Category Archives: baby

The Sweet Life

Family Photo5

“La Dolce Vita” is an Italian phrase meaning “The Sweet Life” that we picked up on our first visit to Italy. We’ve used it often to describe our life together over the years, but I have to tell you, life over the past six months has been even sweeter than ever. This little girl is such a joy! I don’t know if anyone will even see this post since it has been so long since I last wrote, but if you are reading this and you were one of the many people who prayed for us during this pregnancy, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It still amazes me that we get to be her parents. ❀

Over the past few months I’ve had several people ask if I’m going to start writing in this space again. And the truth has been that I just didn’t know. As I’m sure most of you who follow me on social media have guessed, we are currently keeping our daughter’s online presence to a minimum. Which means that I’m not planning to write about her here. I could write about the same types of things I used to write about here: recipes or fitness or time with friends or travels or photography or DIYs or house updates all without mentioning her or sharing photos of her. But, my friends, that’s just not where my head is right now.

I’m still doing all of these things that I was doing before her arrival, but she is just so much a part of our lives now that I don’t want to blog without talking about her. Maybe at some point down the line I’ll be ready for that or we will decide to share more about her publicly. But for now I guess this is me officially saying a goodbye to this blog.

I may not be writing in this space, but I’m not completely gone! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. And of course if you have questions about recipes or travel or baby things or just want to chat, you can always email me ( I would love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

I started this blog in 2010 and am so thankful for the connections I’ve made thanks to blogging. What a sweet and supportive group of bloggers I ran into in this corner of the internet.Β Thanks for being part of that and for reading along over the years! ❀

Love Rach




I turned 30 at the end of last month. On the 30th, in fact. My golden birthday. πŸ™‚ Our original plan was to go to Disney World and then go on a cruise (much like we did Universal & a cruise for Christopher’s 30th birthday). However, when we found out that we were due with a baby during my birthday week, we decided to postpone the big birthday trip. Which meant that for my 30th birthday, we hung out at home with our 5 day old daughter. It wasn’t our original plan for how to celebrate, but so much better. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

And speaking of celebrations… this past Wednesday was mine and Christopher’s 9 year wedding anniversary. This was our first year to be home instead of traveling to some fun location. Definitely different than normal, but a good different. Life these days has been slower paced and extra sweet.

Next week our little one will be a FULL MONTH old and Christopher will return to work. It’s hard to believe how quickly this time has gone by.Β This first month together as a family of three will always be a time that I look back on with fondness. These early weeks have been filled with so many sweet firsts and memories. Figuring out this parenting thing together has been pretty great. Life is good, my friends. πŸ™‚

Love Rach

Nursery Tour

Lately I’ve spent my days staring at the cutest baby ever (in my very unbiased opinion). Christopher took the month off so the three of us have fallen into a sweet little routine. Mornings on the back patio, afternoons marked by visitors (usually bringing dinner), and evening strolls around the neighborhood. We’ve gotten out most days to run an errand here or there, but for the most part the days are slow and sweet. We’re all getting plenty of sleep which has been such a surprise to the adults in the family (though we’re hoping the trend continues!) and these first couple of weeks have been pretty amazing. We are soaking up every minute and absolutely loving it.

Vendetti 3

But I realized yesterday that I never shared photos of the nursery with you guys. So I thought I would pop in here to do today. πŸ™‚

nursery1When you first walk in the door you are greeted with this sign I made thanks to Photoshop. πŸ™‚

nurseryThe dresser originally belonged to my grandparents and the crib was mine when I was a baby (my sisters and niece and nephew also slept in it). The rocking horse was a gift from our friends, Heather & James, whose little boys have outgrown it. The pink blanket was made by my Aunt Denise with some sort of magic that enabled her to make those adorable hearts. And the “Ciao Bella” (Hello Beautiful) sign was made by our friend Mandy.

nursery2The rocker belonged to my sister, Holly, when her babies were little. The sign above the bookshelves was made by our friend, Whitney. And the shelves above the rocker are filled with sweet handmade gifts. You can read the specifics here.

nursery7Why yes, yes, we do have a LOT of books in her room. Clearly she is going to be the smartest baby ever. πŸ˜‰


My cousin’s wife made the Be Still sign. She has an Etsy shop with some of the prettiest prints!

nursery6A peak into her closet! We have SO many clothes for her that these are just the newborn-3 month clothes. And this doesn’t count the onesies in her dresser. Not to mention the totes of clothes upstairs that have 3 month – 2T in them. We were gifted so many things by so many sweet and generous people!

nursery4My sister hand-made the pink bunny! Isn’t it precious? And the fish may seem random to you, but… well, okay… it isΒ kind of random. We’re not exactly into fish. But it was given to us by a close friend who is very into fish. No doubt it will end up being our little one’s favorite just because it’s the least cute thing in her nursery, ha! πŸ˜‰

nursery3That little pink picture frame was in my nursery when I was a baby! And those shoes were my sister, Abby’s.

