Big Changes Part 2: California, Here We Come!

So, what did I do after miscarrying my third pregnancy (If you’re just tuning in, check out part 1 Here to get cought up)? I spent 2 weeks hold up in our Ann Arbor apartment frantically packing everything we own and … Continue reading

Big Changes Part 1: Cross country move, miscarriage and answers

Whew. We did it!

We successfully moved across the country with a 15 month old, dog, and household of stuff. It’s been an incredibly hard, exhausting, exciting, and challenging spring so far and I don’t even know where to begin. So, I’ll just jump on in. This could get long, so I’m going to break it up into a 3 part series. You can read Part 2 and 3 Here and Here.

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

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We found out in early March that we were expecting baby #2! We were THRILLED! I always wanted my kids close together and I wanted to start working on #2 just in case we experienced any trouble (like the first pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage at 12 weeks). The timing was a bit insane, since we were prepping for a cross-country move May 7th, but we couldn’t wait to show up in California with a little stowaway! Well, things didn’t go as planned… do they ever?

First, at what we calculated to be our 8 week appointment (based on my last period), the baby was only measuring 5 weeks. Strange… but our dates could very well have been off since my cycle was nowhere near regular yet. Then, a week later we went back to find a 6 week baby with a little steady heartbeat! A bit slow, but the Doc figured it was just getting going.

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Baby’s heartbeat.

Whew, it felt like we were in the clear and everything from there on out would be the (relatively) uneventful, smooth, and healthy pregnancy I’d always dreamed of… then I saw the tiniest bit of blood the Friday before what would be our  8 week appointment (based on the new dates adjusted at the first appointment). Okay, I’ve spotted with both my previous pregnancies…. those went 50/50, miscarriage/live birth. I trusted my gut and got in that day to have the baby checked.

The baby’s heartbeat was gone. It had stopped developing sometime in the 6th week after we saw it last.

This couldn’t be happening.

I was in shock, disbelief, numb.

Another miscarriage.

Why?

All our plans for another little November baby (like the first we miscarried which was due Nov 2nd, this baby’s adjusted due date was November 15th) were crushed. It took 3 weeks of bleeding before I finally miscarried fully. I had worked from home for a week waiting to pass the baby, but ended up miscarrying in the office on my last day before leaving for our big move to California. April 23rd. Almost exactly 2 years after I miscarried my first baby.

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I packed away our Sister Bear and Baby bear shirts along with my hopes and dreams for these little siblings who would grow up so close in age. I pushed down the excitement for seeing Ziva as a big sister. I forced myself to see the silver linings this time around. At least I wouldn’t be having morning sickness and fatigue as I packed for the big move, at least I’d be able to lift things, at least, at least, at least…

I promise you, there was and is no silver lining that makes pregnancy loss of a wanted baby feel okay. There’s no silver lining good enough to replace the weight of a newborn in your arms, the kicks of a little growing baby, the joy of their first smiles, the love, the person they become. There just isn’t.

At least this time I had Ziva. At least this time I could hold her and find joy in her as she grows and changes… at least this time I know that I can survive, and life will go on, and eventually the sharpness of the pain dulls.

At least I was preparing to move back home where I could be close with my family and have a wide network of support for whatever the future holds. Our little family of 3 (4 with doggy Brinkley) would continue and move forward and move on, missing one more little angel.

Looking Ahead 2016

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First, Looking back

2015. Wow, what a year. It’s probably obvious what made my year. Becoming Ziva Pearl’s mother is the most amazing, fulfilling, joy inducing experience I could have ever imagined. Seriously. Don’t hate me for saying it, but I’m in love with this mommy gig. We have had our rough patches, but nothing a little mama-snuggling and troubleshooting couldn’t fix (thank you nipple shield). She brings me so much joy and is such a happy baby. I feel lucky I get to be her mom.

2016 is going to have to work extra hard to top this year! That’s okay though cause I have big plans. 😉

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2015 was all about our journey as new parents, and my guess is every year of parenthood is a new learning process with curve balls and triumphs, so why should we expect anything less in 2016?!

