Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What I plan to do different {baby #2}

Now that the big announcement is out of the way, I thought I'd share some things that I plan on doing differently this time around. Obviously, I know a little more now than I did back then during my first pregnancy. I'm just going to go ahead a say that it's nice not being a first timer. Everything seems more laid back.

1. I'm going to take time to enjoy laying on my stomach. I even slept on my stomach after finding out that I was pregnant just because I could.

2. I plan to finish the nursery before the baby arrives. I was not your typical first time mom. I was very much in denial and very much holding back. I don't plan on having as much denial this time around. Baby is coming whether I'm ready or not. I'd rather have it ready this time.

3. It'll be a surprise. That's right folks. We're not going to find out the gender of this little bean. There are few real surprises left in this life and this is one of them. I can't wait for the moment at delivery. Being a L&D nurse has given me the chance to be in on a lot of different types of deliveries. It's fun to be in on the surprise ones.

4. I'm less worried. Believe it or not I actually feel like I'm less worried this time around. Maybe it's because I have actual experience with the 'm' word? Maybe I'm just older and wiser. Ha. I don't know, I just feel more hopeful, less stressed, and more excited. I also know that I'll be less concerned with whether or not this baby is eating enough, sleeping enough, peeing or pooping enough in the early days. I'm looking forward to it.

5. Document my growing belly better. I know they say that the second child gets way less documentation but I think I did a pretty poor job with Owen. I'd like to do better this time.

6. I'm not planning to deliver where I work this time. This was a big decision for me. Going to a new doctor and new hospital was so weird the first time. I felt like I was cheating or something. The decision wasn't made lightly and I still feel that it was the right decision for me.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Two pink lines...Again!

Whoa. Here we go again! I've been secretly stashing away blog posts so that I could chronicle this pregnancy for myself and anyone else that's interested.

July 21, 2014

When I saw two pink lines again yesterday (July 20th), I felt peace and resolve. It was such a different feeling this time around and I'm so thankful for it. I knew I was pregnant. That little voice in my head had been telling me for days. Then I began to feel the same crampy sensation I felt when I was pregnant with Owen. When the cramping lasted for two days without anything to show for it, I took it as confirmation. I told myself I would wait until I was actually "late". I also figured it would be good to wait until Patrick got home from Belize...

I couldn't wait.

When I woke up around 2:30pm (night shift, remember?) Sunday afternoon, I decided to take the test. I wouldn't officially be late for two more days, but due to the cramping, I was certain implantation had happened a few days before. It had been long enough. There would be plenty of hormone in my body by this point.

After capping the test, I sat and watched- almost without breathing. There was nothing... I started to doubt myself just a little. Then a smile stretched across my face. There was a faint line starting to form. ANY line, even if faint, means POSITIVE! I knew it. I placed the test on the windowsill (as is my normal practice at this point) and washed my hands. I returned to see that the line had darkened. As I walked back to bed I said out loud, "Alright little baby, I know for sure that you're in there now. Grow strong for mommy." I went and laid down on the bed and snapped a picture with my phone.

After a couple minutes, the line was even darker.

I feel so blessed that this happened when it did. I knew when I was given the "all clear" at the end of June that it was very unlikely I would get pregnant this month. Because Patrick and I would love to avoid summer babies, we were on a tight window of two months before we would halt "trying". It didn't look like it would happen. Patrick has been out of town on youth trips so there hasn't been much time for baby making. Obviously, God had it planned to work out anyway.

I'm happy. I can't wait to share the news with Patrick when he gets home tonight. I already feel good about this baby. Something is telling me that he or she is going to be just fine. For now, I have the test sitting in the bathroom drawer. I'm not sure how I'll tell Patrick this time. Maybe I'll just let him stumble upon the test himself. We'll see.

