Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seventeen Weeks



 
I have decided bathroom selfies are the most awkward thing in all of the world!


What I'm Eating - I am still loving a Chick-fil-A lemonade, and have even allowed bits of caffeine in this pregnancy. I know, I know. The pregnant-with-Baker-me would never have been dreamt of touching that delightful red Starbuck's cup to my lips.
I have vowed to be more laid back this time and enjoy every minute, especially the ones spent slurping my beloved Caramel Macchiato. I am still eating between 4-6 oranges a day, love peanut butter by the spoonful, and insist upon a handful of Pirate's Booty puffs every day. Gummi bears still make frequent appearances, and strawberry congealed salad was concocted from scratch last week because I couldn't get it out of my mind!


Big Brother Baker - There are none as sweet as this precious angel. I love Christmastime with a two year old. Everything is magical in this season. He signs "beautiful" when he sees any Christmas tree, and joyfully claps along to my off key renditions of our favorite holiday tunes.






Sleep - I broke out the maternity pillow this week. Half of the occupants of our bed is thrilled (me), the other half (hubs), none too much.


Maternity Clothes - I am wearing maternity pants more comfortably now, but still haven't attempted any of the shirts. I can use my belly band with regular pants, but I much prefer an elastic waist. Can I get an Amen!?! Comfort is the name of the game, and I play it well!


Size of Baby - A pear! It's no coincidence pears are currently overflowing my kitchen centerpiece. Occasionally, I'll walk by, pick one up and get lost in a daydream, imagining the precious one growing so quickly, immersing him or herself into our wonderfully chaotic life.


Baby Names - My lips are sealed! Brian's too - and he doesn't crack easily. We aren't sharing potential names until we know our baby's gender and have decided for certain on his or her name. I forgot how difficult it was to pick the just right name. Oh the pressure!



Gender - We find out Thursday at 3:00. I may or may not know the exact number of days, minutes, and hours until that highly anticipated appointment!
 That means when I write my eighteen week post, we'll know whether we're having a boy or girl!



What I Miss - Right now I miss having the energy to do it all. Brian and Baker have been so patient as I pour dinner from a cereal box and doze during our bedtime prayer. I think this season is preparing me for life with two - sacrificing the unimportant, focusing on what matters, and trusting the Lord to handle the rest.


Best Moment of the Week - We went to hear our little love's heartbeat on Monday. After not being able to find it on our home doppler on Sunday, it was the most glorious sound in all the earth. His or her heart rate was a booming 148 beats per minute. I could have sat on that table with that goo running down my blooming belly for days and days just to hear our baby's beat. Our God, He's an awesome God!





Friday, December 5, 2014

Sixteen Weeks, a Proud Mommy Moment, Thanksgiving, and a Big Bama Win

 
 


What I’m eating: The better question is what am I not eating? Indigestion is starting to creep in slowly, so I have had to be more careful of what I eat. The food test usually involves the question, "Do I really want to taste this for the next 652 minutes?" If the answer is yes, it's a go! I love food not knocked up, so it's only natural that I love, love food with a bun in the oven. Speaking of buns and ovens, I think it's time for another snack.

Big Brother Baker: Baker loves all things Alabama football. It's only natural since Brian and I both graduated from The University of Alabama, and scream Roll Tide randomly throughout the day. We have been identifying the Alabama 'A' on all of our Bama paraphernalia with Baker. He loves spotting it on shirts, hats, jerseys, on the television, and even on flags while driving around town. While in the bathtub last night, we were playing with his foam letters. It thrilled my soul when he grabbed the orange 'A' and proudly proclaimed "ah, ah, ah, ah." I had no idea he could make the transfer. I'm in full on teacher mom mode round here and am sure he'll be spelling Saban in no time. I kid, I kid. It's only fitting that he learn Bear Bryant first. If you didn't see this video on Instagram earlier in the week, it's a must see! (Click on the image to watch, or you can access the YouTube link here).
 