Looking Inward

In the hustle and bustle of parenthood, I want to make 2016 a year for retrofitting and reinforcing the walls that make up my personal foundation. My goal is to rebuild my sense of self now that I’m a mom. It’s funny how much my perspective, style, and focus has shifted in such a short time! I don’t want to be that mom hiding from the camera and absent from the family album. I want to be a confident, healthy, and active role model for Ziva as she gets older and I’m willing to do the work to make that happen.

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Looking ahead together

As a family, 2016 is going to be another year of big change… Nope! We aren’t pregnant with #2. We are, however, preparing to make the big move to my home state of CALIFORNIA! The details are still in the works, but by summer of 2016 the little Lubetsky family of Ann Arbor will be heading west!

Oakland to SF Ferry Boat Adventure

Playing tourist is one of my favorite things to do when I go home to the Bay Area. I’ve been gone for 13 years living in other parts of California (Humboldt and Sacramento), and now Michigan, so even old familiar places sometimes feel new.

I wasn’t sure how much exploring we’d be able to do with Ziva being just 3 months old on our trip this spring. When my Dad and his girlfriend Stephanie suggested taking the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, it sounded like a great idea, just maybe not with a baby… but, as I’ve said before, I waaaay underestimated my little Ziva. I’m so glad they convinced me to give it a go!


Once the decision was made that we were headed to SF by ferry, it was a mad dash to get from El Cerrito to Jack London square in time for the afternoon boat. We made it with just minutes to spare. The boat wasn’t too crowded and there was plenty of room for us to all sit together in the front with a great view of the ship yards and the slowly approaching San Francisco skyline.



It was a much shorter ride than I’d expected and before long we were pulling up under the bay bridge.

 First stop was the Ferry Building. We were a bit too late for the Saturday Farmers Market, but all the vendors and booths inside the ferry building are worth the visit on their own.

My favorite stop is always the Mariposa Bakery booth. They have absolutely Devine gluten free baked goods. I’ve never gotten something from them that wasn’t delicious, and the loaf of facacia bread I picked up this time didn’t disappoint.


We walked around inside for a while before heading out to the water front to enjoy our treats and coffee. The sky that day was impressively blue.  

We brought a stroller for Stella, and Ziva road most of the afternoon in he Baby Bjorn since she LOVES forward facing. Our next carrier is going to have to be the Ergo 360 (though she is starting to like her inward facing carriers more recently). Ziva was enthralled by all of the people and new things to see. She just took it all in, looking around until she eventually fell asleep.

Next we crossed the street to check out the makers fair and all of their goods. My sister ended up getting a beautiful necklace and I picked up some earrings.



We decided to walk the Embarcadero past the tourist filled Pier 39 to catch the ferry boat back to Oakland at Pier 41. Along the way both babies began to get a little restless, so we stopped to nurse them. The girls ended up switching for the remainder of the walk so that Ziva could ride in the stroller (and give my back a break) and Stella could ride in the Bjorn (satisfying her need for mama-snuggles)! She was just weeks shy of 1 year old, but she is never to old for baby wearing!

If you know San Francisco, than you know how once that fog rolls in it can make a sunny day grey and chilly. By the time we reached the pier it had gotten cooler and the wind was blowing in. Perfect timing to cross back over to the sunny side of the bay.



We ended up beating the fog across the bay and were able to enjoy almost another hour of sunshine in Jack London square. There is a wine tasting room right next to the doc were the ferry lets you off and my dad and Stephanie are members and had a case to pick up, so we stopped in for some tasting (Ziva enjoyed a tasting from the boobie bar while I enjoyed some tasty water). Surprisingly, we weren’t the only group with babies enjoying some wine and sunshine that afternoon on the patio of Rosenblum Cellars tasting room, there was what looked like a mom and baby group a few tables away too!


