Friday, February 28, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: Hellooooo March

Howdy, friends! I don't know about you, but this week flew by for me, and I am so happy to see Friday so quickly again. If we were meeting for coffee (via link up with Rags to Stitches), I would suggest we treat ourselves to a little Starbucks today. Why not? I mean, it is MARCH as of tomorrow? Wait. What?! How did that happen? 

Anywho, I would first ask about YOU and all that has happened in your life over the last seven days: the good, the better, the best. Once I had been properly filled in on all things you, I would share the following about little ol' me: 

...That I found the best antique store EVER. Seriously. If you are looking for anything antique-y or vintage-y and live in the Charlotte area (actually, it would be worth it to drive several hours to get to this place!), than the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall in Charlotte is a must-see! It is a humongous space, 55,000 square feet to be exact, of any and everything antique. It is, in a word, amazing! I scored some awesome finds for the nursery over the weekend, and I already can't wait to go back to scour for more unique and beautiful home goods.

...That the nursery has been painted...gray! The dressers I used as a baby have been painted...white! The baby bedding should be arriving next week! I have ordered what is going over the crib! I found some awesome decor items during my aforementioned antique-ing! In other words, we have made some serious progress on the nursery, which is great, since my c-section is scheduled 8 weeks from today!

...That one of the things I love about being able to be a stay-at-home momma is to watch firsthand as my children's creativity comes to life. For some time now, Banks and Raleigh have loved the classic story of the Three Little Pigs. We have read the tale over and over from the vintage pages of an old book my parents gave them, we watch an old, classic cartoon of it online almost daily, we sing the song, and we act it out. So. It came as no surprise to this momma when Banks asked me to create the houses for his little pig and wolf figurines Here's what I came up with and what has been in heavy play rotation the last couple of weeks:

...That I am going to pat myself on the back for a quick second. On Monday, with my hub away on a business trip to Atlanta, I managed to make homemade dinner for 16 adults and 5 kids, straighten my house, fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, and log in an outdoor picnic and playtime with my duo while lugging around a 30-week-pregnant belly, all before our LifeGroup arrived at our home for Bible study at 6:00 pm. Whew! Not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep up that routine! But at least for a day, I felt like Super Woman. It's the little things, right? Okay. Back-patting session over. 

...That speaking of our LifeGroup, joining one is the best decision we have made since moving to Fort Mill, and I feel so very lucky to be going through this chapter of life with the seven other couples in our group. They are awesome. 

...That I am someone who thrives on girl time. So. When I realized the other day it has been way, WAY too long since a girls weekend away, as in, developing a nervous-twitch too long, I promptly pulled out my phone and immediately group texted my college best friends. Although I have to miss an upcoming summer girls weekend since I'll be knee-deep in newborn diapers and nursing, there are now three other tentative dates for get-togethers on the calendar for the last six months of 2014, and I am already looking forward to them! My girls are my sanity, and I am in need of a good dose of them!

...That we had a fun, quick visit with one of my sisters and my niece earlier this week, and I loved every action-packed minute. 

..That my poor Raleigh had a yucky stomach bug earlier this week--apparently she picked up some germs from our playdate at Monkey Joe's? I guess no amount of hand sanitizing and washing post-bounce house is enough to knock out those nasty germs 'cause she woke from her nap the following day complaining of a tummy ache and then, without warning, got sick allllll over our dinner table that night. G.R.O.S.S. Here's hoping the rest of us stay bug free! So far, so good. I'm hoping to make it through these last few weeks of winter relatively unscathed! 

...That we are headed to a certain little cutie's 3-year-old birthday party tomorrow at a local fire station (How fun is that? I may be stealing this idea for Banks' 5th birthday!) and then we are off for a quick road trip to visit my paternal grandmother. I am also hoping to do a little bit more of this on Sunday, when it is supposed to be be-ee-uuu-tiful:

And with that, as we devoured our last sip o' 'Bucks, I would offer a big ol' hug before we exited stage right to begin our weekends. See you again soon!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: 30 Weeks

And now, here we go. I'm into the 30's. I am into single digits as far as the number of weeks left before Baby Lu arrives. Wow!!! Off we go!

