Five on Friday-- Wedding Anniversary Edition


Happy Friday! I'm linking up with the lovely AprilNatashaChristina, and Darci for Five on Friday!

Today is a super special day because Kyle and I celebrate our FIFTH wedding anniversary! I don't know where the last 5 years have gone and don't feel nearly old enough to have been married for five years, but I do know they've been five of the happiest years of my life!
Dessert from our First Anniversary dinner!
And, in honor of our anniversary, my Five on Friday post will highlight my top 5 reflections from our 5 years of marriage!


Every year of marriage is special, but there's nothing like that FIRST year!--- Oh my! When I think back to that first year I can't help but grin ear-to-ear. What fun times we had! Everything was a first! We closed on our first home just about a month after our wedding, took an amazing honeymoon (and my first time traveling to Europe!) over the Summer, and Kyle started his first job. Every holiday celebrated was that much more fun because it was our first you-fill-in-the-blank holiday together! I just remember being overwhelmed with joy at the "team" Kyle and I had become and how much more fun it was tackling all of those firsts in our life as a married couple! Even cooler-- yes, I think a ton of firsts happen in that first year, but you can't cover them all, and I think it's fun to still be finding that same joy in the "firsts" even as we start our 6th year of marriage!

Our first home (although we didn't take this picture until December of that first year!)
We had so much fun making our house our home! Teamwork makes the dreamwork ;)
We certainly didn't hate getting to unpack all of our wedding presents!
First meal hosted in our home! My grandparents and mom were the lucky guests. :)
First time traveling together...I still get butterflies thinking about how much that trip strengthened our relationship.  There is no better way to solidify a new marriage than traveling abroad together. You see a different side of each other when you know, say, you walk a mile to the train station to catch your train from Nice to Venice only to see absolutely no one there at all because the train workers had gone on strike. We truly had the best time and realized that we make just about perfect travel buddies for each other! 
Our First Christmas!

Our first anniversary! Loved that the top layer of our cake still tasted yummy!


Healthy Communication is Key--- I am a communicator by nature. Possibly even an over-communicator. I want to sit and talk out every feeling I have. I love understanding people and being understood. Kyle is a bottler by nature. He wanted to keep the peace and would just brush things under the rug for the sake of not arguing. It wasn't worth it to bring it up, in his mind, until I brought up something and then he'd unload the last five things I'd done to upset him. As you can imagine, our communication styles did not mesh, and we had to work really, really hard (and are still working) to find the happy medium! It's been a healthy balance of give and take from each of us, and we've really gotten into such a groove. We know how each other tick, and we know how each other appreciates an issue being brought up, so we really are able to respect each other's communication needs, which has been such a great thing for our relationship! This is one area where I can really see the progress over time in our relationship, and it's an area where we both feel really proud of ourselves for our growth!


Being Proactive Can Save a Lot of Headaches--- This one comes from our counselor. :) One of the best things Kyle and I did for our relationship was start seeing a counselor this past summer. The pastor at our church and his wife, who we respect and adore, have always sung the praises of counseling. They are such an amazing couple and such great parents, and I think for me, personally, they helped kind of reframe the idea that counseling isn't always just something you start when there's a problem but it can also be something you do to prevent a problem. Our amazing counselor, Dawn, has given us so many tools, but I think one of the most helpful ones was encouraging us to be proactive when we know we're going into stressful situations that we know could lead us to fight. We had talked about how we sometimes ended up fighting when we went to visit family because we both felt so pulled by our families being in the same town and feeling this pressure to have equal time. Now, instead of waiting for the fight to happen, we sit down before we go into town and really talk about what each other is wanting from the family time and how we're going to split the time. We're also then able to communicate with our families the plan so it's just all out there and open in advance. What a relief it has been since we've started being proactive! And, we use this tool in all kinds of situations!


There's a time to be serious and a time to laugh (or dance) --- I know first three were more on the serious sides, but I think one of my most favorite parts of my marriage is the amount of fun that Kyle and I have together. The laughter. The silliness. The dance parties. The teasing. Life can be hard. Marriage can be stressful. Jobs can be taxing. Money can be tight. It's easy to let the monotony of every day life steal some of that carefree part of your marriage. Laughing and being goofy with your love is definitely the best medicine for keeping joy in your relationship even if other parts of life aren't as fun and especially if they are.  
Hubby vs. Wife ---"Who Wore it Best" model-off. Judge all you want. We know we're ridiculous!