 

So, somewhat surprisingly this ambitious adventure across the bay and back turned out to be one of my favorite memories from this last trip home. Ziva loved taking in all of the sites, she happily napped in the carrier (yay baby-wearing), and I loved every moment of the bay breezes and California sunshine. Grandpa Gilbert for the win :0)

Ziva Takes The Bay

I’m finally starting to hit my stride again since returning to work a few weeks ago. The last few weeks of maternity leave were like a whirlwind, and though I’m only back 3 days a week at first, keeping up with life, house maintenance, and figuring out our new schedule has kept us all very busy. Not to mention the birth of our brand new nephew!

And of course, isn’t it almost predictable that I would get sick for the first time in almost a year right in the middle of it all? The body just knows when it’s a convenient time, yaknowwhatImean?

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With all of that going on, it already seems like it was ages ago that I took our sweet little baby Z on her first trip to California. Daddy staid home since we planned the trip sort of last minute and he had to work. I hadn’t thought I would be ready to fly with Z so young, but when my company extended their parental leave policy right before I was originally supposed to return to work, it gave us another 7 weeks to hang out and travel. Flying with a 3 month old sounded a whole lot less terrifying than flying with a 2 month old. You know, that month of parenting experience makes a huge difference.

 

Sleeping for a few minutes on the flight there.

Sleeping for a few minutes on the flight there.

Our flight there was very smooth considering what my expectations were (picture screaming baby and angry passengers). Ziva didn’t cry a bit and spent her time attempting to woo the woman sitting behind me with big smiles, batting lashes, giggles, and coos.

I will say that changing her diaper in the microbathroom (with no changing table) was a challenge, as was keeping her in my 17 inches of personal space at my seat. I purchased a travel boppy nursing pillow off of the Ann Arbor mom2mom list for $20 at the last minute and it was SO worth the money. The pillow extended my lap area to give Z more space and helped keep my back from aching while holding her for hours on end. What makes it a Travel Boppy is that it folds in half and zips together, and has a strap so you can carry it like a bag (I stuffed it in my carry on when we weren’t on the plane). The other thing that helped was my Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Clutch (again, I bought used for cheaper). Those bathrooms are small enough without trying to manage a diaper bag as well as the baby!

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Ziva with Grandpa Gilbert

We spent the first few days in CA at my Dad’s house. My dad is always ready for an adventure so the second day in town he and his girlfriend, my sister and her 1 year old daughter, and Ziva and I all decided to take the ferry boat from Jack London Square in Oakland to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. I was really skeptical about how we would fare being out for so many hours without a fast easy way to come home if Ziva couldn’t handle it. I severely underestimated my little one.

On Friday night my Dad hosted a delicious Mexican feast for shabbat dinner and invited many of our close friends and family to come and meet little Ziva. When we were thinking about whether or not I should take Z to California one of the main pros of going was that people in my world would actually get to meet her as a baby, rather than as an almost 1 year old when we go over the winter holidays. It was incredible getting to see people who have known me and held me since I was a little one, holding my own little girl. Pretty mind blowing.

Ziva with cousin Stella and Auntie Rachel

Ziva with cousin Stella and Auntie Rachel

On Sunday my sister and I headed to Alameda to hit up a sale at Tot Tank. We spent a few hours with our two little girls meandering on Park street, popping in and out of shops. I’ve always loved how Alameda feels so “small town” even though it’s right in the middle of the bay. We headed to the new In & Out on the island before heading to my moms. I try to get a double double protein style, animal style at least once a year or so. It’s worth the extra calories ;-). Unfortunately, the traffic heading across town and off the island was horrific that day (not sure why… maybe cause of the Warriors?), and with 2 under 1 in the car it was a sad ride. Ziva was ready to be held and nursed, not sit in the car seat.

My baby and my bestie. You can see the spit-up on my shirt. Mom life is messy stuff.

My baby and my bestie. You can see the spit-up on my shirt. Mom life is messy stuff.

My mother threw us a wonderful women’s gathering at her house (our family home) that evening with many of her long time friends and some I hadn’t met before. Again, it was amazing seeing people I’ve known my whole life with my baby girl. My mother has always fostered such a wonderful sense of community and I’m happy to know that we can be part of it when we are in town.

