Upping our coffee game

Isn't coffee all the rage right now?

I mean, tell me that you haven't seen someone post a selfie with their Starbucks cup...
Fashion bloggers are using coffee as an accessory in outfit posts...
Retailers are selling shirts with the words "but first, coffee" on them & they're selling like hot cakes...
Heck -- I'm guilty of posting a photo of a cup o' jo myself (here, here and here).

Here's the thing.  I like coffee.  A lot.  But I didn't always.
I think coffee is like beer... it's an acquired taste & the older you get, the more you like it.

My coffee loving journey started out as not drinking coffee at all.  It all started with hot chocolate.  Which then turned into sipping cappuccino.  Then I branched into latte's, mocha's, and all that fancy, sugary drink stuff with just a bit of coffee flavoring.  And then I started drinking regular coffee with flavored creamers... which then turned into drinking coffee with just a splash of 1/2 & 1/2... and now I prefer it black with nothing added at all.  Gimmie a nice bold roast, and I'm happy as a clam.

And what's my favorite blend, you ask?  Stumptown's Hair Bender (thanks Lance & Jacki for getting me hooked)!  But do you want to know what makes Hair Bender taste even better?  This pour-over.

Coffee, pour over | My Darling Days

I blame this "sorta" spur-of-the-moment purchase on Kelle Hampton & Zac's Birthday.  Kelle wrote this post about daily rituals and paying good attention to herself, and I happened to read it two days prior to Zac's Birthday.  I needed to get him a little something, and he loves coffee too, so by the end of the post, I had already purchased it. That Kelle Hampton... she's a marketing genius.

Coffee, pour over | My Darling Days

Quite frankly, this pour-over method is a little time consuming but soooo worth it.  And it kind of makes me feel fancy -- like a real coffee connoisseur -- even though I am far from it.

Coffee, pour over | My Darling Days

Cheer friends, to the simple pleasures in life... like good coffee!

Ellis: One Month Old

How has it been four weeks since we welcomed Baby Ellis into the world?
This last month has flown by, but it also feels like just yesterday that we were coming home from the hospital with our new little bundle of joy.

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

I'm not going to lie, this month has been tough.  Between adjusting to a whole new level of lack of sleep, recovering from a drug-free (read: PAINFUL) labor & delivery, breastfeeding & diapering around the clock, and dealing with a horribly itchy postpartum rash that made me want to die -- it hasn't been easy.

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

BUT!  We made it four weeks with our little Ellis man, and every day gets a little easier.  Plus, he is wonderfully healthy & happy (most days).

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

So far, he's a pretty laid back little dude, except if he's hungry or when he's getting his diaper changed.  We've already had a handful of "shooting pee" experiences -- which make us thankful we decided to wait on new carpeting :)  Every once in a while he'll have a bout with spitting up too; we're not sure if it's contributed to something I'm eating that upsets his little tummy or just normal baby reflux issues.

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

He's pretty sleepy most of the time, but is staying awake for longer periods of time in the morning & afternoon.  And, it seems like after the 2:00 or 3:00 AM feeding, he's WIDE awake -- of course.

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

We go to the doctor for his 1 month check-up on Tuesday, and I'm willing to bet he grew in length & is over 8 lbs, but we'll see!

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Things I love about Ellis this month:

- How limp & lethargic he makes his entire body after he gets done nursing.
- The spot on the back of his head where his hair stands straight up.
- Being able to kiss his lovable cheeks any second I want.
- How anytime he gets startled or hears a loud noise, his arms go flying up in the air, but he never cries.
- The "oh" face he makes with his lips after he lets a good one rip.
- When I pick him up from his bassinet & he arches his back and sticks out his tiny little butt.
- How he usually calms down & melts when I put him on my chest, belly to belly.

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

Ellis James, baby update - one month | My Darling Days

We love & adore you little Ellis!

P.S. Happy Birthday to my momma today! We love you Grandma Sue!!

Third Trimester Recap

Because Baby Ellis decided to arrive two weeks early, I never had a chance to post my Third Trimester Recap, however I did have it all written out so I still wanted to share for those interested!


I now understand when women say those last few weeks are tough.  Your body is going through so many changes in preparation for labor, and all of a sudden things really start to feel so real!

