Monday, January 26, 2015

Baby Boy Nursery Inspiration Board

Ayyyy! Today I am so thrilled to be sharing my nursery inspiration board for little baby boy Rasmussen! I've been collecting and gathering ideas on my Pinterest board since I found out I was pregnant, and I finally have a vision of how I want the nursery to look. I mentioned Friday that I didn't have a specific theme, and that is obvious when I look at this board. Confession: I really hate 99% of those crib bedding sets I see at Target, Babies R Us, etc. I dislike the cartoony, themed, cheesy, matchy matchy sets that have little bears with guitars or circus animals on all pieces. 

I started with some major colors I wanted, and then started scouting for decor that represented who Ronnie and I are as a family of two, and what we hope to teach and instill in our son. I've decided to go with a navy and grey color scheme, and will add additional pops of color as I find things I like. Up until we found out the gender, I was certain I wanted to have white furniture, but then when we found out it was a boy, for some reason the dark wood was just calling my name, so thats what we went with and I am really excited. I do love white furniture, but I am pleased with how the wood colors will work with what I've already picked out. 

Ronnie is a guitar player and we both love music, so I am sure some musical decor will make its way in the room, like this ukelele. We both love to travel and explore both new places, but also our own city and the mountains that surround us, so I was drawn to these Etsy prints. I've already purchased the Target Threshold rug, and have added this and another custom Bobby cover to my registry on Baby List because again, I couldn't find a cover I loved until I ventured to Etsy. 

The nursery is officially all cleaned out and ready for paint which is happening this week, and hopefully next weekend I can talk Ronnie in to starting to build the furniture so I can actually start putting together all the pieces of the nursery. I can't wait to watch it come together!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Coffee Date || Week's Highlights

Photo Credit: Ronnie Rasmussen

This week has absolutely flown by, and I am so glad because a laid back weekend is exactly what my soul needs. Since its been a week since I managed to crank a blog post out,  I thought I'd link up with Jenna for a Coffee Date and share whats going on lately!

  • After a month off of babysitting, the kiddos mom is back in school and I am back to babysitting a couple of nights a week. I really, really love their family and spending time with them, so I was happy to go back but man, working four hours after I get off my regular day job is exhausting! This semester is a little less intense than last semester so that means I won't me working as many nights, so I am hoping to continue on til May when she's done with the semester. 
  • After six months of wanting/searching for/drooling over new tables,  I came across a local builder in Boise that is custom building us a table + a bench for a REALLY reasonable rate. Far cheaper than I found anywhere locally or online, and its just what I've been looking for. Our current table was a hand me down from my parents and I love it, we've just seemed to outgrow it with a baby on the way who will eventually need a place at the table and with all the company we have over. It should be ready in about two weeks and I can't wait to share it with you guys when its home in my dining room.

  • I'm full swing into a huge project at work which I have been loving. I hired my first ever direct report to help me with it, and I absolutely love working on projects that have end goals, ones that I can actually see us making progress towards the completion of it. It has made for really busy days but they go so fast as well. 
  • Today we have our 20 Week Ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Medicine office where they will be doing  a thorough check of baby boy, making sure all his organs are healthy, that he's growing on track and looking for any birth defects. I know I shouldn't be nervous, but I have some anxiety about it, so any prayers for a healthy babe would be gladly appreciated. 
  • After our appointment, Ronnie and I don't have to go back to work so we are going out to Thai food together. I've been counting down to lunch today because I had Thai food last week and haven't been able to stop thinking about it!
  • After hours scouring Pinterest and stalking every blogger with a baby boy's nursery reveals, I've decided on the "theme" I want to go with with our little guy's nursery. The theme is that there isn't really a theme, but there is a color scheme and I am so excited to get started. Next week I will show you some nursery inspiration!
Thanks for putting up with my sporadic posts. I have the best of intentions to write more frequently and consistently, but some most days a nap wins. And that's okay, I am growing a human which happens to be a lot of work! Have the best weekend, friends!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Letter to My 22 Year Old Self

I've just settled in on my couch with a blanket, a cup of hot tea, and the only music that will do when you're writing a letter to your twenty-one year old self, old school Taylor Swift. I'm talking "Mine" and "Dear John" and "You're Not Sorry" Taylor music. I will always love her, but some days, some moments call for some reminiscing and nothing says college to me like her Fearless and Speak Now albums. Today's post cannot go without thanks to Lisa, who helped me delay the inevitable slip from "Lifestyle Blogger" to Mommy blogger. I had planned to share some nursery inspiration with you but thought I better put together some thoughts that have nothing to do with babies at least for one day. She gave me the really awesome post idea to write younger self a letter , so thanks Lisa.