This is where our visit took a turn for the worse. During the party that evening I started to get what I thought were allergies and by morning I was full blown sick. Fever, body aches, mucus, the whole shebang. We ended up having to cancel all of our plans for the second half of the trip, which meant many of my friends didn’t get a chance to meet little Ziva. I was pretty sorely disappointed in our luck. Thank goodness I was at my moms though. I would have loved to be able to do more the second half of the trip, but it was such a blessing I was there where my mom could take care of me and Ziva while I was in the thick of it.

At first I felt like the second half of the trip was a wash since we had to cancel everything, but my mom pointed out that for her it was great since she got 3 straight days with Ziva, playing with her and bonding. Once she put it in that perspective I was really glad we were there. We live so far away I have often wondered how strong a bond Z will have with my family, so any chance we get to give them time together is a big plus in my book.

After the success of the first flight I was a bit less stressed about how Ziva would fare on the flight home. What I didn’t plan for was an extremely long time waiting on the runway before take off. I started nursing Z as we pulled away from the gate, but by the time it was our turn to take off she was already done and I couldn’t move quickly enough to grab a pacifier or something else for her to suck on as we took off. Word of advice- have your back up soothers on the ready or baby will absolutely cry. Being the chill baby she is, it was only about 172 miles of crying (according to the track your flight app on board the plane), but it felt like forever. Once she was settled down it was an easy flight.

The flight home in her own little lounge.

The flight home in her own little lounge.

Delta was able to move Ziva and me to an empty row of two seats so I was actually able to put her down in the boppy on the seat occasionally during the flight which was such a life saver. Definitely ask at the gate if you haven’t purchased a seat for your little one.

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All in all, it was a successful trip. I always love going home to California, and it was so meaningful to create these memories with Ziva in my hometown and with my community. I can’t wait to take her back in December when she is bigger and more able to interact with her surroundings. Just imagining the way she and Stella (our niece) will interact then makes me smile! One thing is for sure though, I won’t be itching to travel alone with a little baby any time soon. Ziva was a champ when it came to every aspect of travel, which I’m so grateful for, but even with a “good” baby it was challenging and exhausting! I’d much rather bring along a second set of hands. Thank goodness her daddy will be joining us on the next trip!

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The Smell of Dirt

Who’d have thought that one of the things I’d miss the most when I left California was the smell of dirt. Moist dirt under the leaves of a forest floor, warm dirt in the hot sun. There are so many memories linked to the smell of the soil in California that I long for… especially during the long winter months of Michigan.

Today we ventured out for a walk in the warm sunshine. The wind finally died down today, and we went for a long walk through the winding neighborhood across from our place.

Walking alongside a wooded area the breeze picked up the smell of the warm earth and dry leaves and it took me straight to my happy place.

It feels so good to be back outdoors. Turns out our neighborhood is a pretty nice one with winding paths through parks and green ways between quaint suburban streets. Since I was limited to seated activities most of last summer we really didn’t get to explore much. I can’t wait to keep taking baby Z out to explore and play as she grows! I’ve counted 4 playgrounds within a short walk from our place. Z will have plenty of options once she is old enough! For now she is exhausted from napping in the stroller-

Happy spring!

A Look Back at 2014

It’s been a long year…. full of good, full of change, and full of learning experiences. The turbulent weather seemed to match the tone of life. Unpredictable, overwhelming, exciting and scary. Life has sped up so much these last few years, with big shifts in my life coming faster and faster. Looking back reminds me how much we really did and how many really good times we had, amid the chaos of lose and change.

January:

I’m not huge on parties, so when it came to planning our New Year’s Eve I knew I wanted to do something special but different. We decided to make dinner at home together, then head Downtown to the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to ring in the new year with the Zac Brown Band. With so many instruments and high quality musicians on stage, how can you go wrong? I would definitely put this at the top of my favorite live shows list. It was an intimate and thrilling way to count down to 2014.

Ringing in the New Year with the Zac Brown Band at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Ringing in the New Year with the Zac Brown Band at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Last winter was cold. I don’t have to remind you about our fantastically freezing Polar Vortex. There was something exciting about how extreme the weather was, and how life just had to slow down and shift to accommodate it. With that said, I’m glad we aren’t pushing through negative degree weather and heavy snow this year! I’m not as sure on my feet with a basketball belly under my coat, you know what I mean?

