ETC: Week 40

Hello friends!

I hope all is well! This past week, we made it to 40 weeks! It’s very bittersweet because I am very happy baby girl is fully cooked, but I’m also very anxious to meet her already!

We had a rather busy week and even had some visitors, but still, no baby!

Our 40-week weekend was beautiful; warm and filled with sunshine! Saturday we ran our weekly errands and Sunday we didn’t move until about 1pm. After relaxing all morning, we decided to go on a long walk. We walked down to the lakefront path and took a stroll through Andersonville on the way home. It was nice to reminisce along my old running path. Once Naomi is here and old enough to be in the jogging stroller, she will quickly become well acquainted with that path as well!

I worked from home this week which was extremely stress relieving. Not having to commute on crowded public transportation or worry about my escape route from downtown to up north if labor were to start was a blessing. Also, not having to try and fit in to office maternity clothes was pretty nice. At this point, a few maternity items still fit because they are stretchy, but are they by no means comfortable.

My mom and sister also came to visit this week. Unfortunately for them, when they booked the trip, they had planned to spend time with the baby since it was technically 2 days passed my due date that they would arrive. Joke was on all of us because, Naomi never made her grand entrance into the world.

It was nice to see them both one last time without a baby though. We went to Homeslice pizza one night and Xoco another night. Two places we wouldn’t have been able to check out with a newborn. We also stopped and walked around Oz park. Did you know, the statues can talk to you?!?! You enter a website on your phone then Dorothy or Tin Man will call you and talk to you for a minute or two. It’s a neat idea and I can’t wait to take Naomi to see them, once she’s old enough to understand the hype.

My mom and sister left at the end of the week but booked another stay the first weekend in May. They will be guaranteed to meet Naomi this next time around!

It was also our precious Pumbaa’s birthday this week! He is 7 and I cannot believe where the time went. I adopted Pumbaa when I moved to Whitewater for college and since then, he’s become such an important part of our family. I hope he loves Naomi as much as he loves us. It may take some getting used to, but he’s a cuddly lover so I have faith in him.

We made it the entire week, everyday asking ourselves ‘is today the day?’ We’ve tried nearly every home remedy people suggest and have answered the “where is she” or “how are you feeling” question at least 55 million times (little to no exaggeration on that estimated number). I’m fully convinced that all of these “at home labor inducing tricks” only work if baby is ready and Naomi is just not ready yet.

It’s definitely bittersweet going past your due date. Yes, I am so happy she’s fully developed in my belly, but we are anxiously awaiting her arrival. There’s a sense of frustration that kicks in when you wake up in the morning and realize it’s time to get up for work but you haven’t had any contractions and today may not be the day. However, it’s a blessing to continue feeling her movements. Soon, she will only be able to kick me from the outside 🙂

Currently, I am 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Our next update WILL have a baby update because I will be induced at the end of the week if she doesn’t come out on her own. I personally think she just wanted to wait for the month of May because Te’s birthday is also in May; so we have a serious daddy’s girl on our hands! 🙂

We cannot wait to meet our little bundle and I cannot wait to be done with pregnancy! We’ve got quite an exciting week ahead – Stay tuned!!

Until next time..

ETC: Week 38

Hi friends!
I hope everyone is having a great week! This past week we completed our 38th week of pregnancy. We are coming so close to meeting our little girl and we can NOT wait!


Olive Park – Chicago, IL

Luckily, no one was sick this week – Thank you, Jesus! 🙂 To start off the 38th week, we took a trip downtown to visit Olive Park. It is a very pretty part of the city and the weather was gorgeous! I started feeling some pains in my lower belly area while walking – they amounted to nothing but it was reassuring that my body seems to be preparing for labor and delivery!

After being sick last week, I took it easy this week. Instead of 5 am wake up calls to go to the gym, I started getting up at 6 and going on a 2 mile walk around my neighborhood. This is definitely a change in pace for me. I am used to HIIT and running workouts followed by weight training, so allowing myself to learn to apprecite walking as a workout has been interesting. It definitely feels good to stay mobile throughout these last couple of weeks, but I cannot wait to get back to running!

