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// 26 Before 27 - Goals and Intentions

I'm only two weeks tardy to the party this year! I didn't want to rush my list and fill it with a bunch of useless mumbo jumbo. I'm trying to be very intentional with my time this go around since I know bringing in a new baby will have a learning curve of adjustment. I also wanted to make sure I sprinkled enough stuff to cover personal attention, family, business life, and all around fun. There are definitely other things I hope to accomplish in the next 12 months, but these are what I decided to write down for my annual list. (Here's my 25 Before 26 list if you're interested!) Some are easier than others, and some are ones that I carry over almost every year. Let's hope I can check them all off before turning 27! (I can't believe my next birthday will be my 27th! Where is life going?!) Without further ado...

Despite the fact that Mike and I own several businesses, we don't have a formal business plan. We sort of had one for Honeybean, and then we just started winging it. Now that he's going to be in school full time and I'll be ~*bringing home the bacon, I thought it'd be nice to really lay out a concrete foundation for where I see our businesses going in the future. I definitely have long term goals that I'd like to achieve with each venture, but I don't really have a map on how to get there. Let's give it a whirl!

I successfully sewed some baby leggings the other day (two pair actually!), and I sort of have the nesting bug! I want to do all sorts of little bits and bobs for him, but my patience (and skill set) is limited. Right now I have canvas shoes, bibs (with bowties!) and more leggings on my radar. They seem simple enough, but I'd really like to have a nice little collection of handmade goodies to have for him when he joins us.

Truncated to save you an eternity of scrolling! Click to read the rest of my list!

// Pregnancy Diaries - v.2

Now I'm back to talk my way through another pregnancy post... you know, because I don't do that in every other post. Yesterday was a pretty big "medical" day for us and we had been on pins and needles for 2 full weeks leading up to it. When I went in for my 22 week appointment, my doctor told me that they had found choroid plexus cysts on the baby's brain. I had absolutely no idea what that meant, and she was trying to tell me not to worry, but my mind was going a million miles a minute trying to process the information. She said 1% of babies get them in utero, and most of the time they resolve themselves. But then she said they can be soft markers for Trisomy 18. Again, I didn't really know what that was off the top of my head, but I knew it didn't sound good. She said I shouldn't get worked up, but that she would give me a referral to Vanderbilt for a Level 2 ultrasound. I walked out into the waiting room to find Mike and Toby (since it was a routine checkup I let Mike entertain Toby outside) and as soon as we hit the sidewalk I broke down. I tried holding it together long enough to make the mad dash to the car and then I was basically hysterical. At this point Mike had no idea what was going on or why I was upset, so I started to explain it to him. I was trying to explain something I didn't even understand, so right then and there we started reading articles on CPCs and Trisomy 18. Uh, big mistake! CPCs in themselves are not really a huge deal. They're not birth defects and they don't cause any functional damage to the brain. But Trisomy 18 is no joke. And right then and there my heart broke into a million tiny pieces.

I kept reading and reading and reading, trying to reassure myself that our odds were good for a clean L2 scan because my doctor didn't mention any other signs of T18. I had to wait 2 days for a phone call with my referral and ultrasound date. That date was yesterday. It was a long, hard 15 days. We only told our parents and maybe 2 friends, because we didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily. Those 2 weeks were spent reading every article on every corner of the internet just to try and prepare myself for something if it showed up. Which, you know, is kind of not the smartest thing to do in a heightened emotional state. I came across a forum of moms talking about CPCs and how everything checked out perfectly fine and their babies were happy and healthy. I cannot tell you how much reading those accounts helped. Typically I stay far, far away from mommy forums (because those places are WHOA!) but I kept clicking, page after page, soaking in reassurance from strangers who didn't even know I existed. 

my view at 24 weeks. hello baby!

