fearfully and wonderfully made

he's here and we love him.
born 9.23 at 8:38 pm
6 lbs 10 oz
19 3/4 inch long

holding him now so typing with one hand.
i'll be back as soon as life settles down a bit.
boy are we thankful.

we love you, anderson.

Pregnancy: What I've Done in the past 30 some weeks

Well, here I am.  39 weeks..and ready.  I know it could be 7 days, or 14, but regardless I'm ready to meet this babe inside of me.  It's weird now feeling like somewhat of a ticking time bomb, and also unsure of when this whole labor thing will begin.  Similar to the Pregancy: What I Know Now post, I wanted to go through things I've done, and not done.  Not because I think you should follow these rules too, but so I'll remember what I did.  Countless Mom's have already told me, "wait...did I do that when I was pregnant?  I don't remember...I don't know."


  • Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA- Because we don't eat that much fish
  • Rainbow Light Prenatals- Because my friend used them
  • 365 (whole foods) Probiotics- Refrigerated.  Because it helps with pregnancy symptoms and 'they' said it might help with kids not getting too many allergies
  • Yoga- mostly in the 1st and 2nd trimesters
  • Walks- lots of them
  • Water Aerobics/Swimming- didn't do tons of this but felt good when I did
  • no deli meet, unless heated in a grilled cheese
  • only cheese that is pasteurized
  • Red meat that's medium well- I'm ready for a medium steak
  • Lots of snacking
  • Only scrambled eggs.  I'm ready for over-easy eggs again.
  • No alchohol or soda or caffeine
  • Lots of Water
  • borrow borrow borrow
  • don't buy too much- you'll figure out what you need
  • garage sales and consignment shops are your friends
  • borrow as much as you can- especially things that the kiddos only use for a couple months
  • When you buy things from consignment shops and garage sales the Mom's there will tell you how smart you are for not dropping so much $$ on everything new
Other Details
  • Burt's Bees Belly Balm -Got it as a gift and used it when I remembered.  I hear stretch marks can still show up later...
  • Burt's Bees Foot Lotion- another gift and amazing.  Foot massages work out knots which mean no charlie horses for me in the middle of the night.

"Waisting" No Time


With my due date countdown in the single digits now, I have baby on my brain yes, but also clothes.  I'm ready to get out of maternity gear and back into some pants that actually stay up and tops that regain the knowledge that I have a waist.  Thing is, I'm a horrible shopper and realize that a lot of my clothes are pretty old, tattered, and dare I say I "need" some new things.

My Mom and Benjamin would agree that this all falls into the category of "need" over "want," especially when I can think back to when I got some of the things in college...maybe even high school.  Items are faded and I'm sick of seeing them appear in the pictures year after year.

So, first off, boots.  I knew last season that my boots were on their last go, so this morning I check into some new ones.  Thing is, I don't want to spend more than $200.  Girls on a budget... These are in the running so far.  Then we have loafers and flats.  I could get into these.  Again, more staples of mine that are running on more than a few years of wear and looking pretty bad.


I'm also tempted by some new tops and will wait to look into pants when I know what size I'll be.  I know squeezing into some old pairs might take longer than I'd like, in which case I'll probably head over to the outlets to get by before making any investing purchases.

I also have my eye on a watch.  I have a silver one that I occasionally wear which I got as a gift in 7th grade.  Yup.  Are you beginning to get the picture here?  These simple watches are priced well and could come in handy for all the clock watching I'll be doing soon to make sure Anderson is being fed well and often.

To check out what else I'm pinning and pining over, check out my style board over on Pinterest.  It's really the most simple way for me to see something I like and actually remember where it came from.


Apple Picking!

Hello, Fall!  I am welcoming you with wide open arms.  Summer here isn't my favorite, especially with the addition of an extra heater.  I was so glad to be throwing on jeans, socks, closed-toe shoes, and thankful for my one maternity sweater this morning as some friends and I headed out to Homestead Farms to pick apples.

We couldn't have asked for a better morning- a little cool but warmed up to the perfect temperature after 20 minutes or so.  Some of my favorite kids were there and once again I was so thankful for the kids, the Mom's, and the life I'm about to have with Anderson's pending arrival.

We picked lots of fuji apples and I was thankful for my little helpers.  I sure do love these kids!  The farm was great for them to run around at and also check out the animals.