Monday at work they threw me a baby shower. We had a delicious Sweet Mandy B’s cake (Chocolate with vanilla frosting – YUM) and the sales team got together and got Te and I an extremely generous gift card to Target. We are very thankful to have so much support from both of our work families in the city! I had a doctor appointment on Monday night (as I do every Monday now days :)) and it was super quick. Everything seems good, we’re just waiting on baby girl to come on out!

Tuesday night we had some friends over, Natalie and Reni, for a taco Tuesday celebration. It was so wonderful to see them and catch up! They just returned from a trip to Japan so we talked all about their travels and caught up on life. We also asked them to be Godparents to our little Naomi and we are so excited they said yes! 🙂 She is so lucky to have such positive influences in her life – they will be such great role models for her growing up!!

The rest of the week, we took it easy as well. We continue to clean the house and prep for baby as much as possible, but we’re pretty much all set. Now, we wait! I am feeling very ready to meet the baby! Also, I only have a few items of clothing that fit me now and I refuse to buy anything new, so dressing for work.. and life, really, is becoming quite a challenge. Also, the swelling I’m experiencing in my feet/ankles/legs/fingers is intense. I am ready to be done with the discomfort that comes along with these last couple of weeks!

Te and I put a fun little bet on Naomi’s birthday. I said April 16th (Which if you’re reading this now, it didn’t happen..) and Te said Thursday, April 20th. We’ll see if either of us are right! I couldn’t care less what day she comes, I just pray she comes before or on her due date. I am not looking forward to 41 weeks of pregnancy – I want to meet you little Naomi!! 

We just started our 39th week of pregnancy this past Saturday and we are hoping it was the last bump photo we have to take! I’ll update you next week with a bumpdate and HOPEFULLY, a baby intro! 🙂

Stay tuned!

Until next time..

ETC: Another New Year

Hi friends,

The time has come, yet again, to ring in another new year. I hope everyone had a safe and cheerful new year’s celebration. Today, as they say, is page 1 of the 365-page novel we call, “2017”.

Before I set new goals, I am going to take a moment to reflect on the goals I set for myself in 2016. I created resolutions that represented each category of my blog: Explore, Thank, Create, as well as a few additional. Let’s take a look at what I accomplished and what got pushed to the side.

2016 Resolutions: Explore
1. Explore 20 new things (cities, states, restaurants, fitness classes, recipes, etc).
This goal was definitely accomplished. I traveled to Grand Rapids, NYC and Palm Springs, joined NRC run club, started practicing ‘Yoga with Adriene‘, went to several new restaurants for brunch and dinner around the city. I visited the Field Museum in Chicago and rode the CTA Holiday Train, both for the first time. Also, I tried lots of new recipes ranging from no added sugar to tasty new desserts. This past year was definitely one of exploration and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the new experiences I created.

2016 Resolutions: Thank
1. Continue serving at church as needed & attending small groups when offered
Although there was a short break I took from church, once I went back, I jumped in full force. I joined a serving team and a small group right away. I’m happy for the supportive community who welcomed me back.
2. Read my Bible

Eek. I did not do good on this. I did try to keep up with my daily verse on the Bible app but I must get more disciplined in reading the word of the Lord regularly.

2016 Resolutions: Create
1. Continue posting 1 or more blog posts per week
I took several long breaks from my blog this year with a few ‘catch up’ posts.
2. DIY as much wedding stuff as possible to save some dinero🙂
Well, we DEFINITELY DIY’d our wedding. After quickly changing our plans from an October 2016 wedding to a February 2016 wedding, we didn’t have time for many expensive decisions anyway 🙂 . I was able to borrow a dress from an amazing friend, created invites online and made TONS of decor at home. We saved a ton of money and had the wedding of our dreams just 4 short months after our engagement. Best. Decision. Ever.

