Monday, May 20, 2013

Thankful for...

- a hubby who does dishes :)
- lists
- recovery from a cold that made me feel like I'd been hit by a truck
- my son not catching whatever it was I had
- chicken and rice soup
- pajama pants
- the blessing of getting to be a stay-at-home mom
- hot tea
- little smiles brought on by chanting patty cake, patty cake over and over again :)
- going down memory lane, remembering how Ben and I became friends
- an extra hour of sleep
- kleenex with lotion
- sappy love songs
- finding wedding day pictures that I forgot I had
- not having to share my husband with homework!
- chalkboards
- lazy Saturdays
- playing cards games with the hubby
- laughing together
- dinner with friends at our favorite pizza joint
- encouraging e-mails
- I can believe that God is working ALL things together for my good.
- not having to buy diapers for a while thanks to last weekend's baby shower
- a year of marriage to my best friend
- the many ways God has provided for us in that year
- the many things God has taught us through marriage
- having a fun anniversary despite the change in plans
- silly photo booth pictures
- getting turned lose in a cooking gadget store and my husband saying "Here's your budget, go get what you want"

Dizzy with gratitude,

P.s. I just read through this list again, and I always seem to be really thankful for food and sleep. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My favorite Day

On the morning of May 19, 2012, I woke up in my own bed in my parents house. I sat up, stretched and looked out the window to see a beautiful sunny day. I smiled, because I knew that everywhere else in Nashville was expecting rain. But I had ordered sunshine for that day. I jumped out of bed, shoved my feet into some ratty slippers, and shuffled to the bathroom where my mom was already up and getting ready.It was a typical morning routine for me to hug her good morning on my way to the coffee pot. This was an extra special hug. This hug was full of emotions that are hard to put into words. I said good morning and told her I loved her and she said the same back. Fighting back happy tears, I went to the kitchen for my coffee. It was gonna be a busy day and I would need every drop of caffeine. It was my wedding day.

I'll never forget how surreal that morning felt. After 4 months of planning, the day had FINALLY arrived and I couldn't believe it. I loved every second of it. There was so much to do before leaving, I wasn't quite sure what to do first. Of course, that was cured right away. My mother was never far away with her trusty lists and timelines that we had set up for the day and I was soon busy getting myself ready and helping her put together last minute stuff like the awesome chalkboard welcome sign. Also on my to do list was "eat food". I was determined to not be that bride that goes through the entire day with no time to eat. My Dad and brother had their own to do lists that Mom had given them. They weren't even home when I got up, because she had sent them to pressure wash bird poop off the floor of the park pavilion where our reception was going to be. I'm tellin' ya, this woman thought of everything.

My cosmetology school graduate bridesmaid, Hannah, arrived around 10 a.m. to do my hair and the rest of the bridesmaids, including my Sister, were there by 11 a.m. so we could all eat lunch together. There was much giggling and exclamations of "Omg, you are getting married today!!" My face hurt from smiling already and we hadn't even started pictures yet.

After lunch, it was time for the grand event of getting my dress on. I'd been staring at the silly thing hanging up in my room for the last four months and was dying to put it on! My mom helped me get my veil and yellow converse shoes on and after a quick peek in the mirror, I was ready to go. After a few pictures, our limo arrived, and me, my little brother, and my parents climbed in. My mom looked amazing. Her navy upscale sundress fit her perfectly and my Dad couldn't stop staring at her. His hadsome-ness matched her beauty and they looked so cute sitting there next to each other in the limo. Ross, also, looked pretty spiffy in his wedding get up. I wasn't going to be a single girl much longer and I was doing my best to soak up every last minute of that precious time I had with my family.

When we got to the park, the pavilion was already an ant hill of activity, thanks to our dear friend, Janet who was helping my mom coordinate the whole affair. Pictures started right away with me and my bridesmaids and then I was hidden away in a white tent to make sure Ben and I wouldn't see each other when he arrived. It was so hot in that tent.

Up to this point I wasn't nervous. Obviously I was excited and bubbly, but I was also calm....that is until I heard someone say that Ben and his family had arrived. Then the butterflies kicked in high gear and didn't settle down till "you may now kiss the bride". There were scheduling conflicts with the limo and by the time the groom and his family got there, it was almost time to start and they had to push back their picture time to after the ceremony.

My mom had given strict orders that the bridesmaids and groomsmen be in their spots my 3:50, and they were. My Dad made his way to the tent around that time and my mom went to her seat after stopping by the tent for a hug and a hair check in the mirror. Then the music started.