Little did we know it was 1:00 before we knew it and many Mom's needed to run off to get a nap in for their little ones.

Although a nap was tempting for me as well, I opted for some warm apple cider and making a mocha apple bundt cake, the smell of which is currently filling our house.

What as great day.  I love how the one little boy was the messiest of the bunch- the things I have to look forward to!  We've got a fun weekend in store, although if Anderson wants to change our plans, he's allowed.

Broiled Shrimp with Tomatoes and White Beans

See...I'm still cooking.  The recipes are a bit easier, or they're ones I've made in the past.  The tried-and-true standbys.  Regardless, I came across this recipe in Martha and thought, "that's so easy."  I made it and then thought, "That's so easy Benjamin can make it after Anderson arrives."  It's true.  Simple.  I know many of you like simple so here you go.

I'll give you Martha's recipe, but say that next time I make this I think some white wine should go in place of the broth- or maybe some wine, some broth.  The flavors work really well, but wouldn't white wine just be that much better?!  Yes.  I also might mix some pasta in there once everything is cooked since the juices are pretty wonderful.  It would really help stretch this dish out from serving 4, to maybe serving 6, especially if you add some parm on top of the pasta, and oh, maybe a dab of butter.

{Recipe thanks to Martha Stewart}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, or 1 small container of them
  • 1 (19-oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock (or wine)
1. Heat the broiler and preheat a large ovenproof skillet.  Martha prefers cast iron.  My cast iron pan isn't that big so I used non-stick.  Meanwhile toss tomatoes with beans, capers, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Toss the shrimp with a remaining tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a separate bowl.

2.  Remove skillet from the oven and add tomato mixture.  Broil for 5 minutes until tomatoes are just starting to shrivel.  Remove from the oven and stir in the stock (or wine) and shrimp.  Broil, stirring halfway, for another 3-5 minutes until shrimp are done.

Serve with some crusty bread, or you could make some pasta and throw that in the pan to soak up the wonderful broth and tomato juices.  We had bread...next time I'll opt for pasta.

Apple Hello Dolly Bars

I was going to re-name these bars but I couldn't come up with anything clever so I went with their Southern Living given name.  It works.

These bars came about as a result of me having everything but the condensed milk in my pantry thanks to some friends who gave me all their pantry items they couldn't take with them.  The condensed milk I got from my Mom's pantry- a place that is just waiting for power outages, earthquakes, and hurricanes.  You can guess where we would have ended up if the storms of a few weeks ago really got bad.

These are incredibly easy to make, and although Southern Living called for granny smith apples, I used some form of red apples because that's what I had...and they worked just fine.

I was able to give away almost half of the batch but there are still far too many sitting in our kitchen.  I will say I like taking a bite of them and then soon after feeling Anderson kick.  Does a Mamma's heart good.

{Recipe thanks to Southern Living}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 package butterscotch morsels
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • about 1 1/2 cups lightly chopped pecans, enough to cover the top
  • 1 (14 -oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Melt the butter and mix it with the graham crackers then press the crust into the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking pan.  

2. Sprinkle everything else on in layers as directed, ending with the sweetened condensed milk which you'll drizzle on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

38 weeks!

Good job, Anderson.  You've made it 38 weeks!  They say boys mature more slowly (as if we needed to be reminded of this) so I'm glad you've held out and let your lungs mature some more.  It's exciting now when people ask when you're coming and I can say 2 weeks!  In my head, I know it may still be 3, but either way you'll be here before we know it.

Yesterday I was able to start a Bible study and next week I think I'll go to another women's smallgroup through church.  "They" say it's good to have a schedule when baby comes so I'm looking forward to having some things to do during the week to get out of the house.  I know however that I may be way too exhausted some days and unable to make them.  Regardless, I'm thankful for meeting other Mom's as the DC area doesn't scream with many stay-at-home Mom's.  

I'm looking forward to joining the club though and am thankful for new Mom friends already.  It's really been a blessing as a few months ago part of my anxiety about this transition was wondering what I'd do and who I'd hang out with.  Thankfully it looks like we'll keep busy and the Lord is bringing people into my life to relate to during this time.

The quilt Anne made for Anderson arrived yesterday- so beautiful!  It really is all about the finishing touches this week.  That, and hanging out with friends.  Now that I'm a ticking time bomb everyone wants to hang out with me.  Really though, it's been a social week which has been great.  We're thankful to be seeing friends and hope that once he arrives we'll still be getting out just as much, this time with a baby in a carrier.  