Size of the Baby: Sweet Baby Lu is said to be approximately 15.7 inches long now (so precise!) and weighs almost 3 pounds, about the size of a large cabbage. 

I went for my 30-week appointment late last week. My belly was measuring right on track, and the baby's heart rate was 155. So far, so good, sweet little one!

Symptoms: Sleep disturbance (see below). Leg cramps. :( :( :( Feeling HEAVY in the lower abdomen (are we SURE this baby only weighs 3 pounds at this point??). A little reflux every now and then. But also? Head over heels in love with this baby, who has yet to even be born. 

Movement: Lots of crazy, alien, belly movement going on right now. Usually, later in the day, which is certainly hinting at the fact that this one will be a night owl after he/she is born. 

Sleep: Oh, man. The sleep problems are back: Insomnia. Waking up hungry. Waking up with leg cramps. Waking up short of breath. I can pretty much guarantee, if you ever wake up in the middle of the night and send me a text, I'll respond immediately. Yaaaaaaawn. 

What I Miss: Sleeping through the night (see above). Not having leg cramps. (see above) Being able to get up without grunting. Not being hormonal at the drop of a hat. 

Cravings: Yummy salads, with a little cheese, some tasty dressy on the side, a lot of lettuce, fresh cucumbers, and crunchy tomatoes. Yummy! And still? Any and everything sweet. And peanuts--of any variety. And margaritas. I've had two virgin versions so far. Not.The.Same. 

The Belly: 

And for size comparison, here's a 30-week pregnancy photo with Raleigh (apparently, I didn't take nearly as many pregnancy photos with Banks. Or. At least, I didn't use a digital camera at the time?): 

30 weeks pregnant with Raleigh.

Back in a week with a bigger belly and the latest update on Baby Lu...

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I remember so very vividly. Sitting in that raised bed in a large room in a hospital in Atlanta. A gown clasped loosely on my back. Medication dripping through the IV and into my body as we watched the contraction monitors dance up and down, steadily, rhythmically. My hub, sliding back and forth, back and forth, in the old wooden rocking chair in the corner. Our parents, laughing and talking in the background, as I dozed in and out of an epidural-enhanced sleep.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 

Oh, if only we knew the kind of love we were waiting for. 

And then. 

He was born. 

And I loved him with every ounce of my being. And I knew that he was the first reason I was put on this earth. 

Just over two years later, I found myself in the same hospital, in the same loosely clasped gown, in a different room with a different birth plan, but with the same anticipation. My hub by my side, in his blue scrubs, as we waited for the surgeon. Our parents offering last hugs before I was wheeled away down a long, brightly lit hallway and into the operating room. 

I found myself holding my breath as my hub stroked my hand.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 

And then. 

She was born. 

And I knew this was the moment my life discovered a new purpose: To be the momma of a little girl. She was the second reason I was put on this earth. 

And now. Here I am.

I try to hold tight to every kick. Every punch. Every roll. Every hiccup. Knowing that this is the last time I will feel my baby move inside my body. I gently rub my belly, reassuring my little one that he/she is safe. And cherished. And loved. Oh, so very loved. This baby is my final dream come true. My third reason for being put on this earth. And I cannot wait until the day we finally meet. 

But. For now. I treasure our time together, just my baby and me. I imagine our life together as I sit, whispering softly, with my own reassuring tap, tap, tap, as I watch my belly rise and fall, rise and fall, with the rhythm of my steady breath. 

And then. 

We sit quietly together. 

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: Georgia Roots Edition

Hello, hello! Thanks for stopping by for a little coffee, catch-up, and convo with me (via link up with Rags to Stitches). Were we to meet up for some coffee today, I would ask if you wanted to join me on our screened in porch, where we could watch the rain fall and enjoy the MUCH warmer temperatures compared to weeks past. 

I would ask first about all things YOU. About what is new in your neck of the woods. About  what your favorite part of the week was as well as your least favorite part. About what you plan to do with your weekend. About any fun dates you have planned for the rest of the month. Once our cups were empty, I would fill 'em back up before sharing the following about me and my life:

...That our family ventured back to Georgia for four days this week to visit one of my sisters, her hub, and my niece in their new home. Although my hub had to work and stay in downtown Atlanta two of the three nights we were there, the kiddos and I had a ball during our visit! Between playground visits, playdates, touring the town, happy hours in the square, antique shopping, cupcake eating, and playroom playing, we had a ball! Even though we are South Carolinians now, Georgia will always hold a special place in my heart, since it is where two of my three babes were welcomed into our family. So. It was really special to go back for a quick visit and some always fun family time. :) 

...That my little buddy is finally headed back to school today, after being out for 10 days thanks to snow days, school holidays, and our Georgia trip. I know he was excited to see his buddies and finally hand out his Valentines. 