July 22, 2015

I shared the news with Patrick last night. Patrick wanted to put Owen to bed. Who could blame him? He's missed his baby boy this summer. I was in the living room when it hit me. Am I crazy? Why in the world did I leave the test in the bathroom drawer where he might just stumble upon it!? That had to have been the worst idea ever! I jumped up and practically ran down the hall to grab it. I knew that I had to see his face when he got the news. I slid the test into my pants pocket and returned to the couch. Yeah, I pretty much had no plan at this point.

Patrick returned to the living room after what felt like forever. He sat down and began pouring his heart and his stories out over the mission trip to Belize. Patrick can tell some long stories. Those of you that know him will understand my pain at that point in time. I listened as best I could. Really, I did. The test kept slipping out of my pocket though and I'd shove it back in. I was a little distracted. After a while Patrick moved over close to me to show me pictures on his phone. We finished that and I decided to just reach into my pocket and hand it over.

Patrick looked down, smiled and laughed.

He then said, "I'm not surprised."

"Why not?"

"Because we're good at making babies."

I laughed because I guess he's right. While it was two months of "not preventing" before we got pregnant with Owen, we got pregnant the second time after just ONE mishap/failure on our part. This time I was cleared by my doctor and we must have gotten pregnant a couple days later. So we're fertile. I'm incredibly thankful for it too.

I can't really remember where the conversation went from there. There was hugging, smiling, and praying. We're thankful to be given this blessing again so soon and we're trusting God. I told Patrick that I'm really not as worried as I thought I might be. For some reason, probably God, I feel a peace about this child. It's completely different from last time when I had an uneasy feeling right away.

If you are reading this and have experienced miscarriage, molar pregnancy, infertility, or any kind of loss, please know that I can relate to the slight twinge of pain that a post like this can cause and I'm so so sorry. You, of course, know that this post isn't meant to cause pain, but I get it. Also, it's okay. My heart goes out to you and unfortunately, I can relate. Know that if I could reach through my computer screen and give you a hug right now that I would- whoever you are.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Unexpected and Expecting

Well that was an unexpected break! Sorry to go MIA. There hasn't been much going on and yet there feels like there has been a ton going on. Can anyone else relate to that? No real progress has been made in the basement. We've got hardwood floors that match the upstairs that are on their way. My guess is that whoever we pay to install the hardwoods, we will also ask to put some baseboards down in the basement bedroom.

I've been super stressed the past few weeks with some potential big changes in our future. It's not all bad, it's just been a lot to think about. We are trying our best to be patient and trust God to work out all the details. Sorry to be secretive, but I really can't share more than that right now. Just keep us in your prayers...

...Especially because...We're expecting!

We've been very slow to get this news out to the world (typical second baby I guess). Since I'll be 14 weeks tomorrow, I figured it was time to announce to the blogosphere! I've been trying my best to blog about this second baby behind the scenes so check back for some updates soon. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Life through my lens

It's been a few weeks. Thought I'd throw some pictures out into blog land.

waffles for breakfast
Saying "Hurley" really well.
Loves headbands...
"Get me out of here!" (getting his ears checked at the Dr. this week)

Loves reading about trucks.
Building a tower with daddy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Carpet

Our carpet for the basement was installed last Thursday morning. I've got some paint touch ups to do since they nicked the walls in a few places. Then we need to install baseboards and paint the trim. It's looking better!

I know it will look even brighter once the trim gets finished. I feel like we are moving a lot faster all of the sudden. It's nice to check things off. I just hope we can keep the momentum going!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beef, Snow Peas, & Shiitake Stir-Fry with Brown Rice

This recipe came from Clean Eating so you can also find the recipe here. I've found that it is a quick and delicious week night meal because it cooks so fast. Patrick and I love this meal. Plus, it's healthy and clean! Only 365 calories per serving (recipe serves 4).

- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 12 oz top sirloin beef, trirmmed of fat and sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari soy sauce
- 2 tsp tapioca starch 
- 1 tbs raw honey
- 1tbs coconut oil, divided
- 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
- 2 cups small fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2tsp minced ginger root
- 8 sprigs cilantro

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions, keep warm and set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, combine beef with salt and five-spice powder until evenly coated; set aside 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, tapioca starch, honey and 1/4 cup water; set aside
  4. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 1 1/2 tsp oil on medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer beef to a bowl. Add peas, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger and saute for about 2-3 minutes, until peas are tender-crisp. Add vegetables to bowl with beef.
  5. Return skillet to heat, add soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 to 30 seconds or until thickened. Return beef and vegetables to skillet, tossing to coat. Remove from heat.
  6. Divide rice among 4 serving bowls. Spoon beef-vegetable mixture over top, dividing evenly, and pour skillet juices over each dish. Top each with 2 sprigs cilantro and serve immediately.
Also, although Owen doesn't want me to take a picture of it, he will eat this.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Phase 2: project updates

We are moving right along in what I've dubbed to be phase 2 of our home renovations. The carpet is completely removed from the basement bedroom/playroom, the floor has been treated for mold (which we didn't see this time but we treated it anyway), and I finished painting the bookshelves! We have new carpet getting installed on Thursday so I'm hoping to get the room painted before then. I thought I'd show you some before pictures with the carpet removed.

This room is so dark and brown. I can't wait to brighten it up with paint.

Let's all pray Owen takes really long naps this week so I can finish before carpet installation. It's not a deal breaker if I don't finish, but I'd really like to get it done so I don't have to worry about paint drips.

I'm in the process of filling up the shelves. I'll hopefully have some better pictures in a couple of weeks. I'm really pleased with the way the room is looking. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond the mess to realize that progress is taking place, but I've learned to look past the clutter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stitch Fix {my 2nd fix}

I had my second experience with stitch fix a few weeks ago. If you missed it, you can read about my first fix here.

I was excited to open my second box.

Even more excited when I saw the prints peeking out.

I guess I should go ahead and mention that I did make some requests for this fix. I asked for a denim jacket to replace my old worn out one from college that I quit wearing forever ago but have missed. I also asked for some maxi skirts. In addition, I changed my style profile to decrease the amounts to "the cheaper the better". I wanted to see if this changed anything with the prices. Spoiler alert: It didn't, but I think it's because I didn't make a note of it to the stylist. Plus, I had made a lot of other specific requests already so it might have been tough.

Okay, let's get started. The first two things I tried on were the knit-back tank and the black maxi skirt.

Oh, I have pictures for you guys even though I find it mortifying. Forgive the angles. I had Patrick snap them from the couch with my phone while he was watching the debut of the SEC network. What a man for letting his wife butt in with some modeling, right? haha

Hmm... Forgive the facial expression too? lol. I think I'm dying right now.... I decided to keep the black maxi, but not the top. It's the same one from my first fix, but a different print. While I love the first one, I didn't want to be repetitive.

Moving on...I then paired the same maxi skirt with a green top from my closet and the denim jacket.

I liked the jacket a lot. It got a smile:)

The jacket is a little big, but a smaller size probably wouldn't fit me through the shoulders. I was on the fence. Next I tried on the crochet detail tank with the printed maxi skirt. Yes, my stylist sent me two different maxi skirts. When you ask, they deliver!

While I liked the top of the blue tank, I didn't like the shape on me. It was too big and made me look really boxy. I was thinking of sending back the skirt too. However, Patrick convinced me to keep the maxi skirt. He liked it a lot.

Here is a picture of the price rundown.

I was a little shocked. It was more than my first fix. Now if I ever got a box where I could keep all five items, that would be awesome. The 25% discount makes a difference.

At this point, I haven't scheduled a third fix. I'm sure I'll do it again in the future, but I'll definitely be making a note about prices to the stylist. I don't mind paying above what I listed occasionally (like if my stylists sees something she thinks I'll love), but I'd like for most items to stick to the pricing I chose. Like I said earlier though, they may not have noticed the change in price request and I made some specific item requests. The jacket that I requested ended up being the most expensive item.

Overall, still a fun experience and I still added a few things to my closet that I love.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor day

Patrick had a long weekend off work which is unusual so we got to work on some things around here. On Monday morning, Patrick began removing the carpet from the basement "playroom" while Owen and I ran to Lowes for some odds and ends. After lunch, my sister Caroline came over and we got to work painting the shelves from the basement while Owen napped.

They should be finished by this Friday!

This morning Owen and I shopped for carpet for the playroom and hardwood floors for the only remaining bedroom with carpet upstairs. We have a guy coming out tomorrow morning to measure. It feels good to be checking things off. Let phase 2 of the home renovations begin!

Phase 2 includes:
- Finish painting bookshelves
- Paint trim in living room (there isn't much left)
- Paint playroom
- Paint trim in playroom
- Paint doors
- New carpet in playroom

- Hardwood floors in guest bedroom
- Touch up trim/possibly paint guest room

Did anyone else spend labor day working up a sweat? Lowes sure was packed. I don't think we were the only ones getting some home projects done.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oak Mountain State Park

Last Thursday we decided to take a morning hike in Oak Mountain State Park. It was the first time we've ever hiked with Owen and really only the second time that Patrick and I have hiked together. We both agreed that we hope to get outside more regularly in the future. We both have great memories of playing outside as kids. I guess it's all about priorities. Ever since we've been making more of a priority to set aside our Thursdays as a sabbath, we've had more time to think about what we'd like to fill them with. It was easy to know what we needed to throw out (cell phones, internet, TV) to encourage good family time and rest on Thursdays. Learning what to fill each Thursday with has been the fun part. Sabbath rest doesn't have to mean sitting on your tush at home.

We paid our $3 and headed into the park which is only a couple of minutes away from our house. Yep... even more ridiculous that we haven't been utilizing this awesome park more often. I'm sure they have season passes and I'm definitely planning on looking into it.

We weren't sure which trail to hike on but the ranger at the front gate recommended the South Rim Trail (6.7 miles). It's an out and back trail that has a steep start but then runs along the ridge. He said that it would have beautiful views of the valley. We went for it.

I made Owen stand on a bench in front of the sign. He wouldn't look at me but I wanted a picture of him at the trail head of his first hike:)

A woman was walking off the trail as we were walking in and offered to snap a picture. After that, we were off into the woods.

We passed two men about a half mile in. They smiled and then one said, "Y'all are brave!" I'll be honest, I knew we looked quite under prepared. Patrick was carrying our son on his shoulders up some fairly steep terrain. I was trailing along behind with a small backpack. However, it's the best we could do. We don't own a baby carrier that Owen will fit in. If we were big outdoorsy people then we'd probably own one. Who knows? Maybe we'll get there. Also, we knew we weren't going to make it the whole way. The point was just to get outside and explore a little. We wanted to sweat, see the trees, and expose our little boy to some nature. He had a blast.

We pointed out the trees, the rocks, and any animals we could find. There were frogs, lizards, and ants. Owen enjoyed holding our hands and climbing up rocks. By the end of the hike, he was mad that we wouldn't let him run down the trail on his own. Speaking of the end of the hike, we made it 3 miles in when I began to sense that it was time to turn around. I gave Owen some apple sauce and water while he sat on the trail and I knew it was time by the look on his face. We made it about a mile back down the trail when the tears started. He didn't cry the whole time, but it was clear that he was tired and hot. Patrick put him back on his shoulders and Owen would rest his chin on top of Patrick's head. Owen was so tired that he fell asleep in the car on the way to lunch.

Johnny Rays BBQ was our lunch. I haven't been there very much (like this was my 3rd time), but it hit the spot. We filled our bellies and headed home to get cleaned up and nap. Nap time is my favorite on Thursday afternoon. After 6 miles of hiking and a full belly, it's even better:)

We enjoyed exploring a little bit more of our wonderful city. I'm hopeful that we will return to Oak Mountain State Park again soon. There may even be some camping in our future.