Date night once a week, 1 weekend a quarter, 1 week a year--- Advice from my hometown pastor who performed our wedding ceremony for how often you should have couple time--and believe me, this is good advice and advice we will certainly be glad to take in this next phase of life we're about to embark on called parenthood. Date nights, weekend getaways (just the two of you), and a longer vacation (at least once a year if you can...even if it's a staycation!) = time to connect, and I'm sure there's no real explanation needed for why this is great! Kyle and I have so valued our commitment to keeping Dr. Queen's advice, and it has benefitted us tremendously. Date nights give us time away from our house (where there are so many distractions) and time to just talk and catch up. And, if we feel like we've had plenty of talk time already that week, we'll make it interesting and play the Question Game, which is something we've done since our high school dating days. Weekend getaways give us that chance to refresh and restore. And our vacations have been so amazing for giving us shared, new experiences together! 

So, there you have it. My top 5 fave take-aways from these tremendously amazing 5 years of marriage!

Our Blueberry & Our Rainbow Baby


In Honor of Our Precious Blueberry
April 16th.  A day that comes with so many mixed emotions. I've only typed this much and my eyes are already filling with tears.

This was our due date from our first pregnancy, and I know that there was a big chance that our baby wouldn't have been actually born on this day, but once we lost that baby, this was the only date we had to cling on to. The day that we will celebrate our Blueberry because I just don't think I'd be OK without giving that baby, our first baby a day to be remembered. Because I never want to forget the joy that came from that very first time we found out we were pregnant and that very first heartbeat we heard of a baby we created. Our Blueberry changed our lives.

 And so on April 16th, and really, these past few weeks leading up to this day, Kyle and I navigate the weirdness that is today. Because on the one hand it is a sad day-- a day of what could have beens and what isn'ts.

But, we're also here, pregnant and expecting a baby. A different baby.  A baby boy. A baby boy who we love so incredibly much. But, a baby who wouldn't exist if we hadn't lost our first baby.

I remember reading a beautiful blogpost that introduced me to the term Rainbow Baby--the baby you're pregnant with that is the light after a storm, just like a rainbow. Usually when there are rainbows the skies are still gray. And the rainbow symbolizes hope. Kyle and I are still healing--our skies are still gray. But with this new life is so, so much hope.

I don't really know how to put into words what my heart feels right now on this day. It's complicated, for lack of a better word. And that is OK.

So, today, we will eat blueberries and sing "Happy Birthday" to a baby we will never meet on this Earth. Our Blueberry.

And, we will thank God for the precious baby boy growing in my belly and pray for the day that we hopefully get to meet this baby. Our Rainbow Baby.

Five on Friday!


Cheers to the weekend! Except for those of us teachers who have Saturday school tomorrow because of the snow days...nuts!

 I'm linking up with the lovely AprilNatashaChristina, and Darci for Five on Friday!

And, because I was too nervous at first (after our miscarriage) and then too frazzled to get my act together, I have not nearly documented my pregnancy in the way I always imagined I would. I was totally set to do the weekly bumpdates and all that good stuff!

So, today I am packing in the past 21 weeks of pregnancy into this fab Five on Friday post!

This should be fun!

