroles, desserts - the whole works!


After dinner, we celebrated my brothers 24th birthday a few days late and ended up leaving there around 9 p.m. to read Christmas books to my cousins next door.

I was in bed around 11 p.m. and the presents were all wrapped and ready under the tree! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Annual Christmas Party

This weekend was another whirlwind for us.  Saturday started off with a last minute breakfast with work friends before heading to the school for the annual Alumni Basketball Game.  

I got back around 1 p.m. and had a lot to do to get the house ready for our holiday party with friends! 
Vacuum, mop, laundry, clean the bathroom.... omg... I was exhausted.  I finally sat down around 5 p.m. and the thought of entertaining friends seemed impossible.  Carrying a child is hard work!!

I quickly threw on a tacky sweater, embraced the exhaustion and loved every minute of seeing our friends! The party was smaller this year than last, but D.J., my little elf, had a great fire going and we had lots of delicious food to snack on.

It's crazy how fast our friends have all grown up - houses, babies, boyfriends and more! We are so fortunate to have friends that have been a part of our lives for such a long time.

Stryker even had his tacky sweater on.  He wasn't so sure about Julie taking up a spot on his bed!

The girls around the tree.  So good to see all these lovely faces and missed the ones that couldn't make it this year!

And the boys! So glad everyone was able to enjoy the party!

Sunday we just took it easy and napped during the entire football game! Only 4 more days till Santa will be visiting! I hope everyone is on the nice list this year :)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

...Holiday Party Inspirations is the theme for today's post! D.J. and I are hosting our annual Holiday Party tomorrow so here's some of the ideas I have to incorporate the holidays into the party more this year!

one | stovetop potpourri
Christina from Carolina Charm posted this amazing looking stovetop potpourri that I couldn't resist trying this year. It looks like it's going to smell amazing!

two | mantel with garland

When we got our Christmas tree this year, I knew I wanted to get some of the clippings for our mantel.  I had been loving on the way these inspiration mantels looked and hoped to make ours look as festive!

three | drinks

With this human growing inside me, the typical punch with a splash of alcohol isn't going to work for me this year.  So I've been eyeing this crock pot hot chocolate idea.  Throw some marshmallows on the table and there ya have it folks - a delicious, warm drink for the pregnant mamas!

four | food
I have been craving anything and everything sweet, so you know I'm looking at attempting to make something like this...

five | happy holidays

As we are only 1 week from Christmas, I want to wish you all a blessed holiday with the ones you love most! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Baby Brown - Week 25

How far along: 25 and counting...

Due date: March 27, 2016

Baby Size: napa cabbage

Weight gain: 15 give or take. Docs say I should be gaining a pound a week now! 

Maternity Clothes: praise the inventor of maternity clothes.  I've noticed though, that a lot of the shirts I have are dark in color, so a khaki pant or lighter color is going to be needed soon.

Stretch Marks: nope!!

Sleep: got a body pillow and I can't figure out if I like it yet.  Sometimes I think it wakes me up because it's in my way, but other times I love it because I can fit it under my bell and between my legs.  #pregnancyproblems 

Gender: BOY!!!

Name: holding off until after the holidays! 

Movement: allll the time now and loving every movement.  Soon I'm sure I will be saying something else, but being able to see him move all the time and feel him during the day is so amazing. 

Best moment this week: Getting the nursery painted, for sure! It's starting to look like a real room and I cannot wait to show you guys the finished product. Still a long way from that, but making progress!

Looking forward to: the holidays with this big 'ole belly of mine!

Husband is: loving the growing bump. I still can't believe how big it's getting! 

Food cravings: the norm - bagels, pop tarts, ice cream and eggos!

Anything making you queasy or sick: pulled pork, Wise Onion Rings and red bull! - and of course, our Christmas dinner has pulled pork as the main dish. EEK!

Labor Signs: nope! 

Missing Most: nothing that can't wait

Symptoms: nothing new this week.

Nursery: Got it painted and the closet all cleaned out, which were both big projects! Now the next big items to do are the dresser and finding a table to go next to the chair!

Belly Button in or out? flat and shallow, but had my first experience of an "outie".  I was trying to lean up and when I tightened to sit up, it popped out! It was crazy, but still flat for the most party.

Wedding rings on or off? on, and haven't noticed any swelling.

Mood: feeling good! It's crazy how fast time is flying by, the third trimester is quickly approaching!

Workouts: ohhhhh yes - I have been getting some workouts in! Saturday, my mom and I hand delivered our neighbors Christmas cards, so we walked about 2 miles.  Then, since I am the card holder at Planet Fitness, for D.J. to go, I have to go with him.  We have been getting up every day at 6:30 and going to the gym! I only walk a mile and stretch, but I feel like I am getting so much workout in! This is hard stuff with 15 extra pounds!! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

25 during 25 Update | | September - November Update

Ok so lately the blog has been all about baby bumps and nursery plans, but I figured that with my 26th birthday quickly approaching I should check in on this list and see where I'm at.  So without dragging this along any further, lets see how many things I need to do in the next two months! 

