We are having our first BABY!!! We are overjoyed to be expanding our family and how we got here was a bit of surprise!
If you been following Eat More Cake for some time now, you most likely already know a piece of our story to becoming parents. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I shared the most raw and vulnerable experience of my life. If you missed it- we had a pregnancy loss in January at 11 weeks with our first baby. I would have been due in just 2 weeks from now. Full story about my miscarriage here.
I decided to open up about our pregnancy loss because it was a really devastating experience that seemed very isolating and lonely. After opening up- I heard so many other women (many in my very own network), that had also experienced a loss. I would have never known! Not implying that everyone should shout it from the rooftops, but I quickly realized how isolating it felt because I really had no awareness of how many other women went through this too. Building community, knowing you're not alone was the biggest source of hope for me. Hopefully sharing my experience will help shed light on the emotional and physical aftermath of an all too common devastation.
Back to the happy news! But before I get to it...I want to highlight my experience with several doctors through out this process because I think its an important reminder to advocate for your own health and listen to what your gut is telling you.
I wasn't happy with the experience I had with my OB during the miscarriage. Not only did I lose the baby while waiting in the E.R......my husband couldn't even find the hospital staff to to help me when it happened. Following that, my doctor seemed very insensitive to what happened and I couldn't even get into see her for another week!! Yup- I was at home, in pain, and clueless for a week. I pressed her to do hormone testing or anything that would shed some light and I was told that most miscarriages happen because of chromosome abnormality. But what if mine wasn't? She didn't do testing and or even an ultrasound to ensure that I didn't need a D&C procedure. I ended up back into the doctors office 3 weeks later due to excessive blood loss and almost fainting at work. Again, offered no explanation, I decided I need clarity.
I found a new doctor and demanded they did blood work to see if anything else was going on. There it was.....'Low fertility, increased risk of infertility' I got this news while out of town on a work trip and cue the dramatic music in my head!...."is being a mom in the cards for me?" "Did I wait to long to try and have a family?" "Will I ever be able to have my own?" blah blah blah. I waited for 2 months to get into the Fertility Specialist.
Here is where the fun surprise hits us! We have a consultation at the doctor, I'm feeling really optimist and we jet off to vacation in Santa Barbara, CA waiting for our lab results to come back. As we landed, I listened to an unexpected voicemail. It was the nurse....and my heart dropped because I was expecting the worst of worse news.
Candice, you are currently PREGNANT! Wait.....excuse me!? I look at my husband with the biggest grin on my face right as were about to deplane and I whisper the news in his ears. Were completely shocked. We were even more shocked to find out that we were originally expecting twins...TWINS! Unfortunately, we did lose one of the babies somewhere between 7-8 weeks, which you can imagine caused extreme fear of losing the other.
We were even more taken back when we were told our rainbow baby's due date. JAN. 19 2019....exactly one year later (to the day!) that I went to the hospital and lost our first sweet baby. This is the truest definition of rainbow baby and we feel over the moon excited and in awe of this blessing.
Here we are....14 weeks pregnant with a sweet baby BOOOOOYYYYY and all were doing is looking up from here and smiling. Thank you to everyone for the love and support!!
Photos by Kelly Lemon Photography
The Oregon Coast Road Trip: December 27 2015-Jan 1 2016. #Brandicebetrippin
2015 was an adventurous year for us. For starters, we got married! But what better of a way to end the year than with another adventure road tripping the Oregon Coast? I had never been to the Oregon Coast so we drove from Seattle, WA to San Jose, CA for Christmas (stayed in Ashland, OR) and drove 2,028 miles roundtrip back home. The journey home was so much fun and not to mention, breathtakingly beautiful! Need an itinerary for your own trip? This was ours:
Day 1: We started our road trip visiting my sister and her fiancé in San Francisco. We planned on leaving by 7am but had to make a stop at Craftsman and Wolves for coffee and a pastry. Driving through SF is never a quick endeavor so an hour later, we headed out crossing the Golden Gate bridge.
This was the first of many breathtaking sunsets. Just outside of Crescent City, CA, about 20 minutes south from the Jedediah Campgrounds.
We didn't make any stops along the way until we reached our campground in Crescent City, CA. However, you could drive along Highway 101 and never even realize you are driving through the Redwood State Park. Make stops along the way for hiking or driving through a gigantic tree. We decided to skip this, mainly because we felt it was just a tourist trap and we needed to get to our campground before dark.
