One of my favorite parts about the end of pregnancy is the baby bump that shows up to suddenly make it all feel so real. The super strong kicks, the roundness, I love every bit of it. Knowing there is another perfectly imperfect little human being to love right around the corner. And although there are plenty of people out there who don’t share my same feelings on pregnancy, I also know that having been fortunate enough to have had a smooth experience each time around now, coupled with the mantra: ‘positive mind, positive vibes, positive life,’ has only helped. And as with Emma and Reese, a bulk of this process has occurred over the summer, which in my opinion, is the very best time for so many reasons, but none of them top the fact that I don’t think I have had to wear pants in four full months. No pants. The freedom there is absolutely unbelievable. This third trimester has undoubtedly gone the quickest with two other little ones to run after, but it is no less exciting, no less miraculous than the very first time.
Despite what people outside (and some inside) the state, may think of New Jersey, there really is so much to offer here and so many beautiful places scattered across our little spot on the east coast. In the fall, there are tons of great orchards for apple picking and pumpkin patches where we’ve enjoyed hayrides and hosted our kid’s birthday parties. In the winter, there are acres of groomed Christmas tree farms, prepped for families and tailgating and memories. In the summer, there are lakes for bathing and boating and miles of beaches, endless salt water, and there is just something about that cool ocean breeze. And at the tail-end of the summer, people flock to sunflower mazes found in a rural northwest part of the state. And every summer that rolls by, I get caught up in those longer days that turn into nights, leaving the pool as late as possible, filling up the calendar with barbeques and squeezing in short and long trips with family and friends where and whenever possible, always managing to miss the peak of the sunflower season. This year, we picked a pretty perfect Monday: sunny, warm, but not hot, blue. Flawless. And the destination did not disappoint. Here are some of my favorite photos from our day.
*all photos taken at the Sussex County Sunflower Maze, Sandyston, NJ*
I had the opportunity to take part in a Flywheel class the other day in Philly, sponsored by Snap Kitchen, and I admit, I had no idea what to expect when I walked in. It was a packed room, with every single bike filled, and a little bit intimidating, but the instructors and staff could not have been nicer and they definitely made it easy for a first-timer like myself to get in the groove of things. The place itself was open and clean and everything you could possibly need, from towels, to bike shoes, to cute apparel for purchase were on-hand. The workout was definitely intense, but as I found a rhythm, it was awesome, and just what I needed. After lots of traveling lately, I have hardly worked out and it felt so good to sweat it out for 45 minutes with a motivating playlist and encouraging teacher. And because it was a learn-as-you-go process for me, I wasn’t anticipating any upper body conditioning, but halfway through, we pulled out light weights and incorporated arm exercises, too. The time flew by and instead of feeling wiped out, I left feeling more energized than I had in a while. And on our way out, we were treated to a convenient, healthy, post-workout lunch that was packed with greens, grains and protein. Snap Kitchen makes it easy to eat well even when short on time, so be sure to check out their locations HERE.
*although the class and lunch were sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own*
Check out your nearest Flywheel and Snap Kitchen locations to get healthy today!
This summer has been good to us. And as a mom, that mostly means getting the opportunity to spend longer days with my girls and seeing the pure happiness that warm weather and sunshine brings to their ever-present, popsicle-stained lips. We have logged plenty of pool time and beach days, enjoyed a visit with family out west and vacationed with cousins in the Carolinas. I always feel like they grow up so much over the course of the summer, somehow sprouting into new people in only a few short months. Emma now swims completely by herself, under water, in the deep-end, without her toes being able to touch the safe-net of the bottom of the pool. She spells and writes the names of every member of her family and proudly scribbles those names on placemats and computer paper wherever available. Reese still doesn’t say much (a case of having an older sibling being able to speak for you), but she knows exactly what everyone is talking about (scary), and she, too, is a little fish in the water. The one major frustration that has been looming all summer, is the crash of my website that occurred in late June. I have worked these almost two months to recover any content I can, and although the page still looks so bare, it is finally somewhat back up and running. So far, there are still thousands (insert me pulling out every hair in my head here), yes thousands, of previously published blog posts that have vanished into the great, wide abyss of the internet. But on the flip-side, I have decided to work with a new company, Chloedigital to get the site going again and, with their help, create an even better-looking and working space to share with you all. And here to help soothe all of the frustration with the blog has been a little miracle I have been growing since January. We are 32 weeks along with another boy or girl that we can’t wait to have join our family. We always keep this secret tucked away for a while to savor for ourselves and relish in the absolute wonder that is being created. And then we wait a little longer because we have suffered heartache before that will never quite stop hurting over the loss of a baby far into a pregnancy this past fall. But more on that another time. Right now, we are focusing on good things. Really good things. So, I hope you all bear with me while this blog gets back into the swing of things and starts looking more like itself. And I hope you follow along on the tail-end of this journey into motherhood a third time around.