It’s the sweetest room and in the afternoons the sun streams in the windows on that side of the house creating the most beautiful golden glow. I just absolutely love this space. And even more… I love the little girl who lives here. πŸ™‚

Love Rach

Welcome Baby Girl


Our little bit arrived safely on July 25th. I have so much to say and share and process, but this week has been a time of adjusting and soaking in time with this little miracle of ours. I’ll be back soon with more to share. πŸ™‚ Thank you all for your prayers!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!


This week was my very last week with the kiddos that I started nannying five years ago. Initially a full time gig that changed to part time just as my photography business took off. And over the past year I’ve really only had Will in the summers when he is out of school and only had Mallory for about 10 hours a week. So hardly even part time. But enough that we’ve still been a big part of each other’s lives. It’s hard to believe that this time is coming to an end. But it couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Mallory will be starting Kindergarten in August just as I’ll be figuring out this new mom thing. You better believe that the kids’ mom and I were both pretty emotional over that incredible timing.

will and mal 5 years later

On the left was them in 2012 not long after I started nannying them. And on the right is them from earlier this week. My oh my do I love these kids!

rach and mal 5 years later

Me and Mallory in 2012 on the left and the two of us again just this past week on the right. I have loved this little girl since she was an itty bitty baby and now she’s obsessed with all the details of my own baby girl which I think is so sweet!

will and mal 2017.jpg

They both love to poke my belly and say “Wake up, Baby!” to get her to start moving. It’s more than a little adorable. This week has been an extra sweet one as we’ve enjoyed our last days together. But now I need to stop talking about it before I turn into an emotional mess, haha! Thankfully they live less than five minutes from us and we are good friends with their parents so I’ll still get to see them! πŸ™‚

us before flight.jpg

Christopher and I have been spending tons of quality time together lately. Our goal was to finish our “house/baby to-do” list by June so that we could spend the month of July just enjoying time together (unless of course Baby V had already arrived in which case we’d be glad we had things finished early). And that’s exactly how it has worked out. We’ve eaten at all our favorite restaurants, spent tons of time with friends, stayed out late, eaten frozen yogurt far too frequently (if there is such a thing as too much frozen yogurt), explored new coffee shops, enjoyed lots of pool days, and we’ve even eaten out at a couple of fancy spots that we normally avoid because they are on the pricy side. It has been a sweet end to the “just us” time we’ve had over our nearly 9 years of marriage. I’m so thankful for this time and we are so looking forward to the next chapter of life!

prenatal yoga.jpg

My mornings are still marked by prenatal yoga and then followed by gym time. I definitely have to take it easier than I did pre-pregnancy, but I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to continue working out throughout this entire pregnancy. Those endorphins are great and I know it’s good for both me and Baby V. Plus I’ve been told that it helps with delivery and recovery so hopefully that’s true!

38 weeks with stuffed dog

As of today I am 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And on this coming Monday, at 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, we’ll go in to the hospital to begin the induction process. I get so emotional when I look back at this pregnancy and see every answered prayer. And there have been so many. Odds have been beat, miracles have happened. And we are so close to Monday. If you are the praying type, please join us in praying for continued safety for our daughter and that her delivery will go safely for both of us. Thank you!

Love Rach

Nursery Sneak Peak

This past weekend Christopher and I took a few photos in the nursery. I absolutely love how they turned out so I thought I’d share a couple with you guys! Plus this gets you a sneak peak at the nursery for everyone who has been asking! πŸ™‚

Maternity Pics in Nursery 1

“Ciao Bella” means “Hello Beautiful” in Italian (or also “Goodbye Beautiful” since “Ciao” can be used for both). Our talented friend, Mandy, offered to make any sign for the nursery that we wanted so after looking at lots of options, we decided on this. Initially I was leaning toward long phrases or scriptures, but when Christopher saw the “Ciao Bella” idea, he was sold. Knowing he loved it so much made it easy for me to go with it as well! πŸ™‚

Maternity Pics in Nursery 3

That dresser was my grandparents’ first dresser after they got married. And the crib is the one that I was in as a baby (as well as my sisters and niece and nephew). It was originally a drop-side crib so Christopher and a master woodworker from church converted it. A few coats of paint and they perfectly fit the vision we had for this nursery. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love how these pieces of furniture turned out! Also that pink blanket on the side of the crib is was made for Baby Vendetti by my Aunt Denise. She literally knitted the hearts into the blanket which just amazes me!

