Baby Farrell's Psychic Reading

OK, so I can't believe it has taken me so long to write this post. Better late than never, right?


A couple of months ago, I was approached by a young lady whose client was offering a free reading with a health and wellness psychic--meaning I could ask any pregnancy or mom-related question I wanted! Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. For starters, I totally believe in psychics. And furthermore, it was free entertainment, true or not.

I spoke with Kristine, who first explained how she reads. She uses a pendulum and asks her spirit direct questions. I heard her ask each question to her spirit and then she would relay the answers to me. We started with the baby and talked about gender (she confirmed it's a boy!) and his personality before moving on to some labor details and more about the parenting side of things.

Without further adieu, here's what I found out about our amazing little man and what's (possibly) ahead.

What kind of personality will our baby boy have?
He looks like a little leader, that’s for sure. I see a lot of yellow colors around his aura.

The baby is a perfect combination of the two of you, but very different. This is an independent child. He’s not going to be super clingy, like “Mommy, mommy.” A lot of times, people with this yellow aura, they’re very logical and they over-think things. This child is not going to be one to just sit in the corner. He'll be the one telling everyone to follow him around the playground. You’re not going to have to worry about him; he’s very strong. He's not going to be the kind of kid who gets picked on, he’ll be able to handle himself.

I see someone who might bottle up his feelings, so you might have to coerce him to talk about stuff sometimes. He’s very strong willed and his strength isn't with intuition and sensitivities, he’s more logical and science-brained. He'll probably do really good in science and math.

I see is someone who’s really funny, charismatic and persuasive. He’ll be kind of like the life of the party, cracking jokes and being funny.

Will I have the baby early or late?
I actually think you might be a little early! You'll be pretty close to the due date, about 2.5 days early. I’d say around December 16 your little guy will be born.

How long will I be in labor?
Looks like about 14 hours, which is kind of long, but actually pretty average for a first child. I think it will be a full two hours of pushing, almost 2.5 hours. I don't see you needing pitocin or anything to progress your labor. He will be around 7 pounds. I don’t see anything weird happening where you’ll have to have a C-section.

Will I be able to breastfeed easily?
It will be a struggle at first. I’m getting that it will be fine, but it’s not a strong yes. It's going to take some time for him to figure out how to latch on.

Will he be a good sleeper?
I don’t think he’s going to be that great of a sleeper. It’s barely a yes, so it might be a challenge for you. The sleeping patterns will be challenging, so you might have to pull out some tricks to get him to sleep. He’s got this personality where he doesn't want to miss out on anything. He’s very aware and observant and he wants to see what’s going on, so he won't want to sleep. He’s just an active baby.

What will our family dynamic be like?
He takes after mommy more than daddy from what I can see. He’s very strong willed, he’s not going to be super easy-going like Dad. He’s more strong willed, like you. You wear the pants in the family.

You and the baby might butt heads sometimes, because you’re both very strong willed. Bryan will calm both of you down. Bryan is more laid back, so he’ll help calm this child down, they’ll be very good for each other. Very balancing.

You’re going to be a little bit of a worrier and your husband is going to be super chill. He’s super thoughtful and he’ll be a very attentive dad, but he’s way more laid back than you. You tend to obsess, so it’s hard for you be laid back because you worry. Bryan is going to calm both of you guys down. He’s the calming, grounding energy in your family.

How will his health be?
Good and normal. No allergies or weird tendencies.

Will I struggle with Post-Partum Depression?
You’re going to have a lack of sleep, but I don’t see depression being the case with you.

How will I be as a mom?
Oh, you’re gonna be an awesome mom. You’re very nurturing. I can see in your aura, you've got a lot of green, so you’re very grounded and very reliable – you've got great Mama Bear energy. I think you’re going to love being a mom. You’re kind of like a healer. You’re here to help people and serve people. You’re going to be a natural mom, seriously.

You love helping people, so it’s going to give you a lot of purpose in your life. You’re a good judge of people, like you can go in a room and think, 'I’m not sure about that person' and you’re usually right. You can read people really well. This kid isn't going to be able to pull crap on you. You’re like the mom that kids are like, “How does she know what I’m up to?” You’re going to be really good in that way. You're very in tune and you have a strong mama’s intuition.

