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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 11) & a trip to South Africa & Herndon, VA

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.

In case you missed last week’s update, check it out here.

11 weeks! I’m so excited to be getting close to the 2nd trimester!

This week was a week full of ups and downs. I had some really bad days and two surprisingly decent days where I actually had a few short windows where I didn’t feel nauseous. It was the most incredible feeling and, even though it was short-lived, it was just the encouragement I needed after having a really rough and discouraging week last week nausea-wise.

(By the way, it seems that most people have told me that their nausea is always worst in the mornings. For some reason, mine gets progressively worse as the day goes on. By bedtime, it’s at the severe level and often keeps me up for a few hours. I don’t have any explanation for this but it’s how it’s been in all my pregnancies so I guess it just is what it is!)


I had another doctor’s appointment this week and another ultrasound. Since Jesse and Kathrynne are in South Africa, I took Silas and Kaitlynn with me to the appointment. It was exciting for them to get to see our baby on the screen! Also, my doctor says the baby has grown quite a bit & everything is looking so healthy.


We had the NIPT test done this week. We opted to do it for a variety of reasons, even though it’s not 100% accurate. One exciting side benefit: we should be finding out what we’re having in the next two weeks!

We haven’t decided whether we’ll be telling people or not. We didn’t find out with either of the girls but chose to find out with Silas and decided that we preferred finding out to being surprised. However, with Silas, we decided to keep it a secret from everyone, including our extended family. We may or may not do that again.


A total of 4 pounds so far… which means that I have officially outgrown a lot of my clothes. I ordered a few new tunic tops from Amazon and a few new pairs of leggings. I also went through my closet and pared it down to the looser-fitting tops/bottoms I already own that I can still into comfortably.

I’m guessing I’ll be transitioning to maternity clothes sometime in the next 4-6 weeks. (If I remember right, I usually start wearing them around 17-20 week but I feel like my belly has popped faster this pregnancy!)

A Peek Into Our Week

A number of you have asked for me to post a picture of Quill (our pet hedgehog). He’s doing so well and has grown so big.

A Trip to South Africa

Jesse and Kathrynne flew to South Africa on Wednesday to visit our friends there and see how things were going with the ministry we support there.

(We usually go every year and it’s one of my favorite places ever, but for some reason, I didn’t feel a peace about going this year. It didn’t make any sense at all, but I just felt strongly that I wasn’t supposed to go… little did I know that it was going to be because I was pregnant!)

They’ve been sending me pictures of their time there and I am just so happy for them.

Jesse said that Kathrynne is having the best time and it warms my mama heart so much to see my girl halfway around the world loving on these kids and teens.

While they’ve been gone, we stayed busy back here. I got to interview Aundi Kolber for next week’s podcast episode. I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode; it is fantastic!

(Also, we looked like we were dressed for a gender reveal party or something! I didn’t even realize it until I looked at the picture we took together after she left!)

I also was so excited one morning to feel well enough to go to Kroger quickly and pick up their Friday-Saturday deals!

A Trip to Herdon, VA

And then Kaitlynn and Silas flew with me to Herdon, VA for me to speak at the 2:1 conference. (I usually only bring one child with me on speaking engagements, but since they were both on fall break and Jesse and Kathrynne were gone, they both got to come with me!)

One of the highlights of the conference was getting to meet Janet Benge, who has co-authored so many of the Christian Heroes Then and Now books. I had to get a picture for my mom.

I loved getting to do a breakout workshop about exploding your engagement on Instagram! The attendees were the best and I could have stayed for another hour or two and answered all the questions I didn’t get to answer during the session and at the end!

One of my favorite things is getting to help others also fall in love with the power of Instagram. Speaking of which, are you following me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out as I share lots of behind-the-scenes, money-saving deals, and real-time updates there… many that I never get space to share here on the blog!

I also gave the morning keynote sharing how my parents impacted my life and the power of legacy.

What I’m…

Reading right now: The Only Plane in the Sky (Note: This has a little bit of language in it, but it is a very worthwhile read and I would highly recommend it.)

Watching right now: Have you seen the Enneagram Rhapsody? Multiple sent it to me this week and I had to laugh because there was so much truth in it. If you are an Enneagram fan, you’ll probably love it, if you haven’t seen it yet. 🙂

Listening to right now: This week, I’ve been listening to the Serene and Pearl UnShow at night when I have trouble sleeping because of nausea. I love the Trim Healthy Mama podcast and their quirky sense of humor and the way they disagree with one another and tease one another. (A lot of people are annoyed with how they talk over each other on their podcast. I happen to love it — probably because I grew up in a large family and we are always talking over each other and teasing one another mercilessly!)

Loving right now: This kimono (I have it on in the photo at the top of this post. It’s perfect to dress up an outfit, so comfortable, and is something I’ve worn multiple times in the last month!)

What are YOU reading, watching, listening to, and loving right now? I’d love to hear!

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  • Lisa says:

    Crystal, I hope the pregnancy sickness lessens for you real soon. Having suffered through hyperemesis gravidarum, I know how miserable it can be during that time of pregnancy. I am thankful I was usually better by week 14.
    I’m amazed at how you can still get so much done while feeling so cruddy!

    • Samantha says:

      Have you tried taking naps in the afternoon? I have heard that tiredness increases nausea and that may be why you are so tired by bedtime. I have had horrible nausea with all three of my pregnancies and each trigger was so different!

      Good luck getting through it!

      • I did an IG story the other day talking about how I realized that if I lie very flat and very still most of the day, I feel quite a bit less sick. But with working full-time and lots of responsibilities + three kids with lots of activities, that’s not really feasible most days. However, I have been taking Sundays completely off and have been staying in bed most all day long and it’s been the BEST!

      • REBECCA says:

        How old are your other kids?

    • It has truly been the grace of God! When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was getting ready to go into the 4 biggest/fullest weeks of the entire year… and God has been so faithful! But I will be honest and say that I am so grateful to have the past 6 weeks of travel/speaking/presenting/product launching behind me!! 🙂

  • It was great getting to meet you finally! Thanks for taking time to get a picture with me.

  • Sarah says:

    I too, had hyperemesis gravidarum. It is the worst, so I can totally empathize with you!
    My doctor told me the more empty your stomach is, the worse your nausea can become (that’s why most women suffer from nausea in the morning, after not eating all night.)
    I hope you feel better soon!
    I have enjoyed following along with your pregnancy, Crystal!

    • Yes! I 100% agree with your doctor! I was sharing on IG stories today that one of the reasons I feel like I’ve been more functional this pregnancy (instead of mostly bedridden like I was with my other pregnancies in the first trimester) was because I have made myself eat some protein every two hours — even when it was the very last thing I wanted to do!

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