Monday, November 24, 2014

Maternity Monday: week 25

Week 25: We've definitely been missing the Caribbean sun this week, so we've been trying to stay toasty by our fireplace at night. I think that we should make a yearly trip to the Caribbean in the winter, maybe January or February. I'm not opposed to celebrating Baby P's first birthday beachside. I know unlikely, but I can dream. 

I won't lie to you, the pregnancy hormones have been crazy this week. Poor J; I've been incredibly teary and weepy over a few things that have come up this week. I also haven't been sleeping well so that could be a contributing factor to the tears. I've been having a lot of hip pain from sleeping on my sides despite the snoogle and pillows. 

Other than those little things, I'm still feeling great. Baby P and I have gotten to work out this week in between shifts, have a lunch date with J at his work, grab coffee with Emily, and get house projects done, and started buying Christmas presents.

It's been a good week gearing up for the holidays. I love this time of year. I can't wait to buy our Christmas tree, open our Christmas boxes, pull out the new items we bought, and start decorating for our first Christmas in this house!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Maternity Monday: week 24

Week 24: This may have been our best week yet (if you follow my on IG: aileenpp, you know why)...we went on our babymoon

We decided this was the week for our babymoon because it was the last week my OB wanted me traveling internationally. We didn't want to miss our chance, so we flew to St. Thomas for a week of sunshine, sand, and a great time together. I loved everything about our trip; we stayed at the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Resort. We loved the views from our hotel, the beach and pool, and had some excellent meals in town. 

There were so many things that I loved about this week: 

...spending so much time with J and talking about our future and baby! 

...sleeping in a king bed with a cocoon of pillows.

...drinking lots of water and fruit smoothies beach and poolside. 

...enjoying the beauty of watching sunsets over these hills every night. 

...being pleasantly surprised by some fabulous dinner spots. 

...floating in the ocean

...feeling lots and lots of baby kicks since I was relaxed, sitting, or laying most of this trip

I'm so thankful for this week away in the sun celebrating our sweet girl. I'll share a full babymoon post with dinner recommendations, photos, and more soon! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Maternity Monday: weeks 21-23

Happy Monday! 

My first Maternity Monday post is here! I have a couple of more weeks to catch up on, and I think that I might post most of them a week behind because I "turn" the next week on Sundays. 

Week 21: I absolutely love knowing that we're having a sweet baby GIRL! I ordered her first pj gown/maybe coming home outfit with her name on it. We have been set on her first name for a while but still tossing around names for her middle name. I can't wait to decide, so I can start monogramming. 

The very best thing this week was that J felt the baby move/kick for the first time! 

Week 22: I got to spend most of this week in Birmingham! I love seeing my college bests and celebrating Amy & Justin at their trendy, hipster wedding. Spending time with these loves makes my heart so incredibly full. I'm just so thankful for have friends who love me (and know our sweet baby!) so much!

This week, I ate some of my Birmingham favorites: O'Carrs chicken salad (twice), Steel City Pops, O'Henry's, and Jim & Nick's.

Week 23: I realized why I don't sleep well at night, it's because Baby P is dancing, kicking, and jumping on my bladder all night long.  She and I were both awake for three night shifts this week.

After my third night shift, we had an OB appointment and got to hear baby's heartbeat.
Before the first night shift of the week
This was an exciting week for us... we celebrated our fourth anniversary and J's birthday! J picked a new favorite for us on Thursday night: Bida Manda. The Laotian food was incredible. We loved the spring rolls, gingered ribs, crispy pork belly soup, and a grapefruit ginger spritzer for me.

For J's birthday, I picked a local brewery that has rave review pizza and beer. I can't wait to try their cider, post baby. We enjoyed dinner out, and then a quiet night at home opening presents and celebrating.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Second Trimester: weeks 13-20

Once I get caught up on these posts, I'm going to start doing weekly pregnancy posts. Maybe a Maternity Monday every week until baby's due date. I love documenting this pregnancy for us and for Baby P. Hope you enjoy reading it! 

Second trimester highlights so far...

Week 13: Lots of indigestion working night shifts and eating lots of crackers to try and avoid it. Despite indigestion, I'm craving Mexican (this was true pre-pregnancy, but I could eat it any/every night), especially at our favorite Gonza's. 

The best part of this week was announcing our pregnancy to extended family, friends, and co-workers! 

Week 14: Chowing down on tums and guzzling ginger ale due to continued indigestion. I've started planning a gender reveal party; it's something I've always thought would be an exciting way to find out. We went registry shopping and ordered baby's crib from Pottery Barn.

