First Comes Love | Book Review

December 29, 2016

Book Title: First Comes Love
Author: Emily Giffin
Genre: Fiction
Goodreads

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond. 

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands. 

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first. 

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

My Thoughts

Any of the books by Emily Giffin have been quick reads for me. She pulls you in with the story and then leaves your wanting to know where the story goes and how it ends. I started it on Monday and finished it up on Tuesday evening before I went to bed. Part of it is definitely her writing style while part of it is my need to know what happens or else I sit and make up my own endings to the story and then am disappointed when it doesn't end how I've made it in my head. 

I connected with the characters in a weird way because I could relate them to my sister and I. Josie and Meredith are polar opposites and both dealt with their brother's death in totally opposite ways. My sister and I did the same when my dad passed away so I could sympathize with their situation as sisters. Thankfully, my sister and I had a strong relationship that set us up for being supportive and encouraging of one another as we both battled that loss. Unfortunately, the sisters in this story did not seem to have that. It was as if there was a lot of sibling rivalry/hard feelings from the beginning of their friendship that kept them from having that nurturing relationship that you tend to see with siblings. 

There are several "talk-able" topics that pop up in random spots throughout the book that make you wonder what you would do in that situation or how you would feel if that was your sister making those choices. I found myself getting upset with the characters at different points in the book because of the self-absorbed nature of their relationship. But that's easy for an outside to see and analyze. 

All in all, I enjoyed this book as a quick read. It was a reminder of how different people deal with the death of people they love, and how it can ultimately affect the rest of their life in different ways based on how they choose to deal with the death. 

Fun Information:

Until someone commented on my instagram picture about this, I didn't realize that other characters from Giffin's books were a part of the story. Love the One Your With was one of my recent favorites and so reading a little update on Ellen and Andy was precious although I didn't realize that is who it was when I was reading about their part in the story. That's definitely one I would recommend, although again, I found myself mad at Ellen a lot in that story. 

Rating

I would give this book 3.5 stars because of the issues that it brings up and talks about that you don't quite expect. My annoyance with the sisters and their relationship was more for personal reasons so maybe you can relate to them more than I did. I liked that there was some controversy and although you expect one ending, you see that things aren't always what they seem. 

Do you have ay suggestions for what I should read next? I had Jojo Moyes book One Plus One checked out from the library but didn't get around to reading it just yet. 

Five on Friday | Week Update Edition

December 23, 2016

It has been a very uneventful week off and I couldn't be more thankful for that. The weather has gone from absolutely freezing cold to me wearing flip flops to my appointment tomorrow. Christmas should definitely be interesting weather wise but I am so looking forward to hugging my sweet family's neck and spending Christmas eve night sitting next to them in Church and then eating Grandmom's home cooking. To finish out the week, I figured I would give you my five on friday in a "week update" form.

One. I finished up Christmas shopping and got to enjoy lunch and a catch up session with my friend Jessica. We went to a place called Flying Saucer and holy moly their pizza is a.maz.ing. They have a huge selection of beer and lots of different types of foods to try. I would highly recommend it. I picked up this precious bag to use as either my hospital bag or possibly Adilynn's. I'm so glad I have the bag but have nothing to go inside of it. I'm doing really good at this mom thing so far. 
Two. We got to hear Adilynn's heartbeat yesterday at our last doctor appointment of 2016. My appointments for the past month and a half have been quick and painless. She measures my belly and then we hear that sweet little heartbeat and that's about it. Thankfully we scheduled our next appointment and we will finally get to see her again after 16 long weeks. It's all sneaking up on me so quickly. She mentioned that I will start coming once a week after this next appointment. Where did the past 8 months go?! 

Three. Did you see my secret Christmas list I posted yesterday? Let me know if you have any of the things that I linked to. Would love some opinions before I spend Christmas gift cards on those little items. I've pretty much decided from your comments that I need the polaroid camera asap. 

