Third Trimester Recap

Third Trimester - 1

All the amazing women who came out to help celebrate the baby

This final stretch has been the busiest few months of my pregnancy. Aside from the craziness that is always the end of the year with the holidays and New Years I had my baby shower, went to a wedding in Nashville, hosted multiple visitors in town and traveled to Italy. This little one has already done so much and he doesn’t even know it!

As the third trimester got here I had no idea how I was going to get everything ready for our baby in between work and everything else on the calendar. But our family and friends have been extremely supportive along the way and helped whenever they could. Baby Jackson is lucky to be coming into this world with such an established support system!

Third Trimester - 2

Costume themed wedding – Housewife & Milkman

And now on to the third trimester updates…

How I’m Feeling – I have been very lucky throughout this pregnancy, besides a few headaches and exhaustion along the way I’ve felt pretty good. My energy level has been high and I didn’t have any trouble traveling – as it winds down though these last couple of weeks have been a little harder and more uncomfortable and I’ve been taking a nap whenever I can (which I NEVER do!)

As each day goes by I get more and more excited and ready to meet the little one and try not to think about the labor and delivery part of it all.

Cravings – Overall I am eating more frequently throughout the day, but smaller portions each time. My cravings have stayed pretty much the same throughout…pizza, ice cream and chocolate

Best part of the third trimester – Traveling to Europe and being able to spend time with family and friends who came out to help celebrate at my shower

Hardest part of the third trimester – Sleeping through the night…that just doesn’t happen anymore, I guess I need to get used to it! I can’t just roll over from one side to the other anymore, it takes a lot of effort and wakes me up every time.

Products I am loving right now

I am much more of an online shopper than in-store, Amazon Prime has really spoiled me with same day and next day shipping. Because of the ease and efficiency of online shopping and returns I tend to purchase and try out products that I wouldn’t otherwise. So I thought I would share some of my recent favorites that will undoubtedly stick around for a while.

Anthropologie candle – I wouldn’t necessarily call myself high-strung, but I do find it difficult to relax and calm down sometimes. I am working hard on figuring out how what relaxes me and will help me destress, especially with a baby coming any day. On thing that has helped a lot recently is calming scents and candles. My mom and I were walking around Ponce City Market in Atlanta a few months ago and popped into Anthropologie and I found this candle and immediately knew it would become one of my favorites. 

Vitamix Blender – I have wanted this blender for years but could never justify spending so much money on it. A few months ago a friend of mine got one for her birthday and raved about it so I convinced RG that we needed to bite the bullet and order one for ourselves. And let me tell you, I use this ALL THE TIME! From morning smoothies, to hot soup (it heats and blends at the same time for soup) and applesauce. I can’t wait to use this to make baby food and so much more, it has even replaced our food processor. This will remain a staple item in my kitchen for many years…alongside the KitchenAid Mixer.

S’well Bottle – For a water bottle these can seem expensive, but they keep your drink cold for so much longer than any other water bottle I have ever tried. I am not a huge water drinker so I usually end up carrying around the same bottle all day and by the time I finish it the water has long been room temperature…I really love that now it still has a chill to it. I drink so much more water than I used to with this.

Nest Security Camera – When we moved into our house about a year ago we invested in the Nest Thermostat and LOVE it, so when we began looking at security cameras after comparing many of the leading brands we settled on Nest since we are already familiar with their app and technology. These cameras are great, the picture is clear and the wide angle allows us to see the entire living room and kitchen. And the sound and motion detectors are very sensitive. I am actually considering using the second one as a baby monitor initially.

Amazon Dash Buttons – This is purely out of convenience. I feel like I am constantly running out, or getting low on, our household staples like paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper. But these buttons make it so easy to avoid that, you set up these buttons to your wi-fi and just push the button when you need to order more and it’s there within 48 hours – Amazon Prime again 🙂 I do wish their product list was a little more expansive or that you could set up multiple products for each button, like zip-lock bags – I usually need two sizes but can only set it up for one. These are new though so I am sure they will evolve over time.