Over the weekend we loved seeing family and friends in DC for a wedding.

Week 15: More tums, ginger ale, crackers, and salty snacks. Exhausted from flipping back and forth working day and night shifts. This weekend, we started vacation and had dates at The Pit, Poole's Diner, and Gonza's. 

This is the first week I've noticed a tiny bump! 

Week 16: We had a great week at the beach with family, laying out, reading, and spending time together despite not sleeping well and more indigestion. Tops are still fitting but pants and shorts are starting to get a little snug.

Week 17: So hungry! Loving date night at Cowfish and time together. Less indigestion this week, having headaches which is odd and not sleeping well. 

Week 18: The best parts of this week - seeing our baby and finding out everything is healthy and strong. I also felt flutters on Sunday for the first time!

We picked a boy name; we'd had a girl's for a while. So when we find out the gender, we can start calling him/her by name. But we're keeping the name a secret until baby arrives.

Now, we have an envelope sitting at our house with our baby's gender. I'm taking it to a bakery this week to place the order!

Week 19: Extremely tired and emotional from working a bunch of night shifts in a row without sleeping well. In between shifts, I've been crafting for our Bows or Bow Ties party. We cannot wait to cut into our cake!

A day before week 20.

And a day before our gender reveal party!

I say it a lot, but it's the truth, I'm very thankful for a healthy baby and pregnancy. After seeing really sick kids at work, I'm so thankful for a healthy baby.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The First Trimester: weeks 4-12

This pregnancy has been flying by! I'm so glad that once we found out I ordered a May book to keep track of everything. Here are the highlights from the first trimester...

Week 4: So excited and surprised! We're going to be parents!?  

Week 5: Lots of terrible cramping throughout the days and waking me up at night, but I called our doctor and everything was fine. It was very early, but we told our families this week because we were back in DC for 4th of July seeing both of our families. For J's family we gave his parents the onesie above. For my family, we got our niece a shirt that said "Big Cousin" and dressed her in it after a nap. 

Week 6: Continued cramping, heightened sense of smell and more emotional. J started doing a lot of baby research. The best part of this week was calling my two best friends from college and sharing our news! 

Week 7: We loved spending a weekend at my parents' house relaxing and catching up on much needed sleep. My parents' also gave us my great-grandfather's dresser that we're going to refinish for the nursery. 

Week 8: Exhausted. Slight nausea in the early morning (leaving for work between 5:45-6am is not ideal). We went to my first OB appointment this week! We saw our baby for the first time, and hearing his/her heartbeat was incredible. I'm so thankful for this little life. 

Week 9: Hungry. Love eating fresh foods, especially from the farmers' market but not wanting apples or salads, which I usually eat every day. Overall, feeling great and still working out at Pure Barre and taking Aida on lake walks. This weekend, my brother came into town to work on house projects that we needed to finish before starting baby projects. 

Week 10: Still so hungry, so I loved feasting at the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo. J is so great; constantly doing things around the house and telling me to rest. 

We officially started taking baby bump photos this week. Baby P isn't showing yet other than maybe a little bloating, so I didn't start taking them before now. 

Week 11: Eating lots of chips, bread, and ginger ale to try and avoid the nausea. We had a fun weekend in DC and Baltimore with family and friends.

Week 12: Eating lots: sweets, carbs, but still trying to make healthy choices. I went to my second OB appointment and got to see Baby P jumping around.

I'm very thankful for a great pregnancy and healthy baby! J has been so supportive and great throughout this whole process, especially when I don't feel the best or am emotional. I'm also thankful for our families and friends who have been extremely excited, helpful, and kind celebrating Baby P with us. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Our Sweet Gift

Excited to share our sweet news that we're expecting Baby P in February! 

We are in love with our baby already and cannot wait to see our family grow in the new year. I finished my first trimester and have been incredibly blessed with a great pregnancy. Over the past couple of weeks, it's been a joy to share our news with family and friends and celebrate this tiny life.

More baby posts coming soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer Days

These summer days have flown by. While I'm looking forward to fall, I cannot believe it's already September. 

July and August were jam packed with family, friends, food, and fun for us. Every minute we weren't at work or doing house projects (which I still need to post about), we were finding fun in Raleigh and DC. 

After my sister finished her summer job, she came and stayed with us for a week. We devoured tasty food truck food, celebrated her birthday, and road tripped to Baltimore for a cousins' weekend. 

