{Pregger Update: 20 Weeks}

I thought I’d start doing these updates here and there. Hopefully you guys don’t find them annoying, but I think it would be nice for me to have to look back on someday ☺ 

How Far Along: I’ll be 21 weeks Thursday!

Size of Baby: She’s the size of a banana – about 7 inches long and weighs about 12 oz.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely. Went on a Gap Maternity shopping spree a couple weeks back when they were having a 40% off sale and I have to say that maternity clothes just fit SO much better and are so much more flattering! 

Stretch Marks: None yet.  Crossing my fingers SO hard they decide to skip me ☺ Slathering on Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil and Burt Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter like it’s my job!
Sleep: Well, I love sleeping. I go to bed really early every night and I don’t even feel bad about it. I figure once this babe is born it will be a while before I get a full night’s rest so might as well take advantage now!

Best Moment of the Week:  Feeling her move around ALL THE TIME. It’s my favorite! And when she doesn’t for a while I miss her. 

 Movement:  Uh huh! Even Corey can feel her move around. We love to lay in bed or on the couch and wait for her to kick/punch. It’s so fun! Apparently this is really early on for both me and him to be feeling her move so much, but I guess she’s just in a really great position because I’ve been feeling her a lot for almost 2 weeks now!

Cravings: None really recently! 

Gender: Little Lady!

Belly Button In or Out: In

Wedding Ring on or Off: On

Anything Making You Queasy or Sick: I feel pretty good, but if I don’t eat for a few hours I feel a little queasy. But nothing compared to the first tri!

What I Miss: IPAs. And bourbon. I’m not a lush I swear!

What I am Looking Forward to: Our babymoon to Hawaii coming up in about a month! I need some sun – this Portland weather is downright depressing!

Labor Signs: Heck no. Thank goodness!!

Nursery: We have our crib, but that’s about it! Gotta start somewhere!

Emotions:  Last week was pretty rough – my emotions were all over the place, but mainly really low. The last few days have been a bit better. It’s so hard to know how incredibly happy I am yet sometimes I just can’t fight this feeling of sadness. I suffered from depression about 10 years ago, so I recognize these feelings and I know how to deal with them, it’s just a bummer they are showing up during this special time. But I’m hanging in there!

{Es Trenc Beach: Mallorca}

As our fall/winter weather is in full swing here in Portland, I couldn’t help but long for our wonderful day spent at Es Trenc beach in Mallorca back in May. The water at Es Trenc is the clearest I’ve ever seen – what I imagine the Caribbean looks like (I’ve never been). I found myself in total awe for the few hours we were there. If you find yourself in Mallorca, this is one of the best beaches on the island and a can’t-miss!

All photos are unedited – that is really the color of the water!

{Photo © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Five Things About Moi}

I’ve seen this circling around Instagram and blogs and thought I’d join in – why not? 
I’m tagging all of you next! Leave a link in the comments if you’ve done this – it’s always fun to learn more about my readers!
I hate being cold with a fiery passion and rain annoys the crap out of me.  I feel like a totally different person when the sun comes out- my happiness level spikes! Don’t ask me how I’ve survived my entire life living in Portland and Amsterdam (two very grey and rainy cities). My sisters (who both live in LA) are constantly trying to convince me to move to California. Of course I’m tempted, but I know I’d never be able to go back to Portland after being spoiled with so much sunshine, so for now I just get my dose of sun on tropical vacations!
At one point in my life I truly felt like I had no “passions” – like, whenever someone would say “follow your passion”, “follow your wildest dreams” – I felt like I didn’t have either of those. Now, totallyyyy different story. Every day I find a new hobby or interest that I feel is calling my name: photography, calligraphy (sure I’ve never picked up a pen, but I’m dying to learn!), interior design, cooking, baking, videography, event planning, you name it!
Super random… But I can drive a stick shift! I think this is cool because most of my friends (and Corey!) can’t. While I find this useful, I also hate being the only one out of me and Corey who can drive manual because it has caused me to have to drive in crazy European cities (like Paris) and I would much prefer to leave those shenanigans to the huz. We’re off the Cape Town in less than two weeks and we will be driving a lot (on the wrong side of the road!) and we paid almost double to get an automatic so Corey could take the wheel 🙂
I’m stubborn as a bull. Makes sense because I’m a Taurus! One of the biggest things my marriage has taught me is how to say I’m sorry, and admit when I’m wrong. This has been extremely hard for me to do in the past, but Corey is probably the least stubborn person in the world and the first to apologize (even when it’s not his fault!). I’ve learned so much from him and feel so lucky to have him as my life partner. I’m a better Liz thanks to that guy!
I do too much.  My mom will attest to this time and time again. I try to do it all. I succeed many times, but those few times where I break down because I’ve put way too much pressure on myself and overplanned my schedule…It ain’t pretty.

Now it’s your turn! Five things about you… Go!

{Happy New Year!}

I realize this post is coming a wee bit late, but I figure we’re only three days into 2013 and I can’t let 2012 go that easily. Happy New Year!
I truly can’t believe I’m sitting here reminiscing on another year come and gone. And what a year it was! 2012 brought so much adventure… Putting this post together and reminiscing on so many memories made, I realized why I am so darn exhausted all the time… We’ve been BUSY. We traveled to over 10 countries (including the UK for the Olympics and living out a dream vacation in Greece), we had lots of family come visit, I went home twice, was in two weddings for two of my best friends… we made new friends, thrived living on our own far away from everything we know and love back home, grew so much closer, celebrated two years of marriage and so much more. It’s been a truly incredible year. One we’ll never forget. And 2013 has so much greatness in store, I’m so excited it’s finally here! We’ve got big plans for this year, it just might be the best one yet. So here’s to 2013, full of so much possibility. Hope it brings you all love, happiness, health and prosperity. Happy New Year!
Here’s a look back on some of the highlights of 2012. Thanks for following along on all our adventures!

 {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Love for Sandy Hook}

While I normally don’t post on this blog because I’m just too busy with day-to-day life, this week I’ve been intentionally silent. Mostly because I just don’t have the right words to speak about the tragic events that happened in Newton last week. But also because I am just so incredibly sad, I was taking time to be quiet and mourn and think. Blogging about anything else just felt wrong…
I’m not sure how something so terrible could happen and I have spent so many hours thinking about how the United States can change things so this never, ever happens again. I certainly don’t have the answers, but I hope that this tragedy, yet another senseless mass shooting, is the final straw that wakes everyone up and makes us take action. I am praying that by the time I have children and send them off to school, I won’t have to be scared, but instead can think back to the horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary as the catalyst to radical change that helped keep my babies safe. Maybe that is the only glimmer of hope in this unfathomable situation. We can’t let the deaths of these innocent children and heroic adults be in vain.
I’m praying for everyone affected by this tragedy. If you want to help Sandy Hook, here are a few ways you can do so:
Send your condolences. Sandy Hook has set up a P.O. Box  for such mail: 
P.O. Box 3700
Newtown, Connecticut 06470
Donate to the United Way fund set up to to provide support services to the families and community members.

{It’s About Time!}

Ah! I’ve been a bad, bad blogger! I got a sweet “I miss your blogging” comment in my Formspring yesterday, and then this morning my sis texted me wondering why I hadn’t blogged in a while, and then when Megan called me out on Twitter this afternoon, I finally realized it’s about time I hop over here and say hello.
Well, where have I been? Not doing anything particularly fun, unfortunately. Work has been pretty nuts and top that with my commute and Corey’s class schedule and I haven’t had much time to blog during the week. Luckily, I’ve had the weekends to recharge, as we haven’t left Amsterdam in four weeks! I think that’s a record for us! It has been so nice doing fun things around our city and laying low. But fear not, the traveling won’t slow down forever – we’re off to Venice this coming weekend (I hope it’s not still flooded!!) and beyond that we have all our trips planned through the end of March!
I’ll be back to regular blogging very soon, promise! But in the meantime, when I’m not here, I’m tweeting, instagraming and pinning away – feel free to follow along!

