Baby Brantley

We've been keeping a little secret! Our little family is growing. We're expecting a baby in July! Ahhhh! I'm so excited to be sharing this news with you.

Today I am 18 weeks pregnant. Finally in the second trimester - feeling better, starting to see a little bump and feel little tiny kicks! If you're interested in hearing an honest account of what pregnancy has been like so far and how I'm planning for the future - go ahead and click through to the full post!


Okay! Ready for the full recap of the first trimester?

Telling My Husband

I took a test on a weekday morning after Chris had gone to work so I could come up with a fun way to tell him if he was going to be a daddy! The positive test was followed by laugher then tears of joy then laugher then tears of joy. It was totally in our plans to have a baby but that didn't stop the "is this real!?" thoughts and feelings!

After the tears subsided and I downloaded all the apps to figure out the due date, I started searching for the perfect pregnancy reveal idea. My search left me feeling a little panicked! I found plenty of uber cheesy ideas... but nothing that felt right. So I went to Target, wandered the aisles, and ended up with three stockings. (And a jar of Prego sauce, a mug that said "full of joy" and a bag of decaf coffee that I put on top if the stocking holders for an extra hint - not pictured)

After a looong day of waiting for Chris to get home from work, he finally arrived to me standing awkwardly by the door with a huge smile on my face. He greeted our cats and stopped them from sneaking out the front door just like every night. Meanwhile, I'm asking him to check out the Christmas decorations I put up that day. His eyes made it about halfway to our mantle so I asked him again. This time I could see his face light up and I thought he got it so I started yelling and jumping around and hugging! Only to realize later that he totally didn't get it... he just wanted me to shut up about the dang Christmas decor. (Hahaha)

We went out to celebrate, (over water and a salad with chicken that suddenly repulsed me) talk through our shock and excitement and brainstorm baby names!

Telling Our "Inner Circle"

I'm so excited to share this nugget of joy with you. For your viewing pleasure: my mother in law's reaction. I submit - the best response to a pregnancy announcement ever. If you're at work, or any public place, you may want to turn your volume waaay down.

We told my side of the family the following weekend when we were all in Tennessee together for my great grandmother's funeral. It was such a beautiful way to bring more joy into the weekend of celebrating a wonderful woman's life.

We also decided to tell our closest friends very early on - the people that we would want to walk through a loss with us if something were to go wrong. However, that small group of friends that we called our "inner circle" grew pretty quickly. We were just too excited to keep the secret!

"Morning" Sickness

If I'm to be totally open about the first trimester, this can't be left out. It basically was my first trimester. I know everyone does not experience the level of sickness that I did and I'm so, so glad. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I took a pregnancy test on a Tuesday morning and starting consistently puking my guts out the following Sunday. In the week and a half before I was 7 weeks pregnant and could go to the doctor to get medication, I survived off prenatal vitamins and Gatorade. I lost 13 lbs which I'm not complaining too much about now, but it was a little scary at the time!

After getting on nausea meds, I could eat and keep food down - praise Jesus! But my energy and motivation levels were still at an all time low. I'm so grateful to have a job that allowed me to stay home and rest during this time. Thank you to my wonderful, understanding clients and hardworking, caring husband who made that possible! During the first trimester, I felt totally unmotivated to get anything done yet totally lame for not making anything happen. (Except, you know, growing a human.)

Although I'm still taking the meds for nausea, I now have almost all of my energy back and I'm running full speed again to grow my business and prep it for July!

What's to come

I'll be sure to share details from the second trimester soon. It has been so much more enjoyable!

We are going to find out the gender today so I'll be posting again soon! We've done a few at home gender predictors just for fun and they've said boy 95% of the time. But Chris and I both think it's a girl!

I'll talk more about the future of my business in a separate post. But for this blog, I'm excited for it to become exactly what it was created for: a home base for everything I've got going on. I'll record my honest thoughts on my experience as a business owner, wife and new mom!

A recap of One Spark 2014
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You guys, One Spark was so much better than I ever expected. If you were there, you know! It was five long days full of excitement, innovation, wonderful people and the beginnings of many fabulous connections.

It has been a few weeks since the festival ended, but things haven't calmed down around here. My days have been full of getting to know the people I met at One Spark better and figuring out how we can collaborate, meeting and emailing people about partnering with The Business Bar, and planning my next steps to launch! The excitement I saw in the people I told about The Business Bar has been a huge motivation through the days when I doubt my dream.

Our booth was set up inside my friend Jay's awesome clothing boutique in downtown Jacksonville, Strght & Nrrw.

My favorite part of the booth ( and it seemed to be everyone else's as well! ) was our Passion Profile board. It was a place for people to share what they are passionate about - whether they've turned their passion into a business or not! It was so cool to see the board fill up and hear everyone's stories. The board was also a big encouragement for me. All of these passionate people are the reason I am starting The Business Bar!

I am so grateful for my "street team" who came out everyday and helped me at the booth and spread the word on the streets. Chris, Ginny, Calli, Danny, Sarah, Amanda, Amber and even Liam ;) - you guys absolutely rock.

And a special thank you to Ginny of Photography by Virginia Hobbs for not only bringing me smoothies and cider, repping The Business Bar, but also taking these fabulous pictures so we can remember the start of The Business Bar forever!

The Business Bar at One Spark 2014
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Since my post announcing The Business Bar I've been running at a full sprint getting ready for an event in Jacksonville called One Spark. If you followed my old blog, Create Like Crazy, you may remember my posts about the event last year - here and here. This year, The Business Bar is an official Creator at One Spark. This means we have the opportunity to share the idea and receive funding to make it happen.

How does One Spark work?

One Spark is a crowdfunding festival starting today and ending Sunday, April 13th. Downtown Jacksonville will be filled with Creators ready to share their ideas with the thousands of voters/contributors who come by. Creator's projects ( like The Business Bar ) get funded by hopefully getting a portion of the $200,000 crowdfund that will be divided depending on votes - as well as individual contributions.

How can you participate? 

If you are in Jacksonville during One Spark, you can participate by coming downtown, checking out the Creator projects and voting for and/or contributing to your favorites. The festival is completely free but you must check-in downtown to vote!

If you're not going to be in Jacksonville, you can still participate by going to the website,, browsing the Creator projects online and contributing to your favorites there. You will still need to create a One Spark account to contribute!

Either way, download the One Spark app or create an account on the One Spark website so you can be part of this awesome event!

And of course, we would greatly appreciate your vote and contributions to The Business Bar! Any funding we receive will go towards creating products and platforms that will serve small business owners and help them pursue their passions.

If you are planning to come to One Spark, make sure to come to our booth at Straight & Narrow near the heart of One Spark, Hemming Plaza. ( Straight & Narrow is just a few doors down from Chamblin's Uptown on Laura Street ) We would love to hear your story, learn what you are passionate about and see how we can help your dreams become a reality!

Click here for directions to our Venue, Straight & Narrow

Click here to view The Business Bar's profile and vote/contribute