How will having a baby affect our marriage?
You give your partner a lot of inner strength and confidence. You really balance each other well, you’re perfect for each other. So it’s good you’re having a baby together.

Having a baby will bring you closer together. Sleeping is going to be hard for you guys for a little while, but this baby is going to be the glue between you guys. I don’t see any issues there.

Are we going to have any more children? 
I see another one. I’m getting the number two. It looks like they’re going to be about three years apart. A boy and a girl!

*****************************************************************************
And that was our reading! I take it all with a grain of salt, for sure. I liked that she didn't just give me a rosy outlook. She was very honest about some of the challenges, like sleep or breastfeeding. Sure, sleeping and breastfeeding are challenging for nearly every new parent, but now that I have this "foresight," I can better prepare myself. Truth be told, I have been expecting the baby to be a great sleeper because he does it so well in my tummy right now! At least when I need him to.

The one thing I really want to be true? When he arrives! I'll make sure to do an update and let you guys know how accurate Kristine was. Either way, I had fun.

One more interesting fact about Kristine. She let me know she's not a visual psychic, but that she's really good with numbers and timelines, (Hence, the specifics on number of hours I'd be in labor, etc.) She has found 9 missing people within 250-500 feet of where they were found. She'll also be on a TV series coming out called, "Pounding the Ground," where she helps federal agents find missing people.

What do you guys think? Do you believe in psychics?
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A Storybook Baby Shower: The Details

Happy Tuesday!

I'm still getting caught up on weekend updates, but I just can't wait to share the details of our baby shower last weekend.

My best friend Ashley flew all the way in from California to throw us a shower, with the help of to my other best friends, Kate and Sara, who live here in Chicago. These ladies all put so much thought, labor and love into the event and I am so grateful to them!


The theme was a surprise to me, so when I arrived at the shower and saw that it was storybook, I was so excited. They chose the theme based on the fact that I love to write and read. Obviously books will be a huge hobby for me and babe.

They had food to match the books, which were part of the decor. For example, the book "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" came with sushi and "Rainbow Fish" came with Rainbow Goldfish. The best part was I got to keep all the books to help build our baby boy's library!


The guest list was many of my close girlfriends who live here in the city. I realized at the shower that I know them all from previous jobs. I really have been so lucky to meet such great people through work and to have stayed friends with them. It was nice to have such an intimate group of ladies who I knew I could just relax and be myself around!



The whole afternoon was so enjoyable thanks to my wonderful hostesses. They didn't miss a detail! For all the scoop on how the shower came together, check out Kate's blog.






To my hostesses and guests, thank you for loving me and our baby boy so much already! We are both so lucky to have you!

The best part of the whole weekend was just spending time with my Ashley! Bryan was out of town, so we spent lots of quality girl time just hanging out. We ate dinners in, slept in, stayed up chatting (as late as 11pm...party animals!) and just enjoyed each other. 


Love you, Ash!
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30 Things To Do Before Baby

I've reached that point in my pregnancy where I've realized, "Holy shit, we're having a baby."

You would think that I would have reached this point, I don't know, before I was 8 months pregnant? But something about only being 5 weeks from being "full-term" (aka, baby can show up whenever!) and 8 weeks from my due date has me in a sudden tizzy.

The fact that we've been out of town since the middle of September doesn't help, as we have not had an opportunity to get much done for baby. I mean, let's be real: If the kid showed up tomorrow, we would be OK. We might not have the 200 items we registered for, but all you hear is how a newborn baby just needs love...and we've got that!

To ease my anxieties, I've compiled a list of to-do's to get done before Baby Farrell makes his debut in anywhere from 5 to 9 weeks. Some are small, some are big, some are probably unnecessary, but hey - it's my list. Go make your own.

(And yes, I included some items that we have already completed because PROGRESS, people!)