I'll never ever ever forget standing there with my Dad, just inside the tent, waiting for our cue to walk down the isle. It seemed like it took FOREVER. I noticed that my Dad still had his sunglasses on. "Dad, take your sunglasses off!", I whispered. "Oh!", he said, and quickly put them in his jacket pocket. Then it was time to walk down the isle and see my beloved for the first time that day. I wasn't sure how he would react. I kept seeing two scenarios in my head. One of him smiling from ear to ear and one of him bawling like a baby. I wish I could describe to you the look I saw on his face as I looked down the isle. He was fighting back tears like crazy while at the same time looking so happy to see me and giving me that adoring look I'd seen so many times before. It was heart-wrenching in a good way. I was soon crying as my Dad and I made our way down the isle.

The whole ceremony is kind of a blur. I don't remember a whole lot of what Stephen preached about and it was over before I knew it. I do remember staring at Ben the whole time and the look in his face as he read his vows to me. I also remember trying to read my vows and failing because I couldn't see through the tears. But somehow I got through it and I heard Stephen say, "you may now kiss your bride." And kiss we did. :)

After the ceremony, began the funnest party ever! We danced, goofed off in the photo booth, made our rounds talking to all of our guests, took more pictures, ate some amazing BBQ, and danced some more. I wish I could go back and relive every moment. Before we knew it, the night was ending and it was time for the send off. We had these giant 3 foot sparklers for our guests and they created a tunnel for us to walk through. When we reached the end of the tunnel we gave hugs to our immediate family, I handed the bouquet to my mom, and we turned to get in the car.....a balloon stuffed, saran wrapped, window paint covered Mazda. Thank you, Ben's college buddies. :)

I popped my head through the sunroof and waved goodbye as we drove off. (I've always wanted to do that!) I couldn't believe it. After a year of dating and 4 months of engagement, we were finally married :)

Today, we've been married a year and it's been the best year of my life. Not to say it didn't have it's challenging moments, but each challenging moment brought us closer together. I can't wait to spend another year and many, many more with my best friend. I love you, Ben :)

Hopeless Romantic,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thankful For...

I'm the wife of a college student. This means we aren't exactly rich. This means I work hard to pinch pennies on the grocery bill, and my hubby works whenever he's not in class or doing homework. By the world's standards, we is poor. But, I know that we are very rich. God has blessed us with so much more than we need or deserve. In an effort to remember this more often, I'm going to start a weekly "thankful" post. I plan to post said posts on Monday, but this week it's gonna be on Tuesday, because I said so.
Without further ado, here is this week's list of richness:
-giant,toothless grins
-phone calls with Mom
-Ben getting an unexpected raise at work
-unexpected blessing of getting to move out of married student housing in July in stead of December
-and getting to move into a rental house, rather than another apartment
-yellow polka dot coffee mug
-chicken pot pie!!!
-a baby that takes good naps
-Facebook chat that allows me and Sister to talk on and off all day
-surprise coffee and cheesecake from my sweet hubby :)
-a day to spend at my Grandma-in-laws visiting, doing laundry, and making cards
-the precious relationship I have with my Grandma-in-law
-a good report at William's pediatrician appointment, a healthy, big boy :)
-the fact that he didn't cry the entire time we were there
-God's protection on our trip to and from Nashville this weekend
-grace to be patient with a baby who was off his routine
-the blessing of so many friends who came to my baby shower
- the ridiculous amount of gifts they gave me/William
-the hard work my Mom and Aunt Cheryl put into planning it
-my first Mother's Day
-new hair cut!
-the blessing of a super close relationship with my Mom
-a dozen chocolate with sprinkles Kripsy Kreme donuts that my husband brought me for my Mother's Day present
-coffee and prayer on the deck Sunday morning with my father-in-law
-getting to be in church at RBC this Sunday
-conviction of my lack of compassion for the lost souls that I come in contact with every day
-not having to cook dinner last night
-some brief one on one time with my little brother this weekend
-So. Many. Diapers.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stupid Cute Cards

When I was little, I was always looking for new ways to make money. I would rub my dad's feet for a quarter, wash cars, and any other odd job that I could find. One time I even set up my sea shell collection on my desk and tried to charge people to walk into my room to see my 'Sea Shell Museum". When my sister tried to come in once, I stopped her at the door and pointed to the sign I had colored and posted on my door. She took one look, rolled her eyes, and said, "I ain't payin you a dollar to walk into your room!". Needless to say that money making idea needed some work.

