My Top 8 Favorites of First Trimester Pregnancy

Pregnancy has been such an adventure for us. We’ve experienced crazy highs and lows and I am enjoying settling into being this little one’s mom. So often I struggle with worry or fear over our future but God has been good to me and sending me little ways to enjoy this time.

Here are my top favorites of our first trimester of pregnancy. The best part is that it will only get better now that I’ve entered the second trimester this week! (Praise the Lord!)

Resting in bed and pondering this miracle within me

I’ve been napping in the afternoon which means that Dalton typically falls asleep faster than I do at bedtime. These are the quiet moments when I talk to baby, wonder over him/her growing within me, and pray special Scriptures over baby. Some how night time seems to be a more sacred moment of the day as I rejoice and feel awe over our precious, growing bundle.

Pinteresting nursery ideas and other women’s weekly bump updates

I love searching for great ideas on Pinterest. (I think I’m addicted!) From adorable nursery themes to cloth diaper facts I tend to spend a lot of time learning through Pinterest’s gorgeous pictures and posts. (Here’s my boards) 

AuthenticVirtue.com Baby Board on Pinterest

Also, I love looking at other women’s weekly bump updates — it’s so fun seeing how my body will grow!

Seeing my belly grow (even though it still looks like a food baby)

I know my belly looks like a food baby to everyone else but I adore this growing bump. There were moments throughout my teenage years and early twenties where I would privately stuff a pillow under my shirt and try to imagine just how I would look as a pregnant momma.

It’s fun finally having that bump and knowing that it’s a real baby and not a pillow taking up all that space!

Praying Scripture over baby 

Praying over Baby Duncan has been the number one way I have grown from fear into hope in this pregnancy. I love the the below printable created by The Purposeful Mom. I’ll often pray through the list, meditate on it’s meaning, and repeat the words over baby and to the Lord.

All credit goes to The Purposeful Mom

This habit has made my pregnancy more special and real to me. Plus, it’s a beautiful way to invest in baby even before he or she is here in our arms.

Discovering great deals on neutral baby items (like my adorable Moses Basket!) 

I feel silly telling you that I’ve already been snatching up great finds at consignment stores and clearance racks! So many of my friends are waiting to buy baby items until they know baby’s gender but I can’t help myself.

So far, I’ve snatched up a beautiful Moses Basket bassinet (for $8!) and a few maternity items when Dalton sent me out for a shopping spree. 🙂

Eating well for baby 

Eating well has been a major joy in life lately. With the miscarriage scare, family visiting, and lots of out-of-town trips I haven’t been as diligent and focused on eating nutrient dense meals as I should be.

So, I enjoyed changing that habit and spent a good amount of time at the grocery store stocking the cart with snacks and ingredients I knew I could enjoy (even on days when I feel sick).

My latest pregnancy snacks? Raw veggies, prunes (for you know … 😉 ), yogurt, cow’s milk (we normally drink Almond Milk but were advised I should be drinking straight from the cow), and whole grains (which I normally avoid since we eat mostly gluten-free).

I’ve also taken to drinking chai tea as coffee is difficult to drink lately. (The horrors!) I still wanted my daily dose of warm goodness so the switch to creamy, home-brewed chai tea with a sprinkle of stevia wasn’t too difficult.

Drooling over modest maternity fashion

Is there anything cuter than maternity clothes? I’m tickled by the cute, layered hoodie and love the idea of wearing what I already wear — skirts, comfy shirts, and dresses.

All credit goes to Polyvore

All credit goes to Polyvore

Ah! Isn’t that so cute?

Having Dalton stroke my belly, talk to baby, and pray over baby 

Friends, I married an absolute gem. This man has blessed, encouraged, and cared for me since day one but he has really blossomed into a wonderful husband and daddy. I love watching Dalton pat my belly, talk to baby, and pray over us. There is nothing more precious than a grown man bending to talk to a baby still within the womb.

I love my husband and I love that he is enjoying this baby as much as I am.

