October 16, 2017

When You Might Lose It All

The news stories about these natural disasters hitting different areas of our world are absolutely devastating. To see the pictures and the videos of the destruction just breaks my heart. Last month when Hurricane Harvey hit, I feel as though my life and views on things were forever altered.

The city that we live in is on the coast of Texas. It’s like one day, Harvey was a small storm brewing and the next thing we know, it has turned into a major hurricane ready for landfall. The schools began to let parents know that it would be canceled and teachers started getting ready to leave town. When I got home after work that Thursday, I packed a small bag for Adi and myself, grabbed all the pictures and disks with pictures that I could and threw them in my car. I thought we would be back in a few days but wanted to be prepared in case something happened to our house. We drove to my sister and mom’s house and waited.
As Harvey hit in a city nearby, there was a sense of relief. Our home would be spared and we could return home to our little life. Unfortunately, the town that we live in has a big river running through it and that river meets up with the ocean. So all the water that had been released from Harvey built up and was going to be coming our way. An emergency meeting was had in our town and they ordered a mandatory evacuation to leave because our whole town was going to be underwater. WHAT? Just a few days before it was just a little rain forecasted. Now, our town was going to be underwater? It was such a roller coaster ride. We’re ok, no we aren’t, yes we’re good, nope not yet.

When M called me to let me know the town was projected to be under 10 feet of water, he started packing. He called me at 3am and started asking what I wanted to save. Ya’ll, I sat there in silence for almost a minute and said “nothing”. There wasn’t one thing that I could think of that I could not live without besides my sweet girl and my husband. 

It put a lot into perspective for me sitting there, 180 miles from my home and everything I own at 3 am in the morning, telling my husband I couldn't think of one "thing" that I needed him to save. I think the idea of our house being complete submerged in water and the life we had built in those walls washing away with the river was sobering. As we sat and talked and tried to think about what we would need to last us for the next few days, maybe weeks, maybe months, I found myself thinking that it was all just stuff. It could be replaced or it might not even need to be replaced. Those things just didn't mean as much to me as I thought they might when I was faced with the idea of losing it all. 

The roller coaster ended about a week later when I was finally able to go home to a house that was spared any water damage, a town that faced very little damage, and a new perspective on the things that I own or the money that I spend on things that I think I need. I think knowing I had my sweet girl and all of the pictures I have ever taken gave me a little piece of mind but when I got back home, there were things that I never even thought of that might have been good to take. If you were in my shoes, what would you have grabbed?

April 17, 2017

Working Momma

Work. noun. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. 
my friend Sara sent me this book and I can't wait to dive into it. 
Even before I got pregnant, Michael and I discussed what we would do if we add a sweet baby to our little family and the answer was always that I would go back to work. Not because I had to, but because I love my job. Being around people and my over 700 students brings me so much joy (and some stress too) but I couldn't seem to imagine not going back to work and not seeing my kids. If I'm being honest, we live a comfortable life style with both of our incomes so that was part of our thinking also. 

I think going into parenthood with the mindset that I wanted to return to work helped me when that time came. After the first week with her, I was almost sure that I could never take that tiny little human to a daycare, leave her in the arms of someone else, and then pick her up 9-10 hours later. A few weeks passed and I still would cry thinking about not being the person that was with her all day long yet I longed to get back into my own groove and return to work. It's crazy how much you can want two totally opposite things at the very same moment in time. 

About 2 weeks before Adi was due to go to daycare and I was to return to work, I had to go to the daycare to finalize paperwork. I wanted to walk in there hating the place, the people, and ultimately tell them that she wouldn't be attending and then figure out my work situation. But when I walked into the doors, a sense of peace came over me. I talked with the teachers in her room, saw where she would be hanging out, and was able to watch them interacting with the other babies in the room and I knew that I was making the right decision for me. For her. For our family. 

That doesn't mean I didn't cry the week leading up to her first day. I would cry holding her, wanting those moments to stay forever. I cried picking out her outfit the night before. I cried putting her to bed that night. It wasn't easy to know that the next day I wasn't going to spend all day staring at her, holding her, bonding with her. But I also knew that this was the first step that I needed to take for her and for me. 

