Monday, 29 January 2018

Winter Walk in Bowring Park

The weather here has been a little chilly lately (still mild compared to other provinces - but cold for Newfoundland), however, we've had some nice sunny days. This past Saturday was a beautiful sunny day so we decided that we needed to get out and take advantage of it. We hadn't left the house in a week as all 3 of us were smothered with the flu and poor Blake was sick for the second time in a month. Needless to say, we all had cabin fever and are just so used to being on the go that we really needed to go for a walk and enjoy some fresh air.

Bowring Park was packed full of people that afternoon, but that's no surprise because thats where everyone flocks to on any nice, sunny day of the year. I wanted to start making outfit posts again as it's been over a year since I've made one, so I had Andrew take a few snaps. I would have loved to take Blake out and show off our matching toques (I'm actually obsessed with matching our outfits - its one of the many exciting things about having a little girl) but it was a little too cold.

I can't wait for the spring so I can do more posts/photos with Blake. She'll be one on May 1 (which is actually so crazy to think about) which means she will probably be walking and it will be so fun to go on walks in the park with her. But in the mean time, we will enjoy the winter and hopefully do more winter-y activities before the snow is gone. I'd like to try snowshoeing and pull Blake along in the little sled we bought her, and maybe bundle her up in her snowsuit and play in the snow. She's growing up so fast, so I always try to remind myself to enjoy every little moment and make the most of each day (even if its freezing out and we are limited on what we can do).

Also, if anyone is in the market for a good stroller, I highly recommend investing in a Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle. I'm sure I've talked about it in a blog post before, but we've been using it for almost 9 months now and its endured literally every type of terrain (it did very well on a sandy beach in the Bahamas). Most recently, on our walk we went down a super steep, slippery path that was basically ice on top of hard packed snow with lots of ruts and the Mountain Buggy held up perfectly. People probably thought we were insane for bringing a stroller down an icy path but it worked great.

Hat: CC
Coat: Michael Kors
Sweater: Ardene (I absolutely love this sweater and it was super cheap!)
Jeans: Guess (new fave jeans, super stretchy!!)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Stroller: Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Wedding Item/Vendor Review (Cruise Wedding - Norwegian Epic)

This post is part 2 of my previous blog post called "How to Plan a Cruise Wedding + Cruise Ship Vendor Reviews". In this post I'm just going to discuss the vendors I used that were not actually part of the cruise.

1. Flowers: Norwegian Cruise Line (and I'm pretty sure most other cruise lines) do not allow guests to bring your own real flowers onboard. I'm not exactly sure why, but it probably has to do with possible pests/bugs/diseases being brought onboard. However, I was provided with a bouquet of fresh white roses and a matching boutonniere for Andrew with the option to purchase additional bouquets for my bridesmaids through the ship's florist. This option was very costly, so instead I opted to purchase artificial bouquets. Mine were made by Leslie Healey who owns/operates Polished Bouquet Design in Clarke's Beach, NL. She uses real touch flowers and can pretty much make any type of design you can dream of. The quality of the flowers is amazing and such a great alternative to the real deal. They are also lightweight and easy to travel with and of course you don't have to worry about keeping them alive.

Bridal Bouquet and Matching Boutonniere's made by Polished Bouquet Design
Bridesmaids/Flower Girl holding bouquets made by Polished Bouquet Design
2. Cake Topper and Wedding Favours: These were made by Powerhouse Designs. The owner, Deanne Power, really goes above and beyond to ensure that her customers are happy. I sent her a picture of what I wanted and she made it exactly right. After a good experience with the cake topper, I asked Deanne if she could make custom lanyards for the wedding favours. I ordered a bulk pack of lanyards from eBay and then she applied the lettering. The lanyards were a hit and my guests loved having a lanyard to put their cruise ship cards in. I will mention that due to unforeseen circumstances, Deanne had to cancel order pick ups on the day I was scheduled to pick up. To make up for it she offered to make us customized shirts or bubba kegs or we could have a full refund. I was shocked that she made such a generous offer because it wasn't that big of a deal that it was going to be a bit later until we received our lanyards; as long as I had them before the wedding I was good! This just shows how much she really cares about her customers and keeping them happy. I would highly recommend Powerhouse Designs for any custom products for any occasion.

