August & September Highlights!

Happy Saturday everyone :) If you’re like me and you live on the east coast, it’s probably a rainy Saturday, but doesn’t that make for perfect reading weather? Today I’m hoping to finish Scarlet by Marissa Meyer while watching some college football. Yay for fall!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been pretty absent lately. Everything’s fine, just a little pregnancy fatigue (Little Baby French Fry is due in just over 3 weeks), but I did have some fun highlights from the end of the summer that I wanted to share!

August & September Highlights

I read 6 books:

Amelia Elkins Cinder senseandsensibility

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban The Duff

I still need to write my review for Sense and Sensibility, but I’m hoping to get to that this month before the baby is born.

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What I Watched:

CSI

The past week or two I’ve been binge watching the latest seasons of CSI (one of my long-time favorite shows that just ended last weekend after 15 seasons). I liked how the show ended, and Ted Danson was a great show runner for the past few seasons. I’m gonna miss new episodes :( but I’m thinking about giving CSI: Cyber a try.

Highlights:

  • Friends & family visiting – In August my sister visited us for a weekend and it was fun getting to show her around town.

    Danielle

    Kilwins!

  • Meeting new friends! – Last month I was able to meet with my online friend Alise @ Read. Write. Repeat for lunch since we only live a few hours away from each other and it was so nice to chat with her for a bit! I don’t have very many friends in “real life” who are readers and/or bloggers, so it’s always a special treat when I can meet online friends who are also huge bookworms. She was also sweet enough to buy Little Baby French fry this book of nursery rhymes:
    Alise
  • Baby Shower! – My family & friends threw me a lovely tea party themed baby shower last month and it was absolutely beautiful! I’ve always wanted to have a tea party with friends and this one was extra special because we got to celebrate our little French Fry. He’s already loved so much!
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  • Maternity photo session with my best friend Jae – My wonderful friend Jae drove down from Pennsylvania to spend the weekend of my baby shower with me and right before she left she took some maternity photos for us. Jae also did our engagement pictures which are AMAZING, and the maternity photos she took are just as beautiful! Here’s her website if you live in the PA area.
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  • Fall & football – It’s finally football season! You can ask my husband, most Saturdays I spend in the living room with a game on. Sometimes I read at the same time, but if it’s a team I care about I’m usually cheering or yelling at the TV ;) Our dog doesn’t like football season for this reason…
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  • Final weeks of pregnancy – There are only 3 weeks left until I hit my due date! I’m hoping the little guy comes early because not only am I running out of room in my belly, but my in-laws are visiting the week he’s due and it would be really nice to have at least a few days to get used to parenting before we have visitors. No matter how happy I am to have friends and family visiting, I’m the type of person who will always gets stressed out about it. I’m just that type of person…

    35 Weeks

    35 weeks pregnant.

Challenges:

  • Hormones – This has been my biggest struggle the past month. I anticipated it, considering how the beginning of my pregnancy went, but it’s still hard when you start crying for no reason or have trouble falling/staying asleep each night. I’ve also gotten to that point where I really don’t like how I look. That’s what it means to become a mom, I guess.

Looking Forward to in October:

  • BABY MONTH!
  • Halloween, cooler weather, and fall festivities – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
  • Matt’s parents visiting from France! – We haven’t seen them in over a year and they’re visiting us for a week, mainly to see their new grandson (hopefully he comes on time!).
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July Highlights!

This year is flying by. I can’t believe it’s already August. Before I know it we’ll be in October and I’ll be a mom! I was a little bit busier this month so I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked, but it does feel amazing to be a bookworm again.

I read 3 books:

The Martian Anne of Avonlea Wives and Daughters

Anne of Avonlea is a well-known favorite of mine, but The Martian and Wives and Daughters are new favorites that I LOVED reading! I am now on a Classics-craze which is perfect because I need to get a move on with my Classics Club list.

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What I Watched

Wives and Daughters BBC Little Dorrit

I watched and loved both the Wives and Daughters and Little Dorrit BBC miniseries last month. Matthew Macfadyen is always lovely in a period drama and Andy Serkis will freak you out with his acting talents. And Wives and Daughters is a beautiful adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s unfinished last work. I watched the ending several times :)

July Highlights

  • Hanging out with friends! – We had several movie and game nights this past month. It’s been an important goal for Matt and I to hang out with friends as much as possible before the baby arrives, because then we probably won’t be able to for a while.
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    Playing Ticket to Ride for the first time :)

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    Spending a summer evening downtown with friends watching an 80s cover band (The Breakfast Club)

  • Reading! – Last month I finally felt like a bookworm again. I started a new book as soon as I finished an old one, I carried my Kindle around with me everywhere, and I had a “book hangover” for the first time in months :) I’ve really been into Classics lately and I wish I could be reading them all at once. I also finally organized the bookshelves in our living room:
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  • Surprise trip to Atlanta! – Last month I drove to Atlanta with my best friend Jae to surprise our other best friend McKenzie after she got engaged :) Her fiancé coordinated everything and he did a fantastic job. It was so thoughtful of him to ask McKenzie’s close friends to be there and I know it meant a lot to all of us.
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    After dinner selfies with my friends Caroline and Jae.

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    With my newly engaged BFF McKenzie!

