ETC: Getting Closer

Hi friends,

I hope all is well! We are getting closer and closer to baby’s due date! We’ve had quite a busy month again but are feeling more prepared for baby girl as the days pass. Take a look at the past month with me and look ahead to my last 8 (ish) weeks!!

At the beginning of the month we had our first baby shower! It was storybook themed and so adorable! We had food that went along with the theme so “Green Eggs and Ham” and cupcakes for “If You Give A Cat A Cupcake”, etc. Friends and family from Wisconsin were there to celebrate this little girl! We left with a full car and full hearts, realizing how loved we are and so is she!! 

We also toured the hospital this week and saw the labor and delivery, as well as the postpartum rooms. The staff was very friendly and I’m excited to be delivering Naomi at Swedish Covenant. 

The next weekend, we went to the auto show! Te and I had never been to an auto show so we figured, why not? Chicago apparently has one of the largest shows! It was awesome to see all of the new cars, the expensive Lamborghini and Rolls Royce’s and of course, my dream car, the mustang! Of all the cars I could have taken a picture in front of, I couldn’t resist my mustang! 

Fun side note: right after this picture a man prayed over my belly; for us as a family and to bless the baby. It was a super sweet random act of kindness and perfect timing. God is so amazing!

This was also the week that we finished up our 10 week baby class. I’m very glad we took the class. It taught us about all things labor, birth and postpartum with a focus on the Bradley method of natural child birth. The coolest part was on the day of our last class, one couple wasn’t there because they had their baby! 

As one class was ending, another was starting up! My first small group meeting was this week. I love that my church offers small groups every semester. It’s such a great way to connect with people from the church throughout the week!

It’s still February in this photo! Don’t let the sleeveless dress fool you!!  This week was Te & I’s one year wedding anniversary! We got married at Barcocina so it was only fitting we took our photo there! Unfortunately, on our wedding day it was not 60ยฐ like it was in this photo, however, we had the most epic wedding and I wouldn’t change a thing. I cannot believe it’s already been a year! Seems like time has flown by but I could not be happier!

To celebrate, we pampered ourselves with a mani/pedi day and then went to dinner at Barcocina. We also are planning on going to a breadmaking class (because I’ve been anxiously awaiting a cooking class date!!!!!) and our first Blackhawks game! We also got pizza the night of our actual wedding anniversary (which fell on a Tuesday) because it’s our tradition. Since we barely ate any food at our actual wedding on the way home we stopped for pizza, and so this year, we followed suite. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy anniversary babe! I love you!

Oh baby!! Naomi is so loved!! Our wonderful friends-turned-family in Chicago came out to celebrate baby girl at another baby shower! We had the shower at George’s ice cream shop which is just absolutely delicious!! Friends from all of my chicago communities came together and it was so great to see everyone!! Te and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone’s generosity – Naomi was spoiled once again with love & gifts. We’re even more prepared now! Just a few more “essentials” on our list and then, we’re set! 

So here I am, 32 weeks pregnant, which is 8 months pregnant.. which is crazy!!! This pregnancy has truly gone by so fast! I feel like just yesterday we were telling people our news and now we’re expecting our little bundle in the next couple months! 

Everyone always wants to know how I’m feeling. Well, to sum up the past couple of weeks I would say that the third trimester tiredness has definitely hit me. I still love getting a workout in 3-5 days per week and I’m trying to keep running so I stay up on my 365 miles in 365 days challenge. My body doesn’t feel too sore (yet) but some nights restless leg syndrome kicks in, which is terrible. Heartburn comes and goes, but when it comes, it comes full force. I basically feel like a fire-breathing dragon or nothing at all. I love feeling her kick and move! The other night she rolled over or something – it was the strangest most amazing feeling ever! So many new feelings as I begin to prepare to meet my little girl! 

February was a busy month filled with love; baby shower love & wedding anniversary love. March should be a bit slower (hopefully) as we wind down and really prepare for our newest addition to make her arrival. We’ve got roughly 8 more weeks and we couldn’t be more excited! 
Stay tuned for future updates!

Until next time..

ETC: It’s the Final Countdown

Hello friends! I hope you’ve had a great couple of weeks!

Since my last bump update, we have come quite a long way! From a scare of gestational diabetes to entering my third trimester which I’m calling,”the final countdown”. We were planning for a quiet month but we ended up doing a lot and it was great! Take a ride down memory lane with me as I look back on month 6 and look ahead towards month 7 and my final trimester of pregnancy!


Ahhh, the CTA. We had to take a picture on our trusty transportation system. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, the one where you get asked for money by the needy, stand packed like a sardine on the way home from a long day at work (standing like that 7 months pregnant is super fun…), see people throw up on themselves/the floors of the train, and even get to sit in cars that smell of cigarettes, urine and feces. Who doesn’t love public transportation?!?! ๐Ÿ™‚ In all seriousness though, I’m thankful for the CTA because despite the ridiculous things that may happen, it’s a safe way to get from point A to point B without having to pay for gas or sit in rush hour traffic.

