Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks!

Monday, December 30, 2013

I am finally starting to feel big now at 25 weeks. Maybe its because I ate so much this week! Or maybe because I gained the most week this past week than I have in any other week so far, but woah - I really have a belly! Sometimes I forgot, especially when someone is trying to walk by me, that my belly is still sticking out past the rest of my body. Does any else feel this?! It makes me laugh. :)

Christmas was wonderful. Very busy with lots of people, but wonderful nonetheless. I certainly did not take the fireplace for granted, and spent time near it as much as possible! It was nice to relax, spend time with family and just feel so good about where I am in my life right now. Being pregnant has made me even more reflective & appreciative of the changes and stages in life!

I also celebrated my birthday this weekend! As a kid, I hated having my birthday near Christmas because everyone always forgot about me. Now, being an introvert that just wants alone time to relax with my husband, I kind of love it. We spent the day lounging, talking about our son, and cooking lots of delicious food. Well, he cooked. It was my birthday, after all! 

Week: 25

Gender: Boy!!

Total Weight Gain:
Just over 9lbs! All the meat & sweets at Christmas are helping me out!

Exercise: Non-existent this week - it's Christmastime!

Nutrition: Also not great. Traveling is always difficult because I won't eat fast food, so I end up eating lots of bagels. :/

Food cravings/aversions:
I was craving a little Pinot Noir so I had a few sips on my birthday! 

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet, but my belly feels a little itchy!

Maternity Clothes: No new ones yet, but as I've mentioned, I definitely need a few new shirts! I'm also pulling the hair binder trick on some of my pants. I like saving money!

Sleep: On & off. Not so great while traveling (as always), but awesome since I've been back home. 

Feeling: Happy! I love spending time around family, even though such a big family can sometimes be overwhelming, its so nice to be surrounded by love. :)

Baby Movement: He kicks so much stronger than even two weeks ago! I can also now feel him laying in awkward positions now, and I judge nudge him a little to get more comfortable. He's getting bigger!!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: Family all around!

Best moment this week: This week had so many good moments, but my favorite was just spending time alone with my husband on my birthday. :)

Looking forward to: Reading the baby sleep & brain development books I ordered on Amazon.

What did you do for Christmas this year? Do you try new things or stick to traditions? Hope you've had a great week!

xo kristen genevieve

Merry Christmas! Happy & Thankful

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

 What I am thankful for this Christmas...
1. My husband
2. Our little baby boy
3. Our health
4. Family near & far
5. A year living with less anxiety & depression by choosing happiness
6. Having a healthy & enjoyable pregnancy  
7. Good food
8. The weekends we get to visit Vermont
9. The ability to taste, hear, see and walk - the simple things
10. My love of constant change
11. Freedom to be myself
12. My blog readers :)
13. Today!

May your heart be light & your belly full this week! Enjoy the season & take time to appreciate what you have in your life - right now - this moment. Merry Christmas!

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks!

Monday, December 23, 2013

This was a busy week! My mother-in-law came into town to help me pick up our crib. It was so great spending time with her alone and hearing her stories about her family & her experience raising six kids. I feel really lucky to have a good relationship with her now and to be a part of the family.

Our crib is awesome! My husband works late, but when he saw the crib pieces in our apartment, he didn't want to the weekend as I anticipated - he wanted to set it up that night! So cute. :)

I feel good knowing we found a Greenguard certified crib that was affordable. I'm really happy with the way it looks. I love walking past it and knowing our little man will be sleeping there in just a few short months! Let the dreaming begin!

I am also so excited about Christmas this week! We're heading to Vermont to spend the holiday with my husband's large family. I love any chance we get to visit Vermont and it will be so nice to have everyone together for Christmas. My husband & I are also cooking a Duck Cassoulet from D'Artagnan for the family on Christmas Eve, which will be a fun experience! Food, family, talking by the fireplace, and lots of love - I really can't wait. :) 

Week: 24

Gender: Boy!!