Go Pro – I am still learning how to use this, but once I get used to it I think this will definitely become a staple in our household and travel adventures – especially when it comes to video.

Extra long phone cord – I know this sounds like not a big deal, but for years I have been using the charging cord that comes with an iPhone. And every morning when I want to check the time, read the news or check in on social media I end up pulling the cord out of the wall because it just doesn’t quite reach my bed. With this cord I never have that problem anymore, and looking to my upcoming delivery in the hospital I have no idea how far away an outlet will be from the bed…


Second Trimester Recap

The second trimester was an exciting time – we did early genetic testing giving us the opportunity to find out the gender at 13 weeks and were excited to confirm it is a boy!  We also settled on a name quicker than I had expected…Jackson. I had a few ultrasounds, it’s fun to see the baby’s growth over these weeks. It’s also a bit sad because after 20 weeks I don’t have any more ultrasounds unless something is wrong.

Overall I really enjoyed this trimester, I finally got my energy back which couldn’t have been better timing-wise as it was a busy few months. We traveled to Colorado over the 4th of July, I had a work trip to NYC that I was able to extend through Labor Day Weekend to visit family on Shelter Island, my Mom and her BFF visited, and I took a girls trip to San Francisco…whew! Just thinking about all of that makes me exhausted now.

Boulder, Colorado

Who Knows – By the end of the second trimester everyone pretty much knew – After telling immediate family we slowly started telling our close friends. When I was about five months along, 19 weeks, I decided to share it on social media. This was a tough decision for me, I had been against making a big announcement from the beginning, but after a lot of consideration I decided I didn’t want pictures of me pregnant to get posted or someone to write something about the pregnancy without being able to control how people found out first. And we were excited to share the news with our friends around the world!

Overall weight gain – This trimester I gained more consistently, adding about a pound a week

Gender – Found out it’s a boy!

Cravings – Pizza and ice cream

Best part of the second trimester – All of the travels I was able to take, I know once the baby arrives this will slow down so I am trying to do as much as I can now

Hardest part of the second trimester – Not being able to drink at the U.S. Open or in Napa Valley – instead I made up for it by shipping home cases of wine for after Baby gets here

Showing – It took a while, but by the middle of this trimester I had definitely “popped”



Volcanic Rocks, Snow, Low visibility atop Mt. Etna

As I am sitting here patiently waiting for our little one to make his arrival…literally any day now!…I have thought a lot about how important family is. So as I make myself busy to pass the time I thought it’s appropriate to finish sharing our recent trip to Italy which was all centered around family.

After spending a few days exploring Rome with RG, we moved across the square to a hotel where we met up with my entire immediate family…parents, brothers and significant others. This chapter of our trip was kicked off with my youngest brother proposing to his girlfriend on the rooftop of our hotel. We are all excited to officially welcome her into our family and can’t wait for the celebration and wedding to come.


The engaged couple!

We spent that first evening celebrating the engagement and all catching up before heading to bed early to be up early and fly to Sicily. After almost a week in Rome, Sicily felt like a different country, in the best possible way. I don’t really know how to describe it…the slower pace, beautiful scenery and architecture that welcomed us when we arrived in Syracuse reminded me of the Greek Islands. We spent three nights on the East Coast of Sicily in a the town of Syracuse…these days were low key and spent exploring the town, shopping and taking a day trip to Mt. Etna. The crazy thing is exactly one week after we were standing on the top of Mt. Etna braving the high winds and snow the volcano erupted and grounded all flights in the area. I am so glad we missed that!

