Goodbye, 2016.

This year was full of precious memories. Here are just a few of my favorites:

In January we made a trip to Helen, Ga., to spend Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in a mountain cabin with three other couples. A mini golf tournament, the Cabbage Patch Doll General Hospital, Cards Against Humanity, explorations of a Bavarian Alpine village…all while hiding extreme pregnancy nausea and excusing myself from activities like horseback riding and hot tubbing. 12508726_10205164181092861_9126912767848178339_n

In February we spent a long weekend in Atlanta, seeing Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast at the Fox Theatre and enjoying quality time in the city with long-time friends.img_6215

In March we announced that baby Davis was on the way. I was 17 weeks pregnant and finally starting to feel like myself again. On Easter we revealed baby Davis was a girl with a backyard egg hunt for our families. The bump made its appearance at 22 weeks._dsc0025-1IMG_6430

In April I traveled to Boston with two of my favorite gal pals for a wonderful few days of tourist adventures, public transportation and way too much food.
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In May we spent our free time alternating between the lake and the pool which turned out to be the theme of my hot pregnant summer.IMG_6974

img_7530In June we attended a beautiful wedding at Boone Hall Plantation and then headed straight to Kiawah Island for a week of vacation where I treated myself to a blissful prenatal massage.img_7086-1img_7193

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In July we had three incredible baby showers and took one more deep breath before our world changed forever. My best friends came from all over the country and reminded me of how richly the Lord has blessed us with the people in our lives. hannah_baby-shower_001hannah_baby-shower_035hannah_baby-shower_037

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Ladies Brunch Shower

In August we welcomed Avery Noelle and it was the highlight of our year. I succeeded in delivering my baby naturally with the support of my husband, mom, midwife and nurse. It was the culmination of 42 sanctifying weeks and one really hard day where heaven met earth and I grasped just how miraculous the human body is._dsc0016

In September we went apple picking with our four week old and quietly celebrated our third wedding anniversary at home.img_7966

In October we celebrated both of our birthdays, went to Clemson’s homecoming and enjoyed a fancy date night out, the first without Avery.img_8241-1

In November I went back to work at Creative Services and we celebrated Thanksgiving with our church and both of our families. img_8505

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In December we soaked in all the magic of the Christmas season and enjoyed time off together as a family of three.img_20161225_224852_444

Goodness there’s so much more. We made improvements to the inside and outside of our house with the help of Cory’s parents. I avoided paint fumes while pregnant so the fresh white walls that bring me so much happiness are thanks to the hard work of their hands.

We conquered challenges in our jobs and found rest amidst hectic schedules.

We served in our church and strengthened relationships in our beloved small group.

And my fiddle leaf fig is still alive, if not thriving.

Ready for you, 2017.

Avery’s Birth Story

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Well, well, well.

I finally did have that sweet baby! ELEVEN DAYS AFTER HER DUE DATE.

Most first-time mamas deliver late. That’s why I decided to work right up until my due date and probably made my co-workers anxious about the possibility of a live birth taking place in the office. I can imagine my sweet writer and designer friends rising to the occasion — running around, boiling water and ripping the paper towel dispenser off the bathroom wall.

As August 10 came and went, I tried to keep my mind off the fact that I was still tremendously pregnant by going for walks, swimming and doing prenatal Pilates. Staying active made me feel like I was at least doing something to get this baby here.

At 41 weeks I had a stress test at the birth center and a biophysical profile ultrasound at the hospital to make sure the little munchkin was okay. Thankfully she scored 100 on both so that at least removed any need for an emergency delivery due to an overcooked babe.

Week 42 leading up to her birth was physically and emotionally challenging. On Monday I lost my mucus plug and took it as a sign of progress. Little did I know I still had days of prodromal labor (contractions that help your body get ready to go into real labor) ahead of me. These contractions were strong enough to cause me discomfort during the day and wake me up throughout the night. Cory said he would often hear me moaning in my sleep.

