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Feb 10

Lachlan Rue Bosse

I’d love to introduce you to our sweet new son, Lachlan Rue Bosse.

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Born at 12:40 am on Monday, January 18th of 2016. Weighing in at 8 pounds and 10 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. He is absolutely perfect and Andrew and I are so humbled and in awe that we were picked to be his parents. I will be sharing his birth story once I’ve had a little more time to process it but for now wanted to officially share his sweet little face with you all. We have been busy getting situated as a new family of three (four if you count Zoe!) and already have cherished the new memories we’ve made. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and well wishes! We will forever feel grateful for how Lachlan has changed our lives.

The Bosses xoxo

Oh! And his name! You can read more about that over here.

Photo by Bradley James Photography of Lachlan when he was just a little over four days old.

Feb 8

How I Use My Emily Ley Baby Book

Last year when we found out we were expecting, I let the cat outta the bag when I was just eight weeks pregnant during a phone call with my friend Emily Ley. She of course is the talented superwoman behind the Emily Ley brand and if you don’t know her you’ll want to. A few days after our chat I received a copy of her gorgeous baby book in the mail as a surprise gift and I think I squealed a little as I flipped through the pages. I would finally get to fill out my very own baby book with memories of our own little babe! I couldn’t wait to get started!

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At long last over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend I spent some time with Andrew filling out some of the pages. Someone had asked about how I use the book and I figured it would be helpful to share a little about that here with you too. So below are some of the ways I use my book along with a few tips and suggestions. You can snag your book here and can also purchase separate inclusion pages for things like adoption, infertility and more.

I love EL’s heart so much and that she’s recognized everyone’s journey to parenthood looks very different. Her book is the perfect way to help you document you babe’s journey regardless of what that looks like for you!

Save and document EVERYTHING. During our journey to conceive, I saved a LOT of things. I especially saved a lot of the photos I took on days when I would head to the clinic for fertility tests and procedures. My thought was one day I would truly treasure those photos as a small part of a bigger story. And I already do! When we finally did get the news we were expecting, I started saving more tangible things though. Airplane tickets while I was pregnant, postcards from places we visited, a movie ticket from our five year wedding anniversary when I was 6 months pregnant, notes and cards from friends and family, baby shower invites, and notes written down on things like food cravings, first baby kicks, photos of my changing belly and so forth.

Because I saved so many items and took many notes, when I sat down for the first time to fill in L’s book it was easy to work with all of the information I had been saving. I was so glad I had made note for things that are mentioned in the book (like food cravings which I mentioned here!), and for things that there weren’t spaces for in the book I was still able to make room for them (like shown below; I made a page in the book of all the places L and I visited while he was in my belly!). All of the items I did not use in the book went into an IKEA box where I will keep them and add to as L gets older. He can then decide if he would like to keep it all.

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Research and settle on how you’ll save and print your photos. My mother in law brought over Andrew’s baby book the other day and one of the major differences between her baby book and EL’s (or any modern baby book I would imagine!) is the older one had very few spaces for photos throughout it. I think the 1980’s were a little different! I love that Emily’s has so many perfect spots for visual memories and photos to be shared. On many of the pages, Em prompts you to tape in what looks like one photo but I love using Social Print Studio’s mini instagram square prints! I can put up to SIX of these little cuties in one spot where you may put a standard 5 by 7 horizontal image. And the best past? For $15.00 you can snag 48 images. What a great deal!

When it comes to organizing your images, the power of hashtags comes in handy too. We used the hashtag #sweetbabybosse to share photos on social media throughout our pregnancy. When it came time to select what images I wanted to print via SPS, I simply searched that same hashtag and all those tagged photos were culled together for me to choose from! But even better, you are not limited to only photos posted via your Instagram.

You can take photos from your phone or computer, edit them if you’d like them to look like the rest of your instagram feed (I use Pictapgo to edit my photos) and then simply upload them to SPS to print so they look cohesive with the rest. If I have a photo I want to save and print but not share to IG I save it in a folder on my phone which I will then batch upload to print when L is 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and finally a year!