One of my bridesmaids' lanyards made by Power House Designs
Custom Cake Topper made by PowerHouse Designs

3. Groom and Groomsmen Outfits: They purchased their entire outfits from LeChateau at the Avalon Mall in St. John's. We had considered renting them, but since we were going to be gone away for 2 weeks, I didn't want to pay extra for having them for an extended amount of time. The prices were fairly reasonable and we chose pieces that the guys would be able to wear again for other special occasions. The quality was great. Customer service was mediocre, but the guys were pretty low maintenance.

Outfits from LeChateau
4. Bridesmaid Dresses: The girls ordered their dresses from Azazie. They are the colour spa. The dresses seemed to be pretty good quality and the girls only needed minor alterations. I would say the only downfall to ordering from Azazie is that you have to pay a ridiculous amount of customs. I've heard from other brides that if you order all of the dresses at once and get them shipped to the same address you will pay a lot less customs. However, my bridesmaids didn't have that option as everyone lived in different provinces. I would still recommend ordering dresses from Azazie as my girls were pretty happy with their dresses and the colour and style selection is huge.

Bridesmaid Dresses from Azazie

5. Guestbook: I designed a custom guest book on It cost about $45 but it was exactly what I wanted and shipped very quickly. I tried to find one that I liked locally and on Etsy with no luck so when I saw a few people suggest using Mixbook online, I jumped on the opportunity to design my own. My sister purchased a Polaroid Instax Mini Camera from Amazon and we used that to take pictures of our guests and taped them inside the guestbook instead of having everyone write in it. I loved this idea and it was so cool to look at the photos of everyone when we got home from the trip.
Custom Wedding Guest Book I made on

6. Wedding Programs and Favour Tags: I ordered them online from Etsy. They were a matching set from a vendor called BlissPaperBoutique. They were very easy to use, we just had to customize them with our names and wedding date then print them off. I printed them all of at Staples on Stavanger Drive and the girl at the print desk was fabulous to deal with. They were done quickly and they even laser cut them all to save me the hassle of cutting them myself. I use Staples for all of my printing needs (invitations, Christmas cards, wedding stationery, etc.) and I would highly recommend going there for anything you need printed.

7. Travel Agent: We used Melissa Gavin at Go With Hippo. She did such an amazing job planning the cruise for everyone. We had 43 people go on the cruise with about 15 needing flights booked as well and she made sure that everything went off without a hitch. She was always texting, calling, email and Facebook messaging all of our guests and making sure that everyone was taken care of. I know we probably weren't the easiest bunch to deal with all the time, but she was very patient and quick to respond to any issues anyone had.

8. Wedding Dress: I ordered my dress from I love the style of my wedding dress and it was super affordable. It actually cost only a little more than my bridesmaids dresses. The quality was amazing for the price. I was a bit wary of ordering my wedding dress online without ever seeing it in person, however, I'm so glad I ordered it. I was not interested in going and trying on a ton of dresses and I also did not want to spend a lot of money on my dress. My sister ended up paying for the dress as my wedding gift (thanks Jill!). It fit me very well and I received a lot of compliments from people on the ship. It was a very non-traditional style, but it was exactly what I wanted and was perfect for the warm weather in the Caribbean. I would definitely recommend using for brides on a budget or even just brides who don't want to spend a fortune on a dress they will wear for a few hours. One downfall is that they do not accept exchanges or returns unless there is a manufacturers defect so be careful and make sure that your sizing is right and it's the style you want.

9. Shoes: My shoes are from the Betsey Johnson "Blue Collection" which is her range of wedding shoes. I actually saw another girl post them on the Newfoundland Brides Buy and Sell Page on Facebook. They were new and never worn and I got them for $50. They are such a unique style and fit perfectly with my dress. The only negative is that the strap broke off of the shoe, which was kind of annoying, but it didn't happen until the ceremony was over (thank god!!). However, I still got tons of compliments on them.

