what’s in my garden?

So, I finally got around to planting some things in my garden!  Last year, we planted a few different things to pretty great success.. so this year we’re (mostly) planting different things.

Here are a few of the things I have in my garden:

gardening

MINT!! We had a mint plant last year, and it was AWESOME! I loved being able to have mojitos whenever we wanted.  We had them quite a bit, and used a lot of our mint.  I hope that this mint plant thrives like it did last year.  We were even able to share a bit with our friends so they could re-plant it in their garden.  It didn’t survive the winter because we had it in a planter box and the area it was planted in froze.  I’m already excited about this one though.

gardening

This year we’re trying our hands at a tomato plant!  We’ll see if we get anything.  If we do, great. If we don’t.. well, that’s ok, too!  It’s a little bit of a learning curve.  Considering I killed all the plants we had the first summer in the house, that should tell you about the state of my thumb (aka not so green) but we figured we’d give it a go.  Wish us luck with these, I’ve heard that tomatoes are a little more difficult.

in the garden

A hanging plant, we received this as a gift for our 4th anniversary, because apparently the gift for your fourth year of marriage is a plant.  Really crossing my fingers that I can keep this one alive, because the hanging plants we had our first year of living in the house were the first to go.  Did you know that they need to be watered daily?? I didn’t.  I learned that after we received this plant.  I’m trying my best to actually water them though, so we’ll see 😉

in the garden

Marigolds and Alyssums!  So far, these are looking a little worse for wear.  I’ve been watering them every day and I hope I can turn it around.. but we’ll see.  Taking care of plants is HARD!!

Not pictured: BEE plants!  I signed up for free seeds from a couple of places that are trying to save the bees.  I’ve planted the seeds, and have been watering the area lots.. so hopefully something will sprout up soon and I’ll be able to share those pictures, too.

What are you planting in your garden this year?

xoxo,
Alysa

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waiting is the hardest part…

maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump

dress: Plato’s Closet // shoes: Target // hairband: Aldo Accessories

maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump maternity style, pregnancy, 41 weeks, baby bump

Welp. I’m officially one week overdue.  Which is weird.  I never made it this far when I was pregnant with Autumn, so I’ve never been this pregnant before.  I’m totally and completely done though, it just seems like this little guy just hasn’t gotten that memo.  Hoping that he comes quick quick quick! I’m ready to hold him in my arms and snuggle him, and introduce him to Autumn, and show him off!

I’ve been basically living in maxi dresses lately.  I’m at the point of the pregnancy where I can’t be bothered to put lots of effort into what I’m wearing or makeup or things.  It’s tiring.  Plus, Autumn seems to be in a state where she constantly wants to be held.  Not that I mind, but it makes putting on makeup quite difficult.  I think she knows that a big change is coming!  I’m excited for her to be a big sister.

Wish me luck this week/keep us in your prayers!! I’m hoping this baby comes sooner rather than later 😉

xoxo,
Alysa

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Our Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday was our fourth anniversary! I usually share pictures from our wedding on or around our anniversary, but I thought I’d switch it up this year and share some of our engagement photos instead.

We had our engagement photos taken in the middle of February, so no beautiful fields, or lush trees, or anything outdoors at all.  It was just too cold!  Instead, we chose to go to the Manitoba Museum and have our photos taken there.  It was one of our favourite places to go when we were dating, and it was fun to be able to go back there for the photos.  We’ve gone at least once a year since we started dating, definitely one of our favourite places in the city.  Plus, it’s super unique and has some interesting backgrounds.

Here are our photos:

engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos our engagement photos

These photos were taken by Denley Thiessen.  Make sure you check out his website here!

xoxo,
Alysa

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How to Go Church Shopping

How To Go Church Shopping

Very recently, my husband and I came to the conclusion that the church we were attending was not the right fit for us anymore.  It was pretty disappointing for us.  He had been attending that church his entire life, and that had been my grown up home church.  We were both baptized there, we were married there, and we dedicated our child there.  It was a blow that we no longer felt welcome in a place that had always been our home away from home.  But it happens, and when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.  I haven’t talked about it too much just because it was such a complicated situation, but it is what it is.  We needed to go church shopping!  At this point, we have found a new home church that we just love, and I’m so happy to have found something, especially before the new baby comes.  It’s hard to move around a lot with a fresh little one, so having a home base church is going to be a huge help.