Four. I have always heard wonderful things of ASOS and decided to try them out for myself since I needed a few maternity dresses for upcoming showers. Their shipping is awesome and the quality of the clothes is amazing BUT.... the sizing is not quite "on" with your normal sizing. That or my size has increased way more than I thought. I got this beautiful dress in and was so sad when I tried it on that it was already a tad too tight. The shower I would wear it to is not until the 15th of January so I'm thinking by then, it's going to be wayyyyy too tight. I went ahead and purchased this pink one as a back up just in case. 
Five.  I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with those that you love most. I love everything that the holidays stand for and the extra reason it gives us to reflect and be thankful for the wonderful memories we made or the lessons we learned. I am looking forward to spending time with my family while missing family that we won't get to see. I can't help but think how truly blessed I am to have family to share this time with. 

It has made my days complete to be back in this space of mine and have the opportunity to chat and get to know each of you. Thank you for coming around for my randomness and for encouraging me along the way. Merry Christmas sweet blog friends.

My Secret List

December 22, 2016

There is just something about receiving gifts that makes me feel so awkward. I tried to beg my friends to not throw us a baby shower because I get so uncomfortable about the thought of people buying gifts for me. I would be lying if I said I haven't wished that Adilynn would come early just to avoid having to be the center of attention at 2 showers that are coming up. Ridiculous, I know. 

So when December rolled around and the questions of "What would you like this Christmas" began, I couldn't help but get that weird feeling in my throat. Thankfully this Christmas has been a little better thanks to baby girl's upcoming arrival. When people have asked what I want, it usually revolves around anything I need for Adi's room or survival with a new baby. I legit asked for her crib mattress and bumper guards to match her bedding from my grandparents because I want to get her room completed. 

But of course, there are items on my list that I just don't feel comfortable asking someone for. So today, I thought I would share with you my secret list of wants that I've been collecting all year long. Some of the things are items I will have to slowly save up for and some are items I've had screen shots of in my phone for way too long. 

One    Two    Three

One    Two    Three


One     Two    Three    Four

The silly thing about this list is that most of it I could have already bought for myself but I haven't or just refuse because of the cost. I don't know if I will ever buy some of these things but it was fun to make a list and not feel like anyone will feel obligated to get you any of it. Thank you Blogland for giving me a place to put this out there. If you have any of these items, tell me your thoughts so I know what to spend gift cards that I may receive on. 

No Love For You Like Mine

December 19, 2016

I saw a quote when I first found out that I was pregnant that has stuck with me through this whole journey. Maya Angelou wrote "In all the world there is not heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is not love for you like mine". Just like I discussed in a recent post, I have no idea what she was talking about when she said or wrote this. Perhaps she was talking about the relationship between she and someone or maybe she was talking about just loving people in general. For me, this quote perfectly summed up my journey of becoming a mommy. 

I have never been so proud of my body as I have been to see it go through all of the amazing things that have to happen to grow and provide for a healthy baby for 40 weeks. Watching my body change in so many different ways has been a huge lesson for me. Although the instinct for any change is to reject it, I feel as though I have embraced the amazing things that are happening. I went to take my 33 week update picture (I've been slacking lately) and found myself lost in thought of this journey and what it has meant to me. 
Going into my pregnancy, I just knew I was going to be the one who was sick all the time, experiencing every single symptom that there was. In the beginning I was definitely tired and felt a bit nauseous at times, but thankfully the first trimester was during my summer break from work and I could be lazy and just relax. I never got sick and never had any other symptoms besides occasional upset stomach if I didn't eat every few hours. I honestly felt so relieved and so thankful that our sweet baby was being so good to me. 

Yesterday was officially week 33 of this 40 week journey and I find myself, more often than not, just staring at my stomach or placing my hands on my stomach to feel our sweet baby girl's kicks. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to carry and provide for her on such a deep level. She will be the only person who knows me from the inside out and my heartbeat will be the one that she remembers in times of need. I truly feel humbled by that knowledge and thankful for that small connection with her. 

Knowing that not every woman gets to experience this journey humbles me beyond belief. I have tried not to take one minute of it for granted and soak in each of the little milestones that we have reached together. In talking with other moms, it seems as though each pregnancy is different so knowing I will never really experience this again makes it even more special. I have no doubt in my mind that this experience is truly a miracle and 40 weeks that I will cherish and treasure for years and years to come. 