10. Airline: About 15 of us flew using WestJet. I wanted to do a little shoutout to WestJet because they went above and beyond to make sure our trip was enjoyable. We always fly WestJet whenever we can because they've always been great in the past plus their WestJet MasterCard program is amazing (look it up/apply for one if you don't already have one; and no I'm not being paid to say this but I wish I was hahah). Anyways, when we got to the St. John's airport on Christmas morning to fly to Orlando, the lady at the check-in counter was so friendly and she upgraded our seats to Plus for free. This was so amazing and we really appreciated the extra room (especially since we were travelling with our 8 month old baby) and all of the free coffee and Bailey's and food. It really made the flight so much more enjoyable and we couldn't thank them enough. On the flight from Toronto to Orlando, we didn't get Plus seats again, probably because the plane was full, but the flight attendant noticed we were carrying wedding garment bags and she gave us and all of our other guests on the same flight free champagne and sandwiches! That was super nice and totally unexpected as well. On the way home flying from Orlando, our bags were like 15lbs over and of course I was worrying about having too much luggage and having to pay extra fees, but she let both of our bags go for free and even let us check one of our carry-ons for free. WestJet just made traveling on this trip so enjoyable and I would highly recommend flying with them because they are just consistently better than any other airlines we've flown with. 

11. Completely forgot to add this in here!! So I've edited to add Colleen Butler. She was our wedding commissioner. Since its very complicated to get married in another country, we decided to just do a symbolic wedding on the ship; which meant we would have to do a legal ceremony either before or after the wedding on the cruise, to make it official. We had a short, small ceremony in our living room  on Christmas Eve. We met with Colleen at her house in CBS several months before the wedding to go over details and she was super nice and clearly knew what she was talking about. It was a very streamlined process and Colleen made it very simple and stress free. I would highly recommend Colleen for anyone looking for a wedding commissioner!

Thanks for reading this super long post, but I hope it was helpful for anyone looking for more information on vendors to use when planning their wedding. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions about planning a cruise wedding or a wedding in general! 

Stay tuned for wedding photos when I finally get them edited!!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How to Plan a Cruise Wedding + Cruise Ship Vendor Reviews

Warning: This is going to be a very long blog post, but I wanted it to be as informative and helpful as possible.

For anyone who has ever tried to plan a cruise ship wedding, you have probably had a bit of trouble trying to find any information or testimonials online. I tried to find any info I could to help make the planning process a lot easier, however, all I could find were discussion forums on and then the actual wedding package information on various cruise line's websites. This is why I've decided to write a blog post about my experience in planning a cruise wedding.

First of all, I'll give a little bit of background information on why we wanted to get married on a cruise ship:

1. We LOVE cruising. This was our 3rd cruise we've been on and we absolutely love every aspect of cruising. You can just sit back and relax and enjoy all of the amazing things to do onboard, plus you get to wake up each morning in a different port. Andrew and I get bored easily, so constantly having options of things to do on vacation is very important to us. We are convinced that cruises are the best way to travel.

Left: On the Royal Caribbean "Allure of the Seas" (January 2016)   Right: On the Carnival "Pride" (May 2014)

2. We wanted a smaller wedding. The idea of having 200+ people at our wedding (most of whom we haven't talked to in years...or ever) did not appeal to us in any way. The thought of dealing with having to plan such a big wedding (venue, catering, photography, DJ, etc.) seemed like such a daunting task that I wanted to avoid at all costs. Large weddings also come with a bigger price tag, of course; and after having a baby, spending money frivolously is not something we were interested in.

3. We had a shorter timeline. We got engaged on March 24, 2017 and wanted to have a winter wedding and the thought of having to wait until the following winter seemed too long. When planning weddings, people apparently have to book their venues at least 1-2 years in advance and we did not have that kind of time. However, we originally were going to go with a different cruise line and they were all booked up, so time is of the essence when booking any type of wedding. Luckily, Norwegian Cruise Lines had our dates available and offered us a great group package so we ended up booking with them.

4. Ease of planning. I'm sure many brides can relate to me when I say that most...well pretty much all... of the planning was left up to me. Andrew is a very laid-back person who has no interest in being stressed out and worrying about planning a wedding; so of course, everything was left up to me. Having a wedding on a cruise required very minimal planning as you are provided a wedding coordinator to do all of the planning up until the wedding, and then a day-of coordinator on the ship who makes sure everything is carried out the way you wanted.

5. Bonus: We didn't need to book a honeymoon. Since the wedding was on a Caribbean Cruise, we didn't feel as though we really needed to book an additional trip for a honeymoon. Of course, it would be nice to have our own getaway just the 2 of us, but we have an 8 month old baby who we would not want to leave without. We were already on vacation, so a vacation from a vacation seemed like an unnecessary expense.

Alright, now I guess I'll talk about the whole process when going about booking and planning a cruise wedding.