Day 2: This was our fellow neighbors campground. But the sunrise was too perfect to pass up the photo op! We survived the night of camping in 35 degrees. Yup, it was almost freezing. I should note that this is maybe my 3rd time camping....EVER. I braved the harsh conditions but was rewarded with a warm breakfast of eggs and bacon. My husband called the shots and said no more camping for this trip. Hooray!! So there you have it- our recent investment in a nice tent and air mattress and lugging it around over 2,000 miles for one measly night of camping. Hey, at least we tried. This was at the Jedediah Smith Campgrounds Crescent City, CA
This was our cute little camp site. It looks warm but don't be fooled.
Exploring Redwood State Park, CA
Love me some foggy roads. On our way to Bandon, OR. Not BRANDON. Although I thoroughly enjoyed calling it Brandon while we were in Bandon haha.
Day 3: We woke up early, grabbed a cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich at the Bandon Coffee Cafe. Everyone was so friendly! Then we headed about 10 minutes west to visit the Bandon Ocean State Wayside- Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. Here you will find some of the most spectacular rock formations and beaches.
We enjoyed our coffee and walk along the beach. It was cold and windy! But so worth the view.
Next stop- Lincoln City. On our way out, we stopped for a late lunch (around 3pm to catch the sunset at 4:30) at the Pelican Brewery in Pacific City. We almost skipped coming to this place but its a must see! The sunset was so beautiful and the Pelican Brewery has awesome beer and food. This beach reminded me of the beaches in CA. It looked completely different than the other beaches we visited along the Oregon Coast. Even though it was only about 38 degrees with the chilly wind, we caught some surfers enjoying the waves.
We stayed at the Salishan Spa and Gold Resort in Lincoln City. It was the most fancy place we stayed all week but we stole a deal because of the off season. So we decided to sleep in and enjoy the gym before heading out to Cannon Beach.
On our way, we stopped at the Cape Kiwanda State Park for some easy hiking and seal watching. And don't miss the Tillamook Cheese factory! We sampled our favorite cheese and left battling over an ice cream cone. It was well worth it....We love Tillamook cheese :)
We made it to Cannon Beach! And found some hooligans roaming. Enjoying the last sunset of 2015 :) We stayed 1 block from the ocean at Blue Gill Inn. Cannon Beach is the cutest beach town ever with small boutique shops, wineries, and lots of art galleries.
Our livers hurt, the wind was piercingly cold, the apartment looked like someone threw up New Years glitter but we raged into 2016 with this awesome group.
This pretty much sums up the entire weekend. Sand angels anyone?
Final sunset of 2015 and the first time as The Wards!
Cannon Beach, OR
This is a very personal writing that I have decided to share. I went back and forth whether I wanted to post this for you all to see (i'm not even sure who or how many people even read my blog) but thats besides the point.
After some time, I came to the conclusion that someone else out there may have felt or is feeling this way too. After I wrote this and shared it with my husband and parents, I felt liberated. I only hope that this writing may provide the same relief for someone else struggling with these thoughts and find acceptance instead of regret about their wedding.
I promise you, this writing is not as negative as the title implies. Thats just a little rhetoric for ya :) WARNING- its a wee bit lengthy!
September 13, 2015- Wedding Day
Its true what they say, your wedding day is one of the most euphoric, beautiful and memorable days of your life. Your favorite people in one place, celebrating the Union of two people and two families.
You spend a year planing for this day. Looking at pictures on Pinterest, magazines, going to wedding shows, and viewing others wedding videos and photos in hopes of finding the perfect idea of what your day will look and feel like.
Well no one prepares you for how you should or will feel after that most amazing day is over. Post wedding depression- is a real thing.
Through out the entire wedding planning process, I really wanted to stay focused on the task. And that to us was creating a wedding that portrayed our lives together- displaying the things that we love, our passions, and allowing our families talents to shine through. We wanted the day to be fun and stress free for our guests but not over the top. We wanted to show people that a planning a wedding didn't mean you had pay for a gigantic wedding cake or hire a planner or spend thousands on a videographer. You can do a lot of it yourself, or at least with the help of your village.
And after it was all over, I look back and I'm happy. I'm overjoyed with how perfect and beautiful the day turned out. But I also find myself revisiting certain moments that, well simply put, didn't exactly happen the way I imagined. Admittedly, feelings of regret surface, and sometimes sadness.
I feel beyond guilty for having these thoughts. And I'm even more angered that I do, and haven't really done anything about them. I don't want to think about my wedding day and allow disappointments or false expectations to cloud my beautiful memories. ' So this is me, embarrassingly admitting that I struggle with ill feelings about our wedding. In desperation to purge those thoughts, I bear my open mind now.