  1. Run a 10k - DONE! 
  2. Do a blog give-a-way
  3. Write a guest post - YES!! Read more about Hannah and Cy Sneed right here! (Since this post, Cy and Hannah have started their next adventure in Florida at the High A level!)
  4. Shoot a gun DONE! Over Thanksgiving, all the guys had their guns ready for hunting season, so we were able to test them out! I shot a hand gun and another gun, I'm not sure what it was called!! 
  5. Go on a spontaneous trip  
  6. See sunsets in 10 different cities - Athens, GA from inside Sanford Stadium |  Lynchburg, VA from the skyboxes at City Stadium | Myrtle Beach, SC from Field | Salem, VA | 
  7. Do a girls weekend trip
  8. Have a house party - hosting our annual Holiday Party on the 19th, so this should be checked off! 
  9. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanit
  10. Buy a camera and learn how to use it
  11. Go to a new state - Got a few new states in this past year - officially made at rip to Maryland.  Added Nevanda and Connecticut as well! 
  12. Host a shower for someone  Loved being able to shower one of my best friends! Hope more showers happen in the future - wedding or baby!
  13. Run a 5k in every month of the year, at least 5 of them being a race - runs- Jan | Feb | Mar | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov  Guess you can tell what I haven't been doing while pregnant!!! 
  14. Buy a new computer
  15. Write 5 thank you letters to companies that I use their products
  16. Cash in a whole milk jar of coins to savings - jar is getting nice and juicy!
  17. Tip 100% of my bill - DONE! Zinburger in Charlottesville, VA
  18. Become CPR certified
  19. Learn how to drive stick shift
  20. Go to an NFL game - probably not going to happen. 
  21. Do a 7-day smartphone detox - Planning on doing this the week of December 28- Jan 3! 
  22. Mail care packages to each of my siblings
  23. Send my nana flowers out of the blue. 
  24. Take professional photographs with D.J. and Stryker - scheduled for Febuary with the beautiful and talented maternity photographer we have chosen!
  25. Save $20 for every one of these that I complete - $140 in the milk jar with coins. 
So not too terrible, but I need to get a few more planned out before January 14th rolls around!

Monday, December 14, 2015


It always seems like there is never enough time in the weekend to get everything accomplished. With crazy busy week schedules, D.J. and I still needed to get a few more things checked off our list before the holidays get here.

Friday night I racked in some extra cash and babysat while D.J. earned major points in the husband category.  I gave him the option of either painting the baby room or finishing up our Christmas shopping.  I'll let the picture tell you what he ended up doing...

THE NURSERY IS PAINTED!!! It's still coming along and have a long way to go, but progress is being made!

Saturday morning I took a 2 mile walk with my mom and delivered our neighbors Christmas cards.  My dad came over to take some measurements for the new and improved closet he is working on in the nursery.  Right now the closet is just a shelf up top and a rod, so I wanted to make it a little more storage-friendly. Something along these lines...

Saturday afternoon, my mom and I stopped by a jewelry party they were having to raise money for a friend that passed away earlier this fall.  I was hoping to find something for my mother-in-law, but I didn't see anything that I thought she would like...or more like I am too nervous she wouldn't like it! I scored these awesome earrings for myself though! 

We tried to do some Christmas shopping while D.J.'s car was getting cleaned, but all we founds was a blazer that Nana got D.J. for his birthday.  I do have to say, this guy cleans up pretty nicely!! 

Sunday came quick after what seemed like a crazy Saturday.  We went to church, relaxed, went to the annual Fashion Show at the school, holiday party at my aunts and FINALLY got a Christmas tree! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and looking forward to the last week of kids at the school for me! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby Brown - Week 24

How far along: 24 weeks!

Due date: March 27, 2016

Baby Size: eggplant - never had that before!

Weight gain: probably around 13-15 pounds up so far.

Maternity Clothes: thank goodness for maternity clothes.  I also had to get some new sports bras and have been wearing them a lot to work as well.  They are just so much more comfortable!

Stretch Marks: nope, but dry skin and winter is not helping my itchy skin! 

Sleep: is meh... not the best, but some nights I get lucky and sleep through the whole night.  Baby boy seems to be awake when I'm trying to go to sleep, so that's fun. Then when I lay on my side, I just feel like my belly is pulling down so hard.  I'm going to try and used a body pillow and see how that works.

Gender: BOY!!!

Name: yea, yea. I know I've been a bad blogger lately.  I promise to do a post on baby's name soon! 