July Challenges

  • Being uncomfortable – I was at the end of my second trimester in July, so things are starting to become more and more uncomfortable for me. I have such a short torso already so that doesn’t help. Bending over to put on shoes or pet the dog cuts off my circulation a bit and most nights I can’t find a good sleeping position. But as of today I have 12 weeks to go! Little Baby French Fry will be here before we know it :)

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    27 weeks & 1 day

  • Longing for autumn – I’m so tired of summer and I can’t wait for my favorite season to arrive! I’ve already seen so many autumn decorations out in the stores and last week I even bought a fall-themed monogrammed banner for our front door on sale at Joann’s :) I can’t wait for cooler weather, changing leaves, college football, Thanksgiving, and a sweet baby boy to arrive!

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    It’s hard to enjoy the lingering summer months when autumnal candles bombard me with their lovely scents.

Looking Forward To in August

  • Read-alongs – I’m participating in a read-along of Villette with my Goodreads group this month. I’m also joining a 4-month read-along of the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter) hosted by The Book Addict’s Guide. Both of these read-alongs just started so feel free to join in :)
  • Austen in August – This year I’m participating in two different Austen in August events! One is month-long and the other is a week-long. I plan on reading Sense and Sensibility as well as some modern Austen-inspired adaptations. I’ll be posting several Austen-themed blog posts, and I’m even hosting a giveaway at the end of the month :)
  • Preparing for my baby shower – It’s in just over a month from now and I can’t wait! My mom and my dear friend Robin are helping plan it and already I’m overwhelmed by all the love and support I’ve felt from them and from all my other friends during my pregnancy.

Where I’ve Been

It has been nearly 3 months since my last post and I’m finally ready to explain where the heck I’ve been lately. Prepare yourself for some not so fun stories, but I will start and finish this post off with happy things, don’t worry!

Since I don’t think I ever posted a wrap-up post from February, I never got the chance to squeal about some of the big, exciting things that happened for me and my husband at the beginning of the year, so let me just do that real quickly right now:

  • My husband was offered a job in Wilmington, NC which he took! He’s been working now for 5 months and he really enjoys it.
  • We officially relocated from Maryland to North Carolina at the end of March and we love it here! We’ve made so many friends and are almost finished settling into our place (this month I’ve been restoring and repainting furniture and I’m hoping to unpack the last few boxes in the coming weeks).

And the biggest news of all is:

  • We are expecting our first child!

    Mother's Day

    Family photo back from Mother’s Day. Matt thinks he looks goofy here but I think he looks like a proud Papa :)

  • And…

    It's a Boy

    Little Baby French Fry is due on October 26!

I am officially 21 weeks along today, and I am finally enjoying the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. After my first trimester I was beginning to lose hope that I would enjoy anything about being pregnant, and that’s all thanks to those lovely hormones that give some women morning sickness and others, like me, an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I was never diagnosed, but I can tell you that I had early pregnancy depression and it turned my world completely upside down. (Yes, here come those not so fun stories I warned you about)

We had been trying to conceive for roughly two years, but earlier this year we weren’t actively trying due to Matt’s new job and our impending move. So it came as a big surprise (and for me I was in disbelief for a while) when the tests came back positive. WE’RE HAVING A BABY! Of course we were both happy, but a few days later I started feeling worried; Was this the best time? Would we be financially secure? What if I couldn’t find a new job when we moved? Would I be a good mom? Why am I not happier?

These thoughts plagued us both for the first month, but while my husband handled his stress by working hard and solving all our housing problems, I tried as hard as I could to feel happier and more positive but to no avail. All of the normal things I loved to do suddenly turned me off. Reading made me nauseous, I had no desire to write anything for my blog and I even avoided social media (and not for good reasons), and I gave up my attempts to finish my 25 Things list because I no longer cared about anything.

Finally, after a few weeks, I told my husband about how I was feeling because the last thing I wanted to do was isolate myself with those dark feelings. He was nothing but supportive and encouraging. He reassured me that this was all hormone-related and that eventually I would feel like myself again. Honestly, I only believed him half the time, but I would try every now and then to pick up a book or watch one of my favorite TV shows or crochet, and if I couldn’t do it, I tried not to focus on any repercussions (i.e. not updating my blog for months or finishing my 25 Things list before my birthday).

It was really hard. People asked me regularly what I was reading lately or why my blog was so silent, and I hated telling them, “My pregnancy hormones are making me depressed,” because shouldn’t I be happy about having a baby? I wish someone had told me that it’s not uncommon to feel depressed during pregnancy. At least that would have made me feel less ashamed.

But long story short, eventually I did find myself again. After going from reading a book a week to not reading a book for over two months, I finally picked something up and finished it. My husband was happy the old me was back, but he was never once negative or pessimistic about what I had been going through; he was constantly supportive and there for me, even when he was living in NC and I was still up in Maryland. I will be forever grateful to have him as my husband, and I know he’s going to be a great father to our little boy :)

So now I’m finally ready to return to the world of blogging. I won’t be posting as often as I used to, but I will try to post twice a week. I even have a Top Ten Tuesday post lined up for tomorrow!!

Thank you to all of you who read this post or who have encouraged and congratulated me over the past couple of months. I really have missed the friends I’ve made through blogging, and I’m sorry I disappeared but I’m very much looking forward to posting, reading my favorite blogs, and participating in blogosphere events again!

<3 Maggie