Exploring Syracuse

Mount Etna

After Syracuse all eight of us piled into two cars and drove across Sicily to Marsala on the West Coast where we my extended family lives. This was the first time my brothers and I had met this side of our family and they couldn’t have been more welcoming, opening their homes and hearts to all of us in a way I had never experienced before. The three nights we spent here did not seem like enough. We had family dinners that spanned five generations of our family, visited Mediterranean salt mines, visited The sanctuary of Santa Rosalia on the side of a mountain, explored a “haunted” ancient castle in Palermo and toured a local winery. I cannot wait to plan our next trip over, and hopefully in the meantime they will come visit us in the States!



Hotels we stayed at in Sicily

Rome Hotel – Hotel Campo de Fiori

Highly recommend staying here, absolutely no complaints / perfect location / walking distance to most major historical sites

Syracuse Hotel – Algila’ Ortigia Charme Hotel

Overall really enjoyed this hotel and location, but a section of the hotel was under construction and work began at 6:30am, I would be sure the construction is over before booking a room / Location ideal, on the Mediterranean Sea and about three blocks to the shopping district and local restaurants

Marsala Hotel – Hotel Stella d’Italia

Location is in the heart of the city / Staff very pleasant and accommodating

My Favorite Books of 2015

I have a pretty long commute to work every day…while it’s technically only 22 miles from my house to the office it takes me at least 45 minutes in the morning and over an hour in the evenings. After months of this I thought I was going to go crazy in the car. Even with an XM Radio subscription I felt like I had heard every song 5x by the time I made it home, I had caught up with all of my friends and family who live around the country multiple times and NPR got depressing after a while. I really enjoyed listening to the Serial Podcast, but once I finished that I had trouble finding another one that held my attention consistently. Please pass along any podcast recommendations, I would love to check them out…

Then I decided to give Audible a try and it changed my commute, I love to read but I don’t always have the time to sit down and focus on a book. Listening to them during my drive each day was a perfect solution.

On average I finish a book about every three weeks, take a week or two off in between and then begin another one. I still read actual books when I have downtime too. Looking back over 2015 I listened to or read over 15 books, some really stuck with me, a few I couldn’t get through and then there were a couple ones that I enjoyed but wouldn’t necessarily recommend. Since I am always looking for recommendations…PLEASE send your favorites my way…I thought I would share mine, so here goes:

My favorite reads of the year

  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web – Daniel James Brown
    • *I didn’t have high expectations for this one since Daniel Brown was taking over Stieg Larsons’ series which I LOVED. But I was impressed with how seamless the transition was, now it’s been a few years since I read the last book in the series which may have helped a bit but overall I really enjoyed this and look forward to the next one
  • Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
  • Sarah’s Key
  • Wild – Cheryl Strayed
    • *I loved this book, and enjoyed the movie…but I felt like the movie left so many important pieces out, definitely read the book first

Books I enjoyed and would recommend

  • Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
  • The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  • The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
    • *I really enjoyed this book but it is extremely long
  • The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll
  • Purity – Jonathan Franzen
  • Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

Books I was indifferent on

  • The Good Girl – Mary Kubica
  • Never Let me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Saving Grace – Jane Green

Books I couldn’t finish

  • How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
  • The Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown
    • *I was so excited to read this book, it is critically acclaimed and consistently on the top of The New York Times Bestseller list, but I just could not get into it

First Trimester Recap

First Trimester - 1

The day my Dr. confirmed the pregnancy

Since my expected due date is around the corner (just one week away…whoa!) I obviously won’t be documenting my full nine month journey…which is really closer to 10 months – 40 weeks – who knew?! I did want to give a few recaps of what I have experienced along the way because reading other blogs has really helped me through this journey to know what to expect, hopefully this will bring some clarity to those who are making their way through their own pregnancy or will embark on this journey soon.

The first trimester was pretty short for me, I found out I was pregnant when I was already five weeks along. I actually took a test when I was two weeks, but it came back negative so I continued living my life as a non-pregnant person…oops!  In hindsight, and looking back the test actually was positive BUT that second pink line was extremely light…anyone else would have read that as negative too, seriously!