Number one tip: GET A TRAVEL AGENT. Do not try to make a large group booking by yourself or something will get messed up and you will lose your mind. I had my dear friend Melissa Gavin (at Go With Hippo Travel Agency) book the cruise for everyone as well as air fare for several guests.

The day after we got engaged, we made a group on Facebook and added whoever we thought might be interested in going. We knew we had a short timeline (about 8 months) so it was vital that we get everything finalized as soon as possible. At this point, we didn't have a specific date as that still needed to be determined with whatever cruise line we chose, but we did know that having it around the holidays would be ideal as most people would already have time off work. We ruled out Christmas Day as we figured people would want to celebrate it at home, so the next best date we could think of was New Years Eve or New Years Day. We ended up going with New Years Day as it was an "At Sea Day" on the Norwegian Epic so that would be perfect for a wedding as we wouldn't be interfering with any days in port. Plus when you're at sea all day, you have to try to find things on board to do to keep busy.

Once we had the dates chosen, we confirmed with our guests on Facebook and then Melissa and I started the decision process on which cruise line to book with.

We had cruised with Carnival and Royal Caribbean prior to our wedding cruise, so since we were familiar with those cruise lines, they were the first ones we thought of when choosing who to book with. Melissa got online and also called them to see if they had our dates available as well as costs and any extra group perks they would offer us. I believe Royal Carribbean didn't even have our dates available, and Carnival was very expensive and would not offer us any group perks as we had less than a year to book such a large group. So we started to explore other options. I had never cruised with Norwegian Cruise Lines before, but after doing lots of research, I decided that they might be a good option. Melissa ended up getting us the dates we wanted on the Norwegian Epic. She also managed to get everyone an unlimited drink package for the duration of the cruise (approx $1000 value) as well as $100 off each persons cruise fare. Once we had the cruise line and dates booked, it was all smooth sailing from there (pun intended lol). Melissa booked all 43 people with ease and everyone was set to go.

Now that I had the actual cruise part handled, I had to get the wedding part done. We decided to go with the "Symbolic At Sea Wedding Package". There are several options where you can get married in a port or on the beach as well, however we wanted our wedding to be on New Years Day which was an at sea day, and I figured it might be too chaotic to try and get 43 people off the ship in time for a beach wedding. Plus, the cost was double and we also would have had to interfere with a port day and there would be no time for anyone to explore the destination we would be in that day. This is what was included in our package:

Ceremony Performed by ship’s captain
Group Service Coordinator
Private indoor ceremony location
12 rose bridal bouquet or boutonniere matching bouquet or boutonniere Pre-recorded ceremony music
Traditional wedding vows
6’ couples cake
Champagne toast
Chocolate covered strawberries delivered to stateroom Assorted canapes delivered to stateroom
One bottle of sparkling wine
One 8x10 photo
Engraved frame with ships name
Keepsake wedding certificate 

 Cruise weddings are done through a third party company called Royal Ocean Events (they plan weddings for several cruise lines including Norwegian). I just had to call them to confirm the wedding date and put down a deposit. I was in contact with a lady named Jade who planned everything with me. She booked the photographer, DJ, restaurant reservations, flowers, cake, meals and the venue onboard. It was very handy being able to do everything via email or phone instead of actually having to go out and meet with vendors. Of course, options are limited to only what the ship offers so I couldn't really customize anything, but that made things easier and less stressful.

The only things I really had to take care of myself were: artificial flowers-you can't bring your own real flowers onboard- for the bridal party (they provided me with a complimentary fresh flower bouquet as well as a boutonniere for Andrew), outfits for the wedding party, guest book, small decorations, song list for the DJ, cake topper, wedding programs and favours. *I will do a separate blog post talking about the Local Vendors I used for these items.

Alright, so now I will do a quick review of the vendors on the cruise:

1. Off-Ship Wedding Coordinator (Jade)- She was fabulous to deal with and definitely made planning go very smoothly. Sometimes, she would be out of the office sick or on holidays and her office is located in Vancouver so the time difference was 4.5 hours which was a bit of a nuisance when trying to communicated, but not too big of a complaint. I'm glad that she was included in my package because she really took care of everything for me.

2. On-Ship Wedding Coordinator (Ligaya)- She was super nice and helpful; however, she was not specifically a wedding coordinator, but her job title was group services coordinator. There were a few things that myself or my Maid of Honour had to suggest such as a rehearsal (apparently those aren't really typical unless you request them), and the order of events, etc. She did go above and beyond to ensure our day ran smoothly and I'm glad that she was part of it all.

