Monday, February 23, 2015

Paleo Banana Bread

Oh, my, YUM!!!

We don’t eat Paleo, but my sweet friend Michelle has posted a few times about this delicious Paleo banana bread, and since we had about 6 ripe bananas on hand, I decided to give it a shot. Here is the link to her post (& the original source of the recipe).

Here is what ya need. (Honestly, I just mixed it all together in one bowl and used my mixer. I doubled the recipe since I had 6 bananas and made 12 muffins for us  and sent a loaf home with a friend, but Michelle’s post has more thorough directions.)  Would ya believe me if I told you they taste way better than they look? Cuz they do, and our house smells AWESOME.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 large ripe bananas

Mix & bake for 35 –45 min (depending on your oven) at 350. FYI: It tastes best warm, and if you want to add some “icing” you can mix 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt with 1 scoop of vanilla Muscle Gain. DELISH!!

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Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Ice Storm in Georgia

Last year we experienced a winter storm in Georgia that everyone referred to as Snowpocalypse. Georgia (specifically Atlanta and north Georgia where we live) was not prepared to handle the ice on the roads and it ended up being a pretty big deal. Lots of people were stranded in their cars and all over the roads. We did get some beautiful snow though, and although Jase was too young to play in it, we did get to take some fun pictures.

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I’m sure some of the Northern states think we’re a little crazy with how we react over winter weather, but it really can be pretty dangerous when you’re not prepared for it. Our local leaders have put some plans in place so hopefully that won’t happen again with the roads, but we did have a pretty intense ice storm this year that left tens of thousands without power (and some for several days). This year our winter weather hit on Monday, February 16th. Thankfully the roads were fine as far as driving conditions, but the ice on the trees was crazy! It sent lots of trees & limbs crashing into homes and into roads. We sat in our living room watching a movie after we put Jase to bed and I saw as friend after friend posted on FB that they were losing power. I figured it wouldn’t be long for ours to go out because the lights flickered several times from 6:30 pm on. I kept praying for protection, specifically from trees falling into our house. Our back yard is basically woods and there are TONS of trees. You could hear crackling and limbs breaking everywhere every few minutes. I had just looked up some Scriptures about fear on Sunday, so thankfully those came to my mind and brought me some peace. Jonathan was very reassuring too. Plus, I have prayed over our home many times.

Our power finally went out around 12:30 am, but Jonathan said we would be fine for a while without heat. Thankfully we have natural gas, so we were able to light a fire in the fireplace the next morning and make breakfast on the gas stove. This is what we woke up to outside. (Not sure the pictures do it justice…)

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It started to get pretty chilly in here around 10:30-11 the next morning, so we decided to head to my parents’ so Jase could take a warm nap.

Right before we were getting ready to head out, one of our neighbors (that we don’t really know very well) walked to our house and asked to borrow Jonathan’s phone. He is a younger guy (about 21) & said his phone was broken. After borrowing Jon’s phone to call multiple people and no one answering, he asked Jonathan to take “them” (him and his grandmother, although I didn’t know that at the time) to his uncle’s house (about an hour away). Jon said yes and told them he would be over in a few minutes to pick them up, but just to be totally honest, my initial response was “no.” I didn’t know if the roads were bad, so I didn’t want him on the roads for 2 hours with strangers. (I told him he better pack some heat. I guess I’ve watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds in my day.) Plus, I didn’t know if I’d be able to drive me and Jase to my parents’. The boy didn’t give us that whole story at first and it sounded a little fishy to me that he would ask Jon to do that, but I now know that he was just desperate. I felt much better about the whole thing once Jonathan dug a little deeper to find out the whole story. It turns out he was home alone taking care of his almost 90 year old grandmother while his parents were traveling out of the country. He didn’t have a phone because his died and there was no power to charge it. He doesn’t have a license to drive them anywhere. They had no options to cook/heat the house, so they hadn’t eaten all day and were freezing. Basically, they were stuck in a really bad situation and he didn’t know what to do. Thankfully Jonathan knew exactly how to respond anyway and  I totally trust his discernment. He reassured me, sent me and Jase to my moms, and drove the boy and his grandmother (who doesn’t speak a lick of English & has suffered 3 strokes in that last few years) to their uncle’s home about an hour away. They were so, so thankful and I love that I have such a willing & helpful husband. (Me and Jase prayed for his safety the whole drive to my mom’s anyway.)

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We saw this tree down in our neighborhood when we were driving around. So thankful it wasn’t on anyone’s house and no one was hurt! But you can see that it got that power line that left our street without power.