2016 Resolutions: Wellness
1. Run 15 or more miles each week
On average, this happened for the majority of the year. AND, I completed the Chicago marathon. 🙂
2. Practice yoga 2 times per week
On average, this did not happen. I definitely found an awesome yoga channel I can tune in to at home, but I was not disciplined in my practice.
3. Become Personal Trainer Certified
This one is still pending. I’m trying to figure out if this is truly the route I want to take. More to come on that. 🙂
4. Be less stressed out/anxious – Trust God more
Eek. I have not been the best at this. It’s a process and I’m still working on it.

2016 Resolutions: Community
1. Have a friend date once per month
This happened! I even started a monthly lunch club with some of my best gals. 
2. Get married to my best friend in front of some of our closest friends & family
Check! And I couldn’t be happier 🙂

2016 Resolutions: Follow Up
1. Practice Spanish 3 times per week for 1 hour each
Well, this did not happen. I need to get more disciplined with this because I really want to teach Naomi Spanish. Mama’s workin’ on it!
2. Read 10 books (2 of which in Spanish)
Ah, reading. Well, I read my small group book, I read ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and I read a LOT of articles. As far as book, I haven’t been reading much. I’ll need to rework this goal.

WOW! I was ambitious last year 🙂 There were many goals I accomplished and some that fell by the way side. This year, I have to be realistic in my goal setting because I will soon be a mommy and it will no longer be all about me. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up on my personal goals for the coming year. Naomi needs a role model 🙂 Here are my 2017 Resolutions:

2017 Resolutions:

  1. Practice Yoga 2 times per week.
  2. Run a total of 365 miles over the course of the year.
  3. Read [at least] 10 pages of a book every day.
  4. Post a blog update [at least] twice per month.
  5. Keep a jar of memories; Each week Te and I write on a slip of paper the highs and lows of the week. Next NYE we will read each note.
  6. Remind myself every day that I am doing the best that I can; speaking positive reinforcements to myself instead of always telling myself I could/should be doing more/better.

I definitely cut down on the list of resolutions this year. I tried to focus in on some of those that I let slip last year, and added those which I can keep up with, despite becoming increasingly busy [and tired] new mommy.

How do you hold yourself accountable to your resolutions? One of my friends creates a ‘dream board’ each year. Her dream board is a visual representation of her goals for the year. I think this is a great way to remind yourself of your goals and stay focused on your plans. This year, I probably won’t create a dream board, although it’s a fabulous idea, but I do plan to write these down in my phone and on paper at my desk, as well as at home, so I am forced to remind myself of these goals each and every day.

So, what are your goals for 2017? I’d love to hear about your 2016 reflections, as well as your goals for the upcoming year. Leave it in the comments below!

Happy New Year!! May God bless you and your families this year.

Until next time..

ETC: Oh Baby!

Hello friends!

I can’t remember the last time I wrote but since then, I’ve had some extremely, incredibly blessed moments happen. I completed the Chicago marathon, Te and I celebrated 6 months of marriage, we road tripped to NYC and most importantly, we found out we are expecting a baby girl come April 2017!

Our initial reaction was shock. We always knew we wanted children… eventually. God chuckled and sent us our angel much earlier than we had planned. We are feeling extremely blessed and excited for this experience.

We started a series of bump pics and now that baby girl is halfway to her due date, I would like to take this special 20 week moment to reflect on the beautiful changes my body is experiencing and all of the amazing things Te and I have experienced and accomplished since becoming a family of 3 🙂



September 9, 2016

We found out at 5 weeks, but started taking pictures at 7 weeks. Well,… we actually took 5 and 6 week photos indoors but the quality was awful so we took it outside! We started near our home and were planning to shoot in this same spot each week. We thought as the seasons changed, the background would change and it would be great. Then Te came up with a great idea to explore Chicago through our photos, so that’s what we did…


September 10, 2016

This day we were on our way to a bags tournament fundraiser event for one of Te’s co-workers. We played in the tournament and made it to the final four before being booted, although, we should have won 😉 This photo is outside the big school near our house. It’s such a pretty landmark in our neighborhood and, it’s right near the bus stop we waited at to go to the bags tourney 🙂