3. Photographer- I would have to say that this was my biggest disappointment. I knew that the photography would not be up to par on the ship because on past cruises the quality is not great and they end up coming out really cheesy. I was hoping that this would not be the case as in our initial meeting with the photographer they reassured me that they would know all of the poses to do and good locations on the ship. The package was pretty expensive for what we received ($749USD for 2 hours of photography, 50 unedited images on a USB, and 10 unedited printed images). I know that seems cheap compared to what you might pay at a typical local wedding, but you get so much more for that money back home. We went up to the top deck to try and get some cool, cruise-y shots, but there were people everywhere watching, and the wind was absolutely crazy. Of course these are out of the photographer's control, but she suggested that we try the studio instead to finish off the session. It felt super posed and cheesy but I tried to stay positive; unfortunately, I ended up being right and all of the photos taken in the studio turned out super cheesy. I was also very disappointed that none of the photos were edited. She did end up getting a few good shots that I love but I will still need to edit everything myself. I have all of the photos on a USB but I don't want to post them all until they are edited...sigh. Tip: if you know someone who is a photographer that you can bring along with you on the cruise, try and do that so you aren't disappointed with your photos; beware though because many cruise lines do not allow outside photographers onboard.

Here's an example of on the cheesy in-studio photos 

My favourite photo from the wedding

4. Venue- We had our ceremony and reception in The Manhattan Room. It serves as the main dining room during dinner time and it's a very grand room with large two storey windows located on the back of the ship. It was the perfect room on the ship to be married in as it had a dance floor and tons of seating with a stage and also food service.

Andrew, Blake, and me with one of the Ship's Captains
5. Meals- We had two options when booking our reception: cocktail reception or sit down luncheon. Unfortunately Norwegian does not offer evening wedding receptions as they need the venues for all of the ship's guests to use during peak hours. As our wedding was very non-traditional, we wanted to have some traditional aspects so we decided to go with the sit down meal. It made the wedding seem more formal and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. We had soups as the appetizer, prime rib and salmon/scallops as the entree, and chocolate mousse or pina colada cheese cake as the dessert. Service was on point, as usual on cruise ships.

6. DJ- The DJ did a wonderful job. I had Jade send him a list of the music we wanted to use and he had it all downloaded and ready for us when we got to the rehearsal. We didn't have any other music chosen to play in between so we told him to just play whatever he wanted. He played a great selection of rock, pop, and dance music and most of the guests got up on the dance floor and had a great time.

7. Wedding Cake- A 6' cake was provided as part of our wedding package. I requested an all white cake and thats what they provided. It was tasty, however, most of it went in the garbage as the guests didn't really eat any (as dessert was already included in the meal) so it ended up in our stateroom and there was no way two of us were eating that whole cake. We had the option of getting a larger cake but of course that would have cost more and there would have been no point as no one would have eaten it.

I'm sure I left some details out, but feel free to comment below or send me an email if you have any further questions about planning a wedding on a cruise. Enjoy all of the planning as it goes by so quickly and before you know it the big day is here. And then that blows by even quicker and then you don't know what to do with yourself lol.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Blake's 3 Month Update

People weren't lying when they said "enjoy your baby while they're young because they grow up so fast". I can't believe we've already been Blake's parents for 3 months, it's gone by so fast. She's grown so much since she was born, it's crazy.

When Blake was born, she weighed 6lbs 5oz and even dipped below 6lbs for a few days. She was so tiny. She now weighs about 12-13lbs (I'm guessing) and her facial features have changed so much. She has big bluish-grey eyes (which will probably change to brown at some point) and a little bit of brown fuzzy hair on her head. She has much chubbier cheeks and thicker thighs which make her look so much cuter. She's now wearing size 6 month sleepers which is crazy and made me so sad to pack up all of her newborn and 0-3 month clothing.

She's going through her 3rd leap (according to the Wonder Weeks app) and I'm pretty sure she's started teething. Blake is such a good, happy baby, but over the past few days she's seemed a bit crankier and is always chewing her hands (sometimes 2 hands at the same time). I've tried breast milk popsicles, teething rings, and a munch mitt. So far, she hasn't really figured out how to use them, but chewing on her hands and pacifier have seemed to help a bit. I wish there was more I could do to help her, but I guess it's just a phase she has to go through.