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Linemen and power crews worked non-stop for days to get things back rolling and we are so thankful for their dedication and hard work. The power was out for us for around 20 hours or so and my other sweet neighbor texted me when it came back on. We were having dinner with my parents & headed home to a warm, cozy house just in time for Jase’s bed time. We did have to throw out a good bit of food from the refrigerator (after reading this article) which was NOT easy for me. Y’all know I’m super cheap and it was painful to throw food away, but I know in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal.

We felt bad about poor Jase being cooped up in the house, so we did make a trip to Target and to the grocery store to restock the frig. He was happy to get out of the house for sure.

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(And his daddy was too!) They were just the cutest things all matchy matchy…

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This Georgia weather is just so crazy! The week before last it was warm enough to play outside without a jacket, and here we are this week freezing our tushies off & iced in.  Our friend Kelly's daughter sent us her Flat Stanley from Michigan, and I’m pretty sure he brought this frigid weather with him, so I’ll be returning him next week with pics of our ice storm. Smile  I am definitely looking forward to Spring!! More than anything though, I am so thankful we are all safe and warm. I know a lot of people around here have BIG messes to clean up, and I am just so thankful nothing too serious happened. We do have some big limbs down around the house, but nothing worth complaining over. Thank you, Lord for your protection and for a sweet hubby who is a true example of a servant leader & a shining light for Christ.

Friday, February 20, 2015

#babybutlernumerodos is 24 Weeks!

Baby Growth: Little man is about the size of a cantaloupe or an ear of corn. He has gained about 4 oz since last week alone! Taste buds & lungs are continuing to develop and he is still fattening up.

My Symptoms: This week I had a few days of super intense round ligament pain (across my lower abdomen/upper groin). I’m talking “take your breath away” type of pain, and that’s a lot coming from me because I have a pretty high pain tolerance. One night it was so bad I was almost in tears.  I never remember it being this bad with Jase.  I went to the doctor Monday for my check up & I also texted one of my OB friends just to make sure they thought it was round ligament pain and normal. Turns out in can get more intense in subsequent pregnancies & is totally normal. Thankfully it eased up on Tuesday and hasn’t been a problem since. My uterus must have been doing some big time expanding this week. Other than that I feel GREAT and can’t think of any other symptoms at all. Oh, except my hair. It is big and wild and out of control!

Weight/Baby Bump: Growing!! Chugging right along at 6 months.

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Matchy matchy with my little man.

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Love my little love bug already. Can’t wait to meet him in 15 weeks!

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Gender: Sweet baby boy!! And I think we have a name! Once I have 100% confirmation from Jon I’ll spill the beans.

Maternity Clothes: Yep. And it’s time to temporarily retire my favorite Costco workout pants. The waistband is way too tight.

Movement: We have another wild man on our hands. Karate kickin everywhere.

Sleep: Slept really well this week, especially when I remembered to drink some organic tart cherry juice before bed.

Cravings/Aversions: I’m still having a little bit of a tough time with grilled chicken. I did buy some girl scout cookies…..and that was a BAD MOVE. I love what they stand for and the principles they are trying to teach through the cookie sale, but next time I think I’ll just donate money instead. (no MNS, no Carb-Ease, and no self-control.)

Work Outs: I worked out 4 days in a row this week & was feeling all proud. But by the 4th day I didn’t feel as great during my workout so I took it pretty easy and took the next day completely OFF. I like to keep moving, but am really good about listening to my body. I don’t work out very intense anyway but knew my body needed rest. Next week I’m going to do some more walking and yoga.

Goals for next week: Do some yoga/stretching. Start thinking about the nursery & registering. Announce the name. Get caught up on the blog. Finish taxes.

Thoughts: We had a great appointment this week, praise the Lord! The heartbeat was a strong 150-160 & she said he was moving around a good bit. I was measuring right at 23 1/2 weeks. My blood pressure was good & I got the  drink for my glucose test at the next appointment in March.

Comparison: 24 Weeks Pregnant with Jase

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24 Weeks with #2!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

#babybutlernumerodos is 23 Weeks!!

Baby Growth: Our sweet boy is around 10 inches, just over a pound, and around the size of a grapefruit. He is fattening up & expected to DOUBLE in size over the next month!

 

My Symptoms: WHOA at the round ligament pain!! I can DEFINITELY feel my uterus stretching this week so I know our big boy is growing. Sometimes when I’m laying on my side I can barely lift my top leg because it’s pretty intense in my lower abdomen. When it’s hurting I will waddle around the house (seriously, it’s more comfortable to waddle), but I try not to do that in public so I don’t embarrass Jonathan.

