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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 19), our first foster care placement, plus more!

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.

19 weeks!! It feels like the last two weeks have sort of dragged by slower than usual as I anticipated being at the halfway mark. I have a feeling once I hit 20 weeks, then it will feel like it flies by for a bit until I start anticipating 30 weeks and then 40 weeks.


I definitely started looking more pregnant this week. A lot of people noticed it and it’s fun (and weird!) to look down and see a protruding belly! I also broke out my first pair of maternity jeans (see photo above!) which felt pretty monumental!


I started taking only one dose of iron daily + one dose of Blood Builder (instead of a double dose of SlowFe). It seems like this combo is working well for my stomach + I seem to have had more energy this week and I have to wonder if the B12 is helping with that?! I’m still nauseous at least part of most every day and running on about 50% the energy that I usually am, but it’s SO much better than the first trimester and I’m so grateful!


Scrambled eggs, avocados, and sourdough toast with butter continue to be my go to’s. I also had this obsession with making a pie mixing yogurt and whipped topping and freezing it in a graham cracker crust (thanks to a suggestion from a follower for how to use up all this plain yogurt I got marked down at a crazy price!)

Weight gain: 10 lbs.

We bought and decorated a Christmas tree this week! I felt like we were at least a week behind the rest of the world in getting this up, but I guess there are no rules for Christmas, right? The good news is that because we waited, we were able to get the tree for half price!

(Psst! If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll remember that we ditched having a big Christmas tree last year. But this year, we decided to bring back the tradition and we don’t regret it! Want to hear about more of our Christmas traditions? We all recorded a podcast as a family on that very topic.)

Silas had this big wart on his finger that he got burned off this week at the pediatrician’s office.

Growing up, I had to get a lot of warts burned off, so I felt so badly for him when he was in pain for the next day as a result. But he really wanted to get it taken off and it was so big that I didn’t think any of the natural remedies would work (I tried a bunch of them growing up, including ACV, duct tape, wart remover ointment, and more and none of them ever worked at all for me!!)

Gratefully, the pain only lasted for a day and he’s really happy that it’s healing!

Kathrynne had her first basketball games of the season this week. She’s on Varsity this year and has a new coach, so she’s being stretched in good ways. We love getting to cheer her on and try to go to every single game that we can go to. It becomes a fun family activity — and we also get to see new parts of TN as we drive to little towns in different places for her away games!

We also had a big Christmas gathering for all of the youth group members from both campuses of our church + the leaders. I laughed so hard and it was such a gift during a very full week.

(By the way, Jesse and I have just loved the opportunity to serve as youth group leaders this year. It has brought us so much joy and life to pour into these kids!)

Friday afternoon, we got a call about a 3-sibling group in foster care that didn’t have a home for the weekend. They were 13, 11, and 3 and Jesse and I felt strongly we were supposed to say yes. It turned out to be such a wonderful weekend. Tiring, but such a gift to get to open our home up and love on these kids.

They had never decorated Christmas cookies before, so we had a fun time baking and decorating cookies together.

The 3-year-old gave Kaitlynn a makeover! 🙂

The stay included one night with very little sleep because the 3-year-old had a bad cough and it kept waking her up and then she’d get scared and cry. I finally figured out that if I laid next to her bed, when she woke up, she’d be a lot less scared if I was right there with her.

Her cough got worse on Saturday, so I took her into urgent care just to be safe. Gratefully, no ear infection (she’d be complaining of her ears hurting) and just an upper respiratory infection. They suggested honey and a humidifier. We also found Zarbee’s cough syrup that was approved for kids under 6 (we discovered this weekend that almost no meds are approved for kids under 6! I think maybe things have changed since our kids were little?) and we gave her that on Saturday night and she only woke up twice!)

We are so thankful we had the opportunity to open up our home this weekend — if only for a short while — to love on and provide a safe place for these kids to stay. I also have quickly realized how many big feelings are going to be involved in this foster care journey we’re on… as I told someone yesterday, it’s both beautiful and brutal.