Yesterday was our ultrasound appointment. We took Toby out of school for the day so he could go to the ultrasound with us and see his little brother for the first "real" time. We ran errands beforehand and I tried not to think too much about it. We showed up at the Vanderbilt Maternal and Fetal Clinic and I put on my big girl britches. Normally my ultrasounds take all of 10 minutes or so, but I was on the table for a solid 30 minutes this time. Mike and I would occasionally glance over to each other because we'd notice a note the ultrasound tech would write. At one point I saw her highlight several areas of the baby's brain and then label them "CP" (choroid plexus)... so I was convinced he had a half dozen cysts. Again, babies can be fine with multiple cysts, but the more there are the higher the likelihood of an abnormality like T18. I stared at the screen for the full half hour, watching every single turn the baby made and every little picture the tech took. I began to worry (again) and my heart was racing. Then the doctor came in... and she was lovely. She was so kind and she asked us questions. One of her first questions was "So how much do you know about why you're here and CPCs and Tri18?" and my only answer was "Entirely too much." (Seriously KB, stay away from Google!) She walked us through identifying features on the ultrasound and told us that in her professional opinion, she saw nothing else that would indicate T18. She reassured us that T18 comes with a multitude of other physical markers and our little guy looked perfect. At 1 pound 7 ounces, he was in the 44% percentile and looked as strong as could be. We said our thanks, gathered our things and headed out of the office.

baby's moses basket + rocker for our room

Mike cried in the elevator when he hugged me. He was so relieved. This was the news we had been hoping for! I sent off a few texts to my mom and friends letting them know that the baby checked out perfect, and then we were off to run more errands. 10 minutes later we're standing in the paint aisle in Lowes and I just lose it! I started crying in front of the drop cloths and telling Mike that my heart is just so full. It was such a delayed reaction but it felt so good to cry those tears, ya know? 

I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to experience pregnancy and then have doctors tell you the reality of T18 and your baby. My heart breaks knowing that anyone ever has to go through that. I said it yesterday on Instagram and I'll say it again: I don't take even one second of this experience for granted. I wish I could bottle up this amazing feeling and keep it with me forever because there's nothing like it. I would find myself playing the "What if" game too much when I'd think about the chances of a poor ultrasound. And I even questioned whether we should order our stroller before our appointment... But ultimately we decided that we obviously have to live our lives and hope for the best. So that's what we did. Even if we were told our baby had T18, it wouldn't change our course of action. We wouldn't terminate, and we would love him just the same. Even if we never got to bring him home. Our stroller was delivered while I was on the ultrasound table at Vanderbilt... Maybe it sounds silly to say but it felt like a sign and a good omen to come home to. Mike put it together last night while I had a long phone conversation with Susannah. I walked into the house to find it in the kitchen and my heart skipped 15 beats! I know a stroller is just a material item, but it all feels so real when we start seeing his little things put together. It's a sign that he'll be here in a few short months and we'll get to share moments with him in and around these things. I just hope this sweet little baby knows how much we love him. He has already taken over our hearts. 

baby's new wheels! and his sweet bassinet attachment.

This whole pregnancy thing is such an emotional rollercoaster. There are so many things you do in preparation, and making sure that the baby grows to be strong and healthy inside of you. But there are so many factors that are completely and totally out of your control. If anything the past several months has taught me that I can't micromanage every detail of every thing in life. We're so thankful for a good report and I knew this was something I wanted to share because it's been one of the only things on my heart lately. Thanks to everyone who left such kind words on the IG post I shared yesterday. Please know that every single comment was read and cherished. It feels amazing to have the support of so many people! xo

// Things I Love Thursday v.179

this is the coolest plant pot ever. ♥
this globe is made of thousands of tiny, individually painted matchsticks! ♥
this is the best thing EVER. what a great mom! ♥
this! dogs are so amazing. ♥
this wheelchair-friendly stroller is amazing. what a cool design! ♥
this photo is so hauntingly beautiful. ♥
this is the best advice. ♥
this photo is touching in such a simple way. ♥
these cat head planters! ♥

// We're currently on what feels like a never ending hunt for two area rugs, like these from FloorsUSA, for our living room and the nursery. Crossing our fingers we find something snazzy soon!