So come Monday, March 20th, after almost 7 sweet weeks with our girl, I drove her to daycare. We stopped at sonic first because I wasn't quite ready. Then I took her into her room and immediately started crying. The poor lady in there had to listen to me cry while also listening to my instructions for her that they already knew. I loved on her for at least 10 minutes and then passed her over. It was such a bittersweet moment. I was leaving this precious little soul and selfishly excited to go back to work. It was quite the scene in there I tell ya. 

I made it until about 11 that first day. Not quite by choice but by divine intervention I suppose. I had forgotten to turn in my paperwork to return to work so I had to leave work immediately around 11. I will admit that I did not wait a single moment when they told me that. I was packed up and headed to the door to go pick up my girl. It was the perfect opportunity for me to see what her days would be like at daycare without them knowing that I would show up. 

So I get to daycare, peak through the window, and low and behold, the sweet, sweet teachers are loving all over the babies in there while doing tummy time and letting the babies explore different textures. It soothed my momma heart and let me know that if I was going to be away from her, she was in great hands. But, it was time for her to be back with me. So I picked her up and we spent the rest of the day snuggling and catching up. 

It was the perfect way to start our journey of me back to work and her at daycare. It definitely helps knowing that starting June 1, I have 2 whole months off with her to just enjoy her and watch her grow and develop. I feel very blessed by that because I know for some working momma's those first weeks are the longest stint of time they get with their littles. 

So, this is me. Being a working momma while Adi is a daycare baby. And we are surviving. She is learning and growing and I am getting my interaction with my students and other adults, then getting to enjoy her at night. It's not everyone's perfect, but it is working for us.  
March 9, 2017

Adilynn's Arrival | Part 3- NICU Stay

After a successful and dare I say easy arrival into this world at a whopping 9 pounds, our sweet girl had some issues with her blood sugar. Before we were even able to spend the rest of her birth day with her, she was whisked away to the NICU to help her figure out her levels and I was left with no baby to hold. My new mommy heart broke into a thousand little pieces as they took her away from me. 
Michael and I were allowed to go see her every 2 hours. Seeing her attached to those pumps and machines was the worst. We were able to spend a little time with her, let her eat, love on her and then give her back to the nurses. We would go back to the room where I would pump, wash all the parts, try and get a little sleep, wake up, take the elevator down to the 3rd floor, feed our girl, love on her, and repeat. I felt like I was in auto pilot but I just wanted to do whatever I could to help make her better. I was very lucky that my milk came in so well and I was able to pump a good amount of milk each time to take to the ladies in the NICU so that they could feed her. 

I don't know if I even have the words to explain how important the nurses were to us. Kartar, the first nurse we met after Adi went to visit the NICU was by far our favorite. Each time we went to visit Adilynn, she was so kind and helpful. She explained all the different things that were going on to us in terms we could understand. She would sit with me during the time I was there, helping me with feeding Adi, showing me different techniques, and talking with me about all the little things that were going to have to happen so that Adilynn could leave the NICU and go home. She was Adi's biggest cheerleader and my NICU best friend. There is no doubt in my mind that she loved her job and all of the sweet babies in there. 

After 2 full nights in the NICU, lots of extra fluids, milk, and love from the nurses and doctors, our girl was released to go to my room with me and eventually home that same day. It was definitely a relief because I had over stayed my welcome in the hospital room and they were kicking me out. We brought her down to our room, where she got her first bath, changed out of her hospital tshirt, and prepared to make the trek home. 
It's amazing that just a few days can feel like an eternity. We arrived at the hospital ready to have our sweet girl and got to leave with a healthy, precious, little love. Our life has not been the same since. What a journey it was to meet her and what a journey it has been to watch her grow, learn, and explore in the big, crazy world.
March 8, 2017

Adilynn's Arrival | Part 2

I started Adilynn's birth story a few months back and with her first birthday one week away, I figured that I better go ahead and finish her story. Read about her arrival then continue reading to see how our stay went so differently than I could have planned.

After our sweet girl arrived, our family came in to meet her. The hospital that we were at does not allow any one in the room for 2 hours after the baby is born to give the parents time to bond with the baby. I am so thankful for this because there was so much going on afterwards and it was so sweet to have those moments with just Michael and myself.

