The Row House

Looking like a whale and crying at the drop of a hat.

I’m now officially “full-term” aka “looking like a whale.”

Baby could come any day now, but I have a feeling he or she will wait til THE VERY LAST SECOND just to prove who’s in charge.

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Mark can’t wait to be a proud papa and got our new Graham Glider all set up in the nursery…thanks Canadian grandparents for the gift!

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We also got a few special things that made me cry…and you know I never cry…like ever. Like not even at my wedding.

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My sister framed the prayer that we would say as a family before bed and now she says it with her daughter and I will say it with my little peanut. (I’m tearing up just writing this.)

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And then I cried (and laughed!) some more when I opened this gift from my dad.

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He got my baby this book…and wrote his own words in it about what he’s going to teach his grandchild.

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He wrote “I will read you the blog and show you the pictures where your mommy and daddy fixed up their Lawrenceville rowhouse.”

Cue the waterworks!!!

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The Row House

#Blessed

I know, I know…you roll your eyes every time you hear someone say they’re “blessed” or hashtag it on their Instagram photo while they’re holding a mimosa and looking out over the Italian Riveria…I hate those people too. 😉

But, I gotta say I’m #blessed after the week I had.

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First of all…if any of you ever want to throw a party, you should consult my friend, Susie, who must have been a celebrity party planner in her former life because she put together THE MOST GORGEOUS baby shower EVER!

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We had balloons and champagne and a chef in her kitchen whipping up the most delicious lunch.

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There were beautiful jewelry prizes and flowers and 3 desserts…3 of them!!

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I couldn’t believe how incredible it was.

But my heart wasn’t full because of that.

My heart was full because I have wonderful, smart, sassy girlfriends who love and support each other and go out of their way to make people feel special.

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We also got GOOD NEWS from the doctor…baby is head down, in position and super low!

Little peanut is getting ready to join us!

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We were smiling so hard, the doctor said, “Wow, you guys are excited!”

YES WE ARE!

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The Row House

From House to Home!

Getting ready for baby and “nesting” hardcore over here!

And it’s not just limited to the baby’s room…I am like a madwoman trying to put the finishing touches on the rest of the house!

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I’ve forced Mark to hang more art and pictures in the last 3 weeks than he’s done in his entire life.

I love it all.

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It really makes the house feel like a home.

Our finished kitchen really rounds everything out!

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The kitchen remodel was our last BIG project and it feels soooooo good to have it done!

I think the last missing piece will be our little peanut!

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We can’t wait! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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The Row House

A Letter To Our Sweetie

Dear Baby A,

Everyone is SO EXCITED to meet you…and most of them think you will be a boy!

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If you are a girl, I’m sure you’re laughing inside my belly thinking “I’ll show them!”

You are already so loved and when our family came together this weekend for your baby shower, I’m sure you could feel it!

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All your cousins are super cute…so you have a lot to live up to! 🙂

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Your Canadian family already bought you everything you’ll need to fit right in with them…

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Your American family got you ready for every possible sports season in Pittsburgh!

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Cousin Lily will be hanging out with you everyday since Nana will watch both of you while we’re at work. Lily wrote you this message…

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Mom and dad have been dreaming about who you are, who you’ll become and which one of us you look like!

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Your daddy is strong and sweet, and I hope you get his kind heart.

Your mom is sassy and driven, and I will teach you how to kick some a$$. 🙂

We can’t wait to be a family of 3!

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The Row House

Mr. Muscles & His Crib

All of our home renovations have been leading to this moment where all of Mark’s building expertise has come in handy…

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Look at Mr. Muscles putting that crib together. Such a man.

The time has come to get the baby’s room ready.

Long-time blog readers will remember that the baby’s room first looked like this.

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So. Gross.

We finally renovated it and it looked like this.

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Now, we’ve got a crib, changing table and dresser…all we need is little Baby A.

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It’s funny to have all this, Mark and I usually stop in once a day and just look and think, “Holy crap! We’re going to have a baby here!”

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The Row House

An Unconventional Push Present

It’s a thing nowadays for the husband/spouse/partner to buy his lady a gift for carrying and pushing out that sweet little baby that rips a woman from here to kingdom come.

I only have 8 weeks before that happens!