// Have you ever seen a banana sing Celine Dion? Now you have.

// I'm done making my kid's childhood magical. I'd love to hear what you fellow parents thought of this article. Personally, I found it to be pretty powerful and direct. So much time and effort is spent on making sure our children are attended to 24/7... but most of my favorite memories from growing up were just me playing with my friends in the neighborhood.

// If you're into the black and white printed leggings look, these and these would be perfect (and affordable!) for your wardrobe!

// This is hands down one of the best dresses I've ever gotten from ModCloth. Everything about it is absolutely perfect and I'm definitely going to wear it out this Spring/Summer!

// Joelle shared a blog post in reply to a reader's question about getting started as a blogger.

// America, why are you naming all of your boys like this? This is pretty fascinating to me since the baby name game has taken over my brain the past few months. We've decided on a name for Baby Flynn... It may or may not end in "N" haha

// Roxy's dinner party post got me thinking about hosting our own sometime soon. Here's my question for y'all - What makes the best dinner party for you? Any tips you want to share?!

What are you loving this week?

// Pregnancy Favorites : The First 20 Weeks

Now that I'm 24 weeks along (tomorrow!), I've been able to look back on what made the first 6 months of my pregnancy bearable. (Holy cow, y'all! Six months!) Anyone who has experience with growing a child in your own body can attest that there are some incredibly uncomfortable parts that go along with it. Luckily I feel truly blessed in the sense that this has been pretty smooth sailing thus far. I think a lot of that has to do with our day to day lifestyle and where we live. I'm super aware of my privilege in being able to work from home/be off my feet most parts of the day. Even just hobbling around for 4 hours wipes me out entirely and leaves me aching for a few days. (Seriously. Shout out to all you babes who are/have been pregnant and work on your feet all day! I salute you!) But it's not all bad - honestly. I recognize what an absolute honor and, again, privilege it is to actually experience pregnancy. I'm trying to focus all of my energy on the good because it's pretty life changing. Anyway, here are a few items that I loved for the first half of my pregnancy thus far... I'm sure they'll all trickle over in the last half too, because they're just that great!

My first half pregnancy essentials include:

+ Bump Nest pregnancy pillow* - Y'all, I don't know how I slept before this pillow... even not pregnant. One thing about me: I have to have ample pillows when I sleep I sleep with one under my head, one between my knees, one curled up in my arms and then one over my face. I cannot sleep without this set up. But despite being the most exhausted I've ever been in my entire life, I could not sleep in my first trimester. I would wake up for several hours each night, toss and turn, and then feel groggy the entire following day. Then came this pillow. Snoooooze! Now I sleep with just this pillow, and one pillow over my face at night. Some gals have said they just can't get behind the big U shape of the pillow, but that's what does it for me. I can turn over in the middle of the night without moving my Bump Nest pillow and still find a comfortable position. Normally I fall asleep with it wrapped around my front, with the bottom curve between my knees and the top curve under my head. I've wrangled that pillow into so many positions over the past few months that I've worked a kink into the stuffing. Mike may or may not have cuddled up with it while I was away in Las Vegas in February haha... I'm guaranteeing I'll be using it well after this pregnancy! If you're pregnant, THIS is the one thing I absolutely recommend wholeheartedly.

+ Maternity friendly intimates - This maternity sleeping bra and these Gilligan & O'Malley seamless boyshorts are so incredibly comfortable! They're both the perfect answer to growing bodies. The undies are perfect because they never cut into you and they work perfectly under both jeans and dresses. Even the jersey knit dresses! (The only downside to the boyshorts: they tend to ride up a bit! Wedgie central haha) The maternity bra is so great for a comfortable night's sleep. Plus it's not expensive. I have no clue what these babies are going to do in the next several months, so this bra is perfect for "playing it safe."

