Sunday, October 30, 2016

28 Weeks - Hello, Third Trimester?!?

Date is supposed to be Oct. 25 - and we took that on the 21st... 2nd kid problems... :) 

How Far Along: 28 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Last time I was at the dr, the nurse said I had gained 7 lbs. Which is great because I had not gained any weight. Little Brother is growing!

Maternity Clothes: Why in the world would I wear anything different?

Best Moment This Week: Ummm, this past week has been a doozy... On the 23rd, Lucy was accidentally locked, not forgotten, in Mom's truck while we were at the beach. Thankfully she was calm and the police were able to get there fairly quickly to get her out. But we were ready to bust the window! Then, on the 25th, on the way to school Lucy and I hit a deer in my little honda and totaled it. :( Everybody has said, "Well, y'all are ok and that's all that matters." And yes, we are ok. Lucy was totally fine, I was totally fine, but was made to go to L&D to be monitored (Jack, you checked out perfectly! It was fun hearing your little heart beat for two hours). But the thing is, yes, we are fine - but our car was completely paid for and we weren't getting another for another year or so. So now, payments. Blah... So, best moment? Hanging with Lucy Wednesday and Sunday (today) afternoons. We had a mini photoshoot in downtown Montevallo today. And Halloween Fun! :)

Gender: Boy! We are thrilled to add this sweet, little boy to our family!

Movement: All the time... A sign for what's to come, I'm sure!

Food Cravings: Smaller meals more frequently and WATER!

Aversions: The brushing of the teeth - again. I can't take it. Also, some smells are getting to me. ugh...

What I Miss: Laying on my stomach. Not having heartburn. Not having sciatic nerve pain allllllllllllllllllll day.

Sleep: Propped up on lots of pillows and multiple potty breaks during the night.

What I'm Looking Forward To: We have another drs appointment next Monday for an ultrasound. Excited to see Jack and his growth! :) 

Baby's Jack's size: About the length of a kabocha squash

Saturday, September 10, 2016

21 Weeks

How Far Along: 21 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Not too much weight gain, I'm sure. And TJ just commented today that he thought only my tummy was bigger, not any other body part. :)

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes! All the maternity and larger clothes!

Best Moment This Week: Getting Labor Day off to straighten up the house and yard. And playing with Lucy!

Gender: Boy! We are thrilled to add this sweet, little boy to our family!

Movement: Yes, especially when I get home in the afternoons. He is a mover and a shaker.

Food Cravings: Not really. Just smaller meals with lots of water. He's making me quite thirsty.

Aversions: The brushing of the teeth - again. I can't take it. Also, some smells are getting to me. ugh...

What I Miss: Laying on my stomach. Not having heartburn. Wearing some of my non-maternity clothes, I had a mini melt-down getting ready for church Sunday morning. ;)

Sleep: Propped up on lots of pillows and multiple potty breaks during the night.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Drs appt Monday! We get to see him again because he wasn't in a good position to get all the anatomy scans required. I'm so excited to see him! And I LOVE Dr. Gooding. She is great, I'm glad the door was opened for us to come back to Shelby for Little Brother's journey. 

Baby's Jack's size: About the length of a carrot.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

18 Weeks! It's a BOY!

How Far Along: 18 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss: ??? Not sure, probably not much. This kiddo isn't hungry and doesn't like for me to eat anything! Acid reflux is killing me! Maybe I'm growing a monkey or some other hairy being... ;)

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes! And apparently I like the palazzo pants with the black shirt...

Best Moment This Week: Finding out that Baby P2.0 was measuring great at his anatomy scan and that he is a HE!

Gender: Boy! What the what?! What in the world are we going to do with a boy?! A friend told mom that you teach boys to pee off the porch - that's what you do with boys. Hahaha!

Movement: Yes! I commented today that I feel him more on the weekends, when I'm not concerned with keeping other children alive and well.

Food Cravings: Nah, but with this one I'm having to eat smaller meals more frequently.