Crazy deep Polar Vortex snow

Crazy deep Polar Vortex snow

February:

By February we had settled in to the deep snow and cozy days inside (binge watching shows on Netflix, snacking and cuddling our pup of course). My mom comes to town every February, which I always love and look forward to. We decided to take her on an adventure this year and drive up north to Traverse City for a few days to show her our favorite parts of the state. Little did we know, I was already expecting for the first time…. 

Mom's Visit Feb 2014

Mom’s Visit Feb 2014

Traverse City with mom Feb 2014

Traverse City with mom Feb 2014

March:

I loved my work, but was ready for a change. In March I got a new start at a smaller digital company in Ann Arbor and dove in to the new work. It was scary starting a new job, with an hour commute, right as I found out I was pregnant, but I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Brian, the loving husband he is, knew that I was ready to get back to Ann Arbor (one step closer to a feeling of home), and we started our plans to move.

April:

After the long cold months of winter, we were eager to head home to California in April. Excited that we would be 12 weeks along while we were there, we made plans to announce the pregnancy in person to my friends and family. It was to be a trip full of celebrations and love with my sister’s baby shower and my best friend’s bachelorette. There was so much joy in the first half of the trip… only to be balanced by the heartbreaking end of our trip and our first pregnancy.

Napa bachelorette for the soon to be Mrs. April 2014

Napa bachelorette for the soon to be Mrs. April 2014

May:

We returned to Michigan after the miscarriage and went into hibernation. I can’t imagine a better team I’d rather have by my side than Brian and Brinkley. May was a blur… an adjustment to life without the little baby in my belly. Learning to see life through a new lens.

Our little family... minus the one we were expecting.

Our little family… minus the one we were expecting.

June:

As fast as loss can come on and sweep the rug right out from under you, love and abundance can swoop right back in and fill the dark spaces lifting you right back up. In early June we were shocked and elated to learn we are once again expecting a sweet little baby. My best friend got married, and though it was a planned elopement and I wasn’t able to attend in person, I was overjoyed for her and her new husband. To top it all off, the end of June brought the arrival of sweet, sweet little Stella Ray. My sister gave us one of the best gifts we could ever receive and we’ve spent the rest of 2014 just loving on her and watching this adorable little bundle of happiness grow!

Our niece, Stella Ray born June 2014

Our niece, Stella Ray born June 2014

July:

Ann Arbor here we come!! July 1st we moved into our new Ann Arbor apartment. It’s been a tough transition, but a good one. There are things we miss about life in Royal Oak, but there are many things we love about Ann Arbor too (including the many summertime festivities that we were able to take part in, like Sonic Lunch, Art Fair, and Summer Fest).

Brinkley helping us pack. Moved to Ann Arbor July 1st 2014!

Brinkley helping us pack. Moved to Ann Arbor July 1st 2014!

We celebrated our first anniversary on July 21st with a trip back up north, you guessed it, to Traverse City! What can I say? We love it up there. We had big plans to spend a few days in Traverse City and then to head to Mackinac City to take the ferry over to Mackinac Island for our romantic anniversary. That plan was thwarted by another pregnancy scare and a day in the ER. So, instead of gallivanting around a historic island, we took it easy and spent the rest of the weekend with good friends, healing and waiting to see if we would get to keep our little one. Thank G-d for good friends and for things turning out alright.

Year 1 of marriage in the books. I can't wait to see how our lives have changed by the end of year 2.

Year 1 of marriage in the books. I can’t wait to see how our lives have changed by the end of year 2.

August-September:

We headed back to California again for my cousins beautiful Santa Barbara wedding. We spent a week taking in the sunshine and loving on little Stella Ray, and another week making the rounds with family and friends in the Bay Area. It was a great trip slightly tainted by our nerves, but we made it home all in one piece, the bun still baking in my oven. Whew.

