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baby, Blog, bumpdate, gender reveal, pregnancy, Vlog

It’s a Girl!! (Gender Reveal and Bumpdate)


Are you ready for some fun gender reveal pictures? I am so excited to share that baby #7 is a girl!! Our whole family is so thrilled to be welcoming another little girl to the tribe and evening things out a little more! I am seriously still in disbelief even though I suspected we were having a girl.gender revealYou may remember from my announcement post that at 8 weeks, I experienced a huge scare with this pregnancy and thought we had lost the baby. It was later determined to be a  subchorionic hemorrhage, which was closely monitored via ultrasound at my appointments. When I had an ultrasound at 14 weeks, I talked the ultrasound technician into trying to see what we were having. She wasn’t very confident in her guess but said if we held a gun to her head and made her guess, she would guess we were having a girl.gender reveal ideas

Obviously that didn’t leave me feeling too confident. Hopeful? Yes. But not confident at all.

Anyway, as I was trying to come up with a unique gender reveal idea, I came across this fun photo on the @ohhappyday feed and was immediately inspired! I know some people roll their eyes at gender reveals and the moms who go all out for a picture. But this is one of the few hobbies I have so let me live a little, okay? Haha.

At that moment, I knew that whether we were having a boy or a girl, I definitely wanted to do a colorful theme instead of the expected blue or pink. And even though I did use someone else’s ideas for the balloons/colors, I love that my gender reveal is a one of a kind! (ps–here’s the diy I used, in case you’re interested!)gender reveal balloons

gender reveal photoshootYou may look at these gender reveal pictures and think it looks like a pretty simple setup (and overall, now that we know what we’re doing…it is) but we ran into quite a few issues along the way that had me stressing out. I’ll put the vlog at the end of this post and it shows some of the problems we ran into.

Our DIY projector required a lot of trial and error and I was being super picky about colors and didn’t like what any of the stores carried. I actually ended up ordering directly from the Oh Happy Day website and was so happy with the colors!

As soon as the balloons came in, we attempted to inflate them and realized our pump was too big (these balloons are smaller than the standard size.) So I drove around to a bunch of stores until I FINALLY found a pump that was small enough. I came home, started to inflate the balloons, and then ended up popping a few of our limited supply!

By the time we got done with the letters, it was too dark to take pictures so we had to wait until the next morning.  However, by morning, some of them were starting to deflate (that may have been my fault–I may have not tightened the knots well enough) and we didn’t have enough balloons to replace the deflated ones.

There were seriously issues every step of the way (you can see on some of these pictures how wonky some of the balloons look) but I still LOVE the end result and it was so worth the stress!gender reveal photo session

how to do a gender reveal with balloonsOh, I didn’t tell you the best (craziest?) part! We took these pictures last week, before we knew what we were having! The plan was to take both sets of gender reveal pictures so we could get the announcement out ASAP after we found out. But after seeing how much work it took, we decided to just do the girl pictures and be VERY hopeful we were actually having a girl, like the ultrasound technician guessed haha.

We did have everything set up and ready to go yesterday…in case I had to hurry home and get “boy” gender reveal pictures. I think we were all a bit relieved that we didn’t have to go through all of that again (especially because we would have had to use the balloons we had left and the color scheme wasn’t nearly as fun!)sibling gender reveal photos(p.s. Obsessed with Desmond’s face in that picture ^^  I may look like a dweeb but everyone else’s faces made that photo worth sharing.)gender reveal ideas involving siblingsYesterday was my big anatomy ultrasound. We decided that I was going to go alone for the ultrasound and then I would come home and surprise them. I hadn’t slept much in the days leading up to the ultrasound because I was SO NERVOUS! I seriously felt like I was going to throw up. But as I saw my healthy baby moving around on the screen, I felt such a peace that I would be happy either way, girl or boy.