Your spirit shines so bright, there's so much fire inside of you that I know you're not sure where to channel that right now. I see you striving to be what the world wants you to be, to find that perfect balance of smart and fun, of disciplined and carefree, funny and serious, of committed and easy going. Sweet girl, have you stopped to ask yourself who you want to be? Those masks you put on at work, at school, in front of your friends and parents and the boys can be put aside because you are going to learn that the only people worth having in your life are the people you can be completely 100% raw and real and yourself with. They're out there, and they're worth the wait.

You have so much life in your years, and that void in your heart that you desperately are trying to fill with the love, attention and affection from boys is is never going to feel full. Your heart aches to find the one who knows you, but until you know and love yourself, you'll never let anyone in enough to experience that true, unconditional love that your girl Taylor writes songs about. The scars of your past are enough to haunt you late at night, and I know you don't know it now, but you will walk through a long process of finding healing for them when you're ready, which ultimately will lead you to the man who will become your husband and the father of your babies. He will hold your heart in a shelter of love, protection, and unending grace and for the first time in your life, you will let down your walls and learn to love without fear.

Going out with your girlfriends is fun, but what makes your heart sing? What gives you life? Spend more time discovering your passion, and do more of it. There is more to you than your dress size and you matter, even when the guys at the bar don't flirt with you, or when the boy you went on a date with doesn't call you back for a second date. Can you see that? Invest more time into the things you love, and give yourself a break on the things that you do because you think you have to. Run because it makes you feel free, not because you want to fit into your skinny jeans next weekend. Take that weekend trip, eat that second cookie, and stay home on a Friday night with your roommates cuddled on the couch with ice cream and chick flicks. Sleep in on Saturdays and go to brunch on Sundays and remember that the memories you are creating now might just get you through the drudgery  when you have a professional nine to five job, wishing for just one more day of the carefree college life. You'll never be as free as you are right now. When your heart hurts, crawl into your roommates bed because you can, and you'd want her to do the same.

Hey, its okay that you don't really love the major you chose. Just because you spent the last few years immersed in teaching methods and philosophy doesn't mean that this is what you have to do with your life. In fact, in five years, you will be working in a completely different field, feeling far more fulfilled than you ever did in a classroom. Let go of that voice that tells you you're a failure when all your classmates are getting full time teaching jobs and you're holding back, wondering if maybe there's something else you're meant to do. Your four five years in college were not wasted years. You learned so more than just how to be a teacher.

You are not your mistakes in your past, and you are not a disappointment to God. And He may feel so far away from you, but He's right there with you guiding you back to Him. Let him carry you when you don't think you can keep going. His grace, His forgiveness and unending love will lead you back to Him, and it will radically change your life. Your story is written in His book, and He has good plans for you when you're ready to let Him in.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1st Trimester Confessions

So I am almost four weeks out of the first trimester, but better late than never, right? I am seriously growing more and more excited about this baby on a daily basis and its already crazy to me to look back and see the changes my body has made over the past seventeen weeks and even more so, how God is preparing my heart daily to become a mom. I am starting to plan the nursery and working on my baby registry, and with each of these fun milestones, I want to document and share so I have these memories to look back on. There's not a lot of pregnancy thoughts here on the blog because I kept it pretty quiet up til the end of the first trimester, so even just a few weeks after the second trimester has started, a lot of these things I wrote earlier have already changed so much which is crazy to me!

