Hello, hello from the end of a gorgeous fall week! We’ve been hanging in the 30s, 40s, and 50s the past couple of days and it’s been just fabulous. Especially since I’m carrying around so much extra “insulation”. Sistah is HOT!

I had my next to last checkup before baby earlier this week and when asked how I’m feeling I answered with an honest “GREAT”. My back is killing me and my walk has officially become a waddle, but the end of this pregnancy is so close I can practically touch it and with it has come a very unexpected burst of energy. After weeks of feeling like making it through the entire day was an impossible feat, I am totally digging it.

Here’s what else is currently going on!

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Time and place: 2:12pm, at the kitchen counter. Lincoln came down with a bug in the middle of the night last night (?) so he went down for his afternoon nap right after lunch. Hopefully he can kick this thing relatively quickly – he’s got a baby brother to meet!

Awaiting: baby! We have mere days until our little guy is born and I am more than ready, both emotionally and physically, to meet this little rolly pollie. This pregnancy was much harder on my body for various reasons – being in my 30s (ugh,) having Celiac Disease (double ugh,) not being as active (triple…ok, I’ll stop,) etc, and to be honest these last 2 months have kind of crawled by. Regardless, little man’s room is ready, his wittle clothes are washed, and our arms are open. Let’s do this!

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Wearing: leggings. I finally joined the LuLaRoe revolution and have been living in their leggings. They really are as soft as advertised, and so adorable (and in case you were wondering, the OS waistband fit over my baby bump – three cheers for strechy pants!) One of my best friends, who just started selling the line, and I got together with another one of our besties last weekend and we ALL showed up in head to toe LLRoe. It was hilarious! Maybe you had to be there… Anyway, I recently bought this pair and got so many compliments on them. I can feel an obsession quickly building.

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Snacking. If you need another idea for your fall apple stash, try my latest snack creation using The Laughing Cow cheese wedges. I sliced apples, spread them with The Laughing Cow’s Creamy Original Swiss cheese, then sprinkled with cinnamon and freshly chopped peanuts. So Divine. By the way, I feel like chopped peanuts are so underrated – have you ever tried them sprinkling them into your salads? AMAZING.

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Loving: Contigo Snap Seal Travel Mug. The Target end cap strikes again… ? Truly I’ve been in the market for a new travel mug for the past couple of months (I threw all ours away in a manic kitchen purge,) and this Contigo cup I picked up at the very tail end of my last Target visit has worked out really well so far. The coffee stays blazing hot for hours and the cup is dishwasher safe, too.

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Watching: Modern Family. I was going to say the Presidential debates – I am hooked – but I’ll keep IGE drama free (that’s what Facebook is for, right?) and go with Mofy because if you are not watching, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! It’s one of the only shows on television that Ben and I enjoy watching together (besides Top Chef – Charleston’s up next, woot!) without having to pretend the other one isn’t rolling their eyes every five minutes. Ok, 2. Ok, 1. So glad fall television is back. I also think “This is Us” is fantastic, but not as cult-following-worthy as it’s becoming. Just my $.02.

Eating: soup. Of all kinds. It’s the obvious answer to these cool, fall evenings and is a dish I know Lincoln and I will both happily eat for dinner then lunch the following day. Ben, who is generally not as soup-enthusiastic as we are, has been very compliant! I made this Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup the other night sans meat, plus an additional 1/2 cup or so of chicken broth, and with dried thyme instead of fresh, and it was sooo good.

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Wearing: slip on Chucks. I slipped (har!) this in a post last week but wanted to share again – I recently bought these slip on CTs and they are adorable! Perfect for this time of year and they go with pretty much anything…especially leggings. ? FYI, I had to order a 1/2 size down. Now, any tips for keeping white shoes white, besides not standing in wet grass for fall leaf photo opps? I haven’t owned any since my Keds in 4th grade.

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Craving: Chickpea Bacon Carbonara with Spiralized Sweet Potatoes. This spiralized dish is speaking to my soul. Carbonara is one of my favorite foods – Ben and I had it approximately 18 times each when we went to Italy – and I can’t wait to try this healthier yet still decadent-tasting twist.

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Loving: lunch/snack plates. I gave a talk at my last MOPS meeting about healthier, happier family meal times and shared these cute lunch/snack plates that I’ve been making for Lincoln lately. I actually LOVE to talk about children’s meal and snack times but know not everyone who reads IGE has an interest or need in that department. Anyway, my Mom used to make lunch meat faces for us as kids (usually with a slice of bologna!) and the fact that I still remember them with complete clarity, yet can’t recall what I had for breakfast, is a testament to how much fun they are for little ones. For Lincoln I usually stack a slice of turkey on top of a slice of GF bread and use a round cookie cutter to trim, then decorate with anything and everything we have in the fridge and pantry. He is OBSESSED. Just an idea for your lunch-bored toddlers/kids.

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Screen shotting: travel ideas. I’ve taken to screen shotting all the places I want to visit in the future for easy, visual reference. My latest include Lauterbrunnen, SwitzerlandAutumn in New YorkYellowstone National Park, and Denali National Park (<< holy buckets that Insta account.) Guess I’m in a mountain state of mind!

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Feeling: anxious + excited. Just because I’m ready to meet our baby boy doesn’t mean I’m not experiencing 50 shades of anxiety right now. I miss Lincoln already and can’t even think about not being able to give him my undivided attention without crying. Dealing with a newborn’s sleep schedule got me like ? and I would be lying if I said that I had any clue what my blog posting schedule will be like over the next couple of months. I will say that having perspective, since this is our second time around, has done wonders for my nerves and despite feeling anxious I’m also experiencing an unusual sense of calm (emphasis on unusual.) Whatever happens, happens – you can’t really predict or control a whole lot when you’ve got a newborn. Plus I’m trying not to let any of this overshadow our excitement to become a family of four! Those newborn nights tho… ?

Thankful for: YOU! As I mentioned, I truly don’t know what my posting schedule will look like for at least a month or so after baby arrives late next week, but I remember feeling so encouraged by you to do what’s best for me and my family last time around when I took, oh, three days off? In hindsight I should have given myself way more time to recuperate, which is what I plan to do this time. That said, worker bees gotta work so I know I won’t stay silent for too long, don’t you worry! I just really appreciate knowing that you’re there, and you’re patient. THANK YOU. This is not see ya’ later yet, though, as I’ll be back all next week. That said, I’ll catch ya’ on the flip side!

Have a great weekend!