October:

I LOVE MICHIGAN FALL. I know, what comes after isn’t so hot (pun intended), but I can’t help but love everything about the crisp, sunny days of fall. My college roommate, Anne, came to visit us and we showed her some of the best fall has to offer. After asking around we decided to go apple picking at Spicer’s Orchard in Fenton. The drive wasn’t bad from Ann Arbor, and it was a great experience! We will definitely be heading back next year. The tractor ride through the orchard, bright blue sky, delicious apples, cider and donuts are all part of what makes fall here so special. We would definitely recommend Spicer’s for families looking for a day of fall fun. We can’t wait to go back with little ones someday.

Apple picking at Spicer's Orchard, Fall 2014

Apple picking at Spicer’s Orchard, Fall 2014

November:

The gorgeous days of fall football and apple picking quickly shift to grey skies… thank goodness for warm family holidays like Thanksgiving to help get us through. We haven’t had much snow this year, but we got plenty during our interstate drive from Michigan to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend. Brian is a master driver, and I’m glad he is cause I would have been a whimpering fool if I had to drive!

We spent the weekend with my cousins in New Jersey, playing with her little ones and reminiscing about our extended family. We even got in a day in Manhattan to check out the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I love exploring with Brian, but I don’t recommend traveling when you are pregnant. Maybe it’s just me, but long drives and long days trekking through cities are better enjoyed without worrying about pregnancy troubles (like swollen feet and fatigue). I know many women are able to go hard during pregnancy, but for me it felt like a little too much action. Still, we had a great time. 🙂

Snowy drive to New Jersey for Thanksgiving

Snowy drive to New Jersey for Thanksgiving

December:

My dad came to visit! I love spending time with my dad. He’s great to adventure with and he has a gung ho attitude when it comes to projects. We spent the weekend hanging out, clearing out the baby’s room/closet and working to prep the nursery for when the little one (hopefully!) arrives. There is nothing better than time with family, and we have had so much of it this year, despite long distances and tough times. It’s really been a journey. I feel like I’ve grown and changed more than ever this year (easy to say when you’ve been pregnant most of the year, but I mean it figuratively as well).

We truly can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Hopefully it’s tons and tons of happy times and snuggles with our sweet baby girl. Cheers to the new year! 

Baby Girl Lubetsky arriving February 2015!  Cheers to the New Year!

Baby Girl Lubetsky arriving February 2015!

Pregnancy Weeks 10-11: The last weeks

I promise, this won’t be the only thing I talk about on this blog forever, but for right now it is what matters. Breaking the silence about pregnancy loss allows me a place to think things out, and has allowed others to share their stories with me and find support, so we can lean on each other. That is part of why I continue to share. Thank you for listening.

Love, Sarah

Weeks 10-11
It’s finally getting warm! Which means a return to active living. Going for a walk is the best cure for any discomfort. At my new job I have a friend from grad school and previous jobs who I can go for walks with around Ann Arbor’s (A2) downtown. I’m so happy being back in A2 where I went to school and first loved Michigan. I can’t wait to get settled and look into maternity yoga classes, prenatal groups and eventually take advantage of all that A2 has to offer for families and children.

It’s been a little nerve-wracking switching jobs, health insurance, and providers right in the middle of the first trimester. I can’t wait to get it all settled and have our next appointment. I wish we had gotten a picture from the first ultrasound at 7 weeks, but soon enough we’ll see our little one again.

Symptoms: Still have eczema patches that showed up with conception. Crazy pregnancy dreams are a norm, and occasional nausea and dry mouth are still a part of day-to-day life, but the main symptom is still exhaustion.

Sitting at my desk all day has been a bit uncomfortable, but I was happy to adopt a stray stability ball that found its way to my colleagues office. Sitting on the stability ball has really helped my back and comfort when sitting at my desk all day. Although I’ve been told it’s a nauseating to talk to me as I bounce on the ball. 🙂

Finally, my trip to California arrived! I couldn’t be more ready visit with my family, celebrate my sister and her pregnancy, celebrate Passover with our families, and host my best friend’s bachelorette day in Napa!! I am a bit nervous to fly for the first time pregnant, but as long as I stay hydrated and calm it should be okay.