Movement: I feel like we had a huge jump from week 22/23 to week 24.  Movements aren't just "flutters" or kicks anymore. They are full on flips, punches, elbow rolls, and belly jiggles from the outside.  The movements catch me off guard sometimes and make me feel like I'm on a rollercoaster. When he first started moving, I had to press hard on my stomach to feel it, now I don't have to touch it at all and can feel him in multiple places at once! It is seriously the coolest/strangest/amazing feeling I have ever experienced. 

Best moment this week: We had our 24 week doctors appointment on Friday last week.  Baby boy is still a boy and measuring in the 90th percentile! His arms and legs are two weeks ahead of my due date and the remaining measurements of the anatomy scan that the tech couldn't get last time look great! Healthy baby boy in there!

We also went to Richmond this past weekend and registered at Pottery Barn Kids and Target.  Registering is hard stuff.  I just registered for stuff and if it doesn't all match or look good when it comes together, I will return it and get the right stuff! 

Looking forward to: painting the nursery, showers, and CHRISTMAS!

Husband is: still super excited about having a boy.  In the ultrasound appointment, baby had his arms in a flex position and he was so proud that his boy is already big like daddy!

Food cravings: the norm - bagels, pop tarts, ice cream and added eggos into the list this week! 

Anything making you queasy or sick: pulled pork, Wise Onion Rings and red bull!

Labor Signs: nope! 

Missing Most: nothing that can't wait

Symptoms: does feeling like a whale count as a symptom??

Nursery: Trying to get the painting done this weekend and all the rest of the junk cleared out.  I think we came up with a plan for the dresser/changing table.  Growing up, I used the dresser below.  I think with a sand job, paint and some new handles, this baby would fit perfectly in his room! Thoughts?!

Belly Button in or out? flat and shallow

Wedding rings on or off? on, and haven't noticed any swelling.

Mood: I seriously love being pregnant.  I've had some mood swings though - stressed about baby's room, stressed about holiday shopping, registering.  But nothing a little ice cream can't fix!

Workouts: nothing... need to get back on this!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Baby Brown - Week 22 and 23

*you can see a little peek at the nursery color we are going with!

How far along: 22 and 23 weeks

Due date: March 27, 2016

Baby Size: a head of lettuce!

Weight gain: I think I've hit the 10+ pound mark.  The pounds have been coming on fast the pat few weeks.

Maternity Clothes: oh yes, and thanks to two sweet friends, I now have enough close to start having a "maternity wardrobe" and not wearing my regular clothes.

Stretch Marks: nope, but feeling some stretching.  Still lathering up every day.

Sleep: is so-so...waking up every night around 3 or so to tinkle and rotating back and forth between sides all night.  Poor husband is dealing with the sheets and covers being pulled in all directions and pretty much off the bed by the morning. 

Gender: BOY!!!

Name: we have a name and have told our families! I will do a separate post about the name soon :)

Movement: feeling him move all the time now! loving the night time movements right before I go to bed.  I find myself not wanting to fall asleep when he is being active.  DJ has a love-hate relationship with the kicking.  He still can't grasp the fact that there is a living baby in there kicking me from the inside out! 

Best moment this week: I found a super cute blanket, pillow and paint color for the nursery on Sunday after Thanksgiving at TJ Maxx.  Finally feel like I have a direction.

Looking forward to: Heading to Richmond this weekend to register at PBKids and Target, baby showers, the holidays, and moving forward on the nursery!

Husband is: being awesome.  He got the paint the other day, takes my bumpdate pictures when he is home, snuggles every morning with the babe and is busy coaching JV Basketball at the school with my brother.

Food cravings: bagels, pop tarts, fruit, water!! - I can tell when I don't drink enough water during the day.

Anything making you queasy or sick: other than pulled pork, my nose has been in OVERDRIVE this past few weeks.  So after my last bumpdate post, DJ got on me about not changing the pulled pork to anything else.  I haven't changed it because nothing has really sent me over the edge where I can't even think about that food....until the drive home from Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving.  DJ got Wise Onion Rings and a red bull from the gas station and I had my head out the window until he was finished.  I seriously thought I was going to throw up.  It was terrible.

Labor Signs: nope, and not thinking about this!

Missing Most: hot tubs, hot yoga, being able to sleep comfortably....

Symptoms: we did some walking in the woods over Thanksgiving and I finally figured out what "round ligament pain" was.  It almost feels like a cramp in my lower abs, but stretching at the same time.  Also having some serious lower back pain and just a big belly! 

Nursery: Here is the blanket and pillow I grabbed from TJ Maxx! With a little hint on his name :)

Belly Button in or out? in but definitely getting flatter.

Wedding rings on or off? on, but getting annoying at times.

Mood: Feeling great! Can't complain about anything!

Workouts: got a few walks in over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Questions for mamas: Did y'all get your babies anything for Christmas when they weren't even born?!