When our family came in, they passed our sweet girl from person to person, loving all over our 9 pound bundle of joy. After spending a few hours there with her, we were transported upstairs to the 5th floor for recovery. The 3rd floor was for delivery, the nursery, and the NICU so up we went. Unfortunately this wouldn't be my last time on the 3rd floor.

As we got settled in our new room, the nurses started coming in to take care of me and Adi. She had her own nurse who I did not care for at first. She was very pushy and I couldn't always understand her which made me frustrated because what she was saying was important. See, when Adi was first born, she was big for her gestational age. So they automatically started watching her blood sugar levels. It was low right after her birth but nothing too concerning yet. When we got to the 5th floor, they came in and did another test, which entails her getting a prick in her foot to make her bleed, then testing the blood on a digital reader. 

Her nurse continued to monitor her levels and they were still a little low. I had already begun to breastfeed Adi and the lactation consultant had come in to help with that. Everything was going great until Adi's nurse checked her levels again an hour later. The levels just continued to either drop or stay at a level that made the nurse uncomfortable. She decided to try to give Adi some formula to help. This caused a big ripple with the lactation consultant and the nurse but the pushy nurse that I didn't think I liked pretty much told the lactation consultant to get back because Adi's health was most important. She wanted so badly for the formula or my breastmilk to help get her levels up so that she didn't have go to the NICU. She kept trying and trying anything she could to get Adilynn to eat. It was pretty amazing to see how much she cared about her and how concerned she was that I would have to be away from her if we couldn't get her levels up. 

The pediatrician on call came down to see us when her levels still wouldn't rise. She gave me the news I really didn't want to hear. If Adi's levels didn't rise, she would have to go to the NICU. If blood sugar numbers stay too low, it could cause all kinds of issues so it was important that we figure this out. I never even thought about something like this happening. Definitely not how I saw my first few hours with my girl going. I continued to breastfeed (she latched like a champ just a few minutes after birth) and pump/try any means I could to get that liquid gold out and to her but it was to no avail. Her levels got low enough that the doctor said that we had to get her upstairs almost immediately.

There is no doubt that this moment was the hardest one I have faced since meeting her. Forget giving birth to a 9 pound baby. Letting her leave my eyesight after waiting 9 months to see her pretty much broke my heart. I was so sad and overwhelmed and the tears started flowing. I had this beautiful baby girl and now I wasn't going to get to spend those precious moments with her. Instead, she would be taken down to the NICU and be hooked up to machines that I had no idea what they were or when they would be taken off. How was I suppose to let them take my girl away from me when all my instincts just wanted to hold her and kiss all the little parts of her that I had been dreaming about the past 9 months?

March 7, 2017


Our sweet girl is officially here. I guess that would have been more exciting if she wasn't already almost 5 weeks old. It's amazing how much time you don't have even though you really do have time with a newborn. Anyone relate to that? 

Adilynn graced us with her presence on Thursday, February 2nd at 7:42 in the morning and was every bit as perfect as we thought. My induction pretty much went by the books and maybe even better than what I and the nurses expected. I had heard horror stories about induction and labor in general so I definitely planned for the worst case scenario. Thankfully, my labor and delivery was anything but worst case. 

We arrived at the hospital on Wednesday at 3 pm after being called off 2 days in a row due to a high number of women having babies. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. I am not a sit and wait type of gal, especially knowing the end result was our baby girl. But it's amazing how things work out exactly how they should. More on that in a bit. 

The sweet nurses got us all set up and ready to begin the process of the induction. Our doctor had ordered 3/4 of the induction medicine and we had to do it in 1/4 sections. They said that after they did 1/4 of it, they would check to see when I needed the next one. Unfortunately, the nurses who got us all settled in left after just a few hours with us. I was so bummed because they were so helpful and relatable and I just wanted them to stay all night. Little did I know that our next nurse, Patti, would be our angel in disguise of a nurse. 

Patti took over and was actually the charge nurse so she was extra attentive. When my family and Michael went for dinner, she and I had some good discussions and that was when I decided to get the epidural. I had been having contractions for a while, and they got to the point of being uncomfortable. She guided me through the decision and the incision with Dr. Cherry. She was with me every step of the way and I don't know if I'll ever be able to repay her for that. 

