bump watch:: 40 weeks

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# weeks: 40 — baby is the size of a jackfruit!
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing about 7-8 lbs.

Best moment this week: The start of football season! Georgia and Auburn both won their games, so we had a happy household on Saturday. And while we couldn’t make it to Athens for my game, we had fun watching it downtown with friends before heading home to catch the Auburn game on the projection screen. We also had an impromptu date night at Bocado over the long weekend — they have one of the best burgers in town. It may very well have been our last solo night out before becoming parents, which is sort of hard to believe!

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Miss anything: Normal sleep, ShockTop during last weekend’s football games, being able to bend over easily… ya know, the usual at this point.

Cravings: A grilled hot dog, which I got on Labor Day! Yay!

Feeling good/bad: I’ve been getting more of those pesky Braxton hicks contractions, and I’ve just gotten more uncomfortable with each day this week, so I’m hoping I’ll get some relief soon. We went for a long walk at the park Monday morning in hopes of getting her moving (which obviously didn’t work), but I’m shocked I made it as long as I did. 🙂

Baby purchases/gifts: I might have gotten this glittery UGA headband for her first game day… can’t wait to deck her out in both her Georgia and Auburn gear this fall!

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Looking forward to: Meeting our girl!! We’re officially at our due date, but I also realize that it’s just an estimate… so as long as she’s healthy, it’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t come today. I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and if she’s not here by then, we’ll start talking plans for how to proceed. We are all hoping and praying she’ll make her debut very, very soon, though! We’re ready to see her sweet face!

bump watch:: 39 weeks


# weeks: 39 — baby is the size of a watermelon!
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 7 lbs.

Best moment this week: Starting my first week as a lady of leisure! haha — I kid, I kid… but it was a bit refreshing waking up on Monday and not having to go to work. I had my latest doctor’s appointment this week, and while there’s nothing exciting to report just yet, everything looked great. I plan on getting in some pool time, relaxation, and home-cooked meals over the next few days, as long as she doesn’t make an extra early arrival.

Miss anything: Same things… uninterrupted sleep, fitting into normal clothes, and really just being comfortable all the time. But I do have comfort in knowing that we’re almost to the finish line!

Cravings: My sweets craving has officially been satisfied over the past 10 months, but especially the past few weeks, thanks to so many birthday dinners and work parties. Now it’s time to start weening myself off the sugar….

Feeling good/bad: Girlfriend is getting quite heavy to carry around all day and my wedding rings officially no longer fit, but I really can’t complain. For the most part, this has been a very easy, pleasant process and it’s honestly flown by, which I could not be more thankful for!

Baby purchases/gifts: I think we officially have every baby item known to man. Just kidding, but we at least feel prepared in that regard! She has a closet that I’m jealous of, we’re stocked on diapers and wipes (to cover at least the first few weeks, so I’m told), and there are numerous baby-holding contraptions lining the walls of our living and dining rooms. I think we’re all set!


Looking forward to: Heading to the hospital to meet our girl — hopefully sooner rather than later!! We’re just playing the waiting game now, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a safe, healthy delivery. We can’t wait to see her sweet face and introduce her to the world!

Leighton’s nursery tour

Our baby’s nursery has been something I’ve been dreaming about off and on for years. Way before we were ready to start a family, I’d find myself “pinning” ideas for baby nurseries and fun things to do with our kids one day. It’s hard to believe that time is finally here! I’ve had the best time planning out each detail of her room to make it somewhere special, both for her and for us as her parents.

We started by painting the walls a very neutral color (light grey) because I had fallen for this gorgeous Land of Nod crib in a bright emerald green, and I wanted it to be the star of the room. I loved the idea of flanking the crib with bookcases for lots of open storage, and I found inspiration photos of black metal and glass bookcases that had been spray painted gold, which is exactly what we (or really Craig) did. Although risky with a big black dog who loves rugs, we went with a white faux sheepskin run to add some plushness and lighten up the darker carpeted floor. It was a steal of a deal, so I figure that if it has to be replaced sooner than later, it won’t be the end of the world.

The gallery wall is filled with a mix of prints and photos (or soon-to-be printed photos from our maternity session and later, from her newborn session). I found this “Bushel and a Peck” print on Etsy and couldn’t resist, as that’s something my dad’s mom Nannie has said to all of us grand kids our entire lives… so Miss Leighton will now have a piece of her great-grandmother in her room with her. The watercolor of the Rottweiler was another lucky find, and it just so happens to look exactly like Coco! It’s not pictured in a close-up, but I also framed a letterpress printed coaster featuring a map of downtown Nashville, which is a nod to Craig’s hometown and the place we met.

