This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea

December 29, 2014

Bumpdate - 38 Weeks

38 Week Bumpdate
photo courtesy of Kate Weinstein

Oh hey! Remember me. Oh ya, I blog here every once in awhile. Just hanging out and being pregnant over here. We’re full turn ya’ll. 38 weeks! Woot! Woot! Actually, 38 weeks and 3 days to be exact, but who’s counting. I mean, this babe is only supposed to be here in 11 – count ‘em - 11 days. Let’s cross our fingers on that one. Like seriously cross and say a prayer. Of course, we totally wouldn't mind if this little bundle decided to show up teensy bit early. This mama likes things early or on time, and I’m sincerely hoping that our little one doesn’t take after Chase and show up a bit late. I’m prepping myself for it all at this point.

On that note, are we ready? I would say I’m prepared. Probably over prepared actually. The nursery is done. The car seat is installed. The stroller is ready to rock. Our hospital bags are packed and ready to head out the door. We’ve taken the birthing and breast-feeding courses. I’ve read about a million mom-blog posts about birth, bringing baby home and body post baby. And now, I just wait. Which of course is probably one of the greatest lessons in patience I have ever had to endure. And I consider myself to be a patient person, but I feel like life is constantly trying to teach me to be more and more patient. I feel like I’m getting ready for the biggest and best party of my life but have no idea what time it’s going to start. It's exceptionally wonderful and complete torture all at once.

Pregnancy since my last update has been a bit more challenging. Early on I couldn’t understand why women are so ready to be done being pregnant. My pregnancy had truly been so easy and blissful. And in some ways it still is. I love every moment this baby moves in my belly, and I couldn’t love my bump more. But friends, these last few weeks, they’ve been tough. Heartburn, swelling, fatigue, SI joint and round ligament pain, tiny baby feet giving little kicks under my ribs. Yup, all those “pregnancy symptoms” that I so joyously ignored for 7-8ish month came roaring in all at once about 3 weeks ago. I’ve been trying to stay positive and upbeat and grateful to have this baby in my tummy but that doesn’t mean that some days it isn’t really tough.  I know that these aches, pains and discomfort are fleeting and in just a few weeks the swelling will be gone and I’ll have my baby to hold in my arms. And when the moments get really rough, I try to breath through it, focusing and telling myself, “Your body was made for this You can do this. Stay strong.” While it doesn’t fix everything, it does actually help. 

So, now I’m afraid this baby will forget it’s supposed to come out. My logical and very intelligent husband reminds me that the baby doesn’t get a choice and that it will come out no matter what. But I’m so ready, so ready to hold this baby in my arms and love on it. I’m ready for the challenges (or at least I think I am?) of being a new parent and sharing in this adventure with my husband. It’ll just be the two of us for the first few weeks, depending on when this babe decides to arrive. And as scary as that sounded early on, I think it’ll be good for the 3 of us to get to know one another. For us to get to share this special time together and form our family. But I really can't wait to share Baby D with our family and friends and welcome it to the world!

And don't worry, whenever baby decides to arrive, I'll make sure you all have a heads up whether it's here or on Facebook or Instagram. Until then, may you all have a fantastic New Year and thanks for a wonderful 2014! Here's to a fabulous 2015!

November 24, 2014

Last Minute Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Delicious Thanksgiving Sage and Sausage Stuffing | Recipe by

Remember when I used to be a food blogger? Me, too. Last year I was killing it on the Thanksgiving front and posted some seriously delish family recipes. This year...well, you know the impending baby and crazy schedules, and such. We' will be spending Thanksgiving sans family once more but we'll be amongst some dear friends. I'll be making my amazing Sage and Sausage Stuffing (pictured above) and these phenomenal Soft Brioche Pull-Apart Buns.

Just in case you were perusing the Internets and looking for some last minute Thanksgiving items to share on your holiday menu, I figured I was share with you all of my Thanksgiving recipes from last year! You can't go wrong with any of these. Promise.

Fancy Green Bean Casserole | Recipe by

Seriously phenomenal Fancy Green Bean Casserole. I will be making a small portion of this for us to have around the house just so I can eat the leftovers. YUM!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie Thanksgiving Dessert | Recipe at

And this Nantucket Cranberry Pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Yes, please.

Leftover Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Beer Cheese Soup | Recipe by

And, if you're looking for something incredible to make with all of your Thanksgiving leftovers, then look no further than this Mashed Potato Beer Cheese Soup. Sooooo good. I may just have to make a batch of mashed potatoes so we can have some of this around the when Baby D decides to make an appearance.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. Hope your holiday is filled with fabulous food, friends and family! Much love!

November 13, 2014

Bumpdate - 31 Weeks

How is it already 31 weeks? Actually, tomorrow it’ll be 32. 32 weeks! 8 months pregnant! What the? I posted the picture above earlier this week on Instagram and Facebook when we hit the 60-day mark (and sorry for the low quality iPhone photos but I've been terrible about getting pictures with the DSLR). The weeks have been flying and I usually get to Thursday and all I can think is how the heck did another week go by?

Things around here have been good, and as you can see from the photos this babe finally decided to make an appearance. I’ve officially got a bump (yippee!) and oh man, do I love this belly. And you guys, I know I’m a rare breed but I really don’t mind people asking me about my pregnancy or when I’m due. Everyone I’ve spoken with so far has been beyond nice and supportive. I haven’t had anyone drop any horror stories on me yet or too much unwelcome advice. And, occasionally, when people give me the “big eyes” and say things like, “oh...get ready…your life is about to change forever”, I try to take a deep breath and smile and nod and remind myself that they’re just trying to be helpful and share their experience. Because I know our life will change and it won’t be the way it was before, but you know what? I think we’re ready. We’re ready for this new adventure. No, life won’t ever be like what it was before. It will certainly be challenging and scary and different and by no means can we predict how we will feel when this babe shows up, but I’m okay with all of that. I’m okay with it being different because if there’s anything in life I’ve been prepared for these last 10 years, it’s change.