Blake drinks breast milk exclusively and I'm really proud to have been able to provide her with that liquid gold. I'm hoping to be able to feed her only breastmilk (plus solids when she's 6 months old) until she's a year old. I exclusively pump milk (I don't directly nurse her) and it's been pretty challenging but it's been much easier for both of us than direct nursing; I just hope that I can commit to the demanding schedule for a while longer. It's my goal to have enough of a freezer stash to get her to 1 year, even if that means I stop pumping well before she hits 1 year.

We've joined a local group called "Mommy Connections" which has allowed me to get a good workout in each week, try out new programs around the city, and also bring Blake with me so we can socialize with other moms and babies. So far, Blake has pretty much slept through all of the classes, but she's still young and will probably become more interested and involved as she gets older.

She's learned to do so many new things like:

  • cooing
  • crying longer and louder
  • grasp toys 
  • smile
  • giggle
  • play in her jolly jumper
Blake loves:
  • her pacifier
  • milk
  • bath time
  • walks
  • swimming at the pool
I love watching her grow and learn new things, but I really wish time would slow down so I could enjoy my little baby for a little longer <3

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Welcome Baby Blake: Labour and Delivery Story

My beautiful little girl, Blake Lea Noseworthy, entered this world (pretty quickly) on May 1, 2017 at 5:00pm. She weighed 6lbs 5oz and measured 51cm long. She's much smaller than I imagined she would be, but after going through labour and delivery, I'm glad she wasn't any Everyone thought she would be at least 8lbs, and maybe she would have been if she was born at 40 weeks, but she came 1 week and 5 days early.

At 37 weeks, I was beginning to get tired of being pregnant and the anticipation of meeting my little baby was killing me. I couldn't wait to hold her in my arms. I was getting so huge and everything was starting to hurt, especially after she dropped in my stomach. I was still working, but by the end of week 37 I had to call it quits. I was in so much pain and could barely walk without limping due to a really sore pelvis. It was getting so uncomfortable to lay down or even sit at this point and I was really wishing I wasn't pregnant anymore. Andrew was still working in Labrador when I experienced my first sign of labour (losing the mucus plug), and a few people advised me that he should probably come home ASAP because I could give birth any day, really. Andrew was supposed to come home on May 9, but came home on April 26 instead and thank god he did!!!

A week and 2 days later (38 weeks + 2 days) I went into labour. We had just gotten home from Andrew's parents house and I had some cramps on the drive home. When I got home I was bouncing around on my exercise ball and talking on the phone with my best friend, Jessica (who now shares a birthday with Blake!) and I experienced what I now know were contractions around 12am. At the time, I had no idea that they were contractions as a lot of people said my entire stomach would clench and contract and I would 100% know that I was in labour when it happened, but mine didn't do that. They just felt like pretty intense period cramps that would come and go every so often. When they started getting more regular and more intense, I asked Andrew to write down the times I was feeling them and how long they would last. After about 3 hours, they were about 5 minutes apart and lasted 1 minute each. This went on for an hour. I called the case room and told them and they said to come in right now. So we threw all of our bags in the car and drove to the hospital.

At around 4am, I was 3-4cm dilated when I got there and they gave me morphine and gravol to help with the contraction pain. I don't think that helped much, but I was able to use my breathing techniques I learnt in prenatal yoga to help get through each contraction (I would HIGHLY recommend prenatal yoga to anyone who's pregnant because that's what got me through labour, for sure). After about 5-ish hours of contractions, I fell asleep and when I woke up after a 2 hour nap, I was out of labour. My contractions had stopped altogether for several hours and because I was no longer in active labour, they were going to send me home. I was so disappointed because I really thought I was having a baby soon. Andrew and I were going to get ready and pack up, but then the nurse said that they wanted to see if my cervix had changed before they sent me home. Fortunately, I had dilated to 5cm so they decided to keep me for 24hrs to monitor me and see if labour would start up again before sending me home.

