Telling Our Family + First Trimester

It’s Official:

Okay, so you already read how we found out about our lil babe the day before Thanksgiving and seeing our entire family..! (post HERE)

So now we get home and I had scheduled the blood test for the next day. Pretty easy - you go in whenever you want, they draw a little bit of blood and then you are on your way, thinking about nothing else the rest of the day until they call with the results.

I went in to get the test before work and they said they would call me by lunchtime that day. 12….1…..2 pm rolls around and I still haven’t heard back, so I call them and ask for the results.



I am out of my office taking a walk and have to sit down. I immediately call Ryan and tell him he's the father.. haha just kidding, not really. And we say okay here we go!

photography by:  Karyssa Costa Photography

We set our first appointment that week and went in to get all our information, sign up for a baby info class, and get our due date!

July 30, 2019

And just like that, I am in love.


Telling our Family:

We kept our little secret from our family until Christmas Eve. Ryan’s family traveled to Tanzania, Africa to see his youngest sister who is serving there in the peace corps (!!) and were 12 hours ahead of us. My parents came to stay with us for the week! I ordered custom onesies on Etsy and wrapped them up really small, sent one to Ryan’s mom to pack in her suitcase and open on Christmas, and kept one for my parents.

We went out to dinner on Christmas Eve to Roy’s, kind of a tradition with my parents and one of their favorite restaurants. When my dad was asking about what everyone wanted to drink and if we wanted a bottle of wine, I broke out the little gift and handed it to them to open. They thought it was a gift card for the restaurant LOL. I was shaking and SO nervous for some reason ?? They opened it and immediately started smiling and crying and hugging :) The waiter even added a little touch to my mom’s favorite dessert, the chocolate lava cake ♡


We got home from dinner, with our cheeks hurting from smiling so much, and got ready to FaceTime Ryan’s family in Africa! It was our Christmas Eve night, and their Christmas morning (because of the 12 hour time difference), so it worked out perfectly! Again, I was so nervous when they opened my double-layer-very-well-taped wrapping lol why?? They found the onesie and note we wrote for them since we couldn’t be there in person.. More laughing, crying, and smiling ♡

I secretly videotaped their reactions and you can watch them here :)

We called our grandparents and family on Christmas Day to share the news. It was such a weight off of our shoulders to tell our everyone. Phase I at least. (Phase II friends. Phase III social media) haha this is how I imagined it.


Everything First Trimester:

H O W A R E Y O U F E E L I N G ?

Aside from the extremely sore tits and heightened sense of smell, I didn’t feel any different. A little more tired, but honestly I’m always tired let’s be real. Some days I would feel a little nauseous (kind of like a hangover) but I never had morning sickness, and that would go away after I took my prenatal vitamin and had breakfast. OJ every single morning for the win. Towards the end of the first trimester I started feeling a lot better and getting my energy back, and it made me realize how nauseous and tired I really was in the beginning.

C R A V I N G S ?

  • Avocado toast + eggs

  • Scrambled egg sandwich + mustard

  • Everything bagel + cream cheese

  • BBQ chicken + mac and cheese

  • Broccoli + ranch dressing

  • Diner butter lettuce salad + ranch dressing

  • Anything + ranch dressing

Honestly I thought “cravings” would be me crazy yelling at Ryan telling him to go find me peanut butter and pickle ice cream at 3 am, but it’s nothing like that (if you aren’t surprised). It is more of the feeling that nothing else sounds good to eat except that particular thing, aka salad with ranch dressing for me. Some days I would come home from work looking for a snack and eat a whole head of broccoli with ranch dressing - that’s all I wanted. Ryan has been such a trooper though when I throw out random food requests for dinner and going to pick up ingredients at the grocery store for bbq chicken and mac and cheese for the 4th night in a row :) love you babe.

