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Nashville Baby Shower at The Thistle Stop Cafe

I am not totally sure how or why but throughout the last ten years Nashville has become home to many of my nearest and dearest. I try to get up there as much as possible and cram in quality time with all of them but it’s not always easy with work and travel. Every time I visit, it feels a little more like home and I find myself dreaming of ways we could live there and here.  Needless to say, when my sweet-as-can-be sister Melissa offered to host a little baby shower for my Nashville community, I was over the moon. She did an amazing job planning every detail and the outcome was a morning of memories I will cherish forever.

Melissa-&-Me

I was humbled and amazed that Family and friends came from Kentucky, Indiana and all over Tennessee to celebrate our littlebabyc.  Melissa hosted the shower at The Thistle Stop Cafe and the ladies there did a wonderful job making sure everything was perfect and delicious. If you live in the area and are not familiar the Thistle Farms ministry, I would suggest checking that out.

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Melissa and I wanted to give guests a few fun activities so for one, she collected plastic baby hangers and cut strips of pretty fabric to tie around the hangers. Everyone had a great time wrapping them and now littlebabyc has a nice set of hand-made-with-love hangers in her closet!

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In these special moments, I always fight the urge to break out my camera and photograph everything but luckily, my talented friend Kat made it up to Nashville the same weekend and captured all of the above photos for me. (The ones below were just iphone snaps)

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There are really no words to express the impact the outpouring of love from these women had on me that morning. I felt incredibly humbled that God has blessed me with such a warm loving community to share with my daughter.

PS: Below are a couple snaps of shower crafts and favors. On the left are the finished hangers with the ABC coloring book each guest contributed a page into. Melissa had a page pre-printed for each letter and colored pencils available so the ladies could chose a letter and illustrate what that letter stood for. I can’t wait to read it aloud to littlebabyc and show her all of the pretty pictures everyone drew! On the right are the DIY soy candles Melissa made as a party favor. They came in four different fragrances and smelled absolutely amazing! For instructions on how she made those, click here.

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Maritza - So sweet! Little Baby C is so loved! 🙂December 9, 2013 – 3:29 pm

Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Growing up, Black Friday Shopping was a strong family tradition on my mom’s side. We were naturally early-risers so venturing out before the sun to score some bargains was always a lot of fun. As time went on, I moved away and got married. My Thanksgivings started taking place all over the map with various family members that don’t share my enthusiasm for waking up early and dealing with the crazy crowds. So for the past few years my black friday shopping has all happened online. I have lucked out on some amazing deals while luxuriously spending the morning after Thanksgiving in my pj’s with a cup of coffee and my laptop. However, this year, things were a little different. We spent the holiday with my mom’s family so it would have been the perfect opportunity to get some old-school pound-the-pavement black-friday shopping done but at 33 weeks pregnant, heck no. Sounds like a job for my coffee, pj’s and laptop right? Wrong. I had no wi-fi!! Apparently, there are still some households that operate in this way and I was in one of them. Thus my black friday bargains were limited to the few items #littlebabyc HAD to have (and that I could buy from my phone)

These were a bit of a splurge but my momma-friends swear by them and they were (and still are through today) 25% off, use the code BESTYEAREVER. How do you pass that up?

Freshly Picked moccasins black friday cyber monday code

Baby Gap was offering 50% percent off so I ordered a few items that I have had my eye on. (Yes, there are bows on those little striped sleeves). You can still get 40% off today with the code CYBER

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PS: today is Cyber Monday, many retailers are offering great deals online! I have my eye on this Rifle Paper Co. Print for the nursery and Anna is offering 30% everything in her shop today with the code CYBER2013

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Soft, Serene Nursery Inspiration

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It may seem hard to believe that among the sea of available baby products, I have found very little that isn’t visually offensive (or astronomically expensive).

I get it, babies like bright colors, contrasting patterns, and strange looking toys. However, that does not mean her room has to look like I put babies r’ us in my vitamix.  I want #littlebabyc to have a soft, serene space where she can drift off to sleep each day and night.