Here are the things that surprised me about my third trimester:

1. Groin / pelvic pain - I've been experiencing frequent pain in my inner thighs, groin, & pelvic area.  It's most intense when I change positions at night in bed, try to get up out of bed, or put pants & socks on.  Also, I notice it more when my bladder is full.  I've read that this is referred to as Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction -- a fairly common but painful pregnancy condition due to the relaxing ligaments around the pelvic bone.

2. Heavy belly - The feeling that my lower belly needs to be supported at all times.  My doctor says this is likely due to the baby dropping.  It does help to wear a maternity belt like this -- but I only wear it around the house when I'm doing chores because it's rather bulky/ugly.

3. Back pain - I think this is caused by the "heavy belly"  :)  Thankfully it's not terrible, nor does it bother me every day.

4. Braxton Hick contractions - Funny story... so I'm at my 30 week OB check.  I lay back on the table, getting ready to hear baby' s heartbeat with the doppler and my stomach is TIGHT & HARD.  Dr. says "well, we certainly know where baby is today!"  After we're done listening to that glorious sound of a heartbeat, we talk about how I'm doing, etc.  Dr. asks if I've had lots of Braxton Hicks & I say "No, I don't think so.  Sometimes my belly gets tight, but it's just when the baby moves all up in front."  She says, "Uh, Katie... that is a Braxton Hicks contraction... you just had one while we we're listening to baby's heartbeat..."  So apparently I'm getting them ALL THE TIME, and had no idea.

5. Frequent urination - It's back!... peeing all.the.time, just like in the first trimester.

6. Slow moving - I feel like I'm walking slower & becoming less mobile these days.  Well, maybe not less mobile, it's just harder to move in general.  You want me to sit on the floor and put Shopkins together with you?  Forget it.  See that piece of paper on the floor?  It can stay there.  It's not worth bending over for.  Also, shoes that tie? Pfft, no way.

7. Tired - A good nights sleep is hard to come by these days (and I know, it's only going to get worse!) I sleep an average of 5 hours, even though I still go to bed by 9:00 pm every night.

8. Slowed digestion - enough said.

9. Lots & lots of baby movement - a.k.a, the best feeling in the world.  Even if he or she is poking & gabbing in places not so nice, I still love feeling all that movement!  At our 34 week ultrasound we were able to see the baby making a sucking motion with his/her lips, then stick out his/her tongue and lick his/her arm.  It was sooo cute!

10Anxiety - This is not just a "3rd trimester" thing, it's been lingering throughout my entire pregnancy.  In the beginning, it was worrying about staying pregnant... then worrying if the baby was growing/forming properly, and now it's being anxious about things going on in my body that I never knew would happen (i.e. mucus plug, bloody show, how bad it hurts when the Dr. "checks" you -- nobody tells you about this stuff, dang it!)  And, wondering what labor & delivery is going to be like.  We're praying to God every day that he blesses us with a healthy baby.  I have faith, but I'm still a worrier... welcome to Motherhood, right? :)

All that being said, my pregnancy experience has been really great.  Yes, there were some hard times along the way, and some not so pleasant side affects of being pregnant, but honestly -- I grew a human.  Wait, I take that back. WE grew a human.  Zac & I did this together -- by far our biggest, most proud accomplishment to date.  I am so thankful we got to take this journey together.

Read my First Trimester Recap HERE, and my Second Trimester Recap HERE.

Hello World: Meet Baby Ellis!

Meet Baby Ellis | Birth Announcement | My Darling Days
6 lbs 14.8 oz | 19 3/4"
Zac & I welcomed Ellis James into this world & into our hearts on Sunday, February 19th, 2017 at 8:03 pm.

He is perfect in every way, and we feel so incredibly blessed that we get to be his parents.

I'm at a loss to find the right words to describe what it feels like to become a mother, except that it's been so overwhelmingly beautiful, yet exhausting.  With labor, delivery, recovery, nursing, diapering, lack of sleep, entertaining visitors -- plus figuring this little guy out & all the changes happening with my body -- it's all been a little crazy.

I do know Ellis James is the best thing to ever happen to us, and the love we have for him & each other grows more & more every day.  Suffice to say, caring for a newborn is very much a team effort, and I'm so very thankful for Zac.  He is picking up all the pieces that I can't reach right now.

We're looking forward to things slowing down a bit & enjoying time together as a new little family.

P.S. Prepare for many more posts on Mr. Ellis; I'm a tad obsessed with him!