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Life Update: Pregnancy (17 weeks) + Thanksgiving break!

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

17 weeks and the bump is starting to finally make its appearance more regularly! I still get shocked every time I look in the mirror and see that there’s a BABY bump there!!


I’m slowly transitioning into a few maternity tops! And I’m feeling the baby move so much more now — Jesse was even able to feel some movement!!


After a few weeks of lots of pregnancy-induced insomnia, I actually slept over 7 hours straight the past two nights!!!! I forgot what that felt like!!

Also, I have significantly changed my diet and that seems to really be helping my heartburn. I usually have severe heartburn that gets progressively worse in my pregnancy but I found that limiting my fats to eggs, avocados, butter, and grape seed oil + having almost zero acidic foods has made a massive difference in the last week for me. I don’t know how long the relief will continue but every hour that I’m not experiencing intense heartburn is such a gift right now!


Carbs and more carbs (at least I’m craving whole grains most of the time, though!!) Plus (gratefully!) some fruit, veggies, and meat. I’m thankful that while I’m still nauseous at least some of every day, overall I’m able to eat and (mostly) enjoy healthy food again! Also, I’m back to drinking close to a gallon of water again — yay!!!


Got any great suggestions/solutions to help with insomnia or heartburn? Send ‘em my way!

The kids are SO excited to have a whole week of school off for Thanksgiving break! We’re headed to Kansas to spend time with both of our families and can’t wait!

Kathrynne got Friday off, too, so she went with me to Panera while I worked on a writing project and she worked on this art project (she’s been loving sketching and drawing and doodling recently!)

The finished product!

Something From My Heart…

They say you should use a nice camera, use editing software, and use photo presets if you really want to grow your online following and increase your engagement.

I think blogs and social media accounts like that are beautiful and amazing, but that’s just not me. I’m not that organized, put-together, or patient. Plus, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to use photo presets.

So instead, I bring you real-life photos and videos taken in the moment on my phone. Because this is my life and this is what I have to offer.

The “experts” would say a darkly-lit photo with a messy table and dishes on it should never see the light of day on someone’s social media account or blog. But y’all, I think this photo that I took the other night of the Silas and Jesse working on Silas’ rough draft together is so much more meaningful than most all edited and staged photos I have.

It speaks of a dad who loves his son, of a boy who is working hard on school, and of the beauty that is real life. These are the moments I don’t ever want to forget.

If I took the time to try to get the lighting right, cleared the table strewn with dishes and books, and staged the setting, it would completely lose the meaning for me.

So thank you for following here and joining me in the imperfect. Thank you for not expecting pretty and staged and edited from my blog or social media accounts. Thank you for showing up for the real and the raw. And thank you for loving me — and us — exactly as we are! It means the world to me and it makes me look forward to hanging out online every day! ❤️

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  • April says:

    I love that your photography is real life style. Love it.

  • Jeanie says:

    I think the “being real” and even admitting to having issues same as everyone else is one of the main reasons if not THE main reason your blog is so popular.

    (BTW, dill pickles for heartburn!!)

  • Jill says:

    It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful….the best saying ever!!!

  • Kitty says:

    Wow – your daughter is amazingly talented. I love that picture – it has depth and shadows. It feels like it is moving somehow. How did she think of that?

  • AK says:

    Papaya extract tablets were SUPER helpful for pregnancy heartburn. I still keep them around for general stomach upset.

  • Kelli says:

    I LOVE your pics!! It is so easy and friendly to come to your blog (which I’ve been doing since just after you had Kaitlyn!). It’s not shallow and always showing perfection like the ones that make me feel “less than”. It feels like a normal life…. like mine! ❤️

  • Lise says:

    You truly have the beautiful quintessential pregnancy glow! So happy for you! And I finally agree you have a teeny pregnancy bump. 😀

    • Thank you so much for your kind encouragement!