In the beginning, I was trying to eat more frequently and just more in general because I was actually losing weight. Probably from not working out as much and cutting back on the weightlifting, bye for now little muscles. My starting weight was 138 and I am 5’10”. I used to eat protein oatmeal or PB & banana toast for breakfast every morning, but now all I want is savory for breakfast so it’s usually scrambled eggs and a bagel. There were moments when I was SO hungry and feel like I could eat everything, and then take two bites and be sick to my stomach thinking about eating more. The food aversions were real for the first trimester.

D R I N K I N G ?

I had given up caffeine earlier in the year, not even thinking about getting pregnant, so that was an easy transition to not drinking any. I drink a ton of water throughout the day and orange juice in the morning. It’s way easier to not drink alcohol than I thought. We went on a New Year’s Ski trip in Tahoe with 7 other couples and I honestly didn’t miss drinking and still had a ton of fun with everyone. Not going to lie though, I am very much looking forward to that first ice cold margarita after this little guy vacates :D

F A V O R I T E P R O D U C T S ?

I luckily started taking a prenantal vitamin a few months before getting pregnant under doctor’s advice if we were going to start trying in the near future - which we were, but we didn’t realize it was that near lol. I take one religiously every day thanks to a cute little pill box! An easy reminder for the day to take the vitamin and stay on track. I have been lathering myself in lotion and oil, especially my upper legs and belly, every night to try to combat some of the stretch marks. All products linked below! (click on the picture for the direct link)

Thanks so much for riding along on this journey with us :)

I cannot wait to share anything and everything with you! As always, if you have questions or requests - don’t hesitate to comment or reach out ;)




When we found out I was Pregnant

By now you know we are expecting a sweet bundle of joy in July of 2019! We are over the moon excited for all to come and the start our little family. Let the adventures begin!

photography by:  Karyssa Costa Photography

Ryan and I found out the night of November 20th.. and were flying home the very next morning for Thanksgiving to be with our entire family. We were hanging out in the kitchen after dinner, before we both had to finish packing, and jokingly said we should probably take a pregnancy test, just to be safe since Thanksgiving wine, port & cigars, and a friends wedding were all happening that week.

I went and took the test, set it down to wait for the results, then started packing.. not really thinking anything of it. Ryan was still in the kitchen and I brought the test to him from our bathroom, with my mouth dropped to the floor and my body literally shaking. He was like “yeah right stop messing with me” and totally thought I was pranking him.. until he saw those two little pink lines. One was faint, but definitely there, and we immediately started reading the box and looking up info online on how accurate the faint pink line was (even though I’ve taken plenty of tests before this one with absolutely no questionable second line).


We started smiling like goof balls and kind of looked at each other like “welp, here we go!!” It still didn’t really hit me, is this legit? lol I didn’t feel any different besides how my boobs had been CRAZY sore that week.. like it hurt to wear a bra or hug someone, and I could smell EVERYTHING. I kept telling Ryan to brush his teeth because he smelled like old-man-breath and he would be like “I literally just brushed my teeth?!” LOL. So yeah, definitely got the sore boobs and heightened sense of smell almost immediately that lasted for the first month or so.


So we found out the night before we left to see our entire family… with this big secret. We were so conflicted because this was the only time we have with all of them together planned for a while - do we tell them or is it too early?? We decided, and swore to each other, to not tell anyone and keep it our secret. We wanted to get a blood pregnancy test done and get it confirmed by my doctor before getting anyone excited… it was just too early!

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done is not telling our family, especially my mom, right away in person. Keep in mind, our families are very close so whenever we are home, everyone is together. In fact, my parents were staying at my in-laws guest house the whole time we were there. I seriously almost told my mom and mother-in-law 993984923 different times just wanting them to know, and because I tell my mom everything! Every night I would tell Ryan I felt so so so bad keeping something like this from them, and he had to assure me we didn’t want to get their hopes up until we were certain it was legit and confirmed by our doctor. He was right. We made the plan to get through this weekend, get home and go to the doctor, and if all goes well, we would tell everyone on Christmas. Even though Ryan’s family would be in Africa, we are hoping to FaceTime them and sent a little customized baby Dishman onesie with specific instructions to open ONLY on Christmas Day.