Maternity Pics in Nursery 2

The rocking chair I’m sitting in belonged to my sister, Holly (it was a gift from our mom). She used it with both of her babies. And the crochet blanket draped over the chair is one that Holly made for Baby Vendetti at my request. It turned out exactly as I imagined so I loved that! This book is one we had on our registry, but I love that it was my mother-in-law who ended up gifting it to us. Lots of prayers have been prayed for this sweet baby.

floating shelves

These are the floating shelves that Christopher built and installed above the rocking chair in the nursery. My mom got us that “Congrats” Willow Tree figurine. Kelsi (who I mentored when she was in high school, but is now more like a sister to us) made the “For this Child I have Prayed” sign for us. “La Dolce Vita” means “The Sweet Life” in Italian and the pink frame it sits in came from Thailand via one of my sister, Abby’s best friends. Speaking of Abby, she drew the Memphis skyline on that canvas and had friends and family add stars above it for our baby shower. And the little owl was a handmade gift from our niece, Makenzie. So much love on these shelves!

36 weeks

And finally, this shot was actually taken in our kitchen, not the nursery. But I love, love, love how it turned out so I wanted to share it with you guys as well. Christopher really does take the sweetest pictures of this bump!

There are so many other sweet elements to the nursery, but some of them include her name which we are waiting until she is born to announce. So the rest of the reveal will have to wait until then. There is so much love in this room. Everywhere we look in there, we see handmade gifts and treasured hand-me-downs from friends and family and we are reminded of how many people love this little girl already.

Love Rach

The Nesting…

Sometime in the next 27 days we will be meeting our daughter. I kept thinking that as it got closer I would get more concerned about the ways our life is going to change once she arrives or even being fearful of delivery and recovery. But truth be told, I’m not.

I think part of it is that we have known for so long that she might be super early that we were prepared for her to come long before now. And part of it is that I have very little control over what delivery will look like. For example, I’m not currently a candidate for an epidural so I’ve known from the beginning that I may have to deliver without one. And I also have no control over whether or not she may need to come by C-Section. So since I have no idea what direction it will go, I just don’t dwell on it. And honestly, the pain will be temporary and I just want her to be safe more than anything. I mean, I survived a kidney stone without pain relief – surely I can do this. {Someone remind me of this if I’m laboring without pain relief and feel like I’m dying, haha!}

The fact that she is still in there safe and sound at 35 weeks is just such an answered prayer. Because we knew that she might be really early we made a huge effort to get things done ahead of time. Which means that my nesting urge has been nicely spread out over the past couple of months. But this week is go-week. You see, had she come BEFORE now, she would have been guaranteed a NICU stay past when we would have gone home. Meaning that we would have had time to come home and finish up any last minute things. But now she’s at a point where she might actually get to come home with us from the hospital if she were to be born today. Which means we want everything to be ready! So this means…

parenting class

We took our Expectant Parents class this past weekend. Several people saw this photo on Instagram and thought that Baby Girl had arrived. Those are definitely some pretty realistic looking babies! Earlier this month we took a Childbirth class so between the two classes (and a couple of books we’ve read) we feel pretty prepared for delivery, recovery, and life with a newborn. Or at least as prepared as anyone can feel. πŸ˜‰

freezer meals.jpg

I spent all day yesterday making freezer meals. Our church is awesome about bringing dinner to families for the first 4-6 weeks after a new child arrives, but I wanted to have some simple lunch options too. I may have gotten slightly carried away. πŸ˜‰ Pictured you see: Taco Soup, Chili, Lasagna Soup, Enchilada Soup, Vegetable and Beef Soup, Buffalo Chicken, English Muffin Pizzas,Β Jambalaya,Β Breakfast Sandwiches, Spaghetti Sauce, Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Balls (I just realized I haven’t shared this recipe here – I need to do that!), White Chicken Enchiladas,Β Pot Roast with VeggiesΒ (this recipe, but with chicken thighs instead of roast), Beef Burritos, and Chicken Burritos. Most of the meals I made into individual sized portions for easy lunches so I’m hoping that will be a huge help during those early weeks.


Some people say that you get really motivated to start moving in the last few weeks because you are ready for the baby to come. But to be honest, I never actually stopped going to the gym throughout this pregnancy (other than the kidney stone episode when I took off a week). My doctors continued to clear me for exercise so while my workouts are less intense than they used to be, I still lift weights, do cardio, and yoga. It’s not always easy, but I know it’s good for both me and Baby and I hear it helps with delivery and recovery if I am able to stay active throughout the pregnancy. So here’s to hoping that’s true!


We’ve been making an effort to do all the things people say are much more difficult to do after kids. So this past weekend we saw a movie (Wonder Woman) and ate out at a nice restaurant. This coming weekend we’re planning to head downtown for another nice dinner out. This August we will celebrate 9 years of marriage and these years have been such a sweet phase of life for just the two of us. We are so grateful for the time we’ve had, but we are also excited about this next stage of life that is about to begin for us as a family of three. πŸ™‚

Love Rach