Monday, May 9, 2016

Baby Pray Q&A!

Well it's officially official - John and I are expecting a baby this fall, and we could not be any more excited! My radio silence in the bloggity blog world may make a bit more sense now, but I'm excited to share a little (or very long, rather...) baby Pray Q&A!
 
You can see our Instagram announcement here!
 
 
Finding Out!

How did you find out you were pregnant?

John and I had been watching TV, and I really wanted glass of champagne, but I knew that there was a chance that I could be pregnant. John lightly suggested that I take a pregnancy test to find out. I told him that there would be no point in taking a test since, even if I was pregnant, it would be way too early to show up on a test. I passed on the champagne and went to bed wondering whether or not there was a chance that I actually was pregnant.

In the morning after John left for work, I was like hey, why not just see... and sure enough - positive! 
 
To be honest, my initial reaction was very skeptical – something surely wasn’t right. I decided to take a second test and the test (which was digital) gave me an error sign! At this point I was basically like, hmm, this all seems a little hokey, and decided I would run out later in the day to get a new set. After purchasing and taking a new test later in the day, sure enough it said pregnant again!

What was your first reaction to your pregnancy?
 
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was really not at all emotional – mostly because I had a hard time believing it was true! Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited, and was then too, but the pragmatist in me was more like "hmm, that is interesting information."
 
I was definitely very skeptical, but sure enough, it was true – I was pregnant! And I am thrilled!

How did you tell John?

I wasn’t about to call or text John while he was at work to tell him the news, because news as exciting as this should only be shared in person! When he got home from work he was very hungry, so I wanted to wait until after he had eaten to tell him the news (that way we could fully enjoy it!). 

We went out to eat and headed home. Once we got home I told him I wanted to show him something on my phone (which was a picture of the positive pregnancy tests), and oh man, his reaction was possibly the most wonderful thing ever. His eyes swelled, and honestly, he was a little bit overcome with the news – which was absolutely perfect for the non-emotional state that I was in. Sharing the news with John and seeing his reaction really is what made me believe that it was all possibly real. It was pretty perfect.

What were your first pregnancy symptoms?
 
I have an immune system like a rock, and am very rarely sick. Yet as soon as I found out I was pregnant I had a terrible sore throat for the next week; I was so uncomfortable! Immediately thereafter, I had a terrible cold/congestion. I’m fairly certain it was pregnancy related (however, it could have just been a normal seasonal cold since my immune system was suppressed), but I’m going to label it as my first pregnancy symptom. :)

Other than a cold, my sleeping rotation looked a little like this... a terrible night’s sleep and going through the day like a walking zombie, and then 14 hours of hard, solid sleep the next night... then, another terrible night’s sleep and a walking zombie the next day, followed by a solid night’s rest. Thankfully that cycle is over!

How far along were you when you found out?

I found out right away (or at least, so I thought). After finding out, I thought that it couldn’t have been more than a week after ovulation (which is part of the reason I couldn’t believe that the test showed positive!). However, after going to the doctor for my first ultrasound, I found out that I was actually quite a few weeks farther along than I had thought I was.

How did your parents/family react?

We told our parents when I was 10 weeks along... not because we were concerned about miscarrying baby (because if something went wrong, we would of course still be telling them for support), but because there are few things in life as exciting as being pregnant and having a child, and John and I really wanted to enjoy the news just the two of us before starting to tell people. It’s fun (and romantic!) having a secret that only the two of you know about! :)
 
Our families were so, so excited, and not surprisingly, they were my favorite people to tell. They were all so happy for us, and there was so much joy in the news - and as much as we loved secret keeping, telling them made it more fun for us because we had people to share our joy with!
 
How did you tell your friends?

Oh man, I was so excited to tell our friends too – especially our community group at church. Two other ladies in my group are pregnant (one of which has the same due date as me - how fun is that?!).

I feel so blessed by our San Antonio community, and I think this is truly a testament to God caring about all details of our lives – not only am I pregnant, but I am pregnant at the same time as two other ladies that I get to spend time with regularly. Another momma in the group has three young kiddos, and she has been such an awesome resource to me... y'all - I am not really super comfortable around babies, so this is a pretty big blessing!
 
Since I do not have family in Texas, this is huge for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
 
 
 
 
Baby Details

Due date?

