Our January Part 1: Anatomy Ultrasound, Birthday Festivities & Snow Days!

Hey hey!! How are you?! I am writing you from Alaska, oh wait, I mean Ohio- but these days, who would know the difference?

I have been really eager to share about our last few weeks, and finally, I have a free day to sit and write. January was seemingly extra busy, but all good busy. But I may need to take a nap midway through writing this post- we’ll see!

On New Year’s Day, we took our Moose for a walk on the normal trail.

The rest of the weekend was spent prepping for work, getting the house in order after the holidays, grocery shopping, meal prepping and working on the baby registry! I found a helpful registry checklist through Etsy that I used as a guide. I tried to add an item or two a day until the list was complete. I found myself researching everything, so it took a lot longer than I expected, but it was still a lot of fun.

January 4th was one of my favorite days of the month! We had our anatomy scan and got to see our baby girl.

I had no idea they were going to do a 4D ultrasound, so seeing her this clearly was absolutely amazing <3.

There were no concerns found on the anatomy scan, and she is growing right on target! I was more nervous walking into this appointment than others knowing what it all entailed, so I felt extremely relieved, thankful and elated after the healthy report.

DJ and I celebrated the wonderful appointment & seeing our little one by grabbing lunch at Core Life after.

The rest of the week was filled with work, making meals, sneaking in workouts where possible and Moose cuddles.

On Saturday the 8th, we started with Moose’s training school in the morning. The rest of the day was getting the house in order and knocking out things on the to-do list.

In the evening, we went to Papa Joe’s lacomini’s to have dinner with one of DJ’s best friends from growing up and his fiancé. It was a great time!

On January 9th, we took Moose on a walk and then went to my younger sister-in-law’s birthday party in the afternoon. It was a lovely time with family as usual!

When we got home, we both had some stuff left to do for work the next day. It has been one of those months where work has definitely come home with us, but it won’t always be like this.

That week was mostly just the normal grind, but my birthday was on the 13th. I returned home to some sweet gifts and a gorgeous cake from my mom-in-law and Gordie along with the most beautiful flowers from DJ <3. Even though I worked most of the day and figured it would feel like any other day, the evening was so special- reading cards, enjoying some birthday cake and convincing DJ to start Joe Millionaire with me. That show is so entertaining!

Friday the 14th I had off work, and I chipped away on getting our guest room livable for when my mom and Pete came to visit at the end of the month.

That evening, I met up with Rachel at Cantine in Broadview Heights for a girl’s night out doubled as a birthday dinner.

I loved the vibe of this place and can’t wait to go back because the food was so good.

I thought the way they brought my sparkling water out was too fun with the lime and straw. Rach tried their pretty blueberry basil lemonade.

Now this food!!! We tried their arancini di riso. This reminded us both of mozzarella sticks, and they were insanely good! 
I was starving and actually ordered two main dishes. Eating for two and all that? Hah. I had their cantine pizza and roasted chicken. I cannot tell you the last time I ordered chicken at a restaurant, lol, but oh man was it delicious. The pizza was so yummy too.

To top it all off, they brought me out a complimentary dessert since Rachel told them it was my birthday. I savored this raspberry cheesecake!

So fun we can celebrate each other’s bdays in person now that we live so close!

Saturday we had Moose’s training again and then Stanley Steemer came to clean our carpets that afternoon. I had tried every natural cleaning solution under the sun it seemed and still couldn’t quite get the odor out of the carpet from Moose’s early days of frequent accidents. Stanley Steemer uses non-toxic chemicals to clean and DJ saw a billboard for a significant discount- so it was a no brainer to hire them. It was great service & nearly eliminated the odor!

And while I usually don’t go out of my way to celebrate my birthday over multiple days, the festivities continued! I used my birthday this year as an excuse for a date night with Deej. We went to Ken Stewart’s Grille in Akron. 

We had some dishes that were great and others that were just ok- I want to highlight the ones that stood out!

First up was their wild mushroom toast with truffle cream which was out of this world. A must try if you ever find yourself here.

DJ made a great choice in ordering their wedge salad -I tried a bite and see why it’s considered one of their famous menu items.

Now, the star of the show, contender for one of the best desserts we’ve ever had, was their peanut butter bomb served with a par-baked peanut butter cookie, hot fudge and housemade vanilla ice cream. The combo of the gooey peanut butter cookies with the creamiest ice cream and chocolate was unreal. We will definitely be back for this!

January 16th, we soaked up one of the last normal walks we would have for a while unbeknownst to us due to crazy weather on the horizon! The rest of the day was spent meal prepping and planning for the week and reviewing procedures/protocols for work.