...That I had a blast at Bunco last night, after having been away from the dice rollin' shenanigans for a several months due to first tri symptoms + winter holidays + my traveling hub's schedule conflicts. And this one was extra fun because it was hosted by my aunt, who (along with my uncle) live in our 'hood. Although I had to obstain from the wine drinkin', I definitely snacked it up and rolled some Buncos. All in all, a fun night for all! 

...That my little lady's curls are out of control. I mean, seriously. Look at these precious blonde ringlets! Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope that they don't straighten over time. They just melt my heart. And it makes me wonder whether Baby Lu will follow in the footsteps of his/her siblings and also sport blonde locks? Or, will one of my children finally boast the brunette hue of his/her Momma? We shall see exactly 9 weeks from today!

...That our sweet, sweet friends are throwing a couples baby shower for my hub and me next month, and we are so excited about it! Even though this is Baby #3 for us, and I honestly feel kind of guilty about having a shower, they kindly insisted on the celebration and we kindly obliged. I mean, who wants to turn down a party? An afternoon of good eats, good drinks, and good company? Yes, it will be the perfect excuse to celebrate Baby Lu and get together with great friends. I cannot WAIT!! 

...That we have a laid-back weekend ahead, after a few of the plans we previously made had to be rescheduled. Luckily, our downtime will include finally painting the nursery! And by "our downtime", I mean my hub's. :) 

And with that, I would wish you the best as you grabbed your umbrella and hit the road in search of weekend adventures. Have a good one!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: 29 Weeks I am, in the last week of my 20s (pregnancy-wise, not age-wise. Ha!). Crazy.  Crazy, crazy, crazy. I have a feeling these last 10 weeks will be the fastest and slowest of all. That makes total sense, right? ;) Oh, and did I mention I now go for appointments every two weeks, with my next one being tomorrow. Hooray!

Size of the Baby: Sweet Baby Lu is now roughly 2.5 pounds and a little over 15 inches long, about the size of a butternut squash. 

Symptoms: Zapped energy. Some days, I swear it takes all of my efforts and energy just to pull myself off the couch. And with two little ones who want to play, play, play with their Momma (which I love!), it has been a little challenging lately (which I do not love). I am not a tv-all-day nor movie-marathon kind of Momma and have actually been pleasantly surprised I haven't had to resort to these things during the pregnancy. I know I will need to cut myself some slack on particularly hard days during these last couple months and not feel guilty if we have to have a movie and jammie day every now and then. But. For now, I play as much as I can and try to soak up time with my two before another member is added to the bunch. 

Movement: Oh, how I love the rolls and flips and crazy belly waves I get to see each day. This baby is an active one, and I love it!

Sleep: No complaints here!

What I Miss: My summer closet. I have been trying to start planning for things I'll be able to wear that will look flattering this summer, with my postpartum bod. I don't think I'll be squeezing into the shorts I was able to wear last year during this year's hot summer months. So. I am trying to start thinking about different options that can serve as transitional pieces as I work to get back in shape post-baby. 

Cravings: Vegetables this week! Carrots dipped in hummus is a current fave. But let's be honest. The sweets craving is still in full swing. 

The Belly: 

Update coming next week on my latest appointment...

Sunday, February 16, 2014


A little update on a few little things. Currently, I am...

Loving...feeling how very active Baby Lu is these days. He/she is a strong little one, kicking and jabbing and rolling so much of the day! Only this time, the kicks are usually felt more on my pelvic bones than on my ribs since he/she is so low. Such a different sensation!