Keep you book supplies handy. If you’ve ever done any type of scrapbooking you’ll know what I mean here. I keep some double sided tape, a few black Gelly Roll pens, and some scrap paper in the box of mementos I mentioned above. Said box then sits in the nursery closet on top of the box with the baby book in it. This way when it’s time to work on the book or save items to add to it, I have everything I need in one place! Other items you may want to include? Colored pens, washi tape, stickers and more!

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Ask for extras! I asked for extras with just about everything in my pregnancy and L’s birth. Extra sonogram photos, extra copies of paper items and even an extra copy of his foot prints from the hospital. Again, I might not use both copies but as I was cutting up sonogram pictures to tape into the book I was so thankful to have asked for both the printed photos AND the CD. I’m telling you, pregnancy hormones and baby brain are a real thing! I nearly cried as the scissors sliced into the photo strip of my little baby in my uterus haha

There are no rules! If you use Emily’s Simplified Planner (like I do!) and are a perfectionist (like I am!) you may find yourself feeling conflicted on actually USING your planner out of fear it won’t look perfect. I didn’t want to fall victim to that with our baby book though and certainly didn’t want to put off making progress on it simply because it wouldn’t look as perfect as I wanted. So with that being said, go with your instinct as you fill out your book, put what you want where you want to put it (some of my pages are way more busy than others or have more text on them), and set aside a few days in your pregnancy to fill out things that are fresh in your mind prior to baby. Because once baby comes it’s a whole new world and time is precious.

Oh. And your baby won’t care about perfection once they finally are old enough to appreciate their baby book!

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And the most important way I use our EL baby book? Make it a process you can joyfully enjoy with your partner. It shouldn’t ever feel like or be a chore. I knew before I wrote the first word in this book that sitting at the table filling this thing out for hours on end would not be Andrew’s cup of tea. But I also knew he wanted to be a part of the book and that his writing in there meant a lot to me (and would mean a lot to our son one day). So I went through and tagged pages that he could help with. The ones that stood out the most to me? The page with birth predictions, the Letter to You page, the How Mommy and Daddy met page and a few others.

After encouraging Andrew to fill out these pages at his convenience, I found myself tearing up with the eloquent and sweet things he wrote! I know our son is going to be so thankful to read the things his Dad wrote to him.

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Happy baby booking, my friends! Enjoy xoxo

All photos via Kelly Sweet Photography from our nursery tour post over here.

Feb 5

Sweet Baby Bosse’s Nursery

A few weeks ago when I was 39 weeks pregnant, Andrew and I had an in home photo session with our incredibly talented friend Kelly Sweet. As we inched closer and closer to my due date I realized how important it was for me to capture the anticipation of waiting on our sweet babe. But the important part was having photos with Andrew in them too. I have so many beautiful photos – enough to cherish for a lifetime – in my season as an expectant mama in both this Italy oceanside shoot here and a 30 week maternity boudoir session that’s a little more private, but not many as expecting parents. So these images are ones that I will hold near and dear to my heart forever. My advice to anyone that may ever be on the fence about getting your photo taken; do it!

Photos really do tell a thousand words.

Kelly, thank you for coming into our lives and home during such an emotional time. We treasure you!

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And with that, I welcome you to our son’s nursery!

Sources for everything can be found at the bottom of the post if you’re interested.

As for some of the inspiration behind the room, most of it came together rather organically if I am honest. I never had an inspiration board or vision in mind for this space because I wasn’t sure how to keep things soft yet masculine; I’m a super girly girl who is now a mama to one strong little dude! But more than anything I wanted this space to feel relaxing, airy and able to transition nicely into a toddler’s room as our little guy grows up.

The nursery is now one of my favorites in our entire home and for good reason; already in just under three weeks into motherhood I sure do spend many days and nights in there nursing and rocking my little man to sleep. I’m grateful we took time to make this space feel the way it does. Truly. I feel so lucky to be L’s mama and thank God every night for this sweet season which has changed my and our world so much.

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Over the changing table are two framed photos; one from our pregnancy announcement which you can find more of here and one from our maternity photos taken in Italy over here. I can’t wait to frame some more photos of our little guy to add to these shelves. Beyond that, in our next home I hope to start a family legacy wall where even more mementos and special imagery will be shared and collected over future years to come.