With grace, I hope to show our sweet girl how to love compassionately, treat others the way that they deserve to be treated, enjoy the little things in life, and cherish the things that matter most. I feel so blessed to have the honor of being her provider for these past 33 weeks and look forward to the day that I can hold her in my arms and kiss her sweet little feet that kick me throughout the day. My heart is full. 

Good Intentions

December 16, 2016

It seems as though I always have good intentions of sitting down to write in this little space of mine and then the couch just somehow takes over those good intentions. I swear sometimes it's like it wraps it's leather arms around me and says "cuddle me, don't leave." Which is exactly what I did all. week. long. Ok, so I worked a little, helped coach swim practice, and volunteered a little too but ultimately, when I got home me and the couch did some major bonding this week. I will say, in my defense, that I was just giving it some time to get ready for our 2 weeks together that starts today! Woohoo! 
Long, long ago...ok it wasn't that long ago...but when I first started blogging link ups were my jam. I use to find so many blogs to follow and it was a great way for people to see my blog too. So when I started this new little blog of mine, I knew that joining in on one of my favorite Friday link ups was a must. So here is my Five on Friday

1. Christmas vacation starts today and I literally couldn't be more excited. You can tell that everyone at school is ready for a break and I can't say that I blame them. I plan to do a lot of sitting, blogging, and working in Adilynn's room. 
2. Speaking of Adilynn's room, we are slowly making progress. Furniture is officially set up, clothes are sorted through from what we have been given so far, and now all that is left is to hang up the decorations we got so I can sit in her room and imagine what life is going to be like in about a month and a half. Holy smokes... I have so much time yet so little time to prepare. I can't wait to show it all off to you. I mean, if you are extra curious, you can follow me on instagram. It's not like I'm good at keeping things hidden. 
3. I have followed Emily's blog forever and have always adored her planners but when she wrote the book "Grace not Perfection" I knew that she was  girl after my own heart. I recently purchased her book and I'm looking forward to a great book study with one of my favorite ex-bloggers/still best friends. I feel like this book is going to speak straight to my soul as I adjust to having a newborn while balancing work, marriage, coaching, and being a friend to my girls. I'm hoping I can do a weekly book report on it. 
4. Christmas shopping is actually almost completely finished. I have a few gift cards left to buy and need to stuff Michael's stocking but I am loving having everyone kind of checked off on my list. Michael and I gifted ourselves our "big" items this year a little early but you better believe I wrapped those boxes and stuck them under the tree. There is just something that never gets old about opening gifts on Christmas morning. 
5. I'm slowly knocking out my to do list for December. I'ts crazy that we are already half way through the month. The time is flying for sure. I have a favor for anyone out there who just happens to stumble on my blog. I am looking for a website that has gowns for a maternity photo shoot. I've tried Etsy, Pink Blush, amazon (yes really) and just can't seem to find what my heart has in mind. I don't want to spend an arm and a leg for something I will wear once but I am not a huge fan of the sheet sheet looking dresses that are "in style" currently. Any suggestions out there blog world? 

I hope you all have an amazing Friday and a great weekend. I am looking forward to cooler weather, sleeping in, and enjoying some time off. 


Exactly As We See It

December 12, 2016

As I was browsing instagram yesterday (instead of doing something productive) I came across a photo that caught my eye. When I went to read the caption, I found myself typing out a response before I had a moment to really think about the reason she had posted it. Jenni is a blogger that I followed even before I created a blog of my own. I got to meet her once when I helped our friend Shay capture the wedding of a sweet couple in Austin and have truly loved following along as her sweet daughter Pippa has come into her life and grown over the past year. 