As I got older, that little entrepreneurial spirit hung around and to this day I still try to think of fun ways I can make a little extra cash. Thinking of ways to make money and actually doing them are two different stories. Usually, I think of them, but don't act on them. Or if I do, I lose interest. Middle Child Syndrome. BUT! you will be happy to know that I have followed through and today I opened my shop Stupid Cute Cards on Etsy! :)

 Now before you go to the store, I must warn you....there ain't much in it. Ok, by not much I mean one item. There were two items, but my awesome sister already bought something. :) I could have waited to make more cards before opening up so my store would be well stocked, but part of Middle Child Syndrome is impatience. But by all means, go check it out, and tell all your friends, and buy stuff. :)

Happy shopping,

Also, while you're on Etsy, go check out my Aunt Cheryl's new shop, Pennants and Pinwheels. She's got cards, and cute hair bows, and I know not what!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Birth Story

Aaaaaaaand here comes, yet another, blogging phase. Don't ask me how long it will last because I don't know. Lately, I have found myself wanting to record this new journey of motherhood that I have begun, so here I am. However, this blog won't just be about motherhood. It's about the stupid good stuff of life, which could include anything from motherhood to card making, married life to baking, and t.v. shows to thoughts on the Gospel. If you've stopped by to read this here stupid blog, thanks. I hope you enjoy what you read and that you will be back.

Eight weeks ago today, I became a mother. I am a mother....wait..what? When did this happen? It was just yesterday that my sister and I would talk about things we would do someday when we were "grown up and married and had kids". Over the years and how much my own life has changed in just the past couple of years. Anyhoo, back to the me becoming a mom thing. Having a baby was the hardest and most rewarding experience ever. There's no way to prepare a first time mom for how painful/hard/wonderful/emotional labor will be. There's also no way to convey how I felt the first time I saw my sweet baby boy. However, let me try to give you an idea.... in honor of Mother's Day coming up, here is my birth story:

On March 8, 2013, I was 40 weeks preggars. I was also pert near tired of being preggars and was ready to get this show on the road and meet my Little Man. So to the internet I went to look for ways to speed things along. Several things I read suggested massaging acupressure points, so my hubby looked went to work massaging specific spots on my ankles, toes, and hands. It felt sooooo good regardless of if it was gonna work or not. At about 11:30 p.m. I felt the first twinges of labor. I wasn't positive that it was labor, but I could tell that it was more than Braxton Hicks. I fell asleep shortly after that, thanks to the massage, and woke up again at 1:30 a.m. At this point I was pretty confident that these were real contractions and some of them even "hurt". I put hurt in quotations because I would later find out that those did not hurt. They were in fact a piece of cake. Anyhoo, I laid there listening to my hubby snoring and using my contraction counter app on my phone. By 3:30 a.m. the contractions hurt more and were consistently 5 minutes apart. I woke Ben up and told him I was about to call Tori, our midwife, and tell her what was up. We had about an hour and a half drive to the birth house and having no idea what to expect with the first baby I wanted to make sure we got there on time. Before I called Tori, I called my mom who was going to be there for labor and delivery and told her that she might want to start waking up and packing. Tori asked me several questions about the contractions and told me to take a bath, eat some food, and try to go back to sleep and get some rest. So I did. But at 5:30 a.m. I was still awake and I was sure the contractions were getting more "painful" (more quotations for the same reasons). I called Tori back and she said that if I felt like we needed to leave, to go ahead and leave. So Ben and I set to work loading the car with the already packed bags, a cooler of snacks, and a very pregnant woman. O and a little bit of a side note: No matter how early on in labor you are, it is not fun to walk down three flights of stairs. Yay, married student housing apartments. Despite what I was expecting, the car ride was not horrible. In fact, it was kinda fun listening to music and talking about the amazing fact that we were about to meet our Little One, FINALLY!

We arrived at the birth house and Tori wanted to check me to see how far along I was. I was not prepared for how painful that would be and I nearly punched the poor woman in the face. :P To my dismay I was only 1 cm dilated. Tori suggested that it might be false labor since I had already been laboring a while with so little progress. I was also a little tensed up from the car ride and having been checked so I got in the birth tub to relax. After I relaxed some the contractions picked up a little. After about an hour of being in the tub, Ben was falling asleep sitting up and my mom had gotten there so Ben went to sleep while mom stayed up with me to help count contractions and fetch snacks and water. I eventually got out of the tub and did some walking around and sitting on the birthing ball. At this point the contractions were starting to get sporadic and kinda dying off a little.

Ben woke up and we went for a walk to try and get them to progress a little. We got back from the walk and it was lunch time by then, so we sat on the front porch and I had my first Coca Cola  in 9 months. It was more heavenly than I can describe. Yes I have a problem. Back to the story. I got checked again after lunch (again, NOT FUN) and was only at 3cm.  At this point, I was feeling discouraged at the lack of progress, but my awesome midwife politely got in my face and gave me a pep talk, reminding me that pain is good and that I needed to let go. To this day I still am not sure what I was letting go of. I didn't feel afraid or tense and nothing was bothering me, but whatever it was, I was gonna try to let go of it. :P Apparently that pep talk worked, because things started to pick up from there.
 Ben and I went on another walk and the contractions were at about a 7-8 on the pain scale. I did not like walking. it hurt worse than any other position at that point. But it helped that my sweet hubby was constantly encouraging me and being super helpful in any way he could. He deserves a medal. After walking for a while, I was hungry again and it was getting cold outside, so we went in and got a snack. Ben did some more acupressure massaging on my ankles while I ate. Then we went on another walk.

