Tag Archives: Pregnancy

What I’m Loving Right Now: 2nd Trimester

What I'm Loving Right Now- 2nd Trimester

Guys, I cannot believe I am already in the midst of our third trimester. I know people say the second time around just flies by and goodness, that is so true. There is this constant struggle to stay present with Ollie as our final days as just “mommy and son” come to an end and also be able to full sit in the moments of pregnancy.

If I am being honest, pregnancy is not my favorite. I love bits and pieces of it, and I adore the outcome of it… but the aches, pains, heartburn, weird kicks and jabs… I was not made out to be that mom of 9+ kiddos, pregnant always women, and that’s okay. In the midst of this season, I am doing the best I can to love the stage of where we are at and the joys of pregnancy.

Because this, I would love to share what brought me great joy during my second trimester. My second trimester has been cold, full of holiday chaos, and consumed by a basement remodel (as most of you know), but even in the winter, bitter cold season, there has been a few things that has really gotten me through.

What I’m Loving Right Now: 2nd Trimester

1. Young Living Lavender Hand & Body Lotion + Organic Shea Butter By Sky Organics

In our hopes to remove more and more chemicals out of our home, I feel like I am scanning everything on the Think Dirty App these days. Think Dirty is a mobile app (iPhone or Andriod) that rates how many nasty chemicals are in your home. Do you know how many of our products that we use daily is full of parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, talc, bismuth, nanoparticles, lead (yes they actually put this in makeup among other things), mineral oil, synthetic colors and fragrances! This means what I’m putting on my countertops, floors, in my hair, and on my skin (which then goes into my body and affects it) is not necessarily clean, pure, and could be actually toxic, disrupting my hormones or increasing my chance of diseases.

Thus, we are starting to ditch these nasty chemicals and switch to cleaner options. I cannot get through pregnancy (or any winter really) without a good moisturizer and so this time around I have been adamant about making sure what is going on my skin is safe and clean. On a daily use, I have been loving the Young Living Lavender Hand & Body Lotion. It smells so great and a little goes such a long way. It does not leave any greasy feeling and is keeping my belly, legs, and beyond full of moisture!

On the super dry weeks, I have been lathering up with Organic Shea Butter By Sky Organics which is a unrefined, cold-pressed option. It turned into a liquid when you rub it onto the hands or skin, but kind of leaves a bit of a film for 5-7 hours. I love to turn to this more in the nighttime to sleep with when the temperature has been dropping under the freezing mark.

2. Wool Dryer Balls + Monday Laundry Days

Even in the midst of a busy season, I have thankfully had the pleasure of some rhythms to keep me a bit grounded. One of these things is my Monday Laundry Days. My family knows it. My coworkers know it. Mondays are the days I do laundry.

I hate laundry. I hate carrying down the heavy basket of clothes. I hate have wet sweaters laying out throughout the house. I hate sorting through socks not knowing if its match is in the load I just took out or another load elsewhere still dirty. I just hate it, so I try and tackle it all on one day. It sounds like a lot; however, with a work-from-home gig, I can easily swap my loads in and out during and in between conference calls and emails and knock it out in one swoop.

Wool Dryer Balls have also been my saving grace. Again with the eliminating chemicals, dryer sheets have just tons of chemicals in them. So I have invested in wool dryer balls this season. Wool Dryer Balls not only reduce the chemicals I am using on our clothes that we wear everyday, but it also helps reduce the drying time overall and decreases static in each load. I also have been dabbing a bit of Young Living’s Purification essential oil on the balls every week or so to help cut out the nasty smells that linger from the gym. I’m loving it!

3. Maty’s All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief Antacid

If you have noticed on my weekly bump dates, my pregnancy heartburn has been in full swing this trimester. Although the taste is not my favorite, Maty’s All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief Antacid has been a lifesaver. A sip of this concoction and my heartburn is gone so quickly. I wish I would have invested in this a little sooner during the holiday food fun, but thankful that I have it now.