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I bought that Home Sweet Home pillow that’s shaped like the state of Michigan in 2014 when we started trying to build our family. I found it in the cutest little shop on Mackinaw Island. I knew one day it would be perfect for our little’s room and I sure was right! Sometimes I use it to prop up L’s little behind when I’m nursing.

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The oversized art is a custom piece from House of Belonging. I knew long before we conceived I would want something from their shop for our future baby’s room. When it came time to finally order our print though we were stumped on what it would read! I didn’t think we would even order in time for the baby’s arrival!

Long story short, a year ago on Valentine’s Day Andrew and I started to attend church together. During that first service prior to the sermon beginning they played the song Oceans. I remember feeling so immediately at home when the song started because it was at the time one of the few Christian songs I was familiar with. Funny enough, when I went to service on the morning I hit 39 weeks pregnant it was the first song they played then too. I love that not only is this part of the song so clearly pointed towards Him but it can also translate to our son and how close and connected we already feel to him. Sometimes I hum the song to L when he’s crying in his room at 3:00 am. It’s made for some sweet memories thus far.

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And these two below. They are such good buddies. I’m so so lucky to have such a sweet and loving little family.

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Two things:

First, I cannot believe my belly was every that big! My goodness. Pregnancy is truly a miracle!

And second, the nine teal frames house individual chunks of one larger map. The map as a whole makes up the Great Lakes region which has personal significance to both Andrew and me. I grew up in the Canadian Great Lakes region and Andrew grew up in Michigan which is surrounded by Great Lakes. When we were engaged in 2008 and both graduated college, we moved to Chicago which is also included in the map breakdown. We now live back in Michigan which is obviously shown in the frames. Beyond that our son’s name loosely translate’s to ‘great lake.’ Having some unique and meaningful art on the wall made sense for us and this map did just that.

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Being a mama has fulfilled every emotion that I expected and then some. It’s also been so many things I didn’t expect and admittedly has provided me with many moments that are hard and frustrating. I feel like I was made to be a mom even though I’m often stuck feeling very far from equipped to do this. Little by little. Bit by bit. I’m taking it all step by step and soaking it up like rays of warm sunshine on my cheeks. Parenting isn’t about being perfect and that’s been a tough pill to swallow because I try to do most of the things throw my way in perfect form, but at the end of each day (or night? who knows because I can’t tell this difference right now!) I know I’m giving my all and then some to provide for and love on our son and that’s all that matters. That’s enough for him and for me. Who knew someone at 16 days old could teach you so much.

I also have a million things to say about Andrew. And him as a Dad. But I’ll save that for another day.

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I can’t wait to introduce our best gift yet to you in my next post! Xoxo

. . . . . . . . . . .

Photography: Kelly Sweet / Paint: Valspar (straight pure white outta the can; seriously it took us three tries to find a white that looked right with our trim!) / Crib: Jenny Lind from Babies R Us / Bedding, mobile, and chandelier: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child / Rug, lamp, baskets and changing table, living room couch, living room lamps, and living room artwork: Home Goods / Rocker: Babies R Us / Side table, curtains and shelves: Target / Curtain rod: Lowes / Teal frames: Hobby Lobby / Scripted art: House of Belonging / Pouf: Lulu and Georgia / Milestone cards: Anthropologie / Vertical photo wire: IKEA / Baby book: Emily Ley / Tee Pee: Ashley Gabby Designs / Michigan pillow: Poppins on Mackinac Island / Gray stuffed bear: GAP / Printed maps: The Map Shop on Etsy

Jan 12

3 Small Business Essentials to Outsource

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So. Even though I promised I wouldn’t set any goals until after the babe arrived I’m excited for today’s post.

I’ve made it my mission to read 10 incredible books in 2016 that will both challenge me as a woman, wife, mama and business owner. I can’t believe I get to be ALL of those things this year! Some books I’ve read before and some are new ones recommended by others. We are only a couple weeks into January and already I’m through two books which is partially because I love to read and read fairly fast, and also because I started with one of my most favorite books I read in 2013. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam. It’s a MUST read you guys regardless of if you’re a business owner, stay at home mom or student. If you struggle with time management, scheduling your time, feeling you’re spread too thin with your commitments or best of all, if you fall into the trap of glorifying busy (guilty!) then this is for you! It’s an easy and revolutionary read hence why I put it first on my reading list.