The social calendar has been good for me as well to not be sitting around waiting or getting anxious about when he'll come.  I am however instituting more walks into my schedule to help move things along.  I'm also keeping up my ice cream intake and finding that sweet treats get Anderson moving, a session I know I'll miss inside of me once he's outside in the world!

Pregnancy: What I know Now

I'm about to be in baby zone so I figured I should stop a minute and write down some thoughts on pregnancy for any of you interested, and also for myself.  I hear "pregnancy brain" doesn't go away when the baby comes and I may forget (likely will) what this pregnancy has been like.

First Trimester:

  • Don't read too much.  There is way too much information out there.  Sure, it's fun and exciting, but it can also stress you out and make you worry about things that are super rare.
  • Don't ask if you look pregnant. You don't, and probably won't for 6 months or more.
  • Sleep and don't feel bad about it.  You'll sleep like the baby growing inside of you.
  • Take advantage of other people cooking for you when you can't stomach cooking yourself.
  • Cravings aren't for everyone.  I wanted milk and grilled cheese, and eggs, and burgers, and for about a week I really wanted Mexican.  I also wanted Trader Joe's boxed mac and cheese a lot.  Really though, we're talking basic food.  No crazy pickles and ice cream going on here.
  • Get excited- your hormones are all over the place.  Joy.

Second Trimester:
  • You will start to look pregnant and get really excited about this.  Even so, keep wearing all the clothes of yours you can.  You'll soon be too big for anything but prego clothes and get very over them come months 8 & 9.
  • You'll get some energy back and it will be glorious.
  • You'll hopefully worry less because you can now tell people you're preggers and your baby will keep growing and developing to a point where it could survive outside the womb.
  • You'll be able to eat more normal food and branch out from first trimester restrictions.

Third Trimester:
  • You're really showing.  Hooray.
  • Baby is coming soon.  Therefore, you're allowed to nest and think about the nursery and want to get settled.
  • Don't get overwhelmed with baby "stuff."  Think about what you'll need for the beginning and go from there.
  • Ask people if you can borrow things they aren't using anymore- nursing pillows, prego pillows, baby play mats, exersaucers, clothes, etc. My wardrobe has been supplied by friends and 1 stop about 6 months ago to Old Navy.  Sharing is caring.
  • Be thankful for baby showers, but know it's normal to think, "Holy Cow, I'm having a Baby!"
  • Enjoy ice cream.  It's a new food group to you after all and your baby needs calcium.  Right? Right.
  • Be thankful for your developing baby, even when all it's doing is plumping up and you're still wondering how exactly it's going to get out and meet you.
  • Take childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, and a hospital tour.  All helpful, but also take some things with a grain of salt.  Again, there's too much information out there.
  • Don't get overwhelmed when people are telling you tons of information without you asking.  They are caring for you, even though it may become annoying and again, overwhelming.
  • Your hormones are still all over the place.  It's ok to cry often.
  • Nap when you can.  10-12:30 pm? 6-8:30 pm?  Both logical napping times at this point.
  • Have I mentioned ice cream?  Try in milkshake form as well.  Suddenly all your lactose intolerance issues have gone away.
  • Keep taking your prenatals, DHA pills, and probiotics.  Love me some probiotics.
  • Sit in the nursery and get excited for the baby you'll still hold in there.

Ad Hoc at Home Buttermilk Biscuits

Looks like I haven't been cooking of late, but I have.  I've mostly been going back and cooking through recipes I've liked and wanted to make again.  However, I'm also trying to get some things in that I know won't come as easy to make in the next few months.  For example, Ad Hoc at Home Buttermilk Biscuits.  Really not too challenging, but given our kitchen, recipes like this just take extra clean up and mess.

I made them on Saturday morning and enjoyed them with some American Spoon Sour Cherry Preserves.  The perfect combination, especially since I topped the biscuits with fleur de sel at the last minute, per Thomas' recommendation.  Whatever you say, Tom.

Now that I've made these once, I know next time I don't need to roll out the dough as much.  I do know though that I think it was good that I didn't handle the dough too much.  Apparently that kept them nice and fluffy.

The biscuits didn't rise as much as I expected, but then again they didn't burn so I think that was alright.  According to the Southern man in my life, they represent a great Southern biscuit.  That's all I needed to hear...