I’m actually surprised none of our family said anything because I was walking around with water in my wine glass. It helped that we had a big family gathering on Thanksgiving so it was craziness with everyone coming in and out and cooking all day. My mom actually texted me and said, “Is everything okay?” hinting that Ryan and I were in a fight or something LOL! I guess we were just trying to avoid each other because we were thinking the same thing the whole time and didn’t want to blow our cover haha! We later found out after telling our families they had a “hunch” of what was going on, but were still completely surprised.

The wedding on the other hand was a different story…

Andrew & Jess got married at the beautiful Naval Academy Chapel and Ryan’s Dad offered to let us drive his Jaguar for the festivities. We agreed because I obviously wasn’t drinking, not thinking anything of it or that someone would pick up on the fact that I was driving. Until we met up with our friends John & Lauren and Lauren immediately called us out saying, “Why are you driving, you’re not pregnant are you?!” And so they knew and promised they wouldn’t tell before we could figure out what was going on! The wedding reception was fine because the trick is to drink water with lime in a small glass to make it look like a vodka soda or gin & tonic. So that’s what I did all night drank about 22 glasses of water and had to pee every 5 minutes (nothing new there tho).

Luckily we made it through the weekend and wedding without our entire family finding out, and minimal friends finding out lol. I scheduled a pregnancy blood test with my doctor the very next day. They took a small blood sample that morning and by the afternoon, I got a call at work saying it was positive and scheduled my first OBGYN appointment the next day.

This is really happening!!!


Up Next: First Trimester

That one time we were extras on Big Little Lies

When we first moved to Monterey, everyone associated our new home to “Big Little Lies” and asked me if that’s how the people really are haha no.. We actually did re-watch the first season and see some of the scenes from the show which were in our very neighborhood!

Flash back to just moving to Monterey in March of 2018. It was one of the first weekends we were in the area, and didn’t have any plans besides finishing up unpacking and getting the house straightened up. I wasn’t working at the time and Ryan’s semester had not started yet, so we both were free as a bird.

I went to a barre class and coffee date with a friend who told me about the “open casting” this coming weekend at a hotel that was just 10 minutes away from our house. I immediately called Ryan on my way home and half-jokingly-half-serious said we should go to the try-out and to my surprise he agreed.

The morning of we printed off our “headshots” LOL (I used the picture you see as my blog intro) and Ryan printed off a pic of him holding coconuts on a beach. Very official. We went to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside Hotel where the open casting was being held. It was advertised as starting at 10 am but we arrived around 9-9:15 to try to beat some traffic and I’m so glad we did! We got there and it was about an hour wait. When we left, the line wrapped around the building and about a quarter mile down the street, it was up to 6 hours to wait in line… NOPE!

So we get in line and it’s winding around the hotel lobby. Once we get closer we fill out this half sheet of paper asking our physical features like height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.. and some of our interests like: what we do for fun, what car do we drive (lol?) and any other fun facts I guess. Ryan put down he liked to surf, was serving in the military, and drove a dodge ram truck with a surfboard rack. I put down I was a marathon runner, learned to play the piano, and drove a ford focus - my high school car hahaha (yes I still do).


We finally reach the front of the line only to find we sit in a big auditorium of about 100 other people and they tell us the details:

Thanks for coming. We are trying to film more of Monterey for the next season so will need a lot of different people for the outdoor scenes. We are looking for surfers and runners specifically and if you get called we will give you the details the night before. If you came with a partner and get called, let them know you guys came together and we will try to get you both in together.

That was pretty much it. We went up and handed in our forms with our pictures stapled to the front and said thank you to whoever took our paper and left. Not really a “try out” at all. We left and saw the line wrapped around the building.. I’ve never seen so many people in Monterey. People said they FLEW in from around the country and there were busses that drove up from LA just to go to this open casting. We laughed about going and totally felt like we just wasted our time and we would never get called out of all these people.


