Show and Tell Tuesday: Love Story

Hello, strangers!  Yep, it’s been a bit since I’ve popped in.  And yes, I have the typical excuse of “life has been crazy,” well, because it has been.  I will have an update for you in the coming days.  I’m currently enjoying my last week of maternity leave.  I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone by.  My heart is already breaking knowing what is waiting for me Monday morning.  Ugh.

But, in the meantime, you can enjoy (yet again) my little love story.  Linking up with Andrea!

Show and Tell Banner - mwn

You can find the most complete story of “us” on the “what makes us, us” page.  For the sake of reminiscing, I’ll give you the highlights here!

hand ceremony

Craig and I didn’t meet in the most conventional way – he happened to be dating my best friend at the time.  There was zero romantic connection.  I was dating someone else and I thought that Craig just talked…a lot.  The kid had more energy than most people I’d ever met.

During our sophomore year of college, about 8 months after I met Craig, he and my friend had parted ways.  But, when my friend’s father passed away – Craig and I stepped in to help her cope.  Despite the fact they were no longer dating, I watched Craig serve as a constant comfort to her.  It was during this time that Craig and I began speaking more – mostly about about we thought she was doing and what we could do to help.

love college Collage

Our senior year of college, Craig lived on the upper level of my apartment building.  Craig and I started hanging out (he helped me through a break up, we’d watch football together, head to the bars…you know, all the things that friends do).  Still zero romantic connection. By the end of the year, I was back into the relationship he had once helped me get over and he was dating someone else, too.  So yeah, the photos above are those of friends having a good time – not friends that have interest in dating one another.

Time goes by – and it wasn’t until almost 4 years after Craig and I originally met that I saw him in a different light.  Our courtship was long distance, for the most part.  We weathered a lot in the 6 months we officially dated.  I think it was all of those tribulations that really drew us close to one another and quickly made us realize it was the real deal.


In December of 2011, Craig asked me to be his wife.  I think our families were a little surprised (we only dated for 6 months, after all), but we knew.  I had known Craig for almost 6 years by that time.  I knew who he was when I wasn’t the girl he was trying to “impress.”  He served me Manwich for goodness sakes (grossssss).


We were married 9 months after that, in September, 2012.

Marriage is hard.  Unfortunately, we’ve weathered a lot of tough stuff in the short 2 1/2 years we’ve been married.  Fortunately, we always find our way through it – together.  And even more fortunately, we’ve had a lot of happy, happy times over the course of our relationship – most notably the arrival of Eddie in December, 2014.


I love Craig a whole lot.  He challenges me and loves me in a way that no one has.  Watching him with Eddie…sigh.  Let’s just say I didn’t think I could love him any more than I already did – and then we went and had a baby and I love him a bajillion times more.

Don’t give me wrong – we fight with the best of ’em.  But, you know what?  We love just as hard as we fight.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

For more:

How I Met My Mister I
How I Met My Mister II
Dating My Mister I
Dating My Mister II
Dating My Mister III

And for the wedding posts – you’ll just have to head to the What Makes Us, Us page.



Baby’s Woodland

When it came time to put together a nursery for le bebe, I got a ton of “advice.”  Some people said: “Don’t bother decorating, it’s expensive and the baby doesn’t know the difference.”  I knew I couldn’t not decorate a nursery!  Sure, the baby doesn’t know the difference, but I do!  And I’m going to be spending a lot of time in there!  I knew I wanted to have a theme, but I also didn’t want it to be over-the-top or too blue.

I got a lot of flack for that last part.  I didn’t want a lot of blue for our baby boy.  People didn’t like that.  Don’t ask me why, but I got a lot of snarky comments about that.  We decided on an orange, gray, white, and dark brown color scheme.

For awhile, Craig thought my ideas and purchases weren’t “baby enough.”  I totally see where he is coming from.  But, remember – baby doesn’t know the difference.  When he’s old enough to care, he will absolutely have input on what his room looks like.  It is his domain after all!  But, for now, mama gets to choose!

