Second Trimester

I was so excited to enter the second trimester! Of course because the chances of miscarriage decreases about 80% and because the second trimester is suppose to be the easiest.

Although I am not done with my second trimester, it has been easier than the first. I have more energy, my skin is clearing up, and my hormones have gone from making me angry to making me sad (not really sure if this is any better.) My sciatic nerve is still extremely painful, but exercising has helped manage the pain.

The best thing by far in the second trimester was FINDING OUT THE GENDER! I was scheduled for my second sonogram at 21 weeks and while I was on the phone scheduling they informed me that they do not disclose the baby gender to the parents until birth… OH THE MILITARY. This was not going to fly. I immediately started looking into other options and found Great Expectations in New Braunfels and made the next available appointment.

I was 16 weeks when my husband and I got to have the best sonogram experience! Great Expectations was like a little boutique! It was extremely cute and comfortable. The woman who did the sonogram was probably the nicest human I’ve ever met, such a difference from what I had been going through at SAMMC.

Pretty quickly into the sonogram Oliver revealed his gender! I was over the moon excited for a baby boy and although Dad was hoping for a girl the look on his face could not hide his excitement. And now knowing the gender it was finally time to start planning and decorating!

Now I am at 21 weeks! I went in for my anatomy sonogram and my monthly appointment and everything is going well. I am aiming to gain 30-40lbs this pregnancy,  but have already gained 25 lbs! I need to lay off the Ben and Jerry’s and really start making time to add a pregnancy friendly workout into my daily routine. Indulging is a great thing about pregnancy, as long as it is managed.

My belly is here, round and large. But although it is totally noticeable to myself and my husband, I think to strangers I am in the weird faze where they don’t know if its baby or beer belly. Oliver is a whole pound! It really amazes me. Daddy is anxiously waiting to feel his kicks, but right now only I can feel them.

The nursery is finally coming along. We ripped up the carpet and installed hardwood floors, painted the walls white, and assembled the crib! (And by we I really mean He.) I haven’t wanted to buy anything for Oliver yet until the nursery is done so the incomplete nursery has been good to our budget. The theme is a black and white, Texas western boho.. Obviously I really couldn’t decide on one thing so it’s a blend of my favorite nurseries. Next step is to instal the baseboards and then get the dresser ready! I’m so anxious to get it done because I know the next few month are going to fly by.

I’m probably anxious to get it done because I feel the nesting starting. I have an urge to throw everything away and I wake up in the middle of the night to write lists of things I need to do and closets I need to organize. (This is totally normal, right?)

IMG_4079

130 days until we meet our sweet baby boy! I am so anxious to see what he looks like. We had a 3D sonogram and will get another around 30 weeks, but for now I just stare at my husband and I’s baby pics and wonder.

First Trimester

Finding out I was pregnant was so surreal. I was at my friends house and after a couple of glasses of wine (whoops!) she insisted I take a test. When I took the test I was very hydrated… and the second line was so faint at first glance I was sure it meant I was not pregnant.

I went back to tell her the news and was so bummed. Later I went back into the bathroom to clean up and took a better look at the pee stick and there was a itty bitty faint second line. She was 100% sure that meant I was pregnant. I called a few other mom friends and they also assured me that I, for sure, was pregnant. I just was so unsure. I didn’t think it would happen so soon, or so easily.

I stopped by the firehouse on the way home to surprise my husband with the news and as soon as I showed up he immediately knew.

I went to target that night and bought about 10 more tests, a box of every brand. It finally hit me when the digital test read “Pregnant.” I couldn’t contain my excitement. I planned dinner with my mom for the next night so I could tell her in person right away. I wanted to tell everyone and their mama, and it was probably the hardest thing I’ve done having to wait until I was in the clear and my first trimester was over.

Luckily the first trimester wasn’t too hard for me. I was just moody and exhausted. I had no morning sickness.

I got familiar with my hospital and doctors. Then at 12 weeks we had our first sonogram! And that was when we decided we would announce. We soon got names picked out (Oliver Patrick and Lucie Elizabeth) and were so anxious to find out the gender.

The first trimester was the hardest so far and it feels so good to be out of it!

 

Summer 2017

It has been a while since I have written a blog post. It has taken the back burner during this crazy busy summer I have had.

In May we took our week long honeymoon trip down the West Coast. I was planning to write multiple posts about all the cities we saw, but shortly after we arrived back in Texas we received the best news we could have ever imagined… WE’RE PREGNANT!

Right before I found out I was pregnant, I started a new job as a marketing specialist at a free standing emergency room close to my home. Which worked out perfectly because with a baby on the way traveling would have been too hard. Although I miss my old job terribly, everything happens for a reason. My new career path is much better for our growing family.

My first trimester was exhausting, with a new job and all the fun joys that come with being newly pregnant I think I slept every minute of free time that I had. I feel like I haven’t done anything. Summer is my favorite season and this year it has just slipped away.

Now that I’m into my second trimester and I have some energy back I will be blogging more so I can share this wonderful life experience with y’all! I hope that y’all are ready to follow along with me the next 4 months of my pregnancy and come January I’ll be a mom! I have never been more excited. God is Good.

 

 

Rodan + Fields

My profession is in sales, but I’m really not here to sell you anything you don’t want. I have become a consultant for Rodan + Fields so I can help the woman (and men!) who struggle like I did with my skin.

When I entered High School I started getting a little bit of acne, but nothing serious. I used proactive daily and everything was fine. Then when I went to college and started using foundation, my skin completely broke out. I got horrible deep pimples due to foundation and the makeup I was using along with the unhealthy diet and lifestyle I was living. I was so self conscious, I felt too old to have acne.

