dream baby shower

This past weekend, my family hosted the most incredible baby shower. While the shower itself was not a surprise, the details of the day were all a huge shock. My mother and aunt really took the time to think of Reggie and I as a couple and translated those likes and dislikes into a fun, whimsical day.

Not only was the event design beautiful but the people that attended the party truly made the event. I was reunited with family from the east coast and friends I had not seen in months. Both my girl and guy friends came to celebrate and even sat through the ridiculously long gift opening process. I am so incredibly lucky to have such amazing people in my life and I know they are going to love and support this baby so much.

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blue velvet cake!
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All pictures taken by my beautiful cousin Sarah.


xo

to my mother

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To the woman who taught me how to be the type of mother I want to be–a true mama bear that would do anything for her babies.

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Thank you for giving me the best sisters anybody could ask for. I never laugh more than when the four of us are together.

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Thank you for welcoming the love of my life into our family with such open arms. Your marriage has set an example of perseverance and commitment. I learned that true love isn’t always the easiest path but the payoff is unbeatable. I am forever grateful for that lesson.
Finally, thank you for being there throughout my entire pregnancy–to support me, laugh with me, and tell me when I just need to relax and trust my instincts. You are going to make a fantastic grandmother.
I wish we could have been together yesterday but I cannot wait to see you later this week for some baby shower fun.
xo

time in a bottle

Please excuse me because  I am feeling particularly weepy today (ahhhh good morning pregnancy hormones) but this pregnancy is going by way too fast. It feels like I just found out I was pregnant and now he is going to be here in just 10 weeks.

Truly, I love everything about being pregnant–my round belly, how his kicks get harder each day, hell, even the nausea. All of those things remind me he is growing and is strong.  And the truth is, I am feeling a bit selfish. I like that we are so connected–like I am the only one that knows him at this point. Once he is born, I have to share him with the world and that feels overwhelming. Has anyone else felt like that? I can’t even imagine what it will feel like once he starts walking and talking. But if I focus on all of the what ifs, the next two months are going to be gone before I know it. So for the next 10 weeks, I am trying to truly enjoy each moment of this pregnancy and take it all in. Listening to Jim Croce along the way doesn’t hurt either…

return of the lobster

I am happy to report that Crosby is currently on his best (for him) behavior due to a very special guest here for the weekend…


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My lobster, Melissa!

My college roommate is here visiting for the weekend with her super fun boyfriend (and apparent dog whisperer) Nate. We have been plotting this surprise visit for almost 2 months and I have pretty much been avoiding her the whole time because I was so afraid I would tell. I am not suspicious or anything…

Anyway, I am so excited to be reunited with my bestie and I plan on taking her to all of my favorites and exploring some new places as well.

Current San Francisco/Bay Area Favorites

Pizzeria Delfina

Fremont Diner

Tartine

I hope you have a great weekend!

xo

my problem child

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I would like to start this post by saying that I love my dog very much. I would also like to say that I hope to never become one of those bloggers who only shows the rainbows and sunshine parts of their life because that is not realistic. While I am the happiest I have ever been, things in my life are not perfect and some days are better than others. In that spirit, yesterday was a complete disaster. You see, my pug appears to be going through the terrible twos. Lately, our day goes a little something like this: wake up, eat, walk, come home, run circles around me while barking and stopping only to chew my furniture, jump on my (sizable) pregnant belly, chew my hair (wtf?!), pass out, REPEAT.

I have tried everything to stop this behavior. I ignore him when he acts like a complete psychopath. I play with him! I use every command and strategy seen on “It’s Me or the Dog.” and nothing works. I end up waddle-running around my apartment all day trying to control him. But yesterday I just cried. Yup, cried. I am almost 7 months pregnant and very hormonal so I cried. Most dogs will notice you are upset and comfort you, right? Not my dog. He ran faster, chewed harder, and barked louder. I wonder if he knows I am pregnant and that another person will be coming into our life. That is probably impossible. Maybe he is just bored. Or maybe it is just leftover puppy energy. Maybe it is because he is a rescue.

I realize there are bigger problems in the world but when you are about to have your first child come into your home and your dog acts like a raving lunatic, it is difficult not to worry because the last thing I want to do is get rid of my dog. I just will not do that. I love him! I am determined to find a solution. I should add that my husband is a huge help when he is home from work so I am really lucky. Overall, I am trying not to stress because I know that it is not good for the baby but I can’t help but wonder how he is going to act when the baby arrives.

Any advice?

xo




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thoughts on becoming a stay at home mom

If you would have asked me at fifteen years old what I would be doing at age twenty-six I probably would have said something like “I will be a lawyer, definitely single (and definitely no babies), and living in California.” Well, at least I got one thing right.