Anything else I should add to my list?
  1. Paint guest bedroom. My hubby completed this one for me and once, when I was bored, I even went ahead and painted the master bedroom, too!
  2. Clean out guest bedroom closet. Another task I completed during a long weekend while going insane wondering if my husband was alive on Mt. Rainier.
  3. Move bed, dresser and crap out of guest bedroom and into a storage unit. We're taking care of this this weekend!
  4. Rent storage unit. Completed last week. Side note: storage units aren't cheap. Anyone want to house our guest bedroom furniture until we move next year? 
  5. Design and organize nursery. Words can't express how excited I am to get started on this. During my pregnancy, I've been buying things that I *think* will fit our space and what I have in mind, but I won't know until we get the stuff that's in this room out, and we get our nursery furniture in. Just got a call that it will be here next week, and I AM SO EXCITED!
  6. Choose and order glider. The one and only time I've made my hubby go to BuyBuyBaby was to help me choose a glider. I gave him three to pick from, he chose in less than a minute and that was that. Why do I make things so hard? (His words, not mine.) It won't be here until next month sometime.
  7. Call insurance company to get breast pump. I think technically, I"m waiting for them to call me. I have let them know what kind I want and when I'm due, and word on the street is they will contact me when I'm closer to needing it.
  8. Purchase remaining items from registry. We have another baby shower next weekend, and a baby brunch in mid-November. After that, I plan to fully utilize our registry discounts and get any major items we still lack. Annnd I'll probably go nuts on clothes, cuz I have yet to do that.
  9. Choose and book a newborn photographer. Chosen today, as a matter of fact! We are going with AG Gallery. I spoke with her for a long time this week and loved her and her approach, not to mention her affordable prices and beautiful photos! 
  10. Sign up for childbirth and childcare classes. We'll take two childbirth classes, starting at the beginning of November and then we have one newborn care class the week after that. 
  11. Figure out childcare for post-maternity leave. We know we're joining a nanny share, but unfortunately can't find a nanny until I'm actually on leave, since many women are looking for a job now, not in March. Slightly stressed not having this figured out, but not much I can do at this point.
  12. Plan babymoon! We even went on our babymoon! Read all about it.
  13. Choose name for baby. Someday I will write a post about choosing a name for your child. It is not easy! But, ours is chosen and no, I'm not sharing until he's here.
  14. Tour Labor & Delivery unit at hospital. I can cross this off when we complete our childbirth classes!
  15. Pack hospital bags. 
  16. Pick a birth announcement. I want to do this before he comes so that it's one less thing for me to do AFTER he arrives. If I choose one, I can design it and all I have to do is choose a photo and update with his birth details. Done and done!
  17. Choose a pediatrician. We chose our pediatrician based on our OB's recommendation. He is someone in our practice and is highly recommended. He's even the author of a well-known baby book! The only thing that might come into play later is that he's downtown, which in Chicago, means like 20-30 minutes away. So we may look for someone closer to home.
  18. Get car seat installation checked by local fire department. I didn't know this was a thing that had to be done until a friend told me last week. The car seat is installed, but I know it's done right, so I am more than happy to have someone else do it for me!
  19. Purchase a baby book. You know, so that I can put all my good intentions of carefully hallmarking our son's life to use.
  20. Purchase additional life insurance. Did anyone else do this when they had a baby? I've heard it's not a bad idea, in case someone loses their job (and coincidentally, their life insurance) and you have more control over how much your policy is. All these things to consider now that there's someone else depending on you.
  21. Contact insurance company to determine out-of-pocket costs. I know we're covered for a lot of our maternity care, but I also know we'll have to pay some money. The question is, how much?
  22. Register car seat and stroller. It's recommended to do this so the company knows where to contact you in case of a recall.
  23. Get 3D/4D Ultraound. We don't have any more sonograms (unless something is wrong) during our pregnancy, so we are doing this at an outside vendor. We are going on Sunday and can't wait to see how much our little boy has grown!
  24. Finalize maternity-leave plan. To keep everyone at work sane while I'm gone. :)
  25. Save money! This will likely never be crossed off the list, but we have a number that we'd like to have saved before baby gets here. I think we'll get there!
  26. Cook and freeze meals. Another lofty goal, but I've heard it's a good idea to do this so that you have food when baby comes. Maybe some weekend in November when I'm super preggo and miserable, I'll jump on Pinterest and find some good recipes.
  27. Create "baby's here!" contact list (phone and mail). Don't want to forget anyone when we're heading to the hospital, nor when we send our birth announcements!
  28. Find/create storage solutions for baby, mom and dad. Tie this back to the whole nursery thing. I need to find somewhere to store all of the clothing in the dresser that's in the guest bedroom, as well as somewhere to put the current items "stored" under the bed. And, I need to determine what we want to shlep off to the storage unit while we're at it....
  29. Buy winter coat for pre- and post-baby. I really don't want to spend any more money on maternity clothes, but figure I will need a coat for winter that covers my bump, and that I can wear after baby in that "in between" stage. Anyone know where I can get a good deal? $50 or less would be ideal...
  30. Figure out how to take care of newborn baby. Cuz honestly...what the hell are we doing?
That leaves 21 things left to do. Off to work!
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Week 31 || Bumpdate