4. Coffee + Crumbs podcast

The winter can sometimes get lonely at a work-from-home job. Everybody has been busy with the standard holiday rush, and it has been far too cold to even make my typical midday run to Target. With little to no real interaction with my girlfriends throughout the week, the days have started to run into one another and get really quiet and lonely.

Thankfully, I have been podcasting like it was my j-o-b and loving the Coffee + Crumbs podcast. I use to read their blog religiously and have kind of fell off as Ollie grew. The podcast is great to get other motherly prospective while I’m cleaning or cooking dinner in the evenings prior to Dusty joining us after work. Their ideas, opinions, and souls just fill my heart and I love it.

5. Expecting and Empowered Pregnancy Workout Guide

During my pregnancy with baby Ollie, my aches and pains were pushed aside by my doctor as “typical pregnancy hurts”; however, after eight months of postpartum physical therapy, I now know that these were not common aches. My aches kept me from doing my daily workouts during my first and I am on a mission to share not only my story but also stay active during these months of pregnancy.

Thankfully, I discovered the Expecting and Empowered Pregnancy Workout Guide which is a comprehensive pregnancy fitness guide for each trimester of pregnancy! With the partnership of these workouts, my physical therapist, and my chiropractor (I have had a lot of issues), I can honestly say that this has been the best decision of my entire pregnancy. There are definitely still so aches and pains; however, they have been so much less this time around. I feel stronger and more motivated to keep staying active as well. I know post-delivery I will be able to recover faster and bounce back into the summer months with confidence as well!

6. Teavana Passion Tango Tea at Starbucks

If you have been following my Instagram, you know that I have been living at Starbucks these past few weeks. In between the cold, holiday chaos (and mess), and construction in our home, I have not been able to focus much in my home office. To help with this, Starbucks has been a lifesaver for an afternoon or two of concentration. Going into the new year though, I have limited myself on how many expensive coffees I can actually afford. If we want to be serious about our finances in 2018, I have to put my frappuccinos and mochas at bay. Thankfully, tea is such a healthier option for pregnancy than the caffeinated, sugary stuff. I hadn’t tried Teavana’s Passion Tango Tea until recently and I just adore it.

7. Bao Bei Maternity ProBUMP belly band

I have been a huge supporter of Bao Bei Maternity and their belly bands since I was pregnant with Ollie. I wear them nonstop. Originally designed to give you the proper support with prenatal movement during an active pregnancy, these belly bands are great to use as an every day band. They are slim, fit underneath my clothes without showing, and feels like somebody is helping me lift my belly all day long. I cannot do my workouts with these, but as the weeks pass, I’m not sure I could even make it a day without slipping one on. They are that magical.

Shop Small :: Little Lunch Maker

Thank you, Little Lunch Maker, for sponsoring this post, part of the 2017 Shop Small Holiday series. I was selected for this opportunity by Little Lunch Maker; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Shop Small

Who does not just love some new decor!? As we are finished up Ollie’s playroom these past few months, I stumbled upon this print from Little Lunch Maker and have not hardly been able to wait to show it to you!! The story behind this piece of art is perfect for our home…

The Story Behind the Art (taken from Little Lunch Maker):

I have a WILD child.

Several, actually… but one in particular has wild pumping through her veins to a beat that is other-worldly.

From infancy she has been fierce and fearless — a tornado wearing a tutu. I promise you, we thought the movie The Croods crafted their little cave-baby character after her.

She tries to free-climb pillars in grocery stores. The only volume she has is roar.

Here eyes light up with excitement at deep water, fast rides, ridiculous heights, and unknown creatures and experiences.

She is wildly beautiful. And daily reminds me of this side of Jesus that I’ve forgotten because I live such a padded, air-conditioned life.

He is the Creator of lots of wild. He loves and values wild. He is wild.

Wild is wonderful — and so welcome here.

