May 17, 2017

SURPRISE!

Hi everyone!! If you follow me on Instagram (mmackvick) you most likely saw that my husband Will and I shared some exciting news recently. We are expecting a precious bundle of joy to arrive in early November! As of today, I'm 14 weeks and just entered into second trimester. SAY WHAT?! How is it that time flies by so fast? First trimester was full of mixed emotions. I had a handful of amazing days and feelings, and others I was a mess. I've been told hormones play a huge part in this though! Over the past few months I've been asked a handful of questions and thought I'd share some of the one's I've been asked the most. I felt it would also be nice to have this to reflect back on years from now.

Was your pregnancy planned or a surprise?
It was planned to a degree. We knew when we officially started trying in February that we were ready to give things a try, but little did we know that after a few weeks of trying we would become pregnant. We honestly can't believe it happened so fast but feel extremely blessed and are trusting in God's plans for us. It defiantly goes to show that things are certainly out of our hands. Fun fact...it took my mom about seven years to conceive me and I'm the only child so we literally thought there might be a possibility that it would take some time for us to conceive as well. You just never know!
 
How did you react when your pregnancy was confirmed?
I was in complete shock. I said a prayer right before I took the test and was ready to wait the three minutes the test said it would take but it didn't even take a full minute for the results to show and I immediately ran out of the bathroom and into our bedroom and cried. I wasn't sure how to really react or what to do haha. My hands were shaky and my heart was racing really fast. I think I just stared at the pregnancy test for a few minutes before putting it back down. I couldn't wait for Will to get home so I could tell him but wanted to take a second test to be extra sure of the results so right before he got home I did just that and got a second positive test result.

What is the best thing about being pregnant so far?
So far, the best thing has been hearing baby Mackvick's heartbeat. We've only heard it twice but it is the most surreal sound either of us have ever heard. It makes things feel and seem more "real". Will has been able to go with me to all of my doctor appointments so far and seeing how excited he gets has been sweet and fun to witness. All of the love and support we have received from our family and friends has also been just as meaningful! 

What challenges do you foresee with this pregnancy?
There are a few challenges that I worry about but the main one is dealing with neck pain. Last June (on our first wedding anniversary) I had neck surgery. Since then, I've been going through the recovery process and am coming up on one year since the surgery took place. The doctor's told me it takes about a full year to recover but I've already noticed pain occurring again more frequently. I knew that my pain was never going to go away 100%, but chronic pain is just down right discouraging! I've tried to do a better job at completing the exercises I've been given but working out has been a bit more difficult recently given that some of the moves I try to do aggravate my neck, shoulder and upper body area.

Another area that I see being a bit of a challenge for me is dealing with my anxiety which I'll talk about in more depth in the next question.

How are you emotionally?
Y'all this is a tough one for me answer if I'm being honest. I want to say pregnancy has been all positive things for me but it hasn't. And I hope I'm not the only one who has ever felt that way. Ever since middle/high school I've been battling anxiety and depression. For years I've taken medication to help (which I hate taking), have seen counselors, practiced breathing techniques and have even tried meditation. It's gotten better over the years but a few months before Will and I started trying I gradually went off of everything I was taking and have since been battling anxiety issues, more often than before. Some days are worse then others. And other days I feel like thing's couldn't be better! I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm not in this alone and pray over and over and over as soon as negative emotions start to creep in. Maybe one day I'll go into more detail about my anxiety, but if you can relate, I'd love to chat!

Have you had any food aversions?
Yes! The last few times I've tried to eat a salad, I've had to push it away almost immediately. I don't know if it's the texture, the smell, the taste or the dressing but I have yet to be able to eat them without feeling sick and it sucks because they are so good for you and I'm trying my hardest to be healthier. I also used to snack on bananas with almond butter but the smell of almond butter has caused me to not eat it in over a month. Other then those two things, I haven't noticed many aversions thank goodness.

Have you noticed or had any food cravings?
Just a few. I can down a glass of milk on a regular basis now (prior I only liked milk if it was in cereal or if it was chocolate milk) and I'm obsessed with Smartfood white cheddar popcorn. Other then that I still have a large sweet tooth and carbs are my jam. Sad but true!