After the epidural, it all went fast from there. The medicine they had given me for induction was doing it's job x2. Patti had to give me some medicine to make the contractions slow down. Thankfully it didn't stop my progress at all but definitely gave me some relief. She made that call and it turned out to be the right one. She checked on me every hour and during her check in around 3:00, she decided to go ahead and check to see how far along I was. To her surprise, and mine, I was already almost to 8cm dilated. She decided to go ahead and call my doctor as it seemed Adilynn was ready to make her appearance, even before they gave me the pitocin which is what is suppose to really get the party going. 

Patti was in and out and on the phone with my doctor. Around 6:45 or so, she checked again and could already feel baby's head so she started getting every gathered. Michael had gone to get coffee and she told me to get him to the room asap. My mom and sister were still in there hanging out as all the nurses started making their way in to the room to get set up. Patti told me we were going to do some practice pushes to get me ready for the doctor. We got through about 2 and she made me stop because Adilynn was already in position to make her debut. 

Thankfully Michael walked in about 5 minutes before my doctor and we did a few more practice pushes. Once my doctor came in, I pushed for about 12 minutes and our sweet girl was here. All 8 pounds 15 ounces of her and her dark hair. Patti grabbed Michaels phone, put Adi on my chest and snapped picture after picture for us. Our sweet girl was officially here. 
January 31, 2017


I am that person that will arrive somewhere 30 minutes early in fear of being 2 minutes late. I hate to make people wait and I hate to not be where I need to be on time and ready to roll. So last night, as Michael and I were driving to the hospital to get things rolling so we could meet our baby girl, we received a phone call. One that I wasn't expecting and hadn't thought would come. They were overbooked and we were postponed. All kinds of questions popped into my mind? For later this evening? Tomorrow? Later in the week? What does this mean. The lady kindly apologized and said she would call after she talked to our doctor. 
How does that even happen?
Is this a joke?

I had spent all day yesterday doing laundry, cleaning our house, and just getting everything ready for baby. I didn't go to work so that I could just relax and enjoy our last day at home before we brought a baby into our home later this week. I'm not good at just sitting and doing nothing so I tried to keep myself busy all day long. 

And yet we were left waiting. Waiting for the phone call that finally came and said "welp, we are going to have to postpone until tomorrow at 3pm." I couldn't help but feel disappointed, overwhelmed, emotional. We should be sitting at the hospital, getting ready to meet our sweet girl this afternoon, yet here I am, at home, with nothing left to do but wait until we try again. 

Could it be worse? Absolutely. I am thankful that they called before we got there. I'm thankful that the nurse who called tried to be as positive as she could. I am thankful that the mommies who needed to be there for emergency situations had a room to go to. But I'm also a tad bummed. It's like waking up for Christmas and someone saying "well we've pushed Christmas back a day. You'll have to try again tomorrow". 

I feel like a brat even being disappointed about it. We will still get to meet our girl, it just won't be the exact plan I had planned on. And truly, what's wrong with that? So instead of drowning in the "what if's" and "I wish this would have happened", I'm going to list some pros of being postponed for the day. 
  • More than likely she will be born February 1st which is a pretty birthstone. 
  • M and I will be able to go eat a nice big lunch before we head to the hospital. 
  • His parents will be there for her arrival after a little medical emergency. 
  • I get one more night at home in my own bed next to my handsome husband. 
  • I will have time to go to target and hobby lobby to finish up her door decorations. 
Okay, I officially feel better about having to wait a little longer to meet our sweet Adilynn. Thank you for letting me vent that out friends. Keep us in your prayers as we journey towards this new chapter in our life. I have no doubt it will be my favorite and most teachable chapter yet. 

January 19, 2017

Shower Perfection

This past weekend, my sister and her sister in law hosted our last baby shower before Adilynn arrives and it could not have been more perfect. They put so much thought and effort into sweet little details and just made sure it was classy and perfect for us. From sweet cookies with her monogram, to a candy bar filled with my favorite candies, and even beautiful crosages for my mom, sister, grandmother and I to wear. The pictures don't quite do it justice but here are a few of them. 
It's amazing to look around and see people who love and support M and I and know that those same people are looking forward to loving on our sweet girl once she makes her arrival into this amazing world. To be blessed by the friendships and families that we have is such a wonderful feeling. I know that the months to come are going to be some of the hardest, most amazing months of my life but to know we have so much support lets me know that we will conquer and survive. 
January 9, 2017

Precious Weekends

There seems to be more and more moments lately that I take a look around me, and see how blessed I am by this precious life that I am living. The little moments mean more to me than ever before and the big moments just make my heart want to burst with happiness. I'm sure it's partly because I know that big changes are coming but I also think it's because I'm able to slow down enough to see the wonderful things that each day brings. This weekend was definitely a reminder of how close we are to a huge but precious change and how lucky we are to be surrounded by people that are going to love and support us along this new journey. 

I haven't quite decided if "nesting" is going to be one of those pregnancy things that my body/mind totally skips over as we near our date to meet our sweet girl. I'm a pretty organized person in general but I do find myself getting into little kicks of doing random cleaning. I most definitely cleaned our entire shelves cleaned off and then hand washed and organized drawers all over our house. I don't know if it is because I was feeling lazy but because it really needed it but non the less, it is complete. Afterwards, I felt I owed myself a quick shopping trip so off to target and hobby lobby I went. I snagged this sweet letter from Hobby Lobby for Adilynn's "guest book" for the showers we are having. I have to admit that it turned out pretty precious. 
My sweet momma and sister came to town later Saturday evening and we not only enjoyed each others company but they put me to work in Adi's room, hanging things up and arranging it how I want it. I'm a bit indecisive (that's a big understatement) and so I had set things up but needed my sister to say yes or no before I put holes all over the freshly painted walls. I can't wait to get around to taking pictures so I can show it all off but for now, 

On Sunday, my sweet friends in the town I live in hosted our first baby shower and it was nothing short of amazing. I kept trying to talk them out of it because I literally hate feeling like the center of attention and I didn't want people to feel obligated to come to the shower, but alas, I am so thankful to them for talking me into it. It was really amazing to look around in the middle of the shower and see these sweet women who have all impacted my life as friends, mommies, mentors, and family celebrating such a fun new journey that is about to begin. I feel so blessed and honored that they spent their day spoiling our sweet girl and left feeling even more thankful than I already am for friends who have become like family in my new hometown. Here are just a few pictures that I will cherish forever. 
 I'm looking forward to a busy but great week ahead including a shower at my campus, volunteer hours, a swim meet, and then our last shower over the weekend. I hope you each have an great week. 

January 6, 2017

One. More. Month

After a quick but slow week back to work from an awesome Christmas break, I'm excited that it is already Friday. I feel like my life is measured in how many weeks I have left before Adi makes her debut so each week's ending a tad bittersweet. Today's 5 on Friday is definitely baby related in all ways, probably because the fact that she is going to be here in less than a month (we hope). It's funny that you have 9 months to plan all of these things and then in the last month you realize how much you didn't get done in the previous 8 months. Oops. 

1. Our first baby shower is this weekend. I am so blessed by amazing friends who are throwing Adilynn her first shower. I have to admit that I'm terrible at being the center of attention and the thought of sitting there opening gifts in front of people makes my heart skip a beat just thinking about it, but it's exciting that we have people who want to celebrate our sweet baby girl's upcoming arrival. I am hoping my dress still fits but.... I'm not going there until Sunday. 
2. Crafting. I actually get to sleep in this weekend but I'm hoping to accomplish a few things to get closer to being ready for our stay at the hospital and bringing our sweet girl home. So the picture below is what I'm hoping to create for our room at the hospital. I already printed out cute little letters but need to figure out how to wrap the "H" the way that they did in the picture.  I have an H that is wrapped like this but it's wrapped in tan and it won't match her room if I keep it tan. Any tips or ideas for how to make this as simple as possible? I'm not very crafty. 
3. Bassinet cover search. I am on the search for a cover for the bassinet that my grandmother gave to me. It is the same bassinet that my mom and aunt slept in, along with my sister, brother, cousin, and I did too. I can just picture it sitting next to our bed at night with a pretty little cover on it but can't seem to find a cover that suits my fancy. Do you have any favorite etsy shops that you would recommend? 
4. Maternity photos. I'm hoping to sneak in a few maternity pictures this weekend. I go back and forth on what I want from them. Part of me sees myself out in a big field in a dress right at sunset, while another part sees this perfect spot on the beach as the sun is setting behind me. I don't want to over do it because we all know these pictures will end up posted on my blog and no where else but I know that I want them for the memories of how awesome my body is for all that it accomplished. 

5. Hospital bag packing tips. I see pictures pop up in my pinterest feed pretty often about what moms say you should pack in your hospital bag but all of them contradict the other. So far, I have lounge pants, nursing tops, bras that have breast pad inserts, and the inserts for breast feeding bras. I'll add in my toiletry bag as time gets closer but it's ready minus a few things that I need daily now. I am hoping that I get to experience breast feeding but feel at peace with the fact that my body and baby will do what it needs to in those moments. Adilynn's bag officially has bows and a cute little swaddle. That being said, I know that I need to add more so help a blogger out friends! FILL MY BAG! 
Happy Friday friends. I hope your weekend is as amazing and relaxing as you wish it to be. If you have some time, give me some of your tips for hospital bag packing, bassinet cover buying, and letter wrapping techniques. I need you! 

January 2, 2017

Here's To 2017

2017. A part of me can hardly believe that 2016 has already come and gone. 2016 was definitely a year of lessons learned, memories made, and obstacles over come. There were highs and there were lows, as with every other year I'm sure. I learned a lot about myself as a person, wife, professional, and family member and I know there are a lot of improvements needed during this new season we are in. 

2016 brought lessons on humility, respect, honesty, and vulnerability. Lessons I never would have thought of brought me to where I am today and I am so thankful for those trials and what they each taught me. There is always room for improvement and reevaluating certain areas of our life. Although I know this can and probably should happen daily, weekly, or monthly, it's nice to feel like you have a fresh start; a new beginning per say, when the clock strikes midnight and the year is officially over. So with 2017 comes areas that need some addressing. 


I have learned a lot about my communication style this past year. When it comes to conflict, I am definitely one to avoid it at all costs and will let things fester until it all comes to a head at the worst possible moment. Thankfully, I am at least aware of this quality and have been taking steps to work on it to avoid the eruption. Along with actually communicating my needs, frustrations, happiness, and moods, I know that I need to work on actually communicating with the people in my life. It's so easy to just think that people are doing well, rather than making a quick phone call, sending a text or email, or even sending a little card to let them know I'm thinking about them. I want to get better in my communication skills and actually communicate. 


Sim-pli-fy: V. Make something simpler or easy to do or understand. With our sweet baby girl coming along, I want to ensure that I simplify our life so that it is easy to adjust to a new life with her and focus our attention on being the best parents that we can as she enters this world. There are going to be changes that rock our world and what we thought we knew but my hope is that we can adjust to a simpler lifestyle. 


Taking the time to reflect on all of the things in our life that we have to be thankful for is going to be a huge priority for me. I know that this year is going to come with challenges of its own that will push me further and harder than I have ever thought possible, but in those moments, I want to be able to be thankful that I have those worries or troubles. I always find myself wondering around November why I wait until then to realize how much I have to be thankful for. So this year, I'm making it my goal to stop and be thankful more often. Maybe that means I need to start my Thankful Thursday posts back up.... 


There is always room for growth in so many different areas of our life but I feel as though this growth is going to be represented in so many different ways this year. I am excited to see the growth of our family, the growth within my marriage, the growth of myself as a person, mom, wife, family member, friend, and professional, and the growth of my mindset in the upcoming months. 


I want family to be my focus. I know what you are thinking... focusing on your family should always have been a priority...but hear me out. I adore my family but I have let other things come between my being able to focus solely on them when they need it or at least give them the attention that they deserve. I know that adding Adilynn to our family will definitely help with this but with that, I want to focus on my marriage also. Trying to keep our baby girl happy and healthy will be it's own feat but I want to continue to focus on being happy with myself and within my marriage. 

I hope that you each have a great start to your 2017. Do you have any resolutions or words that you feel like will represent your take on 2017 or are you just excited for a new year to continue enjoying life? I would love to hear about what you are doing different or the same in this new year.