Aversions: The brushing of the teeth - again. I can't take it. Also, some smells are getting to me. ugh...

What I Miss: Laying on my stomach. I want to lay on my stomach so badly! TJ and Lucy gave me a surprise a couple of weeks ago - a body pillow! It has helped so much with sleep.

Sleep: Propped up on lots of pillows and multiple potty breaks during the night.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Getting around to choosing his name. TJ and I are still undecided, but we said we'd make a decision this week. I commented on Facebook that his moniker is similar to Lord Voldemort's nickname right now. And he can.not have the same name as Lord Voldemort. 

Baby's Size: About the size of a sweet potato.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sweet Baby P2.0 - 14 Weeks!

How Far Along: 14 Weeks - 15 Weeks at Publishing...

Total Weight Gain/Loss: ??? Not sure, probably not much. This kiddo isn't hungry and doesn't like for me to eat anything! Acid reflux is killing me! Maybe I'm growing a monkey or some other hairy being... ;)

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes! Baby P2.0 made me super chunky really fast. :)

Best Moment This Week: I would say the best moment was spending a few days finally getting my classroom set up. Baby P2.0 is trying to get it together and help me to get things in order.

Gender: ? We should find out soon! We have no preference, but Lucy really wants a "sister". We are trying to tell her that it could be boy, but she is very adamant about wanting a sister.

Movement: I've been feeling Baby P2.0 for a few weeks now, maybe since 12 weeks or so. I think I'm feeling Baby P2.0 sooner because I know what it is I'm actually feeling.

Food Cravings: Nah, but with this one I'm having to eat smaller meals more frequently.

Aversions: The brushing of the teeth - again. I can't take it. Also, some smells are getting to me. ugh...

What I Miss: Comfortable sleep and being able to eat without chasing it with tums. I miss energy and not feeling tired all.the.time. I don't think I felt this tired with Lucy, but then again I wasn't chasing a 3 year old around and preparing to start my teaching career! :)

Sleep: Propped up on lots of pillows and multiple potty breaks during the night.

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Changing hospitals and dr offices. My doc moved to uab and I was going to give it a try. B U T uab is awful. The only good thing about my experience there has been my dr. And we all know they aren't present the whole time during birth and sometimes aren't even on call when baby comes. They scheduled out my appointments for the remainder of my pregnancy, but most of my appointments were with the nurse - and NO offense to nurses at all. They are my favorite people!! Nurse Shea delivered Lucy! Several family members are nurses, so I respect them so much. But, when I go to see my dr, I want to see her. This is what I'm paying for (and believe me, we are p a y i n g for this kiddo!)

Baby's Size: About the size of a nectarine

Lucy's Announcement about Her New Baby! 

First Ultrasound!  - 9 Weeks

And Baby P2.0 - We love you. We are over the moon excited for you to be joining our family. Things are very different this time around, just because our lives our different. This article explains it so well, but the last part is my favorite. Here it is: 15. Lovability
The first childBrought the most powerful of all love into my life for the first time.
The next oneBrought the most powerful of all love into my life for the first time, again. (My apologies if the sentiment makes you throw up in your mouth, that is just the way it is.) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Home is Wherever I'm With You

Living out in the country has it's merits for sure - freedom, space, slower pace, tranquility, closer to nature, the stars - how I've missed seeing them so clearly! It does, however, have a few drawbacks this five year city-girl has grown accustomed to - high speed internet, ATT cellular service, grocery store two minutes away, fast food two minutes away for nights when you don't want to cook (this is really a good thing, we relied on that way too much). I am so much happier being here though, it is truly a blessing for my family. Lucy has so much more freedom and space to play safely. I am cooking more delicious food for my family instead of quick meals or fast food. Tonight I made pork chops simmered in a honey-butter reduction with sweet potatoes (TJ called them yams! What in the world?! Weirdo!), corn, and pasta salad. But the question is, how am I posting this without high speed internet? Well, ATT has done one good thing while we've been away - uverse! High speed internet service for us bump-kins! :) It is great to have it just so we can actually use our iMessage on our phones. Actually calling is another story, but we are working to remedy that.

