Oh Baby! || Week 27

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Welcome to the third trimester, baby girl!! I can't even believe we are here! Your daddy and I prayed so very much for you and were so surprised to find out we were expecting you. The Lord's faithfulness is so very evident in your life, and we can't wait to tell you all about Him. Just imagine, we've got anywhere from 13 weeks (plus or minus a couple) until we'll be seeing you, sweet girl. That makes this heart of mine explode with joy! You are loved more than you know, and carrying you these past 27 weeks has been one of my greatest pleasures and blessings. 

How far along? In the 27th week - the start of the 3rd trimester

Baby's Size: A rutabaga || approximately 13.6+ inches and anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds

Gender: Sweet girl! 

Baby Fact: Baby girl is practicing inhaling and exhaling with her rapidly developing lungs. And she is officially showing brain activity.

Weight Gain: Last Tuesday at my doctor's appointment I had gained 12 pounds. From here on out, the doctor said that I should gain a pound a week.  

Baby's Movement: Tiny dancer, that's you baby girl. You love to move when you hear music or your daddy's voice. And you are most active at night when I lay down. Being on my back really prompts you to wiggle all over. And your daddy and I love feeling you ripple all across my belly as you stick out a sweet, little body part. 

Maternity Clothes: I either wear official maternity clothes or I wear a size up in normal clothes. My favorite clothes right now are cozy, at-home sweats and pajamas. 

Sleep: I'm still making it through the night without waking for a bathroom break. I think the fatigue is settling back in and that's what is helping me sleep so soundly. However, I've found that around 5ish in the morning I'm waking to a very wiggly baby girl!

Symptoms: I'm still experiencing swelling, indigestion/acid reflux (she must be growing some crazy hair!), back aches, and some slight fatigue. 

Cravings: Pomegranates! I'm all about them right now. The cravings for fruit have shown back up too. Ice cold water is still a must. And as much as I'd like to say I've kicked the sweets cravings, I haven't. Same for a nightly bowl of cereal. 

Miss Anything? Being able to move with more agility. The bump is making getting up a bit of a challenge at times.  

Best Moment This Week: Celebrating husband's golden birthday and passing my glucose test! 

Worst Moment This Week: Body image can be a hard thing to keep positive when pregnant. It's something that I struggled with pre-pregnancy, and as my body changes and I see a different physical version of myself in the mirror, I don't always keep my thoughts positive. It also doesn't help when someone mentions the way I look in a negative way. I don't express my struggle with body image with a lot of people/around them, but when I do, I find that they want to turn the focus on what my body is doing and that it's all a part of pregnancy. Trust me, I get that. But, sometimes I just wish a woman would say, "I know exactly how you're feeling. I remember that." Fortunately, one of my girlfriends has been that person for me. She's such an encouragement in life and in pregnancy, having just had her daughter a little over a month ago. In saying this though, I wouldn't trade the body transformation for anything in the world. Because out of it I will have my sweet girl, and that's worth it all.   

Looking Forward To: Our next appointment; I don't think I'll ever tire of hearing her heartbeat on the doppler. 

How's Husband? He's as wonderful as ever. And just like myself, excited to meet our girl! We have made it our pact to enjoy the remainder of this pregnancy and soak in all of our time as the two of us. So we're going to be compiling a list of dates and to-dos that we would like to enjoy before December rolls around. In all of this, we're prepping ourselves to keep an order of priority in our marriage and future family life: God, one another, our children. If we can do that, we can keep a strong foundation in Christ, for each other, and our family. 

In case you missed it: 

But I Think I Love Fall Most Of All

Monday, September 28, 2015
Isn't it just like Monday to creep back around so quickly? The weekend was great with couch cuddles, movie time, a burning fireplace, a wedding, and homemade soup. Such good weekends make it that much harder to get back into the weekly routine once Monday shows up. Thankfully, another weekend is headed our way!

Lately, we've been experiencing a lot of rain, fog, and cloudiness in Virginia. The rain has dropped the temperatures into the mid to high sixties, and it couldn't make my fall-loving heart happier. The leaves are gradually turning into shades of crimson, amber, and gold, the days are turning to night by 7:45 p.m., and the chilly air is a constant reminder that it really it fall. 