Baby's size: A pineapple. He should be around 17-18 inches and weighing more than 3 lbs! I wonder how much taller he'll get? Here's hoping he gets his dad's tall genes!

Baby's progress: His skin is starting to smooth out and he's getting all those wrinkles in his continually-developing brain. All five of his senses are working now, and he's pretty close to his birth length, but will continue to pack on the pounds! He continues to be super active as he grows and space diminishes! 

Weight gain: 35 lbs so far. 

Sleep: This just became a problem this week. Why? I can't get comfortable and once I do, I inevitably have to go to the bathroom. This repeats at least 4-5 times through the night. Other times, I'm up with anxiety. Last night? Woke up with blood pouring out of my nose. The joys!

Movement: So much movement! Kid seriously never sleeps in there...or so it seems. He's doing a lot of rolling and relocating these days! It's so strange and amazing to see my entire stomach ripple, or feel an entire foot through my skin. I do love it though!

Best moment this week: We had our second baby shower over the weekend, hosted by my dear girlfriends, Ashley, Kate and Sara. Ashley flew all the way in from CA to host. It was an intimate gathering of my favorite ladies here in the city and I loved every second. Details to come in a post soon! I also put together our car seat and stroller. Shit's gettin' real!

Looking forward to: Our nursery furniture should be getting delivered any time this week! Can't wait to get to serious work on the nursery and start nesting/preparing for baby! I also have some purchases coming my way from Etsy and Land of Nod, which I'm super excited about!

Symptoms: It feels like I live on the toilet, I have to pee so often. Carpal tunnel is still out the wazoo. It's normal for me to just not feel my pinky and ring finger on my left hand. Swelling is starting to ramp up and then there's the sleeping issue. Other than that...can't complain. (Really though, I'm trying not to complain. It's only going to get worse.)

Food cravings: I needed to have peanut butter and jelly a few times this week. Super weird..and delicious.

Workouts: Not last week. This week, I've been going on long walks with Addy and I'm going to the real gym today!

What I miss: Feeling smart. Pregnancy brain is real, folks, and I hate feeling like I don't have my shit in order. I also miss working out if you can believe it. Like REALLY working out, working up a sweat, getting my heart rate up, etc. And feeling like I can breathe is a long lost memory, too...

Things that suck: I'm a little sick of having to heave and ho myself up from anywhere...sitting, laying, even going to the bathroom. Getting up is such an effort. 

Things that don't suck: Being spoiled. I seriously love baby showers. It's incredible how many people already love our little baby and he's not even here yet. I am continually humbled by everyone's generosity!



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6 Times When Being Sober Sucks

When you're pregnant, you quickly learn that the world does not, in fact, revolve around your pregnancy. While you're stone-cold sober for those 40 weeks, the people around you will continue to get married, host parties, go to happy hour or sit at home on Friday with a bottle of red. Rude, right?

The first few times when you're out socially as a preggo, people will apologize for drinking in front of you. You'll insist that if you can't drink, someone should--all the while, your mouth will water looking at said person's cocktail. Such revere for your sobriety will soon end. Before you or they know it, your friends, family, husband (pretty much anyone but you) is getting hammered on the regular while you sip water, soda, non-alcoholic beer or some variation of a mocktail that would undoubtedly taste better with vodka.

Honestly though, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean your social life needs to be put on hold. I've made it a point to be very active throughout my pregnancy and not isolate myself from friends just because I can't get drunk with them. In fact, if you find that you can't go out and do things as a sober person and enjoy yourself, you may want to re-evaluate some things in your life.

