wiaw: on our anniversary

Last week, Matt + I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  It’s still so crazy to me to think that we’ve been married for 7 years!  It has flown by, but I guess that’s what busy schedules and kiddos do to you.

Instead of getting each other gifts every year, we choose to celebrate with cards and a night out on the town.  We usually try to go some place new to us (last year, we went to Milagro which was delicious), so both of us immediately knew that Small Batch was our date this year.

Small Batch opened up earlier this year by renowned St. Louis restaurateur Dave Bailey.  Bailey’s restaurants always rank high on my list, although we very rarely get a chance to go to them since they are all located in downtown St. Louis (which is about 40 minutes from home).  The premise of Small Batch is whiskey and pasta dishes.  The twist is that the entire restaurant is vegetarian.  A little whiskey for him, some vegetarian food for her = a very happy couple!

We had scoped out the menu ahead of time, so we already had an idea of what we were going to eat.  Of course, the menu had changed slightly from what was online, but that didn’t effect us too much.  Matt started off with a small pour of his favorite whiskey brand, Hudsons, while I ordered us some pickles + ferments.  I had had the pickles + ferments at Bridge Tap House + Wine Bar back in March and fell in LOVE with them.  Plus, this preggo mama wants her pickles, so it was a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with the options.  We were served green beans, okra, carrots, yellow beets, and pearl onions.  I really enjoyed the green beans and okra, the carrots were just OK, and we hardly even touched the beets + onions.  The beets tasted like dirt (literally) and the pearl onions tasted like sweat (literally).  I felt bad for barely touching half the plate, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for.


Our waitress did come by during our appetizer and brought us the chef tasting of the day, which was a homemade chip with black bean dips and a chipotle sour cream.  It. Was. Awesome!  I was wishing that was our appetizer instead and that little tiny bite was just a tease…


For dinner, I ordered the gnocchi, which was served with roasted pine nuts, roasted tomato, arugula, and snow peas, and tossed in brown butter with fresh pecorino on top.  I absolutely loved the starchiness of the gnocchi – such a good mix of potatoes and dough texture.  The roasted tomatoes were also delicious, but I could have done without the arugula, but that is just a personal preference (I don’t like soggy lettuce).  It had such a light, summery, lemony flavor – perfect for a hot July day (which it was last week, not so much this week).  I ate every last bite.


However, Matt’s was the dish I was really craving.  One bite and I was totally blown away and ready to trade him for the night.  He ordered the carbonara, which was homemade linguini (love the doughiness of homemade pasta), smoked mushrooms, peas, caramelized onions, roasted cauliflower, and topped with freshly grated pecorino cheese.  It was so incredibly rich but absolutely to die for.  The mushrooms had such a great smoky flavor and added so much depth to the dish.  He only ate half of his dinner (I helped by eating several bites) and I ate the rest for lunch the following day.  I’m going back just to get that dish!


I don’t have much to say about the whiskey since I didn’t do any drinking, but Matt was pretty impressed.  The whiskey menu is 11 pages long (including wine and beer) and has everything from whiskey cocktails to just plain old whiskey by the glass.  Matt’s 3 small pours came with a little bowl of ice as well as some warm water, which he tells me helps bring out the flavor and take away some of the bite of the whiskey.  (He’s obviously the whiskey connoisseur, I’ll stick to beer.)

Because Matt had 3 whiskeys, he promised me ice cream for dessert.  The desserts on the menu just weren’t speaking to me, so we headed a little farther down the road to another Bailey restaurant, Bailey’s Range.  We’ve eaten at Bailey’s Range once and I’ve been dying to go again.  Mostly because of the ice cream, but I will say that I had a pretty darn good veggie burger and some delicious fries.  But, oh, the ice cream…


This was a small shake, which was much smaller than I was anticipating, but perfect for how full I was from dinner.  I got a coconut crunch shake – the same as what I got last time – and it was still absolutely incredible.  You really just can’t beat coconut and crunchy chocolate pieces.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful anniversary date with the love of my life!

Thanks to Jenn for hosting another great link up party.  You can check out my post as well as a bunch of other Wednesday eats over at Peas and Crayons.

