Welcome Elliott Grace

Chris and I are so overjoyed to announce the birth of our daughter, Elliott Grace. She made her entrance into the world, 13 days early, on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 6:34 p.m.

She was 6 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 inches of sheer perfection! Her birth was quick and absolutely perfect.  I couldn't have asked for a better experience. We have been soaking up every minute with her but I hope to get back to posting here soon. I still have a lot to share from pregnancy, her birth, and her first few weeks of life. Thank you so much for all your congrats and well wishes on Facebook and Instagram! We are so lucky that she is loved by so many!


Bumpdate || First Trimester

I decided that it was about time I try to document this pregnancy at least a little bit.  Instead of boring you with recapping each week individually so I decided to do it by trimester instead.

How far along: First Trimester

Due Date: Originally December 13, 2015 but moved to December 7, 2015 at our 11 week appointment
Baby is the size of: From a poppy seed at 4 weeks to the size of a peapod or peach, about 3 inches!
Symptoms: The first trimester was rough!  My body (especially my boobs) were so sore!  The exhaustion was unbelievable and I did have pretty bad nausea but, luckily, I never got sick!  Things started to turn around at about 11 weeks and by the end of week 13 I was feeling almost normal again!  In the grand scheme of things I know that I have been very, very lucky!
Gender: We were hoping to find out with the first trimester non-invasive screening but no luck!  Apparently the early gender test must be specifically requested in addition to the first trimester screening.  I had a feeling is was a girl the same morning I took that first pregnancy test but Chris keeps referring to the baby as a "he" so I've changed my mind a bit.  We can't wait to find out though!

Name: We decided on a girl name about 3 days after we found out we were expecting but can not agree on a boys name to save our lives!

Movement: My placenta is anterior, meaning it is between baby and my stomach/belly button so I likely won't feel anything for a while.  We did get to see baby moving and kicking on all of the ultrasounds so far.  Baby is either going to be a soccer player or a handful... or maybe both!

Maternity Clothes: I'm still able to fit into the majority of my regular clothes as long as they aren't too tight in the chest area.  I did pick up some sweaters and maternity leggings during the end of winter sales that were still going on when we first found out but they are all still way too big!

Sleep: I've been sleeping a lot but unfortunately not well.  I had a week in there that I got the best sleep of my life but that didn't last.  I've never slept well so this isn't anything new though.  I'm up about 4-6 times to use the bathroom each night but can usually fall back asleep quickly.

Best moment this trimester: Getting to see our baby for the very first time on the ultrasound at about 9 weeks and see him or her moving its little limbs around!  I was so nervous for the first ultrasound but it was the best feeling when the doctor showed us it's beating heart!  We also got a wonderful ultrasound at 13 weeks during the first trimester screening where we got to see baby on the high tech ultrasound machine kicking and squirming away for about 30 minutes while they checked out the brain and all the organs. 

Missing anything: My appetite for most of this first trimester and beer!  Normally I'm a wine drinker but all I've wanted is a big beer!

Cravings/Aversions: This has been the strangest part of being pregnant so far!  My tastes have changed pretty drastically.  I haven't really wanted sweets at all which is SO unlike me!  Instead, I've wanted Mexican, pizza, or anything spicy.  I have never liked spicy in my life but now, give me all the texas pete!  We've eaten tacos about twice a week from about weeks 7-11 and pizza at least once.  I haven't wanted anything to do with grilled or baked chicken or bananas, both of which I used to eat regularly.  Oh and orange juice now makes me incredibly ill, again something else I used to have almost every morning!
Mood: The first couple weeks I was in shock.  I was so happy but really couldn't believe it!  I still don't think it's completely sunk in yet that we are having a baby.  By the end of the first trimester I started to relax a bit and not worry about baby as much as I did at the beginning and could focus more on being excited!

Looking forward to: Telling our friends the news!  We told our families pretty soon after we found out and a few very close friends.  We can't wait for everyone to know though!
Daddy is: so so excited!  He gets the biggest, silliest grin on his face whenever he talks about the baby and it is the most adorable thing!  He couldn't wait to tell everyone that we are expecting and wants to talk about the baby with everyone!  {Funny side note:  when I asked him to complete the "daddy is" sentence, his response was "Daddy is awesome.  Daddy is the strongest man in the world.  Daddy is basically the sexiest man alive."  He sure does always make me laugh!  I can't wait to watch him make our baby laugh!}


Flavor Excursion: Nana's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

I love flavors that are bold and spicy, especially now that I am pregnant!  I also love recipes that have rich history and tradition behind them and using the best ingredients to recreate these recipes.

Before she passed away over ten years ago, my nana had perfected her spaghetti sauce recipe and it makes me feel close to her every time I make it.  If you make it, I hope you can feel the history and tradition behind it too.

Nana's Spaghetti Sauce


  • 3 - 29 oz cans of Hunts Tomato Puree
  • 1 - 12 oz can of Hunts Tomato Paste
  • 1 - 12 oz can of Hunts Tomato Sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5 large onions, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 tsp. oregano
  • 3 tsp. sweet basil
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed
  • 4 lbs. of Italian sausage or meatballs
  • 2-3 tsp. of sugar (optional but trust me on this!)


  1. Brown the Italian sausage and/or meatballs in a little bit of olive oil and set aside; reserve oil
  2. Saute the chopped onions in the same oil as the sausage and meatballs until translucent and soft
  3. Combine all ingredients, except sugar, in large pot
  4. Cover and simmer on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally
  5. If the sauce tastes too acidic or like it is missing something, add a bit of sugar.  I know it sounds weird but just trust me, it is exactly what the sauce needs
It makes a lot so there is plenty to share or freeze and save for later.  I make sure to use Hunts tomatoes whenever I make this because the taste is noticeably fresher.  Hunts tomatoes are canned within hours of picking from the field, and flash steamed with only water so I'm always confident that they are fresh and good for my family.

Publix is currently having a Flavor Excursion Sale.  There are a ton of in store offers, recipe cards and coupon savings available in store, including $1.00 off five cans of Hunt's tomatoes.  You can also go here to find even more flavorful recipes and coupons.

Publix has also offered to give one of you $10 to help you go on your own flavor excursion.  You can enter below and the giveaway will run through September 24 at midnight.  Good luck!

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