Bode’s Birth Story

Being a parent is the most exhausting yet rewarding job in the world.

Bode is now three weeks and we are all getting pretty used to each other. I think he’s going through a bit of a growth spurt over the last couple of days though because he has been extra hungry and fussy. Those poor little joints are probably achy!

Anyway…lots to catch you up on. First, I want to tell you that I plan on keeping the little guy pretty private for now, so I won’t be posting photos or talking baby too often on the blog. This isn’t to say that this won’t change over time, but for now that is what I have decided to do.

I do however, want to share his birth story because I know personally I love to read other’s birth stories and I really enjoy sharing it.

First of all, a photo that was taken at our annual Halloween party the day before I went into labor…

And my final pregnancy photo…


Bode’s Birth Story

Water breaks…

Very early Monday morning (October 27th) at 12:40 I woke up with a contraction. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for months but this one felt a bit stronger. I tried falling back asleep but kept thinking to myself, “could this be it?” and then talking myself down from that possibility. As I lay in bed with my brain in a whirl, I felt a little trickle. I ran to the bathroom and sure enough my water broke. This was 1:00 am.


Immediately we called the midwife on call as well as our doula. We started timing contractions and at this point they were about 11-12 minutes apart and mild but my back was really starting to hurt. They both told me to rest if possible and even try to go back to bed but because my back was hurting so much, I couldn’t get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. So, I got up and showered as we continued to time contractions.

The only way to get through the contractions and the back labor was for me to be on my hands and knees. When my contractions were about 6 minutes apart, we called the midwife again. She talked to me and told me to try to stay at home and labor at home as long as safely possible (this is what I had wanted too) but at this point my body was telling me I had to go to the hospital. I had such excruciating back pain and needed to go in. So, Dana (bless his heart) packed up our stuff into the car, let the dog out, managed to comfort me through contractions and drove me to the hospital. The car ride was one of the worst parts as I was going through the transition phase of labor. He got us there fairly quickly (one of the benefits of going into labor in the middle of the night is no traffic) and our doula met us at the hospital.

Immediately I ran out of the car and hit my hands and knees in the grass to get through a contraction. Eventually we made it through the ER doors and lo and behold another family walked in right next to us and so kindly went in front of us to check in. How sweet right? So, I got down on my hands and knees right inside the ER doors and really stirred up the security guards. Haha! They got me a wheel chair to wheel me to labor and delivery but I couldn’t sit because of my back. So we ran down two long hallways, stopping frequently for contractions.


By the time we got into triage, and they checked my dilation, I was completely dilated! I couldn’t believe it.


I finally got into the water birth room about 20 minutes later. They hooked me up to the heart monitor and told me they had to get a good reading and listen for 20 minutes before I was allowed to deliver in the tub.

I tried pushing in the tub for over an hour with little progress, and was wearing out so dramatically that the midwife told me it was time to get out and change positions. So, we moved to the bed.

Mind you, my back is still screaming through this whole thing.

On to the bed I went. I’ll spare you all of the details but I pushed for another hour or so and Dana caught our little baby boy. He was put on my tummy immediately and stayed there for the next two hours. He screamed after about 20 seconds and it was the best sound ever.

Bode Gregory

Our little Bode was born at 6:13 am on October 27th (2 weeks early), weighing 7 lbs 8 ounces and 20 1/4 inches.

We texted our parents who didn’t even know I was in labor, “happy birthday, Bode.” It was the best Monday treat they could have asked for and they were totally shocked.

He is everything we dreamt about and more. I still look at him in awe as I realize he is ours. Everyone tells you that the love that you have for your children is completely indescribable and they are so right. He is our sunshine and our bundle of love and my heart explodes with love for him.

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Treat Yourself Tuesday: Birthday Edition

This weekend was so wonderfully relaxing and family-filled; the perfect birthday weekend. There was a whole lot of tasty food, cozy time watching Breaking Bad, sweet treats, and more. Wanna hear about it?

I thought this would be the perfect time to take part in my blend Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday link up.  It only took me a good 11 weeks to get in on the fun, but better late than never, right?


Becky’s Treat Yourself Tuesday…

“Between now and Tuesday, do something nice for yourself. Wake up a few minutes early and enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee before your hectic day begins. Take a bubble bath when you get home from work Monday evening. Spend some extra time stretching after your workout this weekend. Treat yourself to a cookie or some froyo this afternoon. Or maybe head out on a girls’ night this weekend.

Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Remember this is about treating YOURSELF – not your friends, not your family, not your spouse, not your dog – so make sure you really focus on you. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!”   source

So here is my treat myself Tuesday, birthday edition.

Starting on Friday night….

I haven’t been feeling too well so Dana and I had a quiet night in complete with a snack platter—Havarti cheese (my fav), salami (not a fan), shrimp, hummus, olives, and some Byerly’s chicken pasta salad. We enjoyed these little nibbles while watching at least two more episodes of Breaking Bad.

cheese and snack tray

Dana made homemade chocolate chip cookies that evening as well. 🙂 K, really he made the dough. The cookies weren’t made until the next day. The dough is my favorite part!

Saturday was my actual birthday and it began with a free cup of Caribou Coffee—Lite Caramel Mocha. Yes.

caribou birthday coffee

The day was full of lots of sweet surprises…


XoXo to my blends Becky, Katie, and Caroline

care package

A bunch of birthday cards!

Lunch at Muffuletta Cafe in St. Paul. I got the mini muffuletta which is  New Orleans style sandwich of ham, spicy capicolla, pistacio mortadella, and genoa salami piled high with provolone, smothered in our olive relish and served warm on fresh focaccia. Sweet potato fries on the side. Holy moly this was delicious! I was a little too excited to sink my teeth into this bad boy–sorry for the blurry photo.


Lunch was finished off with a free bowl of Sebastian Joe’s salted caramel ice cream with two spoons. I shared. 🙂

After lunch we headed over to the Como conservatory which features amazing plants and flowers. It was the perfect thing to do on a rainy cool November day.

dana melanie como conservatory

After the conservatory we walked over to the Como Zoo and checked out the animals! I loved this part! I could watch the primates for hours.

como zoo

Later in the evening we went to my brother’s for my birthday dinner with the family. I requested mom’s baked ziti with spinach and meat sauce. She even used gluten-free brown rice noodles!

Dessert was per my request as well—-homemade banana cake with chocolate frosting. There were lots of sweet treats happening this weekend!

We spent the rest of the evening at Comedy Sportz, which is an improv comedy club in Minneapolis. It felt GREAT to laugh and to be with my amazing family.

dad and melanie

Of course I was spoiled with lots of presents too.

On Sunday Dana and I did our usual Sunday morning gig: newspaper, coupon cutting, and coffee.

For lunch we headed over to my in-law’s for a Greek dinner from Mediterranean Cruise Cafe.

greek food

And DQ ice cream cake!

birthday cake

And more presents. Seriously I am so spoiled!

I felt so much love this weekend and I thank you all for making my birthday so special. I don’t know what I would do without you all. You are my world.

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Beautifully Nutty’s 1st Birthday

Guess what?! Today is a day to celebrate the blogiversary of Beautifully Nutty and it’s also my 300th post!


One year ago I nervously hit the publish button of my first post with the hope to inspire the world (and motivate myself) to live a healthier lifestyle, and anxious because I was about to expose myself to the entire world.

I can’t believe how much I have learned not only about blogging but also about myself in the past year. This blog has become an amazing outlet for my thoughts and has encouraged me to explore my thoughts, hopes, and dreams further than I ever could have imagined. It’s a great way for me to reflect on my days and my goals and work towards improvements in my life.

I like to think that B.N. has come a long way since it’s debut back on January 13th, 2012, but it still has a looonnng way to go. One of the biggest changes it went through was transferring from hosting on WordPress to self-hosting. I couldn’t have made that switch without the help of my more technically savvy husband. Together we are trying to discover the world of CSS stylesheets and adapt the blog to how envision it. Slowly but surely some changes are happening!

Since I have yet  to do a recap post from 2012, I am going to take this birthday as an opportunity to flashback over the past year and share some highlight posts. I get a little embarrassed when I go back and read some of my first posts because I feel like I have grown and opened up so much since then, but I had to start somewhere. So be gentle with me when reading through the first few months. 🙂

I had a lot of fun looking back through the past year. It was a busy one as they all are, full of lots of travel, family, friends, fitness, and food!

Enjoy the flashbacks!

January 13, 2012: My very first post–The beginning of Beautifully Nutty!

February 2012: California Trip—Prada, Gucci, and Larry King

March 2012: Mindful Eating–Eat when you are hungry not when you’re bored.

April 2012: Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

caramel chocolate chip bars

May 2012: Now U.C. More About Me–I reveal my Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis.

June 2012: My First Half Marathon!

marathon 2012 003-001

June 2012: Specific Carbohydrate Diet—The beginning of an experiment.

July 2012: The Modified Diet

August 2012: Healthy Living Summit 2012, Boston

last breakfast

September 2012: A Nutty Makeover—Beautifully Nutty gets a makeover with some professional help. Here is was the old homemade version….


October 2012: Mom’s birthday surprise…

mom and dad with ipad

October 2012: Dana and Melanie’s 1 Year Wedding Anniversary—-reliving the memories

Dana and I wedding

November 2012: Visiting Jeff in Bogota, Colombia

me dana and jeff bogota

November 2012: Atlanta Birthday

kate and melanie

December 2012: 10 Things I Learned in 2012

The year 2012 was quite the year of travel. You can check out some more of my travel adventures on my travel page! I feel so lucky to have so many opportunities to travel and explore the world. I have a lot to see still and can’t wait to do more!

I continue to experiment with healthy recipes and have fun in the kitchen. Check out my recipe page if you get a chance!

It is an honor for me to share my life with you. Thank you to all of you for supporting me and reading Beautifully Nutty. I will continue to do my best to share fun information, recipes, photos, and travel adventures. One year down, and many more fun years to come!



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Some Leftover Goodies

Hi there! Happy Wednesday! So as I was scrolling through some photos from the past week I realized I have some odds and ends, and leftover photos to share still so guess what? That’s what I’m going to do! I can’t leave out these goodies.

Oh goodness it’s a random one today. I hope you’re prepared.

To start, last week I received a package from a company called Jay Robb who specializes in protein powder. I was particularly interested in their egg white protein powder because I am searching for a protein powder that I can add into my smoothies that doesn’t give me tummy issues like whey protein tends to do, and I wanted to try flavored ones.

They graciously sent me a handful of samples including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry egg white protein powder packs along with a tote and a mixer bottle.

I use half of one package for each smoothie and I really like how it makes my smoothie more—-I can’t think of the right descriptive words, but more frothy and full. So far I have only used the vanilla protein in a strawberry, pineapple and banana smoothie. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it because I could taste a hint of the powder, but then it grew on me. Also, maybe vanilla wasn’t the most perfect flavor to have added to that particular concoction. I should have tried the strawberry flavor! The more I use the protein, the more I enjoy it.

I am excited to try the chocolate, maybe with a banana and almond milk smoothie?

As far as my tummy handling it…I had no troubles whatsoever which is awesome. I will more than likely be buying this product to have in the house. It’s perfect for men and women, it’s a great option for people who can not tolerate whey protein (even if you can it’s a great option!), and it tastes great.

(Disclaimer: Jay Robb sent me these samples free of charge. All opinions expressed in this post are solely mine)


Next random bits

My birthday celebration began when I was out in Colombia. The last day I was there Jeff and Ana gave me early birthday presents. That was November 6th I believe. Since then my friends and family have been showering me with cards and gifts, I celebrated my actual birthday in Georgia which was fabulous, I got presents from Dana, and I will be celebrating it with my family tomorrow. Talk about a birthday month! I feel so lucky and so loved.

Dana loaded me up on more workout gear (it’s crazy how quickly I wear through this stuff). I really like this top!

And he got me some more of my T-shirts, you can find my review here. Honestly I live in these things. I have ten of them in different colors. They are so comfortable and pretty darn cute if you ask me.

It has been an amazing 27th birthday and it’s STILL not over yet. Geez louise. Who’s the princess here?


Tuesday Dinner

For dinner last night I made myself a southwest salad with mixed greens tomato, black beans, corn, avocado, and shredded cheese. I topped it off with a drizzle of light ranch dressing. It hit the spot!

I baked up the corn bread for my Thanksgiving day stuffing last night. I made it completely gluten-free and will be sharing the recipe with you post-Thanksgiving only if it turns out nummy. I tested a corner of the bread to make sure it tasted okay and was super pleased with the result.

Off to work for a bit then coming home to get my 20 lb turkey in some brine. I bought a huge turkey with the intention of lots of leftovers, not because I thought 8 of us would polish off a 20 pounder. But hey, you never know! 😉

I’ll also be preparing the cranberries today so that they are ready to go tomorrow and will most likely prep more for the stuffing too. Whatever I can do today to make tomorrow a breeze! I delegated family members to additional sides so everyone is bringing something tomorrow. It makes hosting a lot less intimidating and they were all more than willing to help.

Tomorrow morning I will be running a 5K which I am stoked about. The last race I ran in was back at the end of August at the State Fair. It’s been far too long. I haven’t been running much recently due to some back pain, but I think it will feel real good to get out there tomorrow. After the race I will boogy back home to get the bird in the oven! My first ever experience cooking a turkey. Cross your fingers for me.

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow and can celebrate with the ones you love.

I am thankful for all of you!


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