We still have a little ways to go on achieving the feel I am hoping for her nursery, but it’s already become my favorite room and I can’t wait to give my sweet little darling the tour when she arrives.

 

Alex - Definitely the same way I felt when designing Theo’s nursery! I like to hide all of the “offensive” toys in cute baskets at the end of the day. I can’t wait to see Little Baby C’s nursery tour on your blog 🙂November 25, 2013 – 1:46 pm

Little Baby Mae’s Mid-Century Modern Organic Neutral Nursery » Little Baby Sea - […] you can see, it is a pretty eclectic blend of things I fell in love with. I mentioned back in this post that I really wanted Mae’s room to have a calming atmosphere. I know babies like bright […]March 23, 2014 – 1:10 pm

Kelly’s Family, God’s Provision & Little Baby Sea

There is not a better post to kick off LittleBabySea with than this one. These photographs perfectly represent my vision and heart for this new blog. Allow me to explain.

God brought Kelly into my life in the beginning of my sophomore year of college in 2002. At the time, I had no idea what a remarkable influence our relationship would have on my life. It was through her that I also met two more girls (Halle & Joy) who I still consider as my best friends. The timing of these friendships entering my life could not have been more providential.

At the same time the four of us girls were forming lifelong bonds, my family was going through a very difficult time, causing me to question everything I thought I knew about life, love, relationships and God. It was one of the most challenging journeys I have ever taken but I can clearly see now that God gave me exactly what I needed to walk through it, three incredible girlfriends. Their Godly character, beautiful spirits and joyful attitudes impacted me tremendously and helped set my life on a course I may not have otherwise chosen.

Since then, we have all remained close and I have had the honor of watching their lives each become more blessed than I could’ve imagined. Which brings me to these photographs. This is Kelly, her husband Mike and their three beautiful daughters.

A couple years after graduation, Kelly moved to Nashville (where Mike was living), got married and started making babies. Being down in Florida, I didn’t get to spend as much time with her as I would have liked but luckily, my job often took me to Nashville and Mike’s job often brought them here. So I have been able to see Kelly grow not only into an incredible wife, but a truly amazing mother as well. The patience, love, generosity and grace she demonstrates is remarkable. You can get a little peek into her compassionate heart by reading some of her entries on AGirlLikeMe.com

As I face my future as a mom, I am more thankful now than ever for Kelly and her role in my life. Friendships like ours are a constant reminder of God’s perfect love and provision.

With that said, my hope for this blog is to share my adventures into motherhood and I know Kelly will be a wonderful part of that adventure. I will also be sharing posts about inspiration, photography, style, things I love and pretty much anything else that moves me. These photographs are all of that. So without further ado…

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Martin Drummond - What an enjoyable few minutes I spent with you on this site. Thank you for doing this. I’m always blessed by another avenue of sharing your journey through life. As always, I’m praying for you.November 18, 2013 – 2:26 pm

Jessica - Beautiful family!November 18, 2013 – 3:06 pm

Christine - Jessica, this is absolutely beautiful. The photos capture a family full of love – and your kind words express the same. What a perfect way to start the week!November 18, 2013 – 4:19 pm

Jillian Tree - What gorgeous photos & what a beautiful, God-honoring family! 🙂November 18, 2013 – 4:58 pm

Candace Abdella - Love your stories and photos. Thanks for sharing. You are a beautiful young lady. So happy to see the blessing you are as a friend and a wife. Im looking forward to hearing stories of being a Godly mother♥November 18, 2013 – 10:57 pm

Rachel - This is gorgeous, Jess. I’m so excited to follow this blog!November 19, 2013 – 7:48 am

Surviving the First Trimester

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I know it probably could’ve been worse. The constant nausea was the issue I had the toughest time with. Luckily, I work from home so I was able to wear comfortable clothing and take walks/naps as needed. I have no idea how some women get dressed up and go work on their feet for 8-10 hours, 5 days a week feeling like that. If you are one of those women, you win everything.