Jenni posted a photo of balloons from sweet Pippa's birthday party and captioned it with this "This afternoon as I was playing in the living room with Pippa, I glanced over to the entry foyer where yesterday's helium balloons still floated at the ceiling. I noticed that the first of the balloons was giving up and slowly drifting to the floor, and it was one of those odd moments in life where you see one thing but it feels so representative of something else. I sat on the floor there and cried as I watched that little blush balloon sinking in mid air, and I was reminded that beautiful things usually have a life cycle and don't last forever- which is often part of what makes them so beautiful. Babies grow up, special days end, relationships fizzle, people or animals we love die... the list goes on. Watching that balloon made me so sad as it meant the end of something that brought me great happiness, but as they say...every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. There is hope for tomorrow, and good stuff to come." 

Pretty powerful, don't you agree? I saw her picture and was captivated by what she wrote. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I quickly hit reply and said this "I absolutely love little moments like that. They make you stop and think about so much more than what the moment really is. I hate that it brought you sadness but it makes me wonder what all the balloons that are still afloat represent. Perhaps the things or people that stick around longer than others or will fight hard against the elements to stay exactly as they are?".  Jenni was so gracious to write me a sweet comment back but ever since then, I can't stop thinking about Jenni's take on the balloons and my own. 

From her perspective, she saw the balloons as they pertained to that moment in her life. Whether it was the fact that she had just celebrated the 1 year birthday of her sweet baby girl and that first year was coming to a close, or maybe it was that people or animals that she had loved weren't there to help her celebrate, or maybe it was representative of the relationships in her life. That's the great thing about social media is that sometimes, in midst of all the beautiful white filled photos, people are posting images that mean so much more than what we see. 

From my outsider view, I was able to look at the balloons and see the other balloons still holding strong to their stance on the ceiling. I didn't have the emotions or connection to that one balloon so my first instinct was to say "hey wait, what about all the other balloons". I feel like sometimes I look at the situations that people are in and wonder why they can't see the good through the fog of the bad. But Jenni's post made me realize it's because I don't have the connection with the whole picture. I only see the side of it that has not emotion or attachment. I was able to be optimistic because my view wasn't clouded by the raw emotion of what it meant to her. 
Take this picture for example. If I asked you to name the first thing that you see in it, or tell me what it means to you, would you say the clouds, the sky, the water, the way the sun is reflecting on the water? We would have totally different views from any one who comments because of our emotion attached to it. Whether it's more emotion because of what the waves at the beach represent or because we have little emotion based on the fact that we see the beach each day.  It was a nice reminder that the pictures that we post on social media, or even or blogs, will touch people in a way that we may never have even meant for them to or known that they would. Each picture is truly exactly as we see it. 

With Grace | Volume I

December 8, 2016

When I started to think about what I wanted in my "new" blog, I knew that I wanted to write about the life that I am living. I wanted to have a space to share the ups and downs, ins and outs, and highs and lows so that I could remember to look back on each hill and valley and see the lessons that I learned. I can't quite explain what having this space back means to me. It's so nice knowing that I have somewhere I can come and chat with friends (or myself) and just talk it out.

My hope is that every week or every month or heck every other month, I can come and just talk about living with grace in this crazy little world. Whether it be sharing what I'm thankful for, how I've tried to live with grace recently, or how I am blessed with grace and love, I just want to share it here. So without further waiting, I present to you Volume I of With Grace.
This week, I had a moment where I had to take a step back and was reminded of how blessed I was by the childhood that I had. My parents were the type of parents who never missed a game, swim meet, gymnastics meet. No matter how big or how small the game was, I knew that when I looked over, either one of my parents would be in the stands or sometimes coaching me from the sidelines. It makes me sad to see sweet kiddos who don't have that support. It was definitely something that I took advantage of and and didn't appreciate until I got older. My hope is that I can provide my sweet baby girl with those types of moments and a feeling of knowing her parents are there to support and cheer her on always.

Sometimes, with grace, is the only way to make it through a situation that seems just down right crappy. I have come to the realization, after many talks with family, friends, and my mother in law, that when I have an issue with someone, it is ultimately my issue. It may come from wanting to change them, not understanding why they see something differently than I do, or ultimately not agreeing with how they handle things. But what it boils down to is that what they are doing or have done doesn't bother them or make them sleep less at night, it is how I react that affects myself only. This has been a hard pill to swallow as I tend to hold people to a high regard in their actions but am slowly learning that it's my own pride and sometimes insecurities that makes me hold on to that frustration longer than I should.

This pregnancy has truly shown me what grace is all about. I have, without a doubt, loved this whole process. Every day, my body is performing this amazing feat of growing, providing for, and protecting this sweet baby. From the moment I wake up and feel her kicks, to the minute I lay down to enjoy some rest, I am amazed by the fact that I have been chosen to carry this sweet baby girl. I know that there are many trials and triumphs that will come along here very soon but oh how it will be worth it to do it all for my baby girl.

I hope you all have had an amazing week so far. I am so thankful to you for stopping in and following along with my randomness. It's amazing what this blog world has to offer and the people that it has brought into my life. I'm glad you are one of them. Happy Friday eve friends.

Ending 2016 Right

December 5, 2016

If I'm being honest here, I feel like I have no idea where the year 2016 ran off to. This year has held so many trials and lessons that I never saw coming but it was definitely a year of growth in many different areas of my life. I am looking forward to ending 2016 with a bang and figured that a to do list will help keep me stay on track . 

I always enjoy a good to do list because it is my little reminder that there are certain things that I can be doing without limiting me to those things. By the end of December, I will probably add a few more things on here just because I love to cross things off. Ridiculous, I know. 


Declutter. Thankfully I teamed up with some girls here in town and we are having a big garage sale this weekend. I am going to happily get rid of all the things that have just been taking up room at our house and if no one buys it, it's going straight to a donation sight. 

Read. I have thankfully been better at this lately, although I'll give credit to our 10 hour car trip and a book suggestions from M's mom that I literally finished in 2 days. I'll post a review soon. She always has the best recommendations for books. 

Volunteer. Pretty self explanatory. 

Create. Not sure what I'm exactly wanting to create but I have a few things that I wouldn't mind giving a good try. I have been wanting to experiment with calligraphy but if we are being honest, my regular handwriting is like chicken-scratch so I'm not sure how that would work out. 

Organize. I have been blessed with sweet friends and family who have already been loving on our precious girl. Her room is slowly coming together and I couldn't be more excited. I am hoping to start adding to her dresser drawers and hanging more things up in the closet. 

Celebrate. Not only do we get to celebrate Christmas with our families this year but we also get to celebrate M's graduation. He has been hard at work and it all finally comes to a close this week. I am so excited for him. 

I didn't intentionally make these goals very vague but I like that I ended up using words instead of direct things to do. I tend to write to do lists and then forget about them but I'm hoping this little list will keep me accountable to finish the year out with lots of positives. I know that 2017 is going to come with lots of happy things and changes but I'm excited to see how 2016 ends. Have a great week friends. 

The Rise and Set

December 1, 2016

If there is one thing I love the most about the mornings and evenings, the sunrise and sunset would have to be it. No matter if it's on my drive to work in the morning or opening my back door at night, there waiting for me is this stunning promise of hope and peace. I walked outside over the weekend to this beautiful sunset staring me in the face. Maybe it was the nostalgia of Thanksgiving and being with family or perhaps it was just sunsets have come to mean to me, but I found myself lost in thought.
You see, to me, the sunrise is the promise of a new day. No matter what happened the day before, that beautiful sunrise shows that there is nothing about today that will be the exact same as yesterday. It's a fresh start, a new day, a new opportunity to make that day the best day that it can be. I love knowing that I have that to look forward to every. single. morning. The sunrise on my drive to school is never the same, with the exact same colors, and I choose to look at each morning the same. Through my faults and triumphs, the day starts over every single day in the most beautiful way.

On the other side of things, the sunset is the goodbye to the day that you just had. Whether good or bad, that day comes to a beautiful end with the sunset. On my bad days, it reminds me that the day is coming to a close and that the moments I didn't think I could get through are over. It shows that no matter how long or how hard, that day ends and a new day is waiting with a new beginning. On my good days, it reminds me of all that I have to be thankful for and that those precious moments that made the day great should be cherished and remembered.

Whether it's the sunrise or the sunset that I am looking at, both serve as my reminder to slow down and appreciate those moments that come and go so quickly. The good teaches us to be thankful while the bad teaches us the lessons. Both are equally important, just as the rise and set of the sun is to our days.

Happy Thursday friend. I hope this week has been good to you and you enjoy this first day of December. I am so happy to be back here, rambling away to this little white space.


Being Thankful

November 28, 2016

There was something about this Thanksgiving that truly made me sit down and reflect on what this year has brought about and how much I have to be thankful for. Maybe it was the long drive to our family or maybe it was just all of the amazing things that are going on around me that I had time to sit and reflect on. Whatever it was, I have so much to be thankful for.

My sweet husband. He has stood by me through so many of the ups and downs of life and loved me along the way. Through my faults and triumphs, he was continued to be my best friend and my biggest fan. I am thankful to him for always encouraging me, picking me up when I need it most, and making me smile.

Our baby girl. There is something so exciting about knowing we have hit 30 weeks in the pregnancy and that our sweet girl is getting closer and closer to getting here. I feel like the past 30 weeks have flown by but also taken their sweet time. I'm sure I will feel the same over the next 10 weeks.

Family. There is absolutely nothing in the world like family. Whether we are with my family or Michael's, I feel at home and complete. We are blessed with an amazing support system from both of our families. There is truly nothing like knowing we have so many people supporting and encouraging us on this new journey we are taking.

Our dogs. As silly as this sounds, our sweet dogs bring such joy to our life. With M being gone so much lately, they have been so good to me and kept me company on the nights when I feel alone. It's amazing how much happiness a little furry animal can bring.

My body. The body is an amazing thing and nothing has shown me that more than this pregnancy. To know that my body has created and grown this sweet baby girl is incredible and makes me appreciate it more than I ever thought possible. I feel like I look at it in a totally different way than I did before and plan to take extra good care of it for taking care of our sweet girl.

Happiness. There are times in life when you just look around and see all of the good in your life. I feel as though I have battled to be where I am right now at this very moment and don't plan to take this happiness for granted. It's an amazing feeling to be able to experience.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and got to rest and relax a little bit before we head into the new week. Happy Monday friends.

We Survived Carpet Installation 2016

November 23, 2016

By we, I mean Tilly, Lucy, and I. And my survived, I mean just barely. Let me tell you, it was NOT as bad as I thought it would be. They gave me a time frame, called when they were about 45 minutes away, and then showed up and got right to work. It took a total of about 4 hours for furniture to be moved out, old carpet to be ripped apart and shredded, and the new foam and carpet to be installed in the 3 rooms. I have to admit that I was pretty impressed with their work flow.

Tilly, Lucy and I stayed outside the. whole. time. I can honestly tell you that I had no idea I could spend so much time on my phone. But thankfully the weather was nice and the breeze kept us cool. I got to catch up on blogs, found out that AT&T was having a fun sale on iPad mini's, and then scheduled the pest control guy to come out since we were already home. I can tell you that by the end of yesterday, I felt pretty accomplished but I was absolutely exhausted.

So here are the after pictures of the three rooms. I would much rather have taken them with some sunlight so that you could see the real color of the carpet but alas, the day caught up with me and I didn't get around to it until this morning.

First up is the office. It seems as though the owners before us liked to pretend they knew how to do lots of home renovations and installed the carpet themselves. Besides the fact that it was so discolored from animals, was coming up in random places, and was just plain old, it was definitely time for an upgrade. I really just cared more about the rooms being consistent all the way through the house. The color we choose was very neutral and hopefully will hide dirt decently well. This room is going to be converted into an office/guest bedroom. I just need to have M move the headboard and bed into here.
Next up, we have what my mom likes to call "SuSu's Room". I moved her out of the room that Adilynn will take over and so SuSu got some new carpet to go in her room. The pinkish/brown carpet in there just wasn't doing it for me. This room is a work in progress. I found the headboard that I want for her bed and I need to hang the rest of the things that are sitting on the floor but we will get there.
Last but certainly not least is our bedroom. The carpet in here was so so old. There were stains all over it (I saved you from seeing them in the picture with Tilly) and I swear when you vacuumed, you couldn't even tell it had been vacuumed. Our master bedroom has kind of taken a back seat in our upgrades because the only 2 people who go in there are Michael and I but with our sweet girl coming along, we figured that new carpet was a must.
I will say that Home Depot was super easy to work with and the installers were extra friendly. They didn't mind my barking dogs and kept me updated throughout the installation. You just never know what you are going to get when a company comes in to do work but I'm so glad to know that when we need new flooring in other areas of our house, that we can rely on them to do it well.

We are heading off for the rest of the holiday week. If you are traveling, be safe on the road and if you are staying home, enjoy your family time. We get to meet our sweet nephew for the first time ever and I literally couldn't sleep last night because I am so excited to just snuggle him and our niece all weekend.

Get Happy, Give Joy

November 22, 2016

There is absolutely nothing in the world like spending time with family. Whether we meet up for a quick shopping trip, I go home for a weekend visit, or they come to see me for a night, my sweet family makes my heart so happy. I have been blessed with an amazing mom who, as I've gotten older, has become one of my very best friends, and a sister who from day one has been my best friend. My baby brother is actually going to be 21 this year which totally blows my mind because I still think of him as my baby. When we get together, it always includes lots of laughter, smiles, and pictures.

My mom and sister came in for the night Sunday and surprised me by bringing my sweet baby brother. Waking up, knowing they were all at my house just made my heart all kinds of happy. Unfortunately, my Monday was already packed full of to do list things so they were left on their own during the morning. I had swim team practice in the morning, followed by a hair appointment with my favorite stylist in town, and then we headed to my 29 week doctor appointment.

Getting to experience a doctor's appointment with all of them there was so special. My mom has already met my doctor at the last visit I had, but it was fun to have Dee and Dave there with me to hear sweet Adi's heartbeat and little updates on what is to come over the next 10 weeks. Knowing that we have so many people who already love our baby girl makes the whole world just seem right.

After our little appointment, we headed out to do some shopping. It is what we do best together for sure. I don't have much that I am in need of at the moment besides little things for Adilynn's room and some comfy shoes to wear because it seems that the pregnancy myth about your feet getting bigger is actually true. Who knew. I ended up buying leggings and a pair of black skinny jeans. Totally what I went there for obviously.
Going to try and finish up a few last minute errands after swim practice and then will be spending the day with the carpet people. Too bad I still need to pack, get the dogs ready for their trips, finish laundry, and get the car ready for our trek to the panhandle. Thankfully, when I called to confirm my appointment they told me that it will only take a few hours so that helps but I'm still interested to see how things go. Wish us luck.

Goodbye Gross Carpet

November 21, 2016

When M and I moved into our house, it's like we were oblivious to all of the small little details that were going on inside the house. We saw 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, a huge kitchen and dining area, and a ginormous backyard. SOLD! Sign us up and let's buy this house.

Too bad once we started moving in, we noticed popcorn ceilings, different wall textures in each room, wallpaper in the kitchen and dining area, and last but not least 8...EIGHT different floors. We have tile, wood, a different kind of tile, and 5 different types of carpet. And it's not "good" carpet. I promise. The carpet in each room is either brown, white with terrible stains on it, fluffy with a not so nice smell to it, or one tiny little room that is actually half ways decent.
When we found out that we were going to have a sweet little addition to the family, we figured it was time to take care of a few house updates. We had a painter come in and paint 2 of the rooms, get rid of the wallpaper and retexture the kitchen. Last but not least we decided we might as well go ahead and get new carpet.
Going through the process of choosing a new floor for the bedrooms was NOT easy, especially for an indecisive person like myself. Ultimately, it would be fabulous to have dark hard wood floors throughout our whole house but M is a fan of carpet for the bedrooms so I gave in since he let me have some grey in our life. Compromise people. Since one of the rooms had pretty good carpet installed, we decided to try our best to match it so that we only had 3 rooms to buy carpet for.
I'm going to admit... I did not realize how expensive carpet can be. It's like you walk in and the store is all "Here are our choices for carpet but if you want the stain resistant, lifetime warranty-ed, soft, durable carpet, you are going to pay the big bucks. Not to mention installation fees, furniture moving fees, etc". But I am hoping it is well worth it.

Home Depot made this process pretty simple for us. We scheduled an in home measurement, they sent us a quote based on the carpet and padding we wanted, and then once we paid, their installation company sent a schedule of their available dates and times. I have the week off for Thanksgiving so I figured I would schedule it for this week. Tuesday is dooms day...I mean it was my date of choice.

I am looking forward to seeing how this goes, especially with a dog at home and me having to be present The. Whole. Time. Sigh. I'm not good at sitting at home, especially sitting at home while there are people in and out of the house all day. But at least the end result will mean I have matching, clean carpet. I wonder if I can get them to rearrange the bedroom furniture and move the furniture I've build for Adilynn's room in there. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Small Town Living

November 18, 2016

There are times when I am reading blogs or I see instagram posts and I find myself wondering what it would be like to live in a big city, where there are infinite number of things to do and go see. Would I really go to the zoo as often as I think I would if it was literally 15 minutes away? Would I spend as much time at the museums and the downtown areas that are filled with stores upon stores of everything you could ever want and need? Part of me thinks that wondering these things is kind of like thinking the grass is always greener on the other side. Do big city people ever wish for the traffic-less streets and the small town feel that little Texas towns provide? While some of us small town liver-s sometimes crave the hustle and bustle of the city?

Last night I went to what is called Christmas Around the Square in my little town. We are one of those towns that still has the courthouse downtown and shops surrounding it that are filled with lots of different speciality items. Tonight, they were all lit up, offering free wine, drinks, and home cooked foods, giving their small town people a place to walk and shop. As I was walking through the crowds of people, saying hi to some of my students, I found myself falling in love with this little town all over again.
Maybe it's because I'm pregnant and everything pretty much makes me think about what it will be like when I have our sweet girl tagging along with us, or maybe it's how hard the shop owners worked to decorate and get ready for last night. Either way, I loved being a part of the small town people who were supporting their little town.

All too often, I find myself wishing for more. More things to do, more places to go, more, more, more. When in reality, I've got a lot to be thankful for right here in my own back yard. So cheers to small towns, to my town and all the little things that remind me of how lucky I am. Happy Friday friends. I hope it's the best one yet.

A New Beginning

November 16, 2016

Many moons ago...okay, it was actually probably just 4 years ago around this time, I decided to create my first blog. It was around this same time, my  husband and I had just recently gotten married and I wanted a place to come and share all the fun of the not so crazy life that we lead. My photographer from our wedding, Shay, had a blog and I absolutely loved following along so I figured why not.
4 years later, it's as if that blog world that I joined no longer exists. It went from writing life updates and meeting new friends to sponsored posts, white filled pictures, and feeling as if I no longer belonged. I mean, my ktichen is full of dark wood, black granite, and tan back splash. If that's not anti blogger a la 2016, I don't know what is. But not only that...life got in the way, a new job got in the way, excuses got in the way, etc. So one quick click of the "delete button" and the blog I started some 4 years ago was gone. It felt therapeutic in a way.

I was no longer that same person that I was when I started It Is What You Make It (the name of my old blog) and it felt good to let some of those deep posts about who knows what go, but it truly left a void in my life that I didn't know it would leave. During those 4 years, I met some of my best girlfriends on that little blog. I have watched blog friends get married, have sweet babies, grow a beautiful business that they have worked so hard to build, and struggle with other things along the way.

There is absolutely nothing like the blog world I came to know during those 4 years and I am ready to step back in to it. At least for these last few months of pregnancy and until our sweet baby girl takes over my time. Only kidding. I hope that this blog can take me back to my days of writing, sharing, connecting, and just having an outlet for all the fun/boring things going on in this amazing little life of mine.

So welcome friends to my new humble abode and thank you for welcoming me back with open arms. I am so happy to be back.