Fast forward to the middle of April. Ryan was actually out surfing and gets a voicemail from a Los Angeles number who was from the Rich King Casting for Big Little Lies wanting him to be a surfer extra!!! I was freaking out and he came home and gave them a call when we were sitting on the couch. He called them back and they immediately picked up and he said sure, he’d love to! And he mentioned how they said to let you know if he had come with someone else to the casting to try to get them (me) in. He said definitely and took down my name and number.

About a day later I got a call asking to be a runner extra and they wanted to use my car! LOL plot twist. They tell us they will send us an email with the details on what to wear and where to be 24 hours before. This is to keep the location secret and not have crazies coming to the set. I was ready for this FBI Mission.

The day comes and Ryan and I are actually in different scenes, so I was told to meet at this random parking lot around 11 am and Ryan around 2 pm. So I show up with Harrison (my ford focus) to the location and a white van shows up to come pick up about 8-10 of us. Sketchy. We honestly didn’t know where we were going or what the plan was. They take us to the trailer grounds - and we got to see “Reese Witherspoon” and “Nicole Kidman” on the trailers!! Also where hair and make up was and costume etc.. very cool! We filled out a form to get paid and signed a non-disclosure (about the scenes we were apart of) then they took us to costume. We had each brought 2-3 outfits to change into, as instructed, and pretty much everyone was good to go.. except for me lol. They changed my whole look and gave me everything from head to toe for their “boho-runner.” So I went back in the 'fitting trailer’ and changed into this:


Then we headed back to where we left our cars, I picked up my car (since he was the star of the show) and followed the van to the set location.

We were put in a break room and kind of just hung out until someone called our names or not. We were able to peak and watch the scenes be filmed. Shailene Woodley (Jane) said “Hi” to me and we were in the same room.. no big deal. Made eye contact with Meryl Streep and the little boy, Ziggy, was also there who was the cutest thing ever.

So the other extras and I were sitting in the room and waiting for our name to be called. A guy comes in and says, “Rachel?”

I jump out of my bones start imagining myself walking through the bright lights on the red carpet and signing autographs.

He says, “we need you to move your car..”

Guys. I kid you not.. My HIGH SCHOOL CAR - A 2006 FORD FOCUS with three holes in the bumper from someone rear-ending me was in every. single. shot. of this scene. They changed my license plate to California tags because I still have Maryland tags, and made me move it around to each parking spot - in front of all the cast (AKA MERYL STREEP) and with all the set equipment. I was driving so slowly and carefully to not hit anything and ruin the show LOL. The other cars that they had to choose from were Mercedes Benz, BMWs, new SUVs.. like WHAT?! WHY.

Anyways.. to move on, Meryl Streep also had a scene where she leaned up against Harrison (MY CAR) and TOUCHED MY KEYS.

….This is really my only claim to fame.

The rest of the day we just watched the scene and then they told us to go home hahaha. At least we got paid? Thank goodness I got a car wash for the first time since 2014 before I went in. Totally increasing the re-sell value for Harrison.


Ryan on the other hand.. he had a same situation in meeting at this sketchy parking spot, getting in a van with randos, signing paperwork, then coming to the scene. As we were leaving, Ryan’s group was coming and we got to see each other for a hot minute. We weren’t allowed to use our phones or take any pictures of the set (non-disclosure agreement) but I was “off duty” by this point and snuck back to get a picture of Ryan’s set. He actually got to be one of the few in the scene!! Hopefully we’ll see him run down the beach with his wetsuit and surfboard in the new season ;)


So there you have it.. our complete Big Little Lies anti-climactic adventure. Season 2 will be out on HBO in 2019 some time, with no set premiere date yet I don’t think.

It was really amazing to see every single TINY detail go into the set and scene. Each scene is filmed about 10+ times, which you can image takes so long to create the entire season / movie. I have a new appreciation for actors & actresses and especially the scene developers, filming and editing crew who ultimately puts everything together.

… still accepting autograph requests.