And so here I go:
My dad didn't cry on my wedding day. In fact, he showed little emotion at all. He actually seemed uninthused the entire day. And I wasn't sure why. I noticed it that day and I noticed it in our wedding photos. Was his mind elsewhere? I wasn't sure. All I knew is that I was his first daughter walking down the aisle and I imagined it would be a more emotional day for him.
But then I realized, I am my fathers daughter. I too had similar facial expression in our wedding photos. I look serious when I first looked saw myself in the mirror in my wedding dress. I look slightly unamused walking down the aisle, with a smirky teeth- less bearing grin on my face. I never smile like that. My voice soft, faint and squirmish as I said my vows and my eyes wondering during the ceremony, afraid to gleam into my soon to be husbands eyes. I was nervous, I didn't want to cry (mainly to prevent my makeup from smearing) but also to keep my composure. I didn't want my emotions to shed. I knew my father was having the same battle internally. We both enjoy one on one conversations with people, deep rooted friendships, loyalty to our families and loved ones but deep down we are introspective, deep, loving people with quiet souls. When we feel like talking, we will
be heard. But we do not enjoy being the center of attention.
He is a gifted guitarist, musician, and lyricist. He spent months writing a beautiful song that he performed at my wedding. He taught himself this magnificent talent. It's something he always wanted to do but life never allowed him to until several years ago. I've had the privilege of seeing him challenge himself with something he never thought was possible. His song was his emotion on my wedding day. And it was beautiful.
While I was waffuling in confusion about my fathers lack of emotion, squinty eyes and stoic voice, It wasn't until I took a step back to look at my wedding from a different lense to come to terms that I am my father. In that moment, I understood him and I love him for that.
AND, I shared several emotional moments with my mom. She has been a best friend growing up, I call her almost every day just to tell her the little things that no one else would care about. "Mom, I just spend hours making my first croissants at home" followed by several pictures of my craft and her excitement "yummmm!" On my wedding day I could really see the emotion in her. She gave me a kiss on the cheek in the bridal suite and whispered "you look beautiful, my beautiful daughter" we laughed and cried as memories of my compassionate, selfless, strong willed mother raising three kids, flooded my mind.
So I conclude, with this: just because you see all those perfect wedding photos of a father kissing you softly on the cheek as he hands you over to your future husband and gives a heartfelt "she is the apple of my eye" speech in this wedding videos.....that is NOT real life for everyone. We don't have to have those exact moments on our wedding day in order to sum up all the years and memories you have growing up. Your father loves you, and found the day he gave you away to your husband to be one of the most memorable of his life. There is no picture perfect moment that will justify that on your wedding day, he will do it in his own way.
This really isn't about my father. He was purely one example of how I allowed the wedding expectations, the media, and the countless pictures available to us on the internet, to flood false fabrications of reality into my mind.
And so I write this as a reminder to myself, that the expectations of what I was going to experience on my wedding day and the reality of what happened is just as beautiful. What you desire is only a desire. And what you experience is your reality, uniquely defined by you. Not pictures you have seen it should be like or videos of the perfect day. The perfect day is what you make of it, and how you hold onto the precious moments that did happen with out yearning for those that didn't.
He was happy after all! Thank you dad for writing and singing (he has never sung before!) your song.
Photo cred: Kelly Lemon Photography
2015 is coming to an end. Literally, tonight.. Because its new years eve! In just a matter of hours, we will be counting down the seconds to 2016. Champagne popping, sparklers flying, and your first kiss with your loved one. Get ready for the millions of selfies surfacing the internet #Happynewyear2016. I’m ready, are you?
New Years gives us the chance to reflect on all of our accomplishments and memories from the year past. Its great, isn’t it? We spend one whole day (well not even an entire day, maybe just a few minutes) out of the year thinking about it. Igniting a flame of motivation and excitement that charges us into the next year. I don’t know about you but I always feel the pressure to make the next year better than the last. ‘I’m going to finally do it this year! I swear, I’m going to be a better ME!” Yeah…..right. Baby steps, and I’ll get there.
The truth is I have never really understood the New Years Holiday. Not just because it gives restaurants/nightclubs/bars etc a chance to rob you of your money just for a place to party. But it also creates a sense of urgency to create a better YOU. But shouldn’t we be focusing on this all year long?
Lets be honest with ourselves for a minute. New Years resolutions are just another way of resurrecting all of your procrastinations from that year into ONE GIGANTIC GOAL. Save yourself the failure, and set goals annually or even monthly to accomplish. Now that smells like accomplishment, and that smells good :)
So do yourself a favor and give yourself the best new years resolution of all. NO RESOLUTION. Cheers to that!