Once I started using better makeup my face cleared, but the scars remained. My self consciousness continued as well. I have been to so many dermatologists and have tried everything from microdermabrasion to at home natural remedies. None of these things really did what I wanted.

Then while I was scrolling through Facebook I saw my friend was selling a premium skin product line and was posting REAL RESULTS of people I actually know. Of course I was skeptical, but after scanning her posts for a couple month I figured I should at least look into it.

Rodan + Fields is made by the same dermatologists who created proactive, now they have created a new line for all types of adult skin. Rodan + Fields is the #1 premium skin care line in the nation! The specific line I use is for redefining, so it not only has helped my acne scars but help with my fine lines! I have seen such an overall difference on my ENTIRE FACE!

It was more than I really wanted to spend, but way less expensive than continuing expensive dermatologist procedures or buying a million products that don’t work.

Now, after using it for almost a year it has been well worth it. The results I have seen have changed my life and brought back my confidence. And now as a consultant I hope to do the same for other women.

 

If you are interested check it out—> traciephelps.myr+f.com/

ANDDDD stay tuned for some before and after pictures!

 

Cat Lady Box!

My favorite day of the month is the day my cat lady box arrives!

I signed up to receive The Cat Lady Box about two years ago. Monthly subscription boxes have become pretty popular and this one fit me and my lifestyle purrfectly. The subscription is either $29.99 or $39.99, depending if you’re just a cat lady or a CRAZY CAT LADY. Each month I get a box delivered containing  3-5 items for myself and two cat toys, valued around $100.

My top 5 favorite cat lady items:

  1. Beach towel
  2. Wine glasses
  3. Shirts- SO MANY CUTE SHIRTS!
  4. Kitty Scarf
  5. Cat Butt Pillow Cases

When my box arrives, my cats go crazy. They love it just as much as I do!

If you love quirky cat lady items + you love your cat, you should sign up. The Cat Lady Box organization donates a portion of proceeds to cat rescue organizations. They also use items from small businesses and independent artists. This company has my heart. And they even use me on their site as a model. That’s how you know you’ve made it.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 10.59.20 AM

If it wasn’t for Texas..

 

I was born in Houston, graduated from Texas State, and got married in San Antonio. Texas is my home and I am so glad it is.

 

Top reasons I am proud to be a Texan:

  1. Texas Pride is real. There is no other state pride that can compare
  2. Texas landscape: from the hill country, desert, plains, and the gulf.. we have it all
  3. H-E-B, only in Texas could a man with the last name Butt name a grocery chain after himself and have it be so successful
  4. San Marcos River
  5. Amazing Universities- UT, Baylor, A&M, Texas Tech, Texas State, TCU, Rice, UofH… The list goes on.
  6. South Padre Island.
  7. Blue Bell Ice cream
  8. Fort Worth Stockyards
  9. Houston
  10. Austin- Live Music Capital of the World
  11. Dallas
  12. San Antonio
  13. Shiner, the town + the beer
  14. The River Walk
  15. BUC-EES
  16. TEX MEX
  17. The State Fair + BIG TEX
  18. Barbecue- stubbs, salt lick, ____ take your pick they are all amazing
  19. SPORTS: Dallas Cowboys, Texans, Rangers and Astros- but the best of ’em all GO SPURS GO
  20. The Climate
  21. Football
  22. Texas Country Music
  23. Bluebonnets
  24. Whataburger
  25. It’s bigger, and it’s better.

Honestly, the list could go on forever… #TexasForever

sandy

Now that I’ve have established why I love being from the Lone Star State, lets recognize some fellow rootin’ tootin’ Texans.

George Strait, Willy Nelson, Beyonce, Matthew McConaughey, Eva Longoria, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Garner, Maren Morris, Jared Padalecki,  Jamie Foxx, Demi Lavato, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Woodie Harrelson, Hillary Duff, Selena Gomez, Jessica Simpson, Nolan Ryan, Alexis Bledel, Chuck Norris, Kelly Clarkson, SANDY from Sponge Bob, and there are so many more.

ttt

Alright, Alright, Alright!

 

 

2016

2016 started off rocky. A few bad, life changing events led to the best year of my life.

January– 2016 started with landing my first “big girl” job, a sales specialist with Grimmway Farms. Training was in California at the farms in Bakersfield, then to LA.

March- A Girls Weekend in New Orleans.

April- My 24th birthday my mother took me to see Carrie Underwood.

May- I took a trip back to Maryland to visit my family and friends. I got to visit my grandparents who are buried in Arlington National Ceremony, meet my new second cousin, took a trip to Ocean City and attended an Orioles game.

June- Immediately after my trip to Maryland I was sent on a work trip to Idaho and Utah. I got to drive around both states and I was amazed by the beauty of both.

July- My summer was spent working a few trade shows, floating the San Marcos River, and a trip to Padre Island with my love.

13537628_10154257174012829_7323452726577552341_n

August– Weekend trip to Dallas to see The Rangers v Astros and Bedford (the town my great great great grandfather founded).

September- My love and I went to the State Fair in Dallas where we saw Kacey Musgraves & spent the day in Ft. Worth!

October- I went on a work trip to Orlando for the Produce Marketing Association. Then my dream finally came true and I got to visit HARRY POTTER WORLD! I also got to see Taylor Swift at Formula One.

November- My love, mom and I took a trip to Dallas to see a Cowboys game. We also stopped at Magnolia Market. I went to Maryland for Thanksgiving, and I came home to my love popping the question.

December- The best month ever. I took a trip to Vegas to see George Strait with my mom for her birthday. And on December 17th I married the love of my life in San Antonio. We spent our first Christmas as a married couple.

2016 ended up being the busiest and best year yet. I am so excited to see what the rest of 2017 brings.