Friday, October 31, 2014

Five Friday Favs

This is my 4th post for the week! Isn't that impressive?! And at one point earlier this week, I was completed caught up on my bloglovin' feed! I would say that's one for sure sign of a much more relaxing week!
Let's get right to it... this week was definitely a great one!
First and foremost... my dr appointment went great this week and my Mamma joined me for the first time which meant she also seen her grandbaby for the first time! He/She is growing and healthy! We were in the ultrasound room for a good 10-15 minutes and it was just such an amazing thing to watch! I could have sat there for hours! ♥♥♥ {see 18 week bump watch post for more details!}
• TWO •
These Jessica Simpson maternity jeans!
They are a great fit, they don't look like Mom jeans, and I love the color!
The gender of the baby has been placed into an envelope and passed onto my friend. Now we must determine how to find out! It's a toss up between a gender reveal party with close friends and family... or just a photo shoot with Michael and I. The tough part is planning a party around our work schedules, holidays, and hunting season. Not to mention all the details that consist of a party. I'll take any advice/suggestions/comments on how to decide! The hubs of course says "whatever you wanna do I don't care..." So helpful isn't he! ;)
• FOUR •
Jasmine bought a book for me called "Sisters" and sent it home with Michael this week with a note on it that says "Julie - you have to read this" So I of course text her to tell her thanks and to let her know I got it but I haven't gotten to read it yet. She responded back and said "okay but you NEED to read that book". I just thought it was adorable :)
• FIVE •
As I've mentioned before... Michael has been living out of our camper while at work due to the long distance. However, now that it's getting down to low 30's at night, the camper needs to be winterized and put into storage. So we decided he was going to bring it home this week. Then he got stationed even further away and we decided it just wasn't money smart to have him driving the pickup all week {which would cost around $500 in fuel} just to be able to bring the camper home at the end of the week. Soooo.... that left one option: for me to haul the sum bitch home by myself.
Mind you, I've only pulled it once before and he was with me to help. Of course Michael always has confidence in me because he thinks more highly of me than I do myself... so he talked me up and gave me some tips. I forewarned him not to be pissed at me if I took out the side of the camper on a sign or another vehicle or something. Instead, I proved myself wrong and made it 100 miles home. Parked it, unhooked it, and there it sets in our driveway. I think I deserve a beer for that one. Oh wait... I can't have one so please, someone, have a drink for me! That was stressful!
And one more just for fun... Jack boy just waiting for some attention while I get ready for work :)
Have a good weekend! Happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bump Watch ♥ 18 Weeks

How far long: 18w4d

Weight Gain: 6lbs  12lbs {insert scared face} Apparently I don't get on the scale enough because as of about a week ago I was only at a 6lb gain and this week at my Dr. she came in the room saying "Well it looks like your finally gaining weight!" Umm wow.

Baby Size: According to my app - Approx 6oz. According to my ultrasound - 10oz. {is that a bad sign?! Haha}
Maternity Clothes: Dress pants, leggings, one pair of maternity jeans {love them!}, and the belly band to help with the non maternity pants! {highly reccomend all of the above no matter how far along you are!}

Sleep: Some days are better than others! I'm not as tired as I was during the first trimester so that's been nice! But I am typically sleeping 9-10 hours a night with the exception of a few times that I'm waking up starving, uncomfortable, or having to urinate!

Movement: I think I felt the baby move last weekend but I haven't felt it since so I'm not positive! It was just like what I've read - a flutter feeling! ♥

Cravings: Steak, cheese, ham roll ups, french fries

Gender: Unknown! However we DO have an envelope as of my appointment yesterday and we are just trying to determine what exactly to do for a reveal.... My instict is a boy

Belly Button: OUT! Already! Ahhh! How can this be?! Lord help me!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: Certain smells. The sound of a customer slurping on his sucker at work the other day made me almost vomit. Chicken grosses me out {depending on how it's cooked}. And the smell of fresh broccoli.... barf.