Here are the steps we took in deciding on our new church:

  1. Sit down and discuss what you’re looking for
    My husband and I sat down together to talk about the specific things we wanted when we were looking for a new church.  Among the things on the list, we wanted to find something with only one service, was small-medium sized, and had children’s programming/children’s ministry.  These were the top three things that were most important to us when finding something.  It could be different for you, but it’s so important to talk it out first so you each know what the other wants in a church.. and so that you know that you’re both on the same page.
    If you’re church shopping by yourself, maybe it’s writing down what is most important to you.  As long as you have some ideas of what you want before you start really looking, then you won’t pick one just because.
  2. Research, research, research
    My husband and I each did our own research and came up with our own lists of churches we were interested in going to look at.  We didn’t outright cross anything off our list, but we compared lists and started with the ones that we both had on our own lists.
    In doing our research, it was important to us that the churches we were looking at have a website, and that they had some kind of mission statement or values on their website.  We wanted to find something that aligned, at least a little bit, with what we believe in.  If a church didn’t have a website, it made it harder for us to select that for the next part of the process, in part because then we couldn’t find out when their services were.
  3. Start shopping
    We started by going to a couple of the churches that made both of our lists, and ended up finding one from there.  Another thing that was important was how welcome we felt when we were at the church.  We went to a church with someone and the only people there who talked to us were the people we were with.  Whereas, at the church we chose, we made friends right away.  It made a huge difference to us if people were actually welcoming, and if people noticed we were new.
  4. Go a few times
    I don’t think it’s fair to pick a church based on ONE Sunday, so we went to the church we ended up choosing a few times to get a good feel for it.  For example, one of the churches we went to had a guest speaker the first time we went.  It wouldn’t have been fair to pick that church based on that particular Sunday, because it wasn’t even the main speaker!  It was a very good service and everything, but if the speaker isn’t going to be there all the time, that’s not a good indicator of what the church will be like on a regular basis.
  5. Pick!
    This is the fairly easy part.  After a few Sunday’s at our new church, my husband and I sat down and fully decided that this was going to be our home church.  We then started giving, and we signed up for the nursery programming for our daughter.  We also prayed about it before fully deciding.  It felt right.

How do you pick where your home church would be?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Bump Update: 40 weeks!!

40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

dress: Sammydress // shoes: Plato’s Closet // shirt: Bluenotes // scarf: thrifted

40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 40 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

I usually post my bump day update on Wednesday (because it’s hump day/bump day), but since today is my actual due date, I thought I’d post a little bit early!  Maybe, and with any lucky, I’m giving birth as you read this. What!! Could be! I’m really hoping so 😉

I am officially totally full term, 40 weeks pregnant.  But it could go over, definitely can’t come early now.  At this point, this little bean is about the size of a pikachu!! I’ve been waiting weeks to say that haha He’s been moving a lot still, definitely running out of room in there.  I’m really excited to see the little feet that keep kicking me.  <3

I feel pretty ready to be done!  But, in the very least, I’m hoping I don’t go over too much… but it’s not really up to me.  I’m as ready as I can be, but it all depends on how ready he is! We’ll just have to see how the next few days go.. but your continued thoughts and prayers are so very appreciated! And wish me luck <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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My Favourite Leggings for Pregnancy and Post-Partum

week 38 bump update // alysalovely

A few years ago (perhaps even 10 years ago), I bought some high waisted leggings so I could be bad Sandy from Grease for Halloween! They were perfect leggings because they looked like the leather pants that she wore in the movie.  What I didn’t know at the time was that these leggings are ALSO perfect for pregnancy!

