Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Letter to a Lady I've Never Met

Today would have been my sister's 30th birthday. She passed away seven years ago in a single car accident on March 1st 2008. Every year on her birthday I have celebrated with dinner, drinks, spa days, anything to try to do something in her memory, but also selfishly make me feel better.

This year I wanted to do something different. A lady I've never met, but who works in the same hospital recently lost her son. I put together a little healing pack and wrote her a letter. I thought I would share this letter on the blog today in hopes of sending love to anyone else out there right now suffering from loss and the pain of grief.

Today I will remember my sister and also think of all others suffering from loss and pain.


Although we've never met, I feel connected to you in way that only someone who has experienced loss would understand.  I could never begin to imagine what you are going through, but I have watched my mother relearn to navigate life the past seven years after losing my sister.

Today would have been her 30th birthday.

I wanted to reach out to you to try and offer some words of hope because I know the journey you are facing is not easy and I still see it in my mother’s eyes. Seven years later, there are good days and there are bad days, but as you go along I hope you allow yourself to never feel guilty for being happy, for laughing, or for going a whole day without being sad. You are still here and that matters to so many people. I hope you allow yourself to feel your grief and take all the time you need to begin your way through the storm because, although you will not be the same person that walked in, you will come out of this with a new understanding of life, loss, and love.

I know that seven years after losing my sister I have a heart that is still wounded, a wound that has and will continue to close over time, but it will always leave a very deep scar that reminds me not only of the journey of life without her, but of her life.
I asked my mother for advice on what I could include in your “healing pack” and she said very soft Kleenex, the advice to allow yourself to stay in bed all day and cry when you need to, and something that smells good because for some time after her loss nothing seemed to smell good anymore.

I hope these small tokens of my love and hope for you can bring you a moment or two of peace knowing someone out there cares about you and what you’re going through.

Your friend,


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Pregnancy Journey

Reading blogs like Coffee & Crumbs during my pregnancy gave me lots of ideas and insight into the lives of moms and I loved searching for, and reading, blogs written by real moms about their pregnancy, so since I figured I would share my best and worst moments, the raw deal of my first two trimesters some of which I've already talked about a bit, but I figured I'd just take the whole thing from the start.

A year ago from this day my husband and I were still living with my in laws which we did for about a year saving for a house. I did not have my full drivers license. And we both were in jobs making the best of situations we didn't love, not careers. 

Oh how much can change. First we bought our house and moved in March 2014. Shortly after, I got my license, but not without having a panic attack during my first test and hitting a car. It was awful, but I can laugh about it now.

Then I got a temporary position at a mental health hospital using my degree, which just became permanent last month (HOORAY) and Kyle had an interview for a job that he could use the skills he acquired getting his MBA (which he ended up getting YAY).

One day on the way home from work (we shared a car then & I looking back I have no idea how we survived without two vehicles for so many years) I asked him to stop, so I could buy a toothbrush because I didn't want to tell him at first I might be pregnant and get him excited just for nothing because I really wasn't sure, but he saw through my silliness and I ended up telling him what I was going to buy, so together we went into the drugstore nervously looking for the pregnancy tests. Kyle paced back and forth the washroom door asking every 3 seconds if he could come into the washroom while I kept saying I wasn't going to be pregnant and then all of a sudden two blue lines appeared! We were having a baby! We told our parents and then an hour later, because there were two in the pack I took another test, it said negative. So disappointing, but I looked and read online that if it's still early and you're drinking a lot of water this can happen. Kyle went to the store and literally bought me like 6 more tests because he was so nervous it wasn't accurate. They say the first pee of the day is always the best one to test, so I kept waking up and checking the clock all night until it was finally 4am and I took another test POSITIVE! I woke Kyle up to tell him and after that every test came back positive and we knew it must be true (even though Kyle was still nervous til we saw our Doctor). 

A lot of people asked how long we tried for, what tips, or things we did to get pregnant and honestly we couldn't be more fortunate in that department. I went off birth control when we got married and had been off of it for just over a year and we just said whenever it happens it happens, and without stress or over thinking it, it happened and the timing was (almost) perfect. We ended up deciding to keep it a secret for 5 months while I waited to find out about my job which brought on a lot of stress and was torture to hide something so exciting, but in the end I got the job and it all worked out perfectly. 