29 Weeks in 7 inches of snow

Reading...Oh Lord. Honestly, I have three books in the drawer in my bedside table that have been there for months. One that I've skimmed (Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys, which is fantastic), one that I have wanted to pick up and start reading so many times but then just succumbed to sleep (One Thousand Gifts), and another that my Momma passed along as a must-read (Love Anthony). One of these days, I'll fully read all three. :) 

Waiting for...a few etsy purchases I've recently made for the baby to come in the mail! I just love online shopping and then the knock on the door when the packages arrive. 

Excited about...the fun summer camps Banks and Raleigh will be participating in this year! Banks will be headed to a couple of half-day, week-long neighborhood camps, and Raleigh will be doing a three-day, half-day dance camp. I cannot wait to see how much fun each of them have as they spread their summer wings! 

Trying to...spread kindness, love, and caring to others with zero expectations in return. Honestly? It's hard sometimes. But I am a work in progress. And so is this resolution. 

Working on...not letting single events dictate my mood for an entire day or more. 

Enjoying...seeing how much my sweet babies love each other. They make an amazing team, and I cannot begin to describe how much it warms my heart to see how excited they are to see each other each day. favorite Rodan + Fields regimen religiously. Now that the Reverse program is pregnancy and breastfeeding safe, I just switched back to this regimen, and I LOVE it!!

Wearing...Nursing bras. They're the only bras I own that fit right now. And they're comfy. Considering I've had the same few since Banks was born over 4 years ago, maybe I should invest in a few more since I'll be wearing them for the next 14+ months. 

Planning...My baby sister's baby shower! Yippee!! We find out next month whether the shower will be in celebration of a baby boy or a baby girl, but the ideas are already swirling. Baby showers are my FAVORITE!

Singing...The usual: "You Are My Sunshine" to Banks and "Isn't She Lovely?" to Raleigh, "our songs" since their births. I already have "our song" selected for the new baby, and I can't wait to sing it to him/her. 

Needing...To find a gray dress that will look flattering on this bod one month post-baby. My stepsister, Shelby, is getting married in May (yahoo!), which means I am actively on the hunt for my honorary bridesmaid dress. I am just sort of trying to guess what size I'll be in at one month postpartum...not that any eyes will be on anyone other than the beautiful bride anyway. be honest about my feelings and not keep them bottled up when things bother me. 

Listening to...the ding, ding, ding of text message alerts. The other night, there were 96 texts sent within my group of college BFFs in the span of a couple hours. Between my college girls, sisters, momma and momma-in-law, Fort Mill friends, and LifeGroup ladies, whew! But, I do love that it's so easy to communicate with so many family members and friends at one time. Not to mention getting to see regular photos of so many adorable kiddos. :) 

Wishing...I could snap my fingers and have the nursery be D.O.N.E. I have this vision of how I want it to look, but the leg-work of getting to that point is a little tiring sometimes. Or, maybe I'm just being third-trimester lazy. 

Doing...lots of treadmill, instead of outdoor, walking, these days, since it has been a little cold/snowy/icy as of late. Luckily, our neighborhood has a (free) gym that is one mile from our house; so, it's a quick trip to get there. But. I'm definitely looking forward to warmer temps when I can get back outside for some fresh air. 

Dreaming of...our beach trip this summer, when I'll have a 4-year-old jumping waves, a 2-year-old chasing seagulls, and a 3-month-old resting in the shade. A cold drink in my hand. The sun beaming down on my shoulders. The sound of beanbags hitting a cornhole board behind me. And the warm breeze in my hair. Heaven on earth. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: Snowy Valentine Edition

Hey y'all! Welcome to coffee date Friday (via link up with Rags to Stitches), where we share imaginary coffee and pretend we are sitting across from each other, in our favorite cafe, sharing great conversation between good friends. 

If we were to meet for our favorite caffeinated delight this morning, I would share the following about me: 

...That brrrr!!!! I know, I know. Weather talk isn't usually a conversation between good friends. But we got some SERIOUS snow in my neck of the Southern woods this week, as in 7 inches. I have never seen anything like it down South! Thank GOODNESS my hub's week-long work trip to Atlanta was cancelled at the last minute Monday night. It would have been a tough week for him to be gone again. We were so happy to have him home with us all week and we definitely snuck in lots of snow playing, snowcream eating, hot chocolate drinking, and blanket snuggling. Now, we are officially D.O.N.E. with these weather shenanigans and ready for Spring.

...That, you should immediately stop what you're doing and go to the grocery store. Make your way to the cookie aisle. Hunt down the Oreo section. Locate the brand new Cookie Dough Oreos. Put them in your cart, but not before sneaking one out of the package and subsequently drooling as it hits your mouth. You're welcome. 

...That this post could have also been called the Cancellation Edition. As in, due to the aforementioned weather, lots of fun plans for this week were cancelled, including a fun Valentine playdate with our weekly play group, a Momma date with one my sweet Fort Mill Momma friends, and Banks' school Valentine party. Looks like the Valentine's we made for Banks' buddies will have to wait until next week since school holidays were already planned for this Friday and next Monday. Oh well. It's always a good day to spread the love, right? ;) 

...That I am headed out for a little antique shopping tomorrow, assuming the roads have thawed enough for me to drive, to hopefully pick up some vintage, decorative pieces for the nursery. I am looking forward to a little quiet Momma time after being cooped up inside all week. 

...That, after my little solo shopping retreat, I'll be heading home to pack our things because we're headed to Georgia for a few days! We are off to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in their new home in their new neighborhood in their new town in their new state, and I can't wait! I'm looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with my precious niece, too, along with my duo, while her momma takes care of some appointments. It should make for a fun and exhausting-in-the-best-possible-way week! Yippee!! 

...That of course, today is the day o' love, and I want to make sure you know how grateful I am for your friendship (and readership!). My life is more meaningful with you in it, and I am thankful you come back here each week to wind down and catch up. So, I would need to say, Happy Valentine's Day to you! My hub and I will be doing an in-house date night this evening, and assuming we can get out and to a grocery store, will be cooking up something yummy to enjoy together, while he sips wine and I sip water, and we take in a movie from the comfort of our couch after putting our babies to bed. I can't wait!

And then, I would ask about YOUR Valentine plans, about what you did to pass the time during this crazy weather week, and about what else has happened in your life since we last got together. 

I would end with a big hug, a Happy Valentine's Day, and a see ya real soon!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: 28 Weeks

After a rough, emotional week last week, my hub informed me that I needed to keep this past Saturday wide open and be ready to leave the house at 7:15 am. What ensued was an entire (surprise!) day at a Charlotte-area spa for this Momma, including an organic facial, an 80-minute prenatal massage, a delicious lunch, luxury pedicure and manicure treatments, and a nice, hot shower. It was quiet. It was relaxing. It was peaceful. It was heavenly. But you know what my favorite part of my day of pampering was? It was that I finally had an entire day to focus solely on sweet Baby Lu, nestled safely in my belly, without all the daily chaos that comes with being a stay-at-home Momma to two active and energetic little ones. Because all day, I was able to focus on every jab, every punch, every kick, every roll, every hiccup, without interruption. I left my special day feeling not only refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world, but also even more connected to my sweet baby. Oh, and I am feeling much better this week. Whew! :) 

Spa belly.

Size of the Baby: I had my 28-week appointment last Friday, and all is well with Baby Lu. I passed my glucose tolerance test, got to hear the baby's heart rate (in the 150s), and my belly measured at 28.5 weeks. I also found out I get to have one last ultrasound at 36 weeks, which I was SO excited to hear, because I thought my 20-week ultrasound would be my last glimpse of Baby Lu before his/her birth (as it was at my old OB/GYN practice in Atlanta, when 20 weeks was the last time I got to see Banks and Raleigh in my belly). 

Oh. And also. One minor detail. WE SCHEDULED BABY LU'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! Look out April 25, 2014. The world will become a whole lot sweeter that day. :) :) :) 

And, according to Baby Center, Baby Lu now weighs approximately 2.25 pounds and is the size of a large eggplant. Grow, baby, grow!

Maternity Clothes:  Maybe I should just delete this section from here on out? Yes, I think I will. In sum, I wear maternity clothes only these days and will continue to do so until my baby is born, and even then, until I am finally able to squeeze back into non-maternity wear. :) Actually, strike that. The maternity leggings may be a permanent fixture in my wardrobe. They are

Symptoms: The fatigue is back! Already! Man, second tri came and went and took my energy with it! Although I am much more energized now than I was during my first trimester, I have started needing a few naps during the week again. But also? Nesting has arrived! I am ready to get moving, moving, moving on the nursery! I ordered something from etsy to hang on one of the walls several weeks ago, and it finally arrived, and I love it! Now, I just need to take care of the rest of the room. Luckily, the bedding is in the process of being made (by my sister-in-law...woot!), the furniture has been placed, and a few decorative pieces have been purchased. I have gone through the bins of boy and girl newborn clothing I have from when Banks and Raleigh were itty bitty and washed the appropriate clothing--but no hints here as to whether I was washing and organizing pink or blue apparel. :) So. Take that, nesting! Slow but steady progress!

Movement: This baby has been super active over the last week, and I just can't get enough!

Sleep: Early to bed, early to rise. A few night awakenings but not too bad this week. Except for Monday, when I woke for the day at 4:30 am. Yuck!

What I Miss: Aside from the usual suspect (we all know what that is by now), nuttin' honey.

Cravings: Sweets! All I can think about is cookie dough. And donuts. And brownies. And everything else in the world with sugar in it. Yummy!

The Belly: 

And here's a 28-week comparison shot from when I was pregnant with Raleigh. Unfortunately, I don't have a 28-week photo from when I was pregnant with Banks :( but at least this gives some idea of my current size compared to one of my previous pregnancies: 

28 weeks pregnant with Raleigh

Marching right along through third trimester...onward!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sidewalk Lines and Chipped Nail Polish

I am a sentimental momma. 

A momma who likes to take pictures. 

momma who almost always has a camera within arm's reach. 

A momma who tries to capture real moments of this chapter of our story so that one day, when I'm wrinkly and grey and sitting alongside my hub as we look back on our life, we'll smile through our tears at the beautiful story we told together. 

It's more than that, though. 

For me, the photos I take are not just about capturing the innocent and beautiful faces of my sweet babies as they grow and change each day. 

Yes, it's so much more than that for me. 

The photos I take are cues that serve to immediately take me back to the moments surrounding the photos. The memories, the moments. So vivid. So clear.

These are the moments I cherish as each new page of our story is turned.

Take this photo, for instance: 

At first glance, this is nothing more than a photo of a few sidewalk slabs. But look closely. Those lines that have been etched into the newly laid sidewalk? Those are wagon lines from a red Radio Flyer wagon. A red Radio Flyer wagon that carried a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, while the smell of Coppertone sunscreen floated through the air and the crunch of dry Cheerios and ice water slurps served as the afternoon's soundtrack. That 3-year-old and that 1-year-old rode for over 2 miles, at a slow, comfortable pace, behind their Momma's steady pull. You see, much of our early days in Fort Mill were spent like this: on red Radio Flyer walks around the neighborhood, together, just the three of us, as we went out in search of new adventures and new friends in our new surroundings. This photo reflects just that: a new adventure for our family, one full of uncertainty, but also, hope. One we would embark on together. I treasure this photo and the love and promise that it holds: As long as we are together, everything will be okay. 

And then, there's this photo: 

Initially, it appears to be but a slightly aged hand decorated with well-worn fingernail polish on a single, pinky finger. But it is more than that. This is the receding, hot pink polish that was delicately painted on a Momma's fingernail during her 2-year-old daughter's first manicure: A daughter who was initially hesitant to have her own nails painted as part of her birthday celebration. A daughter who needed Momma to go first to show her, as Mommas often do, that everything will be okay. When I look at this photo, I can feel the slight weight of her 2-year-old body on my lap and feel the warmth of her tiny, pink terry cloth robe against my skin as her eyes stare intently at the polish being painted on her Momma's nail. I can hear the sounds of water splashing and children laughing in the indoor swimming facility just beyond our view. The smell of acetone and fresh, wet polish lightly dance through the air. And then, I can clearly see, in the pink-adorned room while sitting on her Momma's lap, she gains her confidence. She sits quietly, patiently, having her own nails painted with hot pink polish and topped with glitter that sparkles just as brightly as the rhinestones atop the plastic crown adorning her golden hair. We will have many more adventures together as our story unfolds. This photo captures what I hope she will always know: Momma is a safe place to go when the world feels uncertain. Always. 

These moments. These memories. This is our life. This is our story. Captured with the single click of a camera. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Coffee Date Friday: New Baby Edition

Good morning to you! And happy Friday! I don't know about you, but after an emotional week, I am definitely ready for the weekend and all the potential it holds. 

If we were meeting for coffee this morning (via Rags to Stitches link up), I would pull out a couple of my favorite mugs for us to enjoy our steaming cup o' joe in. Actually, for you to enjoy your coffee in. I have my glucose tolerance test at the OB/GYN this morning, which means no morning coffee for me today. Yikes. So, I would quickly chug that super sugary drink before sitting back and listening as YOU first shared about the latest happenings in your life. After being properly saturated with all things you, I would share the following about yours truly:

...That she's here! She's here! My absolutely beautiful niece, Addison, made her debut one day after her due date (and on her grandpa's birthday) and shocked us all by being a girl! My brother and sister-in-law did not know the sex of the baby, and both of them, as well as most of us family members, were certain the baby would be a boy. Nope! Enter beautiful, perfect, gorgeous Addison, with a head full of amazing dark hair and the sweetest little face you ever did see. And, to say my brother is totally head-over-heels with his new little lady is quite the understatement. Getting my daily photos of Addy has definitely been the highlight of my day, every day this week, and I cannot wait to snuggle my precious new niece in person and watch my brother and awesome sister-in-law dive into this adventure of parenthood. So. Cheers to precious Addison!

...That I've had a pretty tough time over the last week, for a few different reasons. Bleh. So, earlier this week, I decided to try and focus on little things that make me happy, to try to shift my perspective when it comes to my relationships with certain people, and to bring about my own happiness instead of relying on others for it. It's working, slowly but surely, I think. Well, that and the fact that my sweet hub has planned some special surprise excursion for me tomorrow morning to try and lift my spirits. Have I ever mentioned he's a keeper? 

...That I scored some major shopping finds last weekend, after finding out that my favorite Fort Mill maternity/baby boutique was going out of business. Although I am so sad the business is closing, I was pumped when I got word that the ENTIRE store would be 60% off. You can bet your bottom dollar I was there when the doors opened the next morning. I scored some adorable new TOMS and Livie & Luca shoes for Banks and Raleigh as well as several precious outfits for Raleigh and the new baby (they don't sell Banks' size). Then, I heard  a couple days later that they would even be selling their display furniture. So. Back I went! I picked up a few awesome decor items for Raleigh's big girl room (a vintage, white-wire dress form... swoon!!!) and for the nursery. Yippee!! This momma loves a good sale. 

...That Banks and I had the best time at the circus last Saturday! But also? The circus is looooong! We went with one of my girlfriends and her daughter and we ended up leaving shortly after intermission (after being there for well over two hours!). We had a blast, though, and were able to make it home just in time for me to freshen up, for my hub to walk in the door from his week-trip to Dallas, and for my hub and I to head right back out the door to go to dinner with 7 other couples at this yummy Brazilian steakhouse in Charlotte. I loved having dates with both of my men in the same day. :) 

...That I am a little underwhelmed by the Olympics this go 'round. I just haven't really gotten into the athletes and their stories like I usually do and am just kind of "meh" about it. Maybe that'll change over the next couple weeks. But. Honestly? I'm more excited for the next episode of Parenthood at the end of the month. Ha!

...That Raleigh and I headed to Banks' school earlier this week to help out with a fun pajama party, and ohmygoodness it was the sweetest thing! Rals thought she was big stuff getting to go to big kid school for a bit, and all the kids just fawned all over her, which she just ate up. And Banks was so very proud to have his sister there, introducing her to each of his friends. It was just precious, and all the kids looked adorable in their jammies. 

...That I am grateful that, while we have a few set plans on our calendar over the next few months, it is nice that not every weekend is filled with travel plans or full-on scheduled events. I'm sure those will come as the weeks pass. But. For now? I am excited about the possibilities of what all those open dates may hold...including a fun visit with my "in laws" this weekend. Yahoo!! We just love when our awesome Nana and Pop come to visit!  