A little more about my job- I love it so much. I feel incredibly grateful to be working in this role. I am currently working on a presurgical unit, so in a nutshell, I get patients ready for surgery. Due to the way the surgical schedule works, I can start my shifts anywhere between 5:30 AM-10 AM and I finish up between 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm. I love the schedule, especially on days I get off around 2:30/3 pm. It is an adjustment getting up between 4:30-5 am on many of the days (especially since I can’t drink copious amounts of coffee to compensate), but it has definitely gotten easier since I began. I just can’t imagine having done it in the first trimester of pregnancy, so I’m really thankful the timing worked out the way it did. Life looks sooo different than I would have anticipated this time last year, but I could not be happier. I really think this is one of those times where God knew what was best for me, even though it’s different than what I originally imagined for myself.

January 17th, we had a massive snow storm hit. I woke up realizing I wouldn’t be able to get my car out of the garage to go to work. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Texas anymore. I ran back up the stairs in a panic waking DJ and Moose up. DJ didn’t have to go into work that day since it was MLK day, so I was able to use his truck to weather the storm. I wouldn’t have made it into work without him that morning- he quickly wiped off the windows and helped dig me out enough to get going in the truck, which he had put into high four wheel drive. I made it to work feeling super safe in the truck with about 3 mins to spare, but the roads were not pretty. I thank God for protecting me and baby girl on that drive. Thankfully on the way home, the roads were much better. That evening DJ spent a long time shoveling our driveway too so I could get my car out next time I needed it. He’s the best.

Hope y’all are staying safe out there!

On Wednesday January 19th, the weather was relatively warm, so I took Moose out to the trail. I actually ended up taking my coat off because I was working up a sweat in the balmy 40-something degree weather trudging through the snow. lol.

Since we had the snowy trail to ourselves, I let Moose loose- and he went nuts! He LOVED frolicking around in the snow. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him so excited to jump around and explore.



When Moose crashed after playing in all the snow, I took advantage of the quiet time to plan our Baby Moon to Charleston, SC. It’s kind of special I was planning our Baby Moon on this day in particular because January 19th was our dating anniversary, marking 12 years total of us being together!

We went to one of my younger sister-in-law’s basketball games that evening. She did awesome, and the team came home with a win. DJ’s college basketball coach and his wife were there too, so it was really good to catch up with them.

That Saturday, January 22nd, Moose mayyy have dropped out of puppy school. Well to be more accurate, his parents dropped him out. We decided he was trained well enough to function in society… and we really wanted our Saturday mornings back, lol!

That morning, we ran some errands and then met with my mom-in-law and Gordie at Garretts Mill Diner for breakfast. This is easily one of our favorite breakfast spots around! I love their omelettes & they have some of the best thin, tasty griddled pancakes. DJ and I both prefer thinner pancakes over the fluffy ones- curious what y’all prefer more!

That afternoon our nursery chair was delivered! Now that I have the registry done, finished the guest room and most of the rest of the house, I am starting to chip away at the nursery, and oh my goodness, it’s so much fun. I can’t wait for it to be done! <3. When I wrap up these last few projects around the house I’ll do a little home tour.

In the evening, Rachel stopped by with her pup Trotter to meet Moose. She is going to house sit when we go on our Baby Moon later this month, so we wanted to make sure they would do well on Moose’s “territory”. He wasn’t territorial at all & loved playing with Trotter.

That evening, I had a major frosty and french fry craving. I improvised by making a dragon fruit smoothie bowl and some Ore-Ida french fries (the best french fries to make at home, can I get an Amen?). We watched an episode of Joe Millionaire (DJ fully invested at this point, although he may deny it if you ask) and then called it a night!

I will wrap it up here with a part 2 coming soon!! Off to take my nap now 🙂

Questions for you!

  • How has the start to your year been?
  • What is your preference- thin or fluffy pancakes?



14 thoughts on “Our January Part 1: Anatomy Ultrasound, Birthday Festivities & Snow Days!

  1. It looks like you’ve had such a lovely start to the year! Wonderful meals and dates. Happy belated birthday! Can you believe we’re in the year that we will meet our sweet girls? It’s mind-blowing! In all our year has gone so well. We did still try for a home, but it’s not happening in this market. Very disappointing, but nothing we can do about it except to be thankful to have our townhome. We did secure a Honda Pilot for our family vehicle, & Matt is fixing it up to last us for a few years to come! Our Mockingbird stroller arrived, our nursery is close to being ready with the exception of her crib & dresser having delayed shipping, & Kaci will be sending out my baby shower invitations soon. 😄 I can’t wait to see your nursery! I know it will be beautiful. I’m team fluffy pancakes, but I also love crispy pancakes & delicate crepes too!