Sleep: I feel like I'm back to first trimester with my sleeping patterns. I have been so tired this week.

Maternity Clothes: My best friend Kristen is pregnant too, (how fun is that?!?) and she shared some awesome black pants from Gap she bought. I am convinced that I could possibly wear them every single day until this baby says hi. I could kiss the designers at Gap and Old Navy for making affordable long maternity pants.

Size of Baby: Avocado!

Baby Names: We have narrowed down our list - four possible boy names and seven possible girl names. No judging, that's serious progress!

Gender: I have been screaming boy all along, but earlier this week, I suggested to Brian, "What if it's a girl?" While I don't know what we're having, I am certain of one thing, there isn't a baby in all the world who'll be loved just like this one. Baby Boy or Baby Girl, we already love you to the moon and back.

What I Miss: I always hesitate to say I miss something. I remember reading these while praying for a baby, thinking I would give up wine and caffeine and clothes that fit and anything else for all the days of my life just to be pregnant. I know what it feels like to be in that season, to long for a baby, and to cringe when people complained about some of the unpleasantries that accompany these nine months. So, while there are things I look forward to having again, there is nothing I miss greater than the joy that comes with this time.

Best Moment of the Week: This week was filled with wonderful moments. Our holidays were teeming with love, laughter, and food. We filled every possible minute with the promise of memories with friends and family.


 
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.
 
 
 

 
These girls are my favorite girls.
We were celebrating 30th birthdays, babies on the way, and engagements!
There is always something to celebrate when they're in town.
 
 
 
 
Brian and I were surprised with Iron Bowl tickets and a free babysitter for our birthday.
Roll Tide!
 

 
 
 
 




 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

29 in 29 - a completed birthday bucket list

Happy Birthday to Me,
Happy Birthday to Me,
Happy Birthday to Me-eee,
Happy Birthday to me!

Here goes. On the day I turn 30, I am looking back at the list I created exactly one year ago and checking progress to see just how well I did.

I will go ahead and tell you I didn't accomplish everything I set out to do, but I had a crazy good time doing what I did. It was a year of blessings and fun and memory making and brightening days and living with intention.

As I revisited this list throughout the past year, I crossed out and added links and/or pictures to anything I checked off, italicized anything in progress, and left undone those not yet addressed.

This is the original post from November 29...the day I turned 29.
 
In honor of my twenty-ninth birthday, my very last year as a twenty-something, before hitting the big 3-0, I am making a birthday bucket list.
A list of things I want to accomplish in what God promises to be a year full of even more than I could ever ask or imagine.
So, why not?

 
  
One. Spend an entire weekend free of social media - no blogging, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter, no messaging, not even any Googling. Just me and my boys. We live in a world that says, "If you don't _______ (fill in the blank - tweet about it, take a picture of it, post about it), then it never happened." Well, shucks. I'm proving that way wrong.

So freeing. It's not something I could do often. I like the feeling of being connected, but the feeling of being fully present with my boys is a gazillion times better.
 
Two. Take off a day of work to volunteer at Baker's school. Here's to shucking my teacher badge for a whole day and wearing my mommy hat. Yippee skippy.
 
I even convinced Brian to join the fun! We rendezvoused for a fun breakfast date and then spent a fabulous Friday being Baker's mommy and daddy. We even got to serve at the Gene Stalling's golf tournament, and took advantage of a priceless photo op. We had so much fun we're already planning this in the upcoming year....when we're thirty. Womp. Womp. Womp.
 
 
 
Three. Buy a stranger's lunch.
 
 It was actually dinner. See here. While this one is technically accomplished, I will strive to do this over and over. Because it is way fun!
 
Four. Watch a sunrise. Watch a sunset.
 
For once, I let the snooze button sleep in. Totally worth it. Totally.
 
 
 
Five. Read a just for fun book. Read a devotional. Read a how-to book.

Love Does by Bob Goff
A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond
For others, see my Summer Reading List
  
 Six. Share the gospel with twelve people. Ten seems too predictable, thirteen seems way scary.
 