Total Weight Gain:
Just about 7lbs! Steadily gaining more now!

Exercise: This week was pretty busy so I my physical activity was mostly (aggressive!) cleaning & walking.

Nutrition: Same as usual except I've been eating dessert too often this week. Its the holiday season, right? ;)

Food cravings/aversions:
Sweets. Also, one day I craved fried chicken - which I eat like twice a year, and I felt sooo awful after eating it! Made me never want fried food again. Yuck. 

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! Somehow!

Maternity Clothes: No new ones yet, but maybe I'll do a little shopping for my birthday. :)

Sleep: Sleep is better this week than last, despite my growing belly! I don't know if I've mentioned this before though, throughout my entire pregnancy I've had very vivid dreams. Sometimes they wake me up at night but this week, most of my dreams have occurred right as I am waking up.

Feeling: Great! There was one day this week where I had a headache & began to feel very nauseous - not sure if it was due to my busy week or the fried chicken. But besides that day, I'm still really loving this stage of pregnancy! Also soooo excited to see my niece & all the family this week for Christmas! They fill my heart. :)

Baby Movement: Of course! Its amazing how often I feel him kick; he is a very active little guy. Lately he likes to kick more when I'm laying in bed at night, which is wonderful to feel as my husband & I fall asleep. :)

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: My family back in Minnesota. I am so grateful to spend the holiday with my husband's family, but I still miss my parents and my brother & sister!

Best moment this week: Getting the crib set up! Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law! :)

Looking forward to: Christmas!!! Oh, and my birthday, too!  

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks so much for reading!

xo kristen genevieve

Food Crawl Through Burlington, Vermont

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For my husband's birthday weekend, we wanted to travel back "home" for a food crawl through Burlington, Vermont. Burlington is where we met in college, and where we moved from this past summer. After just a couple months living in Boston, we knew that we never should have left, and we hope to move back to Northern Vermont one day. 

Even though its a small town, the restaurants are insanely delicious! Since we moved, I've been longing for a cup of coffee with inexplicably delicious yogurt & granola with fruit from Penny Cluse; the best pizza I ever ate from American Flatbread (cooked in a gorgeous hearth); and my favorite, spicy Panang Curry from Tiny Thai. I had a tough time fighting through the heartburn that the curry gave me, but it was sooo delicious that I couldn't stop! If we had more time, we would have gone to several more great foodie places. I miss that place so much!

I'm so grateful that we had a chance to go back and visit despite my husband's busy work schedule. I love getting to spend alone time with him, and I especially savored this trip since it's likely the last true vacation we'll have together before our little baby arrives. We even got caught in a snow storm, which made Church Street glow so beautifully! It was such romantic weekend, I wish we could just relive it again & again. :) 

Do you ever go on a vacation just to eat? It's my favorite part! Where are your favorite foodie cities? What restaurants do you love when you travel? I'm always on the hunt for delicious new spots to go try!

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks!

Monday, December 16, 2013

This has been such a great week! Today marks 23 weeks along (!) and my husband's birthday!! To celebrate his birthday and rejuvenate before the holidays, we decided to go on a food crawl through our favorite town: Burlington, Vermont! I'm going to write about that adventure later this week. :)

After stressing last week about baby furniture & holiday spending, I knew I needed to change my mind set so I could just enjoy the holidays and where I am at in my pregnancy. I feel so great in this moment & I love my growing bump, but sooner than I know, life is going to change dramatically. My belly will become uncomfortably large, my heartburn will most definitely get worse, and sleep will be compromised. Then we'll have an even more dramatic shift when our little beboo arrives!

So why not try to relax? Enjoy where I am at - right now. Choose happiness. Life will never again be as it is right now. 

Week: 23 weeks along!

Gender: Boy!

Total Weight Gain:
Around 6-7lbs

Exercise: Squats & yoga. I've been noticing that my hips are getting more sore lately - crazy!!