Have you noticed a change in your level of energy?
Heavens yes and it hasn't come back all the way yet either. Does it come back fully while your pregnant? At first I didn't notice a change in my energy, but weeks six through ten were certainly the worst. I'm talking about struggling to stay awake through the whole work day, falling asleep as soon as dinner was over and taking more naps on the weekend kind of lack of energy. Slowly, things have gotten much better but I believe I'm a ways after from feeling more myself but I'm okay with that knowing baby is busy growing healthy and strong!

When did you start to show?
More so recently but around the seventh or eighth week I noticed that a bunch of my clothes, particularly my jeans, were becoming tighter. I've since had to utilize the rubber band trick and will likely need to purchase a pair of maternity jeans and pants for work in the near future. I had planned to also take weekly bump photos but haven't really started taking them yet but am going to jump on that train sooner rather then later because I love the idea of being able to look back on how things progressed over time.

Total weight gain/loss?
By week nine I had gained around three or four pounds. By week twelve I had lost two pounds and have since gained that weight back. From a quick search on the internet though, it looks like I'm right on track with what is recommended.

Has sleeping become more difficult?
Sleep has always been a sore subject for me given my neck issues, but I've noticed that it's more comfortable for me when I sleep on my left side then in any other position. It's also true that you have to pee more frequently (day and night) and I currently get out of bed to use the bathroom one or two times but go back to sleep pretty quick. We did just get a Sleep Number bed which we are obsessed with and has helped a good bit!

So there you have it. If you've read up to this point I'm impressed. I do hope you've enjoyed finding out how the journey has been for me thus far and hope to do a few more of these updates throughout the rest of my pregnancy. We honestly can't wait to find out if baby Mackvick is a boy or girl come June 9th and are thrilled that God has chosen us to be this little one's parents. If you have ventured down this road before, or are currently pregnant as well, I'd love to hear how things were/are for you!

October 27, 2016

San Francisco Guide

We're more then half way through with the week friends! I hope you've enjoyed reading about our time in California the past few days. It's been fun recapping all of our adventures! By the time we reached San Francisco, we had already done so much in such a short amount of time that I was ready for more go with the flow type days then going off our itinerary like we had while on the coast and in wine country. San Francisco represented the last leg of our trip, but we still had so much we wanted to see and do but we decided right that we would do as much or as little as we felt up, 

Where we stayed:

Omni Hotel -  We really enjoyed our stay and it was located only a short walk from Union Square which was perfect. The room we stayed in was spacious and the bed so comfortable! All of the employees were also really warm and welcoming and helped us anytime we needed anything.

What to do:

Lombard Street - whether you drive down it or just go and see it I think it's a must, at least once, while in San Francisco. On our last day we mentioned to our UBER driver that we had yet to see Lombard Street and he went out of his way (free of charge for us) and not only took us by it but drove us down it. It is in fact very crooked haha.

See The Painted Ladies - Across from Alamo Square you can see the houses and the one they filmed Full House in back in the day. There was a bunch on construction, and tourist when we went but it was still fun seeing them in person and checking it off our list of things to see.

Explore Ferry Building Marketplace - Ferry Building Marketplace is located on the Embarcadero and has weekly farmers markets and a bunch of merchants inside you can get food or drinks from. When we were there the farmers market was going on and we enjoyed strolling past all the stands and seeing all the fresh flowers and yummy seafood.

Kirby Cove Swing - We didn't have time to go but I recommend this semi-hidden gem to everyone because I've heard nothing but great things! Basically it's a beach that has a wooden swing towards the end of it that has some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, a swing on the beach sounds so cool!

Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge - There's just something about actually being ON the bridge then when you only enjoy it from a far. The massive size of it alone is breathtaking. And when the fog has settled down, you can see for miles and miles.

Hike Lands End Trail - We had planned to do this but decided to go to Muir Woods instead. If you decide to check out Lands End Trail, make sure you visit the Sutro Baths!

Shop on Union Street which is dotted with beautiful architecture and tons of cute boutiques. You could easily spend half a day on this street alone just exploring.

Where to eat:

Plow - We went here for breakfast and it was tasty! They don't take reservations and are on the smaller size so if you don't want to wait then I recommend arriving early. We arrived about an hour after they opened and still had to wait about 30 minutes but it was well worth it.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - This place was not only the talk of the town but literally recommend by everyone I know who has been to San Francisco. We almost didn't go but I'm SO glad we did! They are known for their cruffins which we got, along with a box full of doughnuts and pastries to eat back at the hotel. We did have to wait in line for about an hour but there was a couple in front of us that had two cute dogs that kept us entertained. Once inside, your in and out really quick. The only tough part is figuring out what all your going to get.