 By this time it was getting dark and I had thought I would be holding my baby in my arms by now. The contractions were close together and pushing a 9 on the pain scale and I was tired. I had been up since 1:30 that morning and I was running low on adrenaline. My midwife suggested I try to sleep, but stubborn me, was not going to bed. Not only was I afraid it would slow down contractions, but I just wanted to be done. Little did I know, that I was nowhere near done. Ben and I then proceeded to walk around in a circle in the living room for about 4 hours. Stopping every time a contraction came for me to lean on him and make low moaning sounds that sounded like a dying cow. My sweet husband did them with me and my awesome mother kept track of the contractions. I finally broke down and said the words I'd been thinking for the past few hours or so..."I can't do this anymore".  So I decided to try to sleep. I had no idea how I was going to sleep but I had to stop standing and walking. I got in bed and was soon dozing in between contractions.

 It was almost like my body needed those short little breaks in order to move on to the next stage, because within half an hour, my water broke and the real party started. After my water broke, there was a calm before the storm. I had about 10 minutes of contraction free bliss while I changed into clean clothes. Then the storm broke. That first contraction after my water broke was unlike anything I've ever felt before. Pain like I can't describe. My first thought was, "I really can't do this. It's not possible". Out loud, however, I said something else that I won't repeat on this blog. Ahem. I was gripping Ben's arm like it might fly away and struggling to relax and let the pain do it's work. After about 3 contractions, I was able to get a grip and get in the zone. Within an hour, I felt like I wanted to push and my midwife said to go for it. It wasn't long before I couldn't help but push. Ladies and Gents, I'm here to tell you that I pushed for 4 hours. Oy. Shortly after I told my midwife that I wanted to push, she checked me and said I was only 6 cm and to stop pushing. My thought was "No. No way I'm only 6 cm. Unacceptable. I am more than 6 cm."  She then sent me to sit backwards on the toilet to keep things moving along. That was a whole new kind of pain that I wasn't ready for, but I kept telling myself that pain was progress. But I couldn't stop pushing. Tori talked to her helper midwife and they agreed that it was weird that I was only 6 cm and at the point of not being able to keep from pushing. I was acting more like 9 or 10 cm. Tori had her helper check me to get a second opinion. Debbie is her name, and she checked me and said, "9cm". Woohoo! Tori checked again and was like, "Ok that was not like that a second ago when I thought it was 6 cm". Honestly, what I think happened was that I heard her say 6cm, and my body said "no way Jose!" and jumped to 9cm right then and there. In no time at all I was 10 cm and working hard to get my big baby outta there.

After 28 hours of labor, 4 of which were pushing, we finally got to meet our little William. How do I begin to describe how I felt the first time I saw him?...other than exhaustion obviously. All I can tell you is that I believe in love at first sight now. That first look at my son made every uncomfortable, inconvenient, and painful moment in the past 9 months seem like petty problems. Nothing could over shadow the joy and love and relief I felt in that moment.

However, the first time I saw him, I also had a slight tinge of panic, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his tiny neck 3 times. This explained why it took me so long to push him out because there was no slack in the cord and it was holding him back. We had no idea that the cord was wrapped around him because his heart rate had stayed perfect throughout labor so it wasn't constricting his breathing, thankfully. I had no reason to panic though because this wasn't the first baby wrapped in umbilical cord that my midwife had seen and she soon had him unwrapped.

And then she handed him to me. Seeing my baby for the first time was one thing. Holding him for the first time was a whole new level of joy and happiness and a mother can't help but cry at a moment like that. He was perfect. And it was time to sit back and relax with my husband and our new baby boy. It took William no time at all to figure out where the food was and how to get it. :) Eventually, I realized I was starving and ridiculously sleepy. So after my Little Man had his fill was taking his first nap in the big wide world, I took a nice hot bath, ate a giant bowl of beef stew, drank another coke, and took my own blissful nap. And Ben and I entered a whole new chapter of life. God was so good to us through this whole process and we are so thankful that William is here safe and sound and thriving.
Today he turned 8 weeks old and everyday I look at him and think "O my goodness. I had a baby!"

A very stupid cute baby.

Thank you Lord for the privilege to be a mother.