besides the obvious (and totally NOT shallow) reason of having my baby girl in my arms as opposed to my stomach, there are lots of reasons I’m super pumped to no longer be pregnant.

several of them aren’t shallow at all. being a family of three, getting to know this amazing little person, seeing my husband become a father…

and while I know that motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses (I’ve seen the contents of a diaper, y’all), there’s so much good about it!

but today…? I’m celebrating the shallow & silly reasons why I’m excited for the next stage in this journey 😉

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I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to be writing this post.

just 6 weeks ago we entered the hospital with my contractions less than 5 minutes apart to find I was at high-risk for pre-term labor, and were afraid we’d have a teeny preemie on our hands; in the 4-5 weeks that followed I was on a modified bed rest to make sure our Iola Grace stayed safely put until she was grown enough to be healthy out in the real world. (you can read the whole story here)

just before Christmas we were in the hospital yet again with more concerns, but (yet again), we were sent home and labor continued to hold off.

the pain has been excruciating. the emotional strain (and yeah even trauma) has been real. the heightened anxiety has been exhausting. and the contractions (now consistently every 10 minutes or less for the past few weeks) have been frustrating.

with each doctor appointment, my doctor expressed the doubt, but hope, that Io would stay put until the end of January. each appointment confirms that I am indeed getting closer to active labor by the day… but our little love has officially made it to term, which we never thought would happen, and we are both so happy & so impatient. (especially this mama who has been in early labor for 5+ weeks!!)

keep us in your prayers! mama is completely worn out and exhausted from the pain.
our girl Io is still looking perfect (as usual!), if a wee on the bit small side. ❤
dad is super ready to see his baby girl… and to have his other girl be less miserable. 😉

we’re a hot mess over here, but we are hanging on! this sweet little soul has been desperately waited upon & joyfully suffered for. we can’t wait to see her beautiful face…

happy 37 weeks of life, Io girl. we love you! 


as 2016 comes to a close, and we get ready for 2017 to make her grand debut, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, and revisit all the blog posts from this year that were YOUR favorites ❤

this is a little countdown of the 10 posts that were the most-viewed from 2016, in the order of least views to most views (there are a couple of exceptions, as I didn’t include any photography or business-themed posts).

THANK YOU for all of the love you have poured into this little corner of the interwebs ❤ your encouragement, comments, and sweet emails & messages have made my days brighter and my heart lighter. you are why I write, friends.

are you ready?!

I am! 🙂

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here are the 10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016

enjoy browsing through the highlights of this year on the blog ❤

Continue reading “10 MOST-LOVED BLOG POSTS OF 2016”


you guys.

30 weeks.


these past few weeks have been a brutal season for us. no joke. and during it all, our little Io has been growing like CRAZY nonstop. we can’t believe it’s just ten short weeks until we get to meet her face to face and welcome her into our little family. we already love her so much!!


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movement– always. ALWAYS. this girl loves to move. she pushes off whatever is sitting on my belly, she gets super excited when her daddy leads worship on sunday morning, and likes to stretch out end-to-end in mama’s tummy :O  Continue reading “BUMPDATE // WEEK 30”


so… you should probably pour yourself a cup of coffee and get cozy for a second.

it’s one of those heart-to-heart, wish-we-were-doing-this-in-person kinda posts. it’s one that I want to chat about friend-to-friend, and let you know that this Holy Becoming thing is so hard and good and just incredible. I want to tell you about all the crazy ways God is real and big and just present here in new ways lately. I want to talk about how wild this journey is and how wonderfully terrible it can be to grow into a more Jesus-like creature, to grow into more of who we’re made to be.

I guess I’ll just jump right in, then.

when I was growing up, I was kind of a doormat.

no, really. I have always had a really tough struggle when it comes to communicating and voicing what I need and want from situations and people.

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I’m a chronic “yes” girl. saying no is HARD. so, for years I would go long periods without saying it, and then suddenly burst into a stubborn fit of “no!” to make up for the pent-up fear and frustration that I had allowed to build. this took its toll on friendships and situations in which I’d end up used and bitter because I’d stayed quiet and small instead of being vocal and brave. Continue reading “HOW PREGNANCY HAS HELPED ME FIND MY VOICE”


26 weeks?!

what?! where has the time gone? and at the same time, I’m so ready for January 31st to come so I can see her sweet face and know everything with her is okay. not a fan of this pregnancy limbo.

thankfully, it’s been a (mostly) restful week compared to the wonderful chaos that was the few weeks prior. I was down with a terrible cold for a few days, but the intensity of that seems to have waned a bit so I can at least get out and enjoy my favorite season and get BACK TO WORK! 🙂

this past week we finally made it out to the pumpkin patch with our dear friends, and it was just the. most. fun. ever.
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J found the perfect pumpkin to live happily on our fireplace hearth beside our firewood for the remainder of autumn (until it gets replaced by a plethora of Christmas decorations). and we found some adorable tiny pumpkins (and a sheep with a strangely deep-pitched baaa) while we were at it. Continue reading “PUMPKIN PATCH LOVIN’ // BUMPDATE WEEK 26”


last night I sat in bed and cried.

I cried because I’m super hormonal, and I’m sick, and I’m tired of being sick, and I’m scared of a thousand different things.
I cried because emotions are confusing.
I cried because I was little bitter about the fact that my husband works 12-hour days twice a week.
I cried because my brain has been so foggy that I feel like I haven’t actually spent time with him in ages.
I cried because I was being kicked from the inside out, and I want to have this baby, and also I don’t want to have this baby.
I cried because I know myself really well, and I knew there was something off.
I cried because I was sad, and sometimes you just have to be sad for a minute.
I cried because tears heal.

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I’m really, really excited for Io to join our family.

I’m also really, really sad. Continue reading “A SYMPHONY OF LASTS // IT’S OKAY TO BE SAD THAT IT’S NO LONGER JUST THE TWO OF YOU”


sweet little Io,

it’s amazing, you know.

you’re this whole little person, just growing away, practicing breathing through your little lungs, stretching out long, curling up small, slowly becoming this wonderful human that will be unleashed upon the world.

you have so much promise in your blood, and so much beauty and grace and strength is being passed on to you from the loving legacies of incredible women and men. I believe with all of my heart that you’ll feel it too, as you grow into your own, as you take hold of the person you’re designed as.

your blood holds brokenness and anxiety and depression and trauma, too. it holds weaknesses that have haunted your people for generations, demons that have hunted us, shadows we’ve cowered in. you’ll come to understand these stories in time, I know; and, though I pray it’s not the case, you may have to learn to own them as your own and fight them better than we’ve fought them. don’t shrink away from this part of you; it is important. stand on my shoulders, sweet girl. learn from our defeats, and carry our love and your learning into battle.

these terrifying possibilities are why I thought I might never want to carry a child, never want to watch her suffer under the weight of things I’ve suffered. but I know now that you’re being built strong as well as graceful, powerful as well as fragile, fierce and full of fire as well as gentle. this is how good women are made, little one. and you’re good.


your dad and I named you early on. we knew who you are. we felt it in our bones, and it felt right. Iola Grace. dawn of grace is what your name means, said together as one. dawn of grace is the spirit I know you’ve been given.  Continue reading “A LETTER TO MY BABY GIRL // 25 WEEK BUMPDATE”




though this post is short, it’s one I’ve been waiting impatiently to write for several weeks now!

after a long long while of desperately trying not to let it slip, J and I are so so very excited and happy to announce the name of our baby girl (“little fox”) Avrick. 

her name holds a very special place in our hearts, and has the same meaning of my middle name- Dawn

we’d like to oh so proudly announce the naming of our little girl: Iola Grace Avrick. ❤

the name Iola is pronounced “ee-OH-lah“, and means “dawn“. together, her first and middle name insinuate a dawn of grace, which is what I pray she will be to each soul she meets and every life she touches. we will probably call her “Io” for short 😉 (yes, like the moon of Jupiter…)

we’re so excited to see who she is and discover everything that makes her herself. I can’t wait to meet this little creature who is already as spicy as they come (HELLO feisty kicks when dad stops talking to her!) and who I’m convinced is an introvert after her stubbornness at escaping away from the nurse and hiding during the ultrasound 😉 

and I hope & pray, that as she arrives at the dawn of 2017, she will be the dawn of new spaces in our hearts, new beauty in our lives, new grace for the world. 

we love you, little Io! ❤


okay guys, first things first: I apologize for all the iPhone photos in this post. yesterday was all just chick fil a and packing, and today I’m currently in the middle of a 5-hour airport wait, so that’s what you’re getting. 😉

secondly, how am I already over halfway through this pregnancy?! maybe it’s just the craziness that has been our life these past few months, but suddenly the weeks are just disappearing and time is FLYING. (ha. airport puns.)

today we were up by 5 so J could drive me to the airport in Seattle before he had to be at work at 8am. not enough coffee and a chugged half bottle of water in the security line later, and I get to sit in a rocking chair and watch planes take off. 😀 also… who is the guy on the alaska airlines plane? been staring too long with too tired of a brain and now nothing makes sense… don’t judge me.

also, does this count as our first mother-daughter trip? 😉

anyhow. week 21.


size– the vegetable baby bok choy (bigger than that little pumpkin I’m holding in the above photo!)

fun stuff– she is already experiencing REM sleep… basically this means she’s probably dreaming!

weight– about 3/4 of a pound… and around 10 inches long!

movement– irregular and chaotic… like her mom? (hahahaha)


symptoms– SO MOODY. this girl can go from sobbing to laughing in under 60 seconds. also I’m constantly starving and super clingy. headaches are back, too, and my sense of smell could probably break some records. boo…

belly– s t r e t c h i n g! I actually look significantly pregnant now, which I am 100% planning to use to my advantage in this airport. 

if you want to keep up with my prego airport adventures, just head over to my Instagram & watch my stories!!