  • I found out I was pregnant just a few days after we came home from Hawaii, and on my second day of work at my new job. I remember being terrified, and wondering how I might make it through my entrance probation if I was sick and tired all the time. I doubted my decision to leave my old job, and part of me thought that had I known, I would've stayed there. But, now that I am finally feeling back to normal and have started to get the hang of my job and settle in there, I am so thankful I made the move!
  • During the last few weeks of my first trimester, I remember feeling like my body was foreign to me. I was in that awkward early, but not too early,stage of pregnancy where my stomach was barely starting to poke out and I was sure that strangers wonder to themselves "Is she pregnant or is that just a food baby?" My face was(is) also breaking out like crazy, and just didn't feel like myself physically. 
  • I have zero interest in cloth diapering. I know, I know its so much cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but the thought of tossing poop from a diaper into the toilet and then tossing a load of poop stained diapers into my washing machine daily makes my head want to explode. I want to be more motivated but I just can't. I am sorry, Mother Nature and hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. And cloth diapering moms-I commend you, and I really think you are a rockstar, and I may even wish I was more like you when I am dropping a small fortune on diapers every month and you had one upfront cost. But its just not going to happen for me.
  • I survived the entire first 12 weeks or so on carbs. Carbs carbs carbs. I was suddenly turned off by meat and eggs and coffee, and just wanted french fries and pasta daily. I still actually am not drinking coffee and I am not sure if it still makes me sick, or if I just am scared that it will so I am still avoiding it.  
  • I worked out exactly one time in my first twelve weeks and that was a 5k that I was signed up to run long before I knew I was pregnant. I just could not find the energy. I know I should be getting at least some form of exercise and I know the benefits of working out while pregnant, but after working all day, the only thing I want to do is put on my flannel pjs and take a nap.
  • And nap is what I did, almost every single day after work. I came straight home and crawled into bed and my husband being the saint he is took over meal planning and prepping and fed me, often times delivering food to my bed where I'd stay all night.
  • The baby message boards are a lot like a car accident-so terrible, I can't look away. The baby center app I am using to track baby's growth has things called birth clubs and you put in your due date and all women due in that month post all day long things from : I'm so sick and miserable help to Why am I not sick, am I still pregnant? And let me tell you: never once have I learned any valuable or helpful information but I cannot.stay.away. Honestly, all the baby boards have done for me is A. Create an insane amount of anxiety about the state of my pregnancy and B. Give me something to read aloud to my husband because its just so insane I can't not share. So, I will tell you what my wise friend Lisa told me, and I promptly ignored: Stay away from the baby boards.
  • I still drink caffeine. GASP! My doctor told me I can have up to 200 mg's of caffeine per day and by golly, I am taking advantage of that. I mostly get it from coke, which again, people are generally horrified by regularly but I can't do coffee and this mama to be wakes up at 5:30 to work people. Caffeine is happening.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Prepare for Baby on a Small Budget

I still remember my very first thoughts when I realized that yes, those three pregnancy tests I took were accurate and we'd be welcoming a baby into our family in nine months. I want to tell you they were thoughts of pure joy and excitement, and although I was happy to know I had a little baby growing in me, I have to admit to you that those first thoughts were pretty much "How are we going to afford this?" We weren't planning on trying for awhile, and part of that reason is we wanted to be a little more secure and stable financially. I started mentally adding up the costs of diapers and carseats and swings and clothes and daycare and worked myself up into a panic really quickly. It didn't take long though for me to take a deep breath and realize that we can afford a baby if we are smart and frugal and start preparing immediately. 

1. Start planning and buying items you need early on. I started purchasing baby items that I knew we needed at about nine or ten weeks along. I know some people don't feel comfortable until they've passed the first trimester, but it is my personal feeling that as a mom to be, we're never "out of the woods" whether we're 12 weeks, 20 weeks, or 40 weeks pregnant so waiting until I felt "safe" in my pregnancy didn't make sense to me.  I didn't go crazy and buy an entire nursery and wardrobe, but as soon as I saw a smoking deal on an item I was planning on buying, I snagged it up and said a little prayer for our babies health. Buying starting purchasing things early, it helped spread out the cost when I could purchase one or two things at a time and not feel stressed for time. I do recommend buying items you're unlikely to get at your baby shower-so I have been focusing on diapers and bigger items like the swing, carseat, etc. while making sure I leave plenty of items to register for like blankets, new clothes, bottles, pacifiers, etc.