      • Cathy says:

        Dear Crystal,

        I have not followed the blog for a little while as I need to cut back on buying. I came looking to see what black friday deals you have and found the greatest surprise! You are expecting and I am sooo excited for you! I have followed you since my engagement 15 years ago and you were selling modest wedding dresses. I now have 8 children and 3 babirs in heaven. I have felt so much for you as you went through difficult pregnancies, postpartum depression, and infertility. The Lord is so gracious and I am so blessed to know of your beautiful baby on the way! I am hoping to have my health to a point by the new year that we can try again. 🙂 I lost a baby last February due to low progesterone and thyroid that was not found until it was too late. I just told my husband last night that I feel like my thyroid is about back to normal. Congratulations!

        • I am so sorry for your losses! Thank you for sharing in our excitement! We were also in the middle of getting licensed as foster parents when we found out and we just recently got fully licensed, so we are trusting God for what that will hold for us in the coming months, too!

  • Meegan says:

    Yay baby bump! I had to take 1/2 a Unisom pill for nausea for pregnancy for all 3 of my kids. My doc said it was originally supposed to be a motion sickness pill but the drowsiness was so severe it was decided to be marketed as a sleep aid instead. Obviously, I’d check with your own doc… but it might help you sleep! I loved having it especially at the end where you have to wake up to pee multiple times a night… I could immediately go back to sleep (tmi?!? sorry!)

    • I’m such a fan of unisom, too. For some reason, it stopped working for me a few weeks ago so I stopped taking it… but I think I might try again. Maybe I was just having something weird go on!

  • Beth says:

    Very cool drawing! I love geometric art. Has she ever tried quilting?
    Are you still taking magnesium? Maybe upping the dose would help with sleeping? Is anything keeping you awake (heartburn, pain, restless legs, anxiety) or is it strictly, “can’t sleep.” I’ve had probably all of those at some point or another during my pregnancies. The “can’t sleep” variety is very annoying. That kind has been limited to the first trimester for me. And my midwife said the first “trimester” should really be labeled as 19 weeks long because it often takes that long to get past the nausea, insomnia, fatigue etc. If it’s just “can’t sleep” then Unisom might be worth a try, as someone else mentioned.

    • She hasn’t tried quilting! I am taking the highest dose of magnesium they recommend for pregnancy. Heartburn and nausea sometimes keep me awake, sometimes it’s just that I’m wide awake! It’s so weird… because I usually have zero trouble sleeping! I was taking Unisom but it stopped working for me so I stopped taking it because I hate taking meds unless I feel they are really doing something extremely valuable. I think I’ll try it again, though, to see if my body decides it works again! 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    I sipped a little apple cider vinegar diluted in water everytime I had heartburn during my last pregnancy. It completely got rid of it for me!

  • rebecca says:

    I had heartburn during all 4 of my pregnancies. It was always worse when I laid down to take a nap or go to bed. Lying on my left side worked wonders. Also, drinking milk when I got heartburn helped…the calcium in the milk binds with the acid.

  • Joyce says:

    Crystal, all I can say is THANK YOU! I just saw your post and you have no idea (ok, I’m pretty sure you actually do) how much your “something from my heart” meant to me…and the timing is perfect (His timing always is)…

    The # One thing that holds me back in my blogging journey is ‘creating those perfect photos to go with the post’…..I have so many ‘drafts’ stored in my Posts folder…things I need to share with my audience but don’t because I don’t have the ‘perfect photo’ to accompany the post…ugh

    This is sooooooo freeing for me…(my new mantra) “if Crystal can create a successful business without perfect photos…so can I” 🙂

  • Chelsea Donlay says:

    I recently found your website after hearing you on Money Sense. If it wasn’t you, I still found you thinking I found the right website. 🤣 My insomnia and heartburn/indigestion has significantly decreased since I began my probiotic that contain digestive enzymes, as well my magnesium/Vit C supplement. I definitely try to find natural solutions before taking a med or prescription.

    • I’m with you on the natural solutions! What probiotic are you taking! I’ve been taking the highest dose of magnesium but I’d love to try a probiotic because it certain can’t hurt!

  • Ang F. says:

    Try some baking soda water for the heartburn. Maybe some herbal sleepytime tea for sleeping? Lavender in a diffuser may help too. Good luck! I’m so happy for you guys!

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