What I miss: Wine and going #2 on a regular basis

Emotions: Pretty normal.. not overly emotional or easily pissed off like I was during the 1st trimester. :)

Dreams: The latest and greatest was that all along we were told we were having a girl and then came delivery day... the baby was a boy!

Hubby's thoughts: I asked Michael what his instict on what we were having... he then informed me that it's a boy, for sure. That's what he planned for and he's "just not interested in having a mini Julie. Buuuut... I guess if it is a girl, I'll just have to deal with another one of you". I laughed and laughed and laughed.... :)

Favorite Moment of the week: Going to the ultrasound and seeing such a change in the baby! And my Mamma went with me so she was able to see him/her for the first time! Annnnnd we went "window" shopping for some baby furniture! That was fun!

What I am looking forward to: Not driving this stick shift huge pickup that I have to pull myself/jump into... Shopping and preparing the nursery!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasteful Tuesday: Polish Casserole

This is kind of a made up recipe based off a soup recipe that I found here.
• 2 TBSP butter
• 1 1/2 C thinly sliced onions
• 4 C milk
• 3 TBSP flour
• 3 C cubed potates
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 2 C shredded cheese {sharp cheddar}
• Approx 8oz Polish Sausage {cut into slices or diced}
• Lg jar of sauerkraut
Melt butter in saucepan. Add Onions. Cook over medium heat until softened.
Stir in flour; continue cooking 1 minute.
Stir in milk, potatoes, and pepper; continue cooking stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
Cover; reduce heat to medium-low.
Stir in sauerkraut and cheese.
Cook 25-30 minutes or until potates are tender.
{note: I've cooked this recipe with both precook/packaged kielbasa and fresh polish sausage - just depends on your preference. I also add extra potatoes and sauerkraut to make it more of a thick casserole}

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap: Productivity & Relaxation

Happy Monday!
I'm looking forward to lots of great things this week so I'm not complaining about Monday morning for once!
This weekend was one of the first weekends we didn't have plans and tons of places to be. Which meant we had lots of stuff to cartch up on around the house. And I had big plans of catching up on some sleep!

Friday night I sat on the computer catching up on blogs and looking at nursery furniture. Michael didn't get home from work until 9. Holy cow, furniture is so expensive! Of course the set I want is like $1200... and of course Michael shot that one right down.
Saturday morning Michael went hunting and I slept in. Our new carpet got installed in the 3 bedrooms. The guy was supposed to show up at 9am and instead he showed up at 11am. Which kind of put a damper on the rest of our day.
The morning was spent pretty much cleaning and moving the rest of the furniture out of the last bedroom. Then we finished the garden up for the year. I had a couple squash left to pick and the onions. Then Michael tilled it all up. Including the corn that I planned on using for decorations around the house and that just never happened so I said screw it. There's always next year :)
Then Michael got several phone calls to come help farm on two different farms. Which was kind of frustrating because people don't seem to understand that he's only home on the weekends and he has shit to do. So of course, after a couple phone calls from his Uncle's, he decided to go help for a few hours. So we left the carpet guy there to finish and we skipped out on hunting for the evening hunt. When we got back home, the carpet was finished and looks amazing! I didn't do a very good job of taking before and after pictures.

So far the only after pics I have are of bedroom 3... all three rooms are the same carpet. I mean seriously, anything beats those hideous colors!  

Sunday morning I again slept in. Well... minus the fact that I was wide awake - hungry, uncomfortable, and had to pee - at 2am. I think I finally fell back asleep around 4:30. How can this be happening already!? Anyways, pretty much the entire day was spent putting our house back together now that the carpet was finished. We sold our dressers and nightstand so our room is pretty much empty now and I had to find a place to put all of our clothes in the meantime. Once we were done with that, we sat down and relaxed for a few. I wanted to take a nap but that didn't happen :)
This is the only hideous carpet we have left... maybe next project?!
Jack enjoyed laying on the spare pieces of carpet :)
I made some yummy polish casserole for supper and overstuffed my belly!
And we spent the rest of the evening relaxing! I had a little bit of ice cream for the first time since my trip to the ER and let me tell ya, it was soooo delicious!
My Boys ♥♥
Well that sums up our weekend of productivity and relaxing! Have a good week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Friday Favorites

Yay for Friday! I'm looking forward to a weekend of no work and no major plans! We're doing the new carpet in the house this weekend and going hunting so I'm looking forward to a low key weekend around home with the hubs! It's been a couple months since that's happened!
I'm linking up for both Friday Favorites and Five on Friday!