I was really hoping for a girl (not going to lie) but I knew that either way, this baby was given to us by God and was perfect for our family. When I thought back to the days that I thought I had lost the baby, I knew that at that point, I would have never had a gender preference. I just wanted a baby. So I reminded myself of that during my ultrasound. I am so thankful for our little girl but I would have been equally happy for a baby boy.gender reveal party colors

most unique gender reveal

Everyone is really excited to have a baby sister! I think everyone kind of hoped for a girl, except Kai. But if you ask Kai, he’s still super excited for a sister! Now we have about 20 more weeks to come up with a name for baby girl because we don’t even have a “maybe” name yet! (Although I do have a small list of baby girl names that I like!)

baby gender reveal photo shoot

best way to reveal baby gender If you don’t watch the vlog and you’re noticing our wall is two different colors, then the answer to the question in your mind is “yes, we did paint just a section of our wall so we’d have a white background.” BUT! We had been planning on painting our walls white. So whenever (if ever) our lives slow down a bit, we’ll be finishing up our paint job. If only we had a few extra hours in our days (without kid interruptions.) gender reveal photoshootNow for a little Bumpdate! I’m 20 weeks this week, which means I’m officially halfway to my due date! Any time someone asks me how I feel, I tell them I feel too well because I seriously don’t feel pregnant most of the time. My only reminders are my hunger, cravings, and tiny little baby kicks. I’m definitely not complaining because I’ve had some difficult pregnancies. But I’m hoping that this time is just like my most recent pregnancy (with Clementine) because that was my easiest pregnancy of all!

Speaking of baby kicks, I have an anterior placenta–which is fancy talk for saying that the placenta is in the front, which cushions me from feeling most of those precious kicks. Kicks are one of my favorite parts of pregnancy so I’m hoping to start feeling them a bit more pretty soon!

Also, fun fact! My best friend, Maggi, just found out last week that she is also due with a baby girl (and she’s due 2 days after me!) I’ve always dreamed of having twin girls–so this is as close as I’ll ever get to making that dream come true! I can’t wait to find matching outfits and accessories for our “twin girls” haha.  pregnancy gender reveal

You can’t really tell from these pictures as much but my bump is very prominent already! That’s what happens when you’re pregnant with baby #7! Even though I’ve only worn dresses and leggings with long shirts for my last couple of pregnancies, I’ve found myself wanting to wear jeans and a flowy shirt this time around!

A big reason is because I found these Old Navy maternity Rockstar jeans! I have NEVER found a pair of maternity jeans that I loved until now. Keep your eyes out for sales because I got them for about half price during a sale! They are seriously the best ever. So comfy and fit exactly how I want them. (Not an ad–just an obsession!)

And I’ve collected a few comfy, adorable shirts from Pink Blush. In these photos I’m wearing this shirt. Their site is always the first place I look when I’m trying to find cute maternity clothes.

If you have other favorite maternity shops, let me know!! It seems like most maternity stuff is only sold online these days, which can make it hard to shop sometimes. I have been drawn more towards flowier stuff this time around, partly because I’m trying to avoid the conversations and questions that inevitably come up when we go out as a family (6 kids and pregnant again?!?!!) But as it’s getting harder to hide, I’m trying to embrace the bump a little more.gender reveal photo shoot pregnantI hope you made it through this entire post without going crazy haha! I know when my mind is going a million miles an hour, like it is right now, I tend to just spill all of my thoughts out quickly and it ends up being all over the place. But I’m just so excited and there’s just so much to say! I’m so anxious to start shopping for another baby girl (if you haven’t already seen my registry, you can look at that HERE. Since I put it together before the ultrasound, I have boy and girl picks!)

And the best part of it all—the vlog! Guys, I know you probably see the length of our vlogs and think “who wants to sit and watch a video that long?” But it’s shorter than the length of a tv show and the content is much better 😉 Kidding.

But this video is seriously my favorite that we’ve made. It shows me surprising Don and the kids yesterday, setting up for the gender reveal pictures, and a dorky “behind the scenes” look at what it was like to get the pictures! It’s absolutely worth the 15 minutes that it takes to watch it! And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!!

Thank you all so much for reading along and being excited with us! I could not believe how many people were just as anxious as I was to find out what we’re having. I’m just a boring stay at home mom who homeschools our children, buys most of our clothes/decor second hand, and drives dorky 12 passenger van. But you all make me feel so loved and so much cooler than I actually am. I’m humbled by your kindness!

Thank you so much!! I can’t wait to introduce our baby girl to you in about 20ish weeks!

(To see my other gender reveals, click HERE for Clementine’s, HERE for Desmond’s, and HERE for that time that I tried doing gender reveal photos for Desmond before I found out what we were and ended up guessing the wrong thing. You think I would have learned this time around haha!)

Blog, obx vacation, summer, vacation, Vlog

Family Vacation


I had high hopes of getting all of our vacation photos up on the blog this week and it just didn’t happen. I guess that’s just life with kids. Hopefully I can get the rest up over the weekend! I already posted about our first couple of days here.