Nutrition: This week, especially since we went on a food crawl, I've been focusing on expanding my palate back to my pre-pregnancy favorites - particularly spicy foods. Now that baby is able to taste what I eat, I want to expose him to different flavors so he is more willing to try new foods as a toddler. Bring on the curry!

Food cravings/aversions:
More panang curry from Tiny Thai!! I used to eat this twice a week when we lived in Vermont. Also craving the eggs benedict pizza at American Flatbread! Best pizza I ever ate! Sadly, I can't eat it while pregnant because of the over-easy eggs & hollandaise. :(

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet!

Maternity Clothes: No new ones.

Sleep: Sleep has improved so much since getting the Leachco Snoogle body pillow!

Feeling: So great! A little heartburn here & there but nothing that I can't handle. I love being pregnant! :)

Baby Movement: Oh yeah! I noticed over the weekend that his kicks are getting much stronger. He loves to kick when I'm laying in bed, ready to sleep, little stinker!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: Living in Vermont - I love it, if you can't tell! ;)

Best moment this week: Going back to Vermont with my hubby!

Looking forward to: Next week - especially Christmas!

xo kristen genevieve

Baby's First Christmas Wishlist

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I am beyond excited about celebrating Christmas with my little one next year!! Since my little guy will be around 8 months old by next Christmas, we won't be able to do all the fun things that older kids get to do. But let's face it - these holiday memories are really for me & my husband!

Here is a list of a few things I want to do with my new little family:
1. Decorate the Christmas tree together as a family! 
2. Take creative Christmas photos of our little man 
3. Sing & dance to Christmas music
4. Color some holiday pictures & send to the grandparents from the little artist
5. Dress him in a nice holiday outfit
6. And maybe a costume or two...
7. Or at least give him this adorable reindeer hat I bought on Etsy 
 8. Make red & green play dough 
9. Bake Christmas cookies
10. Use Washi tape to create Christmas scenes on the wall!
11. Make a Gingerbread House
12. Go outside & play in the snow
13. Read him a classic Christmas bedtime story
14. Write a letter to Santa 
15. Create & hang a couple Christmas ornaments on the tree, just for him

What do you want to do for your baby's first Christmas? Anything you wish you would have done? Do you have any more ideas for me to add to the list? For more inspiration, visit my Pinterest Board: Baby's First Christmas. Happy dreaming!

xo kristen genevieve

DIY Christmas Lantern

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A few years ago, I discovered the beauty & versatility of apothecary jars. So because its Christmastime, I decided to create this lighted gold & red ornament themed jar. It's so easy to do!

I used cheap white lights (22ft) from the Christmas Tree Store, but you can get lights just about anywhere this time of year! I also got these fun glittered plastic ball ornaments. I have found that plastic works easier than glass since you have to do quite a bit of maneuvering and its just easier not having to deal with glass breaking. 

The trick is to take a step back and visualize how you space out the different style ornaments. You'll wrap virtually the entire strand into the jar, so there will be multiple adjustments along the way. Make sure you pull the lights to the side (rather than center) of the jar so they can light the ornaments more easily.

That's it! So easy! Send me a photo on Twitter or Instagram of your creation! I would love to see it. Happy decorating! :)

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 22 Weeks!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey all! I'm 22 weeks along now and according to my internet research, it's a big milestone week for baby: he finally weighs one whole pound!! This realization prompted me to get going & finish my research on baby products. Oh, and finally make a decision on a crib already!

I have been debating what crib to buy since before we even started trying to conceive, and its not an easy task, especially because I am horrible at making spending decisions. I knew the most important factor in a crib that I wanted was that it would not only be non-toxic by federal standards, but also had the Greenguard seal of approval, which means the paints & stains have much lower (if any) concentrations of phthalates, VOCs and formaldehyde. 

The second most important factor was finding my favorite looking crib for the price. That's where I ran into trouble. The crib that I really wanted was about three times the cost of the crib that baby really needs. We ended up going with the lower cost crib, knowing that over time it will get heavy use by a few more kids. But its not always easy to accept the practical path. The way my husband & I see it, we can afford either crib, but if we can save money here, we can use it towards something else later. Now that it's over and the crib is ordered, I'm at peace with my decision, but the process was so emotional for me!!

Week: 22 weeks along!

Gender: Boy!

Total Weight Gain:
Just over 5lbs! I gained weight this week - yay!! 

Exercise: I've been making an effort this week to do squats and some exercises that will strengthen my arms and back. I can't do my old "normal" yoga podcasts anymore because of my belly, and I'm still searching for a good prenatal yoga videos that are both doable yet challenging enough to strengthen my back.

Nutrition: Still eating yogurt for breakfast & snacking on bananas {the clementines at the store weren't good this week :/ so sad!}. Dinners have been later & not as healthy as I would like because my husband's been working late this week.

Food cravings/aversions:
Chocolate. It's a problem. 

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! Still using my Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and it seems to be helping my skin stay soft so far! 

Maternity Clothes: No new clothes this week, just the one shirt from Motherhood Maternity that was featured in my last update

Sleep: Sleep is getting more difficult the bigger my belly gets, but I finally caved and got a pregnancy pillow! I've been putting off spending the money for a while, but now that I have one, I wish I would have bought it two or three weeks ago. I got the Leachco Snoogle on Amazon. So far I like it; I'll let you know how I feel after a couple weeks with it.

Feeling: This has been a bit of a roller coaster week, as I mentioned above. I'm just trying to stay positive and remember than everything will turn out okay. But despite all the stress, I've noticed my little boy has been kicking me higher on my belly than before, which is so exciting!  I love him so much :)

Baby Movement: Stronger everyday!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: There have been a few moments this week where I've wanted to have just a taste of pinot noir. Strange. 

Best moment this week: Getting to spend some quality time with my husband this past weekend & finally deciding on a crib!

Looking forward to: Going on a birthday weekend getaway trip up to northern Vermont for a food crawl with my hubby!! I've been waiting for this for a couple months!!

Is anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed by making decisions & spending money on all the stuff for baby while pregnant? I know my preggo blogger sister Mrs. Shugar can relate to me on this! Am I crazy, or is the crib decision especially sooo difficult?! 

Also, let me know if you girls have any ideas for back strengthening exercises to try or a good prenatal yoga video. I generally like podcasts because I can find videos for free, but a DVD suggestion would be good, too!

xo kristen genevieve

Spotlight On Baby Brain Development

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

There are several known ways to boost your baby's brain development while still in utero. Experts agree that its important to take pre-natal vitamins & Omega-3s (DHA), maintain a healthy diet of fruits & vegetables, especially foods that contain iron & protein, avoid pollution & toxic chemical exposure, and exercise at least a few times a week. The most important factor in boosting fetal brain development is delivering at full term, between 39 and 41 weeks. 

I have also heard (though I haven't been able to find much legitimate or conclusive scientific evidence backing this) that playing music and reading to your baby in utero can boost brain development, too. Whether or not the studies are conclusive, it can't hurt, right? That proactive line of thinking is a big part of the reason I wanted to take our little man to Boston Symphony Hall last week. I have read that baby can connect with mom's voice, which is golden in and of itself, but I'm not sure how much impact it actually has on brain development.  

I wanted to reach out to all my mom & mom-to-be friends to ask, what are you doing to boost your baby's brain development? Do you have any web or book suggestions for fostering brain development either in utero or through baby's first two years of life? 

I've found a few books on early childhood development: Bright From the Start, Brain Rules for Baby, and The Whole Brain Child. Have you read any of these books and would you recommend them? I would really appreciate your feedback on this one!! :)

xo kristen genevieve

Celebrating The Festival of Lights: It's Hanukkah!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Manzanita Candelabra from West Elm. Love!

I grew up Catholic. Catholic school, church every Sunday, First Communication, Confirmation, all of that. But when I met my husband, I knew I wanted our kids to experience his family's traditions, too. His family is part of the Reform sect of Judaism, but his generation is non-practicing. They said a few prayers here & there, but being the youngest of six, my husband missed out on the memories of those traditions to a large extent.

Now that we're pregnant and it's Hanukkah, I've been thinking a lot about how to learn and teach our kids about Judaism. I can learn a few short prayers, put up some decorations and make latkes, but how will I be able to convey the true meaning of the holiday? Time will tell. Please let me know if you have any resources that would help me learn more about Reform Judaism!

For now, I'll just make some of the traditional foods and find some fun crafts and decor to get in the spirit! Check out my Hanukkah Pinterest Board for more ideas. :)

 Classic Latkes by Martha Stewart. I haven't tried this recipe, but they look nice and crispy. Do you have a good crispy recipe that you like? Please share it with me!!
Sufganiyot recipe from Martha Stewart. Jelly filled goodness! Again, let me know if you have a better recipe!
 Fun Hanukkah book for early learners. I got this for my niece last year! She loves it. :)
Hostess Gift Idea: Olive Oil!

Do you have any ideas for celebrating Hanukkah with kids? Do you have a blended family that celebrates both Hanukkah & Christmas? Any suggestions on resources for me to look into that would help me learn more about Reform Judaism and how to teach traditions to kids?

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 21 Weeks!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm 21 weeks along today! And I am so excited that it's finally December! Not only does it mean listening to Christmas music is now a given (even though I've been obsessed for the past two months), but my husband and I both have birthdays coming up this month! We're planning a special weekend getaway to Vermont to eat at our favorite restaurants for his birthday; I can't wait!

It's been a busy week! For Thanksgiving, my husband & I trekked down to New Jersey for his extended family's Thanksgivukkah. Even though we're already halfway along, we wanted to wait to share the news that we're pregnant until we saw the entire family in person. Everyone was shocked! With the shirt I was wearing, I thought I would be able to hide my pregnancy a little, but as soon as someone hears the words "pregnant" or "due date," everyone comes rushing in to pat the belly! I honestly didn't expect everyone to be so excited for us, but it made me feel loved to have so many people thrilled for our new addition. :)

When we got back to Boston, we had another exciting event awaiting us: our first concert at Boston Symphony Hall! I bought tickets to the show a few months ago featuring a Brahms piano concerto & Beethoven's 7th symphony, knowing that at this point in my pregnancy, our little one would be able to hear the music! When my mom was pregnant with me, she went to the orchestra and I have been musical all my life. It was special to me to be able to be doing the same thing for my son, 25 years later. He was kicking so much, especially during the Beethoven piece! I loved it. Keep kicking little man! :)

Week: 21 weeks!

Gender: Boy :)

Total Weight Gain:
Just under 4lbs still! I really don't know how - I eat so much. 

Exercise: Mostly just walking this week. I definitely need to start doing squats again, it makes me feel stronger. Something to strengthen my back would also be helpful! Any ideas?

Nutrition: Well, you know, it was Thanksgiving ;) 

Food cravings/aversions: I loved applesauce with my latkes at Thanksgivukkah! So yummy!  

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! :) 

Maternity Clothes: Still loving cardigans and long shirts. In the photos above I'm wearing my new shirt from Motherhood Maternity.

Sleep: This has definitely been the hardest week sleeping so far. If I don't prop a pillow under my belly, the weight of it is just too much and it causes me to wake up. :/

Feeling: Busy! Preparing & traveling for Thanksgiving and trying to get our Christmas cards ready to order has kept me pretty frantic this week! I haven't really had time to do any fun things for Hanukkah.  

Baby Movement: Oh yeah! Especially at the orchestra. :)

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: Eggs benedict! Extra hollandaise please! 

Best moment this week: It's a toss up between the concert & the Thanksgiving pregnancy reveal!