Soon after the 9 week mark, I woke up most mornings running to the washroom thinking that was going to be the day I was going to vomit, but I never did. It was just gagging and extreme thirst and tiredness. I kept a yoga mat in my office and slept for my lunch hour every day because if I didn't by 3pm I was falling asleep at my desk. This lasted for about two months. On top of that, as soon as I learned I was pregnant I cut out coffee because I read it can increase the chances of miscarriage, and I suffered with headaches and migraines for months until someone told me to start having a coffee a day and lemme tell you.... game changer! The headaches stopped. The best! I went through an acne phase too, I'm talking on my face, shoulders, chest... like I've never had before which they say is a sign you're having a girl and she's stealing your beauty... they were right :) 

One thing you will notice when you get pregnant is that if you find out what you're having you'll be met with a lot of overbearing opinions. Everyone will tell you you're ruining the true surprise of your life and whatever other silly things they think. Do what you want to do. For us, it was the best experience. As soon as we knew what we were having we felt so much more excited and closer to the baby. We could name her, plan her room, picture what she will look like, what kinds of activities we would do with her. It didn't ruin anything. It made it that much better. But that's just us, do what is best for you! Whatever you decide, your 20 week ultrasound will be amazing. Your baby will already have little features for you to fall in love with and it will touch your heart and make you want to not stop staring. 

Second trimester rolled in and it has been pretty great. The acne and headaches left and my hair and nails have never been thicker. On top of that, I've had the best cleavage I've ever had in my life, so it's kinda like getting to try out what a boob job would be like all for free! I have had some lower back pain recently and growing pains in my sides and things like that, but nothing too crazy. I also have started to notice I've started producing colostrum which I guess is a good thing, but totally freaked me out the first time I saw how yellow it was. 

With only two weeks left of my 2nd trimester, I can tell some things are going to change. I am not sleeping great at all between trying to remember to sleep on my side, so the baby gets oxygen & having to pee at least twice through the night it's just never a great sleep (having a nightlight in the washroom has been great at letting me stay half asleep while I pee). Plus, just being bigger is a struggle that will just get harder like putting on my boots or getting up and new back pain that I'm sure will get worse.

I am so lucky to have such an awesome husband who tells me every day how beautiful I look and how much he loves seeing my body changing for our baby. He makes me continue to feel sexy somehow despite gaining 10lbs so far and having a pretty big bump forming.He also gets down on the floor with me every night and stretches my legs out to help with my back pain and it really helps. Every time my legs are tight my lower back gets so sore. It pays marrying an athlete with this knowledge. 

Maybe it's vain, but I silently fear getting stretchmarks. I have some on my thighs from puberty I've always been self conscious of, so I really don't want them all over my stomach. I know its nothing I can really control and if it happens it happens, but every month that passes without them I count my lucky stars! 

I have no real birth plan and plan to totally go with the flow. If that means an epidural, a C section, or anything in between I am feeling confident it will happen the way it's supposed to and as long as our baby girl gets here safely I am ready! 

I've done pretty good at getting prepared early. Her room is almost finished, I have a stroller, diaper bag, and a stock pile of diapers. So, all we need now is a reservoir of sleep and our gal :)

If you missed my post on my favorite maternity must haves you can check it out here. I put lots of research into everything I bought, so although some items are a but pricier I think they will be worth it and I am lucky to have a good health spending account at work which covered our stroller for us! Also, I never buy anything online without searching for online coupons and even emailing the company to see if they can offer any discounts and you would be surprised how many do! 

To all moms, future moms, and pregnant women every where I commend you! It's not easy seeing your body change into something so unfamiliar, worry about everything you put in your mouth, listen to everyone's opinions on what to do and not to do, and worry about what type of mom you will be and on the flip side, thanks to everyone has given me great tips! xo

Q & A:

Cravings: Fruit
Aversions: Pickles, strangely
Favorite pregnancy book: Bringing up Bebe
Funny hormone stories: I always hear of pregnant women crying over things like sundays and pizza and I have yet to have my crying moment, but I do have full out fits of can't breathe laughter a lot these days which must be the hormones, but at least it's more fun than crying! haha
Can't live without: Bumpnest pregnancy pillow, I would never be able to sleep on my side without it
Progress: 26 weeks & 10lbs gained
Favorite App: Baby Center

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bejeweled White Dress

I bought this dress online from Sheinside. Their dresses are always so budget friendly and as you can see, so pretty! This dress is perfect for a summer or beach night date. If you're taking a hot vacay this winter, as most of us Canadians do, this dress would be perfect to get dolled up for dinner. I can't wait to wear it this summer for some baby + me pics. It will be so fun to get all dolled up with my baby girl. I will be 26 weeks on Friday and am starting to feel her move more and more. I have gained 10lbs so far which I think is part pregnancy and part over eating junk food around the holidays. I cannot wait for the treadmill I ordered on boxing day to get here, so I can build some strength up walking every day because it is way too cold to do anything outside these days! 