Seven. Send an I'm thinking about you happy note to at least one person every week.

This is one of my favorite parts of each week - sitting down with my favorite pen and stationary, fancy address stamp, and sending happy thoughts to those I hold most dear.
 
Eight. Go on a fancy date with my husband once a month. Here's to high heels, and bright lipstick, and big hair, and dazzling, and wooing, and falling all over in love.

I love this one being ongoing. I think we'll promise to do this once a month for all the months of the rest of our forever 

We had our last of these (for this year at least) when we went to Nashville to celebrate our birthday weekend.

I mean, just look at him, who wouldn't want to date him for the rest of their forever?




 Nine. Do at least five spontaneous somethings - plan a vacation and leave in the same hour, eat something new off the menu at my favorite restaurant, make an unplanned purchase.

This is hard for a planner. Super duper hard.
 
One.
Trip to Chattanooga. We transferred Baker from his crib to the car and hit the road for a fun-filled day trip!
 

 
Two.
A date with my biggest love on a school night. Talk about living on the edge!
 
Three.
Does an unplanned hospital vacation count?
 
 
 
Four.
This. A daddy and his boy and a favorite fishing hole. I am realizing that some of life's most precious moments are the ones I can't perfectly orchestrate.
 
 
 
Five.
Four words. Impromptu. Ice. Cream. Date.
 


 

 
Ten. Train for and run a race.

I bought a new pair of tennis shoes and running socks. They look really cute with my leggings. That's all I know for now. Baby steps, y'all.

Does a nine month race to the delivery room count? Consider this my training phase.
 
Eleven. Adopt a child from World Vision. I have wanted to do this since Baker was born. While I think it would be perfectly fine to choose any child, I want a boy or girl who shares Baker's birthday. Each year, as we plan his party, we will also help this new friend celebrate the day of his or her birth. Birthdays are special, and should be celebrated as such.

We haven't done this yet,;our hearts have been called to serving elsewhere at this point. But, I am still very open to this if the Lord opens this door for us.
 
Twelve. Get something waxed. Never have I ever, ever had any part of my body waxed. And as an almost thirty year old, I think it's a rite of passage.
 
"L'7 Weenie!
Yeah, yeah, Oscar Meyer even, footlong, dodger dog, a weenie!"
Sandlot, anyone?
  
Thirteen. Learn how to change a flat tire. Learn something new. Or at least how to pop my hood. Being married to a Mr. Fix It, I need to know none of these things. I think, as a woman of age, I should be educated.
 
This summer, I assembled a new desk, with tools and without my husband. And it functions. Perfectly. Don't miss those key details. And, for the record, I now know how to pop my hood. Boom. Maybe that will make oil changes slightly less embarrassing.
Forget the rest. As an almost thirty year old, I will delegate the rest. Smart women "of age" know their limits, and know when to sit back and let someone else do the dirty work.
 
Fourteen. Go to an Alabama football game outside of Bryant Denny Stadium. I have been to my fair share of home games, but it's high time I visit some of these non-championship winning SEC stadiums. Roll Tide, y'all.

Doesn't look like this one is happening this year. Big time bummer!
I was given birthday tickets to the Iron Bowl this year and cannot wait to celebrate in Bryant Denny!
 
Fifteen. Plant a garden with Baker. Grow fruits and vegetables. Eat them, cook with them, share them. Enjoy this. The dirt digging, and fingernail cleaning, and seed planting, and soil watering, and plant sprouting amazing process of things growing from the ground.
 
Blueberry growing, Blueberry picking. Blueberry eating. That, my friends, is how it's done.
 
 
 
Sixteen. Go to a movie. Buy a huge drink and a big bucket of popcorn. With lots of butter and zero regrets.
 
Seventeen. Kiss my husband in four different states.

Tennessee. Boom.
Florida. Bow Chicka Wow Wow Chicka Wow Wow
Alabama. Duh.
Mississippi. Check.

I'm okay with being an overachiever here. You know, for the purposes of this bucket list.