Posted in food, ice cream, St. Louis, vegetarian, What I Ate Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

baby bump #2: 16 weeks

Man, it feels like I just posted one of these.  Well, I was a little late with it last week since we were celebrating our 7 year anniversary, but I like posting these on Mondays since it’s when my new week of pregnancy starts!  Crazy – 16 weeks has flown by, that’s for sure!

For a comparison:  16 weeks pregnant with MacKenna


Pregnancy - 16 weeks

No big changes in the bump this week – because, you know, you were expecting me to be huge overnight, right?!  Sometimes, I’m surprised that more people aren’t asking me about my pregnancy because I do feel like I’m showing a lot.  But, other days, I’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and feel skinny.  Which is actually a good feeling sometimes – makes me a little more confident in my growing body.

I will admit though, I feel like I am much more confident in my changing body this time around.  I just feel better about myself and quite honestly, I feel like I’m enjoying this pregnancy much more, even with feeling worse in the beginning and losing a baby.  I’m so excited about this baby and already feel my heart growing a little more every day.

We have our 16 week checkup on Thursday this week, so I’m interested to see how we are progressing and FINALLY get to hear the baby’s heartbeat!  We’ve been spoiled with getting to see this little gummy bear (our nickname for this one) every other appointment but we haven’t actually gotten to hear the heartbeat yet.  Otherwise, it’ll be a pretty short, easy appointment.


I had the chiropractor work on my achilles tendons again as well as try to figure out why I’m getting daily headaches.  They’re not terrible headaches, but just nagging.  He said that I have a tight muscle in my neck that could be causing them, but it’s likely just because my body is changing so much.  I had them with MacKenna as well and they eventually went away, but they’re just annoying and make me feel horrible.


Kenna getting adjusted – it’s a family thing now.  These guys will never go out of business just because of us.  They are seriously awesome!

I’ve also been exhausted again this week.  I fell asleep on the floor in MacKenna’s room while we were playing, and ended up skipping a run and sleeping in a few days this week (one was a skipped run, the other I just slept in an extra hour).  I feel like I’m getting plenty of sleep and believe me, I am lazy the rest of the day.  It’s frustrating and I know it’s just going to get worse come August with school and volleyball.


**I had a CPR class on Saturday and planned on doing another run on Sunday, but again, exhausted and slept in instead, so I didn’t get a bump picture this week.  Oh well.**

This week was pretty good, except for being extra exhausted.  My ankles are so much better and didn’t bother me nearly as much, and I’m pumped that my paces have been pretty good and I’ve actually been negative splitting some runs!  I mean, that’s totally NOT my goal, but I feel better once I’m totally warmed up.  Still having to walk quite a bit, mostly on hills, but at this point, that’s OK with me.

I also finally got a full 5 days of CrossFit in, which I’m pumped about!  I am actually going to be starting a PiYo challenge with Madeline, so I’m super pumped to try something new that will challenge my body and is easily adaptable for pregnancy.  Can’t wait to share more with you!

Monday:  5.2 mile run (9:57/mile) + CrossFit
Tuesday:  2.25 mile warmup + CrossFit w/ 400 repeats + 1.5 mile cool down
Wednesday:  3.1 mile run (9:53/mile) + CrossFit
Thursday:  3.1 mile run w/ the jogging stroller (10:02/mile) + CrossFit
Friday:  4.1 mile run (9:33/mile) + CrossFit
Saturday:  2.9 mile run (9:36/mile)
Sunday:  off
Total:  23 miles

Baby Stuff

I am pretty positive I felt a few little pokes this week.  Mostly in the evening when I’m laying down doing nothing.  I’ve also had a few braxton hicks contractions this week – just tightening low in my stomach and a little uncomfortable.  But, without feeling consistent kicks yet, it’s giving me some reassurance that there is still a baby growing in there.

