Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nesting at almost 40 weeks...

**I am finishing this post at the hospital!!  It is currently 5am November 30, and my water broke at home at about 2:30, so Praise God for a clear sign that it's time to go in!  I made it through my birthday and had the most wonderful day with Emma, but I was very uncomfortable for most of it.  I guess the next post will be about baby Merritt's arrival, so keep us in your prayers!!**

This post is dedicated to the hubs...who by God's grace has put up with he most OCD preggo that ever walked the planet.  If it wasn't in it's place, I definitely told him.  I've asked him to do everything from pick up ANYTHING on the floor, go get random items at the store last minute, clean the yard, put up Christmas, build this....paint that...and even put my socks on...because I can't put on my left sock anymore....and I'm sure the right foot will be impossible if we don't have a baby soon.

I've been paranoid about labor - not knowing when to go, not getting there in time for an epidural, and almost just as scary - leaving a dirty, unorganized home.  I've been busy cleaning, rearranging, organizing, and getting rid of.  And man...it feels sooooo good.  But, Brent and Emma...I am so sorry. 

Most of what I have done is boring - like clean out closets, get rid of old clothes, and go through almost all of Emma's clothes and toys.  But I will share some pics of the progress...

I'm no pro blogger...so excuse the amateur pics.  This is Emma's room.  I really love her room.  I could live in it.  It's cozy and girlie, and so inviting.  It is honestly one of my favorite places.



I found these great floating art frames at Target (and they were buy one, get one free this past weekend)  If you're looking for good art frames, these are great!

This is Merritt's room, and also the room with our spare bed.  But I don't anticipate any overnight company.  I will probably sleep here for a few weeks:)  Brent still needs to add drawer pulls to the changing table, and I need more art work on the wall, especially above her crib.  Oh...and a rug.



I tried to make it a good mix of adult and baby...just because the space is shared for now. 


Meanwhile, Brent has been busy with Christmas outside.....

Brent made this pallet Christmas tree for free (Ace Hardware has free pallets), and we added the colored retro large bulb lights. I love it:)


Brent also made this rustic star for his "castle" (as Emma calls it). 


The wreaths also light up, and hopefully the lights on the bushes will be put up by the end of the week.  Baby or not, Brent is taking off Thursday and Friday, so we are looking forward to either time together or time with a new baby in the family.  Hope everyone is having a great week!



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stepping out of my comfort zone...

Back in the spring, a friend in Raleigh approached me about buying a table at her church's bazaar.  I saw the date - middle of November - and thought, well it's close to my due date, but not that close.
Well....I was wrong...it was 2 weeks away. 
I also thought, well...I've never done this before but I'm sure I'll spend all summer and early fall preparing and learning and making stock.
Well....I was wrong...I waited and procrastinated and scrambled to the finish like any good college freshman.

This picture was taken on the second day, and I was actually running low on pieces (a good thing, I guess!) 


Emma was an awesome helper and helped me set up the first afternoon!



Couldn't have done it without this rockstar!  The bazaar was only a block away from his store, so he came down A LOT to check in.  He also knew half the customers there, which was a boost for sales:)


The second day was supposed to be way crazier than the first night, but it ended up being manageable!  Some ofother vendors were disappointed (and I understand that if this is your livelihood), but I was relieved!  I got hid HARD the night before and was really, really nervous about the longer day ahead.



I really had a blast doing it, even if it almost sent me into labor (literally).  I met some really awesome people, made some great contacts (more future retail???), and just felt very humbled and honored to be there.  I kept feeling like an amateur, but hey, I put myself out there, people loved my pieces, and I feel good about the work I've done.  When it comes to turning hobbies into small business....it doesn't get much better than that!  Oh...and I made some money...which I immediately wanted to spend on more supplies....but decided not to since I am taking a bit of a break until I see what life is like after the Holiday.  But....if you want anything at all, just let me know and I am happy to see if I can accommodate! 



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The end of the road....


I am 2 days shy of 39 weeks…..and it has really flown by.  From the first day I found out about this HUGE life changing event (Easter Sunday to be exact), I have gone through a multitude of emotions – anger, sadness, joy, anticipation, excitement, fear, worry………  I honestly can’t believe it has gone by this fast and the time is HERE.  I could give birth at any moment.  Having the baby moved out of breech last week definitely made things more “real.”  I can say that right now, I am feeling better nervous, and trying not to plan or think about it.  With your first pregnancy, you don’t know what to expect and you are so excited.  I haven’t felt that as much now….I do know what childbirth is like and I do remember the first few weeks (and I didn’t particularly enjoy them!).  Throwing in the fact that I have another child already, and I must say that while I am excited about meeting this new life and loving on her, I am not looking forward to going through that again (meaning labor, delivery, the first few nights).  Am I alone here???? 