2. Join local buy/sell/trade groups-Here in southwest Idaho, there are multiple buy/sale/trade groups that work kind of like craigslist, but its on Facebook! I have found some awesome deals on these groups, like this Fischer Price My Little Lamb Swing for $50, which is more than 50% off it brand new. I've also seen entire baskets and storage containers of clothes for under twenty dollars multiple times. 

3. Utilize coupon websites to stock up on diapers at a really low price. I've been using this article on, Stocking Up on Diapers: How Much To Buy & At What Price to help me figure out how many of each size diaper to buy, and what the best prices are. Regular priced size one and two diapers at a store like Target can be about 27 cents a diaper, but by using coupons and deals like "Buy $100 worth of diapers and get a $25 gift card" all the diapers we have bought have averaged at about 15 or 16 cents a diaper. So far we have approximately all the size ones we need and almost all the size twos, which should last about four months or so. We will continue to watch for great deals and combine coupons with store promotions to keep stock piling diapers. I recommend taping the receipt to the boxes so if you need to trade sizes later down the road you can do it with no issues.

4. Shop at consignment and thrift stores. This has been one of my favorite things to do now that we know we're having a boy. The prices on clothes is absolutely lower than any store, even on their best clearance days. For example, I found an outfit I loved at Fred Meyer on clearance, and then an additional 40% off prices. With that sale, the jeans were $10 and the top was $10 so I would've spent $20 for one outfit my baby would wear a few months at best. I passed on the outfit and went to a consignment shop and bought a bag full of seventeen items including baby flannels, jeans and sleepers for $17 dollars.  I also bought a bouncy seat and Rock N Play for over 50% off new prices!

5. Reach out to friends and family to see if they have any baby items that you can borrow. I've found that a lot of people have baby times laying around that they either are saving to use with their next baby, or maybe they just haven't bothered to resell or donate. Things like a pack-n-play or a swing or bassinet are things you might be able to borrow for just a few months and then return.

6. Don't rush out and buy every single thing you think you need for baby. I made a list of things I will need right away, things I will need at 6-12 months, and things that I don't need but would like. Things like a highchair or jumperoo/exersaucer are things that I would like to have once my baby gets a little older, but I definitely don't need them the minute I come home from the hospital. Dividing out my baby gear into things I need right away, and things I can acquire later help make the whole preparing for baby a little less overwhelming.

7. Buy gender neutral big items so you can reuse them if you are going to have more then one baby. I made sure to start buying neutral colors on things like the rock-n-play, carseat, bouncy seat, swing, etc. so when baby number two comes along, we will already have all the big items and can reuse them, even if we have the opposite gender the second time around. We're painting baby boy's room blue and grey and I'm buying clothes that are "all boy" but as far as bigger baby gear items, I am really excited about buying neutral items so we will have even less of an upfront cost when the next baby comes along.

8. Hold your shower early enough that you still have time to get any remaining items you don't get at your shower. People love to be generous and give gifts for baby, so plan your shower accordingly so you don't have to pick up  necessities when your 39 weeks pregnant and don't feel like racing around to Babies R Us and Target.

These are some of the ways I am getting ready for baby without having it totally break the bank. If you've been there, done that, I'd love to hear your tips for preparing for baby on a small budget!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gender Reveal Party

This past weekend not only did we celebrate the New Year, but the most exciting thing for me was finding out the gender of little baby Rasmussen! We scheduled our appointment for just four hours before the party, and my stomach was full of butterflies and nerves the days before the appointment worrying about the baby being in a position that made it impossible to tell the gender. On Saturday, the day of our appointment, the couple that went in before us left without knowing the gender of their baby because he/she wouldn't cooperate and I was just sure that was going to be us! Luckily though, and maybe thanks to the Jamba Juice I had before the appointment, our baby was squirmy and did somersaults the entire time and we left with a gender in an envelope.

My best friend Karissa's mom was the first to know, and she was in charge of getting the right color balloons. She did an AMAZING job, even though our first plan didn't work, she quickly made a plan B and the reveal went off without a hitch! I couldn't have thrown this party without Karissa and her mom-Karissa and I spent Friday baking and making little teeny tiny bows and decorating, and then they took photos at the party as well!

