After a long and eventful year, I can finally say that I'M PREGNANT. I'm 12 weeks along and I still can't fully believe it. As most of you know, my husband and I have been patiently praying and trying for the past year, to no avail. The day after Christmas I got the surprise of a lifetime and realized God had finally answered our many prayers.
I still get daily traffic, emails, and messages from other women on the fertility journey. Some tell me about their miracle babies and how they were once in my shoes, and some tell me how they are still walking down that long and difficult path. What I've learned in this past year, is as woman we are not alone. I know when I first started trying and saw announcement after announcement, it broke me. Little did I know, there is a whole community of woman just like me praying for the day they can be mothers.
In a weird way I am grateful we had to wait so long to have a baby. Personally, I think it helped me appreciate every little thing more. It helped me value my time with my husband and grow closer together, it helped me focus on other areas of my life that I had put on the back burner because of this one golden dream, and it also helped me appreciate what a true, raw blessing a baby really is.
I have been lucky enough to not have any morning sickness, and have really only been feeling drained + the effects of a small bladder. All little things that I couldn't be happier to feel, because it means God finally chose me to be a mother. I have a favorite quote and it is what I refer back to often.
While I don't want to dwell so much on the journey it took to get here, I want to just express that for those still on it, I am praying for you. It's not easy and I know the feeling of seeing pregnancy announcements popping up all around you. But like I said in my last post, "any new life coming onto this earth is a joyous occasion".
I cannot wait to share more of this pregnancy journey with you all! I am due late August and just announced the big news publicly yesterday. I wanted to keep the announcement simple, because I have seen one too many posts that are a little over the top. Below is how we announced! Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and reached out to me. It truly means so much and I'm grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people. J + I are overjoyed to be parents and I am looking forward to documenting it all on our blog.
We went to our first appointment at 9 weeks and I was so nervous! The nurse was so nice and made me feel comfortable! I was afraid they would have to do the internal ultrasound and that I wouldn't be able to tell what our baby was... Wrong and wrong! She talked to us for a little bit on our backgrounds and genetics, gave me a quick exam, and then it was time for the ultrasound. She put the ultrasound wand on my belly and instantly on the screen our little baby was there: head, body, little arms and legs. I couldn't believe how human it looked, because I've heard woman say it looks alien-like. We then heard the heartbeat, which is the sweetest sound I've ever heard, and I just laid there in awe looking at the screen showing me our baby. We were both pretty quiet and more so just in amazement as the whole thing played out. We go for our next appointment at 13 weeks which is next Monday so I can't wait to share more then!
For now, here is the first bump update that I filmed at 8 weeks.
I feel refreshed, well rested, and just a little bit more tan! J and I returned home from our honeymoon and we had a blast! Okay, not the whole time (we got super sick for a few days!). We really enjoyed catching up on some sleep, seeing beautiful destinations, and had a great time on the cruise ship!
We decided to go on a 10 day cruise to the caribbean. We used Princess Cruises and I highly recommend! We ported out of Ft. Lauderdale and they were sweet enough to shuttle us from the Miami airport to the port, leaving us with less to stress about. But, we pulled an all nighter and flew to Miami at 11 pm, arrived about 5 am there and had to wait for the shuttle which didn't leave till noon. We ended up getting very acquainted with the Miami airport, and if you have ever been there it's literally the worst airport we have ever been to! (but that's a whole other story!)
The cruise ship was fun, and we participated in several games and 'Princess Live!' shows and James ended up winning one of them which was so fun! haha Since it was live, it ended up being a show on our tv and we watched it that night and it was so cool to see him on there! We also won bingo twice in a row which was super fun and we decided to end on a good note and not play again.
As for the actual islands, we opted out of doing excursions. I haven't really been feeling up to strenuous activity and we more so wanted to just relax and do our own thing on our vacation! We did get off on every island though, and had a fun time seeing the different buildings and exploring. In this post I'll be showcasing my two favorite spots we went to.
Princess Cays is an island owned by Princess Cruises. You would think this would be the most boring since it's the most uncultured, but it had the nicest beach and we enjoyed relaxing in the chairs and eating burgers! It was a common theme for the rest of the islands we visited that the beaches were not nearby and you had to take a taxi to them which was kind of a bummer! But Princess Cays was all beach and we had a great time there.
Curacao was one of the last spots to dock at, and it was by far our favorite! It has such a rich history and it was a beautiful island! It was also one of the few that didn't have people berating you to buy things as soon as you got off the ship. Curacao has the largest pontoon bridge and when a ship needs to go by, it will swing itself to the other side of the water. It was the coolest thing to watch, but be prepared to wait for a long time to get back to the other side! haha They have a ferry to transport people while its moved, but we decided to wait it out and the ferry really didn't save a ton of time.
Here is the Queen Emma bridge swinging back, it is seriously so cool! We went down the shopping center shown above and it was a dream. Cobblestone roads, nice people, and I found a MAC store and treated myself haha!
When we were on our way back to the ship, I realized out loud to J that we had yet to see any animals! I was bummed and right after I finished that sentence we saw this huge guy scurrying by! It was so hilarious and I'm so glad we got to see one cool animal before leaving.
I hope y'all enjoyed our vacation pics and lived vicariously through them! We had so much fun celebrating our two year anniversary and having a honeymoon! I cannot wait to go on more vacations like this and share it with you all!
Where was your favorite place to vacation?
Thank you to Irresistible Me for sending me this product for review. These are my 100% honest opinions and I hope you enjoy this post!