The nurse unhooked my IV and told me to get up and get some toast and walk around for a bit. 5 minutes after I had gotten up and put some bread in the toaster, my water broke and contractions started again stronger than ever. I was now dilating quickly...too quickly to get an epidural, much to my dismay. I had asked for an epidural at around 6cm and they said I should have lots of time before they needed to bring in the anesthesiologist. But about an hour later I was 8cm, then 9.5cm and before I knew it they were telling me it was time to push... and that it was obviously too late now for an epidural. I pushed 6 times in 10 minutes and she was out. It was the most painful thing I've ever been through especially since I could feel it all, but because it was such a short amount of time it was bearable.

Andrew, his sister Jennifer, and I all bawled like babies. It was such an emotional moment holding her for the first time, especially after 9 months of carrying her around in my stomach. She was the most precious thing I had ever seen and I couldn't believe she was finally here. We had an hour of skin to skin before they took her and cleaned her up.

Normally, I think babies just like wrinkly old men when they're born, but when it's your own, you can't help but think they're the most precious thing you've ever seen. I can't wait to journey through motherhood and go through all of the new experiences having a baby brings. I know it's not going to be easy as I've already seen in these first 3 weeks of her life, but I know all of the sleepless nights spent changing dirty diapers, soothing and feeding, and countless hours pumping breast milk are all worth it for this beautiful little girl.

I'm going to try and post weekly updates, but it might be hard with a newborn... I'll do my best, lol.

The day she was born <3
Our first picture together (excuse how haggard I look...)
Andrew's first time holding Blake (also his first time ever holding a baby)
Little cutie <3
Proud Daddy with his baby girl

Just before leaving the hospital to go home

Ready to go home!
All snug in her car seat, ready to go home from the hospital

Friday, 31 March 2017

Maternity Photo Shoot + We are ENGAGED!!!

So this past week has been absolutely crazy!! There has been so much excitement in our lives that it's hard to process it all, but I've never been so happy in my life. There are still so many exciting things happening in the near future and I can't wait to experience it all!

Andrew has been flying back and forth Labrador for work every 3 weeks which means we don't get to see each other as much as we used to, so when he is on his week off there tends to be so much excitement. This past week that he was home, we were busy everyday with doctor's appointments to check on the baby, date nights, prepping for the maternity photo shoot (which was postponed 3 times due to stupid Newfoundland weather), and then... our ENGAGEMENT!!!

We've been together for almost 6 years, so I don't think it was a huge surprise to most people that we finally got engaged but it's still so crazy to believe that we are actually going to get married. It was so amazing to see how many people were so happy for us and congratulated us on our engagement. It's all so overwhelming (in a good way!!) especially with a baby on the way in 6 weeks but I wouldn't have it any other way. We live life flying by the seats of our pants and we're okay with that :)

For anyone in the the St. John's and surrounding areas looking for an engagement/maternity/newborn photographer, I would highly recommend booking Christy Kirkland. I had originally seen her work through Facebook. A lot of my Facebook friends were always liking and sharing her photos and as soon as I found out I was pregnant I was like "I need to have her photograph our newborn" so I booked her asap. Then I saw that she had the option to add-on maternity photos to my newborn package for a pretty reasonable price so that's what we did and I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. Originally, they were only intended to be maternity photos, but we literally got engaged that Friday (the day of our shoot) so last minute we made it an engagement AND maternity shoot. Christy made us feel so comfortable which was awesome because posing for photos is not always such a comfortable thing. She had them edited and sent back to me within 5 days, I couldn't believe how quickly she had them done. Highly recommend Christy!! For anyone interested, you can contact Christy via Facebook (Christy Kirkland Photography - Newborn & Baby Portraiture).

Also, for anyone interested, I had a spray tan done by Sayer at Color Me Bronze Spray Tanning and Makeup Studio. She has a studio on Elizabeth Ave but also offers tans out of her home studio in Airport Heights, as well. She was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. Due to this crazy NL weather we've been having and with Andrew's work schedule, I had to change my maternity shoot dates several times which meant I also had to change my spray tan dates and Sayer was very accommodating. She even did a free touch up on my hands and face since I had to move the shoot date one last time after I had already gotten my spray tan. I would highly recommend Sayer for anyone looking to get a spray tan done for any occasion :) You can reach her via Facebook as well (Color Me Bronze Spray Tanning and Makeup Studio).

Make up, hair, and flower crown were all done by me :)
Dress is from Pink Blush Maternity
Bracelet is from Alex and Ani
Necklace is from Michael Kors

Now, here are the photos from our maternity/engagement shoot taken in Portugal Cove, NL:

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post!!