We’re the bad neighbors!

Hey friends! I hope you’re having a good week. I am hoping to get all caught up on these posts before I go into labor- hard to believe I’m even saying that already! The second and third trimester just flew by.

It’s another absolutely gorgeous morning here. I’m sitting on the couch with my decaf coffee & the windows open listening to the birds chirp. Does it get much better than that?

Diving in- late March, our neighbor brought to our attention that Moose had pooped in his yard- we felt terrible!! He was so nice about it though, but there was no getting around in that moment we were the bad neighbors. Our yards are all connected since we live in a townhouse with little space in between, so Moose must have made himself a little too comfy going over the imaginary line- enough to drop a poop. It was a wakeup call that we our current way of letting him out on the leash was not working, and we’re looking into other alternatives. Anyway- there is no excuse, and we just felt so badly this happened.

We decided to put a little gift together to apologize for his trespooping – Bar Dog Cabernet, A Nervous Dog Coffee Bar giftcard (a coffee shop not far from here) & a card.

A few days later, we got back a gift on our front steps with a toy Moose, a Kong Frisbee & a note from our neighbor thanking Moose for the gift, saying not to worry and to feel free to visit any time. Can you believe how gracious he was about it all? We are lucky to have him as a neighbor!

And Moose loved his gift!

April 2nd, we took Moose to Oak Hill trail- my favorite trail for running when I lived here back in the day. Below is a picture of the “Secret Garden”. The rule is, you’re not allowed to talk when passing through the Secret Garden (I learned this during cross country in high school), and we respect the rule still today . No idea where, how or why this rule originated- but thinking about it now…. it was the only time you could get a group of high school girls to stop talking for any length of time. Maybe our coach invented the rule, Ha!

While on the trail, we found an open area and let Moose run the hill there. He was having the time of his life!

That evening I had a mean craving for a chicken sandwich. We decided to order some Wendy’s and fries-my cravings for fast food have definitely returned in the third trimester. At least I had a healthier stretch in the second, lol. Also, have you had that Wendy’s Ghost Pepper sauce? It’s delicious!!!

I was also craving a milkshake so intensely this night, I couldn’t think about anything else. I ordered a handspun strawberry and fudge milkshake from Pav’s Creamery along with a cookie dough and brownie sundae (DJ got a sundae and the Death by Chocolate sandwich to save for later). While I’m admitting everything in this blog post, I have my ultimate pregnancy confession… Not only did I put in two ice cream orders… I proceeded to dip my sundae into my milkshake. Yes, I dipped one form of ice cream into my other ice cream. I think it’s the most indulgent, pregnant thing I have done this whole 9 months, lol. And wow oh wow, was it worth it- I almost called Pav’s to tell them they made a pregnant woman’s day. It was one of the best milkshakes and sundaes of all time. Can’t wait to get it again!

April 5th we had an OB appt., and per tradition, we got some CoreLife afterwards.

On April 6th, DJ’s coworkers threw us a surprise baby shower!! Well, surprise for DJ- they looped me in on it 😉 It was so beyond sweet. For lunch, each person brought a dish so we had a yummy spread of chicken salad sandwiches, meatballs, veggies and fruit with fruit dip, a quinoa salad, pasta, homemade chocolate chip cookies and rice krispies!

I absolutely adore all of DJ’s coworkers, so it was great to see them and catch up. We all enjoyed the spectacular spread & then they even had gifts that were so stinking thoughtful & creative too! It was pretty perfect because everything they got were things/books we didn’t have yet. We felt so honored they did this- it was really special <3. And DJ was definitely surprised!!

That evening, I was feeling like salmon, so I made salmon over cauliflower pappardelle (love this stuff), mixed with butter, spinach and mushrooms. Pretty simple, but so yummy.

April 7th, Moose was a sleepy boy after a full day at Marie’s playing with his friends.

After work on April 8th, I had a mean craving for some caramel. I stopped into the first Walgreens I could find nearby and grabbed some Werther’s Original Caramels. I didn’t care as much for the hard candies, but the chewy caramels really satisfied that craving!! April 9th I finished up food prep- I figured this is good enough for now, and we’ll probably get tired of crockpot meals anyway at some point.