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Most of the time the push present is jewelry…or maybe a car if you had a really bad pregnancy and labored for 48 hours.

Mark asked me the other day what I wanted and I told him I wanted him to get a copy of Marie Kondo’s “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and follow the instructions word-for-word.

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Marie Kondo is an organizational guru who shows you how to declutter your home. Her KonMari Method of tidying up means that you don’t just get rid of the things you don’t regularly use…you only keep what gives you JOY!

Only keep what gives you JOY. What a concept…I love it.

I will keep Mark, my joy-bringer, and happily say goodbye to all his junk!

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I love my husband and his vision, his handy-man-ness, his sweetness and his head of hair…but I really hate all of his crap.

I asked Mark to get rid of all his meaningless stuff and only keep the necessities…which for him, should be me, our baby, his tools and a 6-pack of beer! 🙂

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The Row House

Gotta have GOALS!

Mark and I are all about goals.

Call us crazy, but we believe in speaking those goals OUT LOUD and putting them into the universe where they can take shape and happen!

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Goal #1: To feel good these next 9 weeks, work all the way up to my due date, then walk to the hospital, spread my legs and have the baby fall out.

Goal #2: To keep our composure when the kid comes out and try not to bawl our eyes out, get snotty noses and embarrass ourselves in front of the doctor and nurses.

Goal #3: To have the healthiest, sweetest little baby who LOVES to sleep…like 9 hours a night.

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Goal #4: That the baby will get all the best qualities of me and Mark and none of the bad, annoying qualities that we can’t get rid of.

Goal #5: To be great parents, flip houses, work full time and blog.

Dear Jesus, please help us with #5…amen.

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The Row House

How to live through a kitchen remodel without getting divorced.

People always ask if Mark and I fight during our renovations…and we almost never do.

Look at us…so in love…(Mark had like 5 beers before this was taken.)

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We sometimes get a bit testy about halfway through any project, but we haven’t had any big blowups.

I think it works for us because we always know that every project will take longer than planned and will likely cost a few more bucks than we allotted.

Knowing this up front saves a lot of anger and frustration when we’re a month past our original “end” date and have thrown an extra $500 at the project.

Since we live in the home as we renovate, we are meticulous about keeping a SUPER clean work space.

I can thank my husband for this one. He is OCD about having his tools organized and put away and cleaning up the work space every single time. Even when we were in the heaviest demo phase…we always swept up the work space at the end of the day.

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It just helps with your sanity. When your house is a mess and looks junky…you feel awful.

The last piece of advice we’d give to couples who renovate together is…drink some alcohol.

My husband is way more pleasant after 3 Heinekens. 🙂

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The Row House

We can’t just buy a light…that would be WAY too easy!

There is a power struggle that exists between Mark and I when it comes to DIY-ing EVERYTHING in our home.

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If he had his way, Mark would sketch, design and build EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. in our house.

He would rather live without any light fixtures for a year if it meant that he could take 12 months to craft every single one.

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I refuse to let him do this, but I had to budge a little when he said his latest idea could be done in a day.

He bought some gas pipe from Home Depot, an Edison bulb and a lamp shade from IKEA.

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A few hours later, we had our own industrial light fixture above the café table in the kitchen.

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I almost hate to admit it, but Mark was right…the light is perfect!

It’s much softer than our overhead fixture and I love it in the mornings when I come down to make a cup of tea…I think of my sweet husband every time I turn it on. 🙂

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The Row House

The kitchen of my dreams from the man of my dreams!

Please tell me you rolled your eyes when you read that title.

I did too.

Now, let’s move on.

I. Love. My. Kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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There are not enough exclamation points for me to get across the level of excitement I am feeling.

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From the butcher block countertop, to the white farm sink, to the chic gray cabinets, to the above-the-range microwave…this kitchen is EVERYTHING and is making me seriously think about cooking.

(Yeah right.)

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My favorite husband, Mark, once again proved his worth a million times over by installing this kitchen by himself with some help from his very pregnant wife.

Here’s what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house and what it looks like now.

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Next time, I’ll show you the other side with our open pantry, leaning shelves and cafe table.

This whole kitchen remodel took us about two months longer than anticipated, but it was worth the wait!

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