September 17, 2016

Will’s Northwoods Inn is a well known Wisconsin bar in Chicago. We ate fish fry at Will’s once, but still have yet to make it to a Packer or Badger game at the bar. Although it’s much more ‘northwoods’ Wisconsin vibe compared to Waukesha or Delavan, it’s a nice reminder that Packer fans are everywhere and that the Bears still (and always will) suck 🙂


September 24, 2016

This year we made two appearances at Sox stadium. The first time was earlier in the season to watch the Cleveland Indians play the Sox. The second time was for Chance the Rapper’s Magic Coloring Day concert, pictured here. It was such an incredible show (insert epic surprise appearance by Kanye here) and I’m so happy we had beautiful weather and the opportunity to attend. Baby’s first concert,.. check.


October 1, 2016

Since my hubby is an artist, he knows of the guy who pained this character behind me (Hebru Brantley). I was trying to pull my dress as tight as I could to my belly in this photo; I could not wait to start really showing!:)



October 8, 2016

Ahh, marathon week. Honestly, I was going to not attend. I thought, it’s too risky, it’s not worth it, I was nervous as all heck and I just didn’t think I wanted to even go. I raised money for a charity, Girls on the Run, so I figured, if I didn’t go at least the charity would still get the donation and it wouldn’t be a total loss. After some encouraging words from my hubby and an inspiring expo, I decided to show up and do what I could. I ended up running 11 miles straight, then I ran/walked for the next two miles and I walked the remaining 13. At every rest stop to grab at least 1 water and 1 Gatorade cup to stay hydrated, I made several bathroom break stops and  I had snacks with me to fuel me along the way. Te did the marathon with us too 🙂 He rode his bike around the entire course, tracking me along the way.  We met up every 2-3 miles where he would also have snacks for me, take some great pictures and kept asking how I was doing/encouraging me to listen to my body and do what I could. Just over 6 hours after we started, baby girl and I crossed the finish line of our very first (Chicago) marathon. My legs hurt so bad, but the feeling of accomplishment was incredible. I cannot wait to tell her this story when she gets older and tell her WE are marathoners!! I hope one day we can run a marathon together!


October 15, 2016

The very next week after the marathon,  we traveled to NYC for an event hosted by Shred415. Te and I drove all of the decks for the event to NYC. Yes, we drove to NYC, from Chicago. Woof. Well, I should clarify. Te drove, I navigated, DJ’d, kept track of all the different license plates we saw (33 was the final count), made sure we had plenty of bathroom breaks and was the accountant who kept track of all the receipts along the way. Our journey included a drive through on of my favorite states, Ohio 🙂 and the mountains of Pennsylvania. We stopped at the creepiest most old school hotel in Pennsylvania. We checked in, sat on the bed and ate our subway dinner, then 5 minutes later checked out and went across the parking lot to the ‘holiday inn express’ which was incredible and felt like 5 stars compared to the days inn we had just left. Quite an unforgettable experience. 🙂

In NYC we walked to Brooklyn, got lost, found our way to the Rainbow bagel (pretty good, not worth the 2 hour walk + getting lost.. next time, I’d take an Uber :)), we went to the Empire State Building, World Trade Center, financial district, battery park and had the best $8 ice cream cone with the best sprinkles ever (it was just soft serve, but it was incredible) and we learned how to take the subway! True city slickers, we are 🙂

The main reason we went though, was for an awesome event Shred415 was a part of at spring studios. Shred415 filled up each class and whipped some of NYC’s finest in to great shape! Baby’s first road trip was a doozy, but papa and I are very thankful to God for getting us across the country and back safely.