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  • Lana says:

    We have had success with Hopewell Oils Plague Defense. It will actually kill the virus. We use 5 drops in a tablespoon of carrier. Put it on with a Q tip at bedtime.

  • Kristina Choate says:

    I just have to share based on the last sentence of your post… a recent Focus on the Family episode was a single man sharing about his journey into foster care that led to adoption. Wonderful story, I’d recommend listening for anyone single or not… (Cecil and Boone) anyway all that to say he and his son coined the word ‘brutiful’ to sum up their journey of foster care and adoption and just their life together.
    As a foster mom (less than a year into it and primarily to teens) I’ve certainly seen firsthand how brutiful this calling is.
    Blessings to you and your family as you embark on this calling on your lives.

  • Megan says:

    I wanted to encourage you and thank you for all you do. I always find it funny how our lives seem to parallel one another. I find such encouragement in what you post. Our kids are similar ages and we also started fostering last spring. Our first few kids were short term respite. It was a great way to begin because our 4 kids got use to loving on kids and then saying goodbye. We then had a 6 month placement which our kids were more emotionally prepared for since they had the experience of the short term time spent with the other children. I applaud you for entering on this adventure and know that you’ll see such wonderful gifts come from it. Thank you for the encouragement you put out over the internet.

  • Bonnie says:

    For my 2 yr old’s bad cough, the pharmacist recommended dextromethorphan (orange liquid) in a 2 mL dose. The bottle only has directions for ages 6 & up (5mL dose). I believe pharmacists are such an under-utilized (FREE) resource and a great alternative to running to the Dr for my family. 🙂 Although I’m not judging you at all for taking your foster child in to get checked out, I understand there is an added feeling of responsibility especially for a child that’s not your own!

  • Becky says:

    How wonderful that you can open up your home! It warms my heart that those children had a safe, fun and loving home to join for the weekend!

    I think medication ages have changed too! I know I gave my oldest (9 years old) cough medicine when she was under 3 years of age and now I have a hard time finding something I can give my 4 year old!

  • Cheryl McCarren says:

    Crystal – Would love to talk and catch up with you. I’m still in Ohio and I come down to see Lauren in Nashville, so we should meet up and get tea. So very happy for you and I love that you are doing foster care….can’t say enough about how open a heart must be to do that kind of work. You and Jesse (and the kids of course!) are “doer’s” and what a difference you have made and are making.

    I hope you will reach out so we can connect. You’ll see my email so feel free to contact me that way. Would love to see all of you. Blessings…. Cheryl 🙂

  • Amy Moffett says:

    We took our first placement, sibling group of 3, ages 6,3, and 18 months. They asked us to take them for two weeks. We had them 6 months and God was very gracious and let us pick their forever hone. That was two years ago. We now have numbers 20 and 21 ( kids that have been in our home) it is a crazy journey!!!

  • Christine says:

    I love that you are helping with foster care!! There are so many kids in need.

    We’ve adopted two toddlers internationally, and I highly recommend reading the book, The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis. It is the BEST book about helping kids who have faced trauma.

    God bless you and your growing family! 🙂

  • Heather says:

    I hate giving unsolicited advice, but wanted to offer up that Plant Therapy has an oil called No More Warts and it is seriously amazing. Our son had 10 warts on his feet for years and we tried everything. I finally handed him a roller bottle of this and he put it on two or three times a day and they were g.o.n.e! It was amazing. Then a year later he shows me the warts on the palms of his hands. WOWZA…they were huge and disgusting. Gave him the roller bottle first this time and it worked again. These took a while, but were constantly shrinking and getting better. When he picked out the cores there were big holes in his hands, but they’ve healed up perfectly. I’m so impressed on how it has worked on our family’s warts. No pain, pretty cheap, and effective…my kind of solution.

  • Linda says:

    I have found a great cough suppressant for any age. Mentholatum. Rub on feet, yes you read that right, the bottom of the childs feet. Then put socks on to keep gook off your linens. No more cough! Be sure and bathe child in morning to get all the slippery yucky stuff off. Worked on my children and now using on great grandchildren!

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