I feel out of breath sometimes and have to make a conscious effort to breathe deeply.

Also, it doesn’t bother me so I’ve forgotten to mention it, but just to document… I wake up every morning and need to blow my nose. I have a lot of junk in my nose even though I’m not sick and sometimes it’s a little bloody too.

I can feel my hormones kicking in because I can cry at the drop of a hat. A stranger was pretty rude to me the other day and I almost busted into tears. I had to take a few deep breaths and tell myself to get it together.

Weight/Baby Bump: My appetite has DEFINITELY grown & so has the bump! I’m up about 8 lbs since I found out I was pregnant. I have a feeling I’m going to have more stretch marks this time too.

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Gender: Sweet baby boy!! Now just for a name…

Maternity Clothes: Definitely. Laura hooked me up with a whole bag and I’ve already whipped out some of the jeans so I’m not rocking the same pair every day. Thanks, Laura! Let’s just be honest though…my preference is wearing Jonathan’s t-shirts & pajama pants. Too bad that’s not socially acceptable in public, huh?

Movement: Little man is getting stronger!! You can feel him for sure from the outside so my mom and Jon have both been able to feel him.  I ate a piece of cake on V-Day & he was a total wild man after that. I can’t help but smile when I feel him moving. Such a sweet reminder and one of the coolest parts of pregnancy.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping pretty well. I do have to wake up to roll over & really like to take turns sleeping on each side. I don’t have a preference but I am using a LOT of pillows! I’m also really enjoying a short nap when Jase does so I can make it through the whole evening and night.

Cravings/Aversions: Trying to avoid sweets but my sweet tooth is back in full gear. (I miss MNS.) I’ve been mixing plain Greek yogurt with vanilla Muscle Gain & adding in fruit as high protein treat. YUM!!

Work Outs:  I did body pump a few times this week. I’m really enjoying pump right now because it’s challenging and I don’t have to think about what I’m doing or plan for a workout- I just follow the awesome instructors & it’s fun! I also try to row 2000 meters and spend a little time on the elliptical a few times a week.

Ohhhhh, nothing..just checking out my squat form with Jonathan. Friday night fun in the Butler house!

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Goals for next week: Be more intentional about talking to Jase about his new brother. Start thinking about the nursery. Start thinking about registering.

Thoughts: We have an appointment this week. Cannot wait!

Also, feeling super thankful I have blogged throughout pregnancy. If you’re a mama-to-be, I encourage you to keep some type of journal. Obviously a blog isn’t quite as private so you don’t have to go this route, but I am so glad I have these sweet details to look back on. And if I ever have a daughter, I’m sure she’ll appreciate being able to see what her mama’s pregnancies were like. I read a lot of things about pregnancy that are hereditary, and it says “if you want to know, ask your mom what she experienced.” I think most of y’all know I was adopted, so it kinda stinks that I can’t just ask those questions.

Enjoying this pregnancy & soaking it up! I love being pregnant

Oh, and a shout out to the Daddy-to-be too. Jonathan is always helpful, but he really makes being pregnant easier because he does SO MUCH to help me!! He helps out a TON around the house and with Jase. Have I mentioned lately that I hit the husband jackpot??

Comparison: 23 Weeks Pregnant with Jase

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And 23 weeks with #2! (I just so happened to be wearing the same shirt this week. This picture was actually taken 23 weeks & 2 days.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mamas: It’s Time to Stop Comparing

I have been trying to get this into words for a blog post for a while & could never really get it out the way I wanted. This blogger did it beautifully. (I already shared on my Facebook page and would love for you to follow us there if you’re not already.) Ladies, I encourage you to take 5-10 minutes to read that post when you have a chance. I even love the title: “Having a Messy House Does Not Make You More of a Real Mom.” SO much mommy bashing & judgment going on these days, and I truly believe it roots back to our own insecurity & perceived weaknesses. The worst part of that all? The message we are teaching our kids.

We live in a world of comparison even though we know “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

And unfortunately, I think mamas are some of the worst. Maybe it’s with a job or home or children or marriage or wardrobe or figure…or maybe with something much more subtle. Our own parenting.

We measure everything using the wrong measuring tools. Where is Christ in that picture?? We are simply measuring against others, and that my friends, is EXHAUSTING. It’s a dark pit that is teaching our children some pretty yucky habits, and we may not even realize we’re doing that. That’s one of Satan’s most deceptive tools you know…getting us caught in a tangled web we don’t even recognize is sin.

One thing that REALLY helped me in this area was recognizing comparison for what it really is: discontentment.

When our cups are SO FULL of thankfulness, we don’t have time to compare ourselves to anyone else and feel discontent.