Sweet Maple - Had we not gone to Plow we would have gone here. I like that they have a wide variety of options to choose from and are in a great location.

Tartine Bakery - Wide variety of items and baked goods for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Waterbar - I had read mix reviews about this place but we went for dinner on our last night and can say only great things about our experience. They are a bit on the pricier side but once you get past that you'll see how awesome everything else is. We sat right next to one of the floor-to-ceiling fish aquariums and enjoyed the amazing views since they are right by the water. If you go, make sure you order the Parmesan Fries!

Mamacita - We wanted to have Mexican food at least once on our trip and Mamacita was one of the top choices from a search I did for best Mexican food in the area.

The Tipsy Pig - We had time to spare one night before our dinner reservations and we went here for drinks. We loved the atmosphere and there was no wait when we arrived so it was a win. Order the Strawberry Fields, one of their house favorites, and you won't regret it.

Bi-Rite Creamery - If you need something to fix your sweet tooth this is the place to go.

October 25, 2016

California Wine Country

After a really quick, less than 24 hour trip visiting Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove, Will and I made our way towards Napa bright and early on Tuesday. The drive wasn’t bad at all and the scenery was really nice! We drove past lots of farms, roadside stands selling fruits and veggies and the closer we got, the more wineries we started to see.
Our first to-do was to pick up lunch from Soda Canyon Store which had a deli, gift items, groceries, an espresso bar and more to take with us to Clos Du Val for a picnic. After eating we had time to spare so we walked through the vineyards and did a little exploring before heading to Charles Krug in St. Helena for a barrel tasting. Getting to taste wine directly from the barrel and learning how barrel aging influences the wines aromas, flavors and texture was really interesting! There was no one else in our group so Will and I were able to take our time sipping and asking questions.  

After leaving Charles Krug, we were getting pretty tired from our busy day but decided to make one last stop by Silver Oak before heading to our Airbnb and calling it a day. I will say that if we had had additional time and weren’t so tired we would have loved the chance to go by Inglenook which I hear is amazingggg!

The next morning I was torn between going to Bouchon Bakery to get monkey bread (my mouth is watering just thinking about it), or going to Model Bakery and my sweet hubs was up for the idea of going to BOTH! When on vacation, calories don’t count friends! After our morning fix, we headed to Hall Winery for an educational tasting learning how to properly swirl, smell and taste wine.

After a few hours at Hall, we decided to switch things up and do some window shopping in Napa since the weather was so beautiful, before heading to Gundlach Bundschu for another tasting. The people at Gundlach are so friendly, the tasting room inviting and the property spacious and fun to explore! That night we went to Bistro Don Giovanni and decided to lay low (hence we watched every episode of Stranger Things) since we had another big day the next morning...aka what I had been looking forward to for days! Breakfast at The Fremont Diner!!

October 24, 2016

Northern California Road Trip

You guyssss! The trip Will and I took to California in September was amazing! We spent a full week road tripping through Northern California, enjoyed the gorgeous weather, made more memories then I can remember and reminisced on our first year of marriage. It was everything we needed in a vacation; think relaxation with a few spontaneous adventures thrown in. Over the last few weeks, we've had fun going through all of our photos and videos which I'll share throughout the week!

Planning a trip to California was a lot of fun, but it did get to be a bit stressful at times mainly because there were so many places I wanted to go, but given we only had one week, we had to be realistic with the number of places we tried to fit into visiting each day. One thing that was a no-brainier for us though was making sure we got together with two of our best friends who live in the San Jose area so we decided to use the first two days of our trip doing just that. What better way to start an adventure then with friends right?
It was a Saturday when we flew out to California, landing in San Francisco and making the short drive to Palo Alto where we met our friends Alyssa and Watt for lunch at the most adorable place called Tootsie's. I highly recommend the ricotta pancakes if you ever go. After catching up and enjoying a delicious lunch, we were back on the road heading towards the San Jose area where our friends live. We spent the rest of the weekend walking around Santana Row, explored their neighborhood, and spent as much time outside as we could. One thing I LOVE about California is the lack of humidity in the air...a win-win for my hair!