Photo cred: Kelly Lemon Photography
6 steps to stay focused all year and accomplish your goals:
But in all seriousness, excuses will make you fail. Take Chris Langan for example: you probably have never heard of him. Well he has been deemed the smartest man in the world. Arguably with a higher IQ than Einstein himself. Now that’s impressive! He works as a club bouncer. He dropped out of college, never ended up publishing his book on physics and settled for a life of unfulfilled potential. He is capable of so much more but made countless excuses and reason’s why he didn’t accomplish all of these things. He had the ability but lacked the motivation. Don’t let that be you. Do something great this year and every year!
Wishing each and every one of you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!
Now lets celebrate!
Photo Cred: Kelly Lemon Photography
A note to my friends: Please don't wish me a happy dirty 30. There is nothing dirty about entering a new decade (and perhaps the best) of your life. Besides, I realized well before today that my biological clock is ticking. Sorry future child, you may be getting the old eggs. But i'm celebrating, with a cocktail or two because I can.
So it just dawned on me that in a matter of days, I will be turning 30. What is all of this Dirty 30 I hear about? See for yourself....
According to the Urban Dictionary:
"The age at which single women without children realise that their biological clock is ticking, As a consequence they may lower their standards and increase their willingness to perform sexual acts as a matter of desperation in order to find a mate/sexual partner. They may also attempt to hook up with younger males as an attempt to elongate their youth."
At 25 I felt like my biological clock was ticking. At 30 I now have the clarity to realize that it was the biggest blessing that I didn't run to the alter just to pop out some babies shortly after. In fact, if I had married at age 25, I honestly would have married the wrong person. Besides, more women than ever are having babies after the age of 35. So I still have time....yeeee! C'mon people, have some standards! I don't even understand how this whole 'Dirty 30' came about or why its even directed towards women. But that is an entirely other topic.
And did you know that people are having 'Dirty 30' themed parties?? Encouraging guests to dress up as hobo's and eat dirt parfaits made out of crushed Oreo cookies. Lets just stop this irrational way to celebrate another year on earth. and dress up as yourself, surrounded by your favorite people and eat lots and lots of cake. Ahhhh yes, EAT MORE CAKE. Never hurt nobody. Now THATS a celebration people.
Photo by Kelly Lemon Photography
But 30's is the new 20's. And to be honest, I've never been happier in my life. My final years in my 20's have been incredible, and have trumped endless nights on 4 hours of sleep from studying and parting the night before or counting every penny I spent on cheap beer and taco tuesdays. Don't get me wrong, I had the time of my life in my 20's but I definitely don't have the desire to time warp back to my early days.
Why I'm celebrating my not so dirty 30's:
1) I'll never have to hear "Its not you, its me" (or at least I hope that I never will!). I'm married folks, and the journey of heartbreaks and uncertainty of who i'll have children with has finally come to an end. I was fortunate to cross paths with the best man on earth 3 years ago and make the commitment to be together forever.
2) I know who my friends are. My True Friends. No more of that petty "You spend too much time with your boyfriend" hurt feelings. It also means I can invest the time in the people I care about and who reciprocate the same in a friendship. I don't have time to be friends with people just out of politeness and I'm sure they would appreciate it if i just saved us both from having fake conversations.
3) I can afford to plan a trip to Europe and stay in a hotel. A real hotel! Hostels, you were good to me but not that good. Although most weren't all that bad, I prefer to shower without shoes on or lock my bags while exploring the city. And have you ever seen that movie Hostel?? Yup, i'm done. But really, i'm going to celebrate being more financially secure and having the freedom to travel and do what I want.
4) I developed my own passion that isn't the sports i'm required to do in school. So long swimming.....I choose to run. And I'm taking the risks i've always wanted to take but was too afraid because of fear of what my parents would think. Hence the development of my passion for baking and the start of this blog to document my journey and recipes.
5) The best nights out are spent with a couple friends! Or with my husband going to a concert, or grabbing a drink or two and calling it a night. No need to stay out past midnight or go to some dive bar simply because thats where you heard the rest of the crew is hanging out. Good conversation, food, drinks and company is all a girl needs.
6) I'm starting to use social media to build my brand, not brag about the new job promotion, or what I got from the best boyfriend ever for my birthday or post a selfie of my latest haircut. Social media definitely has its purpose and its great for keeping in touch with what your friends and family are doing but I'm kinda over the 'Let me show you what I ate for breakfast' crap.
And so I live on, in celebration, health, happiness, passion, love, and excitment of what my 30's will entail. I honestly CAN"T WAIT. I'll have a drink to that!
Photo by Kelly Lemon Photography
Hello! I'm Candice and I love baking. This blog is dedicated to all things sweet, exploring your passion, staying inspired and encouraging you to Eat More Cake!