Well, friends, in the past few weeks I’ve tossed out a few teasers about some upcoming adventures that M and I have in the works, and I think it’s finally time to let the proverbial cat out of the bag. Life is about to change pretty significantly for us, and we’ve started reading an entirely different kind of guidebook to prepare for it:
That’s right… life is about to get a whole lot fuller as the first Baby E joins our growing family in December 2018, and we couldn’t be more elated or grateful. This pregnancy is a product of so many answered prayers and represents the start of a completely new and exciting chapter in our lives.
He or she will also be the first grandchild and niece or nephew on either side of our families, so everyone is pretty overjoyed. (My sister has already planned out at least five weekend adventures that Baby E will be taking with Aunt Brooke to places around her hometown of Lancaster, PA, and she even asked if she should get a car seat for her vehicle, too.) It’s been wonderful to be so surrounded by love and joy and excitement as we prepare to welcome Baby E into our lives.
To answer the most frequently-asked questions we’ve been getting since we started sharing our news:
- I’ve been feeling pretty well, thank you – I think my first trimester, while not exactly fun, was less arduous for me than many other women experienced. I’m now well into the second trimester and basically just want to eat everything in (and out of) sight. More on that below.
- We’re probably not going to find out the sex of the baby in advance, but we’re making no promises on that front. Early polling shows a dramatic lead for the “It’s a boy” camp, with only two votes so far that it’s a girl. Fortunately, M and I would be more than happy with either result.
- Yes, there is only one baby in there! I have made sure to confirm that on multiple occasions.
So what’s next?
As we look toward our new future, I am more grateful than ever for the changes that the Lord brought into our lives last year through the loss of my job at Apple. Being offered freelance technology work by a former colleague has allowed me the flexibility to pursue my passion for travel writing and itinerary planning through Full Life, Full Passport (more on that here) and will give me the opportunity to stay home with Baby E for the foreseeable future as I continue to freelance part time and work to grow this business.
It’s amazing how what at first can look like a devastating blow can end up being one of your greatest blessings.
We also don’t intend to stop traveling, and are excited to share that love with our new little one. While this shift in our family dynamic will certainly have an effect on the frequency and nature of our plans (apparently kids are a lot of work and you can’t just leave them alone?), M and I both feel that it is important to expose our children to as much of the world around them as we can. Experiencing new environments, languages, foods, and ways of life can do wonders for a child’s development even if they are not old enough to remember the finer details of the trip. Although we do plan to take our kids overseas, we also are looking forward to new experiences within the United States, and even our immediate tristate area, as well.
In addition to crossing into the realm of family vacations (time to follow about a hundred new blogs!), M and I also plan to prioritize traveling together without children when we’re able. Not only will that give our kid(s) the opportunity to bond with grandparents and other family members while we’re away, but we feel it is very important to continue to invest in our relationship apart from children. One of our favorite ways to do that is through experiencing new places together, so we hope to fit a trip of our own into our lives every so often, too.
As for you, dear reader – expect to see more tips and tricks on traveling with kids, which was a major ask and perceived need in all of my preliminary research and surveying when starting this website. I’m excited to share with you the strategies that my friends with children have employed to make their family vacations as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, as well as to develop some new best practices of my own!
In the more immediate future, M and I leave tomorrow (!!!) for a little pre-baby vacation, a last hurrah before we find ourselves up to our elbows in diapers, bottles, sleep deprivation, and all the other trappings of new parenthood. We found a great deal through TripMasters (via TravelZoo) that included flights, three nights in hotels in each city, and the train ride between the two for us to visit:
We are so excited for the trip, as neither of us has visited either city before and they’ve been pretty high on our lists recently. (We even had a vacation planned for 2017 where we would start in Amsterdam and make our way down through Belgium and Luxembourg before finishing with Paris and northern France, but we had to cancel it amid the uncertainty of my job loss.) After having such a great experience with our TripMasters vacation to Prague and Budapest last year, we couldn’t resist jumping on this new deal!
Our goal is to pump the brakes a little compared to our usual pedal-to-the-metal approach to travel; we want this to be a more relaxed and celebratory vacation than an attempt to hit every important site in two to three days. We truly want to experience the culture of each city; to sit in cafes and watch the world go by; to wander historic streets without a plan or destination; to admire art in some of the planet’s best museums. We’re going to try to take it easy… though how successful we’ll be at that remains to be seen! (Our track record at leisure travel is not great :P)
I also intend to eat every baguette, pastry, and piece of cheese in Paris. Selflessly, of course; it’s for the baby.
It’s going to be an exciting year, to say the least! A huge thank you to all of you already in the know who have been so incredibly supportive and encouraging of us over the past few months. We’re so grateful and can’t wait to introduce you to Baby E!
PS: Make sure to join me on Instagram (@full.life.full.passport) to follow our overseas adventures, and look out for lots of fun Europe content here on the blog in the future!
Have you been to Paris or Amsterdam? Do you have any recommendations on some of your favorite things to see and do?
What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever heard?