Goodness, how perfect is that!? I remember thinking about Ollie before he was hear and what was I going to do with a little wild boy. One that plays in the mud, runs around with balls of energy, giggling and playing. What was I going to do? But this story behind this art is perfect. Jesus is the Creator of lots of wild. He loves and values wild. He is wild. Wild is wonderful.

God made the wild animals according to their kinds… And God saw that it was good.”
― Genesis 1:25

“Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.”
― Revelation 5:5

“He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Paired with her magnetic wooden frames! Perfection! I honestly cannot tell you how I love each piece separately and even more together.

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Shop Small

Here is a little bit more about Elise, the owner of Little Lunch Maker:

How did you get your shop started?
My father-in-law has severe Alzheimer’s disease. He’s been declining for about 10 years. In the winter of 2014 there was a significant downturn in his dementia. After much prayer, planning, and life-rearranging my husband, Jason, quit his full-time job to care for his dad to enable him to remain in his home.

Jason calls this time with his dad a gift, and “a long goodbye”.

One of the gifts from this time was the need to feed our family of 7 and meet our bills. This need was the push I needed to pray fervently about how I could help support my husband, and the rest of my family during this time.

The Little Lunch Maker shop is the outworking of those prayers.

What is the hardest part of owning a shop?
Remembering that true success is obedience to God. Obedience = Success. And that success won’t always look like the result I think I want and need.

It’s easy for me to prioritize specific, outward results and appearances – which need attention and intentionality, and it’s definitely necessary to have plans and goals. But. And this is a big “but”.

Like in every other area of life, God wants to grant me the greatest success. Greater than anything I can hope for, plan for, or imagine. He wants me to be the best steward of owning this shop that I can possibly be. And realistically speaking? That’s going to taking some deep character work. That’s the rub. That’s the hardest part. The character work God is doing in this never-ending journey of stewardship and co-creating with Him.

Sometimes that looks like growing in patience while learning some technical aspect that makes my eye twitch with frustration. Sometimes that looks like intentionality and accountability with my finances and the back-end-numbers-side of the business… which is my least favorite part of owning a shop at this point. Sometimes that looks like learning to rest, instead of giving into the desire to quit altogether.

Whatever is the hardest for me is always about some character trait God is building into me.

What is one thing unique about you?
I view everything through the lens of life being an unfolding of His story (or I try to keep this perspective!). When God is the Main Character in the story of life, and not me or my loved ones, everything shifts in a good way.

This is why my art has “The Story Behind the Art”. Because each piece is only a tiny bit of the bigger story we always need to remember: He loves us, and the story isn’t over yet! The Best is still coming our way. I hope the Story Behind the Art always lifts our eyes back to Him.

What is the best part of owning a shop?
Being able to work from home, doing something I L O V E that encourages people to remember who God is, and how loved they are by Him.

How did you get your shop name?
I was reading about the story of the the five loaves and two fish that Jesus broke and gave to satisfy and nourish thousands of people. I’d read the story many times, but this day it hit me in a fresh way — someone made that little lunch.

It was just ordinary faithfulness for them, you know? A daily act. A small act. A consumable act. They had no idea at the time what their hands had made would end up in the hands of The Maker of the heavens and the earth.

And I was encouraged. I could do that. I could bring my smallness to Him — even if my offering was laughably minuscule in the face of all the need and lack.

Because in the hands of God? Ordinary faithfulness is the stuff of miracles.

We are all “little lunch makers”. And I believe if we offer our all to Him – we will see the glory of God and experience the joy that comes with co-laboring with Him.

What is one way that you keep organized?
I am loving the workbook from Emily Ley’s Masterclass – The Well-Loved Brand. It helps keep so many aspects of my business organized!

How do you balance family life and work life?
Lots of prayer, planning, and outside help!