{Recipe thanks to Ad Hoc at Home}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to blend then add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas.  Don't overmix it - you don't want the dough coming together.

2.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl and make a well in the center.  Pour in the buttermilk then stir and lift the mixture around until it begins to come together but it not yet one solid ball.  Again, don't overmix here.

3.  Dust a work surface with flour then turn out the dough, form into a ball, and roll out to 3/4" thickness.  Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out the biscuits and place on your prepared sheet.  Brush with buttermilk then bake for 15-18 minutes.  Remove when golden and sprinkle with some fleur de sel if you wish.

{Thursday with the Babe} Baby Boy Blue

Full term now (hooray!) and excited for Anderson's arrival.  It's funny now reading the little updates on the apps on my phone.  They're all pretty repetitive telling me to pack my hospital bag and make a birth plan.  My birth plan is this: get this baby out.  Safely of course, but really I am just excited for him to be here.

I remember early on thinking about how small he was and how much he'd grow in the next 6 weeks.  Now we don't have 6 weeks left- just 4, maybe.

Today I headed out to get my nails done and have lunch with some friends.  One friend is due next week, and the other is in between jobs so it was a nice outing during these rainy rainy days.

I haven't gotten a manicure in forever, basically because they don't last long.  I decided to get a bit of a different color and figured it'll probably be off by the end of the weekend anyways.  I opted for this blue and now I think it's pretty hilarious.  If I do go into labor I'm just waiting for a lot of pictures to be taken and for my Mom to keep commenting on how I have blue nails!

{Monday with the Babe} Feeling it

I am really feeling pregnant these days.  It's still hot out and although it's rainy today and I'm hoping it'll cool down, that's probably not likely.

The babe has gotten a lot of walks in this weekend from Friday at the Zoo to walking around Old Town, and then yesterday afternoon on the Mall.  We've been out and about because of friends in town, in particular this cutie.  She was at our wedding when she was just 3 months old, and my oh my has she grown!

Well, that's about it.  Anderson is still moving and nudging and I'm sleeping less and less well.  It seems like I have to lift my belly to rotate anymore.  I'm thankful for the body pillow a friend lent me and allergy meds, which at this point are crucial now that my Fall allergies are back.

Here's to more cooking in the oven, Anderson.  Can't wait to meet you!!

{Friday with the Babe} Finishing Touches

We put up the mobile this week and for some reason this baby coming feels even more real.  That, and the fact that more than half of the people who I knew were having babies around when we were have had their babies this week.  One girl was a few weeks early, but still.  That leaves me and another friend left which is kind of crazy.  I think Braxton Hicks have started and I'm definitely in the "has he dropped?" "this could really come at any time" mode.  

Of course because I think that he won't be here until October.  Who knows.  Either way we're excited.  A friend from college is in town this weekend with her sweet daughter and husband.  We're looking forward to seeing them lots this weekend and hosting them next week.  I may have a car seat in the car for her daughter in the case that I should go into labor and we'd have to get to the hospital.  That said, I know if I did we'd just go home until the contractions were close enough together that we'd then go to the hospital.

This brings me to the fact that movies (once again) lie.  You don't just go to the hospital the moment labor begins and you also don't (or shouldn't) breathe by going he-he-whoooo.  That's going to get me in trouble when I start doing that and forget the real breathing techniques.  I should probably do some research on how to breathe since this is my second time now confessing that I'm not quite sure the right way to do it.  Did you know if you don't breathe right the baby could slip back up instead of down?!  Who knew.  

I got some more nursing attire yesterday from the lovely outlets and stocked up on some chicken and beef from Costco that we can freeze for when we need to make a quick meal post baby.  I also picked up some adorable jammies.  Love Hannah Anderson for Costco.  Aren't they adorable?!  

My Mom picked up some books at the library to read too. I brought these two home tonight and Benjamin and I enjoyed cracking up at the "What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding" one.  It basically reminds him of things not to say while I'm in labor and is the man version of "Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy," another winner of a read for me.  I'm all about the books that aren't too technical.  I trust the doctors and ultimately the Lord to get me through.  

Well, that's all for now.  Blogging each time I get a chance because "he really could come at any time!"  Now insert my mother re-assuring me, "He's not coming until October" just so I don't get discouraged when/if he decides to hang out in the womb a bit longer.