My mentor recently told me “Satan cannot get in from the outside without an invitation from the inside.” She was referring to discontentment & also reminded me that “the sin of discontentment puts your whole family in jeopardy.” She told me the story of Achan from Joshua 7. Definitely read it when you have a chance. Basically, Achan’s greediness was hindering the entire army from victory because he was being disobedient to the Lord. How many times as moms are we keeping our whole family from victory because we are “hiding treasures in our camp”…or discontent? With life, family, circumstances, ourselves??

The Bible is clear that godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

Mamas, if we want our babies to grow knowing a confidence in the Lord and a heart of contentment, we have to model it for them.

Know that you are made in the image of Christ. (Ephesians 2:10) Strive only to be more like HIM. (Galatians 2:20) Be content with what you have. (Hebrews 13:5) Be on guard against covetousness. (Luke 12:15) In all things, give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AdvoNation 2015

This year we went to the AdvoNation events in both Atlanta and Cincinatti. They were all-day Saturday events & we had an absolute BLAST!! We always look forward to getting to see sweet friends and teammates…it feels like Christmas!

Plus, I’m a super nerd and LOOOOVE the training. I always leave with a full journal and full heart. (If you’re in AdvoCare and not going to the AdvoNation events or Success School, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. We look forward to these all year!)

We actually got invited to share our story on stage in Atlanta this year and that was such an incredible honor. We were humbled beyond words to have an opportunity to share how AdvoCare has changed our lives…in front of oh, I don’t know… 5000+ people?

We drove down Friday night for a run-through & then headed to an AWESOME leadership dinner with several teammates. One of our favorite people in all of AdvoCare was the guest speaker & he brought an AWESOME message about pruning that I needed to hear. A few lovely ladies on our team spent the night with us Friday night (Niki, Melissa, & Lanae), but my favorite house guest was definitely Baby Ace! This little man is stealing hearts and taking names. Hellllllllo, baby fevah! I mean…is he not the sweetest?!?

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The event on Saturday was 10-5 and we were set to share our story around 3:15. Jon was cool as a cucumber and I was a nervous wreck. (Funny because it’s usually the other way around!) I had to tee tee so bad before we walked out on stage and I was just really hoping I wouldn’t pee my pants. Good news…I didn’t! #winning

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There were so many great trainings throughout the day, but my favorite part of the day hands down was hearing Sherry Wright talk about their mission to strengthen the family unit. That is EXACTLY why we do what we do & why we’re not stopping- we have more families to help.

Cincinatti was just as awesome!! We loved spending time with our team that lives further away & getting to hug lots of necks we don’t get to see nearly enough. Jonathan & I enjoyed a date night on Friday & walked around downtown Cinci a good bit. Saturday was AWESOME – great energy at the event and the team dinner afterward was such a blast too. (Shout out to Melissa D for all the planning! Food was awesome & Newport, KY was realllllly cool. Wish we had more time there!)

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And I just so happened to be rockin’ the same dress as Dr. Brameus…although her tummy is MUCH flatter than mine. Ha!

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I did a terrible job remembering to take pictures both times, but at least got a shot of me and Jon before the weekend ended. He looked super handsome!

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My least favorite part about traveling (besides UNPACKING- the worst!!) is navigating a new place. Super thankful for Google Maps app…Jonathan might disown me if I had to navigate us using a good ole fashioned Atlas!

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We also almost missed our flight Sunday morning. I got an alert on my phone from the Delta app saying our flight was delayed & didn’t look carefully enough to realize it was talking about our flight INTO Cincinatti, not our return. (We didn’t even notice.) Thankfully we figured it out in time, but we left the hotel at 8:15, had to drive to the airport and return our rental car, take a shuttle to the airport, AND make it through security and to our gate by 9:50. It was seriously some favor from the Lord that we made it! Jonathan is a  grumpy stress ball when we have to rush & when things don’t go as planned, so I was super thankful we made the flight. WHEW!

Our flight landed early and we were able to surprise my BFF Chelsi at brunch in Atlanta on our way home to celebrate her big 30th birthday!! Chad invited us to dinner on Saturday night but I knew we wouldn’t be able to make it since we would be out of town, so I suggested meeting for brunch & the timing worked out PERFECTLY. Always good to see your BFF! We’ve been best friends since 1996…WHOA!

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Cannot WAIT for Success School in August!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#babybutlernumerodos is 22 Weeks!

Baby Growth: Love our little spaghetti squash.

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Almost a pound & around 11 inches. Looking more like a mini newborn!