+ Pregnancy Apps - I'm both amazed and shocked at how pregnancy works. It blows my mind that the human body is capable of this, and I want to know (almost) everything that goes along with it. I've downloaded almost every pregnancy app available in the App store and these three are my favorites. BabyBump, BabyCenter, and What To Expect. I really prefer the apps that give you daily tips and show videos or animations of how the baby is forming. I don't keep track of my stats or appointments in the apps, but the tips alone are worth the storage room on my phone.

+ PJ Salvage robe* - The first 16 weeks of my pregnancy were mostly spent in pajamas with my hair up in a bun. I didn't go out of my way to get dolled up because I was zonked! I tried finding small things to make me feel slightly more "pampered" and that's exactly where this robe came in handy. This thing is basically a sliver of heaven. It's a super lightweight jersey fabric but it consistently has a cool-to-the-touch feeling. It's so refreshing to put on after a shower. It's lightweight so I don't feel like I'm going to sweat out of it or be weighed down. And the bright fuschia color is perfect!

+ Cocoa Butter - Some of us aren't blessed with perfect genetics and skin that can stretch to the moon and back. For all of you mamas who have given birth without so much as a single stretch mark, I hate you. Just kidding, I don't hate you, but I am incredibly jealous.

+ Simply Orange Juice - Orange juice is what got me through my first trimester. And it's what gets me through most mornings still. I've craved orange juice since the very beginning and I'm all about the citrus flavors.

+ Lemon Juice - As soon as I found out I was pregnant I cut out all caffeine. I tried focusing on drinking a lot of water. I like water well enough, but always find it more refreshing to toss in some lemon juice (this also keeps both Mike and Toby from drinking it haha!). I can't tell you how many of these little lemon bottles I've gone through so far...

+ Night lights - This might sound like the dumbest thing to put on a "pregnancy essentials" list but I hate waking up 5 times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and having to either stub my toes on everything between me and the bathroom, or risking blindness by turning the lights on. Buying 2 nightlights for the hall and bathroom = the best $6 I've ever spent. Now my nightly trips to the bathroom are less dangerous.

+ Motherhood Maternity Bump Start tees - Mike bought me a few of these for Valentine's Day this year and I've been in love ever since! They're so comfortable and you can get 2 for under $25! I probably have 6 or 8 that I rotate between and I can't sing their praises enough. They're simple and so comfortable.

+ BellyBuds headphones* - When I was first offered these by BellyBuds, I sort of chuckled and then shrugged them off. They sounded/looked silly and I couldn't even imagine wearing sticky little headphones on my belly. But when I told Mike about them he thought they were the coolest things ever and I started to get intrigued. I agreed to give them a whirl and now I'm a total fan. The reason I'm a fan? The first time I played music for the baby (right at 19 weeks), I felt him kick for the first time. It could have been totally coincidental, but my heart skipped a beat. I was playing him my favorite band (Loquat) and I think that just makes it even more special. Now I regularly play him music and he bumps along with it. (These actually made me do quite a bit of research about sounds in utero, too) They're a novelty for sure, but I've loved using them thus far.

+ Belly band - Since I'm not big on wearing jeans anyway, I didn't want to invest in actual maternity jeans if I didn't have to. So far, so good! But since buttoning my pants has become increasingly more difficult (okay, impossible), the belly band has saved the day! Not gonna lie, I may never button my jeans again... It helps hide the seams from your unbuttoned jeans and it also covers up the big open fly haha! I love that it gives a little bit of length to the camisole I normally wear under my tees, too.

+ Maurices Denim Flex jeans - I only own 2 pairs of jeans and these denim flex jeans (thick jeggings, basically) are so great. They're skinny leg jeans which come in handy for a short gal like myself. I love that they're stretchy since they can kind of grow with me. Plus Maurice's constantly has a sale on their jeans so you can usually pick them up for just over $20 per pair. Two thumbs way up!

* denotes item was received courtesy of the respective brand. I was not compensated or required to include these items on my blog, and all opinions are my own!