BUT onto the point of this post!

One of the parts of the book that I really love, is the chapter that touches on Minimizing, Outsourcing or Ignoring things that suck up too much time in your precious 168 Hours (which is the time we ALL have in any given week). It’s tricky to talk about time management without getting too much into setting good boundaries – and how ironic I am reading THIS right now – but I’ve always loved this approach to thinking about my time. If something is a bore, too hard, not within my core competencies or sucking up the valuable time I have to do what I love most, I’ve always been a fan of minimizing, outsourcing or ignoring it.

While there are inevitably some things you cannot minimize, outsource or ignore, today I wanted to share the top three things I outsource as a small creative business owner. These are three things that have provided me with tremendous peace over the past six of business ownership while also allowing my business to grow and flourish in intentional ways. Also, note these items are things that work for me and are contingent on the kind of business I have. I do not have employees on payroll or a studio space that comes with additional expenses nor do I have any plans in the near future to grow my business; I’m very much in a maintenance stage and that feels really good. But these three things below are still items I find very worth the extra investment to outsource.

TOP 3 SMALL BUSINESS ITEMS TO OUTSOURCE

A Bookkeeper & CPA. Hiring someone to help me manage my receipts, expenses and taxes is hands down the one thing that has given me much peace as a business owner. I wrote a bit about this over HERE but I would be completely lost in a sea of receipts, numbers, and legalities if it weren’t for my bookkeeper and CPA. Essentially the two work in tandem together. My bookkeeper gets my monthly categorized receipts and expenses. Any penny I spend related to my business goes to her to be filed and organized. Then my CPA gets these organized reports in March to be prepared for filing. For many small business owners doing their own bookkeeping works out great! I salute you! For me, sitting down and spending time categorizing receipts and making sense of numbers and cross checking what goes where is not worth the exchange of time and stress it would result in. So I pay my bookkeeper per month, pay my CPA a nice fee once a year to manage our taxes and I’m a happy girl knowing I have professionals on my side helping keep my business in order on the back end.

If you are interested in hiring a bookkeeper I would highly recommend asking your local colleagues for leads (that’s what I did). There are many bookkeepers who specialize in small creative businesses and pending your work load would be happy to take you on (or suggest someone else they may work with or know). An added bonus is finding someone local to you so you can meet with them and really get to know them on a personal level. I loved being able to explain my business model to my bookkeeper when I first hired her because I was able to explain things to her that made sense when it came to organizing my receipts. For example, when I categorize things under ‘editorial shoots’ she knows exactly what this means and where to put those expenses.

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A Lawyer. I remember years ago when I rebranded my business it was mere weeks after my launch I got a phone call that made my heart drop. Someone oversees had stolen my logo and business name and was printing it on their products. Said products were being sold into the hands of customers around the world and I was very disappointed. This wasn’t the first time my work, likeness or ideas had been stolen (and it wouldn’t be the last) but it felt really insulting after I had invested so much heart, money and time into this particular rebrand.

My first instinct was to reach out to this person and confront her on her wrongdoings but that impulsive thought wouldn’t have done much for me. So I reached out to my lawyer instead. She is the same person who has helped me with trademarking my two businesses (Hey Gorgeous Events and The Trouvaille Workshop), managed contract changes over the years, and given sound advice on how to handle emotional situations like this that can go south pretty quickly without neutral guidance. While my lawyer doesn’t personally work for ME in-house, she has been my go to for legal issues for many years and the bonus here is she knows me, my brand, the clientele I serve, the way I operate, the services I provide, etc. When we talk about new issues that need her attention I don’t need to waste time filling in her on who I am which is helpful in the interest of cost. Because lawyers are not cheap! But again, the peace of mind having a knowledgeable expert in my court when it comes to protecting my business and doing things as responsibly as possible is worth every penny.