By Wednesday I was 1 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced. I had an appointment at the birth center and the midwife stripped my membranes to try and get things moving. That procedure was about as fun as it sounds.

Friday morning I had my membranes stripped a second time by one of my favorite midwives named Kim. She told me she expected I would have the baby over the weekend even though at this point I was barely 2 cm dilated.

By Saturday I was demoralized and exhausted. I had been cramping for four days straight and was tired of constantly having to tell friends and family, “nope, no baby yet.”  What’s more, if she wasn’t born by Tuesday I would have to be induced since the birth center will not deliver past 42 weeks. The thought alone was so discouraging especially after all we had done to prepare for a natural labor and delivery. But we prayed and trusted in God’s plan for our baby’s life. She had been breech and at 37 weeks He answered our prayers to turn her into the downward position necessary for a natural birth. We truly felt His hand over the entire pregnancy and knew He wouldn’t leave us now.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling like I had peed a little. I went to the bathroom to check out the situation and there was a large wet spot in my underwear that was definitely not pee. When I called the midwife on duty she said it sounded like my water was leaking but to stay at home until contractions were consistently one minute long and four minutes apart over the course of one hour.

Cory and I had many conversations and prayers about who we wanted to be present at our baby’s birth. I expected him to just want it to be the two of us, but he said it was up to me since I was the one carrying our baby and bringing her into the world. I knew I needed support but I also wanted the environment to be very sacred and intimate. So I asked my mom to be my doula because 1) she knows me better than anyone besides Cory and 2) she’s a birth champion having delivered six children of her own and supported many friends through their births.

After talking to the midwife I called my mom and she came over mid-morning to help me labor. We went for a two-mile walk. We made peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch which turned out to be the last food I would eat that day. We went for another walk as my contractions intensified but she encouraged me to keep moving and breathing through the pain. I bounced on the birthing ball through a couple episodes of Friends but was concentrating too hard to pay attention so we turned off the TV.

Around 4:30 p.m. I settled down on the couch to rest. As I dozed in and out between contractions I felt a very distinctive internal pop and another small gush of fluid which instantly startled me awake. This was my water actually breaking but since the baby’s head was down so low there wasn’t as much fluid coming out as I expected. We went back outside and walked up and down the driveway for a few minutes before I couldn’t really walk anymore.

At this point the contractions went to the next level and I ended up kneeling in front of the couch, leaning forward on a stack of pillows while my mom and Cory took turns applying counter pressure to my hips. The hormones were making me cold and then hot so I wore my fluffy bathrobe for awhile and then flung it back off. Cory was ready to take me to the birth center but this is where my mom’s experience was crucial in keeping us from going too soon. Just by looking at me she could tell how long I was still okay to labor at home. He started timing my contractions and from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. they were steadily coming 1-4 minutes apart.

I called the midwife again to give her the update. She told me to come in if I was ready to be checked but that if I was less than 4-5 cm dilated I would have to go back home.

As much as I didn’t want to get in the car, once my entire body started shaking uncontrollably we all knew it was time to go. For some reason the thought of sitting alone was terrifying so Cory sat next to me in the backseat and my mom drove. During the 40 minute trip my contractions spaced out a bit more but were still hard work. I would clutch Cory’s hand, lean back and try to keep my face and body as relaxed as possible while praying over our baby and letting Lord knows what kind of sounds come out of my mouth.

I do remember at one point we got stuck next to a fleet of motorcycles blaring heavy metal music. It was pretty much the worst thing ever and I said some not very nice things.

When we arrived at the birth center around 8:30 p.m. I couldn’t really talk and stumbled in looking like a hot mess in pajama shorts, a huge t-shirt and a messy bun sticking straight off the side of my head.

Guess what midwife was on call to greet us? Kim! She really did have the magic touch and was right about the baby coming that weekend. Kim is so calm and collected and was absolutely the one meant to deliver our baby. It felt like coming full circle since she’s the midwife we saw at our very first birth center appointment in December of 2015.

Kim checked me, looked up with a smile and said, “well, Hannah, you’re eight centimeters dilated so your baby is almost here!” We all burst into tears (me because I was so happy I didn’t have to get back in the car, Cory because he was so worked up and my mom  because she was so proud of all of us). I started saying “thank you Jesus!” in shock and relief.

The wonderful thing about birth centers is that there is no route besides natural birth. This means you don’t have to defend your plan or ever feel questioned or doubted. No one looks at you like you’re crazy for wanting an unmedicated birth and no one offers you an epidural. The midwives are so encouraging and trusting of the laboring woman. I love that.

We were escorted to the birthing suite and I got into the tub the nurse had prepared. The environment was so beautiful and peaceful with dimmed lighting, flowers, candles and even stars projected on the ceiling. The warm water helped me to stop shaking and I stayed in there for about an hour. Eventually I got really hot so they brought cold washcloths to put on my face and neck. The contractions were so painful going through transition that I sat up and started vomiting. A lot.

Eventually there was one contraction so intense that it made me go on my knees, clutch the side of the tub and feel the urge to bear down. For some reason I knew I didn’t want to have the baby in the tub so I got out and sat on the toilet while they dried me off and checked me again. Sure enough I was 10 cm but I started telling everyone, “I don’t want to push! I don’t know how!” Kim told me to just listen to my body and I was like, “It’s not telling me anything!”

Obviously I didn’t have a choice and started pushing a little after 10 p.m. I tried several different positions including standing up, squatting and laying on my back. The best position for me and gravity to do its work was kneeling on the bed with my upper body supported by a birthing ball. I would roll forward on the ball and then roll back and push with everything I had while literally roaring, trying to breathe, and holding onto Mom and Cory for dear life. I wouldn’t even let them sip on their gatorade.

They had to take ibuprofen after it was all said and done but I’m so thankful my husband and my mom were there for me because the three of us made an amazing team. I was always confident that whatever midwife and nurse were assigned to us would be phenomenal and I was right. It’s safe to say I was in good hands all around and could not have conquered natural birth without all of their powerful warrior spirits giving me strength.

I pushed for an hour and a half. It was hard and I felt very tentative at the beginning. It’s literally the same sensation as pooping only taken to the extreme and of course I was paranoid about pooping on someone I barely knew. Actually I wouldn’t want to poop on someone I know really well either. Sorry for writing poop so many times just now.

Anyway, eventually I just didn’t care. Once the midwife told me the baby had crowned I didn’t even wait for another contraction. I just kept pushing until I felt that ring of fire and her body left mine.

Avery Noelle was born at 11:45 p.m.weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and measuring 22 inches long. She came out screaming and I’ll never forget picking up our beautiful baby girl and holding her to my chest for the first time. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before it was cut and then I easily delivered the placenta. Avery started nursing right away which helped distract me from the shot of pitocin I got in my thigh to help stop the bleeding. I also ended up having a second-degree tear and had to get a few stitches.

Cory’s parents came in from the waiting room to meet their granddaughter and my mom stayed a little while longer. Then it was just our little family. We checked out at 6:45 a.m. and drove home with our baby who was not even ten hours old. A nurse came for a home visit the following day and the rest of the week was filled with visits from friends and family and a trip to the pediatrician. Right from the start Avery was the best baby and stole all of our hearts.

Every birth is a miracle. I certainly don’t think I’m braver or tougher than any other woman. Natural labor was important to me because I wanted to experience what I believe my body was made to do. It had grown a human being for ten months so why at the end would I think it wasn’t capable of bringing her into the world on its very own? Yes, it hurt. But I was never really afraid of the pain because I knew it was only temporary and the reward would be so much greater.

And honestly, I never reached a moment where I wanted the way out. I never even thought “take me to the hospital, give me the drugs and get this baby out of me.” The midwife monitored Avery’s heartbeat constantly and it was so steady. She stayed strong for me just like I stayed strong for her. When I reached the max capacity for pain God gave me the endurance to go to new heights.

