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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 18), a trip to Kansas, Thanksgiving meal prep

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.

Week 18! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway!!


Baby has been kicking up a storm and all the kids were excited that they were able to each feel kicks this week!! They want to sit and just keep their hands on my belly so they don’t miss any kicks!!


I implemented some of your suggestions for heartburn and sleep and while I can’t point to one specific thing that I’m certain worked, I am thrilled to report that I only had one really bad heartburn/nausea day this week and I’m positive it was because I wasn’t super careful with what I ate that day. Otherwise, I had very little heartburn this week and I slept for six hour stretches multiple nights!!

Also notable: this week marked my last planned flights until (likely) well after the baby is born. It feels weird that, if all goes as planned, I won’t be hopping on a plane again for months and months! I’m excited to get to stay home and write my next book, possibly get to love on and care for a child who is in foster care (we think there’s a good chance we’ll be getting a placement soon!), and start prepping for bringing this new baby into our home!


Scrambled eggs and avocados with sourdough toast and butter (this has become one of my go-to meals) and frozen yogurt. Also, I absolutely loved the turkey and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving! It hit the spot!


We went to Wichita, Kansas all week to spend time with both sides of our family. I took almost zero pictures the entire time because I was just offline and soaking up the time with family, so I have almost none to show of our time there. But it was a really fantastic trip and we’re so glad our families both live so close so that we can spend holidays with both sides!

We all enjoyed getting to spend a lot of time with so many of the nieces and nephews/cousins.

Each year, we have two family Thanksgiving celebrations with extended family on Thursday and everyone who comes signs up to bring parts of the meal. This year, because I’m running on a lot less energy that I usually have, I asked the kids if they would be willing to help out. They each signed up to make one item for both houses.

Kathrynne made Pistachio Salad and Green Bean Casserole. Kaitlynn made two Apple Pies (be sure to check out the braided crust she did — see below!). Silas made two Pumpkin Pie fillings. And Jesse peeled and cut up 10 lbs. of sweet potatoes.

All I did was oversee, make pie crusts, and finish the two Sweet Potato Casseroles — and we were done in two hours with everything!

Mamas of littles, holidays might be really hard right now. You’re tired. There’s so much to do. And you have to do so much of it yourself.

Well, just hang on… there’s a day coming soon when your kids will be old enough to not only take care of getting themselves dressed and fed, but they’ll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for you, too!

What I’m…

Reading: Parenting and The Killing Tide

Watching: We subscribed to Disney+ for December at the kids’ request since we usually watch a lot more family movies together this month! The kids are loving it! We watched 12 First Dates last night as a family. This was a fun, feel good movie that reminds us to see our blessings right in front of us. (Note: It was a big cheesy in parts, had a tiny bit of mild language in it, and was definitely a bit of a rip-off of Groundhog Day, but we all still enjoyed it.) What are your family’s favorite Christmas movies?

Listening to: Christmas Music! (Of course!) Also, after months of getting nauseous from listening to audiobooks (just one of the many weird things that makes me sick to my stomach in pregnancy!), I just downloaded a few from Libby and am going to try again this week!

Loving: That it’s December and we have so many memory-making plans for this month! It’s one of my favorite months and I’m excited about it!

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and/or loving? I’d love to hear!

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  • Lisa says:

    I just recently learned that you can drop whole unpeeled sweet potatoes in boiling water and boil for about 30-40 minutes. Drain off the water and cool a little. You can slice off the ends and the skin will fall off.

  • Ani W says:

    When we first got married 21+ years ago, I wanted to start the tradition of buying and watching a new Christmas movie every Christmas Eve night. So we have loooots of Christmas movies: some of my faves include Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas with the Kranks, mickey’s the Christmas Carol, Elf & Charlie Browns Christmas.

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