Come on in!

little woodland nursery - mwn

I love the wall decals!  They weren’t the easiest things to put up, but they sure beat trying to stencil those beasts!  Outside of the decals, the decorations are pretty minimal, it’s a smaller room and I didn’t want it to seem too cluttered.

changing table - mwnwall decals // diaper pail // dresser // changing pad // tree art

Hello, sunny, snowy day!  So, the picture is a little bright – but the room is pretty bright, too!  We are still working on a solution for blackout curtains, but we are holding off until our new windows are installed.  No need to put curtains up once, to have to do it again in just a few weeks.  Bumpster will be spending his nights in our room his first month or so anyway!

The wicker chest was a wedding gift on our Target registry, I can’t find anything similar to it to link to.  The white blanket over the crib was Craig’s as a kiddo.  It’s so soft, I just love it.  The red toy basket was a gift from the shower and it’s already filled to the brim with little toys – so much fun!

crib - mwncrib // mobile

OF COURSE he already has a library started!  You might remember when I first mentioned our Ikea trip, we had opted to not spend an arm and a leg for a “real” glider.  This chair rocks plenty and I’ve found Craig nestled in there a time or two reading through the little guy’s books.

reading corner - mwnchair // humidifier // table // pillow // book shelves // wall art // sound machine

One of my most favorite parts of our home are the doors.  Isn’t that weird?  They’re beautiful and add so much character!

closet - mwnRockaroo // photo frames

These little guys are on the changing table with one my favorite quotes.  I’ve had that plaque for a few years now – I think I got it at a Hallmark store?

hedgehog - mwnhedgehog // squirrel

The last, middle frame is reserved for a photo from his newborn session.

wall photos - mwn

There you have it!  Pretty basic, but comfortable.  I’m going to enjoy it while I can, because I don’t doubt that in a couple short years it will instead be filled with football and/or super heroes.  Which, is cool, but not exactly my taste!

What are some of your baby must-haves?

Stocking Stuffers

We’re back for week number two of the A Few of My Favorite Things linkup with April, EliseKatie, and Zelle!  This week I’m sharing what I think would be awesome stocking stuffers for the ladies, the gents, and the babes.

favorite things

Buckle up – today’s post is a long one!

 stocking stuffers for her - mwnone / two / three / four / five

..1.. Bath & Body Works: 3-Wick Candle
I’ve loved receiving these and I’ve loved gifting them.  I’m the first to admit that not all the scents are amazing, but 99% of them are.  If you can grab these on sale, they’re an awesome stocking stuffer!

..2.. Aveda: hand relief Moisturizing Creme
I can think of few things that are more relaxing to me than the scent of any Aveda product.  The scent of this lotion is heavenly.  Keep my eyes closed long enough and I’ll forget where I am – because I start hearing waterfalls and soft music playing.  Aveda = spa = relaxation.

..3.. Bananagrams
Unless you are my husband, you enjoy a good game.  I love Bananagrams!  LOVE IT.  And when I went to the website to track down an image, I learned the company has other games too.  All of them are super affordable and I can legitimately say it’s one of the best stocking stuffers I’ve received!

..4.. Philosophy: Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath
I got a holiday set from a girlfriend last year for Christmas.  I had never “splurged” on Philosophy products before.  It made me a loyal customer.  The Hot Buttered Rum was simply amazing, but they didn’t make it for this season.  I’m pretty sad about that.  However, there are some awesome alternatives.  While some people might argue that bath gels are cliche – when it comes to Philosophy products, I would beg to differ.

..5.. Nordstroms: Infinity Scarves
What woman doesn’t love a good scarf!?  Nordstrom’s has some really great choices!  And if you’re like me and love to do your holiday shopping online, to avoid the crazies at the stores, you’ll love that they offer free shipping.  #winning

stocking stuffers for him - mwnone / two / three / four / five

..1.. Uncommon Goods: Whiskey Stones
These are something I’ve always debated buying my husband.  He isn’t a huge drinker, but I think the idea of these is super neat.  For a period of time, we lived only a half hour from the only Jack Daniel’s distillery in the world – and it turned him on a bit to whiskey on the rocks.