In honor or my very favorite season, I decided a free printable was in order. Because who doesn't love a little touch of fall around their home? We all know I do! 

All you have to do is right click on the image below and open it in a new tab. In the new tab, right click again and select print or save the image. It is designed as an 8x10 and will bring a little of the golden fall indoors! 

I hope your week starts out lovely and continues as such throughout the week! I'll be back tomorrow with baby girl's bumpdate. And ya'll, we're officially in the 3rd trimester!!

p.s. For those of you who signed up for the scarf exchange, remember to get those scarves out in the mail today!!

p.s.s. Link-up with Rachel and next Thursday the 8th to share your Halloween décor! For all those who link-up I'll be sending you a free Halloween printable! And be sure to check out the remaining Every Girl Link-up Dates!

And if you love the printable, take a look at Hill Collection Designs' pre-made and custom cards! I'm taking orders now!!

Thoughts For Friday + The Pick: Week 38

Friday, September 25, 2015
TGIF!! But, before I get to my thoughts...

Happiest of birthdays to my very favorite person!! Husband's golden birthday is today, and I hope it is nothing short of incredible! Because he deserves nothing less. We've been celebrating this amazing guy of mine since Wednesday, and the festivities just won't stop. There are plans tonight for just the two of us, and I'm all kinds of thrilled to keep on celebrating him!

T H I N K I N G  > About the dress I'm going to wear to my cousin's wedding tomorrow. 

P O N D E R I N G > How many times husband and I actually go into Target on any given week. We were totally called out by an employee last night when he asked if we come in there a lot because he feels like he sees us often. I'm thinking we're pretty regular frequenters and the Target peeps have noticed. 

N E E D I N G > A tan, but that will have to wait till next summer.

L I S T E N I N G > To the night bugs singing because I'm up far too late blogging this post.

D R E A M I N G > About card designs. I've got a million ideas running through my head. Needless to say, I'm super excited for Hill Collection Designs and all the possibilities that go along with it!

S W O O N I N G >Over the chilly fall temperatures that kicked this week off and those that will be ending it! I'm rocking a dress, cardigan, hose, and boots today, and it's all kinds of fall wonderful.

Happy weekending, lovelies!! Cheers to a fabulous Saturday and Sunday! xo

join me for #weekending on Instagram @astleigh_hill
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Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick, by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you.

Fall Centerpiece DIY

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Did you hear?? It's officially fall!!! And as you all know by now, I'm crazy for all things fall. My love for it runs deep, and I soak up every bit of this time of year. Autumn wouldn't be complete without my home being embellished with the coziness of this season. So while my mantles are laden with leaves, my tabletops are decked with pumpkins, and candles are crackling all around, I can't forget that my outdoor space needs some fallorizing too.

I love anything with a natural look, so putting together a craft to spruce up my front porch for fall was a no brainer. I used a lot of what you might find outdoors (except mine all came from Michaels) to create a sweet little, fall centerpiece. And whether you use it indoor or outdoors, it's a beautiful way to add a little fall flair to any tabletop.

You don't need a whole lot to make this DIY happen.

  • You'll Need
    • A medium size terra cotta pot
    • A medium, glass vase
    • Coiled berry garland
    • Bright green moss
    • A tall candle **(I already had this and had previously purchased it from Target)
    • Tissue paper
Like I said, I found everything I needed at Michaels. And I scored it all for 30% off my entire purchase + a 40% a regular price item (my berry garalnd). If you're looking at doing a DIY, make sure you find great deals. There's no need to pay full price for your craft projects! This project costs me $15 and some change.

Start out by stuffing the bottom of the clay pot with tissue paper. Build it up until the glass vases sticks 3/4 of the way out of the pot. 

Tuck more tissue paper around the vase to secure it. Also add some tissue paper to the vase so that candle is visible and not hidden in the pot. 

Continue to add tissue paper to the pot, securing the vase and creating a flat surface that is even with the lid of the pot. 