We went with a hot cocoa bar theme along with cookies, brownies and cupcakes. We had mustaches and bows for everyone to wear their guess, and I tried snapping photos of all the party guests but only got pictures of about half of them. Having everyone gathered around while we found out such exciting news filled my heart and I was just glowing the entire time. There's nothing I love more than having the people I care about in one room!

These two, Karissa and Stacey are seriously the best friends a girl could ask for. Not only did they help me pull of this amazing party but they are my #1 confidants and always let me complain, and even enable me when I want to go fill up on breadsticks at Olive Garden. LOVE YOU LONG TIME pals. 

And now on to the guesses-we snapped these pictures before the reveal, and obviously there were more team girl people but my friend Laura, my mom, and Stacey's husband Jakob were actually right to pick team boy! Grandma's intuition was more accurate than mom's! I was convinced it was a girl for some reason, but I was happily surprised to find out it was a boy! I've already started dreaming up nursery ideas and going shopping for teeny tiny baby flannels for our little boy!

Friday, January 2, 2015

What I am Focusing on in 2015

Today is a good day-my pal Karissa is coming over in a few hours to help transform my house into a pink and blue wonderland for our gender reveal party tomorrow afternoon. We will be baking cupcakes, cookies in the shape of mustaches and bows, creating bows for those that are on #teampink and making those fluffy tissue paper balls. It should be a smashing good time.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to focus on in 2015, and its been really hard for me to see past the big, life changing event that is happening in June. The whole, bringing a baby into the world and becoming a mom thing. I debated about not setting goals, or resolutions because I felt like I should get a free pass, or something like that, but then I thought that was silly and there are areas of my life I want to improve on in 2015.

+ I want to be more diligent about spending time in prayer and reading God's word so that I may be able to hear and discern God's voice in my every day life. This was a goal of mine in 2014 and I have to be honest, I think I spent the least amount of time reading my bible in 2014 than I have years prior. Coincidentally or maybe not, I also felt like I had an above normal amount of anxiety and fear that hindered me and I do not think these things are unrelated. Above all, I want to rest in the promises & plans of the Lord instead of desperately trying to hold on to things and make them fit my plans I've worked out for myself and my life.

+ I want to save at least six weeks worth of pay by July 1st so I can take the entire three months off of work when the baby comes without having to feel stressed financially or dip into our emergency savings. I've broken this down and set monthly goals dependent on what expenses we have each month, and it will be a stretch for us especially the months we still have our school payment, but it is definitely doable if we are diligent with our spending and budgeting.

+ I want to take a small, weekend trip with my little family. We tried to  find a way to make a weekend trip work before the baby comes but after looking at finances and wanting to pay for it all in cash, we've decided it might have to wait til I am on maternity leave. Newborns are the easiest age to travel with so I am quite pleased with the idea of taking a relaxing trip somewhere like to the Oregon Coast with my husband and baby in August or September.

+ I am going to declutter, simplify and organize my house so I can do a better job of maintaining a peaceful space. I have two very conflicting personalities when it comes to cleaning/organization: I HATE clutter, but I also am not the most neat person. Sometimes within a day of cleaning our bedroom there are clothes and shoes all over the floor and coffee cups and water bottles on the nightstand and it makes me go bonkers. When my house is messy, I get really stressed and anxious. Yesterday I was grabbing a serving platter from one of the closets and out comes flying a random plate that was placed on top of it and it smacked me in the face. I was so mad, mostly at myself for letting closets and guest rooms become a place of housing crap we didn't have a home for. I have no choice but to start cleaning out space because we are adding another body to this house who coincidentally comes with a LOT of stuff.

+ I want to document more of our every day lives, both in photos and on the blog. When life gets crazy, which it really did this past fall/winter,  the first thing that goes is blogging and picture taking. I either don't feel put together enough for a photo or don't have the energy to bring my nice camera around, or maybe we just aren't doing things that I think are "photo worthy" but I don't want being busy to be an excuse to not document the big and small moments in 2015. Especially with a new baby coming into our lives, I want to have words and photos to look back on this exciting season of anticipation and joy for us.

These are a few things I want to focus on this year, and I am planning on breaking each of these big goals down into smaller, monthly goals to keep me on target. Did you set goals for the year? What are you focusing on in 2015?