Symptoms--- My gracious! I can't complain because I know some people have it really rough, but I've definitely had some symptoms. I think that hardest part of the first trimester was dealing with the crazy food aversions and just overall nausea. I only every got physically sick once (and I'm not even sure it was pregnancy-related), but I definitely had the nausea. And finding food that was appealing was tough! I felt super limited because I'm already gluten-free and then add on the foods you have to eliminate while pregnant-- I felt totally defeated at times because anything that sounded appealing I couldn't eat and nothing that I could eat sounded appealing. I am SO glad that part of pregnancy is behind me! I've definitely also felt tired and sluggish throughout the pregnancy (probs didn't exercise from December-February...oops!) and at times have had the emotional breakdowns (although I think I've mostly been a super happy and pleasant preggo). I definitely had the soreness with the girls and am definitely enjoying not needing any padding up top these days, if you catch my drift ;)  I've also had an insanely good sense of smell, which has its pros and cons. And, recently I've had super uncomfortable pain in my hips at night (thank you memory foam mattress that just arrived!) and a little ankle swelling (not ready for this!). Oh and let's not forget the crazy amount of trips to the bathroom-- I was getting up once a night for the first 19 weeks and now I'm up two times...not cool. Thank goodness for 2nd trimester, which is when I finally started feeling like myself again. Now, I'm loving actually looking pregnant and feeling my precious little guy moving up a storm!
Cravings/Aversions--- I've definitely had plenty of both throughout the pregnancy! Cravings-wise, I remember one of the first weird cravings I had was for Blow-Pops. I am not really a fruity-candy person at all, but for some reason Blow Pops were just a necessity for a few weeks there in the beginning. I also lived Pirate's Booty for a few weeks early on. And, I just had to have Orange Juice (which I never drink anymore but have the fondest memories of drinking with my Grandaddy!) and was really into GF bagels for breakfast instead of my normal egg casserole. I've also craved different salty snacks at different times--Doritos, sea-salt popcorn, and now I'm currently on BBQ chips! I'd  given up soda for the past few years but just had to have a Sprite...from the fountain, of course. And, gummy bears-- I don't ever eat those but, man, they have sounded yummy this pregnancy! My main aversions have been vegetables (unless hidden in a smoothie). Don't even bring them close to me! I also couldn't have meat for the longest time unless it was cut up really small.  And, I was really was thrown by the few weeks that sweets did not sound appetizing to me because anyone who knows me knows I have the biggest sweet tooth. But, I think the weirdest one was the month (early on) where I could not drink the water from our house. It tasted TERRIBLE. I had to buy bottled water. And then, all of a sudden, one day it was totally back to normal! Kyle has been so kind to deal with all of my cravings and aversions.  I think I say to him at least once a day, "Boo, you know what I really want..." and then rattle off something crazy!
Emotions--- I've been pretty honest about how hard this pregnancy has been emotionally, especially during that first trimester. Having this baby is the most important thing to us and knowing how much can be out of your control and out of your hands as far as making that happen is tough. I've constantly battled the doubts that this could actually happen, and I still do. I probably will until I'm holding our sweet baby boy in my arms. About a week before every appointment we have the nerves start kicking in. Each successful appointment we have feels like another hurdle we've jumped over in this super long race. But, I've also tried not to let the joy be stolen from this pregnancy--I think I've just been more private about my elation that this is actually happening! And, I think the fun really starts to kick in once you get to start announcing. And then you have your gender reveal and your belly bump is showing. There's just a steady flow of excitement these days! I will be 22 weeks tomorrow! 22 weeks! And, now that I am feeling him move pretty much daily, I have that extra reassurance that all is well! Like I said, I know the worries will never not be there, but for now, I am soaking in every moment when the worries are cast aside and Kyle and I get to dream about this little life that we made growing inside of me. 

Dressing the Bump--- I loved that the beginning of my pregnancy was during winter because I could rock leggings constantly, especially over winter-break and the 2 weeks of snow we had in February. Between leggings, the rubber-band trick, and the belly band I had bought during my 1st pregnancy I was able to hold off on buying maternity clothes for quite some time. For most of March I was pretty much full-time in either maternity pants or using the belly-band with my regular pants, but I'm happy that I've been able to so-far get away with non-maternity tops! Now that Spring is here, I'm LOVING my maxi-dresses and wear them almost daily because they work so well with a bump. I also am so thankful for maternity clothes that my two friends, Ally and Kelly, have leant to me. Between what I've borrowed and a few key purchases (and some non-maternity clothes that still work while pregnant) I think I'm pretty set for a while in the clothing department. Oh, and I did buy this maternity bathing suit from Loft because goodness knows with this heat I will definitely need to float in the pool some this summer! And, some days, you just gotta rock your hubby's clothes ;)
Bump Pics-- From March to April!
Bump from the front-- Left from mid March, Right from Easter Sunday!
Had to text Kyle a pic of me in his t-shirt and boxers!
The Hubs--- I truly could not be more grateful for Kyle and the rock that he has been for me this pregnancy.  It's hard because at times I feel so much pressure because I know he wants a baby as much as I do, and I feel like it's all up to me and my body and my health to make it happen. But, he never makes me feel that way and is always just super supportive and so incredibly selfless and helpful. It is so fun to see him get excited about being a daddy, and I know he'll be the best! He was counting down the weeks until the baby's hearing was developed and we could do the Bellybuds so he could play music for the baby. He's also super cute and talks to my belly, and it just makes my heart melt. He's also been so involved in every aspect of the pregnancy-- from coming to all of the appointments, to asking questions, reading the books, planning the nursery, and helping research items for the registry and different childcare options. I never thought I could love him any more but seeing him become a Dad completely changed that. Our baby boy is going to be so lucky to have him as a father!

Welp, there we go! All caught up!

Here's to hoping for regular weekly updates ;)

Gender Reveal...Blue or Pink!?


Eeek! We are so excited to share that Baby A is a....


Last Sunday, Kyle and I gathered with family and friends for a Gender Reveal party at the beach hosted by amazing almost-sister-in-law, Hanna!

Rewind to two weeks before that at our anatomy ultrasound--Kyle and I asked the ultra-sound tech. to write down the gender in an envelope because we really wanted to find out just the two of us. We'd always dreamed of going out to Maple View Farms, where it is absolutely gorgeous and the ice-cream is oh-so-yummy to find out for ourselves! We could not have asked for a more perfect day to find out--nice and sunny, no coats needed, and perfect blue skies and open fields surrounding us for miles.  And, we were so excited to see the word BOY written on the paper! We kind of had a sneaking suspicion this was the case, and if you're ever curious about what you're having, you can just send your ultrasound pics to my friend, Beebs, who is 2-0 in predicting genders of babies long before the actual anatomy ultrasound! 