Anyway, when we planned this trip, we really didn’t have much on our itinerary besides lots of trips to the beach and the sand dunes. It definitely wasn’t as relaxing as it was the last time we went (back when we only had 4 kids–I’m going to blame it on the 2 youngest who just have a slight obsession with their parents.) But we still had so much fun! We may have looked like a circus trying to get to the beach with 6 kids and tons of beach gear, but it was so worth every bit of effort!

I really am telling the truth when I say that my kids’ best friends are each other. Yes, they fight like every other kid. But you can tell they have such a deep friendship. They are constantly trying to work together or imagine new games together. When other moms ask me “how do you do it?”–I really feel like their relationships with each other helps me so much! They always have each other.

I love this picture of the girls! You’d never even know that Clem was terrified of the beach and was screaming like crazy at this moment.

Maggi and Mabel! It was so much fun going to the beach with them every day!

One of our favorite places in the Outer Banks is the sand dunes. We love to go at sunset to watch it set over the water (when the sand isn’t hot anymore.) The walk was a bit more brutal with a baby on my back and a baby in my belly on those steep sand hills, but again–totally worth the effort.

After a couple days of avoiding the sand at the beach, Desmond FINALLY let Don set him down in the sand at the dunes. He absolutely loved it. I asked him to go over by Liam to get a picture with him because they were matching. And for some reason, he kept mimicking the way people were standing. It was pretty adorable. I’m so glad I caught this series of photos.

When I say he loved it, I mean he LOVED it! At one point I had to splash some water in his eyes to get rid of some sand. But that didn’t stop him from pouring more over his head and rolling around on the ground.

One of my favorite pictures that I had Don snap of me and Clem. If I don’t ask for him to take pictures of me every once in a while, you’d never know I was on vacation with them haha.

The one thing I don’t miss about vacation is cleaning the kids off multiple times a day! At the house we stayed in, there was a wonderful outdoor shower to rinse all the sand off. So every afternoon and night we were going in there to clean up (with screaming babies!) One day after we got back from the beach, I went to rinse off our beach mat when I saw a spider so huge that it seriously had me running for the first time in 15+ years. The whole time I kept saying “Oh, my goodness! No no no no no no no!” I can only hope the neighbors didn’t see! But I still shiver every time I think about the fact that we were going into that shower AT NIGHT with that thing. It was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen (outside of the zoo.) Totally not exaggerating. Let’s just say we found other ways to clean off after that incident.

So, so pretty!

Every time we go to the Outer Banks, we make a trip to the Bodie Island Lighthouse. I’m totally in love with the black and white stripes. And totally disappointed that my camera lens cropped it too close. But I do have a couple full pictures of it in my August Recap post. The carrier that Clem is in is called an Onbuhimo and it’s from Sakura Bloom. It took a few tries to get it to feel comfortable but Clementine and I both love it now! She giggles and smiles the whole time. It’s the best thing in the world to hear those giggles in my ear.

So blessed to have the 2 best friends in the world! And so excited to be pregnant at the same time (again!)

Before our trip, I knew there was a possibility that we’d get a family picture on the beach. But I knew it would be a lot of effort so I didn’t really put much thought into outfits. Thankfully I’m really big on lots of blues/greens/grays/whites so I ended up having outfits that coordinated–even though they were definitely pretty casual. Like I expected, it was kind of hectic getting pictures on the beach. The kids were anxious to run around in the sand and there was a massive storm rolling in but we were able to snap a few and get home before the rain started!

I totally need to print this! I love this crew–squity/blinking eyes and all!

I’m so thankful to Maggi for being able to capture these moments for us!

It’s hard to believe we’ve already been home for a week and a half! Today is mine and Don’s 10th wedding anniversary!! We’re going on a short kid-free trip to the Kansas City area. I’m hoping that this kid free drive (4ish hours) will seem like a piece of cake after the 15.5 hour drive with 6 kids! I’m so excited to have the opportunity to get away, even if it’s just a short time. We really don’t get this chance often (I hate having to ask anyone to watch our kids for us) but I think it will be great! And then I feel like I’ll be able to come back, feeling ready for a new school year (and I’ll hopefully have my homeschool post published on Monday.) Anyway, I hope you have a great rest of the week!!

P.S.–Part one of our vacation video is up on the vlog!