I am still working on un-packing and getting our house set up. Lucy's room and the living room are the most completed rooms, but they still have some work that needs to be done. It is tough work figuring out where things need to go! We are painting the dining room this week so that will be another room checked off. I found some whole-house color schemes on Pinterest and we are painting our home according to that. I picked a calming color scheme and am in love with the living room color already. The original pin was a little different, so we changed what colors we thought would work best for us. And Lucy's room is SW Lilac and Frost. We decided her room color could be different and it just fits her so well. It is a light purple and really brightens her room. She loves it! We let her decide between purple and green, she had green in her old room and thought she may pick it since it was familiar. Nope! :) She's an adventurer. Haha!

One thing I am slowly working on is cleaning up the outside. It had gotten a little out of hand. I was working on clearing out the vines that had surrounded and started choking the crepe myrtles. There are five that line part of our property and to be honest, I butchered them when we lived here years ago. I got zaw-saw happy and trimmed them a little too much. But they are looking much better now, except the choking vines.

While cleaning out the vines that had wrapped themselves around the branches, I got to thinking about sin. Sin is like that vine, it grows and grows. And when left unchecked, it starts to kill the healthy host. A couple of things about sin and this vine... First, that vine left deep cuts in the branches. So deep I could fit my pinky in the channel it dug. Sin does that, too. When we realize the sin we are in, we either stop right there and ask forgiveness and turn from it or justify it somehow. I have been on both sides of that scenario. Whatever side you choose, you will have consequences. The consequences are like those cuts. Even though we ask forgiveness and God is faithful to forgive, we are left with the aftermath, the consequences, the scar, the cut. Sin always has a consequence that is not easily gotten away from. When I start to compare my life to other's "perfect social media life", I tend to get jealous. And it is because I have messed up, I have compared my life to someone else's perfect, glossy, filtered moment. When I confess my sin and ask forgiveness, He forgives. But there is a nagging feeling left behind. A little voice saying that I am not good enough. A scar left from my sinfulness. Eventually the crepe myrtle will grow and the cuts will become less visible, if I keep those pesky vines in check.

Which brings me to my second point - I can keep those vines cut away, but if I don't take it out from the root it will keep coming back. I have to start from the top of the crepe myrtles and work my way down the bush until I reach the bottom. Then I will have to dig out the root. Much easier said than done. Again, sin is like that. We can cut away and we can try our very best to get out of that choking, binding, scaring sin. But if we don't get to the root of the problem, it will likely keep coming back. Problem is we can't do this ourselves. We need help. We must truly repent and seek God's help to eradicate the root system. If He doesn't remove the root, then we are at risk. That particular sin will keep coming back; encroaching on our healthy branches until it takes over. All of this reminds me of one of my favorite chapters in one of my favorite books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis. Eustace is turned into a dragon because he did something he shouldn't have. He is visited by Aslan and Aslan tells Eustace that to get the scales off they must be ripped off. Eustace starts the process and it hurts. But he isn't getting down far enough into the scales. Aslan, then, takes over. He rips and rips and Eustace is in much agony. But it was the only way. Aslan then instructed Eustace to get into a pool to soothe his skin. Lo and behold, Eustace is a boy again. We can try and try and we will always fall short, we will never measure up. But Jesus does. He always does and always will. No sin and nothing we can ever do is too much for Him. When we surrender to Him and His will, we will be cleansed. We will be new. Not to say we aren't going to sin anymore, because we will. We are fallen human beings. This has been on my mind for a while to blog about and because God is awesome, our preacher spoke about God and His renewal process Sunday and TJ spoke about brokenness and sin last Wednesday. Just confirmation for me. :) Below is the scripture Jason used Sunday. I made it into artwork because I like doing things like that.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Writing Prompt No. 4

"List Fun Things You Like To Do By Yourself"

I thought this would be a fun topic to write about. And it is in list form so it will be easier to write. And easier is good for tonight, because daylight savings and a Sunday - need I say more?! :) I do like to do some of these things with friends, too.