{Two Things}

Two Things!
One: I’m opening sponsor spots back up! Hooray! I needed to give myself a breather to get through a busy work season and a hectic travel schedule, but I am finally accepting sponsors again for Explore.Dream.Discover! I’m discounting the sponsor price for the first month! If you’re interested in more information, shoot me an email at exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Two: I’m selling my Canon 60D camera with 18-200mm lens. Both the camera and the lens are in great condition, and only one year old. I recently upgraded to the 5D Mark II, which is the reason I’m selling. I truly loved this camera/lens combo. Send me an email at exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com if you’re interested! Here are a few photos I took with this camera and lens if you’re interested in the quality:
 Hope you’re all having a great week!

{Why Hello There!}

My goodness! Sorry about the radio silence everyone! The last few weeks have been insaneeee. Between a last minute trip to London for the Olympics, celebrating our two year wedding anniversary and then me taking off for the U.S., I have not had a single moment to blog. I’ve been back in Portland for almost three weeks already (crazy!!) and I’ve been running around doing all sorts of fun things. I was supposed to head back to Amsterdam this weekend, but my trip got extended for work purposes (I’m not complaining!) and I won’t be going back until the second week in September. I might be popping in over the next couple weeks if I find the time, but for now I’m really just trying to soak up time with family and friends. If you really miss me, I’ve been posting to Twitter and Instagram, so you can follow my adventures that way (username is LizDenfeld for both)! Can’t wait to get back to regular blogging soon – until then I hope you stick with me!!
*photo above from my friend Libby’s wedding that I was in this past weekend!

{If You Really Knew Me…}

{photo taken by the huz in Santorini}

I’ve seen a couple of these posts flying around the blogosphere and really enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite bloggers! Thought I’d share some of my own. Hope you enjoy getting to know me a little better 🙂

If you really knew me…
…you’d know I wasn’t a morning person. Talk to me after my cup of coffee 🙂
…you’d know I worry like crazy. Even though I know it can’t help a situation I worry about everything big or small.
…you’d know I love to plan. Vacations, my life, parties, what we’ll eat for dinner this week. Anything.
…you’d know I don’t eat beef or pork.
…you’d know I can speak Romanian (my parents met in Romania – I was actually the first person in my family born in the US!).
…you’d know I am ridiculously excited to have babies, but that we are going to fully embrace our European adventure before trying for any!
…you’d know I talk to my mom every day. It’s really rare that I miss a day and I wouldn’t have it any other way – I look forward to our chats so much!
…you’d know that I can be pretty hard on myself. I expect a lot of myself and sometimes hold myself to unrealistic standards, which can then make me feel bad. Luckily I have a husband who snaps me out of it and makes me feel like I’m perfect just the way I am.
…you’d know I have a major sweet tooth. I need to eat something sweet after every meal, even if it’s just a piece of fruit.
…you’d know I am crazy obsessed with Henry. I think it scares Corey a little bit.
…you’d know I get hangry pretty easily. Seriously, you don’t want to talk to me if I haven’t eaten!
…you’d know that I love giving advice and people often come to me to get it – from boy problems to job questions, I always have an open ear and usually some words of wisdom to pass along.
…you’d know I suffered from depression in high school and it altered my life in (what I see now) a very good way.
…you’d know that I daydream about doing more with my photography, but that I doubt myself so much I’m not sure I ever will.
…you’d know that even though I can be loud and goofy most social situations really give me anxiety. I hate meeting new people and speaking in front of crowds, but if you know me in real life you’d probably be shocked to hear this (my family is even surprised when I tell them). I work really hard to not let my anxiety keep me from doing things and meeting people. I’d consider myself an introvert.
…you’d know that even after 3+ years I still feel shy talking about my blog with friends and family. If you don’t have a blog you just don’t “get it” and it’s really awkward trying to explain why I put my life out there on the internet!

Now, if I really knew you, what would I know? I’d love to hear! Share a link in the comments if you’ve done this or plan on doing it – I love getting to know more about my readers!