November 1st, 2016
 
Actually, it's October 31st, 2016, but I'm not super into Halloween, so I requested that the doctor change it November 1st (just kidding - but she was going back and forth between the two days, so I figured why not throw out my preference... never hurts to ask right?!). ;) It's not like it will make a difference anyway... the babe will come when he comes regardless of the date I tell people.

It is absolutely insane, terrifying, and exciting (all at the same time) to think that come this Thanksgiving and Christmas, the "John and Lisa Pray" family will be a family of 3... I feel like most pregnancies have a holiday season where it is the “last Christmas” as a family of 2, but we didn’t get that – so the thought of how soon this babe will be here blows my mind!

Will you find out the sex ahead of time? 

Yes! And we actually already know! Baby Pray is a BOY!
 
You best believe the planner in me found out the gender of this baby as soon as possible - via genetic testing at 11 weeks! I had zero "mother intuition" as to whether baby Pray was a boy or a girl, but honestly, everyone else guessed boy, so I was like, hey! I guess boy too then! And sure enough, everyone was right. :)

How did you tell John the gender?

When the doctor's office called with the genetic testing results, I was originally going to ask them to write it in a envelope so that John and I could find out at the same time, but I really didn't want to bother the nurse by making things complicated, so I just had her tell me over the phone. 
 
To surprise John with the gender I bought a blue cake, blueberries, blue corn tortillas, Blue Moon beer (for him!), and blue Gatorade (for me!)... with just a little bit help of pointing out that everything was blue, he was able to guess that we were having a baby boy!
 
 

 
Pregnancy Life

Will you be sharing weekly pregnancy updates on the blog?

Fingers crossed, yes! Perhaps not every week, but for sure as often as I can! I really want to make sure that I capture this stage of life - it is just as much to be celebrated and enjoyed as it is when the baby comes... so I want to make sure I can look back on this pregnancy and remember everything.

How far along are you now?
 
15 weeks - which is so crazy to me!! Time has been flying...

How have you been feeling?
 
Honestly, I have been feeling pretty great! I did not have any morning sickness (and praise the Lord since I was traveling for work the first month, or so, of being pregnant), and I only really experienced fatigue. But the truth is, I'm always down for a good nap, so the whole fatigue thing didn't seem that unusual to me (regardless of being pregnant)!
 
Do you have any cravings?

Not really... when I first found out I was pregnant I was drinking a ridiculous amount of ice water - more ice the better. I wanted it to be cold, cold, cold! Other than ice water, in my first trimester I was really enjoying carbohydrates (go figure, right?!).
 
Have you had a hard time eating healthy?

 Eh, not really so long as I have healthy options around me that I can grab at a moments notice... but when I'm starving with no healthy options, all bets are off - just being honest. A few days ago I had no food at home and got take out from Panda Express, and on my way home I stopped at Target to get cookies... basically, I have no self-control once I hit get hungry. Oi vey...

I have been making a concerted effort to not let myself get starving, and to stay filled up on healthy foods as to avoid poor food choices.
 
Any mood swings?

No way, I’m totally even-keeled 100% of the time per usual... ;) This is probably a better question for John to answer (or maybe not, actually...).
 
Do you have a baby bump?
 
I refuse to be one of those “eating for two” people, but the truth is, throughout my first trimester my appetite significantly increased. I didn’t eat huge meals, but I pretty much didn't stop eating... I was hungry, people!! I was even waking up in the middle of the night absolutely starving. 
 
Since entering the second trimester my appetite has gone back to normal (mostly)... but it has left me a little confused on whether I'm growing a baby bump or a first-trimester-pizza-bump. ;)


 

Pup Questions

Do you think Scout and Lily know?
 
Do they look like they know...? Yeah, no. ;)
 
 

--
 
Okay, mommas... your turn: what are all of your go-to resources (blogs, apps, books, etc.) that I should know about?! 
 
I had that What to Expect app but got over it pretty quick with people posting questions like "can I hula hoop pregnant?" ...really? Any other apps that you recommend instead?!

Monday, May 2, 2016

San Antonio Touring!

John and I love having company in town for many reasons... one of which happens to be because it is the perfect excuse to take them to all of the places that we've been meaning to try! 

And recently, we've had the pleasure of hosting John's mom and step-dad, as well as my good friend Elizabeth and her fiance, Graham. We wined and dined, and had a fabulous time showing them around our new home and city. 

