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wow! what. a. year. it flew by and took forever at the same time.

it started out with me getting a promotion at work!  

while learning a new skill was difficult, the cyclical nature of my position has kept me very interested throughout the year. i’ve grown as a professional and enjoy what i do (for the most part!). some days are stressful, but im happy for this opportunity.

it feels like barbara has been pregnant the entire year because we found out New Year’s Eve last year that she was pregnant for the first time. 7 weeks later, we would find that our baby, due September 6th, 2015, was no longer living and that barbara would need a D&C. 

it was the hardest thing we’ve ever been through, but brought us so close. i know miscarriages can either bring a couple together or tear them apart, and while i never enjoyed the experience, going through that with barbara helped us learn so much about each other, and for that, i’m thankful.

i got to travel to my favorite city in march!

  
CHICAGO! seriously, if i were to ever consider moving to a major city, it would be chicago. i hate new york, but love chicago! the food, the scenery, everything! i went for work, and was alone, but i still made the most of it and enjoyed some great food!

in april, barbara was on the right cycle again and we tried IUI for a third time, with our last vial of our donor’s specimen.  


low and behold, it was a success! we confirmed the news in may, with not one, but two positive pregnancy tests! 

12 weeks exactly was July 4th, so we got together with our dear friend char (charlyndaiger.com) and took some festive photos for the announcement.

  
we would later, in August, find out we were having a girl! we had a gender reveal party on the dock that we got married on, so it was a special moment to share there, again.

 

my brother and his fiancé finally tied the knot in September!

  
we also found out, just before Christmas, that they are pregnant with their first, due in August! babies all around!

i got to meet some of my ig friends, kristen and aubrey, during a work trip at the end of September, as well!

  

in October, we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary with year old cake and a trip to the boathouse in downtown Richmond.

   
 
it surely didn’t feel like a year and it didn’t feel like work. i love this girl with all my heart and every day that passes, i know i made the right decision.

my 28th birthday came and went. we kept it low key. i don’t feel the need for huge celebrations. i had dinner with family, and that’s all i needed!

  

then the holidays crept in, and here we are!

 

it’s hard to believe, in about 2-3 weeks, whenever torin decides to come, we will officially be mommas! 

i cannot wait for this next chapter in our lives and can’t wait to squeeze and kiss all over that face! 

happy new year to anyone reading! i hope your 2015 was all you wished for and hope for the best to you in 2016!  

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baby post: nursery reveal!

hey guys!

so, i still need to host the ‘virtual baby shower’ but a few people requested an extension, so i’m pushing is back for now.  in other news, TORIN IS ALMOST HERE. like, what?! why did time speed up so fast??

ultrasound

33 week ultrasound, with a head measuring 2 weeks ahead.

we’re just about ready for her arrival, which is still tentatively january 16, 2016, but little girl is measuring big and the doctor seems to think barbara wont be baking that long!  so far, barbara has LOVED pregnancy.  so much so, that, if were to have trouble becoming pregnant, she gladly accepted the position to carry twice. her first trimester was filled with nausea and a few food aversions, mostly meat, but other than that, this whole pregnancy has been enjoyable. this weekend we organized the last few things, including putting together the car seat and that’s when it really got real:  TORIN IS ABOUT TO BE HERE!

carrier

just waiting on baby torin!

i receive A LOT of questions about how we decided on barbara carrying first, the whole insemination process, and plans for the future, so i may type something up on that whole process. we’ve definitely learned-as-we-go, which hasn’t always been easy.

SO, lets talk about all the fun stuff that has been going on baby related, like baby showers and nursery decorating! i’ll talk about baby showers later, since we had multiple and many pictures were taken! i talked about plans of the nursery awhile back, so, now with everything done, i wanted to show our plans versus reality!

so, if you remember, here are a few collages/inspiration photos of what we had in mind; pinterest was very helpful in the planning stages:

color inspopink gold gray

gray with pink tassles

accessories 2accessories 1

and here is the finished product:

nursery2

ta-daaaa!

crib

crib area

crib | quilt (handmade) | name banner | dream catcher/mobile

nursery4

teepee and glider

polka dot wall decal | teepee (handmade) | heirloom bear blanket | side table | glider | crochet cacti 

nursery5

dresser and changing area

dresser| knobs | changing pad cover | deer head | sound machine | diaper cart | lantern

 print | print | print

nursery1

reading area

tassel garland | picture/book ledge | i love you night light

we’re SO, SO happy with how it turned out. its cozy yet spacious and filled with items/patterns but still calming.  barbara and i find ourselves sitting in there for hours just talking, which i love.  i seriously cannot wait to have it filled with our sweet baby girl.

i’ll stop back in later this week with baby shower recaps and will hopefully be posting about the “virtual baby shower” soon, as well!  we’ve been overwhelmed with all the love and support we’ve received regarding our sweet baby girl and cannot thank everyone enough for everything they have done for us!

thanks for hanging around!

Q: do you like decorating?  what was the last room you decorated?

hello fresh

WHATTTT 2 posts in one day? yep! told you i was going to get better at posting, lets just hope i can keep this up!

sorry for posting 2 review-type posts back-to-back, but i wanted to shout from the rooftops about ollie marie and couldn’t wait to share about my great experience with hello fresh last night!

so how does it work?  well, it’s super easy and i’ll tell you how right now!

first, you pick what kind of box you want: Classic Food Box ($10.75 per person/meal), Veggie Box ($9.08 per person/meal), and Family Box ($8.75 per person/meal).

hello fresh

from there, you can choose how many meals a week you want per week, anywhere from 3-5 meals. after you’ve subscribed, you can pick the meals you want delivered for the next 2 or 3 weeks.

hello fresh meals

you can pause your delivery at any time, before the weekly cutoff, and your account will not be charged for that week;  i’ve already paused my 3rd and 4th week of deliveries. the 3rd week, because i wasn’t crazy about the menu and the 4th week, because it was the week of christmas and i’m sure we’ll have enough events that we wont be eating at home much.

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

chicken fajitas, steak and crispy potatoes, and pork dumplings on the menu for this week.

so, my personal experience with hello fresh, so far?  awesome!  i got my first order in the mail yesterday, which was supposed to be Wednesday, but the company kept me updated, and i appreciated that. i asked barbara what she felt like and she picked fajitas, so i got to cooking!

hello fresh 2

chicken fajitas with quick pickled jalapenos and lime crema

all of the ingredients the recipe called for were included in the box except for olive oil, salt, and pepper, which i obviously had on hand.  the directions were incredibly easy to follow and dinner was done before i knew it.

i was excited to find out how easy “quick pickling” something was.  all i had to do was place the chopped jalapenos in the juice of half a lime while the rest of dinner was cooking.  for the lime crema, i used the other half of the lime’s juice and some lime zest. i will say, when it called for lime zest, i wondered how many people had the tool for zesting and who would have to google “how to zest a lime without a zester”. luckily, i had a zester on hand. so if nothing else, i’m at least gaining kitchen skills/cofidence.

the flavor was great and everything was very fresh. i have heard negative feedback about someone getting moldy vegetables, but i think that is the risk you take with any veggies from store/boxes.  i know i’ve gone to use something i bought only a few days prior and there was already mold growing on it.  obviously if this is a problem, and continuously happens, i would say something, but so far everything looked nice and fresh with no issues, so i will cross that bridge later, if at all!

so, overall, i’m very happy with everything and will keep you all updated with the meals i like and don’t like.  i love finding out about new things, so i love to share my own experiences just in case anyone else is like me! i’m hoping by using this, we will waste less groceries and be tempted to eat out less.  also, with torin coming, i’m hoping this will make adjusting to life with a newborn just a littttttttle easier!

anddddd before i forget, MGMJ42 gets you $40 off your first box! this makes 6 meals only $29!  this is what made me take the dive; it was too good of a deal to pass up! so, what are you waiting for, sign up for your box?!

this post was not sponsored by hello fresh. i just like sharing a good thing when i see it!

ollie marie boutique!

heyyyyy guys! remember me?  probably not, but I MEAN IT when i say i want to get into a better habit of blogging over here!  my memory is going quick because pregnancy brain is real and spousal pregnancy hormones are WAY too real. i swear i’ve forgotten more things in the last 8.5 months than i have my entire life!  BUT ANYWAYS, enough about me and more about clothes!

so, if you follow me on instagram (thesweatybetty), you have probably noticed that with my weight loss came a new confidence and a love for shopping.  i love that i feel so comfortable in my skin now and that i can feel confident in most clothes. BUT, this has also been a huge change on my spending. it’s REALLY weird going from shopping out of necessity about twice a year, to stopping in stores and grabbing something once a week! so, while i would love to buy ALL THE CLOTHES, i obviously try to keep my spending in check, especially with a little one on the way! i’ve come to love target, old navy, and now ollie marie boutique!

ollie marie

i had beenfollowing skinny meg for awhile and kept noticing that she was posting the most adorable outfits.  finally, i looked into her boutique and fell in love with just about everything! shipping is always free (and FAST!) and the prices are right in the range of what i like to spend.  plus, all the clothing is quality material!  i’ve had no complaints with any of the items yet!!

ollie marie 4

shadow of a doubt cardigan

ollie marie 2

side strip tunic

ollie marie 1line up shirt

ollie marie 3distressed skinny jeans – dark wash

megan was kind enough to extend a coupon code (which i’ve been getting a lot of use out of, too) to all of my blog readers!  using the code “sweatybetty” at checkout gets you 20% off your entire purchase and you can use it more than once! if you get anything, and use my code, tag me in your outfit!  i love to see what people are buying!

that’s all for now!  i had been meaning to post about this for awhile and just now got around to it.  i also have a nursery update, baby shower update, AND hello fresh review that i will be posting about soon!

happy friday and have a great weekend!

Q: are you a shopper?  where are your favorite places to shop?

disclaimer: i was sent a few items by ollie marie boutique in return for an honest review on my instagram/blog. i have continued to purchase items on my own, two of which are pictured above.  all opinions are my own.