..2.. Uncommon Goods: Cufflinks
Craig doesn’t have to wear cufflinks, like, ever – but if you’re married to a man or have a dad/granddad that needs them, Uncommon Goods has some really unique choices.  Some of them are pricey, but others (like these) are totally reasonable!  They have some pretty neat ones made from football helmets and stadium seats, too.

..3.. Dick’s Sporting Goods: Golf Balls
No matter how good of a golfer you are, you can always use a few extra golf balls.  Am I right?

..4.. Dunkin Donuts: K-Cups
I recently learned that Craig has a pretty significant preference when it comes to his coffee.  There are obviously a ton to choose from, I’m highlighting these, because they’re Craig’s favorite.  Buying K-cups can help the pocketbook by saving him a couple trips through the Starbucks line!

..5.. Apple: iTunes Gift Card
iTunes gift cards are another thing that I’ve received and totally loved.  I rarely buy music if I don’t have a gift card for it.  I love that iTunes allows you to pick and choose what songs you want, rather than having to purchase the entire album.  Better yet?  If you’re giving one, you can choose how much you want to spend!

stocking stuffers for baby - mwnone / two / three / four / five

Craig and I had decided that we want to buy a few things for the little man, even though he will maybe be a whole 3 weeks old when Christmas rolls around.  What in the heck do you buy an infant!?  I took to blogs and Instagram to track down some pretty awesome ideas.

..1.. Amazon: Books
You would’ve found some of these books on my baby registry.  I love the simplicity of them.  As a self-identified bookworm, I am more than excited to expose Bumpster to literature in a variety of ways – and learning his colors, shapes, creatures is just one of them!

..2.. Honest Company: Baby Teether
I love so many of this company’s products.  I just can’t justify spending a little bit more on diapers that are patterned (and adorable).  Okay, in all truthfulness, I had totally justified it, Craig had to work to un-justify it for me.  Ha.  This teether is BPA free and can be chilled or frozen.  My baby boy would totally rock this butterfly.

..3.. Amazon: PipSquigz
How neat are these!?  I saw these on a fellow mama’s blog and they totally intrigued me.  They seem really portable.  A great solution for little ones needing a bit of a distraction when mama needs a break from cooking dinner and takes the fam out for dinner!

..4.. Etsy/TagYoureItJewelry: Ornament
I’ve already ordered a different “First Christmas” ornament for Bumpster, but how awesome is this one?  I’m sure we will end up with multiple ornaments commemorating his first holiday season and that is totally okay!  I love, love, LOVE that his one has the birth stats on it.  It adds something a little extra special, doesn’t it? Honestly, if I’d seen this one before ordering what we have, I might’ve held off in order to purchase this.

..5.. Etsy/MAS Production Arts: Wooden Stacking Blocks
Another blog find!  I love the simplicity of these blocks!  You can do so much with them – color matching, counting, stacking…I can only imagine the “games” that could be created with these.  Love them!

What are some of your favorite stocking gifts?

Registering for Baby: How I Finally Did It!

Yes.  It was a process.  It took weeks.  Maybe months?  At least two months.  But, I did it – I got the flippin’ registry done.  Or as done as it was ever going to be.  Just in time, too – Bumpter’s baby shower is tomorrow!

So how’d I do it?

Mini M registry - mwn

Well, I already talked about, which was honestly the most helpful thing I’ve ever found.  But, I also utilized a number of other bloggers’ input.  And without the advice shared from others, there is no way I could’ve felt confident about what I ended up with.

That being said, I can’t say for sure if I agree with all of the “must-haves” or “can waits,” simply because I don’t have a baby yet to make that judgement call for myself.  However, like I said, I feel much better knowing that I’ve gotten input from a variety of different places.

My go-to bloggers since learning I was pregnant was Laura and Oakland Avenue and Kaitlyn at Wifessionals.  Sadly, Kaitlyn isn’t blogging anymore, but you can still view a number of her posts relating to baby.  If you have young children, are pregnant, or even thinking about starting a family, I highly recommend Laura’s blog.  She isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics and shares so many of her personal experiences that have definitely shed some light on having a baby.