Week 25 we celebrated the birthday of a friend’s one year old! It was such a fun party and made me realize that we are in for lots of fun birthday celebrations to come! Mama was feeling a bit cranky this week, and day in particular (sorry papa!) but the party was a fun way to forget about the stress and spend time with close friends. 

We also had brunch with my sissie and her new man at an awesome cereal bar in the city. It was amazing being able to catch up with her and enjoy a delicious breakfast! 


[I would just like to point out that it’s mid-January in this photo and although chilly, I’m capable of taking a photo outside without a coat – THANK YOU Chicago]. Week 26 started off with a baby registry event at Babies R Us. It was great! Lucky for us, we were the only people who showed up so we “won” a pack of pampers! Woot woot for free diapers ๐Ÿ™‚ After the event, we went out with some friends for brunch at Orange in Roscoe Village and it was delicious. It was great to catch up with people we haven’t seen in forever! Papa also had his first paid photography gig after brunch and it went so well! Naomi and I are so proud of you babe!! โค

During this week I had a couple of different lunch dates with some of my favorite ladies! It’s so fun getting together and hearing about what’s going on in everyone’s lives. I’m so proud of my ambitious friends!! 

Also this week, I found out a close friend of mine from work was leaving so that she could stay home with her daughter. It was so bittersweet because, although I am happy for her, selfishly, I want to keep her at work so we can still hang out! Now our work lunch dates will just transition in to play dates for our girls, so I guess it’s not so bad! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lastly, I found out I failed my initial gestational diabetes test this week. It was really hard on me because I felt like my body was failing. I eat pretty clean still and I am still exercising 3-5 days per week. ‘How could this happen’, I thought? After the initial shock and terribly sad feelings, I learned that sometimes it just happens. No matter how healthy you are, sometimes the condition pops up strictly due to hormones and how your body is reacting to them, not necessarily because of what you’re eating or how active you are. That made me feel better. But I was SO scared to take the long gestational diabetes test because I absolutely H A T E getting my blood drawn…

..This is the look of a 27 week pregnant woman who HATES getting her blood drawn. This same woman who failed her first gestational diabetes test so she had to wake up at 6:30 AM on a Saturday to get her blood drawn FOUR different times; once in an already bruised arm/vein and three times in the other arm, over a three hour span of time. Thanks to God, I have an incredibly supportive and caring husband who sat with me in the hospital from 7 am until nearly 11 am waiting for me to get the blood draws. Thanks again to God for protecting me and Naomi from the condition they were testing for which was gestational diabetes [We passed!]. Despite the morning being one of my least favorite, once the test was over we went outside and it was nearly 50+ degrees! It was absolutely beautiful and it helped bring up my spirits a bit. I mean, can you deny the amazingness of a warm, sunny day in January in Chicago?! 

We also went to a friend’s house this week to watch the Packer game. It was great to see some old friends and catch up, but the Packers played awful and lost, which was very sad. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ There’s always next year, I guess! 


At 28 weeks, Naomi went to her first Bulls game. Although they also lost, it was a great time! [And no, Naomi is not bad luck for sports, if that’s what you’re thinking. Proof: the Cubs won the World Series after 100+ years of losing. It’s not her fault the Packers didn’t want to meet Trump and the Bulls couldn’t pull it together! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

Also this past week, Te and I cat sat our second favorite kitty ever, Myko. It was so great to see him because last time we watched him he was SO tiny and now he looks like a big lion. This got me thinking about how I cannot wait for Naomi to meet Pumbaa… and well, #AllTheCats really. I will be converting her to a cat lady immediately. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

One last thing we did this week was go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. After seeing her, Te and I went to dinner. We wanted to try this new burger place nearby but when we got there, it was filled with kids. We were contemplating leaving because we wanted an adult date night. I was frantically searching for a new place nearby that we could go even as the hostess was walking us to our table. The hostess laid down our menus at our table and before walking away said “your server, Naomi, will be right with you.” So inevitably we took that as a sign we should stay ๐Ÿ™‚ I am glad we did; the burgers were great and the s’mores sundae was even better!

As I look back, month 6 was filled with many ups and downs. All in all, it was a great month with lots of love from friends and family and a few date nights sprinkled in!

As I look ahead to month 7, we’ve got a lot coming up! 

This coming weekend, we have our first baby shower in Wisconsin. I am so excited to see family and close friends who I have not seen in so long!! It’s going to be a great day to celebrate this little lady! 

February 21st is Te and I’s one year wedding anniversary which I am SO excited to celebrate!! This past year went so quickly and was filled with so many wonderful memories. I’m excited for forever with my beau.

At the end of the month we have another shower planned in Chicago and it’s at THEE best ice cream shop in the city. I’m pretty excited I passed my diabetes test so I can indulge a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

So, we still have 12 weeks to go!  It’s not the final, final countdown BUT we’re getting close. We are now officially in the third trimester; the final trimester (aka so close). I’m getting more and more excited to meet this little girl every day but for now, I’m ok with waiting roughly 12 more weeks. 