The day after my Dr. confirmed the pregnancy RG and I headed up to the North Georgia Mountains with two other couples for a weekend of hiking, winery tours, grilling and drinking. This was the hardest time of my entire first trimester keeping it a secret. We were still taking it all in, getting used to the idea that we were going to have a child and it was still early enough that there were a lot of risks. As much as we wanted to tell our friends we decided it was best to keep it to ourselves that weekend. So this turned into three days of me pretending to drink (making non-alcoholic mojitos when no one was watching) and RG drinking for two when wine or beer was being consumed. Poor RG, no one could figure out how he was feeling so good before everyone else got there!

Overall the rest of the first trimester wasn’t that bad – I was extremely tired, it was difficult to stay awake past eight o’clock and I became a master at pretending to drink but I was fortunate to not have to deal with morning sickness regularly.  Here is a small recap:

Overall weight gain – I gained one pound during the first trimester, I had initially gained more but then lost a few pounds. This is common early on in pregnancy and never caused any concern.

Gender predictions – We were pretty convinced from the beginning that this baby was a boy, and everyone that tried to guess based on old wives tales or how I was carrying also said Boy – the one exception was my Mom

Cravings – Nothing strange like pickles with ice cream, but ice cream itself has definitely been a craving throughout and carbs. I had been on a gluten free diet for almost two years when I got pregnant but it seemed like all my body wanted was bread and non-GF carbs so I eventually gave in. I needed that gluten for energy 🙂

Best part of the first trimester – This was definitely telling our immediate families and a couple close friends who were also pregnant. We kept the pregnancy pretty tight-lipped until this trimester was over, but on Father’s Day told our parents – I think this was the best gift we could have given then, everyone is happy and excited for us.

Worst part of the first trimester – Exhaustion…I don’t think I have ever experienced tiredness like this before. I am not one to take naps but I definitely tried to squeeze one in whenever I could during these first few months.

Showing – I could see a little “bump” that looks more like a beer gut than a baby – but no, I was not showing enough that anyone would guess I am pregnant

Rome, Italy

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2015 was a busy year, filled with many weekend excursions that included spending the 4th of July in Boulder Colorado, a girls trip to San Fran and Napa, three trips to NYC, a cabin weekend in the North Georgia Mountains, and weddings in Nashville and Indiana – BUT the big trip was to Italy over Thanksgiving.

Italy had been planned for well over a year when I found out I was pregnant, and was anchored around my entire family meeting in Rome and then heading to Sicily to meet our extended family in Marsala. The dates were firm and when we found out I was pregnant there was concern that I would not be able to make the trip…who knew that when you hit 30 weeks of being pregnant it’s not exactly recommended to fly longer than two to three hours at a time and at 36 weeks no plane travel is recommended…I was going to be 33-35 weeks and taking an 11.5 hour flight. Fortunately my pregnancy has been uncomplicated and a week before we were supposed to go my doctor signed off on the trip.  I am so glad she did!

RG and I arrived in Rome four nights before the rest of my family, rented the cutest apartment through Airbnb and explored the city. I was surprised at home much I enjoyed Roma. I’ve heard conflicting things about this city, people either love it or are overwhelmed by the traffic and large crowds…I am definitely one of those who fell in love.

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We stayed right off of Campo de’ Fiori, which is a short walk from Piazza Navano and the Jewish Ghetto. It is also about a mile walk to the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and other historical sites. We could not have asked for a better location, Campo de’ Fiori itself is charming…a small piazza that houses a local market six days a week surrounded by some great shopping and multiple gelato shops. I ate gelato at least once a day, sometimes twice, and never got sick of it! Since the whole trip was up in the air until just a few days before we flew out I didn’t have much planned for our time in Rome, which is very unlike me. But it turned out to be great. We saw a ton, ate fantastic food and got to know the local culture. I wouldn’t have done it any differently!