Natural labor forces you to show strength you didn’t know you had but it also forces you to be completely vulnerable. That’s why it’s so important to have a support system of people you love and trust and feel completely comfortable with. Before giving birth I thought I wouldn’t want to be touched but in the actual moment I practically had Cory in a choke hold while he held up my entire body. Throughout labor I clung to him and he was my steady rock. This experience drew us closer together and deepened our love and admiration for one another. And oh how we love that little girl.

avery-davis_newborn_066It’s true that you forget the pain. Not right away. I remembered it quite clearly for a couple weeks. But eventually it all fades and those baby cheeks and lips definitely help.

Gosh now I want enough babies for my own football team.

[Photos by Ashley Jones]

Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks

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How far along: 40 weeks (+ 5 days)

Size of baby: Jackfruit

Gender: Girl (you can read the details of our gender reveal here)

Weight gain: 30 pounds and couldn’t care less at this point

Maternity clothes: Whatever fits. Mostly loose dresses for work and public outings (I can’t stand anything tight on my belly right now) and Cory’s t-shirts and basketball shorts to bum around the house. I also spend way too much time in my bathrobe.

Nursery: The gifts are unpacked, the clothes are washed and put away, the sheets are on the crib. There is no more preparation to do! I love seeing all the tiny baby things around the house and driving around with the carseat in my car.

Movement: Poor thing must be getting pretty squished in my belly. She’s still her usual active self but I’ve noticed her movements are slower and not as sharp. At my 37 week appointment the midwife used an ultrasound to confirm our stubborn daughter had finally flipped to the proper head down position for birth. Huge answer to prayer!

Symptoms: Low back pain and pelvis pressure. More Braxton Hicks contractions. Swelling in my feet and hands if I’m out in the heat. Frequent bathroom breaks. I’ve also been more emotional these last few days and feel so thankful to the Lord, my wonderful husband, family, friends and co-workers for their encouragement that’s keeping me sane!

Sleep: It’s getting harder to fall asleep and I find myself rolling from side to side at night trying to get comfortable. Lots of pillows, a fan and being active during the day helps.

Cravings: Sweets! Ice cream dates and cookie baking have been the trend around here. Really my mind is so preoccupied I haven’t thought much about food. I did make a couple freezer meals one day and felt wildly accomplished.

Workouts: Definitely slowing down, my walks are no further than 2-3 miles and I do just an hour of Pilates once a week. Swimming feels better than any other activity right now so I head to the pool as often as I can.

Name: We’ve settled on a first AND middle name. So excited to share with everyone!

Stick a fork in me I’m doneeee!

Third Trimester Favorites

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Somehow I’ve fallen into a time warp and baby girl’s due date is TOMORROW! Now that the end of this pregnancy is in sight, here are my third trimester favorites from weeks 28-40:

1. Pregtastic Podcasts. These podcasts are very conversational and touch on a variety of topics from skin concerns to breastfeeding to epigenetics to surviving morning sickness. I especially enjoyed listening to birth stories and hearing the ups and downs of pregnancy for women from all different backgrounds.

2. Prenatal Massage. Around 33 weeks I treated myself to a prenatal massage at The Spa at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and it was HEAVENLY.  If you’re feeling at all swollen or uncomfortable schedule an appointment and experience the magic. I promise it’s worth every penny.

3. Childbirth Class. Since we’re preparing for a natural labor and delivery, we took a Lamaze class with a wonderful certified Lamaze childbirth educator and trained birth doula named Jen Hutchinson. It was so informative for both of us to learn safe and healthy approaches to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. If you’re local I highly recommend taking this class.

4. Childbirth Books. In addition to traumatizing myself with YouTube birth videos, I’ve read some great books including Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I’ve found both of these to be eye-opening. Of course, always remember to take what works for you and leave the rest behind.