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Contracted Workers. I really dislike spelling this out like so but the legal terminology for the gals on my team is as such. Because our team is small and we service only 4 to 5 couples per year, it does not make sense in any capacity to have full time or even part time employees on the HGE team. Should I ever take the plunge on a retail space or change my business model to accommodate closer to 20 events per year that would be different but for now, it’s not something that makes sense (especially as I take some time off to be a first time mama any day now!) So I have two incredible women on the HGE team who are legally contracted workers but in theory, a big part of the HGE culture and a pivotal part of making what I do possible. When I made the shift to take on larger events a few years ago and started incorporating a full service boutique approach to my process, I knew I wouldn’t be able to execute things single handedly. Having Betsi and Jess by my side has been a tremendous move for both HGE. The bonus is they have become such a big part of my life as a result.

So how do you find contracted workers and trust them and what does this mean? I will write about this more in an upcoming post but essentially, contracted workers do exactly what it sounds like they are hired to do! They are contracted by a business (me) to come and offer specialized talents/services for pay (so for HGE this means working in the area of floral design, event set up and so forth). Many industry colleagues use the term ‘freelancing’ when looking for help with events as many business owners do not actually have full time employees on payroll but a freelancer has a similar role to that of a contracted worker.

If you’re interested in more of the nuts and bolts of contracted workers, Michelle Loretta from Sage Wedding Pros is a really great resource (PSST! She will be at this spring’s TROUVAILLE too!). Beyond contracted workers, there are interns and employees, what to pay people and how to protect yourself, and these are all really tricky areas you should educate yourself on. Or reference my points above on having a great bookkeeper and lawyer who can also make sure you are 1. having your workers fill out the right paper work and documenting what you’re paying them in the right places and 2. protecting your business in any way possible since contracted workers technically are free to run their own businesses and/or work for other businesses.

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Some other notable items to outsource?

Branding services, website and blog management, project management systems and more. The great news is there really is a large pool of resources and tools out there to help your business succeed and run efficiently which allows you to focus on your craft and talents. I know I started my business to serve others well and make celebrations as remarkable as they deserve to be. This doesn’t include swimming in a frenzy of receipts every April, trying to get wonky legal advice on social media or investing in people working illegally for me so I urge you too to think about some things you can outsource with your business to be stronger and more profitable.

What are some ways you minimize, outsource or even ignore things within your business? I’d love to know!

All photos in this post are from the amazing Brad and Sam. You can catch more of the studio over here.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Jan 8

Before Baby Bosse Bucket List

Happy Friday, friends!

I’m just two days away from my official due date and so far, it looks like this little guy is snug as a bug where he is. Taking a maternity leave has been really hard for me as I struggle with being still and resting (plus what do you do with a maternity leave before you actually have a baby in your arms and you feel like you’ve been waiting forever for him to come!?) But I’ve been able to save up some blog posts to share while I’m tending to those first few weeks of newborn-ness just like you would save up frozen meals. And well, this is one of those posts.

I wrote about a Before Baby List here but never had time to share it! We tried to keep expectations low and put things on the list that Andrew and I both felt attainable and special. While a trip to Bora Bora sounded lovely and pre-baby I always thought we would be able to squeeze something like that in, the reality is we went with a more simplistic (and cost effective) route of celebrating our time before we officially become a family of 3.

Below are the items we wanted to tackle!

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1. Finish our nursery. I’ve heard and read many people’s sentiments that it’s not necessary to finish your baby’s nursery until they are a little bit older and actually sleep in their crib. But I’m so so happy we went with our instincts and did otherwise. Walking past this little guy’s room each day is so sweet. Sometimes I sit in my rocker and think about what being a mama will feel like. At night Andrew often turns on the lamp in there which I think is sort of adorable. Plus we were able to get some last minute end of pregnancy photos in the finished nursery with Kelly before she heads to India for three weeks. Knowing we won’t have to worry about shopping, hanging things, decorating or doing laundry once the baby arrives feels really freeing.

2. Take an overnight trip to Chicago and go out on a fancy dinner date night. I had to take a work related trip to Chicago before I went on my maternity leave so Andrew and I seized the opportunity to turn this into a last date weekend hurrah! We rented a nice hotel downtown Chicago using points we had saved up, made a reservation at the hotel’s steakhouse, ordered whatever we wanted, walked around downtown and enjoyed the Christmas lights and decor (it was only 55 degrees that night which was perfect!) and best of all, sat in Ghirardelli’s sipping hot cocoa people watching. It was simple and sweet and felt celebratory.

