Build it Yourself

Since Paul and I have been married, we have not lived in a house we’ve planned on staying in very long.  It makes it really hard to decorate, because a lot of times when you move, you have to adjust some of your decorations/furniture to fit the new place.  Since we are currently renting we were trying not to do too much to make it easier on us when we moved.  Well then I got pregnant… and then I started nesting.

When I started nesting I wanted our entire house decorated.  I feel like a well decorated house is just so much more welcoming, and that’s when it starts to feel more homey and less bachelor paddish.  So obviously Aubrey’s room was taken care of first, but then I focused on our guest room.  I’m not sure why that took precedent, but I can only assume it’s because I spend 85% of my day in here since it doubles as my office, and it also is where we’ve been storing the last few boxes of decorations, that we just didn’t have anywhere to put.  So I needed it to fall into place.

My guest room wish list consisted of:

  • Matching bedspread/sheets/pillows
  • Console table/bookshelf
  • Headboard for the bed
  • Curtains

Well now I can mark the first two off the list!  This weekend, Paul and I spent some quality time together building a console table.  Not your idea of quality time?  We had a blast, and then started dreaming of the next things we will be building for our house!  Seriously… we have a list now, and this time it isn’t just my list!

I wanted a cheap shelf/bookshelf that we could place the TV on, and that we could add some decorations to so the room itself would feel less cold and bleh.  All the shelves I’d seen at stores were way more than I wanted to spend, and Craigslist had a lot of really cheap things that weren’t made out of all wood.   So I scoured the Ana White website, and found this console table.  Price estimate $20-50.  Perfect!  *Sidenote – ours ended up costing WAY more, because we are currently building up Paul’s tool collection, so unfortunately $50 was not the price… BUT it would have EASILY been $25-30 max if we did not need to buy clamps and a Kreg jig. (we could have bought the $20 kreg jig for this project – but we know we will be using the other tools in the kit in the future, so we ended up buying the whole set which made this project more costly).  

Now our house has taken on a rustic/contemporary theme.  So I saw this wooden table and figured with the right color stain it would be perfect for the guest room.  Paul was skeptical, but he humored me.  So our Friday night started out looking like this…


These 2x4s actually turned into a table within a couple of hours!  We even modified the plans and added a shelf to the bottom, which I think really adds to the piece.


After it was fully built, Paul spent some time really sanding it down to make it smooth. Then we stained it.  We choose a Weathered Grey stain to match the decorations in our guest room.


By Saturday afternoon, we had this thing built, sanded, stained and moved into the house!  We were both so excited!  We built our first piece of furniture ever, and it obviously came with a learning curve. It was the perfect beginner project.  It’s definitely not perfect, but we learned from some of these mistakes so next time we will be even better.  I absolutely love looking at this table knowing that Paul and I built it together, and for that reason, I’m pretty sure we’ll never be able to get rid of it.  Now it has sentimental value.  Which is kind of an exciting thing for the furniture in your house to have. 🙂



Baby M – 33 Weeks

Bump Analysis? This little girl has not dropped at all.  She seems to be perfectly content hanging out in my rib cage.  I guess this is kind of a good thing, because hopefully that means she isn’t ready to come out anytime soon, and I want her to stay in there a little longer!

Month/Trimester? 8 months [32 weeks – 35 weeks] / 3rd Trimester!

Fruit of the week? This week, Aubrey is the size of a durian… if you’re like me and you have no clue what that is… It’s apparently the smelliest superfruit.  Appealing right?  She is about 17.2 – 18.7in and 4.2-5.8lbs!  She could grow up to a full inch this week – which is just amazing to me!


Development? She keeps her eyes open while she is awake, and she’s starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.  Her bones are hardening, and she’s still going through more major brain development!  Keep on growing baby girl!

Movement? I can feel her moving still, but I think it’s definitely becoming cramped in there for her.  Sometimes at night I’ll be almost asleep, and then she will do some huge kick or what feels like she’s dragging her arm/leg across the inside of my stomach (weirdest feeling ever!).  It totally takes me by surprise and jolts me awake.

Name? Aubrey Joy 🙂

Testing? Nothing at the moment!

Weight Gain?     1 lb this week… Totaling 26 lbs.


  • Anxiety/Heart Palpitations/Shortness of Breath – I think my anxiety is getting better.  Between lots of prayer, and actually knocking a lot of things off my to do list I’m starting to relax a little!
  • Tingly/Numb leg sensations on my right leg
  • Dry Nose/Nose bleeds
  • Excessive pee breaks
  • Tailbone Pain
  • Heartburn

Cravings?  Starbucks ice white mocha latte please!

Aversions? Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sleep? I killed my back this week sleeping the wrong way.  I think somehow my stomach was pulling my back into an awkward position, and I woke up in so much pain.  It felt like I had been bent over backwards for hours on end.  I adjusted how I was sleeping though, and I think I solved this problem!

Maternity Clothes?  I bought another shirt – the repetitive thing is killing me.

Exercise? Paul and I went for a walk this past week with the dogs.  It wasn’t near as long as our normal walks, but man am I feeling out of shape!  I get out of breath so easy, walking usually brings on braxton hicks, and even though Aubrey isn’t sitting on my sciatica anymore, I think she’s on another nerve that randomly causes my right leg to get all tingly and numb feeling.  I feel like our life has calmed down during the week though, so I at least want to try to get some exercise in during the week… The weekends are a whole different story.

Wedding Rings? ON!

Stretch Marks? No change here… Still using Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and BioOil.

Preparations for Baby? Since we are starting to get closer to the end, I’m starting to do more to get ready for Aubrey’s arrival, and I figured this would be a fun update!  I am currently in full on nesting mode – not the cleaning part, but the decorating part!  The last 2-3 weeks I’ve probably driven my husband absolutely insane, but he’s been a saint!  He hangs things when I ask, we built a console table together this past weekend (I’ll do a blog post on that soon!), and I may have gone slightly over budget last month and this month due to my need to decorate and instead of getting angry he has just laughed at me… and then said, “Okay but this is it – now you’re done”. See – he’s a saint. 🙂

I am also SUPER EXCITED to say that the nursery is fully decorated!! (aside from the rocking chair which my father in law is bringing this weekend!) So with all the decorating getting done, my anxiety level has definitely lowered!  Once we get the rocking chair in place I will do a nursery reveal, but for now we are still keeping that under wraps! 🙂

I also busted out all of the cloth diapers in our stash this week to start getting them washed and ready for when she get’s here!  CRAZY!!

Labor Signs? Braxton hicks

What I miss?  How easy it was to shave my legs before I had a huge belly.

Looking forward to? So many things!  My in laws and niece will be in on Friday! My sister, her husband, and their girls will be here!  We are taking maternity pictures, and my mom is throwing us a baby shower this weekend!  I am so so excited to see everyone, and to celebrate our little girl!

The Little Things

Paul has never been one for big romantic gestures.  I’m not saying he isn’t romantic in his own way,  but he just isn’t that guy that’s going to plan a big elaborate surprise or shower me with gifts just because… at least not very often.

Lo and Paul (13 of 29)

Lately though, I’m noticing these very little seemingly insignificant things that Paul does on a regular basis to show me he loves me.  If you’re not looking or paying attention, you would miss them.  They are the little acts of love that often fly under the radar and go unappreciated.  I’m not sure if I’m paying more attention, or the longer we are together the better we are getting to know each other.  These are the little things I never want to forget, and when I’m paying attention they have me swooning for my husband all over again.


Love doesn’t have to be full of big romantic gestures all the time.  Sometimes I think love is more beautiful in those brief little moments, where the love is unspoken.  Those regular days, where actions speak louder than words.  When he knows a hug and pep talk is just what I needed.  When hanging a nursery decoration takes priority to the interview he was waiting to see with Jameis Winston to help ease your wife’s anxiety.  When you send your wife in the house to protect her from seeing the snake in the backyard.  Some of these things may not even sound like your stereotypical descriptions of “love”, and maybe that’s why they often go overlooked and under appreciated.


I encourage everyone to look for the simple moments of love in their marriage, because those little moments are the ones that fill my heart with joy, remind me how lucky I am to have my husband, and make me feel more loved and cherished.  Value the little things in love.

Baby M – 32 Weeks

Bump Analysis? Here I was thinking that farmers tan would be fading… It looks worse this week.  It should look really good in our maternity pictures… I might need to rethink my outfit!

Month/Trimester? 8 months [32 weeks – 35 weeks] / 3rd Trimester!

Fruit of the week? This week, Aubrey is the size of a squash! She is about 15.2 – 16.7in and 2.5-3.8lbs!

Development? She is getting ready for delivery by getting ready to descend, and get in the head down position.  She’s feeling more cramped as she continues to grow.

Movement? Lots and lots!  Sometimes she kicks so hard out of nowhere it startles me!

Name? Aubrey Joy 🙂

Testing? Nothing at the moment!

Weight Gain?    1 lb this week… Totaling 25 lbs.


  • Anxiety/Heart Palpitations/Shortness of Breath – I feel like these all go hand in hand…
  • Achy legs at the end of the day
  • Dry Nose
  • Excessive pee breaks
  • Tailbone Pain
  • Heartburn

Cravings?  Starbucks ice white mocha latte please!

Aversions? Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sleep? Sleeping well at night, but I feel lethargic during the day.

Maternity Clothes?  My wardrobe is getting really repetitive…

Exercise? I did nothing this week… Fail

Wedding Rings? ON!

Stretch Marks? No change here… Still using Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and BioOil.

Labor Signs? Braxton hicks

What I miss? I think at this point I’m too anxious to miss anything… I just can’t wait for her to be here!  I want to see what she looks like and hold her in my arms and cover her in kisses!! 

Looking forward to? This week I’m hoping to put some finishing touches onto her nursery so that it is done, and I can mark it off my list, and show you guys!

Baby M – 31 Weeks


Bump Analysis? Ignore the awesome farmers tan I got this weekend… 9 weeks left!! Give or take… AKA she could be here sooner!!

Month/Trimester? 7 months [28 weeks – 31 weeks] / 3rd Trimester!

Fruit of the week? This week, Aubrey is the size of a pineapple!  I don’t know about you but I think a pineapple is pretty dang big to push out… She is approximately 15.2 – 16.7 in long, and weighs between 2.5 – 3.8 lbs!

Development? She is going through lots of brain and nerve development.  Her eyes are continuing to develop and her irises now react to light.  All five of her senses are now functioning.

Movement? We like to play this game when she’s awake.  I poke on an area of my belly, and she kicks me back in that same spot!  It just cracks me up since it doesn’t matter what side I poke, she responds in the same area.  It really makes me feel like I’m already playing with her!

Name? Aubrey Joy 🙂

Testing? My doctor hasn’t called me in regards to my glucose test… I’m guessing no news and good news!  My mom can stop worrying about my water consumption now, I’m really just thirsty 🙂

Weight Gain?   2 lbs this week… Totaling 24 lbs.


  • Back Pain – Ohh it’s back with a vengeance! If I’m sitting or laying down it’s okay, but as soon as I put weight onto my right foot, I get a shooting pain up my back that’s taken my breath away a few times… My only guess is this sweet little girl of mine has settled in on a nerve somewhere… She needs to move… STAT!
  • Dry Nose – this has been an issue from the very beginning of my pregnancy, but now I feel like it’s just getting worse.  My nose is so dry, and it keeps randomly bleeding.  Please tell me I’m not the only pregnant girl this is happening to!
  • Excessive pee breaks
  • Tailbone Pain
  • Heartburn

Cravings?  So my friend sent me this link last week, and from then on it was all I could think about.  The Cookie Dough Cafe – Edible cookie dough.  No eggs.  AKA safe for this big huge pregnant girl to eat!  I immediately looked up a store in my area that carried it and went to purchase it!

