Nov 30, 2015

Baby Bump!

It's finally starting to look a bit more like a baby bump! This wednesday I'll be 25 weeks. It's still small, so trying to accentuate it with my hands in these pictures helped. I ran into an old friend over the weekend and she had no idea I was even pregnant! I assumed she knew, and when I text her after the fact she was shocked. As soon as it gets a little bigger I plan to start dressing to show it off.

Pregnancy is so strange. I can't believe the stages, and how it becomes more real all the time. I feel myself transforming more and more into this new person. While I may not be able to see him yet, Charlie and I already have a relationship and strong connection like nothing I've ever experienced.

My son.
I can't wait to hold him in my arms. 
I can't believe how much I love him already.

Like my heart shaped sunnies? Head to sugarhouse shop Got Beauty for your own!


Nov 24, 2015

And our baby's name is…!

I'm often amazed by the talented and generous people who have come into my life from my endeavors over the years. A year ago I met an incredible artist, Geri Cordova. When she heard I was pregnant she wanted to do something for our baby. We began messaging and I told her all of the things my husband Matt was into, his favorite colors, and what we were naming our son.

Today she sent me pictures of the finished product. I can't tell you how deeply touched I am by her work. These are absolutely magical. And seeing his name like that…speechless.

We've had our names picked out for a couple of years now. Our boy name, and our girl name. It was actually Matt's idea. I'll never forget how I felt when he suggested Charles for a boy.

If you've followed me here, you know how life changing the death of my uncle was in spring of 2012. It was the beginning of an awakening, transformation, and life overhaul for me. Named after Charles Bowden who was known as Chuck, I can't wait to meet our Charles Rex Wride in March, who will be known as Charlie.

Thank you, Geri! Charlie is already SO lucky!

If you're not familiar with her work, she is a full time artist! Her work is on walls of businesses and homes all around town, and her signature painted shoes. Give her a call and get her creativity in your life!

*Charlie's middle name Rex is after Matt's late Grandpa!

~ Deena Marie

Nov 23, 2015

Avenues Adventure!

Last week I spent an evening touring the beautiful new homes at Avenues at The Station by Oakwood Homes. It was a small group of us invited for the night, and included two of my favorite girls!

Kat Romrell (left) Jaci Twiss (right)

Can you believe we all matched like this, completely unplanned?

Here's the funny thing about this event. My husband and I are already in love with Station Park. We go up quite a bit and since the weather has been particularly nice for this time of year, we've spent the last three Saturdays sitting outside on the cozy couches by the fountain, sipping a Fiiz drink and relaxing for a couple of hours before we shop and have lunch up there.

One of my favorite restaurants at Station Park is Twigs Bistro, I went for the first time last March for my birthday dinner. So I was excited to hear that our dinner at the event was going to come from Twigs. We met in the first of the five model homes we would tour, and started off with appetizers and placed our dinner order. Penne chicken pasta for me.

I've been to a couple of Oakwood events and this just may have been the best yet. The timing for this one was perfect. We are talking about a house fairly soon in our (hopefully not too distant) future what with the baby on the way, and it was fun to see what's developing in a favorite area of ours.

I'm always impressed with what is included in an Oakwood home as far as the various layouts, and the options. So many of the details are customizable. The options really are endless. Each of the five model homes we toured were stunning and impeccably decorated. Each varied in square footage, but the way they were laid out, they always seemed spacious. The high ceilings, windows, and decks also add to the feel of lots of light and room.

It's mine & my husbands dream to have a video game room! I died when I saw this!

And of course the first picture I even took was of a nursery! Look how cozy.

These definitely have more of an urban, city vibe. But you truly can design it to customize your needs. Young couples, couples with kids, empty nesters, mother-in-law-apartments, you name it.

It's so much fun to go get ideas of how you'd love your own dream home laid out, not to mention color scheme and decor ideas!