Outside of a few aches and pains, the occasional heartburn, and overwhelming emotions from the surge of hormones, I’ve really enjoyed being pregnant. Yep, I’m one of those women. I love that I’m so connected to this little person growing inside me. Sorry to sound so mushy but I think it’s pretty incredible that my body has given me the ability to house, nourish and carry our babe for the last 8 months. It’s pretty spectacular, if you ask me.

Since my last update, I’ve had two phenomenal baby showers - one thrown by my best friends in Iowa and another hosted by some of my dearest family friends in Idaho. I don’t use this word often, or lightly, but I felt so incredibly blessed at these celebrations. It was definitely a surreal moment and I had to keep reminding myself that these showers were for me and my Baby D. I’m not sure if I still comprehend that but the love and support I felt from everyone for this little bundle was beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Logistically, I feel like we're in a good place. The nursery is almost finished. We’re just waiting on a few last minute décor items. We attended a birthing class last weekend and I’ve got a breast-feeding course in a few weeks. I’ve only read one parenting book so far, Bringing Up Bébé, and I’ve got a few borrowed baby DVD’s I need to sit down and watch. The car seat arrived yesterday. Holy moly! This stuff is getting real! We’re still waiting to collect a few last minute baby things, like did I mention my kids doesn’t have any pants? I’ve got copious amount of onesies but no pants for my kiddo. So, I’m holding out for the holiday sales for just a few more weeks so I can stock pile some baby leggings. I do, however, have two adorable snowsuits for this Wisconsin babe because with our luck Baby D will show up the day the Polar Vortex decided to return.

Other than that, this baby is moving like crazy these days and I’ve been eating everything in sight. Especially breakfast food. Just can’t get enough breakfast food and I want it all.the.time. Golden Grahams cereal, breakfast sandwiches on bagels or English muffins with all the fixings and delicious sausage, doughnuts especially maple and super soft and fluffy glazed and quiche and chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls. All of the above, please. 

Oh, and I’ve got this thing for hot chocolate lately, too. I stock piled Caotina hot chocolate when I moved away from Switzerland many years ago, and I just found a bag of it hidden away in my parent’s pantry when I was back in Idaho. You bet I’ve been drinking this stuff like crazy. It’s the best. If you ever find it, buy ALL of it. Nothing in the States compares.

Early on I couldn’t comprehend wanting pregnancy to end, and it’s not that I do because I’m really trying to savor and take in every moment of this process but I’ve found myself so excited to hold Baby D in my arms. To actually meet MY baby and hold it close to my heart. I can’t wait to see what he or she looks like and I’m dying to know what color hair this babe is going to have. I know these last few weeks are really special, as it’s the last time it’ll just be Chase and me. And while our schedules are going to be crazy during the holidays, I’m trying to soak in every last moment where we can just veg on the couch watching movies or sleep in past 8 am.

And on a side note, thank you to everyone who’s still reading this blog. The last six months or more have been so different than what I had planned, I went from being a regular food blogger to basically only talking about my baby. For those of you who are tired of hearing about this, I’m sorry. Someday I’ll blog about food and other fun items again, but for now, this is what is front and center in my life and finding time to test recipes and take high quality photos of the food we’re eating just hasn’t been. So, I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me and following along.

October 24, 2014

Guest Post: Nursery Art

Going off last week's nursery inspiration post, my lovely and talented friend, Liz Lidgett, of Curated by Liz Lidgett has generously offered to share some of her favorite nursery inspired art with us today. She's got a great eye and has been helping me put together ideas and more for this little babes nursery, so I hope you enjoy!

Chelsea is one of my dearest friends, so when she told me she was pregnant I was over the moon for her and Chase. I live in Des Moines and she’s, of course, in Milwaukee but I am not going to let the distance stop us from getting to celebrate together. One of the best ways I know how to help her prepare for this little nugget is by helping to find great artwork for the nursery. I am an art advisor and blogger so my love language is helping my friends’ art collections. Oddly specific, I know, but it’s the truth.

Chels has a great Pinterest board for the nursery she is putting together. She told me she is heading for white furniture with the base colors being white, silver/gray and navy. I love it. With that in mind, let’s hit with some art picks for the nursery gallery wall.

Nursery Gallery Wall Inspiration

1. Sharon Montrose, Baby Elephant// 2. Paper Mache Animal Head, Paper Unleashed // 3. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, WhimsicalWallArts // 4. You Wonderful Thing, Hooray Today // 5. Hello Zebra, Gaucho Works // 6. A Study in Shapes, Xavier&Me

I always recommend adding a 3-D object to a gallery wall to take it to the next level. It’s unexpected and these paper mache heads are so cool. I also love the Hooray Today piece that adds a necessary pop of color and ties in the gray, blues, and whites while adding some additional great energy. I think the perfect way to top off this gallery wall would be to add a photo or two of the baby’s ancestors. Once we know if it is a boy or a girl, it we would be the right touch to show the line of amazing men or women that they come from. I’ve been lucky enough to meet both Chels and Chase’s families so I know this babe comes from an amazing, loving family.

You can always head on over to my blog too to see some tips on how to install artwork like an expert or see some other fun art and décor posts. Chels, thanks for having me. xoxo