Here's a sneak peek of some of the things that we've been up to!


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A visit to the Alamo!


Spring on the River Walk... I just love seeing everything blooming and lush again!


A visit to Gruene which is basically the cutest town ever in the Texas hill country... we loved being able to show John's mom and step-dad some of the "hidden" gems of central Texas.


Dinner at the Gristmill, which is located on the Guadalupe River.


When we were talking through some of the fun shops in Gruene, John spotted the ultimate housewarming gift: a new Yeti!


Dinner at the Pearl with Elizabeth and Graham... Elizabeth was one of my bridesmaids, and I am absolutely thrilled to be standing by her as she gets married later this year!


Delicious (and very unique!) eats at Cured.


Mission hike and bike trail... it had been pouring rain about an hour earlier, but we decided to chance the weather, and it was a pretty perfect day!


Mission San Jose


Gettin' our bike ride on... Graham's tire popped so we needed to be rescued, but other than that, it was smooth cruisin'!


Mission Concepcion - I would take this over visiting the Alamo any day... it was incredibly beautiful and about half as crowded!


Gruene Dance Hall and Robert Earl Keen - basically my night was made... and as it turns out, this was Elizabeth and Graham's second time seeing REK (they are basically groupies!).


Hotel Emma and brunch at Supper


The most amazing spread ever - seriously, ever. I haven't stopped thinking about that pimento cheese biscuit or millionaire's bacon... out of this world tasty!

Friday, April 8, 2016

DIY no-sew pompom shorts!

If I had all the money in the world and could buy as many pieces of clothing from anywhere that I wanted, just about everything from J.McLaughlin would be pretty high on my list... I can't help it, I just love absolutely everything they have! 

Recently, I was perusing their website and came across the most amazing pairs of pompom shorts. Let me tell you, I had this pair and this pair in my shopping cart, and was about to check out, but just wasn't sure that I could bear the $150 price point for each pair - ouch! 
But really though, how cute are these?!


Anyway, I just couldn't bring myself to pay $300 for two pairs of shorts (right?!), and decided that I would try a little pompom DIY to see if I could get a similar look for (much) less! 

And guess what - it worked! And not only did it work, but it was incredibly easy, and only took me about an hour to make both pairs (for under $20/pair!) - a total win, if you ask me!




What you need:
- Shorts (I bought mine from Target - buy one, get one 50% off... holler!)
- Pompoms (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby for about $2.50 each)
- Iron-on, no-sew adhesive (Again, purchased at Hobby Lobby for $2.50)



Begin by ironing on a strip of the adhesive to the pompoms.

Follow the instructions of your iron-on adhesive... if it says heat for 2 seconds then let it cool (which mine did), then do that! I found that I wasn't letting my adhesive cool enough so it wasn't fully adhering, so make sure you follow the instructions to a T.


Once you've secured the first side of adhesive to the pompoms, remove the paper backing. You should be able to see the adhesive that was left on the pompoms (it looks like a clear film).


Next, turn your shorts inside-out and place the pompoms where you would like them to sit. Make sure that they stick out enough that you can see them, but not so much that they look sloppy.

Once you have the pompoms in the location you would like, iron them on to the shorts (again, by following the instructions of your particular iron-on adhesive - mine said to heat for 8 seconds!).


Continue to wrap the pompoms around the whole leg opening of the shorts. I started and finished the pompoms in the inner-seam so it would be less noticeable.


Once you've attached the pompoms to both legs of the shorts, let fully cool, and ta-da! You've got yourself some pompoms shorts!

Now, full disclaimer, I haven't washed mine yet, but the iron-on adhesive did say that it was safe for machine washing (so make sure you purchase an adhesive that says this on the packaging).


For $20 a piece, it was a well-worthy DIY, if you ask me! And with 80 degree weather already here in San Antonio, I know these will definitely be on repeat!



Love pompoms too?! I just stumbled upon this Wall Street Journal article three days ago, and apparently pompoms are bouncing back! I didn't know I was so fashion forward! ;) ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Around Town Happenings!

I arrived home from Arizona late on Friday evening, and I couldn't be more excited to be sleeping in my own bed again! Some of these photos are a bit old, but here's a quick look at some of the things that we've been up to around town.