Looking forward to: My husband's birthday in a couple weeks!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are you doing anything to celebrate Hanukkah this year? Also, any exercise suggestions for back strengthening? Preferably moves I can do without any equipment. Thanks for reading! I love hearing from you! :)

xo kristen genevieve

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks!! Halfway!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy today!! I'm so excited to meet my little man this April and can't believe how fast these past 20 weeks have gone by! Its pretty crazy to think back on my pregnancy so far, because its been a lot different than I expected. 

I don't know that many people who have been pregnant within the last 10 years, so I turned to my two sisters-in-law for advice. One has three kids (the youngest is 9) and she had rough pregnancies - extremely sick for the first 20 weeks each time and then continuing nausea until she gave birth

My other sister-in-law has Type I Diabetes and gave birth to her daughter 18 months ago when she was only 33 weeks. She had very rapid weight gain near the end of her pregnancy due to swelling & pre-eclampsia. Her daughter spent 2.5 weeks in the NICU after birth. It was a really tough time and it made her reconsider how many more kids she wanted to have. 

I never anticipated to have an equally rough experience, but I prepared myself to not have an easy time being pregnant. I expected to gain much more weight than I have at this point, and to have a larger belly at 20 weeks. I also thought I would gain more all over my body, but so far, my weight gain has been concentrated in my belly - for which I am thankful! I expected my nausea to be more intense than it was in my first trimester, and to feel more sick throughout my pregnancy in general. I just thought that pregnancy would be a lot harder on me.

I feel lucky because I truly love being pregnant. The bigger my belly gets, the more kicks baby gives me, the happier I feel! Its true for me that the second trimester has been easier compared to the first, but throughout my pregnancy so far, I feel blessed to have had a fairly smooth experience. I'm looking forward to all the changes in the coming weeks!

Week: 20 weeks!! I can't believe I'm halfway through!!

Gender: It's a BOY!! We found out last week!!

Total Weight Gain:
At the doctor last week, I got the official number - I've gained 2.5lbs since my last visit 4 weeks ago at 14.5weeks. I'm expecting that to pick up more soon!

Exercise: I've been walking a lot more this week! Its been tiring but I have a sweet husband who gives me long foot rubs. :) 

Nutrition: Similar to last week, I've been eating yogurt, granola & fruit for breakfast most days, and clementines & bananas as snacks. 

Food cravings/aversions:
This week I'm craving clementines & mozzarella pesto sandwiches on a baguette. I've also been craving eggs over easy & eggs benedict - but I can't eat those. :(

Signs of Stretch Marks: Not yet! I haven't been as diligent with putting on the cream lately either. :/

Maternity Clothes: I finally bought my first official maternity shirt from Motherhood Maternity and I love it! I'll wear it in one of my photos soon. Its so comfortable & cute!

Sleep: Sleeping okay, still researching body pillows & procrastinating spending the money! ;)

Feeling: Great! I've had a couple mild headaches this week but I've just been too excited about finding out that our baby is a boy to care!

Baby Movement: The movements are becoming stronger & more frequent! I love it. :) My husband finally felt baby kick last night!!

Belly Button In or Out? In

Wedding Rings On or Off? On

What I miss most this week: My family back in Minnesota. They were so excited to hear the gender news but I wish I could've told them the gender and the name we chose in person. :) 

Best moment this week: Finding out that we are having a darling little boy!

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving! Even though I'm not looking forward to a long drive, I get to spend lots of time with my husband. We're breaking the news that we're pregnant to his extended family then, too!