I searched high and low for a white dresser that was long enough to accommodate a changing pad and had lots of storage, but not so long that it looked overbearing in this small room… and I wanted something fun. This one fit the bill exactly — I just love the brass detailing of campaign style furniture, and this is something that can grow with her for years to come. I think the gold geometric lamp pairs perfectly on top, too! Also, how gorgeous is that painting? My sister-in-law’s dad is a very talented self-taught artist and was gracious enough to gift us with a custom painting for the nursery. This is the second piece of Craig Griffin art that we own, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. I love that the design is somewhat simple, but it ties in the colors from the room and also incorporates different textural elements with wood and sand for a really unique look.


To bring some more gold accents into the room, we added a starburst mirror and small side table. The floating book shelves (which Craig almost threw out the window during the tedious hanging process) house an assortment of fun books that I plan to change out with the seasons.


I had a lot of fun styling the bookcases flanking the crib. I wanted to include functional items like the video monitor, but I also wanted to showcase the adorable giraffe cross-stitch that my mom made for her, framed photos, my mom’s childhood doll rocking chair, books, decor from my baby showers, and other pretty things.


Is this not the cutest laundry hamper you’ve ever seen? Just a little fun surprise that might make doing endless loads of laundry a tiny bit more enjoyable. Our friend also had this sweet hair bow and headband organizer made for us, complete with Leighton’s name, and of course it matches the nursery colors!


And because I always love when a blogger provides a list of source links in their posts, here are links to almost everything in the nursery that you could want to know about. Enjoy!

Crib: The Land of Nod
Bookcases: IKEA
Rug: Home Decorators Collection
Dresser: Pottery Barn Kids
Painting: Craig Griffin of Atlanta, GA (gift)
Geometric lamp: The Land of Nod
Glider: GA Baby & Kids
Pouf: The Land of Nod
Side table: Target (no longer available)
Owl lamp: Target (no longer available)
Blackout curtains: Pottery Barn Kids
Floating bookshelves: The Land of Nod
Toy baskets: Pottery Barn Kids (gift)
Mirror: Target (sold out – similar style here)
White shelving unit: Target  (similar here)
Crane cool mist humidifier: Amazon (gift)
Hamper: Home Decorators Collection (gift)
Frames on gallery wall: IKEA
Rottweiler watercolor print: Dog Art Studio
“Sprinkles on top” print: Brigette Turner
“Bushel & a Peck” print: Lori Danielle
Bird line drawing: IKEA
Nashville map coaster: Natty Michelle Paperie
Wooden L: Anthropologie 
Watercolor crib sheet: New Mom Designs
Scalloped crib skirt: Project Nursery
Glitter “hello” pillow: Hello Apparel
Large bunny stuffed animal: Jellycat at Seed Factory in Atlanta
Changing pad cover: ModFox
Dresser drawer organizers: IKEA
Personalized door sign: Miss Tweedle Crafts

bump watch:: 36 weeks


# weeks: 36 — baby is the size of a large cantaloupe! 
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 6 lbs.

Best moment this week: Having a relatively low-key weekend and getting in some pool time for the first time in over a month! I also had  my 36-week doctor’s appointment, and everything is looking good! The doctor said that she was really going to town with a high heartbeat, which is always nice to hear.

Miss anything: An ice cold beer by the pool would have been nice. Can’t wait to pour a pumpkin-flavored one for the start of football season in about a month! My very limited closet is also getting really old, but again, I can see the finish line!

Cravings: Hm… nothing that I absolutely have to have. Still fully enjoying sweets while I have the excuse, because I’ve got to cut that out after she arrives!

Feeling good/bad: A little more tired, but otherwise pretty good. I’ve been waking up a lot more in the middle of the night, but it’s not like that’s going to change for the foreseeable future. I’m also kind of in disbelief that we only have 4 weeks left… the past 9 months have surprisingly flown by!

Baby purchases/gifts: We’ve been picking up some of the last little things we need to finish off her nursery, like the diaper pail and video monitor. We’ve put together the stroller and car seat so that we’ll be comfortable using them once she’s here. Coco, however, is TERRIFIED of both of these things, so we’re working on that…

I’m also thrilled with the name hoop I had made for her nursery door. I sent photos of the bedding and room to Miss Tweedle Crafts (on etsy), and she did a wonderful job! I love supporting fellow small businesses while adding a dash of whimsy and uniqueness to our home.

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Looking forward to: Tomorrow, several of my wonderful coworkers and I are doing a baby Happy Hour at our old favorite, Trader Vic’s! Six years ago, we celebrated my upcoming wedding there with work friends, so it only seemed appropriate that we’d go there for this big life event, too.