3. Set a morning aside to work on our baby book together. I remember once looking through the baby book my mom half completed for me as a baby and thinking how cool it was to see she had documented the dates of my first tooth, first word and first friend. While she never finished the book and things were much different 30 years ago, it was nostalgic to have those memories to look back on. Emily gifted me with one of her gorgeous baby books earlier this year when I told her I was pregnant at 8 weeks, and I couldn’t wait to start documenting my pregnancy, labor, birth and ultimately the first few years of our baby’s life. I plan to share more on how I use our book in the future but it was important to sit down with Andrew and TOGETHER write down some of the pre baby things; like our guesses on weight and eye color, sharing stories on how mom and dad met (which Andrew wrote out himself), as well as picking which photos to share throughout all of the pages. We did this over Thanksgiving weekend with cups of hot coffee while it snowed and it was pretty special. Even better, I feel more likely to keep adding to it since we’ve already started. The process doesn’t feel so daunting now.

4. Have a stress free and low key Christmas. This was a really sweet one. Christmas isn’t typically a stressful time of year for us because we don’t have large families, we don’t travel and we aren’t huge into the commercialism of Christmas. We do love decorating, eating yummy meals and gifting presents to others but there’s always a sort of pressure that comes with the holiday and pending how much I look at instagram and Pinterest the day after Thanksgiving, my anxiousness can go through the roof. So this year we ditched the decor (minus a small two foot tree we purchased), went with stockings only, told our families we were going to stay in and do our own dinner (which also made sense in case I went into labor early) and totally felt guilt free about our decision to watch every single season of Breaking Bad while eating probably too many processed foods. Either way, it was so restful to feel like the holiday was a staycation for us to enjoy our company together and do a lot of nothing.

5. Get pedicures together. Ok so this is a list item we only 50% completed. Meaning I went to get a pedicure without Andrew because he ended up having to work the day I made the appointment. Darn! But maybe for Father’s Day I can celebrate Andrew by sending him on his own little man date. He probably wouldn’t admit it but that guy loves pedicures! The first time I took him years ago when we lived in Chicago, his response post-pedicure was, “I feel like I’m walking on clouds.” Ha! He’s been hooked on them ever since.

6. Set ourselves up for post baby success. This is a tricky one. Because I’ve never done this baby thing before and I certainly can’t quite know what to expect BUT I do believe in preparing for situations as best as possible and don’t feel naive about doing so in this one. I’ve been getting so much advice and opinions on everything from labor, parenting, postpartum care, how marriage changes after baby, working as a mom especially when you work for yourself from home, body changes, sleeping habits, and so on that I had to take what I could with a grain of salt and listen to my instincts and Andrew’s gut feelings on what’s best for us. Somehow society has made it this far and without elaborate baby books, hashtags, registry guns, monogrammed diaper bags and hospital videography so I feel good. Even though those things I just listed off sound really nice and festive :)

So with that being said, we tired to think ahead on things that we’d like to have in place for our peace of mind. Our cleaning ladies will be on call to come clean for us while we are at the hopsital so we can come home to a clean home. Instead of sticking to our usual cleaning schedule with them we thought this was a nice trade off. We recently switched back to a paleo diet so we bought a new paleo cook book and have been freezing some of our favorite recipes like homemade tortillas, gluten free pancakes and muffins. We also stocked up on frozen fruit and cans of coconut milk for some of my favorite smoothies. We had some long talks about how we will share the news with our family and neighbors (and who would watch the house and tend to Zoe while we were gone) and also typed this all out so there’s no confusion on our decisions when things get heated and we’re busy tending to the babe’s birth. Then of course we created a birth plan and have the help of our doula who gives us both a tremendous peace of mind. Again, we’re prepared for any part of the plan to go right out the window but at least we feel content knowing we’ve done our best to prepare as thoroughly as possible.

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And that’s that!

I’ve added some photos from our September travels to Italy in this post. They were all taken by the amazing Shay of Love, The Nelsons. A lot of people thought this trip was indeed our babymoon but instead it was a work related trip that we tried to squeeze a little personal fun into! Either way, we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to take our first trip across the pond together while I was pregnant. More on that trip soon!

Happy weekend, friends!

Xoxo