Did your expectations of pregnancy match your reality? Did your pregnancy experience make you rethink your plans for the future of your family? Any advice for me for the coming weeks? I love hearing from you! :)

xo kristen genevieve

We're Having A...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My husband & I are so excited to announce that we're having a...
We just got back from our ultrasound and we couldn't be more thrilled!! I expected that I would be crying or laughing uncontrollably, but when we found out our baby was a boy, I just couldn't stop smiling! I'm over the moon excited today!! :)
It's so surreal to be able to finally picture what our family will look like in just 5 months! I don't even know how to put into words how different it feels knowing we'll have a little man in our lives forever. He is our darling boy, and I love him so very much already. :)
What made the entire experience even more special was that we have named our baby after my father. When I told him the news, he was speechless! I couldn't tell over the phone if he was crying (he never cries) but he was certainly emotional and just so happy for us. Its so special to know that we are adding another person not just to our little family, but to our greater family tree as well. I feel so much love around me today! 
On Monday, I mentioned in my 19 week update that we've felt strongly that we're having a boy since the beginning. I wasn't sure if I was having that feeling because I wanted a boy so badly, or if I really just knew. Everyone except me, my husband & my Dad said that they anticipated a girl, so it was really unknown! We are so happy to just have a healthy baby, and so blessed to be where we are.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading and supporting my journey documenting this pregnancy. Its been so fulfilling getting to know new people and to have a community that shares my joy!
Until next time...

xo kristen genevieve

Christmas Is On Its Way!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Christmas tree last year!

Maybe its a pregnant thing, because this year, I've been abnormally obsessed with Christmas music since the beginning of October! I've held off setting up decorations until now, but as soon as Thanksgiving is over, you bet your bippy I'll be hanging lights & setting up the tree! 

When I was a kid, Christmas involved so many fun traditions. On Christmas Eve, my family went to church in the afternoon, then drove around the neighborhood spotting Christmas lights & decorations. Then at home, we would eat fondue together, and then each kid would get to open one present. The next morning, my brother, sister & I would rush downstairs at 5am and sit in front of the glowing tree, mesmerized by all the presents, until we were allowed to wake my parents at 7am. 

At the time I met my husband in college, I assumed most families had similar traditions. I couldn't have been more wrong! He comes from a family of non-practicing Jews that eat ham & celebrate Christmas! My husband & his five siblings recognized Hanukkah with a brief celebration, but mostly looked forward to Christmas. He never went to church obviously, but his family traditions were more focused on gathering around food. As a child, his father was the head chef, making steak with bernaise for dinner and eggs benedict for Christmas breakfast. 

Now that we're pregnant, I've spent a lot of time daydreaming about our family's future holiday celebrations. I appreciate that my husband's family genuinely enjoys spending time together, and makes a point to be a family. I also love how food-centered Christmas was in his home. From my family, I appreciate filling the home with Christmas spirit - decorations everywhere, Christmas music playing all day, and watching Christmas movies together by the fireplace. 

I look forward to blending our family traditions together. I actually think I'm more excited as an adult for Christmastime, and especially watching my kids open presents and knowing that I brought them the joy & memories of Christmas that they will remember and pass on to their kids. :)

So to get in the Christmas spirit, I found some fun crafts & decorations that I've collected on my Pinterest for the holidays. Hope you enjoy! :)

 A booklover's lamp! So creative!
Scented Fir Christmas tree topiaries covered in cloves, peppercorns & coffee beans. I love these! I found them last year on Etsy, and I've been wanting to try to make them ever since.
My husband doesn't get it - bubble lights just remind me of home!
DIY Cinnamon ornaments. Great idea and would smell amazing!
German smoking men - another thing that just reminds me of home. They are so awesome!! But hard to find!
Dress up a mason jar with some birch, sticks & twine for a gorgeous, rustic candle. I love this idea for a cabin-feel tablescape.
Simple, clean, neutral entryway decor. 
As a kid, I remember our neighbors having a full set of rattan reindeer lit up with the sleigh in tow. My brother & I got so excited every year when they popped up in their yard! This set is from Pottery Barn.

Where is your favorite place for Christmas/Hanukkah decor shopping?! I've found some fun things on Etsy lately, but I'm always looking for new ideas. Check out my holiday boards on Pinterest for some ideas I've collected already!

What are some of your holiday traditions? Did you find it difficult or exciting when blending those traditions with your spouse?

xo kristen genevieve

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