  • Read! 
  • Browse antique, thrift, and consignment stores
  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Edit photos
  • Create invitations and word art for others and myself
  • Take long drives
  • Go for a walk or run
  • Write/Journal/Blog
  • Clean the house - not that I really like it, but things need to be prepared for the impending disaster the next day
  • Buy gifts and make things for other people

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What Are My Top Three Priorities in This Season of My Life?

Writing prompt number three.

What season of life am I in right now? That is a great question, actually. I have just transitioned out of the work force and am going to focus on being a wife and mother. I am very excited for this phase. I get to be TJ's wife and Lucy's mom. I am most excited to be wife and mom only - for a while - at our new church. I know that I will eventually volunteer in some role because I feel like God has given me that gift and I will use it for His namesake. Right now we are living in transition mode. It's crazy. Our house is in shambles. Our new house looks like a city scape almost - towers of boxes and stuff everywhere. So, my top three priorities? Here they are! *pictures are from Lucy's best bud Parker's birthday party today! It was so much fun! Wizard of Oz themed :) *

1. A better and stronger relationship with Jesus. How can I do this? It is all a matter of choice. What I choose to do. Easier said than done because believe it or not - I can be l a z y. I have the tools, I know what to do. So, here's to actually doing it. Here's to putting my knowledge to good use. What I would like to do is get up earlier and goodness, I know I am in control of my sleep. I am a night owl by nature; I inherited "sleepy-deepy-i-tus" from my father. It makes you stay up until the wee hours of the morning and encourages sleeping in. I did get a new bible recently, the Beautiful Word Bible. It is similar to the Illustrated Faith journaling bible that a lot of people are getting into. I have attempted the pretty artwork but it just looks awful. I am better at writing, not drawing. It has all the "prettys" that I adore and encourages me to read more in my bible. I am also wanting to find a mentor. A friend in hyt has one and mentions her often. Titus 2 encourages older women to teach and train younger women. I need something like that in my life. I would also like to do bible studies. Like Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer or Lisa Harper or Angie Smith. I was able to be involved in them years ago at our first church but haven't had the opportunity to do any since. I enjoyed the camaraderie and encouragement from being involved in bible studies. Today, at my goddaughter's birthday party, I overheard ladies talking about starting their new study at a friend's church and I was jealous! I'm sure Mineral Springs has something going on, we just haven't been there long enough for me to find out (tomorrow is only our 2nd Sunday). Mineral Springs seems to have a lot of younger couples and I am excited to get to know them.

2. Being the best I can for Lucy and TJ. How can I do this? Make them priority over myself - most of the time. I know that I need to prioritize myself some of the time, so no worries about me neglecting some sort of health issue or whatever. But, for now, my job and responsibility is wife and mother. Nothing more. I need to focus on being present, focus on listening, focus on cultivating deep and meaningful relationships with my sweet husband and precious kiddo. I plan to refer to our new family manifesto to do these things! :) TJ read it and said it was perfect.

3. A fitter and healthier me! How can I do this? Refer to priority one - make good choices. Right now I make the easy choice way too often. Moving to the country will force me to work at meals and plan better. I will have access to better walking paths (the road by my house! no busy traffic!!) that I won't have to drive to. This "baby fat" has not gone away and I need to fix this so I can run around with my girl and not get tired or winded.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Family Manifesto

Using a different prompt tonight! "Make a family manifesto". Sounds daunting, right? And maybe a bit dictator-y. But I think this is going to be a fun entry and will for sure be fluid enough to change and grow with our family. I researched manifestos and read quite a few different styles. This is going to be similar to those "house rules" Pinterest posts, I suppose. Any who, here we go!