Here are some of the sources that I referenced while creating my registry:

Preparing for Baby: Six Great Online Sources to Build your Registry |Oakland Avenue|
Preparing for Baby: What to Register For and Buy |Oakland Avenue|
Preparing for Baby: Best Maternity and Baby Deal Sites |Oakland Avenue|
Baby Must Haves: Essentials |Wifessionals|
Preparing for a Little One: Registering |Wifessionals|
Baby Must Haves: Feeding |Wifessionals|
Baby Must Haves: Gear |Wifessionals|
Baby Must Haves: Nursery |Wifessionals|
Motherhood Mondays: What to register for your new baby |A Cup of Jo|
Good Question: Baby Must-Haves, Etc (0-3 Months) |(never home)maker
Registering for Baby |A. Liz Adventures|
Mama & Baby “Must-Haves” |Never the Same Spice Twice|
Registering for Baby! |Carolina Charm|

How’s that for a list of resources!?  I built my registry based of these women’s suggestions.  I added things and later removed them based on their feedback.  I switched out brands based on their reviews.

I know that women often spend hours pouring over websites, researching what is the best.  The safest.  The most cost effective.  And honestly?  I didn’t.  I made lists as I went through the posts listed above.  I found themes.  I found items that were mentioned time and time again.  I found a couple websites with additional reviews and if I found it matched up with what these women said, it was added to the registry.

I feel pretty good about the list I ended up with.  I didn’t register for any baby clothes – I figured people tend to buy those things anyway.  I didn’t register for diapers for that reason, either.  I figure people will come with some – and honestly, I haven’t decided if I want to tackle cloth diapering yet – but that’s a whole ‘nother topic!

How did you decide what to register for – whether it was for a wedding or baby?

Registering for Baby:

Let me begin by saying that registering for a child, a tiny human being, is one of the most overwhelming tasks I’ve ever undertaken.  It’s been done over the course of weeks and I’m still not near to being finished.

I had originally decided to only register at Target and Amazon.  Target, for the convenience of those I knew would be attending my shower (many don’t live by a Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby).  And Amazon because of the larger selection, fast shipping, and again, the convenience/access for people attending my shower.  I wasn’t sure how the technology/online shopping piece would go over with the older generations attending, but I went with it.

Once I began the process of actually registering – it all went out the window.  How on earth do people keep it straight!?  How does one ensure that they aren’t double registering for something?  Or that they aren’t missing something completely important!?


The lifesaver.

myregistry - mwnIt’s sort of like the Pinterest of registries.  You can browse any website and add items to your registry.  You can sync it to update as you add things to store-specific registries, like Target or Amazon.  It compiles everything you have registered for into one place – which has been super important in helping me stay organized!  If I continue to add items to my Target or Amazon registries, it will automatically update at  How awesome is that!?

For the older generation that may not have access to the internet or feel comfortable purchasing online, I still have my Target registry so they have a store to visit.  Everybody wins!

You can also use for other events – like weddings.  And seriously, I for one, would have much rather sat at home, on the couch, snuggling my husband while completing our wedding registry, versus chasing him through multiple stores with the “super cool laser gun.”  Because, seriously, that happened.

This post isn’t sponsored in any way – just one gal passing on she found exceptionally helpful!

19 Weeks

For those of you completely uninterested in indulging me while I give an update now and then about our little bambino’s progress, I completely understand.  Depending on the blogger I either was really excited to read about an update or rolled my eyes and skipped over that post.  I don’t think I’ll inundate you every 7 days with one of these, but occasionally.  Does that sound ok?