Since we’ll be 12 weeks on Sunday, April 20th (the day we fly home to Michigan) we have decided to start telling the rest of our families and close friends while we are home and can tell them in person. I can’t wait to see their faces and talk about the future with them. It’s awesome because there are a number of new babies in the family living in the Bay Area, and soon there will be a few more!

Dinner with friends and family during week 11, before the loss.

Dinner with friends and family during week 11, before the loss.

Adorable baby clothes I've collected at Mom2Mom consignment sales for my baby niece!

Adorable baby clothes I’ve collected at Mom2Mom consignment sales for my baby niece!

My childhood home. I love this place. My mother will be selling it this year and this could be my last trip home to say goodbye :-(

My childhood home. I love this place. My mother will be selling it this year and this could be my last trip home to say goodbye 😦

April (Bridal) Showers 2013

Last year was one busy year. So busy that I hardly had a chance to share about all of our wedding festivities and preparation. Thinking back on happy memories is a great way to lift ones spirits, so I thought I’d begin the process of looking back and sharing our wedding journey :-).

We started with an engagement BBQ party hosted by my parents, and then another joint engagement party hosted by Brian’s parents celebrating his sister’s and our engagement. The coolest part: Brian’s parent rented an ice cream truck for the engagement party! We were so caught up in the excitement that I never got a single picture of the fun. If you are looking for engagement party ideas, I highly recommend a summer party with an ice cream truck, it was a hit!

California Shower

Brian and I went on our first date April 6th, 2010. Three years later, on April 6th 2013 my best friend Micah and a close family friend hosted my first of 3 wedding showers. It was a gorgeous, sunny, California day. Sitting out in the bright mid-day sunshine, sipping on mimosas, surrounded by women I love, we celebrated our love and future! My favorite part: copious sunshine and my closest friends 🙂

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Me and one of the beautiful hostesses, my bestie Micah!

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Bridesmaids shot!

My mom with my best friends mom. They're the cutest.

My mom with my best friend’s mom. They’re the cutest.

Michigan Shower

A little later in April my mother-law’s friends got together to throw us another lovely wedding shower! They rented a space at a golf course and hosted a lovely lunch. Though we got some actual April showers that day, it was a really nice gathering and we were really grateful to have the chance to celebrate with Brian’s family. My favorite part? The AMAZING gluten-free cakes from Rumi’s Passion Gluten-Free Bakery in Plymouth Michigan. The hostesses were so thoughtful and even picked up some of Rumi’s Passion’s gluten-free dinner rolls for me to have with our lunch. I love this bakery, it is a fully gluten-free bakery with a ton of sweet and savory specialties.

My friends at the Michigan Shower.

My work friends at the Michigan Shower.

My in-laws. I <3 them.

My in-laws. I ❤ them.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi's Passion Bakery.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from Rumi’s Passion Bakery.

 

Work Wedding Shower Tea Party

At my old job I worked with an amazing group of women who became great friends (and luckily, I think this will be true for my new job as well). These lovely women put together an adorable tea party themed bridal shower at the office and I was happy as can be. One of my colleagues formerly worked at a home for aging nuns. There she met many older nuns who have a LARGE collection of assorted tea cups and saucers, and they were kind enough to loan them to her for the party. Each cup was unique and had that feminine delicate prettiness that makes tea parties so adorable. It was really a special day, I felt so loved and cared for with my work family around me, I will always be grateful!

Tea party gluten-free cupcakes!

Tea party gluten-free cucumber sandwiches and gluten-free cupcakes!

One of the many pretty tea cup sets loaned by the nuns.

One of the many pretty tea-cup sets loaned by the nuns.

Garden Shower/Bachelorette!

At the beginning of June, Brian and his best friends headed up north to a rented home on Torch lake for a weekend of Bachelor party debauchery. To keep my mind of things, and as a loving gesture, one of my bridesmaids (the Best Man’s wife and amazing hostess-with-the-mostess, Jes) hosted a garden shower/bachelorette celebration that was absolutely divine! Jes has incredible taste and throws great parties. She pays attention to every detail and it always comes out beautifully. We started the afternoon with a backyard brunch. We all had a fair share of  delicious (and strong) champagne punch, and were soon dancing away! We ended the night out on the town. We didn’t get into too much trouble though ;-).