I won’t lie, I still worry every day about this baby.  I’ve definitely come a long way from 8 weeks ago – not thinking nearly as much about twins or getting upset when I see twins – but I can’t help but still worry about this one.  I’ve thankfully stopped googling things, but it’s already planted fear in my mind about things the “could” happen with a “surviving” twin (I don’t like that term much).  I’m an overly anxious person (I’ve learned how to hide it well), so there is always some sort of fear in the back of my mind.  I’m anxious for our anatomy scan next month, but just like we felt with MacKenna, if anything is wrong with this child, we will still love him or her anyway.

And yes, still haven’t looked at the gender yet.  We’re enjoying the suspense more than we expected!

Posted in baby, pregnancy | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

summer bucket list: an update

Holy crap… when did we get halfway through summer?!  Actually, Matt + I are more than halfway through summer.  Gulp.  Matt goes back July 31st and I officially start August 11th, although fall sports (volleyball for me, cross country for him) start up August 4th.  Good bye to any time I once had.

Thankfully, we’ve been soaking up as much of summer as we can and have made sufficient progress on completing our bucket list.  So, I thought I’d give you a little bit of an update on how our summer has been going.  I’ve already talked about a few of our bucket list items, but there is plenty to catch you up on.

1. Feed the goats at Grant’s Farm - check!

2. Ride the train at the St. Louis Zoo – check!

We went to the zoo last week.  We’ve had amazing weather here in St. Louis – low humidity and highs in the mid-80s – so we took advantage of a late afternoon at the zoo to avoid the crowds and allow MacKenna to get her nap in.  We spent a half hour waiting in line for the train, which ended up being pretty dull.  But, we did get to see a ton of animals that we might not have seen had we not ridden it – since it was so late in the day, it was feeding time and a bunch of the animals were out, including a rare sight of a tiger – my personal favorite!  Plus, a visit to the carousel – MacKenna’s favorite!

zoo 2

Zoo 1


3. Go to the Museum of Transportation - we haven’t had a chance to go yet, but are planning on going with some of our friends next month.

4. Get a picture with Minnie Mouse (or any Disney character for that matter) at DisneyLand– check!

This was totally the best part of Disneyland!  Not only did we get to see Minnie twice, but we were able to get pictures with a bunch of other characters too!








5. Go to a waterpark – check!

After our race in Branson a few weeks ago, we had free passes to White Water, so we spent a few hours there with MacKenna.  It’s not quite the best place for her since she doesn’t do slides or fountains/waterfalls, but she does love the water.




We also went to the local “water park” a few days ago.  We were worried because it cost us $12 to get in and figured MacKenna would freak out and only last 10 minutes.  But, luckily, after forcing her down the slide with us a few times, she didn’t want to do anything else!  Hopefully this is the start of breaking her fear of slides.



6. Take a day trip to Springfield, Illinois – we will be needing to do this one pretty soon, before our schedules get too busy with school + sports!

7. Make pizza on the grill – check!

We’ve been keeping up our Friday night tradition of pizza + beer (root beer/soda for me) and have been including my parents too.  Since they have a nice grill, a few weeks ago, we (well, Matt) fired it up and grilled pizza for dinner.  It was absolutely delicious!  In fact, that’s dinner tonight too!


8. Potty train MacKenna – So, this isn’t going quite as we had planned.  I put her back in diapers full time last week because we are dealing with some “withholding” issues (aka – it hurts to poop so she tries to hold it in).  We are hoping to get in to the doctor today to see if we can get things “moving” again.  Until she is comfortable going Big Potty again, we will be in diapers.  Hopefully, she will be potty trained by her birthday and I will at least get 2 months without a child in diapers…

9. Transition MacKenna to a big girl bed – check!

I don’t have a picture of this yet, but we transitioned her crib to a toddler bed (with Magic Bumpers to keep her in) about 2 weeks ago and she is doing GREAT!  We haven’t had any issues with her getting up at naps or at night and she usually waits for us to come get her before she gets out of bed.  At least I’m winning at something with this child!

10. Make popsicles with MacKenna – check!

Seven out of 10 ain’t bad!  Hopefully by the time September rolls around, we will have at least 2 of the remaining 3 completed!  (I’m not holding my breath with the potty training thing…)

Posted in family, Toddler | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments