What’s Been Happening
March and April were ALL about getting ready for baby! I mean, I did much of the usual: work and church and seeing friends… but I took a week off work during Ben’s spring break so we could prettify the nursery! And it was so much fun. I will try to share more nursery pics later, but here are a few teasers. 🙂
A close up of the felt animals I made for the mobile!
I also did a bunch of freezer cooking that week. I’m going to be so pleased with myself later in May and June! And so will Ben, I suspect.
In early April, I also had two back-to-back baby showers. My wonderful coworkers threw me a baby shower at the library, and my mom and sister were able to come for it… This baby shower was book-themed and was beautifully decorated. 🙂
I can’t show more photos because we have decided–for now–to keep our son’s name private on my blog and public social media just so it’s not searchable. I don’t think my blog is popular enough by any means that I’m really afraid of stranger danger or anything like that… but I still want to error on the side of caution. So a nickname it is! For now, he’s #BabyVolde but I’m sure that will change in the future! 🙂
The next day, my sister and mom planned a baby shower that was held at my house! It’s a little stressful hosting your own baby shower [eeek] but I was glad to not have to travel for it. By the way, I was about 34 weeks in this picture.
They did a great job with the food and games! It was Woodland Animal themed, which is the theme of our nursery and the food even fit in! We had seasoned pretzels aka twigs, acorns [those delectable mini Nutter Butter cookies + Hershey Kisses], trail mix, fruit, veggies, cupcakes, and meatballs. It was all SO good! Many of my Nashville friends came to celebrate with us, and my college roommate even drove down from Ohio for the weekend! It was so great to see her and she thoughtfully coordinated gathering cards, gifts, and well wishes from college friends living too far away to come for the shower. I was so surprised and felt so special. Our baby is going to be so loved!
Other than that, Ben and I have been trying to soak up as much time together as we can. My birthday was last week and we grilled out for the first time. Yum! It’s hard since it’s the end of the school year, but he will actually be taking 4 weeks’ of paternity leave from his school which leads right up to summer break. The timing couldn’t have been better! I’ll be home with the baby until I go back to work in September. Now it’s just a waiting game for baby to make his appearance! Yay!
What I’m Reading
So far in 2016 I’ve read 33 books, with a goal of 75. You can follow my progress on Goodreads. If I had to choose two books to HIGHLY recommend to you out of those I read in March and April… and I just realized my graphic says April and May, but let’s be real–I’m too lazy to fix it, lol… they would be Glory Over Everything and The Charm Bracelet. The first book is a sequel of sorts [though it totally stands alone] to The Kitchen House. It came out recently and is a captivating story uniting slaves, freedom, and race in the years leading up to the Civil War. It was incredible! And The Charm Bracelet was just a sweet story of mothers and daughters and family relationships. Plus it is loosely based off the author’s grandmothers/family traditions. Love it!
Some great articles I’ve read online this month include:
- Since college I’ve been aware of the struggles of being a teacher, thanks to many of my good friends being education majors. Now that Ben’s a teacher, I live with this everyday. Did you see this letter that went viral a couple months ago? Powerful stuff!
- As a competitive runner in junior high, high school, and college, I have come in last in races before. Not often… but in smaller track meets… and it’s humbling. Even more so when you’re last because you’re lost in your first JV cross country meet as a high school freshman. #awkward But I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be last in a big deal race, like at the Olympics, a large marathon, or even the Olympic trials. Here’s a look at what that’s like… and it’s actually pretty cool.
- East coast vs. west coast butter. Huh!
- The crockpot debate: can you really leave it on all day? I say no! What about you?
- Best college basketball team in each state, regardless of division. Ohio is my undergrad alma mater, Wittenberg University…and Indiana is my grad school alma mater, IU. Woohoo!
- I try to use glass in the microwave as much as possible, but I’m not perfect at it. Good rules for minimizing the impact of plastic in the microwave.
- Were you into the Babysitters Club books? I was! This fashion blogger is so cool!
- Choosing Jesus in the brokenness. Yes, please.
- Some babies are just easier than others. Intellectually I know this is true, but I guess I will find out for myself in just a few weeks! Parents of many… do you agree?
- Why this writer makes the same dinners every week. I like variety BUT I see her point. I think I will give something similar a try when I go back to work in the fall.
- The impact of kindness. Great story!
- Who were you named after? To an extent, we were very deliberate in naming our baby. Names have meaning and symbolism… great stuff.
- Lent is past, but this piece about thinking about Jesus and sacrilege is still just as relevant.
- I would love to have a sentimental plate wall up at my house some day!
- Six lies I believe about my stuff. Truth.
- Due to pregnancy I’ve stopped running for the time being. I can’t wait to get back at it, and love these spiritual lessons learned from running. So true!
- Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow – yes! Gilmore Girls forever!! 🙂
- Food waste totally makes me angry, both at my house when I’m the culprit and the general trends in the US. Here are five facts–maybe we can do something about it.
- Haunting photos of Chernobyl, 30 years later.
- Social media has definitely changed parenthood, as it has changed the rest of life. Two articles I’ve read lately about this have made me consider how I’ll use social media in the early baby days and beyond…
- On clutter… it may be about more than just “stuff.”
- Related: the privilege of clutter in light of Kondo-ing.
- Have you heard that Anastasia is coming to BROADWAY?!? I MUST go to NYC to see it!! Favorite animated film EVER!
- A spiritual awakening through Rice Krispies… love this!
- Alphabet Pie…this sounds gross but I so want to try it! [And don’t worry, I’m not linking to another blog mean-spiritedly, her blog is all about trying mid-century crazy recipes and they don’t like half of them. So neat!
- I’m so grateful I get some paid maternity leave, and that Ben gets paid paternity leave too. But the reality is that many in the US don’t. This story is heartbreaking.
- Ben’s a grammar freak and one of his biggest pet peeves is confusion between words/phrases, especially “could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less.” Yes, those phrases are used interchangeably quite often, but they actually mean very different things.
- One of our cats in particular LOVES playing with boxes. There may be a scientific reason why. Who knew?
What I’ve Been Cooking
Quite honestly…not many new recipes. We’ve been eating lots of tacos, burrito bowls, and black beans & rice. I always love Mexican food so it’s not necessarily a pregnancy craving, but it IS easy and doesn’t require much of a recipe except for my taco seasoning [that I’m trying to memorize!] so it’s great to make after a busy day. We also were eating from our freezer quite a bit because I did a bunch of freezer cooking in March during “spring break.” [Ben’s, not mine, but I took the week off work to work on projects at home with him.] Here’s my freezer cooking recap, with recipes, if you missed it! I’ve tried some new muffin recipes to varying degrees of success but haven’t found anything new and spectacular lately. We also had a few leftover bags of berries from last summer so I’ve made blueberry pancakes using my simple and always fantastic go-to pancake batter recipe. So good! Can’t wait to take the baby berry picking this summer. 🙂
What’s on the Blog
My most new popular recipe in March was Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins.
Most popular recipes from the archive for March included: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Sausage, Apple, & Egg Casserole, and Buffalo Pretzels.
My most new popular recipe in April was: Puffed Blackberry Pancake with Cinnamon-Maple Syrup.
Most popular recipes from the archive for April included: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Buffalo Pretzels, and Funfetti Cookies.
What were you into in March and April?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.