 In August, we spent a weekend in Baltimore seeing Justin & Laura, the newlyweds, and enjoying a cousins' weekend. It was so great to be back at some of our favorite spots with some of our favorite people.

Laura and Justin are so sweet, kind, and thoughtful. Weeks before seeing them, Laura posted about making macaroons, and I made a comment about having them during the Baltimore weekend. I never expected she would actually make them, but she did! Just for me. They were incredibly delicious.

One of our absolute favorite Baltimore spots is Woodberry Kitchen. Somehow the Chef got us brunch reservations, so we got to see and taste the best Baltimore brunch.

Another one of our Baltimore favorites is Mama's on the Half Shell. All of the cousins' and Justin and Laura went out for dinner. I stuffed myself with crab soup, crab dip, and crab cakes. Nothing is better than Maryland crabs.

...And Elisabeth tasted her first oyster!

One of the best summer afternoon activities this year, has been visiting local coffee shops for a coffee and treat. Plus, I heart latte designs.

Dinner and dessert with nurses always does my heart good. And Bittersweet in downtown Raleigh has the tastiest bites: like this salty carmel corn ice cream sandwich.

To round out the summer, we enjoyed a Labor Day weekend in DC enjoying some of our DC favorites, seeing friends, family, and attending wedding of one of the Chef's high school friends. It was a gorgeous outside ceremony and reception in their backyard despite the thunderstorm that made 150 guests run from the tent to their house. It was a beautiful night filled with laughter, and the Chef seeing old friends.

And there you have it.

Summer days might be fading, but I'll be ready for some cooler weather, pumpkin everything, and decorating our house for a new season.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lights, Beers, & Sushi

I feel old saying it, but we had another fun, productive weekend, but this time it was with family!

My brother came into town, and we had the best time with him. With their house purchases, he's learned how to fix and replace just about everything. So for our house, he replaced five light fixtures and new locks!

We're quickly replacing everything in our house piece by piece. I took a bunch of photos before the projects, so I'll do a house post soon on our progress.

After all of the hard work on Saturday, we headed to Durham for flights of beer, sandwiches, and arcade games at Fullsteam.

Saturday night for supper, we indulged in my brother's Raleigh favorite: The Cowfish. I love going with him because he likes to order a random assortment and share it all together. It was also the first time my mom has gone, and I think she enjoyed it too.

Sunday morning, the guys replaced a hideous gold light fixture with a fan and worked on the locks. It feels great checking things off my house list. My brother is the best, and I'm so thankful he's willing to come and spend his weekend working on our house for us. I love my family!

Hope you have a happy Monday and a great start to the week!

Friday, August 1, 2014

the little things

Some weeks it's just the little things that make life sweet.

Monday started off great because I was put on-call and didn't end up having to go into work at all. Happy Monday to me!

Instead of working, I enjoyed an early morning lake walk with Aida and the Chef before he headed to work. I have always been a night owl, but lately, I've really been learning to love how great it feels to get up early and enjoy the entire day. Especially, when it starts with a brisk morning walk.

I have a favorite coffee spot, Sola and love getting to spend a little or long time there either by myself or with friends. I went by myself this week, and it took a while for my drink to come, so when it did they gave me a dozen hot mini-donuts. I'll take free mini-donuts any day! 

At work this week, I was talking with a co-worker about where he buys his produce, and he reminded me about the Raleigh farmers' market. I decided to go again (I haven't been in forever) and absolutely loved it. I definitely want to start shopping local more. Plus, I got all these fresh foods for less than $20! Local, fresh, and, win.

And as you know, I'm usually not the biggest cook in our house. I usually do really simple meals but this week, I was a little bold and tried these Chicken n' Biscuits, and while it took a while it was delicious and so worth it. 

I have been trying to live life to the fullest, trying not to worry, and enjoying the little things.

I hope you have a great weekend. I'm excited to have this weekend off and enjoy some family time!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Happy Monday! 

I wanted to thank those of you who sent me such sweet comments about my blogging return! I really appreciate your kind words. 

I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to face a new week. We had a great weekend staying in town. Unintentionally, we've ended up having a busy summer, so it was nice to have only a few plans for the weekend. 

Friday, I spent the afternoon with Emily lounging poolside soaking up some rays. I love conversations with Emily because she has a huge, tender heart for the unreached, orphaned, and lost. I'm always encouraged and challenged after being with her. 

 That night, we got to spend the evening with our friends, Allison and Jarod. We had the perfect summer meal at their place of burgers, corn, pasta salad, and banana pudding. Not only are they so much fun to be around, but they are such genuine and kind friends. 