Our delicious dinner happened in the beautiful dining area of the fourth home, and by the time we got to the fifth home for desert, the feeling was mutual, we were all in love with the beautiful homes. We were not ready to leave!

The Oakwood team truly is incredible. They are so nice, they take time to chat and get to know you, and are nothing but genuine as they show off each gorgeous space. We had a blast with them. It was not only a comfortable way to see the homes, but a luxurious one as well.

The other thing that is still blowing my mind is the price! For such a great area (within walking distance to shops and dining at Station Park, close to public transit and freeways) and brand new homes, you'd think the pricing would be nuts. But guess what? Almost all are under 300K. WHAT?! Unheard of. Trust me, we've been looking!

I came away from the night feeling like the possibilities are endless for how we'll create our future home, and new ideas to define what the space of a home will mean for us and our future babe.

If it were up to me, we'd be up there in a heartbeat. Seriously. Now to work on the husband…

Than you, Oakwood for another amazing event!

Deena Marie

Nov 22, 2015

Hello Honey Bunny

When I was little I was given a stuffed bunny that I named Melissa. She went everywhere with me. There are many childhood photos of her zipped up in my coat right along with me. I did chores and earned money to save up for a second bunny. Soon I had also had Gina. As an only chid, these two were now my sisters. I told friends I actually did have two sisters. I'm sure they wondered why they never met them!

Naturally, I've always loved anything to do with bunnies, and just look how cute this makeup bag from Sugarhouse shop Got Beauty is! A perfect little pouch for my NYX gloss obsession (that's another post). Or whatever your makeup obsession may be. $20, and a great gift idea for a girlie girl in your life. There are other designs and sizes as well. Pop in the shop, or hop online, quick! Like a bunny. 


Nov 19, 2015

Pregnancy Boundaries

Before I got pregnant I blogged about how inappropriate people can be by asking when you're going to have a baby. I always found it offensive because A.) It's none of their business. B.) It's asking about your sex life, if your finances are in order, if you and your partner are mentally and emotionally ready and on the same page for a baby. C.) It assumes you are able to get pregnant at all. Maybe you have already have been trying without success, or maybe you have experienced miscarriages. People don't stop to think that those thing might be a possibility. Not to mention there's no way to know when someone (who even wants to) will get pregnant. Maybe the first try, maybe the fiftieth.

So fast forward, here I am. I'll be six months pregnant next wednesday.

I've talked a lot about being an HSP (highly sensitive person) and I think pregnancy heightens this a bit for me, but I do find myself easily offended while pregnant.

I may be in the public eye. I may perform. I may be on tv. I may be in magazines. I may have jobs that require an audience. However, this does not mean that I am always comfortable with all eyes on me. Especially outside of work. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart that feel fiercely intimate, and that I feel protective and private over. Having a baby, making a human with the one I love, growing him inside of my body feels like the most intimate thing I could ever do publicly. It's funny because we talk about acting as "doing something private in public" but this feels even more so. I didn't know I would feel like this. I didn't know how exposed and vulnerable I would feel.

The strangest thing is that it is a time of a woman's life where people seem to think all bets are off. It is a time of nonstop commenting on the body. You don't look pregnant, you do look pregnant, let me see, are you showing, etc. They give you unsolicited advice. The overpower your conversation to tell you what they or so-and-so in their family did or didn't do. They touch without permission. They compare what you look like to their pregnancies or so-and-so's pregnancy. You look smaller, you look bigger. Everyone has something to say about your body. Never (or rarely), at any other time of life would this be acceptable.

Could you even imagine behaving this way around any other woman who is not pregnant?

I have often felt on display, to be discussed, poked and prodded.

I don't like it. I don't like feeling like a spectacle. I don't like the unwanted comments on how my body may or may not be changing, or the touching. And some days I've just had enough and it becomes overwhelming.