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. We went and got a dresser for the baby room on Sunday which is the last piece until her room is done (except for gold letters to spell her name above the crib, but we'll wait to hang that when she gets here since her name is a surprise!) So excited to get it all organized and ready!

Happy Monday xo

*A big thanks to my sister Elly for letting me doll her up for this set of outfit posts!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hand Chemistry Intense Youth Complex Review

You guys. Before I even got pregnant, so I'm talking 6+ months ago a company contacted me and sent me this hand cream to review and I feel awful that I am only getting to it now, but it might be good that it took me this long because I have been able to put it through the test. First off it is -30 in Alberta this winter, so if that's not enough to destroy my hands, couple that with working in a hospital and being pregnant, so needing to pee and wash my hands what feels like a kagillion times a day... my hands are being Torturrredd. BUT, this cream has the nicest light scent, rubs in soo good which is so important to me not to have to wait for cream to dry because I need to touch a lot of paper throughout the day AND it does wonders to my skin! I naturally have super dry skin and my hands get that like rough really aged look to them & this cream totally brings them back to life!

Check out their website here to get the full scoop on it's deal and how awesome it is and go out and get some ASAP. They sell it at Shoppers in Canada I do believe! It will be a staple in my purse for years to come and am so I got introduced to it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Black Leather Maxi & Red Lips

I am the furthest thing from a good photographer. I bought a decent camera DSLR camera a year ago and still have no idea how to use it. I also do not edit photos. If I did I would probably be able to narrow down and pick my fav of some of these outfit pics I took of my sister, but it was just too hard! I was 12 when my sister Elly was born, so when I look at pictures like these with her way too amazing curls and perfect skin I just die... how did my little baby sister turn into such a beauty? And I don't just mean her looks she is seriously the most kindhearted sweetest person I've ever met. Can you tell I'm obsessed with her??! 

I bought this dress at H&M the day she was picking out her back to school clothes and then I found out I was pregnant and I didn't have a chance to wear it before it didn't fit anymore, so I just had to get someone in this dress and take some pictures! The necklaces are from Aldo and are so easy to wear again and again with just about anything!

Today is my last of the every four week prenatal appointments with my doctor meaning after today I start going every two weeks.. doesn't that seem crazy!? I am so happy I chose a doctor in the town I work instead of live in because what the heck.. how do people work and make time to see a doctor every two weeks!? It's also crazy because that means my third trimester is beginning soon ahh. I've started decorating her room, so I will post some pics soon! xo

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Forever 21 Harlem Pants

This cropped top was obviously being rocked pre- pregnancy, but I was dreaming of a beach vacay the other day and I remembered these pants and how perfect and comfy they would be to bomb around with a bathing suit top and a sun hat for an evening on the beach. The material is so silky and lightweight they are perfect summertime pants. I don't know why I didn't post this outfit ages ago, but as I enter into my third trimester it's fun to look back on these pictures and see how much my body has been changing!

Pregnancy has been really great with only a few minor downers. For a long time I had major headaches and migraines and I had quit coffee for four months trying to be the healthiest mom I could be, but then someone told me to re introduce caffeine and I did and just like that one cup a day kept the headaches away! I will quit again a few weeks before she is born, so that she doesn't come out crying for coffee, but for now it is making my day to day life so much better!

I am worried about the third trimester weight gain, not because i'll be chubby, but because of how hard it will be on my body, so I just ordered a treadmill, so I can start walking for half an hour everyday, I get massages every 2-3 weeks and I will start seeing a chiropractor next week to make sure my hips and all that are staying aligned. I think it's so important to take time out for yourself during pregnancy and make sure you're staying as healthy & happy as you can! Hope you're all having a great week xo