October 22, 2016

Friday, October 23, 2015 Te and I got engaged at Gallery 19. Saturday, October 22, 2016 we took our 14 week baby bump photo outside of the gallery. Awwww 🙂


October 29, 2016

I’d just like to point out that this photo was taken at the end of October and I was still not wearing a coat. Also, this angle makes me look huge, I swear we didn’t take these photos out of order 🙂 We took this photo at the park near our house. The park where I typically always beat Te in tennis ( 😉 ), where we have memorial day cook outs with friends and where we watch the most intense neighborhood firework show ever. Welcome to the ‘hood, baby girl ❤


November 5, 2016

2016. The year the Cubs won the world series. WUT! Let’s confirm one thing: No, I’m not a Cubs fan. However, I do think it was pretty awesome for the city. Everyone was so friendly and happy during this time. The drought is over. Obviously, baby girl is a good luck charm 🙂


November 12, 2016

I’ve been wanting to go to this honeycomb looking structure forever! Finally, we made it. In all of the photos I’ve seen it looked so beautiful and cool, when we got there, I was not impressed (haha)! The structure is much more yellow in person and it’s just.. well, it’s just not like the pictures. I felt as though I was cat-fished or something! haha At least the backdrop is gorgeous and at any rate, I’m glad I finally saw it! After this photo, Te and I walked around the Lincoln Park Zoo!


November 19, 2016

We’ve been in Chicago for nearly 4 years and have never been to the Field Museum. Seriously slacking on our ‘tourist in your own city game’, I know. SO, I planned a date for us because the Field Museum had the tattoo exhibit going on. We got the full access pass so we saw the 3D Galapagos movie (we were able to go to Ecuador without physically going, kind of cool! & no Zika!), the Terracotta warriors, China, under the soil exhibit, Sue! and the Tattoo exhibit where a live tattoo was happening! We saw a bunch of other small exhibits too. It was a fun filled day with so much walking and exploring. I was completed exhausted at the end of the day, but it was so fun and I’m so happy we knocked out at least one of the big museums in the city.


November 26, 2016

Saturday, November 26, 2011 Te and I had our first date. I came to Chicago to hang out with him. The plan was to go to the National Museum of Mexican Art. After that we went to Hot Woks, Cool Sushi, walked around downtown and then watched The Dark Knight. 5 years later, we’re married, have had LOTS of sushi dates (non in the last 19 weeks) and Te has watched a LOT of movies (meanwhile, I’ve fallen asleep during most all of them) and now we’re expecting a little girl. We went back to the museum on our 5-year first date anniversary to capture our 19 week bump pic!

Side Note: It was during this week, we found out we are having a little girl. I thought for sure it was a boy because I have been craving salty foods, I didn’t get very sick, I have extremely dry skin and I’m always freezing. But God knew giving me a daughter would give me the mother-daughter relationship I’ve always dreamed of and I could not be more thankful. I am SO excited to tell baby girl that we ran the marathon for a charity that benefits girls (Girls on the Run), I also cannot wait to take her roller skating, ceramic painting, on walks and jogs, help her learn Spanish, and raise her to fear God, be kind to people and most importantly, LOVE herself. A boy would have been fun, but girls are way awesome 🙂


December 3, 2016

Halfway! We made it halfway! I am feeling great and extra thankful that everything seems to be going quite well so far. I’m trying to stay healthy by eating (mostly) healthy and staying active. We just started our Bradley Method class which is class that teaches natural childbirth techniques. If you have any natural childbirth labor stories (that aren’t terrifying! 🙂 ) please leave me a note in the comments. Words of encouragement are fine too 🙂 Also, I’m trying to remember to write in my journal a bit more to document my thoughts and feelings as the weeks go by. I’m so happy to see you growing as the size of my belly continues to grow. Yesterday (12/3) as I was getting ready for the day, I felt you kick! I asked papa if he could feel you and he said no. But you were dancing around like crazy in the morning. I was laughing because it was such an incredible feeling. I can’t wait for more feels 🙂

In the coming weeks hubby and I are taking a babymoon! 🙂 We’ve also got Christmas and the New Year on deck. Te and I will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary in February and next thing we know, April will be here! I cannot wait (but, I can because you need to stay in there and grow baby girl! 🙂 )

Thank you to God for this incredible blessing. Te and I are anxiously, yet patiently, awaiting your arrival baby Naomi. You are already so loved ❤

Until next time..