5. The Ovia App. This is another app that I’ve loved checking daily. You can track your symptoms and moods, quickly look up foods to see what is and isn’t safe to eat, log your weight gain/sleep/exercise stats and read articles to your heart’s content.

6. Facial Cleansing Towelettes. Pregnancy sweating is real. These towelettes are perfect to wipe off my face and chest after I’ve been outside and just want to cool down before taking a shower.

7. Swimming. Right now nothing feels better than floating in a pool. I’ve struggled with insomnia here and there during the third trimester but I always sleep like a rock after a swim.

8. Birthing Ball. I first used a birthing ball to practice various birthing positions in our childbirth class. For someone who sits in an office chair all day, it’s an inexpensive and effective way to ease aches and pains.

9. Lemon Water. I’ve been more thirsty than usual (probably because it’s a bajillion degrees outside) and adding lemon juice to my water helps me stay hydrated and feel less bloated.

10. PinkBlush Maternity. I collaborated with PinkBlush Maternity for a gift card giveaway in July and love all of the clothes I’ve purchased from this boutique. You can see the dress I chose for our collaboration and my maternity photos here.

Come on out, baby Davis!

Previous pregnancy favorites posts:

First Trimester Favorites

Second Trimester Favorites 

PinkBlush Giveaway!

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Dressing the bump can be a challenge. You’re sharing your body with another human and cute clothes made for two people are hard to find. If it wasn’t July and a million degrees I would probably just cut a hole in the top of a sleeping bag and walk around in that.

PinkBlush has been a lifesaver throughout my pregnancy when it comes to maternity clothes (all the feels for  free U.S. shipping). Best of all, they also offer adorable non-maternity options so I’ve found items I can wear long after baby girl makes her appearance in just a few weeks.

I’m so excited to team up with my friends at PinkBlush to give away a $75 gift card to one lucky winner! To enter, head over to my Instagram and follow the details on this post.

Now if only I could wear this gorgeous maternity dress instead of a hospital gown when it’s time to deliver…

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_DSC0132[I was gifted product by PinkBlush to host this giveaway. All opinions are my own. Thanks so much for your support!]

Adventures in Ireland: Galway

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The bohemian city of Galway, located on Ireland’s west coast, was the perfect place to end our travels. It’s about an hour and a half away from the Cliffs of Moher, and we arrived in the early evening ready to relax after another action-packed day. First on the agenda: Find food. IMG_4212

Our lovely hosts at Friar’s Glen had served us a hearty breakfast that morning (I enjoyed the porridge with brown sugar and Bailey’s Irish Cream) before sending us off to the cliffs, but by the time we reached Galway we had worked up quite an appetite.IMG_4180

One of our favorite things to do in Ireland was to ask locals for their dining recommendations or just walk until a restaurant caught our eye. And by restaurant I mean chocolate shop. _DSC0068

While in Galway we stayed at a five star B&B called Petra House. I loved its central location that allowed us to wander the city’s medieval streets and see all the attractions without having to drive anywhere. Ireland (180)

The hub of this vibrant city is the 18th-century Eyre Square, which is surrounded by stone-clad boutiques, cafes and art galleries. We didn’t have an itinerary for our time in Galway and it was wonderful to just explore the fabulous art and music scene without any sense of hurry. IMG_4199

We soaked up the festival-like atmosphere, stopping to listen to street musicians and watch performers. Even though the city is old, Galway is bustling with youthful energy. Eventually we found ourselves walking along the harbor to where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean and sat on a bench to reflect on our week of adventures. Ireland (186)

It was hard to say goodbye to Galway, but our phenomenal breakfast at Petra House made it a little easier. I devoured grilled potato waffles, poached eggs with tomato and, of course, my beloved scones. IMG_4195

We departed in the early afternoon and drove two hours back to Dublin. For our final night we stayed at the beautiful Finnstown Castle Hotel, a historic hotel on a 17th-century manor. After exploring the grounds we ordered room service before preparing for an early flight back home.Ireland (188)

Ireland, we love you forever.