Let me be. Obviously I'm pregnant. This we all know. I'm going to look however I'm going to look whenever my body does whatever it's going to do. I'm healthy, I'm happy, I couldn't be more excited about it. But just remember that it's mine. My body, my pregnancy. My baby with my husband. It's personal. My entire experience is valid, and my experience is unique to me. I don't need my experience or body discussed as if I'm not a human with feelings, nor do I need to be compared with anyone else.

Please remember that pregnant women are moody, hormonal, and have mama bear instincts kicking in already. If I ask you for advice, if I offer to show you how my tummy is coming along, then that's one thing. Otherwise, maybe keep comments (and hands) to yourself, other than just offering your words of general support and / or excitement?

Just as you would at any other time, and just like you would want at any given time, remember this one word.


Right after I wrote this, I was sent an amazing article by a friend who is also expecting her first, six weeks after me. These words were perfect:

"… pregnant women constantly hear comments, often contradictory, about how big or small they are, says ob-gyn Laurie Gregg of Sacramento, California. "Patients never come in saying they think they're just the right size," says Gregg. "They always think they're too big or too small." Despite what her pregnant patients are hearing, Gregg says most of the time they're just the size they should be. "I'm fascinated that society can't tell a pregnant woman she looks just right," says Gregg. "We need to tell women they're looking good."

Thank you for reading, and thank you for all the love and support you've shown me and my family! :)


Nov 18, 2015

Christmas shopping AND a contest!

Want to win a $100 gift card to Trolley Square? I'll tell you how, keep reading! 

Last night I got to attend one of my favorite blogging events for the second year in a row at Trolley Square. We kicked off the night with dinner at Rodizio Grill. I went to an event at Rodizio over the summer and was nervous I might not find much I could eat, since I only eat chicken and turkey and I'm very picky about either of those. What I didn't expect was how amazing their salad bar was! So much to choose from, and so surprisingly vegetarian friendly that this time I was able to take my vegetarian husband with me, knowing he'd love it.

We loaded up on various salads, breads, cold pastas, and tasty sides like mashed potatoes and warm pasta. There was also soup, fruit, and many other things we didn't even get to this time. We probably should have stopped after the first plate, but it's impossible. The sweet and sour chicken they brought out was tasty, too. If you are a meat eater, you've got so much to choose from! Chicken, red meat, pork, shrimp, meat wrapped in bacon, the list goes on.

Once we were stuffed, it was time to shop! It's not hard to have a shopping spree at Trolley Square, although this year was different since we've got our baby on the way (in one week I'll be six months)! This time we went straight to Pottery Barn Kids, with the fun of shopping being first and foremost for the baby.

Neither of us had ever been in before, and we spent a good half an hour there. From day one, Matt has been so amazing and thoughtful at preparing for and picking things out for our boy. He is going to be one incredible dad. Look at some of his finds!

A sun hat & diaper cover for a summer vacation his family is planning.

A matching hooded towel.

I picked out the coziest blanket. And Matt also found the cutest sippy cup for when he's older with the initial of his first name on it. I haven't revealed his name publicly yet, so I'm not going to post that one.

We also have our eye on a solar system mobile. Unfortunately it was out of stock, and while they ship, we figured we'd wait and go back anyway. Such cool stuff for both boys and girls. Including some awesome unicorn items in the girls section I had to go peek at!

We also got a couple of things for us at Williams Sonoma. Matt got kitchen items and I got yummies to take with us out of town for Thanksgiving. Their treat samples and hot cider are ridiculously good. I can't stop thinking about the cider and might need to go back.

We finished off the night at Spark. I love the sweater and bag I got there last year, so I was excited to go back. I got another sweater that I can wear as the baby bump grows and a new necklace / earrings.

Trolley Square is all decked out for the holiday season, and it makes it super cozy to shop! Just look.

After last night I truly feel the holiday season is here! It was fun to get started, get excited, and also meet so many other fabulous bloggers. It must be baby season because so many were expecting babies as well! It was awesome to get to talk to them about how far along, boy or girl, etc.