Aversions? Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sleep? I’m starting to get RLS pretty badly when I’m trying to fall asleep.  My calves just feel achy and tingly, and I keep asking Paul to massage my legs.  I don’t know that I can complain though.  Maybe I’m not far along to feel this, but most pregnant women complain about sleep, or the lack thereof, and I’m still sleeping pretty well once I fall asleep!

Maternity Clothes?  Well, I’m making the switch.  The switch to maternity/nursing bras and tanks.  It’s really just unrealistic for me to continue wearing mine.  Motherhood had a Buy 3 get 1 Free sale… So now I just need them to come in the mail, and I’ll decide how much more comfortable my life just got.

Exercise? So this whole shooting back pain thing makes me not want to move… like ever.  So this is a struggle right now.   A walk sounds horrible, and I think our lamaze classes terrified my husband who no longer wants me to go to the gym.  He’s pretty positive it will send me into pre-term labor.

Wedding Rings? ON!

Stretch Marks? No change here… Still using Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and BioOil.

Labor Signs? Braxton hicks are more apparent when I am active and walking.

What I miss? I want to go shopping… For cute clothes, not “Hey you’re huge clothes”….

Looking forward to? My brother and his sweet girlfriend got me a prenatal massage for Christmas.  I’ve been holding onto it until later in my pregnancy when I got more uncomfortable.  While I have to say I don’t feel super uncomfortable all day, by the end of the day I’m pretty achy, so a massage sounds just perfect for me this week 🙂 Thanks Trav & Victoria!

The Perfect Getaway

At the end of March, Paul and I headed to Destin, FL for a baby moon.  It’s not a necessity while you’re pregnant, but it was so incredibly worth it!  We were a little bummed because the forecast was predicted to be a little bit chilly, but man the weather was BEAUTIFUL during the day!  At night, you needed to be bundled up for sure!!

We got to Destin, and immediately just took in the view from our hotel room.  Destin is one of our favorite places, and it just made me happy looking off our balcony to this!


Friday night, we got there around 6, so we changed and headed to dinner.  We ate at ACME and it was delicious!  Then we spent the evening walking around Baytown.  The whole time, we just kept talking about how awesome it will be when Aubrey gets older and we take trips to Destin, and she can play at all the fun little places they have for kids.

On Saturday, we headed to breakfast at “The Donut Hole”.  If you’ve never been, you need to go.  Right now!  Take me with you!  Everything is homemade, but the donuts are just melt in your mouth amazing.  I want to go back… it’s just a 7 hour drive for a donut!  Totally realistic!

Then we headed to the outlets, and did some damage in an about an hour.  So we left!  It was fun though!  We got great deals at the Nike Outlet, and then updated Paul’s Sperry’s to a nicer pair.  His were looking pretty pathetic.  Afterwards, we headed to the beach, and it ended up being a gorgeous day!  The weather said it was about 60 degrees, but in the sun it felt like 70.  It was beautiful, and we even got some drinks on the beach… Virgin Strawberry Daquiri for me.  I can pretend 🙂


I was daring enough to sun the bump this weekend too…


Saturday night, we headed to play put put golf, and we were pretty competitive.  I was winning, until Paul pulled ahead!  He ended up beating me by 7, but we both came in under par.  Quite the accomplishment for a put put golf course!

IMG_7074 IMG_7072

After golf, we found a little local restaurant where we ate, and when we headed back to the hotel, Paul wanted to fish.  So we headed to the beach, and it was FREEZING!  I was shivering so bad, it was making my back hurt! So after about 10 minutes, I decided I was going back to the room.  Well as soon as I told him, he caught a fish!  He started reeling it in, and he could not have been more excited.  One of my favorite parts about Paul is his excitement.  When something makes him happy, you know it! He gets this HUGE smile, and he gets giddy like a little kid at Christmas.  Then he continues to talk about whatever it was that excited him for a day or two with such animation.  It’s adorable.  So imagine his excitement when he caught this sucker…


Our weekend could not have been better.  It was one of those weekends that just reminds you of all the things that made you fall in love in the first place.   It was a perfect getaway from our busy life lately, and a perfect last weekend away before we are a family of 3!