  • We will love, always.
  • We will forgive.
  • We will dance until we can't breathe properly.
  • We will give endless hugs and kisses. 
  • We will play and pretend. 
  • We will play tricks and "scare" each other. 
  • We will love God above all and then others. 
  • We will show grace and mercy.
  • We will snuggle. 
  • We will go outside.
  • We will be a blessing to others.
  • We will be kind. 
  • We will tell the truth. 
  • We will ask for help. 
  • We will play dress-up. 
  • We will listen well. 
  • We will make good choices. 
  • We will go on adventures. 
  • We will try new things. 
  • We will be good friends. 
  • We will choose joy. 
  • We will listen to our music, l o u d l y. 
  • We will create. 
  • We will read - all the books. 
  • We will reach out to the poor, oppressed, and lonely. 
  • We will be a part of something bigger. 
  • We will be the hands and feet. 
  • We will know that Jesus is better, always and always. 
  • We will dream big dreams. 
  • We will discover. 
  • We will be grateful. 
I am sure I will add more to this. These are some things I came up with just sitting on the couch listening to TJ and Lucy talk and giggle in bed (at 11:45pm, when she has a birthday party to go to tomorrow and daylight savings time... pray for me y'all. :) ). I did steal a couple from Pinterest that I loved and inspired me to write this one. I will probably make this list into a printable to frame for our house. Because, while I can't handwrite it out very well, I can definitely make a pretty darn cool word art poster on my computer. ;)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Writing Prompt Journaling...

I have a friend that is writing each day for Lent. It has been neat to read her posts. She is actually a professional writer so I doubt my writing will be anywhere near as good as hers. But this is for me and people so I'm good with putting some thoughts down that aren't up to snuff, professionally speaking. :) I actually found a writing prompt that was an "all about me" prompt and it was really neat. Way too personal for the internet, though. I'll have to put all that down on paper. Anyway, I found a prompt for lists and I thought it would be something interesting to try out. I chose the "3 Things that Make Me Smile" list.

1. Lucy - She is silly and makes me smile all.the.time. She'll even grab my face when I'm upset with her and look at me through squinted eyes and say, "Mama, are you happy? Smile at me!". It makes me smile every time. She is just a funny and bright little girl. Today, we were having lunch at DQ and ran into Mrs. Lisa and Mrs. Marilyn. Lucy talked to them and goofed off, making all of us laugh. When is was time to go, I asked Lucy to go give them hugs. She did, but not to them first! She went to the two older ladies on the other side of us and then to Lisa and Marilyn and then on to another lady sitting by herself! It blessed my heart and made me smile. My sweet girl, making sure no one is left out.

2. Hand-drawn Lettering and Art - I love seeing all the creative posts on Pinterest. I wish that I had the talent to make that amazing artwork come to life. I do know how to print it off and frame it! I love seeing beautiful things, especially things that are uplifting and food for my soul. My office walls at FUMCH were littered with this beauty and it was so encouraging to see while I was there working. They made me smile and spurred me on. I plan on putting them up in the new house where I can see them all the time.

3. Mexican Food - It is my hands down favorite. Give me some chips, salsa, and guac any day. You'll be my best bud. :) My new favorite guacamole is Miguel's Guacamole from Zapopan. Ahhh-mazing!

Money and Toddlers

Lucy and I have been having lots of conversations about money. She seems to think she can have anything she wants when we go to a store. And it is partly our fault. After reading Dave Ramsey's book in one night (ahh! It was really good, an eye-opener for us and how we use money), I decided to talk to TJ and see if Lucy was ready to "earn" money and have some responsibility. We thought it would be good for her and today was the test!

We are in the process of moving and I packed a ton of things to take to the "Hannah Home" (is Hannah Home even a real thing anymore?! I will always refer to thrift store collection boxes as "Hannah Home"). The collection boxes are in the parking lot of a strip mall with a Dollar Tree. She loves Dollar Tree! She asked me if we could go and it hit me - no, she can go home and clean her room with me and earn some money. So I told her the plan and she thought it was a good idea. Honestly, she was really helpful and did everything I asked her to do. She picked up her books and toys and put them away in the correct places; she took the dryer sheets form the clothes I was putting away and threw them away. She helped make the bed. She truly earned her money today.