You'll use half of the bag of moss to cover all of the tissue paper and give the pot a natural, outdoorsy look perfect for this time of year. Make sure to press slightly on the moss to secure it in place. 

Lastly, unwind your berry garland and wrap it around the pot. Tuck it into the moss and move the little branches in all directions to give the pot a more dimensional look. 

Light your candle and enjoy! If you don't want to worry about lighting a candle, you could always opt for the electronic version. I am a huge fan of how this centerpiece turned out, and I think three or four of them would be lovely down the center of a dining room table (indoor or outdoor).

To see more of my fall décor, see HERE. Now share your home DIY with Rachel and I! Link up below for the Every Girl Link-Up. I'm looking forward to browsing through everyone's crafts and taking in some inspiration!

Hill Collection Designs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
I'm super excited to share today's post with you! With a lot of support and encouragement from husband, I am taking a huge leap into designing cards year round, opening Hill Collection Designs up for business. And I can't tell you how thrilled I am! 

Whether it's for print, a DIY project, or staging the rooms in my home, designing is my creative outlet. Naturally, turning that passion into more than a hobby felt like the right fit. Over the last couple of weeks husband has been diligently (and so sweetly) putting pages together to share my cards with you. Please take a moment to browse around! 

I'll be offering cards for all the holidays (because why not send an unexpected piece of snail mail to your people?!), invitations for baby showers and wedding showers, as well as birth announcements and thank you cards. 

For each set of cards, there is an ordering option for pre-made cards or an option to work one-on-one with me to create a custom card that suits you. 

Throughout the remainder of this week and into next, I'll be adding new cards to the shop. If you have any questions regarding the cards or feedback about our set-up, feel free to send me an email or leave a comment below:  hillcollectiondesigns@gmail.com

I'm so looking forward to this new endeavor, and mostly to working with you! xo

Oh Baby! || Week 26

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I now find myself in the last week of the second trimester, and it's bittersweet. While all the changes and adjustments to pregnancy have been a roller coaster at times, watching this sweet girl grow has been incredible. I'm in awe of the Lord's design for pregnancy and the gift that it truly is. I never thought I would want to slow this time down, but with 14 weeks (give or take) left I want to remember this season of life with clarity and fondness.

How far along? In the 26h week 

Baby's Size: A head of lettuce || approximately 13.6+ inches and anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds

Gender: Sweet girl! 

Baby Fact: Baby girl's eyes are forming, and her eyelids will start to open soon. Her eyelashes are all grown too. Plus, she is taking breaths of amniotic fluid to practice for the real deal.

Weight Gain: I'll find out later today if I'm still hanging out around 10 pounds or if it's more. 

Baby's Movement: Yesterday afternoon I had my arm resting across my stomach when baby girl gave me her hardest kick yet, bouncing my arm slightly off of my belly. She's getting stronger by the day and I'm always impressed with her movements. 

Maternity Clothes: Oh my, yes! However, I have found that Old Navy's non-maternity clothes sized up one are totally doable too! ASOS is also great for dresses, and that's where I found my baby shower dress

Sleep: You know what, I've been sleeping through the night without waking for a bathroom break more nights than not. It's been fabulous! 

Symptoms: All the regular ones...swelling, indigestion, back aches, and fatigue is starting to creep back into the equation.

Cravings: Sweets. Good gracious, I thought my sweet tooth was bad before, but this doesn't even compare. Ice cold water and carbonated juice are others at the top of my cravings list. Another new favorite is orange and spice hot tea. So good!

Miss Anything? Laying on my stomach, whether it's sleeping or just sprawling out on the floor.  

Best Moment This Week: The tea party themed baby shower my SIL threw on Saturday!

Worst Moment This Week: I can't say that I have one. 

Looking Forward To: Getting the glucose test out of the way!