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

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How far along: 35 weeks

Size of baby: Coconut

Gender: Girl (you can read the details of our gender reveal here)

Weight gain: 25 pounds

Maternity clothes: Still obsessed with my purchases from PinkBlush (stay tuned for an exciting giveaway coming soon!), this dress from One Loved Babe and white jeans from Target.

Nursery: We hung curtains and found a rug so the nursery is done until after our baby showers later this month. To be honest most of my nesting consists of standing in the doorway, staring blankly into the room and thinking there’s probably something I’m forgetting to do.

Movement: Lots of belly rolls! Baby girl is constantly poking through my ribs and I have to poke back to get her out of there. At my last appointment she was still in the breech position so we’re praying she makes the big flip soon. I may or may not have stacked pillows under my hips and blasted a Mozart symphony from speakers placed between my legs after reading something about babies moving toward sound. Oh, the things we do for our children.

Symptoms: I get breathless much more easily walking up hills. Or let’s be real, even bending over. Cory painted my toe nails before a wedding we had this month because there was no way that was happening on my own. I keep forgetting I have a belly and end up awkwardly bumping into furniture (or people) after trying to squeeze through openings that are too small.

Sleep: She gets super active when I go to bed which is probably not a good sign for the future. It definitely takes longer to get comfortable and fall asleep while she’s doing Lord knows what. I’ve also had a few restless nights where I’ll wake up to go the bathroom and then not be able to go back to sleep for an hour or two.

Cravings: Anything cold with a high water content. All the fruit! Peaches, nectarines, plums, watermelon, cherries. Avocado chicken salad. Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars. Hummus and pretzels. Baby carrots. And pancakes, randomly.

Workouts: Walking, swimming and pilates. I keep modifying my routine as I need to slow down but still aim for moving at least 30 minutes a day. It’s getting so hot I can’t spend nearly as much time outside without sweating to death, but anything feels better than standing or sitting still for too long.

Name: Middle names are hard, right?! But I think we’re getting there.

One. More. Month.

Adventures in Ireland: Cliffs of Moher

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The Cliffs of Moher were one of the most incredible displays of nature I’ve seen in my life and the defining experience of our Ireland trip. Pictures can’t do it justice. It really is a sight you have to see in person. We first toured the Visitors Center where we learned about the area’s history and purchased a few souvenirs. I loved how the Visitors Center and all the shops were built underground and thoughtfully designed so as not to distract from the surrounding beauty. Since it was a perfectly clear day, we spent hours hiking along the cliffs and taking in the gorgeous views. There were several people sitting on the edge, dangling their feet over a 700-foot drop to the surf down below. Craaazy! Fun fact: The land outside of the visitor zone is a privately owned farm, with cattle grazing just feet away from one of the world’s natural wonders. _DSC0044_1_DSC0073-HDR_DSC0176_DSC0223 (1)_DSC0215Untitled_HDR10_DSC0175

Adventures in Ireland: Kinsale, Blarney & Killarney

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Day three in Ireland began in Kinsale and ended in Killarney. Our room at Harbour Hill Farm overlooked the gardens and we woke up to a gorgeous morning. It wasn’t long before the delicious smells of breakfast lured us out of bed. Cory tried the traditional full Irish breakfast (bacon, pork sausages, fried eggs, toast, tomato, white pudding and black pudding) and I ordered golden, crispy waffles with lots of maple syrup and fruit.IMG_4171

We chatted about our travel plans with some of the other guests, a couple from California and a group from Germany en route to the Rugby World Cup. Our hosts were incredibly kind and helpful, asking questions about our interests and suggesting local activities. Kinsale is a darling coastal fishing village and we loved experiencing its charms before saying goodbye and continuing our journey to Blarney Castle and Gardens._DSC0177