• One •
Maternity Clothes
Yes, I broke down and bought some maternity pants {from Motherhood Maternity} because the belly band just wasn't cutting it. Don't get me wrong, those are great, however maternity pants are HEAVEN! My favorite thing being the maternity leggings! Must have! The plus side {which I recommend to fellow mammas}, They give you a huge bag of goodies full of coupons and gift cards {shutterfly, nursing pillow, Dria, diapers, bottles, etc} and a subscription for the Parents magazine, plus I got a $30 off coupon and I plan on getting a few more pants. I just can't handle the tight waist nonsense. Anything else I'm missing out on for maternity clothes?!
• Two •
Statement Necklaces
I've been wearing a lot of sweaters and statement necklaces lately - which I love. And sometimes I forget about all the awesome necklaces I have tucked away in my jewelry box. Such as this one. I got it at Walmart several months ago for $10. Can't beat that!
♥ Three ♥
Next weeks appointment and Ultrasound!
I'm looking forward to next week's well baby visit and ultrasound! My Mamma is going to the appointment with me so that will be nice! I'm thinking about taking an envelope to seal the gender in if they are able to determine and in case we decide to have a reveal party. I'm not setting my heart on finding out because I have a feeling if I did, the baby wouldn't cooperate and/or the hubs will get put on a 7 day mandatory work schedule and we wouldn't be able to follow through with the party. So I'm just taking it as it comes and if it works out - awesome! If not, no biggie! :)
• Four •
Cuddle Babes
{Knock on Wood} The kids have been very good lately! And extra cuddly! Sometimes I wonder if they know I have a bundle of Joy on the way...

♥♥ Five ♥♥
Not one, not two, but THREE fellow blogging ladies have recently announced the exciting news of expecting a little bundle of joy as well! I'm looking forward to following along and sharing this incredible journey with these beautiful ladies! Please join me in congratulating them!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pregnancy Q&A ♥