Eighteen. Go to the beach. Build sandcastles, keep Baker up way past his bedtime to experience the thrill of hunting crabs by flashlight, go on a dolphin cruise, take cheesy beach pictures in coordinating outfits, get airbrushed t-shirts made to commemorate the event.






Nineteen. Go to a concert. Preferably one that involves the outdoors and cowboy boots.
 
Twenty. Sit down in chair at the salon, sans pictures, sans specific instructions with pointing and measuring, and all the details of how I want my hair cut and styled, and say only, "Go."

Eeeekkk. That one took a lot out of me.

 
I'm not a hair color virgin anymore!

Twenty-one. Buy a fancy bottle of wine. No fancy occasion required.

Twenty-two. Do a service project with Brian and Baker.

We did this with our Bible Study class. It was amazing seeing families working together to love and serve our community through acts of kindness.

Twenty-three. Take a photography class.

Twenty-four. Join the Be the Match registry.

Twenty-five. Go on a girl's trip. Only friends. No children. No husbands. Tons of belly-aching laughter, inside joke sharing, memory making fun.

The best. No pictures allowed. What happens on a girl's trip stays on a girl's trip.

Twenty-six. Teach Baker the simple joy of cooking. Pancake batter head to toe, chocolate chips strewn haphazardly across the counter, syrup sticking to every surface. Yes, I think we will start with chocolate chip pancakes.



Twenty-seven. Test drive an impractical car. I envision something with only two doors, no top, great speakers, faster than law allows, music blaring.

Does a rental car count? I had a wreck and had to trade vehicles for over a month.

Twenty-eight. Go to an amusement park. Ride roller coasters, eat funnel cakes, buy the expensive souvenir pictures.

No amusement park, but we had a blast taking Baker to the Zoo!





Twenty-nine. Live intentionally. Love each day. Cherish those most dear. Be purposeful. Spread joy. Smell flowers. Read books. Hand write notes. Sing loudly. Skip in the street. Smile. Play board games. Walk barefooted in wet grass. Swing. Make homemade bread. Pick pecans.

I want this to be my purpose every single day. I am working on living a life with less clutter and more meaning.



Here's to a year of life loving, double dare taking, memory making, dreams coming true.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fifteen Weeks

What I’m eating: Sour Patch Kids and plain ole Haribo gummi bears are pretty much the yummiest thing to ever pass through my lips, I have decided Chick fil A lemonade is the bomb dot com, and I could eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger happy meal with extra pickles every single night. I’m certain the scales are going to scream when I step on them at the doctor next week.

Big Brother Baker: Every morning Baker says good morning to his baby. He pats my tummy and pulls up my shirt to kiss him or her hello. This is only a problem when he feels the need to express this love in public.

Sleep: The best thing since sliced bread maternity pants. I am lasting a little later at night, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, I am a log-sawing goner.

Maternity Clothes: I am wearing maternity pants and leggings. Tops are still too big, for today at least.

Size of Baby: A navel orange; although I feel like I have an entire mesh bag of navel oranges camped out in there.

Baby Names: We still don’t have a name; however we do have a book with 25,000 baby names and family trees dating back generations. Sometimes too many choices is not a good thing.

Gender: My gut says another precious baby BOY; however, we will know for certain right before Christmas.

What I Miss: Not a thing!

Best Moment of the Week: There were too many to choose just one. Breaking away to Nashville for a birthday celebration was the perfect escape for our family and an excuse for a fancy date with my husband. Thanksgiving and all of its delicious glory. Praise all things good and holy for turkey and dressing and sweet potato casserole and homemade cranberry sauce and chocolate pecan pie. Holy smokes, Thanksgiving is a pregnant girl’s favorite day of the year. And lastly, a friend let me borrow her Doppler. I love listening to Baby Bell's sweet beats every morning and every night. Lastly, tomorrow I turn the big 3-0!! It's a big birth week celebration around here!