It was hard to keep the secret from family and friends for TWO. WHOLE. WEEKS. especially if you know me. I wanted to tell the world the second we found out! But, we were both so, so good despite the numerous attempts to try to get us to spill! Best effort awards go to my Grandmother (who was just convinced that it was a boy and called it baby boy all weekend leading up the the reveal!), my brother (who kept trying to trick me on the phone), and Kyle's mom (who tried to bribe us with baby clothes purchases at the outlets if she knew what gender to shop for!). 

But, we kept that precious little secret and were so glad that we did because getting to see everyone's reactions at the reveal was priceless!

Now, onto the good stuff. The Gender Reveal. Pretty much the most adorable party I've ever been to period. Totally Pinterest-worthy in my book. Hanna is absolutely amazing, and I'm trying to convince her to go into a party planning business!

Welcome to our Gender Reveal...

The Decor

The Activities
The party was the weekend before Easter, so if you're familiar with the Egg Cracking game,  Hanna just put a Pink & Blue twist on it! The winning egg color (for us it was pink!) meant that an extra point was added to Team Pink!
My Dad, Kyle's Dad, Kyle's brother, and Kyle had a bottle drinking race! Most of the boys cheated, but my dad had a great time drinking it like a real Baby! A point for Team Blue!
Jan won the "Guess How Much Baby A Is Loved" game! There were 242 jellybeans ( how she tied a little Easter into the reveal!) in the bottle, and Jan guessed 250...I knew that girl was smart! Since Jan was on Team Blue, a point was added to Team Blue!
And lastly, we moved the party out to the beach (or almost beach!) for the big reveal! Hanna had put me on the phone with the girl at Party City to tell that the box would need BLUE balloons!

It was so much fun to see the blue balloons go flying! Kyle loves to replay the video in slow-motion where I get nailed in the face with one!
The Guests
(For Our Memory's Sake!)
From Left to Right: The lovely hostess, Hanna, my brother, Bryan, my mom, me, Kyle, and my Dad! 
My grandparents were also there! 
Kyle's parents were there! 
Two of my high school bests, Becca and Jan were there!
Kyle's brother, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Lindsay!
My college bestie, Ashley, and her new boy, Dave, also came!

Skyped in were: college bestie, Beebs, cousin Sarah, Kyle's Aunt Momo, and failed attempts to Skype in cousin, Kathleen, and my two Aunts! And, our good friends, Keith and Kelly (and sweet Teagan) and my cousin, Anna (who was leading a tour), my lifelong bestie, Kristen (who got married the day before...will post about that when pics come in!), and other high school bestie, Ally, were all there in spirit!

Not pictured were Hanna's parents, Mr. Warren and LaLa (Linda) who helped with everything and took some amazing pictures! My brother is gaining some amazing in-laws, and we've had so much fun getting to know them!

I could not write this post without saying a huge thank you to Hanna, who just 1 week after getting some scary news about her health and just 3 days post-surgery pulled off this amazing party for us. It was such a generous thing to do in the first place and to still go through with it all things considered meant the world to us. She is just the best. I wrote in her thank-you note that I hope Baby A takes after his Aunt Hanna in her thoughtfulness, generosity, and selflessness.It was such a special day, full of love and excitement for our baby boy!

We are SO ready to embrace the blue!

Bring on the registering and nursery prep

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter, everyone!

As easy as it is to get swept up in the pastels and Easter baskets and candy on this day (and trust me, I love those things about Easter!), I also definitely want to be intentional about remembering the what this day truly means-- the sacrifice behind this day and how lucky we are to have a Father in Heaven who loves us so much.

We started our day off with an amazing Easter service at our church. I loved our pastor's message on faith, and how we're called for 100% commitment, not 100% certainty. I have to hand it to preachers-- I think Christmas and Easter are two of the hardest services to do because it's difficult to put new twists on these, yet I am always impressed by how they do. :)

Kyle's brother, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Lindsay, joined us for lunch at a local 100% GF restaurant, and it was a win-win-- good company, good food.

No Easter egg hunts for us this year, but we'll be hopefully having plenty of those in the future! It is kind of hard to believe that this will be our last Easter, just the two of us. And, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't totally excited to do an Easter Basket for our precious little guy next year! I practiced this year by surprising Kyle with his favorite Easter candy-- those Reese's Eggs...they just get you every time!

And while we missed being with more of our family, I have to say it was quite a perfect little Easter day. A good mix of the religious and secular celebrations and lots of beautiful sunshine. We have so much to be thankful for!

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