    1. Hi Kori!! I was just thinking I wanted to text you for an update on how you’re doing, so it’s really great to read this comment 🙂 I am mind blown we are just a few months away from meeting our girls!! It’s coming so quickly, and I cannot wait!! I’m so sorry the home hasn’t panned out yet, I’m sure the perfect one will at the right time ❤️ It is such a crazy market right now!! Congrats on the Honda though- that is so exciting!! We were just saying we may need to start looking for a new car here to handle the snow for me. Oh my gosh, the mockingbird strollers are so awesome 😍 yayyy!!!! You all are on it with nursery!! If you think of it I’d love to see some pics when you’re all finished up 🥰 Can’t wait to hear about the shower too- I know it’ll be so lovely 💕

      Oh yes!! Cannot forget the crepes-this place we went has crepes too, and it’d be interesting to see how thin they are given the pancakes 😂

  2. Always love these and I still think the baby girl looks just like you, simply gorgeous already! First off, yes to thinner pancakes, and the peanut butter bomb dessert is so amazing!! Love the photo of the two dogs and so glad you are planning a baby moon, such a good idea! XOXO your Ohio mom

  3. The Pictures of your BABY GIRL are adorable! and Moose in the snow is fabulous! I am not a big pancake person but if I eat them I like them fluffy.
    Have a beautiful February!

  4. Hi Mackenzie, I am sure it feels like Alaska for an Ohio girl returning from California and Texas ! The trail looks lovely even on a wet day as it appears. You were very busy getting things in order! How precious to see your baby girl in the scan and to also get a 4 d scan amazing ! I don’t think it was available when the last of our kids was born in 2015. I can understand you being nervous going into the scan. I am glad all is going to plan in her development . I am sure the Moose cuddles are wonderful ! How nice to get out for a meal with DJ’s friend and his fiancé Happy Birthday to you Mackenzie ! ! That cake looks delicious ! The guest room looks totally livable , great job ! That raspberry cheesecake looks so good. It is good to see Rachel again in your posts ! It is ok to celebrate your birthday on multiple days ! This time next year you might not get the chance…. a little Lady might have other ideas! I am so glad you are enjoying your new job and that you are getting used to the hours ! God has a beautiful plan for you and DJ ! It is great DJ was able to give you his truck to get to work and home safely. It will take a bit of time to get used to driving in the snow again I am sure. Such fun for Moose in the snow ! It must feel good to have the nursery chair ! You will have fun getting the room ready ! The year has been pretty good so far ! I like the fluffy pancakes ! Thanks for a great post, Terri xo.

    1. Hi Terri! Isn’t the new technology just incredible? I didn’t actually see the 3D or 4D scans in my clinical rotation, so it was a new experience for me too! Thank you for the bday wishes 🙂 It was sooo good to see Rach, we are planning a time to get together for her bday soon too! Hehe I like your thinking for taking advantage now with multiple days of bday celebrations! I’m glad your year is off to a good start. Thanks for reading, friend!!

  5. Well, you have been just as busy as ever Mackenzie. I have never seen a 4D ultrasound pic before so that was amazing to me – wow, the closeups in both ultrasounds of the face just blow me away. I can’t decide if I like Moose frolicking in the snow (wish we found it so fun) or Moose running with the big stick better and was a handsome little man in his coat. 🙂 The Italian meal and mozzarelli stick wannabees made me want to reach out and grab one from the plate and the peanut butter bomb looked wonderful too. I like fluffy pancakes best. Glad everything is working out for you as to your job, feeling better as you progress in your pregnancy and enjoy this planning-for-baby-girl time as well as your visit with Mom and Pete.

    1. I hadn’t seen the 3D or 4D ultrasounds before, even in clinical, so it was such an amazing and new experience for me too! Hehe I wish we found the snow as fun as Moose too 😄 Fluffy pancakes are definitely the majority winner! Thank you tons for your comment, Linda!

  6. Happy belated birthday, Mack! I was thinking of you this morning – we made French-toasted Croissants (with left-over pastries which Loving Husband brought back from a meeting) which always brings you to mind (as you were the one who introduced them to me).

    So happy for all the good things happening in your life – most excitedly, a clean scan for Baby!

    As always, I am drooling over the yummalicious food you share …. for me when I want pancakes, it has to be fluffy pancakes …. better still if they are souffle panckes (which I am loathe to try to make because I would have to whip egg whites!!!!).

    1. Thanks so much, Ju-Lyn!! Aww that means a lot you thought of me- I hope you enjoyed!! I may have a craving for French toast croissants now 😍

      Oh yes – nothing beats souffle pancakes!!! Those are in a league of their own!! I have tried making before and they are so hard… we had some great spots that served them in the Bay Area, and I do miss being able to just order them whenever!

      Thanks for stopping in!! Hope you are having a great week 😊

  7. I am late to this post but oh my goodness, how special is that sonogram! Glad your little girl is doing well, and always happy to see Moose pictures! How wonderful that you’re not only physically close to your in-laws now, but they stop and celebrate events like birthdays with you, including such a gorgeous cake! It’s wonderful that you got a few different celebrations for your birthday.

    Also, I hear you on God having a different path then you planned for yourself, which can be tough to come to terms with but so special to see how it plays out. I’m glad you found a job that sounds amazing and like it provides exactly what you need at this stage in life.

    1. Aw thanks so much, Taylor!! It has maybe been the biggest lesson in learning that God’s plans are truly better than our own, I just feel so grateful & I think it gives me a perspective of just trusting/enjoying the journey more now than trying to plan everything perfectly. Thank you tons for reading 🙂

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