I've seen a couple cute Q&A posts by my fellow expecting blog friends, Brittany and Elise, so I thought I would steal their idea do the same! These are basic questions that I get asked on a regular basis! If anyone has any additional questions, I would be happy to answer them!
Boo to taking pictures indoors with poor lighting!
Q: How far long are you?
A: 17w4d
Q: When is your due date?
A: March 29, 2015 {the hubs jokes that we're going to have an April fools baby!}
Q: How have you been feeling?
A: I've had my good and bad days. As I mentioned before, I ran into a little complication at the beginning of my second trimester and was in the hospital due to gastritis. Now that I'm aware of how my body handles the hormone overload, I have found that it's easier for me to watch what I do/don't eat to avoid having that problem again. Other than that, I've felt pretty good! Definitely can't get enough sleep or eats! My body apparently needs more food than I have an appetite for which causes me to not feel the greatest if I don't eat when my body tells me to {which is like every 1 1/2 - 2 hours!}
Q: Do you still workout?
A: Yes. During the first trimester not so much.... I didn't have the energy and I was nausea in the afternoon/evening so I skipped out a lot during the first 10 weeks. Now that I've been feeling better it's much easier and more enjoyable to work out again. I think seeing my body change {wider...rounder...flabbier} it's that much more of a motivator to get moving!
Q: Are you going to find out the gender?
A: That... I really don't have an answer for yet. However, I do know one thing... The hubs doesn't have time off work to attend any Dr. Appointments with me, therefore we both agree that I should not find out on my own without him being able to be there. We both agree that a gender reveal part would be ideal for us finding out together although we aren't 100% sure that we are going to do that yet. Next week I have an ultrasound and I think I will take an envelope for them to put it in just in case!
I know Michael could care less either way... but me on the other hand, I'm an OCD/type A/organizaer/planning freak! I just can't imagine NOT knowing! But I suppose, if that's the road we take, I will just have to wait to decorate that little nursery! ♥
Q: How/when did you and Michael find out?
A: The first sign was a missed period. The second sign was the tiredness and super sore boobs. Since Michael wasn't home during the week from work, I waited for him to be home to take a HPT. The first one that I took was first thing in the morning {sometime after our 1st anniversary}. I peed on the stick and then ran to the living room to tell Michael "You go look!" So he went in the bathroom, telled back at me "What do you want it to say?" I said "Ummmm! I don't know! What does it say?!" He brought it to the living room and we both looked at it. There was a very faint horiztonal line {+}. We just weren't sure. Was it faint because we weren't? Was it a bad test? Was it too early to tell? We just weren't confident in the results. So we shrugged it off and said we would try again another day.
The next morning I woke up and this time I took 2 tests of different brands. Michael was still in bed so I grabbed the tests wrapped in TP and ran back to bed. Once a couple minutes had passed we looked at the sticks and this time the lines were very distinct! Michael said something along the lines of "Yep, I'd say your pregnant!"
Q: How did you tell your families?
A: When we first discssed "trying" Michael brought it up that he didn't want to tell anyone we were going to start trying let alone that we were expecting as soon as we found out. I had some health issues in the past and we just didn't want to take that risk of telling people we were trying and then wind up having complications. We wanted to keep it between us until we knew for sure that it was possible to convieve and then again wait until we knew there wasn't a chance of miscarriage.
As soon as we found out, I had told one of my friends. Then after 8 weeks, I told another one of my friends and asked her to take pictures of us for the announcement cards we were going to give to our families. We kept our mouths shut until we were 11 weeks along. Over Labor Day weekend we made arrangements to visit all of our parents and present of the cards I had made up.

Friday night we had Michael's Dad and Kelly over to share the news.
Saturday morning we visited Michael's Ma.
Sunday morning we went to my Dad and Miriam's. We also gave my little brother and sister their own annoucement card as well.
Sunday night we went to my Mom and Greg's and my little sister Jasmine was there as well.
Monday we stopped at my Grandma Julie's and my Aunt Starr's. The following week we went to my Grandpa Silly's to give him his card.
Of course everyone was very excited and surprised because for one, they had no idea we were tring and for two, they couldn't believe I was able to keep a secret for that long!
My older brother, Jeramie, lives in Seattle WA so the following week I send him out a  little package that included an anncouncement card and a tshirt. In the package I gave him strict directions that requested a video recording of him opening the card and present - otherwise I would beat him up! So that was really cute when he got the package and sent me the video! Crazy Uncle indeed!
Q: Have you picked out names?
A: Surprisingly... nope! Although I do have a list of them in my phone that I've jotted down over the last couple months but Michael and I have never discussed them. Lol.

Q: Will you go back to work?
A: Yes. We haven't really worked out a definte plan for day care, although the costs will be minimal compared to what my weekly income would be. As much as I would love to be a stay at home Mom, It's very hard for me to give up my career or the possibilty of losing a future manangement opportunity which is what I went to school for and what I've worked towards at this compant for 10 years.

Q: Do you have any nursery ideas?
A: A couple "styles" that I like but no, not anything in particular. We are getting new carpet in the room this weekend and I'm hoping to look at some furniture ideas next week. If it's a boy I think I want a woodsy theme and if it's a girl I think I want a pink princess looking room!

Q: How do you think Jack & Sandy will handle the new bundle of Joy?!
A: I'm honestly not sure! It's a big concern of mine being as Jack is overly jealous, rough, and protective. Jack already takes every toy or clothing item out of the babies room. And Sandy doesn't like kids.... I feel bad because they have always been my "kids" and I don't want to push them away, but I think our of safety for the baby, it will be best to gate them off of the main section of the house. Michael doesn't agree but hopefully we will work on that in time.

Q: Will you do bump updates on the blog?
A: I most definitely will! This is a blog about documenting our life as The Joy's and adding a mini to our family is an important part of it that I will not want to forget! I hope my friends/readers continue to follow along as I venture on this new journey!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Phew, that was a long week!

I'm not going to lie, it was nice to see Monday come around again! If I had to summarize last week in two words it would be: cluster f*ck chaos overload
Let's recap the nonsense...
*disclaimer: long winded post*
After a great weekend getaway up north... the week started off great with a paid holiday off! We spent Sunday night at the camper. Michael had to go to work and I slept in {woohoo!} with the dogs before heading to my hair appointment {which was waaay overdue since April!} at my Mom's salon and then to do some shopping.
My cuddle buddy
My new watch! I've been on the look out for an affordable watch for months. My Mom and I stopped into my hometown jewelry store and they had a few watches that I loved. This one in particular because it's a slate greyish color that can be worn with pretty much anything. Plus is has some pretty diamond details and who doesn't like a little sparkle?! I had rewards built up from when I bought my wedding jewelry plus my wedding bands so I was out the door only spending $64 on this beauty! I was quite excited!
While cutting the grass and doing some yard work after work one night, I couldn't help but capture this pretty fall scenery in our backyard. Natures beauty is one of my favorites!
The rest of the week was complete chaos leading up to one of my friends wedding on the weekend.  She had so much stuff to do and I had already been busy working on what I could in my spare time... I didn't have much time to take on anything else. Which made me feel bad and stress out for her. However, it pissed me off that there were so many other bridesmaids and no one else had done anything to help!
Since the bride requested that our nails were done, I made a nail appointment at a new place in town. I typically only get my pampering done at my Mom's salon but this time I didn't have much of a choice since I live so far away. BIG mistake. Two of us were there for 4 hours. Four flipping hours.  Good thing I had taken the favors with me to work on! One girl rotated between both of us. It was ridiculous. I didn't get home until 9pm and I felt terrible for the furbabes that were cooped up all day. Needless to say... she didn't get much of a tip and I doubt I will be going back there. Oh, and my nails don't even look good. It's been 4 days and half of them are completely chipped off. I've never had shellac that didn't stay on perfect for weeks!

This is after only being there for an hour and I was still smiling... ha!
 I worked a couple hours in the morning and then ran around trying to tie up some loose ends for the wedding. It got thrown on the bridal party last minute to make a dessert for the rehersal so I had to run to the store to whip something together. Then I got a call from the bride that a groomsmen had just backed out and if there was any way Michael could step in. Which I knew would be almost impossible. Not to mention, what would the odds be that the suit already ordered would even fit Michael?! So yeah that was chaos. Then rushing around trying to help with other things was chaos. The rehersal started late. I forgot my camera due to running around all day. Then sat at a table by myself working on wedding favors that were still not done and do you think any of the other bridesmaids would have taken the time to help?! Well one of them did. But that was it.
After the rehersal and dinner at the church, we headed to the hall to setup. The bride was supposed to go there during the day after 1pm to setup and that didn't happen. Therefore nothing was done. By time we got there it was 8:55pm. They closed at 9 and the guy was a jerk about us being there. Luckily, he let us stay for an hour and a half. By 10:30, I was down right exhausted and kind of pissed off that only 3 out of 8 bridesmaids even came there to help. Oh, and to top it off, one of them said they couldn't come help because they wanted to stay with their husband since she hadn't seen him all day. I literally said all day??? Geez.. I haven't seen my husband in FIVE f*ing days. Yep. Dead silence. Needless to say, I went home drained on all levels.
Saturday... day, started bright and early and already full of stress. The bride and 3 girls who stayed the night at her house were up until 3am working on last minute things that should have been weeks ago. Then they headed back to the hall at 8am to finish setting up. I had to be at the salon to get my hair done. The bride requested all of us to be there for pictures by 11. So I sat around after my hair was done {which I didn't like} and the bride still wasn't there. Neither was her sister or niece and we were all supposed to be to the church by 12:30 for pictures. Instead of staying at the salon, Kelsey gave me a list of things that still needed to be done. So I headed off to do those things. The ceremony was supposed to start at 2 and didn't start until 2:30. The bride hadn't even arrived to the church until 1:55. Two other bridesmaids got there at 2:15. {Did I mention the word chaos??!}
The ceremony finally began and it was beautiful. Until I got light headed, everything turned fuzzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. From that point on I don't remember much besides focusing on my breathing and holding on to the railing so I didn't fall over. One of the bridesmaids ran to get me some water {thankfully} and immediately after the ceremony I headed to sit down and get a snack and something to drink. I knew it was because of the stress, running around, and not eating enough. I wound up going home before we had to be back for pictures. Getting away from the chaos was exactly what I needed. And the hubs made me food.
Then Michael and I headed back to take pictures before heading to the reception. We got way behind doing that as well and the reception didn't wind up starting on time. It was 35 minutes late. Once again, kind of chaotic. Once we were all there, it felt a bit relieving. The rest of the evening was okay for me, I didn't feel the greatest still and I was still exhausted so we left early. I couldn't wait to sleep!
 was a great day around the house. The hubs let me sleep in, which was much needed after all that chaos. We started the process of tearing out of the old carpet in 2 of the 3 bedrooms and the new stuff gets put in this coming weekend. Then we spent the afternoon in the woods hunting. We didn't get anything, but it was still a great way to end the day - together, outside, beautiful fall day, and fresh air.

Now that that week of chaos is over... I'm looking forward to a low key week!
{If you stuck through reading all that... thanks!}

Monday, October 13, 2014

Northern MI Fall Color Tour

I'm not sure how I managed to get so lucky.. but this past weekend I crossed a couple more things off my fall wish list, thanks to my awesome husband! And it was a long weekend due to the paid holiday off! Winning!
As I've mentioned before, I've always wanted to go to the tunnel of trees as well as a fall color tour up north! However... since hunting season is in the fall, it's always been out of the question. I literally joked 3 weeks ago with some of our friends who were planning a trip about how I'll dream about going forever because Michael will never take off hunting to go. Well..... I was wrong! Michael asked me if I wanted to go on a spontaneous trip and I was all about it! He picked the places, booked the hotel, and drove me there. I was just along for the ride :)
We headed to the tip of the Mitten on the west side of the state and figured as we color toured along the way, we would end at the tunnel of trees and then head back south for the night. To our surprise, the tunnel of trees was barely changing colors yet. Which was a little bit disappointing. The closer to the lakeshore you got, the less colors the trees were. Which we never would have thought that... but now we know.
Lake Michigan

{I wanted to stop and take a picture of us here but someone refused to take a picture in "someone else's driveway}

Tunnel of Trees

This is the closest thing I got to a "fall picture". He was not into it.

We ended the night doing some random backroading looking for fall colors... thank goodness the hubs has an excellent navigational beacon and never gets us lost :)
Sunday morning we got up bright and early because Michael had a great idea to go Elk viewing on some state land. That turned into two tracking in the Malibu and pretty much being stuck in the middle of no where all morning. Oh, and we didn't see any damn elk. But we did find some delicious caramel hot apple cider drinks at a coffee shop! And I behaved by getting a kids size because lord knows I didn't want to have a sugar overload and wind up in the hospital again!

Deadman's Hills

Overall, it was a much needed mini getaway together! I was really happy with his suggestion to go! Especially to give up a weekend of hunting!
Now looking at my fall wish list... I'd say I pretty much did everything except the fall photos! Which I'm pretty sure is not going to happen after all the denied opportunities I had after this weekend. I even had the tripod with us and he was like nope... no... That's dumb... Nope... Then when I said well I really wanted fall pictures for Christmas Cards! He responds with... bull shit... I know you better than that.. You'll want winter pictures for that too.... {insert wide eyed emoji} I'll just shush up and be happy with everything else he did for me! :)
Have you done anything on your fall wishlist?! Does your man hate taking pictures with you like mine does!?