It’s hard to believe that I’m quickly winding down my time at the Center for Puppetry Arts. I’ve worked there for 9 years, which seems like a lifetime, yet it has flown by at the same time. I started there as a graphic design intern right after college and was soon hired as a full-time employee doing graphic design work and coordinating the birthday party program. I later took on facility rentals as well and became the Facility Rentals Manager. It’s been a wonderful 9 years filled with laughter, learning, great coworkers, and so many puppets. I am leaving my position at the end of this month to prepare for baby girl’s arrival. I will be staying home with her permanently, while also building my photography business (and of course selling Stella & Dot on the side!).  It will be quite the change, but I’m thrilled and so very thankful that we’re fortunate enough for this dream to become a reality!

bump watch:: 35 weeks


# weeks: 35 — baby is the size of a canary melon! (What in the world is that?) 
Measuring approx 19-22″ long and weighing up to 5.5 lbs.

Best moment this week: Celebrating baby girl at my shower on Saturday! We feel so loved, and I can’t wait for everyone to meet Leighton when she arrives!!

Miss anything: I would have loved to have a mimosa at my shower, just saying… 😉

Cravings: Does craving cooler weather count?

Feeling good/bad: I’ve started experiencing some lower back pain when I sit for too long, which is incredibly uncomfortable, but it thankfully hasn’t happened very regularly — yet. Other than that, feeling good!

Baby purchases/gifts: We received so many wonderful, creative, and generous gifts at my shower! One of my very favorites is the custom painting that Lauren’s dad made for us. We have hung it above the dresser, and it finishes the nursery perfectly. We are now working on completing the “need” list from our various registries so that we’ll be all set before the big day. Also, how cute are these embroidered bloomers?!


Looking forward to: I have a doctor’s appointment this morning, so hopefully we’ll have another good report! Otherwise, I think we’re both just looking forward to a quiet week with home-cooked dinners and a low-key weekend. Hopefully some pool time, too!

a garden party for baby girl!

My sweet sister-in-law told me she wanted to host a baby shower for me as soon as we announced our exciting news at the beginning of the year, so I’ve been looking forward to this special day for a long time! Lauren is quite the party planner, and she completely outdid herself this time! It’s obvious how very much baby girl’s aunt loves her by the creativity, thought, and sweet touches she put into every detail of the shower.

Lauren’s talented dad painted this piece below for us to hang in the nursery, and it couldn’t be more perfect! He’s a self-taught painter and woodworker, and we just love his artwork, so it is extra special to have a custom piece for her room!

The shower was held at her parents’ home, which is like being in an art gallery because every wall is filled with her dad’s paintings and wood pieces. I was thrilled when she told me it would be there — it’s such a beautiful place! 
Also — baby girl finally has a name! After much debate, we settled on Leighton Lane Hayes, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice. We wanted something unique but not weird, and I thought that Leighton was such a pretty name (for those who haven’t heard it before, it’s pronounced “lay-ton”). Her middle name Lane is in memory of Craig’s mother, Karen Elaine. We joked that she’s going to end up with the nickname “LL Cool Hayes” (like the singer LL Cool J), but that only “old” people like her parents will be the ones making that reference. 🙂

The best hostess/sister-in-law there is::
Neighbors having babies this summer — future bffs::
Thank you to our moms and sisters and all of my fabulous friends who came out to celebrate Leighton’s upcoming arrival! She is one loved little lady, and we’re incredibly blessed and thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing people to share in this exciting time! We love you all.

bump watch:: 32 weeks


# weeks: 32 — baby is the size of a head of lettuce! 
Measuring approx 19″ long and weighing about 3.9 lbs. (That’s the longest head of lettuce I’ve ever heard of…)

Photo location: Carolina Yacht Club in Charleston, SC
We traveled there last weekend to celebrate our friends at their fabulous wedding, and it was such a great weekend. This was the “last hoorah” out of town before baby comes, so we’ll be staying put in the Atlanta area from here on out!

Best moment this week: We finally agreed on a name for baby Hayes!! It was a compromise that we’re both very happy with, and I love the name the more we talk about it. We’re in the midst of sharing with family and friends, so I’ll be sure to post here soon!
Also, we toured the maternity ward of the hospital — things are starting to get real! 

Miss anything: An ice cold beer on the beach when it felt like 1,000 degrees outside would have been nice! Instead, I tried to stay as hydrated as possible and had my fill of water. 😉

Cravings: My mom sent up chocolate marshmallow brownies with my dad this week, so my dessert craving is currently being satisfied. 

Feeling good/bad: The heat and humidity in Charleston was a bit overwhelming (but worth it for the fun trip), and my feet finally started to swell a bit… thankfully, after a day back at home, they look normal again. I’m also starting to feel more and more achy when I wake up in the morning, mostly thanks to having to sleep on my side. I’m adding more pillows to the mix in hopes of a little relief.