Here are the recipes I made:

Sweet Potato And Basil Soup 

Slow cooker lentil soup


Chicken Tikka Masala

Low Carb Lasagna (I recommend using less salt than it calls for, otherwise it is way too salty!).

Mexican Casserole 

I also made some lactation cookies!! I tried a small bite & they are delicious. Cannot wait to eat these. I also have some Boobie Bars on standby, lol.

In the late morning of April 10th, we went by our family’s house to visit for a while and then we had our maternity shoot! Will share those pictures soon :).

We returned that evening and got ready for the week, while cuddling Moose in between chores.

That week was a big week of figuring out child care for after maternity leave. I visited a couple day cares, and I think we have a plan in place. It’s probably been one of the most challenging things to figure out because of my ever-changing work schedule, but I’m relieved we have something in the works! I felt like this guy trying to figure it all out 😅.

April 15th was a gorgeous day. We took Moose out on a walk per usual.

DJ had a lot of work to do that day into the evening, but we took a short break to go out on a second walk at Virginia Kendall Hills as we remembered the significance of Good Friday.

Moose loved scaling these hills! They were a touch more difficult for me than they used to be I will say, hah.

Then Sunday was Easter! He is Risen! We spent the entire day with family starting with an awesome church service. The rest of the day, we ate delicious Easter meals and watched our nephew do an egg hunt/basket hunt- it was so stinkin’ cute.

Even our girl got her first Easter basket! <3

Can ya handle the cuteness?!? Also, we are obsessed with that Night-Night Ohio book- adorable.

More phenomenal food! I have been wanting steak so badly, so when my mom-in-law and Gordie suggested it for dinner, I was not about to turn it down! I never want to order it at a restaurant because it feels like a crime asking for it well done, but Gordie graciously cooked it all the way through for me, and it was soooooo gooooood. It was a great Easter in every way!

April 18th, I started the day with oatmeal, cottage cheese, berries and honey. This combo sounds probably… unusual- but I have been loving cottage cheese mixed with my berries and oats lately!

I also have been doing an odd combo of savory/sweet with toast with raspberry jam, cottage cheese and eggs. Idk what it is, but I crave this!

That evening, I ordered chicken fingers from TGIF’s as a second dinner after seeing how good they looked when DJ ordered them the day before. Chicken fingers have for sure been a third trimester craving.

That week, the nesting kicked in out of nowhere. It is such a real thing! I got this sudden rush of energy after being beyond exhausted for weeks. I cleaned & organized everything I could get my hands on. At one point, DJ goes, “you’re dusting again?!” hahah, yessssir.

Anyway- I watched The Dropout on Hulu while doing my cleaning, and wowza, that show was phenomenally done- I got through it in just a few days. It’s mind-blowing that it’s a true story.

Back to the cleaning- it felt SO good to have the whole place cleaned & now it’ll just be a matter of keeping it clean until she makes her grand entrance :). Talking to you, Moose 😉 (Ok and talking to myself a little too if we’re being honest, lol).

I also got my hospital bags mostly packed- both the labor bag and postpartum bag.

I also figured out gifts for the L & D and postpartum nurses this week. I sent this to my mom, and her response cracked me up.

LOL- I am admittedly extra, I know it- but it is just extra funny coming from my mom.

April 19th, we had our last ultrasound as a position check and to check fluid levels. She is head down and fluid levels are looking good! All systems are go. And surprise, surprise, we went to Core Life after as tradition has it.

Now it’s really just a waiting game, while trying to survive 8 hours on my feet at work & going to the weekly OB appt. I told my manager I’m just going to try to work until delivery- so far it’s been going well, my feet are just very swollen at the end of the day, but really I can’t complain!

Alrighty, I should probably go tackle some of these remaining things on the to-do list staring me in the face. I think one more recap post I’ll be all caught up & then baby will be here!

Questions for you:

  • How is your spring so far?
  • For breakfast- do you tend to lean savory or sweet? A combo?



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?



First Days with Moose, A Wild Birthday & Blue Door Cafe!