19 weeks - mwnhow far along | 19-ish weeks

what’s happening with squirt | He’s now the size of an heirloom tomato.  That also marks one of the first weeks I’ve actually known what they are comparing my baby’s size to.  He can likely hear my voice now, so I really need to start cleaning up my language.  Yikes!  My mom also got me the cutest Dr. Seuss book that I can read to him to “familiarize” him with all of the stories that I’m sure he will hear on repeat someday!  On an unrelated note, his kidneys are also making urine.  Which is mostly weird to me.

total weight gain | Would you believe me if I said none.  Because for real, none.  I’ve had a couple days that I’ve weighed in about 2 pounds heavier at home, but the doc says nope – no weight gain.  We haven’t been heading to the gym, so I’m attributing it to muscle loss.  Because my belly is definitely growing and my legs definitely aren’t as solid as they were just a month or two ago!

maternity clothes | I’ve purchased two pairs of maternity shorts and one top.  I haven’t worn the top because right now it just makes me look like a whale.  I can wear my pre-pregnancy pants, so long as I have a hair tie – I can’t legit button them anymore.  I feel like a sausage stuffed into my pants so, I’ve been living in maxi dresses as much as humanly possible.  I also broke down a bought two nursing bras – so flipping comfortable, guys.  Worth every penny.  I also have a maternity suit to wear on our adventure in Texas next week.

stretch marks | None.  Yet.  I hear these things are genetic.  And in that case, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.  Sad panda.

sleep | Like a rock.  I might be up once to use the restroom, but there are some nights that my exhaustion allows me to sleep right on through.  Despite sleeping so well, I’m always tired.  I thought that was supposed to go away in the second trimester!?  What gives!?

best moment this week | I’m so over having 4 weeks in between appointments.  Given my previous experience with this whole pregnancy gig, I get a little paranoid.  The best moment was the doctor’s appointment yesterday, where I got to hear his heartbeat and rest assured he’s still in there!  Because of where my placenta is, it’s unlikely I’ll feel his presence until later on – like 22 weeks! 

miss anything | Sushi.  What I wouldn’t give for a couple rolls of raw fish right now.

movement | Nada.  Dang placenta.

food cravings | Cravings have all but subsided.  In fact, I have the opposite problem.  Nothing sounds disgusting, but I’m just never hungry and for that reason nothing sounds good.

anything making you queasy or sick | Nah.  I was past that point by 12 weeks.  Thank goodness!

gender | All boy up in here! 

pregnancy/labor symptoms | I’ve had some cramping that’s new over the past week or so.  All sorts of weird feelings – no flutters, so I know it isn’t baby.  More like he’s in there with a dull knife or something.  It’s really quite lovely.

belly button in or out | In.  I hope I am in the minority in that my belly button never pops.  Gross.

wedding rings on or off | On!  And I’m thinking I’m going to have them un-solder them.  I’m sure my fingers will get a little chubby and I’d like to be able to at least keep my wedding band on for as long as possible!

looking forward to | Friday!  We are having our official anatomy scan.  We know gender because I had to have an extra ultrasound done at 16 weeks, given all of the fun issues I’ve had with my lady bits.  It was quite obvious even then we had a little boy on our hands!  But Friday will confirm that – as well as give measurements to ensure he’s growing right as he should.  I love being able to see him bouncing around in there!


I just wrote a novel, didn’t I?  I don’t think all weeks will be this long.  But, y’all had quite a bit to get filled in on for that first 19 weeks!  Thanks for hanging with me!


And, She’s Back

It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it?

I just felt like I lost my mojo for awhile, ya know?  I did a lot of writing since the last time I was public on the internets – mostly as an outlet for the myriad of feelings I had surrounding our loss earlier this year.  That space has been exported, saved, and subsequently deleted.  But, man, did it feel good to get it out.

Anyhow, I’m back.  With bells on.

And I have some pretty exciting news to share, right off the bat.

baby bump mwn

Why yes, that is a baby bump.  In the beginning my feelings primarily consisted of fear and worry.  However, I’m happy to report I’m 19 weeks along.  By the time I entered my second trimester my fear and worry were (mostly) replaced with excitement and anticipation.

boy mwnWe are thrilled to have a little man joining us early December!

I just didn’t feel like a blog entitled “What The Efff” was a place I wanted to talk baby.  I mean, it was fun while it lasted, but I felt like I needed a space a little bit more family friendly.

That being said, I’ve imported all of the posts that you’d find at What The Efff and I’ve updated the links back to January 2014.  Prior to that, I make no guarantees that links are in working order.

Thanks so much for rejoining me in my little corner of cyberspace.