Truth is, I am twenty-six, married, pregnant, and currently unemployed. When my husband was transferred back in October, I resigned from a teaching position that I finally really loved. My students were sharp, engaging and everything finally clicked that semester. See, I struggled with my teaching career from the very beginning. I always thought I was going to be a lawyer and then when I finally worked for a law firm in college, I realized that the life of a lawyer was something I no longer wanted. In the meantime, I was in love with my major of Communication Studies. I truly looked forward to going to class every single day and could see myself in front of a classroom teaching. Still I was not sure what I wanted to “do” exactly so I applied to graduate school in California.

The two years that followed proved to be the most challenging academic and personal years of my life. My whole life was dedicated to studying and teaching. I had never been pushed harder in school. Consequently, I lost some friends and gained some really great ones. In typical Jenna style, I started to have this aching inside of me that wanted something else, something more upon graduation from my Master’s program. I pushed any doubt to the side though and continued to teach for a year after I graduated. I started creating strong connections in the classroom and truthfully learned more about myself and from my students than anything. Despite that, I took a break from teaching to get some more practical experience and see if the (career) grass is greener on the other side (i.e. the real world). Turns out, for me, it wasn’t. I loved working for lululemon. I do not regret taking a break and trying something new because I learned so much about people, myself, and reaching my own goals.

One of my goals, in fact, for quite some time was to have a baby. Months into our relationship I knew that I was going to marry Reggie, but even before that I knew that I wanted to have a family with him. He is perfect for me in every way. After almost 5 years of dating, we married and immediately started trying to have a family. Over a year passed and no baby. We were disappointed every month but we were hopeful that it just was not our time yet. Then in October of last year Reggie and I decided to move to San Francisco. He had been living there Monday-Friday for work and there was no end in sight to the traveling. We wanted to be together and have a baby so a move just made sense. I was at peace with leaving my teaching position and I was very lucky that my department was incredibly understanding.

We were all unpacked by Halloween and I finally started to settle into our new place and relax. I didn’t even think about a baby at that point because, let’s face it, moves are stressful. That was until November 11th when I realized my period was late and I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. When the second line appeared, I nearly fell over. I actually didn’t believe it. So I took another, and another. Three positives later and I had to call Reggie. There wasn’t going to be any fancy reveal here–not my style. Instead, in tears, I told him he was going to be a father. Together we sat in silence, crying, realizing our dream had finally come true. Life is funny like that. People who knew we were trying to have a baby would always tell me to just relax and it would happen. I realize that is not true for everyone but, for me, it really was.

So here I am, almost 25 weeks pregnant, and the happiest I have ever been. I laugh and shake my head thinking about my 15 year old self. I am literally her worst nightmare. There are moments where I feel ashamed because I have chosen to not only stay at home the whole pregnancy but for as long as possible after the baby is born. I then shake my head and laugh again because that is ridiculous. There is enough judgement in the world, I do not need to be doing the same to myself for something I know is right for me and my family. I am lucky that I can stay home and raise my son. I hope to go back to teaching years from now but I am not putting a timeline on anything. I have learned my lesson there.

As of today, this I know for sure: I love the life I have created with Reggie and I cannot wait for what the future holds. No regrets, just love.


xo

M&M Cookies


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I got to thinking the other day about food and memories. I don’t know about you but for me, a photo will help me remember a brief moment but my sense of smell is the one that truly brings me back to those places. The feeling is exciting, strong, and personal.

Many of these food memories are from my childhood in New Hampshire. Now living in California I miss the New England lobster and clams but one of my absolute favorite food memories from my life there will always be M&M cookies from the small bakery in my hometown of Windham, NH. Luckily, Klemm’s Bakery was located next to a small country store that my mother frequented and occasionally she would let me run in and get one of their giant buttery M&M cookies. I distinctly remember the sweet smell of butter and sugar in the air. Klemm’s is now gone from the town so now I am left without my beloved cookies even when I visit. I knew I had to recreate them myself.


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The Best M & M Cookies

(Adapted from All Recipes)

36 Servings

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 (rounded) teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup M & M’s
  1. In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture. Blend well. Add 1/2 cup of M&M candies.
  2. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 9 to 11 minutes, to your liking.


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Sure enough, as soon as I opened the oven door I felt a rush of memories of spending time with my mom, enjoying one of our old favorites. These are slightly chewier and less crispy than the original but they have that same balance of butter and sugar so the smell is exactly the same. Reggie and I could not stop eating them. I will be bringing them for my family to try tomorrow. You should too.