There are my 8 top favorites of the first trimester. It’s been such a crazy yet beautiful time and these are just the beginnings of fun, delight-filled things. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Beautiful Rental-Friendly DIY’s

AuthenticVirtue.com

I love molding a used, older rental into a fresh, lovely home. There’s something so invigorating about bringing in your own style and romance into a home especially on a newlywed’s budget.

Our newest rental is full of charm but needed a few fresh updates to it. Here are 4 of my favorite, diy projects I intend to bring into our home.

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Four Ways I Plan to Bless My Husband this Summer

Blessing Your Husband @ AuthenticVirtue.com

Summer is here; you can tell by the beautiful, thick, green trees, colorful wildflowers and warm, Missouri heat filling the land. And this summer F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words have never been so true.

 “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

This will be our last summer just Dalton and I. Next May we hope to have a lovely five month-old Duncan cooing and crying and in need of attention and diaper changes.

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Setting up Home in Our Newest Rental

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Dalton and I can officially be declared nomads. In our 2 years and 3 months of married bliss we have lived in 3 different, beautiful rentals all within a 5 mile proximity of each other. (See house one here and house two here.)

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Joy V. Happiness in Marriage, Pregnancy, and Daily Life

Joy v. happiness in an unknown pregnancy with a subchorionic hematoma with AuthenticVirtue.com

It’s happening again, the waters are rushing over our heads and I’m struggling to keep up. Being pregnant with our first has been one of the most delightful and trying experiences of our lives. Having a subchorionic hematoma is commonly low risk but tell that to the momma who’s bleeding, making ER trips, and being told the area her placenta needs to implant is filling with blood.

Then, suddenly, it doesn’t feel low risk any more.

But that’s the nature of a blood pocket in your womb. You never know what it’s up to, what it means, and what it could lead to. You simply wait. Monitoring helps (sometimes) unless you get news that it’s grown larger (as is my case). Then, waiting becomes more dreadful and more difficult to accept.

If you can tell life isn’t very happy right now but it is still very full of joy.

Dalton and I have been meaning to collaborate and write a post on the differences between joy and happiness. (As in I should have written it 5 months ago). But now is the perfect time to write because I’m experiencing it tenfold.

Happiness is temporary. It’s bliss. It’s me resting in bed on rainy afternoon with a cinnamon pecan candle burning in the light finishing a long book. Happiness is my husband bringing me dinner and then washing the dishes afterwards. Happiness is the fleeting feeling I experience after finding a good subchorionic hematoma story.

But happiness, however sweet and nice, eventually leaves.

And after the emotion leaves I’m still left with unanswered, scary questions. Will I have this baby? Will baby be hurt? When will I know? If I lose baby will I ever have more children?

Reality sinks in and the weight of it pushes the temporary feelings yummy candles, good meals, and a rainy afternoon brought.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23

This is where Jesus and my Heavenly Father changes things. This is where joy take over. God’s Word promises the fruit of the Spirit includes joy and that I as a Christian can have it. I cannot create this fruit; I can prohibit it but I cannot force it in my life. It’s God working in me. It’s similar to real life planting; I could place vile and damage the root system around an apple tree and expect its growth to be affected. But I could never actually create an apple — I can only enjoy that it was made, given, and satisfying.

That’s joy — it’s present in the lack of happiness. It’s God given. It’s there when I’m dreading our future; it’s present when it’s 3 am and I’m having blood drawn and being wheeled away from my husband to an ultrasound room by a tech who isn’t happy to be working.

When I’m not feeling happy joy remains.

I do get overwhelmed with the unknowns of our pregnancy. I get tempted to fall headlong into fear and the sickness of dread. Happiness sometimes eludes me. (Which is scary for a sunny-disposition person as myself).

But during those moments when the sickening questions fill my head I’m reminded of God’s promises,

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

If I lose baby God is still good. If I am in limbo from now until week 40 God’s thoughts toward me are still good. If I have to live with unknowns until I deliver this baby God’s ways are still for Dalton and I (and baby). If my next pregnancy resembles this one I am still in God’s vision and His plan is good.

And that is joy. God’s Word and promises are joy. God’s loving will is joy. Living life open-handed, as much as it hurts and as hard as it is, is joy.

Joy is peace, God’s presence, and the knowledge that despite the outcome of our lives God is still good.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie