My Trunk, My Trunk, My Lovely Lady Trunk

October 17, 2017

Well, it has officially been over a year since I last went shopping for clothes that are my normal size. Pregnancy does a good number to the body over those 9 months and well beyond. Here we are 9 months post baby and I have yet to get my closet back in order. I got so use to wearing my clothes a few sizes too big that now, that's all I have. Since there isn't really that much time to take a baby shopping with me, especially considering I am over an hour away from any real shopping, I decided to give the Nordstrom Trunk service a try.

I have come to find that I am extremely picky when it comes to clothes but yet I don't know what I'm picky about. If you asked me to give my style a name, it would be named random. I like to try to find stylish pieces but almost always end up with basics more than anything really trendy. So I figured it was time to ask for some professional help.

The thing I like about the Nordstrom Trunk service is that they send you 10 items. I didn't feel like I was limited to a certain number and each piece went with something else in my trunk. If I am going to spend the money on clothes, I like that I would have options for how to piece those items together. My stylist Alexandra was very helpful in picking my brain and looking through my information that I submitted about myself. I can tell that if we keep working together, she is going to send me more pieces that I can't say no to.

I was a little off on my sizes which was nice but also sad because I sent quite a few things back for that reason. I'm hoping that now I can work on getting things tailored to my body and not wear bags as clothes. I love that in this past trunk, Alex tried to take me out of my comfort zone on a few pieces. I ended up downloading the trunk app to keep up with our conversations and I'm so glad that I did. It allows me to upload pictures of items that I love and gives her a better idea of what type of styles I see myself in. 


You can review your trunk before it is sent which I love because the items I asked her not to send were items that I already had something like or that I knew I wouldn't like. It is sent in a cute trunk like box an the clothing is prepared for you to try it all on immediately. I couldn't contain my excitement but in that excitement I forgot to take pictures so you get screen shots of the outfits Alexandra put together for me via the app.

I ended up keeping one of the items from my trunk this time around. Which one do you think I went with?

When You Might Lose It All

October 16, 2017

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?

Five on Friday | Hi friends

September 22, 2017

July. Was it really July went I last sat down at the computer to type out random nothingness here on With Grace? My blog roll would say yes but I would say "Where in the world is the time going"? I can give you one hint...baby sleep. Or shall I say lack there of....or maybe not even lack there of...but sleep randomness. Phew. 

But that is all beside the point. I'm here to join in on the 5 on Friday fun. Or Friday Five fun... or whatever blogland calls a friday post these days. So here goes nothing. 

1. Baby Sleep. The past few months have been consumed by sleep. Either me being worried about sleep, me hoping she sleeps, lack of sleep, prayers for sleep, actual sleep and all the sleep in between. I read a quote by Chrissy Tiegan that said "why is putting something that is already tired to sleep so hard" or something along those lines. #preach.
2. Photography. I decided once I found out that I was pregnant with Adilynn that I would put my photography aside and call it quits. Turns out that having a baby makes you realize how important photography truly is, so I am officially back at it. I am hoping to do a rebrand, launch my website, and start sharing more of my photography here with you all. If you don't mind. 
3. Dave Ramsey. My husband and I have been following some of Dave's advice and holy smokes. Our life has forever been changed. In just a few months we have paid off one of our cars and my medical bills from having Adi. It's amazing what you have left when you are intentional with your money. 

4. Car Seat. I think it's time to change Adilynn from her carry carseat to a big girl carseat. How did you know it was time for your kiddos? I worry about her falling asleep in there but she loves to look out the window and enjoy what we're driving by. Any tips? 

5. Weekend Plans. I'm going back and forth on if I should take a road trip to visit family this weekend. We shall see how we feel Saturday when we wake up. 

Happy Friday friends. I hope it's your best one yet. 


July

July 6, 2017

Let me just go ahead and bow down to my stay at home mommas who rock this whole momma gig because it is not for the faint of heart. I have learned so much about our sweet girl and so much about myself as a mother. There have definitely been tears shed and days of wondering if I am screwing our sweet girl up but those sweet smiles and moments of snuggling....melt my heart. I am so thankful that I have this time with her as I know most people aren't afforded that chance with their sweet babies. I promise I am cherishing the moments, the smiles, and the snuggles. As quick as June went, it seems like July is going to go even faster. These are my focus points for this month. 

