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Life Update: Pregnancy (week 23), Goal-Setting, Decluttering, Birthday Parties, and a fun girls’ night

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.

23 weeks!! And I officially “popped” this week.

I kept waiting for it to happen and this week it totally did. In fact, Jesse walked in while I was walking on the treadmill and took one look at me and said, “Whoa!” when he saw my belly. And then he realized that he had said it out loud… and I started dying laughing, because it’s exactly what I feel every time I look down or look in the mirror.


We cleaned out our master bedroom closet to make space for the baby’s things (we’re planning to have the baby sleep in our room for the first months, possibly longer). It’s getting real now that we have baby blankets and baby things sitting in our closet!


This was a rough week. I struggled with a lot more nausea and had a lot more fatigue than usual. In fact, at least half of the day most days, I could only manage to be up for 5-15 minutes at a time and then needed to lie down.

I think I maybe overdid it the last few weeks (+ I was sick) and we were traveling and I think my body just got completely worn down. I tried to take it really, really easy the past few days and I’m feeling a lot more energetic. I’m so grateful!

It was a good reminder to me that this is a season to make sure to really pace myself and take time to rest.


Very little this week, since I was nauseous most of the time. But I’m so grateful that the nausea isn’t anywhere what it was like in my first trimester. Also, I keep thinking about so many people who feel sick all the time and it’s not for a good cause nor does it have an end in sight.

Weight gain: 15 lbs.

This Week at Our House

We drove back from Kansas last weekend (it’s about an 11 to 12-hour drive). Silas asked if he could wear his jammies on the drive… he is such a PJ-lover and I wonder if he’ll ever grow out of loving wearing PJs as often as possible! 🙂

On the drive home, I worked on planning for 2020, including planning out my Weekly Goals for this past week. (Did you see my post on why I’m not setting yearly goals and am setting weekly goals instead?)

Last week, I asked for ideas on Instagram to help with my lingering hacking cough that was keeping me up at night. I got so many great ideas!

As a result, I started taking elderberry syrup (thank you, Four Mothers Elderberry!) and putting Vick’s on my feet with socks every night and it’s really made a difference. I’m still not 100%, but I’m so much better than I was last week! You all are the best!

One of our biggest projects for the week was decluttering all the majorly-neglected spots in our home. (You can see all of the before and after pictures here.)

We had multiple birthday parties to attend this past week (I guess it’s a popular week for birthdays??). I loved the way my friend, Fran, chose to celebrate her birthday — with a TAK PAK Party.

We all brought specific items and then packed backpacks with these items for teen girls who are entering foster care. (Read more about TAK PAKS here.)

From My Heart…

“I’m at my wit’s end! I can’t seem to connect with my daughter at all! It’s like she just doesn’t want to have a relationship with me!” A distraught mom confided this to me recently.

My heart went out to her and I asked some more questions about the situation. Two things I asked were, “What does your daughter like? What is she interested in and passionate about?”

After the mom listed off some things, I said, “What would it look like for you to step into her world and be interested in those things with her?”

The mom abruptly responded, “Oh! I couldn’t do that! That’s just not me!”

Here’s the thing I’ve learned from doing it all wrong: We can’t expect our kids to love all the same things we love and get excited about all the same things we get excited about.

I used to get frustrated because my kids were so different than me. But then, I began seeing that their wildly different interests were an opportunity for me to learn and grow and expand my world.

My kids have taught me so much about so many subjects that I used to have zero clue about. They have helped me develop new interests and new skills. And they’ve stretched and pushed me outside my comfort zone.

And it has made my world so much richer and interesting!

Want to Deepen a Relationship?

For instance, Kaitlynn absolutely adores Bath & Body Works, so she’s teaching me all about how to get the best deal there. I’ve learned all about their scents and sales and money back guarantee. And she and I went one night this past week with her well-researched list and gift card and $10/$40 coupon and she floored me by getting two bags full of stuff for only $10.80 out of pocket — and saving $98!!!

As I watched her strategically shop last night, I thought: 1) She needs to start her own blog (but she’s not interested in blogging, and that’s okay!) and 2) I would have missed this had I not been willing to get out of my little, “I don’t like to shop or go to the mall” mentality and jumped in and embraced something my daughter loves.

Want to deepen a relationship with someone? Care about what they care about. Be interested in what they are interested in. And let them open up a whole new world of ideas and insights and inspiration to you!

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  • Jennifer says:

    I could not agree with you more on stepping into THEIR world. I feel like we need to meet them where they are at. And if that means taking them to Starbucks after a doctor’s appointment or meeting them halfway between home and college just for lunch – it is worth it. It is worth it for me to sit down and watch rugby with my son or read up on the latest political news out of Europe so that I can have a decent conversation with my child that is fascinated by that. These things are how you make a connection.

  • Tiffany says:

    Getting into their world is solid advice for ANY relationship! My spouse, my friends, those whom I want to dislike, but feel pulled toward. Even those strangers you meet waiting in line.

    Thanks for reminding me.

  • Jenny says:

    First, you look adorable! Second, I agree with stepping into “their” world. I likened it to dating– when you are wanting someone to like you, you work hard to find out what they like, and build little moments. So, I “dated” my daughters. Best decision! I’ve had so much fun and have zero regrets.

  • Ashlie Hershberger says:

    Love your top in the belly pic! Would you mind sharing where you got it?

  • Minda says:

    Totally agree with the stepping into their world advice. When my husband and I married his niece was almost 2 years old. We doted on her and spent a lot of time with her. Then we had a child of our own and now she’s a teenager. She loves Harry Potter (among other fantasy/sci fi) things and that just isn’t my jam. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and read the books last year. It’s given me and her something to talk about and this Christmas break she spent the night with us. We watched a HP movie and made pancakes the next morning-something we enjoyed doing when she was small. She has picked up my love of all things British and we had a spirited conversation about Henry the 8th’s wives. It’s worth the time to invest in their interests.

  • Meredith says:

    I learned recently that there is no scientifically tested safe recipe for canned Elberberry Syrup (using NCHFP, Ball and Bernardin as the only sources I know of that provide scientific testing of canning, both water bath and pressure). It is a bummer, and I’m not sure what you have in the photo is actually canned or just in the jar (maybe it is refrigerated and meant to be kept that way instead 🙂 but I just wanted to share that (bit of a bummer) news with you since you are pregnant and have kiddos.

  • Ashley Merrithew says:

    My 16 year old daughter has told me she doesn’t want my advice on “life” as I always make her feel bad. Since then I’ve been trying to just listen and not give advice, but she’s closed herself off and doesn’t share with me.
    Last night after me and my husband picked her up from her cheerleading practice, she was unusually chatty, nothing of any interest, but I made sure to just let her talk and talk until she was done.

    • I’m so glad you got to chat with your daughter last night. What a gift! What does she love to do? Could you step into her world in some way? It might be a slow process and she might push back, but don’t give up. Keep loving her right where she is and stepping into her world and caring about what she loves!

  • Gina says:

    “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen…And Listen So Kids Will Talk ” book by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish was a true life saver for me. I could not believe how many stupid mistakes I was making. Highly recommend it. Thanks Crystal for talking about this topic. Feel blessed to read your blog. You look so happy! Made my day!

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