Shiny High-Waist Leggings from American Apparel!

Here is why these leggings are perfect for pregnancy:

  1. They stretch perfectly
    These leggings fit me so well, they stretch just right.  Not ever uncomfortable, not ever too small or too big.  These leggings are my goldilocks.  They’re just right!
  2. They stretch BACK perfectly
    One of the things that worries a lot of moms about wearing their regular clothes for pregnancy is stretching them out after they give birth.  These leggings are perfect on me when I’m pregnant, and they still fit perfect postpartum as well!  They’re amazing.
  3. The high-waist is so comfortable for my bump
    I get frustrated by my maternity pants.  They have the panel to hold in the bump, but it NEVER stays up!  The fact that these leggings have a high-waist means that I get the maternity style, without having to actually go out and purchase expensive maternity leggings.  It is so comfortable on my bump, I love wearing them.

To sum up, these leggings are amazing and everyone should own a pair.

xoxo,
Alysa

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Bump Update: 39 Weeks

39 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 39 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

dress: gifted // leggings: online

39 weeks pregnant // alysalovely 39 weeks pregnant // alysalovely

39 weeks, still pregnant!! Less than a week to the due date, and he still seems high so who knows when he’ll come.  Autumn came right on her due date, so a big part of me is expecting that might be the case again, but it’s hard to say.  I think that a Friday the 13th baby might be fun, too 😉

The baby is about the size of a full rack or pork back ribs, or a pumpkin.  He’s probably able to flex his limbs in there, so he’ll be showing everyone how to get to the beach in no time.  His brain is still rapidly developing, so I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate to help him out with that.  His nails may be long enough that they extend past his fingertips.  He’s moving around a LOT in there, and I’m still always feeling him move in more than one spot.  It’s funny, but it seems like he’s always got a lot of movements to do right when I’m going to bed.  Super handy for when I’m trying to rest haha.  It’s all good though, I love feeling him kick and move around in there.  He’s still head down, but he’s still pretty high up.

I’m at the point where I feel like I’m just about done.  I also feel like a ticking time bomb.  I have no idea when this baby could come.  I said a big part of me is feeling like it’ll be next Monday, on our due date… but who really knows?  He’ll come when he’s ready.  That’s all I know!  It’s definitely feeling more complicated being our second child, because something we didn’t have to think about last time is what we’d do with our first child when I’m in labour.  Makes it a little bit harder!  I got my B-12 levels back from my midwife, though, and they look great! We’re good to go at the birth centre and I’m SO happy and relieved and grateful.  It’s not that I had a terrible time giving birth at the hospital, I’m mostly just looking forward to a different experience, and especially a different experience with the after care aspect of it.  Looking forward to home visits from my midwife, especially especially since I have two now.

For the most part I’m feeling good though.  I’ve started doing this thing that has been so great where I take a nap/lie down and rest while Autumn naps.  I bring a little snack into the bed, and I read my book, and I do a sudoku.. and then I take a nap if there’s time before Autumn wakes up.  It’s so nice to be able to recharge halfway through the day.  I hope that it’s something I can kind of continue after the baby comes, just lying down with the baby instead of by myself.  We’ll see though! 😉

So appreciating any prayers for a smooth/quick/safe delivery, and I can’t wait to share all about it after it happens <3

xoxo,
Alysa

fall maternity fashion

39 Weeks Pregnant with Autumn

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My Second Mother’s Day

my second mothers day

Last year was my first ever official Mother’s Day as a mama, and it was pretty hectic.  We dedicated our daughter at church and then hosted a little party after.  So I didn’t get to sleep in because we had to be at church early.  And even before that, I had a bunch of preparations to get ready.  The child dedication coincided with Autumn’s half birthday, so I made a half birthday cake for her (but mostly for us because she wasn’t eating cake yet at 6 months old 😉 ). It was a busy, but nice, mother’s day!