Baby purchases/gifts: Our friends in Augusta gifted us with the most adorable smocked outfit over the weekend, and I’m so excited to see her in it next summer. Is there much cuter on a baby than polka dots, smocking, and a ruffled bottom?


Looking forward to: Our maternity photo session this coming weekend! Craig keeps asking if he has to be in these photos since he’s not the pregnant one… so maybe it’s just me who is really looking forward to this. 🙂 It’s going to be fun being on the other side of the camera for once!

bump watch:: 30 weeks


# weeks: 30 — baby is the size of a large cabbage!
Measuring approx 17″ long and weighing about 3.1 lbs.

Photo location: Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown Atlanta
I’ve been working at the Center for the past 9 (!!) years, so it’s only fitting that I’d take a bump photo here. The giant Pinocchio legs crashing through the ceiling outside of the now closed Museum exhibit are an iconic photo spot at the Center, and I’m glad I got this before our expansion and new Museum open this fall!

Best moment this week: Celebrating baby H at our couples shower in Nashville last weekend! We felt so loved and are now even more excited for her arrival in just a couple short months!

Miss anything: It’s getting almost impossible to tie my own shoes now…  hope Craig’s up for the job!

Cravings: With the amount of chicken salad sandwiches I’ve consumed over the past 7.5 months, there’s a chance she might actually turn out to be a chicken!

Feeling good/bad: Feeling good, but definitely getting more tired walking longer distances and up the stairs. Also, I am pretty sure baby decided to run a marathon and take a kickboxing class while I was trying to go to sleep the other night… I was slightly worried she might actually kick her way out of my belly!

Baby purchases/gifts: Our friends and family were so generous at our couples shower, and we received everything from clothes, animal wubbanubs, and a bike made of diapers, to a humidifier, boppy pillow, baby carrier, and activity gym. We loved receiving the book “Good Dog Carl,” which is about a “responsible” Rottweiler who babysits his tiny human while mom is away. I can’t help but laugh to think of Coco doing the same thing!


Looking forward to: A weekend at home celebrating the 4th of July! We have plans to try out a new restaurant and see Jurassic World, spend a lot of time in the pool, hang out with friends, and shoot off some fireworks. I’m really looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home after the whirlwind month we had in June. It’s crazy to think that for this holiday weekend next year, we’ll have an almost 1 year old on our hands!

a couples shower for baby H!

A handful of our friends offered to throw us a couples shower in Nashville last weekend, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect evening shared with Craig’s family, many of his high school friends (who have become my friends as well over the years), and some of our favorite Atlanta friends who made the trip up. We had delicious Martin’s BBQ at our “Baby-Q”, as well as some of my current favorite desserts — cookie cake and Krispy Kreme donuts… yum!

We feel so loved, and we are now on our way to being more prepared for her arrival, thanks to the many thoughtful, helpful, and fun gifts we received! We’re so grateful to have such wonderful friends to throw this shower in our honor, as well as everyone who came to celebrate baby H with us that night.

Our fabulous hostesses (and host) — some of the best friends we could ask for::

How cute are these koozies?! 
Our shower ended up being a “4th of July lake trip” reunion of sorts, so we had to get the traditional group photo with so many of those we’ve spent the holiday with over the past decade or so.
Cheers to baby Hayes!

bump watch:: 29 weeks


# weeks: 29 — baby is the size of a butternut squash!

Measuring approx 17″ long and weighing 2.9 lbs.

Best moment this week: My parents closed on their home in Marietta, which was pretty exciting! They’ll be living about 20 minutes from us, which I know will be incredibly helpful and fun to have them nearby as baby H grows up. 🙂 Yay for grandparents!

Miss anything: Some red wine at dinner with my family last weekend would have been nice, but I’ll live!

Cravings: No real cravings to speak of.

Feeling good/bad: Other than a minor foot injury while shopping on Saturday (it’s a dangerous sport!), I’m feeling great and trying to make the most of this energy before I start to lose it in the coming weeks!

Baby purchases/gifts: My mom finished the cross-stitch she made for the nursery, and it’s so cute! We took it to be matted and framed, and I can’t wait to see the finished product and add it to one of the gold bookcases next to the crib. I’ve also been organizing the dresser and closet in the nursery, which has been really helpful in determining what gaps we need to fill in clothing-wise. I got these drawer boxes to help organize her tiny clothes by size in the dresser drawers, and I’m really happy with them. Baby girl already has a pretty fabulous wardrobe to get started with!

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Looking forward to: Heading back to Nashville this weekend for the couples shower that our sweet friends are hosting for us! I’m excited that Craig gets to be included in something, as it’s just as much of a special time for him as it is for me. We’re looking forward to spending time with Craig’s family and lots of his high school friends, as well as some of my favorite girls.