The Pregnancy Struggles 2.0

I recently talked about the struggles of being pregnant, but it’s time to add to the list. Pregnancy brain.  This is a real thing, and the struggle is real.  The worst part, is that I feel like it shows at work a lot, and then I just feel dumb.  When it happens with Paul, we just laugh at them… and then he brings them up on a regular basis and laughs some more at my expense!

  • Paul and I sat at the table to eat dinner, I picked up my knife and his knife, and got ready to cut my chicken.  He just looked at me trying to figure out what I was doing, until I realized this wasn’t going to work.  I put 1 knife down really confused, and grabbed a fork.  Paul just died laughing at me.
  • I was searching for an email in my deleted emails, when I got a phone call.  This must have distracted me, so when I got off the phone, I saw I had an email with high importance in my email.  I read it, and responded to the man in my office who sent it to me… and then I realized it was an old deleted email from 2013 that I had just replied to.  So I then emailed him again apologizing, and he laughed at me.  Then we laughed about it again during my in office visit.
  • I had to import some information into one of our databases at work, and I could’t find the normal table to import it into.  I had been having some computer issues, so I figured something was funny.  I called a co-worker in, and she ended up importing the file for me on her computer.  Later I went back, and realized I had the wrong database open.  Which would explain the table was not there when I tried to import it… the table didn’t exist in that database.

These more recent ones though, they are Paul’s favorite…

  • I spent the day doing a couple loads of laundry.  When I was laying in bed that night, I asked Paul if he would get the clothes out of the dryer so I could fold them.  He gets up, goes to grab the laundry, and I hear “Lauren are you serious?!” … What?  “You’re running the dryer with nothing in it!”  Apparently I had every intention of switching the clothes over, and even thought I did, but really I didn’t.  Fail.
  • We were having some issues with our tv and our guide stopped working for like a week, but neither of us felt like dealing with the cable company.  Then while we were watching TV one night, the cable stopped working along with our internet and land lines (yes – we have land lines in 2015, but they are for work!}.  So I tell Paul that I’ll call them.  So while I’m on the phone, it keeps asking for the phone number on our account, and each time I put it in, it says it’s not correct.  I start getting frustrated… at that point Paul hears some of the automated system (I had it on speakerphone), and says, “Lauren, you’re calling Comcast… we have Brighthouse!” Bigger fail.

So needless to say, pregnancy brain is a serious condition, and the struggle is so very real!

Baby M – 30 Weeks

30 Weeks

Bump Analysis? First time in a while that my hair looks decent.  If you can’t tell, blame my photographer for the blurry picture.  Also do you remember when I was around 20 weeks and I thought I was huge?  I lied.  Now I’m huge.

Month/Trimester? 7 months [28 weeks – 31 weeks] / 3rd Trimester! For some reason in my head, 30 weeks is a milestone.  Maybe it’s because I only have 10 weeks left (give or take)? or maybe it’s because I’m 75% done with my first pregnancy which just blows my mind!

Fruit of the week? This week, Aubrey is the size of a cucumber!  She is approximately 15.2 – 16.7 in long, and weighs between 2.5 – 3.8 lbs!

Development? Her skin is continuing to get smoother, meanwhile her brain is getting more wrinkly for all the necessary brain tissue! She’s also strong enough to grasp a finger… which will just melt my heart the first time she does that to me.

Movement? I THINK she had hiccups this week… I’m waiting for it to happen again to be sure.  It’s absolutely amazing how much stronger she is getting… well stronger and bigger.  Her kicks are getting so much more powerful, and there are times when my entire stomach shakes back and forth while she is doing gymnastics in there.  It’s pretty amazing to watch.

Name? Aubrey Joy 🙂

Testing? Still waiting on the results from my gestational diabetes testing…

Weight Gain?  1 lb this week… Totaling 22 lbs.