This year was very different.  I hosted absolutely nothing!  Well, at least I didn’t host anything on the day of.  I didn’t get to sleep in because Autumn did not get the memo that mama’s like to sleep in on Mother’s Day.  We had breakfast as a little family, went to church and then spent the day with both our own moms.  We had lunch with my mom and my side of the family, and then we had dinner with Andrew’s mom and his side of the family.  And, we gave them their gifts!  I planned (with my two sisters-in-law) a paint night for all the moms and moms-in-law!  It’s not going to happen for another month, but it’s something that I’m hosting here, and I’ll be able to participate with my new little bean.  I’m pretty excited!

This Mother’s Day was pretty great.  I didn’t cook, I didn’t clean, and I got to have a bath with a bath bomb, my book & chocolate to finish the day.  I didn’t get to sleep in, but that was totally fine by me!

How was your Mother’s Day?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Bump Update: 38 Weeks

week 38 bump update // alysalovely week 38 bump update // alysalovely

shirt: thrifted // leggings: American Apparel // shoes: Sirens // hat: a little boutique in NYC in 2007
// sunglasses: Tharzie on Osborne

week 38 bump update // alysalovely week 38 bump update // alysalovely week 38 bump update // alysalovely

2 weeks (or so) to go! This is gettin’ real 😉  Time to finish all the things so that we’re totally ready for baby.  I’ve been keeping on top of laundry, so hopefully we won’t have a build up like last time.  I’ve been keeping on top of general cleaning, so hopefully it won’t be a total disaster.  And I’ve got a well stocked freezer full of meals we will just need to remember to take out the night before so that they’re ready to go for the day we need them.  I want to do a big deep clean of all of my cloth diapers, including the ones that Autumn wears.  Just because it’ll be nice to do it!  We still need to get all the pictures on the walls of the nursery, and get everything in there put away.  But I feel like that’s about all!  That, and all the upcoming appointments.  I had my 38 week appointment yesterday, and Autumn has her 18 month checkup tomorrow, so it’s a busy week!  And then Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and I’m pretty excited about what we’re giving our moms for it. Can’t wait to give it to them!

At this point, my little chicken nugget is about the size of a chopped firewood log, an Oscar statuette or a bucket of fried chicken!  He’s growing really nicely in there.  He may have an inch or so of hair already, but we’ll see!  Autumn didn’t have much hair at birth, so it would be fun if he had a lot of hair.

I’ve been feeling pretty good, mostly.  I think that the B-12 injections are helping.  I was thinking about this on Sunday and I think that, overall, I really do enjoy being pregnant.  Of course, there are things that I don’t like about it.. like the fact that I’m uncomfortable, and how I have trouble staying asleep because I can’t sleep on my stomach like I really want to.. but there are so many great things about it, too.  I love seeing how my body changes to accommodate a little one.  I love seeing my midsection grow.  And, of course, the end result is pretty fabulous. <3

xoxo,
Alysa

pregnancy fall style

38 Weeks Pregnant with Autumn

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A Prayer for my Baby

A Prayer for my Baby // Alysalovely

Father God,

As these 9 months come to an end, I would like to lift up this little baby to you.  Please protect him.  I pray for a short, healthy labour, where the end result is healthy baby & healthy mama.  I pray that he comes when he is ready, and that he comes in his own perfect time.

I pray for a smooth transition from being a family of three to being a family of four.  I pray that this little bundle will fit right into our family seamlessly.  I pray that Autumn and this new baby take to each other right away, and grow to become good friends.

I pray for sleep.  I pray for sleep for us, so we can better take care of two little ones.  I pray that Autumn’s sleep isn’t disturbed too badly by a new addition, and I pray that this little one sleeps through the night in his time when he is ready.  I pray we figure out what his sleep needs are so we can give that to him and help him to sleep better.

I pray for growth! I pray that he grows, grows, grows, and then grows some more.  I pray that he will be able to get everything he needs to grow directly from me, and that he is healthy.  I pray for good health for all of us as we add a member to our family.

Every child is a gift from heaven, and I pray your protection over this one.

In God’s name,
Amen

xoxo,
Alysa

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