I read something this week about the baby’s developing taste buds and that babies/kids enjoy the same types of foods you eat while pregnant with them (more specifically what you eat in the second and third trimester after the taste buds begin to form- thank goodness!). So interesting, right?? Mamas to be….that’s a good reason to step away from the doughnuts (or banana pudding in my case- total weakness) & pick up the broccoli.

My Symptoms: I have been pretty wiped out this week.  Well, straight exhausted if I’m totally honest. Jonathan’s dad has needed help at work so he’s been helping there & volunteering some time working at the church, which means me and Jase have been flying solo. We are so spoiled to having Daddy around and all of his help at home really makes a big difference. (More than I realized- really makes me appreciate him even more.) I also stayed up way too late a few nights this week getting things done, so I needed naps a few times this week. I still don’t feel quite rested even with the naps, so hopefully we’ll get back on track by the end of the week. Other than being tired though, I feel AWESOME!! Everything else is smooth sailing and feeling great. Praise the Lord!

Weight/Baby Bump: It feels JUST like a basketball! I am up about 6 lbs total I think? We’ll see at my appointment in a few weeks.

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Gender: We have another sweet little man on our hands! Here is the Gender Reveal post. I am SO excited to be a mom of boys, and it’s a double plus they’ll be the same season & we can reuse all the clothes! I am not always a great planner, but that one sure worked out in our favor.

Maternity Clothes: I wore regular jeans last night and they were SO uncomfortable. Maternity clothes it is, folks!! (Bottoms anyway.) Even my favorite workout pants from Costco are getting a little uncomfortable so I’m having to wear the looser ones. I also had the opportunity to speak at an AWESOME FCA red carpet event my best friend put on for her college girls, so that meant I got to dress up and rock the dress I wore to the President’s Party when I was pregnant with Jase. Here is the picture from Jase…

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And now with #babybutlernumerodos:

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Movement: You can feel it from the outside now! I started this post on Tuesday and wrote that I don’t feel like he is quite as active as Jase was….and then Wednesday morning little man said, “I’ll show YOU, Mom!!” Moving around like a wild man! Little flutters all over & a few pretty intense moves I caught on video to send Jon.

Sleep: I am having some craaaaaazy dreams! Whoa! And one morning I woke up from a deep sleep because I thought Jonathan was saying “mom, mom, mom” but it turned out to just be him breathing. So random. Enjoying my afternoon naps too while Jase is napping. I have needed them this week. Love the sweet reminders.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing in particular. We are enjoying mixing it up & trying new things from our organic produce deliveries. Also, lesson learned: Do NOT do your grocery shopping while hungry AND pregnant. Bad combo. Let’s just say we might have gone over on our grocery budget for February already…and we’re not even one week in. Oops.

Work Outs:  Getting in some good workouts this week. Loving body pump right now even though I have a love/hate with the new release. I always feel SO much better when I work out. I need to get better about stretching though because my lower back has had a little bit of discomfort.

Goals for next week: Some nesting has begun!! I am ready to start working on the nursery!! Andddd I have finally dug everything out to get to work on Jase’s baby book. A little late, but thankfully I have pretty much everything documented on the blog. So I want to work on those few things & wrap up our taxes.

Thoughts: Do you register for a second baby??

Also, I just wanted to document how much I loooooooove being pregnant. I mean really, really LOVE.  I think I am hesitant to talk about how amazing I feel & how happy I am being pregnant  because I know some ladies who are absolutely miserable being pregnant and some who can’t get pregnant at all. I never want to make them feel uncomfortable. But, if you ever think I have a pregnancy glow, I assure you that it is just coming from the inside out because it is such a JOYOUS time in my life. (We want a big family, so I think this is one way the Lord has shown some favor & making it a little easier on us. Jon probably wouldn’t be on board if I was whiney and hated it.) It’s crazy…when you read some of the symptoms all of my pregnancy apps talk about, they make it sound miserable. And don’t get me wrong- it’s not all grapes & lollipops. (That’s a Jon Butler original, FYI.) But man, my heart is so full being pregnant! I love knowing I’m getting to grow one of God’s precious miracles, and it is just such a sweet, sweet time to me. Strangers are nice & helpful & make conversation about the baby, so that’s a nice change too.

Being a mom so rewarding & fulfilling, so the anticipation of knowing we get to meet our next precious baby is just a super exciting time.

Also, looking at my pregnancy app and seeing only 18 weeks left makes this feel very REAL!!

Comparison:

The first pregnancy really seemed to drag on, but I feel like this go round is FLYING! Thankful for another healthy baby & feeling great.

22 Weeks Pregnant with Jase

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And 22 weeks with #2…

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