Periwinkle wings and helping Dad fix the car. 

When we finished, I asked her to get her her owl bank and sit with me on the floor. I had a dollar and two quarters - three different pieces of money to help her learn a lesson. I laid them in the floor and told her when we earn money we need to give some of it to God, save some, and then we could spend the other. I asked her to pick up one of the pieces to give to God - she grabbed a quarter and we set it aside. I asked her to pick up one of the pieces to save - she grabbed the other quarter and put it in her owl bank. (a side note, she has l o v e d putting money in piggy banks for such a long time, I think before she was even one Mom showed her how to and she has loved it ever since. We always gave her our extra change to put in her owl or the bigger Mr. Piggy. And when she needed to focus and calm down, we would empty out the owl and have her put the money back in.) Finally she was to the part about spending. She grabbed her purse and Jasmine and we headed out the door. She found a pair of fairy wings and decided that was going to be her treasure. She walked up to the checkout line and set her wings on the counter along with her dollar (I gave the tax to the clerk - we aren't going to learn about taxes just yet!). She was so proud and I was proud of her! 

We are going to continue to learn about giving to God, saving, and spending. Even saving without spending it! But that wasn't the lesson for today. And the money she earns will be equivalent to the job she does. I grabbed an extra makeup pouch for her money to give to God and she was so excited! I explained that we would take it to church every Sunday and put it in the offering. I am excited to teach her about money at an early age. Money can be something that can make you a slave and I don't want that for Lucy. I want her to be smart about money and how to use it.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A New Chapter

Our little family is starting a new chapter. We are so excited to see where God is leading us. And while we are so excited, we are also grieved. We will be leaving friends and people who have become family to us. Although we won't be far in distance - it's still a change. We are leaving the only home our sweet girl (and Calvin for that matter) has ever known. Change is hard, but necessary for things and people and churches to thrive.

Hueytown has been our home for five and half years. We have lived, loved, grown, laughed, cried, and so much more here. We love Hueytown and the people here. We love our church and the people we've done life with there. We have made friendships that will last a lifetime. We have made wonderful friends outside of the church. We brought our daughter home from the hospital here. We celebrated five anniversaries here. We "grew up" here. We lost some very important people along the way, who will never be forgotten. We grieved and cried. We overcame and learned that grief is a part of our story - not the end of our story. We laughed and celebrated the joyous occasions! And there were so many! We had victories and defeats, major success and major disappointments. We have learned to love (high) church liturgy and traditions. People have hurt us and I'm sure we've hurt others. We've forgiven and been forgiven. We have learned and grown and stretched and defined our journey of faith. We have, hopefully, taught and guided and lived our faith out and encouraged and spurred on and invested in our church and community. Hueytown and FUMCH will always be a special place for our family. It will always have a piece of my heart. It will always be a reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives. It is a part of my faith journey and I am thankful. I am so thankful and grateful for our time in Hueytown.

Our last night with our sweet FUMCH students. Love them so, so much. We are praying blessings for them and the church, praying they find God's perfect person for a Youth Minister for them, and praying they grow in their faith. 

Yes, be all there. Thrive (you can, even in the most dire circumstances! It is all about your attitude and how you choose to act! [easier said than done, I know]) where God has you. Thankful that we invested in and were invested in at Hueytown. Thankful for our new chapter. And you, dear reader! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lucy's 2nd Birthday Party!

Here are some pictures from Lucy's birthday party! It was such a fun day. We celebrated on the Street, Sesame that is. ;) She got to bounce in the Bouncy House with her friends; Parker, Preston, Caleb, and Courtlyn. Tay-Tay, Babo, Rikki, Mo-Mo, Skeeter, Mae-Mae, Steve, Rebekah, Amber, Caroline, Lauren, Terri Ann, and Preston's parents came to celebrate with our girl. Aunt Winnie, Uncle Todd, and La-Line were on an adventure in Oklahoma living in the affectionately monikered "Mansion". Haha! :)