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My husband is possibly the most thoughtful person ever - I was greeted home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and cake! One thing I love about John is that he insists we celebrate all things big and small... it makes life together seem extra special! :)


And I sure missed these two turkeys too!


Dinner in Market Square - queso, please!


For John's birthday we got him a Beretta Silver Pigeon - I swear, he had a tear in his eye while we were checking out... he was one happy man!


Our friends from church recently got a GSP puppy that is about the same age as Lily - so we couldn't resist a little puppy play date. And oh my goodness... once we got home, Lily fell asleep with a chew toy in her mouth - girlfriend was t-i-r-e-d from all the romping!


Fresh hair color: it's always a scary process, but totally worth it in the end!


I swear, all the trees turned green and started blooming overnight - the Riverwalk is getting quite lush, and it is making me so excited for summer!


Ramen lunch - love me some ramen!


The Texas bluebonnets are everywhere, and I'm a little bit in love!! If it wasn't for all of the bumblebees, I would be standing in them all for a photo!


John and I took Lily on her first official "hike" this past weekend at Eisenhower Park - she wasn't a hugely into it, but it is probably because Scout was dragging her everywhere... she will learn to love it, I just know it!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Speckled Egg Frosting Tutorial

I love celebrating holidays, but recently, the amount of free time on my hands is next to none. 
So I began my search of a sweet treat that would be tasty and festive, but wouldn't take me more than an hour to make. 

And these speckled egg cookies were just what I was looking for!



How to:

1. Start with fully-cooled Easter egg cookies (or, if you're looking for a short cut, just go buy some!).
2. Next, make your royal icing (I followed this Wilton recipe), and pipe a border of the frosting around the cookies.
3. Flood the center of the cookies with icing, and give the cookies a few taps on the table to smooth out the tops and remove any bubbles.
4. When your cookies are drying, combine 1tbs of royal icing with 1tsp of warm water and a food coloring of your choice.
5. Once the cookies are fully dried, sponge on a first layer of colored frosting.
6. After the first sponged layer of frosting is dry, sponge on a second layer (I decided to use a different color, but the same color will work too!).

And ta da! You have yourself some speckled egg cookies! 
Go easy on the colored frosting at first (adding more is much easier than trying to take it off), and keep layering the frosting until you achieve the desired look.



These cookies are not only perfect to eat, but they make for great individual favors!


Have time on your hands? Decorate some Easter egg cookies using this marbling technique!

Monday, March 21, 2016

back at it!

Blogging has been quite difficult for me lately... not only because I cannot find the time to blog, but also because I don't have the time to do anything fun to blog about! And boy, do I miss it! 
But, hopefully (fingers crossed...) I will be back at it this week.

Lately I have been working a ton out of Arizona (normally I work from home in Texas), and I was so, so thankful that John was able to fly into Phoenix and spend the weekend with me. Here's a quick peek of all that we were up to!

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Cheese plates and wine on the patio at Postino... nothing better!


Hiking Piestewa Peak - with 10,000 of our closest friends... note to self: drive at least an hour out of Phoenix before trying to hike anything in March - the city trails are slammed! We had originally planned to hike Camelback, but the parking lot was already full by the time we arrived (which was before 8AM).


The wildflowers are blooming, and I can't get enough of them!


The weather was absolutely perfect for hiking... warm enough to not need a jacket, but not so hot that it was unbearable. And cheers for a little sun tan!


My favorite part of hiking? The apres-hike tacos and margaritas.


March is, without a doubt, the most beautiful month in Arizona... there is so much to do, the city is buzzing with people, and most of all - the trees still have their citrus. Makes my away-from-home heart happy.


We were able to sneak in a Spring training game with our good friends who I had been missing terribly! It was so nice to see them and catch up with everything that has been going on lately.


Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals


Ping pong and dinner at Culinary Dropout


On our last day together we drove out to the Superstition Mountains for some hiking. And thankfully, it wasn't nearly as busy there as it was at Piestewa Peak.


John wanted to hike all the way to the top of Flatiron, but I wasn't feeling up for it, so I turned around half-way up and headed back down. 


When John was done with the hike, he met me back at the car and presented me with the sweetest little bouquet of wild flowers that he had picked. That man. He kills me... I just love him so much.


It was so nice having John out to visit me... now if we can just figure out a way for the pups to visit me too! ;)



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