I'd love to hear what some of your pregnancy essentials are/were! Especially for the second half haha! If you have any suggestions on what can make the last few months more bearable, I'm all ears! I've been lucky to steer clear of morning sickness and heartburn, but I'm worried that it'll catch up with me before it's all over haha

Happy Tuesday, friends! xo

// Coastal Breeze - Maternity Style - 23 Weeks

Happy Monday! It's a new week and I plan to be as productive as humanly possible these next few days. Last week was a bit of a slow one due to turning over new clients and preparing the new batch for their projects, but this week I'm hoping to dive head first into some actual files. I had an insanely productive Sunday (!!! That never happens!) so I'm hoping it just floods over into the work week. Saturday Mike and I were talking about baby purchases and I was stuck on a stroller I wanted for the baby but we just couldn't justify the price. I was so bummed out about it. But then I got the idea to go through my Kaelah's Closet storage boxes again and list some items on an Instagram sale. We made a deal that if I could make up the difference in price between the stroller we were going to buy and the one I wanted, then we'd spring for it. Well, I'm (so) happy to say that I more than doubled my goal... almost tripling it! I actually was able to pay for the entire stroller and the bassinet attachment just from my closet sale yesterday. I totally don't mean that to brag or anything, but I'm just so stoked that I pushed myself to do it (because it was totally an expense we couldn't have sprung for otherwise ha). Not only does it get us the stroller we wanted, but it also clears up so much space in our house, and it gets those clothes out of sight and out of mind. Our house is way too small for me to hold onto things like clothes that won't get worn, so I'm glad folks were able to find things they really loved and for cheaper than retail (a lot of items still had the tags on them because they were probably from Stitch Fix - it's cheaper to keep the whole box usually than it is to send one or two items back!) I'm totally motivated to keep the purging going, too. I have loads of other stuff I'd like to list so maybe I'll start doing it each weekend or something (That's wishful thinking... but I'll try!) I've already had a few requests for listings on Fridays once folks get paid, so we'll see! You can follow along to keep up with the listings at @kaelahscloset on Instagram if you're interested though! If you ordered anything from my sale, thank you! THANK YOU! And it'll be in the post later this week!

I picked up this dress at Ross a few weeks back and the weather is finally nice enough to wear it! It's a bit big up top but the skirt was the perfect size for my hips + bump combo haha It's such a pretty coral color, too. The eyelet-style fabric gives it a really nice texture and I loved it paired with this mint cardigan. Y'all are going to get so tired of seeing this cardigan, I just know it. Despite feeling like I could only wear jeans and v-necks during the first part of my pregnancy, I'm really enjoying dressing like my normal self again. I'm still hoping to do a few jeans-based outfits, don't worry (just to prove to myself that I can haha!) but I love that I still feel like me. This is definitely one of the most colorful outfits I've worn in a while... coral, mint, cobalt and yellow! This purse is one that I scored from my WWDMAGIC haul - it's from Mellow World and it's so roomy! I love the springtime pattern on it, too.

And while I've got your attention, I just wanted to let y'all know about the little Mother's Day special I'm doing on my signs! These three designs are only $50 and that includes shipping in the US! (If you're international, just shoot me an email!) They're first come, first served and once they're gone, they're gone! I have a feeling based on the orders from this weekend alone that I'll run out well before the month is up! (It's not the prettiest graphic, sorry!) But if you're interested in claiming one for your own mama, get in touch! You can email me at! You don't even need a PayPal account to pay! (Designs may vary slightly due to the shape/proportion of your wood slice)

Hope y'all have an amazing week! I'm going to share a fun blog post tomorrow so hopefully you'll stop back by and check it out! By the way, did you see the latest installment of Rad Gal, Rad Gig?! Check it out! I'd love if you considered submitting your rad gig! xo

Ross dress
Mak cardigan via Stitch Fix
Stitch Fix necklace
Mellow World tote (c/o - WWDMAGIC)
SheInside flats