I posted a few weeks ago a hair tutorial using my Irresistible Me hair extensions and I am finally getting around to sharing a review on them! I have hair extensions that I got back in high school, and they are in my natural brunette hair color. Ever since dying my hair blonde, I have been on the lookout for hair extensions I could wear with my new hair change. I wanted quality human hair extensions, that wouldn't break the bank, but that would still look fabulous!
I know you are probably thinking that it may be harder to order hair extensions online and have them match, but honestly knowing what color my hair was and reading the descriptions, I knew right away that honey blonde would be a perfect match. And it was!
A great thing that Irresistible Me offers, is a sample piece of the hair color. When you receive your package, you can remove the sample and compare it to your hair color. If it matches, great and you can open up the hair extension pack and get to styling! If not, you can return it with the simple instructions they add in the box for no charge! It can take 6-8 weeks to create, ship, and arrive, but that is reassuring to me because that means they are putting out a quality product and take their time to perfect it.
I am in love with the quality of these extensions, but my favorite part is how natural they look and feel. I've seen hair extensions that look very fake, shiny, and plastic-y, but these truly match real hair texture. Also I love the lowlights and highlights blended seamlessly throughout, which helps overall blend your hair color efficiently. So far, I have left my extensions in the natural straight/slightly wavy texture because they have been perfect when adding into braids or when my hair is straight! I did a post a few weeks ago of a hair tutorial and seriously, you can't even tell what's my real hair and my extensions.
Because the Silky Touch clip in extensions are 100% human remy hair, you can cut, curl, straighten, blow dry, and wash them! I usually only wash my extensions afterwards I am styling it, that way I don't feel like I'm damaging the hair with a back to back straighten and curl.
The extensions I have are the Silky Touch style in "honey blonde" and I got them in 20 inches. I love having length and a great thing about these is I can put them all in for full volume, or just add in half if I am looking for length! I am obsessed with the four clip weft, because it is so full and makes a huge difference.
Also, I feel that the prices are way more reasonable, and I wish I knew about Irresistible Me before buying my first brunette extensions! For those I paid $150+, and my Irresistible Me pair are currently on sale for $62. You are definitely not sacrificing quality, and if you are looking to buy new clip in extensions, I highly recommend this brand! I would love to know if you use hair extensions and if you like them more for volume or length! I love the versatility of clip ins because you can have both or one or the other! Thank you for reading!
You know how you go in Target for a few things, and come out with a full cart? That's pretty much me every time. Our house is super close to a Target and my oh my is that dangerous! I have always been a budget shopper, thanks to my momma, and I love setting budget challenges for myself when shopping.
Since I'm new to this whole decorate for the holidays thing, I want to keep things simple because the last thing I want is to have a bin for each season! (I'm already overboard from Christmas!) J and I went to Target this past weekend and I scored big time at their dollar spot and found a ton of great decorations for our mantle.
Since I had packed up all of my Christmas decor, my mantle was completely blank! I had a few of my own personal pieces already that worked for the Valentine's day, but the majority I bought at Target and my total was just under $20, score!
When we moved out of Utah, my mother and father in law threw us a going away party and she went all out with the decorations! She had a ton and she sent me home with some, including this love sign! It was just solid white, and I found the most adorable paper heart tape at Target and created heart stripes on the sign! Since it's paper, it was super easy to apply and just push it down to make it form with the angles of the letters, making it a lot easier than washi tape would have been.
This adorable frame I got at Target a couple of years ago, and this print is from the fellow blogger mother soul, Diana! (I shared about it here!) This crystal vase was a wedding gift from my grandparents and it is so beautiful!
The speckled pink jar, heart garland, and arrow clothespins are all also from Target! My original plan was to stand up the arrows and have pictures, but they aren't arrow extends to low for it to stand so I just laid them down.
My jar of hearts was a fun DIY I did last minute! I found the most darling felt gold and pink hearts and I knew I wanted to incorporate them somehow! I tried just filling the mason jar with them, but there wasn't enough and it looked weird. So, I took some double sided tape and taped the hearts on the inside doing an ombre effect! I then added more of the paper tape to the lid so it tied in to the other side of the mantle. My little love birds sign is another Target treasure, but I purchased it a few years back as well! I can't remember where this S is from, but you can find one at any home decor store.
Can we just MARVEL at this XOXO sign for a second?!? I love the gold metallic lettering and the accent border being a bright pink! It was the first thing I saw when we arrived and I had it as my starting point and inspiration for the rest of the mantle decor. If you are having trouble decorating, pick one focal point piece and pick items that compliment it and have similarities!
And last but not least, this sweet Love garland with arrows on it! I love the color scheme and tried to keep it as neutral as possible, because I know my husband can only be so tolerant with the amount of pink and hearts I got going on! (He seriously is a saint!)
Have you started to decorate for Valentine's Day? I would love to hear about what your favorite decorations are! Also, please tell me I'm not the only one with the Target shopping addiction- it's normal right?!
"This is the first day of my life | I'm glad I didn't die before I met you | But now I don't care, I could go anywhere with you | And I'd probably be happy"- Bright Eyes
The First Day of my Life was our wedding song and holds a special place in both of our hearts. Right now e are on vacation celebrating our honeymoon + I am reminded just how blessed with this man I truly am.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons blog! This is where I share snippets of my life as a new mom to be, beauty + fashion lover, and overall lover of life's tender mercies!