Of course there were other symptoms I was not exactly prepared for (increased body temperature, rapidly growing body parts, extreme exhaustion and frequent crying) but those have all outlasted both my first and second trimesters and are apparently here to stay for the rest of the party.

Below are a few tools that made the first 12 weeks (and those that followed) bearable. I’d love to hear any tricks or treats that you found to be helpful too!

1. S’Well Water Bottles – These non-toxic, BPA free, insulated bottles keep drinks cold up to 24 hours. When I say cold, I mean the ice literally stays frozen all-day, even in a hot car, sweltering sand or the afternoon heat. Mine might as well have been surgically attached to my hand during those summer days here and while we were traveling though Italy. I still don’t leave home without it. Spend one South Florida second with this bottle and you will be a believer. Plus, if you like hot drinks, these bottles will keep yours steamy for up to 12 hours.

2. Preggie Pop Drops – Nothing else was a match for the constant nausea that consumed my life from weeks 6-13. I tried ginger everything, pretzels, crackers, if it worked for someone somewhere I gave it a shot. These little sour candies were my best friend. I kept them in every purse and bag I owned and popped one anytime the nausea became unbearable. They helped tremendously, tasted great, and were discreet so I could keep my pregnancy under wraps during the early weeks.

3. The What to Expect App – Dave and I decided to share our news with only family and our very closest friends during the first trimester. I don’t regret that decision but it was a bit limiting in terms of being able to ask other moms about what was and wasn’t supposed to be happening to my body during that time. I didn’t want to bombard my doctors or take google’s word on everything so I found this free little app (and the book behind it) to be quite helpful. I still enjoy checking in to see how my baby’s developing each week.

4. My best friend Vitamix – I know what you are thinking. I must’ve been out of my mind to spend several hundred dollars on a blender. Thankfully, we found ours at Costco for a $150 less than they are listed for online but even if we had not, it would still be worth it. I doubt we’ve gone one day without using it since we brought it home in February. My quick math says that means it has cost us less than a dollar a day to enjoy and we will still get a lifetime guarantee’s worth of use out of it going forward. Need I say more?  This whirling wonder was crucial for me when I was too nauseous to cook myself a meal. Even now at 31 weeks, it is my first stop out of bed each morning to make sure I get some healthy goodness down to start the day.

5. Netflix – If you are like most people and have a TV in your house, you can probably skip this one. Dave and I decided to eliminate television from our home a few years ago and I could not be more happy with that decision. I hate noise and commercials have a way of sending me over the edge. Plus the cost to get any decent television channels made it an easy choice for us. We stay too busy most of the time to even notice. However, when you are physically and mentally incapable of doing anything productive you are left with nothing to do but veg. This is where Netflix came in. I took in entire seasons of Downton Abbey and Parenthood. I’d say that was $10/month well spent.

6. Protein Powder – To my surprise, I found that consuming protein rather than carbs actually kept my nausea at bay longer. However, meat was literally the last thing I wanted (thank you Forks Over Knives) so I decided to give powdered protein a try. I chose one from Garden of Life because I am familiar with their products but I am sure any would do the trick.  I’d throw a half-scoop into my smoothies each morning and felt almost instant relief from the nausea. I still use it every morning mixed with spinach, kale, OJ and frozen fruit in the Vitamix for a power smoothie to hold me and baby over until we decide what’s for breakfast.

7. Praying Through Your Pregnancy – I am cheating a little here since I did not begin this book until my second trimester but I wish I would’ve had it sooner. It is a week-by-week guide to what is happening in your pregnancy along with scripture and prayers that correlate with your baby’s developmental stage. It even has a section in each chapter to journal what you are feeling and praying that week. I have really enjoyed the Christian perspective on the experience and it has served as a great reminder of what a miracle is taking place inside of me.

12-weeks

 

Jessica - Thanks for sharing! I totally just bought a couple of these things for a care package for my newly pregnant friend! I love Parenthood too and I am way behind on Downton Abbey.November 18, 2013 – 3:08 pm