I will say that I am among the group of pregnant women who does indulge in an occasional glass of wine. You can judge me if you want, but as long as my doctor and husband are OK with it, so am I. That said, oftentimes I think about having a glass of wine and realize, it's REALLY hard (for me anyway) to just have one glass. Not to mention that if I do pour myself a glass, I have to measure it because I tend to have a heavy hand. When I saw what a "real" glass of wine looks like at 4-5 oz, my first thought was, "What's the point?"

I digress.

Another pregnant epiphany is realizing how many, MANY social circumstances and events in life involve alcohol. As in, pretty much everything.

That being said, some of said events are more tolerable than others as a sober person - at least in my opinion. I thought it would be a fun, perhaps helpful experiment, to help other preggos decide whether certain things are insufferable or tolerable when you're not drinking.

So, at the risk of sounding like a lush (which I am), here, ranked from 1 to 6, with 6 being the most insufferable, are times when being sober sucks.

1. Concerts
I've been to five concerts while pregnant: Seeing the cast of Nashville; Tegan & Sara; Carrie Underwood; Ed Sheeran and Lollapalloza.
At Carrie Underwood
All happened at different stages of my pregnancy and all were very different "vibes" and with different groups of friends. I think all of these things make a difference when considering how tolerable it is. Generally speaking, you don't have to be drunk to enjoy a concert. Except Lolla. Be drunk for that. Or high. Something.

2. Football/Tailgating
Fall and football are two of my favorite things. College football Saturdays, Sunday Funday - you name it, I like it. I also really like day drinking, and football/tailgating go hand-in-hand with that. In fact, once I got over not being able to drink in the early days of pregnancy, it was smooth sailing.

Watching the Hawks

Until one recent fall day. The weather was beautiful, nice enough to sit on the patio. Football season had just started and bars around the city were packed to the brim with people. Never have I ever in my pregnancy wanted a drink more.

3. Boating/Lake Time
Depending on who you are and what you like, this one may or may not be hard. If you're me, my happy place is on a dock or boat, sun shining, drink in hand.

And it's just not the same when that drink doesn't have alcohol.

4. Bachelorette parties
I was invited to a bachelorette party in Vegas while I was pregnant. I couldn't go due to other obligations, but if I could have, I wouldn't have. There is no way Vegas could be fun without the option of getting drunk.

I've been to one bachelorette party in the city, where I opted out of most of the day (bar crawling) and joined the group for dinner only, so it was fine. I also hosted a bachelorette party for my little sister back in Iowa City. The whole day was focused on alcohol. I found people insanely annoying in the early part of the evening, but as the day progressed, I got less annoyed. Because people watching. And blackmail.

5. Weddings
This is a tough one. I've attended three weddings while pregnant, and have a fourth one coming up in a few weeks. Again, I think the fun factor here/ability to enjoy yourself sober depends on who is hosting the wedding and the guests you are spending the evening with. As I have told each bride, if someone has sober fun at your wedding, it was a good party.



Obviously, I have fun friends. As such, I've had a great time at every wedding I've attended this year. I don't expect the fourth to be any different. There are bonuses to being sober at a wedding:Weddings usually mean good food and dessert, which as every pregnant woman knows, is our saving grace. Personally, when I'm boozing it up, sometimes I forget to eat and I NEVER get the cake. Also, people watching becomes SUPER FUN at weddings as everyone around you gets inebriated, and it's fun to be able to tell people what actually happened last night when they can't remember the next day.


The worst thing about sober wedding-going is the dancing. I am a terrible dancer and when drunk, don't care. I am the epitome of "Dance like no one's watching." Sober, I am VERY aware of my dancing skills, but I have made it out to the dance floor at each wedding nonetheless. The good part is that everyone else is drunk and so they don't notice you suck at dancing anyway!

6. Vacations
Like every other circumstance, whether or not you need to drink depends on your destination. But, here's the thing. Vacations are made for relaxing and for many people, relaxing means having a drink. The way my husband and I vacation, we don't focus on drinks, but we do have them quite frequently. We might take a break from walking and get a drink. We might go out for dinner and drinks. We might have a Heinekin while waiting in line for the Eiffel Tower.
Point is...vacations are best served with cocktails.