And with that, I would need to end our coffee date early to head to my appointment. As we parted ways, I'd ask that we say a quick prayer that I pass the glucose tolerance test and that Baby Lu continues to grow and thrive in the confines of my belly. I'd promise to be back with more caffeine soon and then would wish you a happy and fun-filled weekend. Until next time... 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wee One Wednesday: 27 Weeks

This week, I am just feeling so grateful and blessed to be pregnant. It is not something I take lightly. Creating and carrying life is truly life's greatest miracle, and I know how very lucky I am to be in the position to be pregnant. So. Even though pregnancy can be hard at times, I wouldn't trade any of it for even a split second. I am treasuring this time with my sweet baby in my belly, when it is just he/she and me against the world. We make a pretty good team, I think. 

Size of the Baby: The baby now weighs about 2 pounds and is approximately 14 inches long, apparently about the size of head of cauliflower? Umm...okay??

Maternity Clothes:  Yup. Yes. Uh-huh. You betcha. Definitely. Yeah. Yep. Si. Mmhmm. 

Symptoms: The ever-so-dreaded leg cramps returned once over the last week. Oh man. They are the WORST pregnancy symptom for me. They hurt so, so badly and are absolutely debilitating when they happen, taking my breath away, making me feel faint, and dropping me to my knees. I realllllly hope they happen much less frequently than they did when I was pregnant with Raleigh. I also had three complete and total emotional breakdowns over the last week. Let's just attribute them to pregnancy hormones and move forward to happier moments. 

Movement: Absolutely! And the baby seems to respond most when his/her big brother and sister talk directly to my belly. He/she will start kicking almost every time! And it is just the sweetest thing to hear Banks and Raleigh say something along the lines of, "Hey baby! It's me, Banks, and I'm your big brother. I'm going to take good care of you!" right into my belly. Be still my heart. 

Sleep: Can't complain! This proved to be a pretty good week of sleep, most nights. 

What I Miss: Cookie dough. Oh man, do I love cookie dough. I will still steal a bite here and there but I am ready to eat it by the spoonful! And with some red wine on the side, of course!

Cravings: See above. :) 

The Belly: 

I have my next appointment this Friday and will be taking the glucose tolerance test. Fingers crossed I pass with flying colors! And that all is well with my sweet Baby Lu. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Banksisms & Raleigh's Ramblings

Welp. Looks like it's time for the first Banksisms post of the new year! This is Part 12, but I am also adding in a new addition: Raleigh's Ramblings, as my girl is starting to come up with her own funnies these days. :) 

Banks: "Mom, when's it gonna be my birthday? I've been waiting YEARS for my birthday!!"
Ha! I love the time table of preschoolers. 

Momma: "I love you with all my heart."
Banks: "Do you love Raleigh with all your heart?"
Momma: "Yep!"
Banks: "Do you love Daddy with all your heart?"
Momma: "Yep! And the new baby with all my heart."
Banks: "Do you love Jeopardy with all your heart?"
Apparently, you go on a Jeopardy winning streak against Daddy and you develop a profound love for it. 

Banks: "There's nothing better than spending time with family."
Such wisdom from a 4-year-old.

(After bumping into the counter with my big ol' pregnant belly..."
Momma: "Ow! That hurt!"
Raleigh: "Mom?? You hurt your penis?"
Perhaps it's time for a little Anatomy 101. :) 

Momma: "Hey Banks! Let's play [the board game] Sequence."
Banks: "Yeah!!! Fun! Let's play Sequence!!!"
Momma: "Great! Go get it." 
Banks: "Okay...Wait...What's Sequence?!"
Gotta love his enthusiasm and competitive spirit. No matter what the sport or game. 

Banks: "Momma, you're clean, pretty, nice, and fun. And clean." 
Attn: All future dates of my son. Hygiene is apparently top priority if you want to catch his eye.

Momma: "Banks, who's your favorite friend at school?"
Banks: "John* and Sarah*....Actually...just Sarah." (*names have been changed*)
Momma: "How come?"
Banks: "'Cause she's pretty cute."
Dear 4-year-old Banks, I'm not ready for your first crush. Love, Momma

(After being given a small, cardboard house at church to color and collect donations in to give to those in need)...
Banks: "Mom, after we're done coloring the house, will you get my piggy bank please?"
Momma: "Why??"
Banks: "Because I want to put all the money from my piggy bank in here to give to the people who don't have money for houses." 
And then, my Momma heart exploded with pride. 

Man, I love these kids.