Happy Black Friday, Friends! I hope it’s full of leftover turkey and fabulous doorbusting deals!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Nashville Birthday Party

Brian and I both celebrate November birthdays. His is November 20 and mine is November 29. This year we both turn the big 3-0. Instead of gifts, we decided on a birthday getaway.
It was perfect!
Since we both had to be back at work on Monday morning, we opted for something short and sweet. We left early Saturday morning and made it just in time to meet my sister, Jessie, for lunch. She treated us to Hattie B’s. Their hot chicken deserves a blog post of it’s own. Y’all, it is incredible.
I think Baker was a fan too.

 

 

We could not check in to our hotel downtown until 3:00, so we stopped at a neighborhood park for some big swings and big smiles.
 


 
 

We moseyed around for a bit, and then left Baker Boy with Jessie for a slumber party.
Brian and I dashed back to the hotel to freshen up before our dinner reservations.
I even snuck in a picture. A little bump in a big city.
 
 
 
 
We were on the 22nd floor at The Sheraton.
The view of the city was incredible.
 
 
 
 
Dinner at The Southern did not disappoint.
The food was delicious, the ambience was magical, and my date was the most handsome date in the entire room.
 
 
 
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped on Broadway.
The music and atmosphere are electrifying!
 
On Sunday morning, we rescued my sister from an early-rising, apartment-destroying toddler.
The three of us walked down the street to Provence Bakery in Hillsboro Village.
 
It was delicious!


 
 
We have added Nashville to our list of cities we love.
It's especially special since my sister lives there.
A free babysitter, yummy food, birthday celebrations, and good music...score for a fabulous weekend!
 
Nashville, we will see you again very soon.
Jessie, consider this fair warning to toddler-proof your adorable apartment.
 

 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fourteen Weeks


I think I have finally turned the first trimester corner! Y’all, I stayed up until 9:05 last night….that’s later than my sleepy eyes have seen in, well about fourteen weeks.

I am not sure if I will do weekly updates with this pregnancy. The thought of taking a picture, all by myself, to show off a burgeoning belly, seems a little outside of my comfort zone. Especially since I try to avoid pictures at all costs, and the ones I do find myself in, I try to stand as skinnily as possible. It’s a word. Honest. If you don’t know it, it means positioning oneself to hide muffin tops and love handles and double chins. Skinnily. Check the cover of People. They’re practicing it. And a little photoshop. And let’s not even talk about me even considering posting the number of pounds I’ve gained each week. That’s a big heck no!





What I do know is that I want to remember every single detail of this incredible experience.

What I’m eating: Halo’s. At least 6 a day. I cannot get enough. Anything savory and comforting. A lot of my clean eats are taking a backseat to creamy casseroles. I cried when a restaurant served the customer in front of me the last baked potato. It was a real tragedy. Waffles with peanut butter are my go to every single morning, although I am always tempted (and only sometimes give in to a second breakfast consisting of a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin or Bojangles butter biscuit). Earlier this week I ate the lunch I packed for school, only to eat a second lunch of turkey and dressing 45 minutes later. I am so happy Thanksgiving holidays coincide with pregnancy.

Big Brother Baker: If you ask Baker what’s in Mommy’s tummy, he sweetly rubs my belly and says, “bay bay.” I melt every single time. Sometimes he even pulls up my shirt to blow a bubble and make the “bay bay” laugh. I can’t even. Can I have another just like him?

Sleep: Love it. Can’t live without it. It’s interrupted several times with trips to the potty, but right now, it’s good stuff, and it comes easily.

Maternity Clothes: I am wearing maternity jeans today, and literally heard the “Hallelujah” chorus when I pulled them on. It’s happening early this time. It was a sweet relief when I finally succumbed to maternity jeans and quit trying to wage war with buttons. Many maternity pants still don’t fit, so I am wearing a lot of leggings and dresses. But with all of these extra meals I am sneaking in, I am making a case for them quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Size of Baby: This week, our baby is the size of a lemon. A lemon!!