Until next time..

ETC: Time Flies When You’re Growing A Human

Hi friends! I hope all has been well with you. I’m back with another pregnancy update. We’re really cruising along in the pregnancy. This past New Year’s Eve weekend, baby girl turned 24 weeks old which means I am officially 6 months pregnant. Whoa! I feel like it was just yesterday that Te and I were telling people we were 12 weeks pregnant and now, we’re a mere 16 weeks away from meeting our baby!

Over the past few weeks, we’ve done quite a few things and celebrated several holidays. Of course, we have bump photos as evidence ๐Ÿ™‚


Four our honeymoon, we had originally planned to travel to Ecuador. Seeing as how we couldn’t fulfill that plan due to the Zika outburst, we were able to get a flight credit and travel somewhere else. So, we decided to go to Palm Springs, CA on a baby moon! It was actually the same weekend that we celebrated our 5 year dating-versary so our getaway was the perfect opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the past 5 years and look ahead to our new future as not only husband and wife, but mom and dad. This photo was taken at Joshua Tree National Park. I must say, what a BEAUTIFUL park! The trees were SO cool – they reminded me of something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The mountains and rocks were beautiful as well. Additionally on our trip, we visited In-N-Out burger (YUM!), The Tram (Te went up, I stayed grounded), a Christmas parade in the desert and downtown Palm Springs. The cherry on top of our wonderful vacation was that Te and I both were able to feel the baby kick for the first time!


One week later, we were back in cold and snowy Chicago. It was so cold this day that I couldn’t bear taking off my coat for the photo. It makes a pretty funny contrast comparing this photo to the week prior ๐Ÿ™‚ Despite the cold temperatures and the ground covered in snow, we were happy to have arrived home safely. Plus, the holidays were right around the corner so we had a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks!


Merry Christmas! This photo was taken at a ginormous tree near Lincoln Square. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit the entire tree in the photo, but trust us, it was ginormous. Baby girl met our families once again over the Christmas celebrations. Typically, we drive back home to Wisconsin and visit both of our families. This year, Te and I held our title as ‘Foosball champions’ at my Uncle Jeff’s house. We then traveled to celebrate and open gifts with Te’s family. Finally, before we went home, we met my mom and sister for an authentic Mexican brunch ๐Ÿ™‚ Naomi was spoiled already this year with tons of clothes, slippers, toys, a baby book and her first ornament. She’s one lucky little girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Overall, it was a wonderful holiday season; Te and I’s first and last Christmas as a married couple without children!


Happy New Year to all! Happy new month to baby. We are officially 6 months along this week. Where has the time gone? This photo was taken outside of our church. You’re probably thinking, that’s an interesting entrance to a church. Yes, it is. Andย that is becauseย our church service is actually held in a local school, so these four pillars are the front entrance of that school ๐Ÿ™‚ As you can see, luckily, the temperatures have been a bit more cooperative the past couple of weeks, so we can get some great bump photos, without my jacket hogging up the photo.

This past week I tried a new prenatal fitness studio which I loved. I plan to go back and train there for the duration of my pregnancy and for some time postpartum while getting back on my feet. We also completed our baby registry and are getting things ready for our baby shower in WI with friends and family next month. She’ll be here before we know it and I can’t wait!

This coming month will slow down for us a bit. We have no plans to travel and not many other plans in general, which is actually very exciting, in my opinion. I’m feeling more and more tired lately (Whoever said all that nonsense about energy in your second trimester was mistaken) and my hormones have definitely started to kick it up a notch (Let’s just say ‘Cue the Waterworks’ happens more often than not), so I’m looking forward to a month of taking it slow. It gives me time to simply enjoy every moment of this journey.

The down time may also allow me to have time to go out and buy actual maternity clothes one of these weekends. I’ve still been pulling off as many outfits as I can without maternity gear [except for one pair of jeans and one pair of work pants]. I’ve found plenty of comfy alternatives, but I’m pretty sure papa wants his clothes back ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re getting closer and every day I’m more and more excited [and also a bit nervous] to become a mama. I’d love to hear about your pregnancy journey or your journey in motherhood in the comments below!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚



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 theย quality was awful so we took it outside! We started near ourย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 ย I had snacks with me to fuel me along the way. Te did the marathon with us too ๐Ÿ™‚ He rode his bike around the entire course, tracking me along the way. ย 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, ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 anย unforgettable experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ We took this photo at the park near our house. The park where I typically always beat Te in tennis ( ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), where we have memorial day cook outs with friends and where we watch the most intenseย neighborhood firework show ever. Welcome to the ‘hood, baby girl โค


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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 thoughย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) please leave me a note in the comments. Words of encouragement are fine too ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

In the coming weeks hubby and I are taking a babymoon! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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 โค

Until next time..