The garden party settings.

The garden party settings.

Beautiful table setting.

Beautiful table setting.

The spread, it was all delicious.

The spread, it was all delicious.

 

Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.

Lox (smoked Salmon) for the bagels.

Cucumber appetizers.

Cucumber appetizers.

Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.

Gorgeous, gigantic home grown peonies.

My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!

My favorite flowers. Pretty, pretty peonies!

 

The lovely hostess

The lovely hostess

Ladies night on the town.

Ladies night on the town.

Wedding Planning at the Airport

I’m headed to Atlanta for the week for what I hope will be an awesome health communication conference. Exciting right?

After nearly missing my flight due to takeoff time confusion (you mean my flight is at noon? Not 2pm? Crap!!!) and a harrowing drive from Royal Oak to DTW; I made it to my seat just in time to learn the plane was broken. Sad. face. Sarah.

We sat patiently on the plane as our takeoff went from 12pm to 1:30, then from 1:30 to 3pm… They finally let us off to get food only to ask us to get back on the plane to grab our stuff and head to the other side of the airport. And now, as I wait for a 5pm flight to Atlanta what else should I do but plan my wedding?

Thank you Delta. Thanks.

So- here are some inspiration boards I have been piecing together with Picstitch using images I have found on Pinterest. Here is a link to my pinterest board where you can find links to all of the image sources (these are not my images).

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (Images from multiple sources, see Pinterest here)

I really want a warm feel for the wedding, classy but not uptight. We chose a Wtoo bridesmaid dress Macadamia (tan/champaign colored) for my ladies, which means the men will be in rich navy blue suits instead of tan linen as Brian had hoped…. But I think it looks fabulous!

Since more than half of our guests will be coming from out-of-state (the wedding is in Berkeley, CA where I’m, from Brian’s from Michigan) I want to draw in a few little nods to our home states. One of the ideas I’ve had for this is to find vintage travel postcards for Michigan and California cities to use in place of table numbers. Brian says if we do this the bridal party is sitting at “Detroit“. I’m down with that.

Greetings from California- Image from here

Greetings from Detroit (Image from here)

My mother and I both love cobalt blue glass. I thought it would be cool to make our centerpieces from little clusters of different size and shaped blue glass containers (bottles, vases, pitchers, jars), and to fill them with fluffy flowers like peonies and vintage roses in white, pale yellow and pale orange. Like this-

Potential table settings for the wedding (Images via Pinterest)

Oh look, now the sign says 6pm takeoff. I’ll be done planning before I reach Atlanta at this pace! Ok, I was nearly done already, but you’ve got to look for silver linings right? Thank goodness for iPhones and charging stations.

I’m really liking how the blues, yellows, golds, oranges and tans are all coming together. It will all go nicely with my dress which we found when my mom was in town last week! It’s a stunner if I might say so myself… and it is much more dramatic than I ever would have thought I’d choose. Since I can’t show off the dress, I’ll just share a few pics from the dress shopping adventure.

My dress shopping crew! Mom, Bride (me with raccoon eyes), Bridesmaid Teja (Image by Ready Set Sarah)

I ended up falling in love with the first dress I pulled off the rack and tried on a The Wedding Shoppe on Woodward. It was meant to be! The consultant, Natalie, at the Wedding Shoppe was awesome. I would definitely recommend her if you are looking for a wedding dress in the Detroit area. When we went back to take pictures of the dress the next day I noticed the adorable sign welcoming the brides with appointments! I’m the first one on the list!

The welcome sign for ladies with appointments at the shop. (Image by Ready.Set.Sarah)

Update- I finally made it to my hotel in Atlanta at 10pm… that’s a 12 hour travel day for what should have been a 2 hour flight. I could have driven here at that rate and seen a whole lot more of the country!

12 hours and 13 minutes drive from Detroit to Atlanta? I’ll take it (Image by Ready.Set.Sarah)