I pay one of my sisters to watch my kiddos from 8am-12noon 4 days a week. My husband watches our 6-month-old for a couple of hours after the kids are in bed each night so I can work. The hours before and after and in-between are for meal-making, homeschooling, house cleaning, taking care of my father-in-law, and kissing my baby’s chubby cheeks.

My 11-year-old daughter (who wants to be an American missionary/teacher someday) helps a TON with homeschooling my 7 and 4-year-old daughters. My mom and several sisters (I have 5 sisters) volunteer for childcare for one 4-hr time block each month.

3 Essentials for a Fit Pregnancy

3 Essentials for a Fit Pregnancy

When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to make sure that I had the healthiest pregnancy possible. I was no means a rock star when it came to staying on top of my goals; however, I do think that I managed to make it through my entire pregnancy healthy and made sure anything I did was in moderation.

Through my first trimester, I learn a lot about listening to my body, not skipping meals (which I’m really bad at doing), and keeping active. It truly is hard as your body changes, you are tired, and you are sore in all new places. Growing a healthy baby is obviously important, but it is also hard not to give into the American message that being pregnant means you can eat whatever, whenever. My major go-to treat was chocolate ice cream cones from Dairy Queen; however, I still limited myself (so I would not end up there daily) and managed to “treat” myself when I felt like it was necessary (which sometimes felt like it should be every day). At the end of my pregnancy, a nightly walk through the neighborhood seemed like a daunting chore, but I stuck through it and love that I was able to continue through my entire 40 weeks healthy.

There are three major things that kept me going through my pregnancy that helped me stay fit. I cannot wait to be cleared for normal activity again now that Ollie is here, but until then, I wanted to share these items with you!

1. CamelBak Eddy Water Bottle

Your water intake is an important part of your life, regardless of a pregnancy or not. However, it is super important during your pregnancy. There is a very clear difference in my daily water intake from the days that I have my CamelBak by my side and those days that I do not. I have this thing by my side at all times and it really helped me stay on track during my pregnancy. Keeping hydrated also helped me feel better about myself, more alert, and more likely to be active in general.

2. Great Maternity Active Wear

I am not sure I would have gotten through my pregnancy with some great active tops. I found all of my tops from Old Navy on clearance in the fall and I am still rocking them post-birth! They are so soft, flowy, and worked great when nothing else fit! I also love them now because they are not tight on my stomach and are easy to nurse in this summer.

I also lived in my Fabletics Salar Capris up until my last month of pregnancy. I could not believe how long they fit me while my belly grew! If you have not tried Fabletics active gear yet, you should definitely try them out! They are the best material, super soft and high quality. You also can try your first outfit for only $25! Not only does this get you an entire workout outfit, but it also gives you VIP member access with exclusive access to sales, discounts, and special deals!

3. BaoBei Belly Sport Band

I had sciatic nerve pain since the very beginning of my pregnancy. Simply walking sometimes was a huge pain, especially at the beginning. I wasn’t really prepared for this so early! I found BaoBei Belly Sport Band on Instagram through a Tone It Up gal who loved hers. The more I read about it, I knew I had to get one. It is designed for both pregnancy support and post-pregnancy care. This band supports the abdominals, take pressure off the low back, and eases many common discomforts of pregnancy including sciatic pain. I was nervous that I would not use it much, but I ended up wearing this band almost every day regardless if I was active or not. It grew with me and helped me carry the weight of my belly towards the end of my pregnancy. I also wore it for the first week I was home from the hospital as my belly shrunk a bit each day. It was perfect to help keep my stomach in places where it should be instead of sagging down.

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Here is how my BaoBei fit at 24 weeks!

It really helped keep the life of my favorite Fabletics workout pants and winter active top.

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Here is how my BaoBei fit at 31 weeks!

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Here is how my BaoBei fit at 39 weeks!

I could not believe how my Old Navy running shorts still fit underneath my belly, but I really needed some support. My belly band acted like a sports bra for my belly, helping hold it up!

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Belly Support :: My BaoBei

Do you have any pregnancy fitness secrets or tips??