We've only got a little over a month until Christmas. What?! I highly suggest checking out the completely different and unique shops at Trolley Square!

AND. If you head over to Trolley, snap and post a photo on your instagam or Facebook with the hashtag #mytrolleysquare you just might win one of the $100 gift cards they're giving away weekly now - Christmas! 

Happy Holidays!


Nov 5, 2015


The way life can completely change within only one year is mind blowing. Every so often, an entire lifetime is crammed into just one year. I've only experienced this one other time, in 2012. It's was then and is now, a complete rebirth. Here we are in 2015, with a lifetime having taken place in the last 11 months. And once again, it's leaving me completely and forever altered. Only this time, my life is being added to. Things aren't being taken away from. Everything balances out over time. My year of great loss has lead me to my year of great gain. I'm halfway through my pregnancy. I'm 21 weeks along as of yesterday. The 20 week ultrasound was a game changer. Finding out the gender early (late August) gave us plenty of time for things to sink in. We went from thinking we were having a girl to being so in love with our son that my eyes well up with tears every time I think about him. Which is all the time. I feel it in my bones, this was exactly as it was meant to be. He is exactly who is meant to come to us. This also meant that by the time we had our 20 ultrasound and saw him so clearly, I already knew who was in there. What a change from the first ultrasound two months prior, when I my feeling was overwhelmingly, "who is that?" This time, I knew him. It was a long appointment. One where I felt like I got to spend the afternoon with him. I got to hang out with him. And I know him now. It's taken me to a very spiritual and deep place with him. The most mind blowing this about this, something I never could have guessed would happen, is how it feels to have a soul inside me. It is the most profound, divine, spiritual experience I never knew existed. Another soul. My son's soul is in my body. It is only temporary. We are in the same body for only four and a half more months. For some reason, through this pregnancy, I have not been scared of the pain of childbirth. This was something I feared my entire life. Then I got pregnant, and it just seemed like something I could do. Or I should say, something I was suddenly willing to do. Even more so now. I'll do whatever it takes to protect this soul and bring him to the world safely. Below are pictures of me through January 2015 - now. What transformation. What rebirth. In every sense of the word. He's forever changed me already. 

Jnuary 2015. I'd been sick and hadn't had much of an appetite. I'm not quite this thin all the time.

This is my regular pre-pregnant body. I started documenting at the beginning of the year in hopes that this was the year I'd be pregnant.

My first attempt at a picture to document any changes. I wasn't seeing much yet, but weeks 15 - 17 brought the first of the changes. 

Something's happening!

And to think I thought this was big! This was the last I saw of any abs or hipbones! Bye bye, hope to see you again someday! 

And here we are. A few blogs back I wrote about my fear of losing my pre-baby body, just when I'd come to be a woman who loves and appreciates her body. I find myself having struggles from time to time, but I'm slowly learning to appreciate what my body is capable of. This becomes easier as time goes on and things get more real. Life is pretty incredible. The fact that I'm here at this time, that I met my husband, that he loved me back, that we made a life. It just doesn't get any more powerful than that.  Because we chose to try to (and were able to) have a baby, this specific life is coming into being at this specific time. I am the vessel to bring him here. Because of my specific parents and my mother being the vessel, I get to be here. I want to savor every moment of this, but I also want to see him in person so badly I can't stand it. It's like being little and waiting for Christmas. Times a million.

I have chosen not to share ultrasound photos, because I feel way too protective. I am constantly torn every time I talk about my pregnancy on social media, because so many people I don't know have something to say (it's almost always good), but I feel so private and protective of him, and this time. I'm not interested in unsolicited advice (unless I know, love, and trust you). I'm not interested in the "but just wait until you…" since this is my journey, I am where I am each day, and I am choosing to to savor each moment of my journey at a time. All of this experience is extremely valid, and extremely personal, as I live it for the first time each new day.  I'm torn between wanting to share the things that seemed like such a mystery before I was a mom-to-be, and not wanting to say a word.

We'll see how it goes.