Ever since going to Joule Coffee with a nurse friend, I've been dying to go again. So, I told the chef we had to go for brunch on Saturday. I devoured the "Hangover grits," and the chef loved the eggs benedict. I would definitely go again any weekend. 

For the rest of the weekend, the Chef had a list of little projects to get done around the house: the joys of homeownership. No but really, it was nice to get things accomplished. While he worked on the yard, I cleaned out and reorganized the attic and both of our guest room closets. It feels so great to be cleaned and organized again.

Recently, we changed churches to a smaller one and have wanted to give it a good try and become more involved. We decided to take the first step and sign up to serve, so this week, we were greeters. We really enjoyed it and loved meeting new people.

All in all, it was a great relaxing, productive weekend. Hope you have a great day back to work!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Beginnings

It's been incredibly too long of a writing hiatus. It was something that I wasn't planning but just needed for myself. 

We've had some big life changes, life has been rushing forward, which I'm sure it is for most people, and this little space has been neglected. 

If you follow me on IG (aileenpp), you know back in March we closed on our first house!

It's been an exciting, whirlwind of a time settling in with lots of purchases: some expected and some not so expected. Read: in the first four months we've replaced the water heater and our whole HVAC system with two new AC units. 

There have already been great memories made in our little house: celebrating Easter, my birthday, dinner parties, and friends and family staying with us. 

Through everything going on and taking a little blogging break, I've learned more about myself, my marriage, friendships, and what I want out of this space. While I was gone, I attended a fabulous blogging workshop and learned how I want to move forward with this little blog.

I've learned that I'm too hard on myself with growing this blog and constantly comparing it to other blogs. I needed to step away to see this. At the workshop, I realized that in order to grow quickly I need to have something to "teach" readers. Honestly, I don't have that something, nor do I want to. I love lifestyle blogs and that's what I want for mine. This is my space, and I want it for me and my family. 

So, I'm going to share about our life even though it might not be glamorous or thrilling all the time. But this is me, and this is us. And I'm glad to be back! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the sniffles

and hacking and the green snot. 

Ok, you get the idea. It's been that kind of a weekend into week. The Chef came home on Thursday night not feeling the best and then Friday I came down with whatever he had. Through the weekend we've been nursing each other back to health. 

I started to get excited yesterday afternoon, getting some energy back and rocking out some chores in my pjs. Then last night, I fell apart again. Hacking, coughing, and if you were to suction me you'd get green. Appetizing, I know. 

Thank you so much for all of you who have texted, called, and left IG comments wishing me to get better and if I need anything. I really appreciate it. 

In other news, we're continuing our house search. I love our apartment and wish we could stay here forever, but I'm also anxious to have a real home.

This past weekend, we put an offer in on a home, but unfortunately we didn't get it. It was a cute house in a great location and apparently others thought so too. 

So, we're back at it. If you think of it, we would love prayer that we choose the best house and home for our little family. 

Cheers (holding up my DayQuil)! 

Remember to constantly wash your hands with all the grossness going around. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

beginning 2014

It has been exactly a month since the last time I posted. 

I really did not mean to take a month away from this space but life happened. 

Christmas time was incredible.
We celebrated with both of our families in DC. Enjoying time with our parents and siblings. We are excited for the day though that we have our own kids and start our own Christmas traditions...really blending the best of both family traditions. 

We loved seeing DC friends who we miss so much. It was great spending time catching up on each other's lives. I'm so thankful that we've stayed friends with people from our first married years together. 

We had the best New Year's Eve with our small group: we cooked, laughed, drank wine, and had everyone spend the night. Seriously, other than growing up in Vienna with our traditions of fireworks, chili, and staying up all night with friends, it was the best NYE.

January has flown by. 
The absolute best thing that has happened in January is that our niece was born! My SIL texted me in the middle of a night shift saying she was having contractions, so I left work, raced home, woke up a grumpy husband, packed our bags, and drove to DC at 3am. She is the cutest baby, ever. I may or may not be biased.

Remember our small group that we started meeting with back in the fall? Well, we were more of a social group then and now have officially started meeting. I cannot wait to see how we grow, change, and become better friends this spring. 

If you've been following me on IG (aileenpp, my24daychallenge) then you know I (like many others this time of year) decided to commit to getting and staying healthy. I started the Advocare 24 day challenge. I've enjoyed it so far, but I'll save all my thoughts until I finish.

So, I'm glad that we're caught up now. Hopefully, it won't be another month until we meet again. 

Linking up with Lauren