Here we climbed 127 steps up the narrowest of staircases to the top of the castle battlements and did a backbend over a sheer drop to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. They say if you kiss the stone you’ll never again be lost for words! It was exhilarating to participate in this Irish tradition and see the incredible views of the grounds down below.  _DSC0217 (1)

Untitled_HDR11Ireland (155)The magnificent Blarney gardens, rock close and castles were a definite highlight of our trip. We explored for several hours and ended our visit by stopping at a snack bar for hot chocolates and to try the popular Irish “99” ice cream cones. This turned out to be a good life decision. Ireland (192)

From Blarney we made our way to Killarney, a little less than an hour and a half away. Killarney National Park is absolutely stunning. We first toured the Muckross House and Gardens and then hiked to Torc Waterfall at the base of Torc Mountain, where we were serenaded by a bagpipe player. Untitled_HDR8

Untitled_HDR18_DSC0024_1Next we walked to Muckross Lake and sat on the shore to rest and soak in all the beauty. We struck up an entertaining conversation with a native couple who had the friendly and enthusiastic nature of all the Irish people we met. They asked us several questions about South Carolina and thought it sounded so romantic because of the James Taylor song, “Carolina in My Mind.” Untitled_HDR6

Untitled_HDR7It was hard to leave the park but a local pub called Jarvey’s Rest called our names. We treated ourselves to hearty lamb stew, burgers and chips (fries), and finished the night with a sampler of Irish desserts, most of which I’ve never tasted. It was fabulous and the perfect reward after all our outdoor activity. The pub was packed with locals watching a rugby game, and we enjoyed people watching and hearing everyone cheer for the Irish team.IMG_4158

We spent the night at Friar’s Glen,  which is within walking distance of Killarney National Park. Ireland has a phenomenal B&B culture and I loved each one we stayed in, but this was my favorite. The room and bathroom were so spacious, comfortable and well equipped. I wish I could end every day sitting in front of a fireplace, sipping tea while watching deer graze outside the window. IMG_4183

 

 

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

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How far along: 30 weeks

Size of baby: Cucumber

Gender: Girl (you can read the details of our gender reveal here)

Weight gain: Right around four bags of sugar if you want to do the math. I’m counting on you being too lazy.

Maternity clothes: I finally acknowledged that regular clothing was cutting off blood circulation and decided to invest in my maternity wardrobe for the sake of our baby’s growth and development. PinkBlush to the rescue! I bought four new tops I can wear to work with leggings and jeans that are so adorable and much more comfortable. Still looking for dresses to wear to upcoming weddings and baby showers.

Nursery: We have a crib! And a dresser! And a rocking chair! The crib was our first big baby purchase and I’m obsessed. I pinky promise to post all the details once the room is finished.

Movement: This little lady doesn’t quit. She is constantly on the go, exploring all the nooks and crannies of her lovely womb home. Cory rubs the belly and talks to her every night and I swear she tries to bust through my nonexistent abs. Swoooon!

Symptoms: It’s hard to explain but I have a constant feeling of fullness unrelated to the amount of food I’m eating. My whole belly just feels tight and crowded.

Also exhaustion. My ideal bedtime these days is 9:30 p.m.

Sleep: I’m actually sleeping pretty well once I can get comfortable thanks to my Snoogle and essential oil diffuser. There have been some weird dreams though. I can’t talk about it or you won’t look at me the same.

Cravings: Fresh fruit and veggies. Peanut butter toast. The occasional cheeseburger or pizza slice(s). You know, the usual.

Workouts: Still walking two to three miles daily and doing my prenatal pilates and strength training videos. Now that the weather is warming up I’ve also started swimming. The cool water feels amazing and helps relieves the pressure on my back from all the extra weight. If you saw what looked like a human buoy bobbing around Lake Keowee on Memorial Day weekend, that was me.

Name: I bought this name book on Amazon because we’re still not sold on a first and second name. It feels like such a huge responsibility and we want to get it just right.

OMG I’m going to be someone’s mom in ten weeks!!!