Marriage.

I truly think this is where I am falling short day to day and I'm not afraid to admit that. My focus, during the day and in the evening is Adi. By the time I get her settled in bed, this momma is tired so I usually go straight to bed. M and I stayed up late the other night just talking and it made me realize how much I miss him. That's just not ok.

Adi

This little ham has her momma wrapped around her finger already. This is my ladt month with her before I head back to work so I want to make the most of it. Introduce her to new foods, take her to see family, go explore, and just enjoy this precious time with her that I know I'll never get back. 

Self.

I'm definitely a work in progress because finding the balance is hard. I've got so many areas that I feel like need my attention that taking care of me definitely gets pushed to the back burner. I want to give up some of my control and learn that my way isn't always the right way and that other people can help out to give me a little break. I'm going to happily work on this during July. 

Spending.

M and I have spent many nights these past few weeks talking about some goals we have for our little family down the road. We know that there are things we want to be able to do for Adi and any little siblings she has down the road and in order to do those things, we have to change how we are living now. So we are working on cutting back our spending, paying off car debt, and saving through a system to ensure we are setting ourselves up for success later down the road. Hey, if being able to pay for our children's college (if that's what they wish to do with their life) means less spending now on clothes, shoes, and other items I don't "need" then so be it. 

Friends. 

I saw a meme on facebook the other day that is me to a T. It basically said "I'm the friend who wants to be invited even though I probably won't come". At least I'm aware that I'm not the best friend out there right? Doesn't make it any better. I want to work on friendships this month. Particularly my side of them. Showing up when I've said I would, calling/texting just because and not just when I need something, and just taking better care of the precious friendships I have. 

Reading. 

Adi has decided that in order to nap, she must be in momma's arms. I don't hate that at all but refreshing my social media apps every 3 minutes got old. Thankfully I had downloaded book seven of the Outlander series and have gotten wrapped up in the lives of Jamie and Claire all over again. It really is an amazing series. I like getting lost in their world as I hold mine. 

It's Gonna be Maaaa-y

May 1, 2017

I feel as if these past 3 months have been an absolute whirlwind in the best and craziest way. Our life was turned upside down at the beginning of February and things have been on fast forward ever since. I feel like I'm wishing each week away but secretly wanting time to go slowly so I can savor these sweet moments with our girl.

When I think of May,  I can help but sing that N*SYNC song (hence the title of this post). But it's actually a great thing because I want to set some focus points to get me back on track. I'm so blessed by my job and that I get 2 whole months off to enjoy Adilynn and spend some time getting caught up on things for myself but before that, I have one more hectic month at work so setting some areas I want to focus on is going to be important.

Marriage.

It's amazing how many things seem to change when you add a new human to the mix of a relationship that has only had 2 people for the past 11 years. Adi has given me a whole new perspective of all the things I adore in Michael but balancing my time and efforts between the two of them has been harder than I thought. I hope, this month, to find some time to focus my efforts of letting M know how thankful I am to have him as my partner and to show him how important he is to me. 

Adi

It's so amazing to watch how much babies grow what seems like daily. I feel like each time she wakes up, she has a new trick or is up to something different. It's so hard to not wish time away because I look forward to watching her grow but I hope to focus my energy on just enjoying her each day this month. Not wishing for the next milestone or trick for her to learn, but simply enjoying her in the moment each day. 

Phone free time.

I keep my phone very close by when I'm nursing or playing with Adi but I need to start putting it down and actually enjoy those moments with her. I feel like I'm always in her face trying to capture each precious little moment but ultimately I don't need 800 pictures of her laying on her changing table smiling. I want her to see my face, not my phone. And this goes for when I'm driving too. That is a terrible habit I hate to even admit to. 

My face.

Y'all. Why is this one so hard for me. I am a true believer in Rodan and Fields. I love their products and have seen it work wonders on my skin but I can't seem to make myself use my products on a regular bases. I've got to work on this. Immediately. Because let's be honest, my face wasn't spot free to begin with but add in those awesome hormones and we are back to my middle school days.

Mommy time. 