  • Excessive pee breaks
  • Tailbone Pain
  • Heartburn daily – I eat TUMS like it’s my job.
  • Lots of discomfort when sitting – she really likes being pushed against my rib cage

Cravings? I don’t think I really have any right now…

Aversions? Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sleep? I am exhausted when my head hits the pillow, I wake up a few time to go to the bathroom, but by about noon I’m dragging, and begging for a nap!

Maternity Clothes? I took advantage of the 50% off Old Navy sale this week and I purchased a couple of professional maternity dresses.  I’ll be needing those next month, and who wants to buy full price maternity dresses that I’ll only be able to wear for 2 months… not me.  Call me cheap.  You’d be right 🙂

Exercise? Walking and the gym per the usual.  My legs were SO incredibly sore after the gym though… yikes.

Wedding Rings? ON!

Stretch Marks? No change here… Still using Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and BioOil.

Labor Signs? Braxton hicks are more apparent when I am active and walking.

What I miss? Cuddling with Paul at night… we still cuddle, but it’s getting harder with a big ol’ pregnancy pillow in the way.  At one point last week, Paul said, “I’m caught in your big pillow!” he had his foot wrapped between the pillow and the sheet and he couldn’t move.  I died laughing.  He also referred to it as my “big banana pillow” this morning when it was bothering him.  My husband REALLY likes the pregnancy pillow… 😉

Looking forward to? Seeing the nursery come together 🙂 We have started hanging things on the walls, and it makes me so excited!  It still has a ways to go, but you can at least see a nursery coming together!!! [this is also a huge sigh of relief for me, because I am starting to get really anxious as we get closer and closer to the due date!  This planner needs to have things in place!]

My Little Girl

At our wedding, I danced with my dad to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw.  That song has always left me with a soft spot.  If you’ve never heard it, you can listen to it here. I thought it fit perfectly for my dad and I.  Specifically this verse:

Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand.
But I won’t say “yes” to him unless I know, he’s the half
that makes you whole, he has a poet’s soul, and the heart of a man’s man.
I know he’ll say that he’s in love.
But between you and me. He won’t be good enough!

I am not trying to say my Dad doesn’t love Paul, he does. He gave Paul his blessing which is a big deal if you know my dad.  He knew Paul was perfect for me, but I also know that if my dad had any doubts he would have easily told him “No”.  Without him saying so I think this is how he felt when he gave me away, and I think every dad feels that way before they give away their daughter.


So while I was working, I had music playing and this song came on.  I couldn’t help but smile thinking of memories of my dance with my daddy.


As I was listening to the lyrics it hit me, soon this song could define how Paul feels about our daughter.  I just started picturing this little girl running into his arms, because I just know she is going to be a daddy’s girl.  It makes me so excited when I imagine watching Paul play with our daughter.  This perfect little girl that we haven’t even met yet.  So this verse came on, and so did the waterworks… (which isn’t abnormal these days when I think about babies, or giving birth, or things we will get to do with her!)

When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone.
Now look at you, I’ve turned around and you’ve almost grown.
Sometimes you’re asleep I whisper “I Love You!” in the moonlight at your door.
As I walk away, I hear you say, “Daddy Love You More!”

I grew up with a dad who drove me nuts sometimes, but I never once doubted how much he loved me.  I knew he would be there for me in an instant.  He gave the best hugs, and he’s probably the reason why I love to cuddle so much.  He gave me advice (sometimes it wasn’t always asked for, but he did it anyways… and maybe I didn’t listen when I was young, but I remember it all today).  Every little girl deserves a daddy like I had, and there is no question in my mind that Paul will be that dad for Aubrey.  Just that thought alone, makes my heart swell with joy. I am so thankful for a dad who taught me what to look for in a man, and I am so thankful that God brought this man into my life at the perfect time.  I am so incredibly thankful, that Aubrey gets to grow up with not only an amazing Daddy, but an amazing Grandpa.