Got other events I missed or opinions on the above? Let's hear them!
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Weekend Update|| Natalie Getting Married

Here comes weekend catch up #2...a few weeks late!

My baby sister got married on October 3, back home in Iowa City. Her wedding was actually at a similar venue to ours. They shut down the venue where we married due to zoning laws, but the owner rebuilt similar structures and that's where Natty and Matt got married. 

Just married!

It was gorgeous! As matron of honor with my older sister, I obviously knew the theme and some of the details, but I didn't know everything. I was so proud of my little sister's planning! They went for a chic, rustic fall wedding, with their colors being deep purple and orange. Everything seriously came together flawlessly and was just gorgeous, from the flowers to the guest book. It was almost like stepping INSIDE Pinterest.

Getting ready to see her groom for the first time!

The three 'Zupek' girls 

Given the time of year, everyone expected cooler weather, but no one one expected the 47 degree temps that day. Despite the wind and cold, the show went on, with an outdoor ceremony. Honestly, it wasn't that bad. They decided to warm guests with hot apple cider as they took their seats and they got heat lamps for the wedding party at the altar. Lifesavers. And since the reception was held mostly inside, the temps were only a minor issue.

Wedding party!

Natty is still pretty young -- she turns 24 in December. She and Matt got engaged two years ago and it's been so enjoyable to see them pretty much grow up during their engagement. Being young and married can be challenging -- but then again, so can being "old" and married. The most important thing, more important than age or experience, is that two people make each other happy. And I know that Matt, my new BIL, loves Natty more than anything and that she adores him.

With my preggo besties!

Older sissy and co-Matron of honor

It was hard for my older sister, Jessica, and I to come up with our wedding speech. I mean, it was our baby sister. How do we possibly summarize the past 23 years we've known her and all the things we love about her into one semi-short speech? We decided to go the route of telling all the hilarious (well, we found them hilarious) ways we tortured Natalie growing up, to focusing on how we've actually come to GASP like each other over the years, and of course, how happy we are for her and her new husband.

My handsome hubby & I. Let's hope baby gets Daddy's looks!

We closed our speech with the following toast, which we found on the ever-helpful Pinterest. Natty, I love you and am so happy for you! Your wedding was truly a beautiful celebration and I was so happy to be a part of it. Listen to our advice! :)


Since they got married on a Friday, on Saturday, my dad and stepmom hosted an "after party" where everyone opened presents, ate leftover food, drank leftover booze and watched college football. Children ran wild and adults drank away their hangovers. (Wamp wamp.) That night, we went to one last dinner with everyone before they took off on Sunday. It was great to be able to see my cousins, aunts and uncles who live all over the U.S. and we don't see often enough!




Sloan was a bit out of sorts after the weekend. Only Uncle Bry Bry could calm her down. These pics seriously melt me.

If you're feeling romantic, please check out Natalie and Matt's amazing wedding highlights, which truly capture what an amazing day it was!

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4 Favorite Fall Looks

I love me some fall. Not only because of the cooler temperatures, pretty leaves or Pumpkin-scented/flavored EVERYTHING, but because personally, I think it's when the cutest clothes make their debut.

My favorite go-to outfit in the fall is a sweater, skinny jeans and some boots. Throw in a scarf for good measure. My second favorite outfit is a sweatshirt and jeans, but I usually leave that for football Saturday/Sundays.

Thankfully, being preggo hasn't affected my fall style too much. In fact, I am loving the options I have. Sure, it was nice to live in maxis skirts and sundresses this summer, but if you ask me, there is nothing cuter (or more cozy) than comfy leggings, a fitted shirt and flowy cardigan sweater to show off your growing bump. Open workshirts/flannels and vests are also favorite great go-tos. For dressier occasions, rock a cute dress with boots and a scarf. Done and done.

Below are some of my favorite fall looks, non of which are maternity, but could be, and all are adorable!

Layers





My Style





Ain't that Rosy




Game Day




The Daily Tay Blogtober14
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In A New York Minute || Babymoon Recap

So much to catch up on on the blog! Starting with the past three weekends.