Michael and I have slowly found a rhythm for how we both can get in some free time. It's still a work in progress but it is so needed for us both. He has a fishing trip with his dad planned and I hope to sneak away for a day at the beach at some point this month. Hopefully writing that here will keep me accountable. 

Reading. 

My friend Sara bought me the book "The Fifth Trimester" and I have been so excited to dive into it but mind myself choosing to browse social media rather than read through it. I want that to change. And not just for that book. I'm hoping to get back into my bible studying and one of the last books of the Outlander series. Reading is such an escape for me so I'm hoping to spend more time there than on social media. 

I know there are other areas that will need my focus as time goes on but those are definitely my top ones for this month. Happy Monday and first day of May friends. I hope you have a great one! 

The Monday-est Monday ever

April 24, 2017

The story begins with a young, new mommy who just knew that she had done everything she could to prepare for the start of the week. Pump parts were washed, baby's clothes were laid out, lunch for the week was bought and packed, and she had her morning routine down. Or so she thought. 
It started with our routine being off. Adi had woken up a little earlier than usual so I got her fed and then put her back to sleep while I decided to get ready. After I had everything packed and loaded in the car, I woke our sweet girl so that I could get her ready. She has been battling a cold, or what I think is allergies (that's a different post for a different day) and so when I got her all changed, she started to gag on some of the junk in her nose and spit up all over her daycare outfit. So I changed her, threw on some clothes, and off to daycare we went. 

I got her all settled in at daycare and headed into work. I am careful about what I choose to wear to work because I need it to be pumping and nursing friendly (again, another post for a different day) so I had on a button up dress and my black flip flops. I was walking around the office when someone stopped me and politely told me I had something all over the back of my dress. Sure enough, I had obviously sat in something that was now all over my dress. So I made a quick exit to run home and change. 

I get home, change quickly into what I thought was black pants and a black button up blouse and run back to work. As I'm getting out of my car to go inside, I happen to notice that I had put on my blue pants and not my black pants. Sigh. Thankfully M was off work so I call him and ask him to bring me a shirt from my closet that matches my blue pants. I do not like to not match and we had 3 interviews scheduled for that morning and I did not want the first impression I made on potential new teachers to our school to look at me and not take me seriously. 

As I'm in and out of interviews, daycare calls. It is never a good sign when you have a missed call from your baby's daycare. I call them back and the lady says "Umm I think your baby is going to be mighty hungry today without any milk". It took me a second to realize that I had not restocked them on milk for her week. A quick call to M before he left with my shirt resulted in him dropping milk off for our sweet girl to eat and then bringing me my blue shirt to match my blue pants. 

After he drops off my shirt, I run into the restroom to change into my blue blouse to match my blue pants, only to realize that I still had on my black shoes that matched my dress. The only thing I knew to do was laugh, walk to my office, and go about my day. 

And in the longest winded post ever, here's to hoping that today is a better Monday than the last one.  

Working Momma

April 17, 2017

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.  

With Grace | Volume II

April 10, 2017

When I was trying to come up with the name of this blog to make my grand re-entrance back into the blogland, I wanted something that would grow with me. I pictured it showcasing my every day life, mommy-hood, and anything else that came along. I didn't realize when I wrote it, how much it would mean to me on the mommy-hood part.

As I've journeyed through these past almost 10 weeks with our sweet girl, I have tried to do it with grace. There have been moments of weakness, tears shed, questions asked, questions unanswered, and moments of regret. But there have also been so many moments of happiness, joy, overwhelming peace, and wonderful moments. But most of all, there has been grace.
The life of a mommy is no simple task. What works one day does not always work the next. What worked for a friend may or may not work for you. Those first few weeks you feel like you are in the trenches. You are grasping for any tiny little clue that you are doing something right. Searching for something to make it easier. Grasping for moments of clarity and understanding when you feel like the dumbest person around. But in all of those moments, there is so much grace.

How blessed am I that I get to have this experience? It is one journey that not all people get to take and for that, it is cherished. I feel like as I'm coming out of the newborn fog, I'm slowly learning about our sweet girl and all that has changed with her. But I am also learning to balance this new life with her, my husband, and work, and sharing responsibilities with M along the way. You have to give yourself grace in these moments or else you will only see the difficulties and not the triumphs.

I am so excited for what these next days, weeks, and months have in store and can only hope that I tackle each milestone, big or small, with grace in my heart. Cheers to a new week after a refreshing weekend.

Arrival

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. 

February | The Start of a New Journey

February 1, 2017

As January came to a close yesterday, I couldn't help but be in awe of how busy, fast, slow, and crazy of a month it was. From having 3 amazing showers hosted for us, to getting Adi's room ready for her arrival... the days just seemed to fly by. Not that I'm complaining because each day got us one day closer to meeting our sweet girl. Here is a look at the goals I set for January and how I did with each one. 

January Goals: 

Be Present. It's amazing what putting the phone down for a while can do for the mind. I had deactivated my facebook over the summer and was surprised at how much time I had to actually get things done without constantly scrolling. I missed being connected with my friends but I loved that if I wanted to know what was going on, I called them or met up with them for lunch. Being present is going to be something that is a work in progress for me as we 
Complete. It's amazing what you can get done when you have a timeline keeping you in check. This month was definitely my most productive, even if some of that production wasn't on things that truly needed to get done. 
Learn. I think that this is going to be an ongoing goal for me as the months continue and I learn how to be the best momma that I can to miss Adilynn. As so many people have told me, it's definitely a trial and error process. People can give us the most wonderful advice but ultimately, it will depend on her little personality and her specific needs. I am so open to all of the knowledge and ideas that mommas have to share though so send those my way any time you wish. 
Be Thankful. With all of our showers happening in January, I had plenty of opportunity to become more aware than ever of the amazing people that we have in our life. At each shower, I could feel the love and excitement as people gathered to spoil our sweet girl. 

And now to set some goals for the month that will bring Adilynn into the world and forever change our little family in the best way possible. 

February Goals:

Welcome our sweet baby girl. It's amazing to think about actually holding her in our arms and brining her home to a house that is so filled with love for her already. I am excited and nervous for all the days and nights to come but knowing she will be here totally over powers those fears with so much excitement. 
Love. The month of February will forever represent love and it makes me excited that even though we hadn't planned on her waiting until February to get here, I am so glad that she did. It makes me feel as though she will be a lover of all things and I can't wait to instill in her how much she is truly loved. I plan to use this month to love all over her and M as we begin a new journey in our marriage by welcoming her to our world. 
Adjust. This one is going to be huge for me. When you have lived a certain way for almost 30 years and then adjusted to living another way for almost 5 years, the thought of all of those things going away to care for a baby is a bit scary. I hope that I can adjust my thinking, my worries, my fears, and my time to fit the needs of her and Michaels. 
Self-Care. I've heard from many mommas that you HAVE to take some time for yourself as you are trying to recover from growing a human for the past 9 months and then giving birth to that same little human. I hope that I can find some time to take care of myself so I can be the best momma and wife to my little family. 
Breathe. Although I tend to be carefree in different areas of my life, I've found out lately that I like to have control over things and when they don't go as planned, it stresses me out a little more than it should. I hope that as we are in this adjustment period, I can just breathe and enjoy these precious moments. 
Loosen the reigns. This goes with breathe. I try to control things that are not in my control and end up frustrated and overwhelmed. This is going to be something that I need to work on as we have so many people who are going to be here helping and guiding us during these first few weeks of having a new baby in the family. I hope that I can just relax, be thankful for the help, and learn to accept things that don't go my way. 

Wow... now that I look back on those things for February, it seems more like a new year's resolution post. I guess this month really will be the beginning of something new though so it is what it is. I am excited for what February will bring us and all of the lessons that are in store. Happy February friends. 



Disappointment

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. 
What?
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. 


Five on Friday | Already?

January 27, 2017

I'm not sure if this week flew by because I was counting down the days for our last doctor's appointment before baby or if it's because I had so much to finish up at my last week of work but I am so thankful that it did. I have a feeling these next few days will go by very, very slowly but when I look back, it will seem like I didn't have enough time to finish all I needed to.

I'm going to join in on the 5 on Friday fun even though I've been a bit nonexistent in the blogworld lately. I can't seem to get motivated to do anything but random things around the house that are definitely not a necessity to bringing home a new baby. Read #5 for more on what I mean by that.
1. Adilynn. We got to see our sweet Adi 2 weeks ago and the doctor measured her to give us an estimate and see if any action needed to be taken before her actual due date. Turns out our sweet girl has some long legs and has been enjoying herself in there because she already was weighing 7lbs 2 oz. So the doctor is going to induce me a week earlier than my due date. EAK! I have so many emotions about this but mostly I am just so very excited to kiss the sweet little face of my daughter.

2. Going Home Outfits. Since when did this become a thing? Has it always been one? I've felt more pressure about what I'm brining her home in than I have about her room. So I'm giving up and have packed one little outfit that was given to us at a shower. I have to be honest and say that since we will be the only ones to see her, I'm not too worried about it any more. Am I alone in this? I mean as long as she's comfy for our ride home, surely that's all that matters right?

3. Amazon prime for the win. I would be absolutely lost without amazon prime. The fact that the closest Target to me is almost an hour away is just not helpful when preparing for a baby. Thank goodness Amazon Prime stepped in. I think I have probably ordered at least 2 or 3 things a day this week. #oops.

4. Nesting. I finally hit the "nesting stage" although I think I got the wrong case of nesting. I have done everything around the house that I can think of that there is absolutely no reason for doing it. I power-washed our outside chair cushions, the mats in my car, our dogs water bowl, weeded our front flower bed (meaning I dug up every single thing that was in there), and repotted our flower pots on the front porch.

5. Work. Today is my last day of work for the next 6 to 7 weeks. I got quite a bit taken care of so that when I walk out of there today, I will be able to focus on enjoying our sweet girl and my time with her before I have to return. I am interested to see how things go with me not having to go to work every single day but I'm so excited that I will be home spending time with Adi. Lots of adjustments coming soon and I just can't wait to see how it all works out.

I hope you all have an awesome end to your week and a great weekend. I am not sure what is in store for my blog posts in the upcoming weeks but I can't wait to update with news of our newest little family member. Happy friday friends.


Shower Perfection

January 19, 2017

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. 

Setting Goals for the Final Month

January 10, 2017

When the clock struck midnight, I already knew what I wanted my goals for the year to be. I had thought long and hard about how I would set them up to be less tedious goals and more specific to a year of growth and changes. Setting monthly goals has changed alot for me in the past few months. Instead of focusing on every single little task that I "NEED" to accomplish, I have been trying to instead write goals that are meaningful to the goals I want to accomplish for that month. It takes it from being a "must do" to an "I want to complete that". I am all about checking things off my lists so this has been a change for me, but when I focus on key words that aren't as specific, I find I get more done...as weird as that may sound. 

So when I set my goals in December, I knew there were a few ares that I needed to focus on as we were finishing up Christmas shopping and celebrating. Here is how I did on my list:  

Declutter. Thanks to a garage sale with friends, I cleaned out so much unneeded things from our house. Each closet I started to clean out, I literally couldn't believe I owned half the things in there. It felt nice to declutter and I made a tiny amount of money so that works. 
Read. You can read my review of First Comes Love here. It was a quick read but one that I think I enjoyed. 
Volunteer. I got to enjoy some time at our local library and the nursing home last month. 
Create. For create, I think working in our baby girl's room 
Organize. Thanks to sweet friends, I was able to organize boxes and boxes of clothes that were given to us. I have them seperated by size currently in a big tub. Any moms out there that want to share their organizing/storing clothes secrets? Would love to know what sizes you put away and what sizes you leave out. 
Celebrate. We celebrated M's graduation from a 9 week school he was attending for work. It was such a neat experience and I am so stinking proud of him for taking on a new challenge at work. Christmas was a great celebration with family and an exciting reminder of how different next Christmas will be. 

January's Goal List: The baby edition (because we are less than a month away from having a sweet baby girl) 

Be Present. This is the last month that M and I will spend as just a party of 2. This realization is sad, exciting, scary, and overwhelming. The change is coming for a great reason but it also makes me realize how much I need to focus on our relationship before we add our sweet girl to our list. 
Complete. There are quite a few things that I need to complete before baby girl arrives so I'm working on slowly focusing my energy on completing each task as I get to it. 
Learn. There is so much thinking, learning, and growing that comes in preparation to add a sweet baby to the mix of a family so I'm trying to do as much learning as possible. Any tips for what you read or watched when you were preparing for your little bundle of joy mommas?
Be Thankful. Although I tried to battle it, the amazing people in our life have set up 3 different baby showers to spoil us at. I am making it my goal to understand that this is something that people want to do for us and to have all thank you notes written and sent before Adi makes her arrival into our life (and I loose all desire to do anything but stare at her all day).  

I hope you all have had an amazing start to your January. I'm looking forward to working towards these goals and seeing what the end of the month has in store for us. Happy Tuesday friends. I hope your day is amazing. 

Precious Weekends

January 9, 2017

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 fridge...like 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. 

One. More. Month

January 6, 2017

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! 

2016 | A Year of Growth

January 3, 2017

There are moments when I think back to 2016 and I don't even know where to begin. As I said yesterday in my post about my hopes for 2017, it was a year of highlights, lessons learned, and growth. It's interesting how much can stay the same in a year, yet how much things can change. I have no doubt that I am not the same person who celebrated New Year's Eve with friends in 2015 and will without a doubt not be the same person who celebrated New Year's Eve December 31, 2016. 

A few key highlights come to mind when I think of this past year. From family time, to welcoming our sweet nephew, spending time with friends, and taking on a new coaching adventure, this year was definitely not a boring one. And although all these little memories made this year what it was, learning we were going to have a baby girl and our trip to New Mexico definitely stand out when I think of all the excitement that 2016 brought with it. 

Pregnancy. 

Learning that we were going to become parents was a pretty surreal feeling. It's amazing how quickly things change once you hear the confirmation of such an exciting, scary new adventure. Being able to spend 2016 preparing for our sweet little girl has been nothing short of amazing. I love how much closer it has brought M and I and how much excitement it has brought to our life.

Trip to Red River

M and I had a trip planned to Mexico to get away and relax but as soon as we found out that we had a little friend on the way, we had to cancel our trip due to the Zika virus that put the fear of life in every pregnant woman around (or maybe it was just me). So we ended up deciding last minute to go to the first place we ever went together as a couple. I absolutely love Red River in the summer and was happy to go there to celebrate this new adventure and our 4th wedding anniversary. 


Of course each year comes with lessons learned, either from good experiences or not so good experiences. In my case, it was definitely a combination of both. I feel lucky that through the good, the bad, the not so fun, and the exciting, I took different things away from each and was able to grow as a person, friend, family member, and professional. I feel like life is sometimes a constant learning experience. We never stop learning and finding things that we want to make changes to or that we are proud of ourselves for. I am hoping in 2017, I find more positives than negatives and can be proud of who I grow to be. Specific lessons learned definitely were about marriage and me as a person. 

Marriage. 

I learned a lot about the wife that I was and the wife that I wanted to be this past year. I look back and am not always proud of the time I wasted not being present with M or putting him on the back burner while I did other things. But ultimately, I'm thankful that those are lessons that I learned so that I can focus this year on putting him first, praying more for our marriage, and being a great wife while also balancing being a new momma. I feel as though great things are in store for our little family in 2017.

Personal.

The growth I have felt this past year has been huge compared to what I have felt in years past. I felt for a while that I was stagnate in my growth as a person. Things were changing around me but I just conformed to whatever I needed to survive. This past year, I feel I spent some real time on myself and it paid off by teaching me that I have alot to work on as a person but there are some good qualities in there also. I hope that 2017 will allow me to showcase those good qualities while slowly growing out of the not so good sides that I know can show up in different situations. 

I am thankful for all that this year brought and taught me. There is no doubt about that. It's funny how day by day, you think nothing changes, yet when you look back and start reflecting, each moment has truly changed the path or direction you are heading in a way that may not make sense until you turn around to look at where you came from and look back ahead to see how far you have come. Happy 2017 friends. Here's to an amazing new year full of endless possibilities and adventures that are awaiting you on your path. 

Helene in Between

Here's To 2017

January 2, 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. 

Communication 

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. 

Simplify

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. 

Thankful

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.... 

Growth

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. 

Focus

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.