Baby Names: We are very much undecided; although Brian thinks it's hilarious to call him or her Waylon. I'm not laughing.

Gender: We do not know, but we are dying to know!

What I Miss: Not a thing!

Best Moment of the Week: I am quite certain I felt little flutters this week. It may be early, but I think we have an active little squirmer on our hands.

In other news, I have pregnancy brain. It’s a thing. A real, medical condition.  Words that are a part of my daily vocabulary, words I have used in writing, words I may have even invented have vanished. Kaput. They are missing. And no amount of begging, conjuring, or pleading will bring them back to my brain. I’d write more about this, but I’ve already forgotten.

Happy Friday, Friends!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

forty-four acts of kindness to do with your kids

I cannot think of a better time of the year to love on those surrounding you than the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here is a list of forty-four ways your family can serve your community. What will begin as you blessing others will turn into a tremendous blessing for you.



1.      Pass out hand warmers to children playing in the park.

2.      Decorate your child’s principal or favorite teacher’s parking spot with chalk, balloons, notes, or signs.

3.      Go to Wal Mart. Greet the greeter and then treat the greeter to a special treat.

4.      Pass out Hugs and Kisses (the chocolate kind) at a nursing home.

5.      Decorate walkers and wheelchairs at a nursing home with ribbons and love.

6.      Read a story with a nursing home resident. 

7.      Take a Polaroid camera to the nursing home. Take pictures of precious memories and leave them with the residents.

8.      Help unload groceries into someone’s car.

9.      Buy a pack of greeting cards. Write letters to friends and family telling them why they are special to you.

10.   Organize an aisle in the shoe department.

11.   Give high fives to the employees in your favorite department store. Tell them you appreciate the work they do.

12.   Choose your favorite restaurant. Go through the drive though and pay for the next person’s meal.

13.   Tape single dollar bills to items in the dollar bin.

14.   Tape coins to vending machines.

15.   Take dog bones to your vet’s office.

16.   Place parking coins on windshields at the hospital.

17.   Purchase used books from the thrift store. Donate them to your doctor’s office for patients to read while they wait.  

18.   Go to your favorite ice cream shop. Ask the cashier what his or her favorite treat is. Buy it for them to have during their break.

19.   Offer to play with small children on the playground so their parents can rest.

20.   Cut coupons from the Sunday paper and mail or pass out to friends who use those items/shop those stores.

21.   Pass out water bottles to shoppers buying Christmas goodies.

22.   Set up a hot chocolate stand in your front yard. Brighten days with a warm chocolaty treat!

23.   Pass out candy canes on Black Friday. Everyone needs a little sweet on that crazy day!

24.   Offer to pump someone’s gas.

25.   Let someone go in front of you in line.

26.   Fill empty vases at the cemetery with flowers.

27.   Deliver goody baskets to the hospital.

28.   Write get well notes to hospital patients.

29.   Bake cookies to deliver to friends and family.

30.   Go to the local library. Place handwritten notes in your favorite books for others to find.

31.   Decorate bookmarks. Donate them to the children’s section of your library.

32.   Pick up trash at a local park.

33.   Chalk talk a sidewalk with holiday wishes or notes of encouragement.

34.   Pass out fancy pens to waiters/waitresses at your favorite restaurant.

35.   Hold the door for others.

36.   Buy flowers for your banker.

37.   Leave a note of encouragement on the changing table for someone else’s mommy. 

38.   An extra perk would be to also leave a Starbuck’s gift card.

39.   Pass out socks and gloves at the local soup kitchen. Baby it's cold outside!

40.   Tell someone why you are thankful for them.

41.   Take a neighbor homemade breakfast (or bread, or pie, or a cup of coffee, or a flower. It can even be store-bought. Just go).

42.   Refill a parking meter.

43.   Leave a surprise in your mailbox for the person who delivers your mail.

44.   The men and women who pick up trash must be frigid! Warm their hands and their hearts with a cup of cocoa.
 
“And the King will say, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Matthew 25:40
“By this, everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:35