I'll start furthest back with our wonderful Babymoon to New York City. We debated where to go for this trip, and even if we should take one, mainly since I lost my job over the summer and money was tight. While I was still unemployed, we decided to ditch the beach vacation idea. After all, we just went to Puerto Rico in May. Plus, as I learned on that trip, beach vacations are made for cocktails and bikinis. Not mocktails and baby bumps. Just my opinion :).

Bryan found out he would have to go to NYC for an even for work the week after my birthday, so we thought, why not precede his trip with a weekend in NY to celebrate baby and my 31st birthday? DONE!

And I must say, it was perfect. It was food-focused, rather than drink focused. And since we'd been before, we weren't running around trying to squeeze in all the tourist stuff - we could do a nice mix of relaxing/new activities.

We flew in on Thursday night and after checking in to our hotel, we walked through Times Square and then stopped to get a drink and a bite to eat. Times Square amazes me every time we walk through...always packed with people and stores there are open until 2am! Who shops at H&M until 2am!?




On Friday, we slept in, then took our time walking around different neighborhoods until we found a lunch spot. After a leisurely meal, we took the Staten Island Ferry over to Staten Island so I could see Lady Liberty. I wasn't interested in going to the actual monument because there was no way I could climb the hundreds of stairs to the top. The ferry is free and gives you great views of the Lady and of the city!






Next, we walked over to see the 9/11 memorial. When we were here about 5 years ago, the fountains hadn't been built yet, and the Freedom Tower wasn't finished. As you can imagine, it was neat to see but not when you thought about why they were both there.


The memorials are fountains where each tower stood, with the names of all deceased engraved around it. Freedom tower is on the right.

                       



We headed down to the High Line to walk around and catch the sunset before dinner. First, we stopped at the Standard Hotel for Bryan to get a drink while I rested my feet! Love how all the bars in Manhattan are so cute and classy. And oh, the garnishes!




Friday night, I was super excited because Bryan had a surprise dinner planned to celebrate my birthday. We got dressed up and headed out, destination unknown!

The hotel gave me some cheesecake! Nice work.

We ended up at Colicchio & Sons. For all you foodies/Top Chef fans, that's Tom Colicchio's restaurant (one of many). Aside from a DELICIOUS dinner, all the details of it was perfect! I had a personalized "Happy Birthday" menu, and after I ordered dessert, the waiter informed me that one of my besties, Ashley, had dessert taken care of! Plus she sent a card and some ice cream. All this to go with the complimentary dessert I was already getting from the restaurant. 






Saturday morning, we got up early to spend the first part of the day in Brooklyn, another place I'd never been. We walked the bridge in blinding sun and sweltering heat - we were not expecting that for end of September, but we weren't complaining!






After the bridget, we grabbed brunch at a yummy mexican restaurant and afterwards, walked along the water and explored the arts festival going on. It was so hot, I was downing water and seeking shade, so the rest of the day was spent making pit stops around the city so I could go to the bathroom and Bryan would just get a drink. Bless Bryan's heart - I legit had to pee about 25 times this day, I have no idea why. He didn't say a word, just made sure I was able to go when I had to and that we could stop when I needed to rest to my legs. Love him!

We ended the day with a walk through Central Park, where there was a line like you couldn't believe waiting to get in. We finally deduced that there was a free concert featuring JayZ, Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani and more going on in the park. We realized too late though, and opted to stick with our original plans.




After another delicious dinner at the cutest restaurant called Freeman's, it was time to see Wicked! We've seen shows here in Chicago, but neither of us had seen a real Broadway show. I've been dying to see Wicked for years now, so we thought, what better time? Even Bryan enjoyed it. Highly recommend if you haven't seen it already!




And just like that, it was Sunday! My 31st birthday. We slept in, had breakfast together and then I had to get to the airport, while Bryan stayed in NYC. It was slightly depressing heading home alone, especially on my birthday. I even shed tears saying goodbye, which I never do! Hormones, for sure. But once I got home, I spent the afternoon resting and then had dinner with friends at a delicious Italian restaurant. All in all, it was a wonderful birthday!

More than that, it was a wonderful weekend. It's becoming more and more real that we only have limited time left as "just the two of us," and I'm trying to soak it all in. It was just nice spending time together, talking about what the future holds and catching up on life. It's important to make time for that, bun in the oven or not.

Happy Monday!

The Daily Tay
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