Hey hey! How are you doing today? It’s a super rainy day here, and Moose hates, and I mean hates, the rain. I had to chase him around for probably 10 minutes to get him to go outside to go to the bathroom- he was not having it!! I stood in the rain with him covering him with my robe so he’d go, lol. On the bright side- last week it snowed for the first time, and he loved it! Looks like we have a little snow dog on our hands 🙂

Jumping into September- September 5th we went to a new church and loved it. We could see it being our home church, but it is a little far away- that’s the only downside.

We also continued our hikes into early September.

On one of our hikes at Lock 28, we kept seeing these “Mystery” Placards with fun little facts.

This area is just full of history. These structures below are remnants from locks for boats along the Erie Canal back in the day. It’s actually huge in person- it’s pretty amazing to see! 
After our hikes/walks we often would get Core Life Eatery salads for dinner. The salads are always so refreshing. I think we may have to get it for dinner again tonight!

One evening, my mom-in-law and Gordie stopped by to drop off Patio Donuts. These are the best donuts on earth, I’m sure of it. They’re from a place called Lakeside located on Lake Erie. DJ grew up spending many summers there, and it’s a place we love to escape when we have the time. When they offered to bring some donuts back on Labor Day weekend, we were not about to turn them down!One of my favorite hikes (I actually used to do a lot when I lived here) is Virginia Kendall Hills. On September 6th we took a nice long hike there in the beautiful weather.

Had to share this interesting little cycloptic critter we spotted.

The evening of September 8th, we walked on a trail closer to home and witnessed a stunning sunset.

Then September 9th was our day to pick up Moose!!!

We drove to an area near Bear’s Mill, OH to pick him up. Isn’t this sign a hoot?

And off we go 🙂

The weeks to follow were filled with endless cuddles and love, playing, minimal sleep, Saturday puppy school, Wednesday puppy socialization hour (this kid has more of a social life than I do!), lots of accidents in the house, vet visits and all our attention on this little guy. People do talk about how difficult it can be to have a puppy- it is way harder than I anticipated, but so worth it! We’ve had him for two months now and are in a pretty good groove. We still have to keep an eye on him 24-7, but he’s such a good dog & is learning fast! You can read more about our Moose here if you would like 🙂

I can’t handle how cute he is getting up the stairs with his little hop!

And this is just one of my favorite pictures ever <3

On September 18th, we went to our nephews 1st birthday. I’m so stinking thankful we’re in town to attend these parties now!

On the way to the party, this license plate gave us a little laugh.

The birthday party was wilderness themed- how cute are these cakes?!

The birthday boy loved his cake, especially the icing! It was the most adorable thing watching him shovel in handful after handful with pure delight.

It was such a special time and memory <3 Halston and Kevin drove in from Philadelphia too, so it was really wonderful to have most of the family together.

The party was the first time we left Moose for a few hours. He was a happy camper once we got home.

This just melts my heart when I call his name and he runs at me full force.

I was frustrated nothing was really rolling on the job front, but at the same time, it was such a good thing that I could take care of the Moose man as he (and we!) adjusted to our new home <3


That month I also met up with my friend since middle school, Kylie, for breakfast at Blue Door Cafe. This place is pretty famous around here and always jam-packed. They have phenomenal food. Their english muffins and croissants are particularly to die for!

It was absolutely wonderful to catch up with Kylie. Usually we only see each other once a year during holidays, if that- so the fact we could just get together on a random weekend was just the best!

I couldn’t stay away from Blue Door for long, because on September 22nd, I met up with my mom-in-law there for brunch! I had to get a picture of her chicken and jalapeno waffles- how good do these look?

I had their yogurt parfait this time. It was good and what I was craving that morning, but nothing comes close to that egg white croissant dish I had the first time!

That brunch was much needed. I was feeling very discouraged around this time regarding job prospects, and my mom-in-law gave me some amazing encouragement and words of wisdom that brightened my day and perspective!

On September 23rd, DJ and I tried Burger Fi. They have a GREAT vegan burger and their french fries are so yummy too.

This feels like a good place to wrap up! Catch ya next time 🙂