How's Husband? Incredible as usual! This is his birthday week, he'll be turning 25 on Friday, and baby girl and I are taking extra care to make this week special because he deserves it! I loved going through all the wonderful gifts we received at the baby shower with him. His reaction to the tiny baby clothes and baby necessities was the best. He's going to be the best daddy :)

In case you missed it: 

Tea For Two

Monday, September 21, 2015
Oh, friends I can't believe this weekend has come and gone! But it didn't pass by without a very magical afternoon. Baby girl and I were thrown our first shower on Saturday afternoon and did we ever feel loved. The tea party hosted by my sister-in-law Amy was nothing short of a fairytale, complete with china, sugar cubes, pearls, and a slow bristling fire in the background. 

The details were incredible, the weather perfection, and the people some of our favorites. It couldn't have been a lovelier day even if it tried. One thing is for certain, I'll be having plenty of tea parties with my girl, her aunt(s), and little friends over the years. Because there's something so wonderful about tea time, tiny foods, and heartfelt conversations. 

I wish I could share this day with you, invite you to rewind time and join me. With all the elements perfectly orchestrated out by God, the afternoon left me feeling transported into my very own wonderland laden with dresses, pumpkins, teapots, and cups full of piping hot tea. 

To open the shower, Amy set up one of the cutest activities for the guests to enjoy, a ribbon-making table. The ladies crafted my girl some of the sweetest hair bows, and I can't wait to try them on her tiny, little head. Don't you just love this idea?!

From the miniature cucumber sandwiches to the raspberry topped-tarts, the food was scrumptious and perfect for tea time! 

In between munching delicately on our tea sandwiches and scones, there were parenting stories shared, presents opened, laughter had, and a round of the sweetest prayer. My girl and I (plus her daddy) were prayed over through the remainder of the pregnancy, birth, into childhood, and through adulthood. You've never heard such heartfelt words being lifted up to the Lord. Baby Hill has some amazing women to look up to, ones that will point her to God, encourage her, and love her well. That makes my heart overflow with joy. Little one, you are going to love this family of ladies. 

I can't say enough 'thank yous' to Amy! You threw one wonderful shower for baby girl and I. I couldn't have swooned over it more (can we do it all again?!). I'm so thankful for our friendship and sisterhood and that we get to do so much of life together. I know baby girl is going to love her Auntie A like crazy, and I so look forward to introducing you two!

Thoughts For Friday + The Pick: Week 37

Friday, September 18, 2015
Oh my, another week in the books! This week was c.r.a.z.y. and good in so many ways. And I'm so darn thankful that it's Friday, we survived it, and there's a weekend of goodness awaiting us. Last weekend was pretty darn exceptional and I'm challenging this weekend to beat it. I think it will :)

Before I get rolling with my thoughts for the week, I wanted to remind you bloggers out there that we'll be linking up for the Every Girl series next Thursday to share a Home DIY. Whether it be a big or small project, seasonal or not, get ready to share and inspire! This weekend would be the perfect opportunity to finish up or start a fun project!

T H I N K I N G  > All about my first baby shower this weekend! I can't wait to get together with my people to celebrate baby girl and pray for her. She's loved by so many already and that makes my heart burst with joy.

P O N D E R I N G > A good recipe for homemade iced coffee. I just can't nail one that I love. Taking recommendations if you have one you live by!

N E E D I N G > To get my nails painted so that I stop biting on them. I'm notorious for biting my nails when I'm stressed or just feeling off. Like I said this week has been a doozy at times, and my nails have paid for it.

L I S T E N I N G > To the Lord work through those around me to answer prayer. While this week has been a bit overwhelming, it's also been full of His faithfulness. And He has used our people in so many ways to answer our prayers. It's been really encouraging. You never know how God is going to communicate, so when he does and you recognize it, it's beautiful.

D R E A M I N G > About area rugs. I've got my feelers out there for a great steal and a lovely design.

S W O O N I N G > Over the way baby girl reacts to her daddy's voice. Whenever husband gets close to my belly and talks to our girl she gets all the wiggles. She's already crazy about him, and the feeling is mutual!

Happy weekending, lovelies!! Cheers to a fabulous Saturday and Sunday! xo

join me for #weekending on Instagram @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page
or subscribe via email to be updated every time I post (see the sidebar)

Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick, by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you.