Monday morning we woke bright and early and made our way towards Monterey. We walked around Fisherman's Wharf, had lunch at The Wharf Marketplace, checked out Cannery Row, bought a piece of local artwork, and drove by Del Monte Beach. We had less then 24 hours in the area or we would have gone to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which was recommended by a number of people.
After a few hours in Monterey, our next destination was a quick stop through Pacific Grove in Monterey County then to my favorite part of the area..CARMEL! Words can't describe how beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea is. You've got the perfectly manicured houses, the picturesque beaches, the adorable shops, and the whole city is walkable. A few fun facts to throw out...there are no street addresses, no chain restaurants and every residential home has a name.
 
Because our trip to California was to celebrate our first year of marriage, we thought it would be fun, and memorable to get anniversary photos done. We knew we wanted a beach setting and after some research on best places to take photos along with finding a photographer, Carmel was by far the most breathtaking. Deciding on a photographer was really easy because I had a certain vision for what I was looking for and Ryan Chard Smith was just the person for the job. Not only is he amazing at what he does, he is hilarious, laid-back and one of the kindest individuals we met on our trip. Because we were new to the area, I decided that Ryan would be better at settling on where we took our photos and thank goodness because he took us to an area that was nestled within a neighborhood that didn't see nearly as much foot traffic that the rest of Carmel Beach did which was ideal for our shoot! Y'all, it really was perfect...
If you ever want to go to the area of Carmel Beach that we got our photos taken, follow HWY 1 south just past Carmel. You'll come to a traffic light at Rio Road and about .9 miles from there you'll turn right onto Ribera Road. Follow Ribera until you get to the very end. Park along the side of the road and you'll see a stairway that leads down to the beach. You won't regret it if you ever go!

Other places I recommend checking out while in Carmel are Dametra Cafe for dinner, Tuck Box and La Bicyclette for breakfast and if you want to do some shopping, The Barnyard and The Courtyards are popular.
Even though we didn't get to spend much time in Pacific Grove, we did go to Red House Cafe on Tuesday morning before making the drive to Napa. And the areas that we drove around in PG looked so adorable. If and when we head back to Northern California, we will make sure to devote a few days to Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove!

Do you have any other recommendations in the area? If you've ever been, what were your favorite things that you did or saw? I would love to add them to our list! Come back tomorrow to read (and see photos) from our time in wine country and Muir Woods!

September 22, 2016

Low-Key Date Night

I love a good date night. There's nothing like getting dressed up and going to a fancy dinner with your other half or planning a fun vacation for the two of you to take. But to be honest, nothing beats a casual date night-in watching a movie together! It's not only cozy and intimate, but can be a lot of fun. With my recent surgery, Will and I have been taking it easy most weekends and have enjoyed renting and watching movies together. Below are 15 movies (and one or two TV series thrown in) that every couple can enjoy together. Some are new, others are classics, and some are, well, chick-flicks because they are too good not to include!
4. The Finest Hours - Based on a true story!
5. My Best Friend's Wedding - The breakfast scene when everyone breaks out in song is my favorite.
7. Date Night - Tina Fey and Steve Carell are a hilarious (by nature) pair in this film!
10. New Girl - a TV show one of my best friends introduced me to.
11. Veep - another TV series I had to add. Fun fact, Will got me into watching this one!
14. Brooklyn - So good that I watched the movie and read the book.
Can you think of any others that should be added to the list? Not a couple that enjoys unwinding at home? That's totally fine! Here are five additional low-key date night ideas to keep in mind...
1. Go to trivia night at a local bar or restaurant. I always opt for arriving early and grabbing a drink or bite to eat if I haven't had dinner yet. Make the night more fun competitive and invite some friends to play against.

2. Go bowling. A round or two is generally inexpensive to play and you won't have to worry about getting dressed up since the atmosphere is almost always laid-back. Bonus points if you get a picture of you and your honey wearing those ridiculous looking bowling shoes!

3. Dance and sing at the top of your lungs at a concert. Summer is my favorite time to go to concerts, especially when the venue is outdoors. And you can sometimes event find free concerts going on at a local park or convention center. Even though outdoor concerts are my favorite and cant be beat, there are PLENTY that go on indoors as well. I use Ticketmaster and Livenation to purchase tickets and see who's coming to play in the coming months.

4. Have a picnic. Pick and pack the main option and have your significant other decide on the sides and the dessert, or vice-versa. This is a money-saving option and always adorable. If it's too cold outside, have one indoors! Set out a blanket in your living room and viola.

5. Take a complimentary class. Do some research and see what you can find. Here are a few that I know of: cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma, DIY home improvement courses at Home Depot, and yoga classes at Lululemon.
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