As I near the end of this journey, I am incredibly grateful for my family and friends.  I don’t think I was a crazy preggo, but I know I sure had my moments.  They stuck by me, supported me, offered all the right words of encouragement and tangible help that I needed at that very moment.  I’ve tried hard to be very aware of my emotions and make sure they were rational.  So as I get to the end of the road here, I wanted to get down some thoughts about this journey...

I am grateful that I took care of myself.  I gained over 45 pounds with Emma, but this has not been the case this time around.  I worked out regularly up until the 8th month, and I was cautious not to “let myself go” when it came to eating.  And it wasn’t hard, I just didn’t crave the same things as the first pregnancy (grapes as opposed to juicy burgers!)  I am definitely smaller in the belly than with Emma and at times, am self-conscious about this.  I wasn't gaining much weight towards the end and this scared me.  The doctors reassured me, and all is fine.  But I still got worried.  I may or may have not splurged a few extra times in the last 3 weeks (Bojangle's, smoothies, more comfort carbs....yummmm - they all felt soooo right!!)

I am grateful for the lesson of living within my means.  Pregnancy really forces you to think about this.  You learn to live with less clothes, without certain foods or activities, to save money (because you’re a one income household now!), and of course – you lose a room to another person, so you MUST learn to clear out and make way!  Getting rid of things I don’t love and only bringing in things I do has been great.  It feels so good to get rid of and simplify.  Our house is small, but it’s perfect and I will be thankful for all of it.  It’s not d├ęcor or space that make the home, but the memories made there.  I am truly looking forward to this and letting go of the fact that we are still in our “starter” home (albeit a nice one).  This contentment has brought me much peace.  And being content is way less stressful than finding, buying, and selling a houseJ
I am grateful that this pregnancy really forced me to focus on my relationship with Emma.  I tried really hard to be present for her, and soak up every moment.  I know our time isn’t ending…but it certainly will change.  It made me very aware of my role as a mother and motivated me to make sure I was doing the best I could do – giving her all I could when I could. 



I am grateful for this opportunity to be a mom.  I have said this before, but I really love staying at home and being just a mom.  I love carpooling, taking Emma to activities, taking care of the house, meeting and making friends with other moms, doing playdates, etc….  I consider them all a privilege.  My time with Emma will come to a point when she is not with me for the majority of the day and she will be off to school.  Then, my influence changes.  I will have to compete with so many other cultural factors for her attention and growth.  I hate that…I really do.  But I have to trust that God has a plan for (and protection over) her.


I am grateful that I have had an easy pregnancy.  Up until the last week and half, I really have no complaints.  Last week was physically challenging – a  lot of soreness from the turning and overdoing it led to some uncomfortable nights that I worried were labor.  I am learning to rest, drink more, and say NOJ  All things I am NOT good at.  I also had to learn how to accept help - from my parents, Brent, friends.  This was hard, and I had to constantly fight feeling needy.

I have no idea what the next 10 days will hold for me, but I am resting assured that
ONE: I have no major commitments going on,
: my house is semi-clean and organized and baby's room is ready,
and THREE: God is in control, so the sooner I let go and trust His timing, the more at peace I will be.  I wasn't made to fret over this...it's beyond my capabilities, so I am fighting my type A and letting the moments pass as they're supposed to.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Life lately....

I am way behind on some blog posts, and the more I think about it, the more I agree that less is more - so enjoy the short, but sweet version of life these days!!!

Emma's getting very good at selfies....


And loves to snuggle torture Swerve.



Emma asked to take a picture with me, which never happens!!  It's an awful one of me, but I'll take it!



My sweet family surprised me with a birthday dinner last weekend since Merritt is due 2 days away from my actual day.  I felt really special....and any excuse to have salmon and cake, really it's a no brainer!



I am loving the cooler weather - finally!  Nothing beats a walk right around late afternoon when the sun is just setting and the air chills.  We are working on our bike riding skills....a true test in patience for me.



My friend, Brandi, asked for a bump pic, and I haven't really taken any.  So I asked Emma to take this while we were playing outside....not bad for a 4 year old!  (disclaimer - this sweater makes me look huge!)



The Jones' made it to town, so we met up with the Grimes' and had dinner at Top of the Hill for the Duke Caroline game.  What a blast getting to hang out with these friends!





We had a little excitement last week at our 37 week appointment where Merritt was caught red handed in the breech position.  They scheduled an external cephalic version for the very next day at 9am.  I don't want to go into much detail because it was much more intense, traumatic, stressful.... than I'd anticipated.  Let's just say, I am not doing that again.  I basically had to plan for an emergency c-section and was at the hospital for almost 5 hours.  The whole turning of the baby lasted an entirety of 90 seconds....but it was the most uncomfortable 90 seconds ever.  It was a success, so we are hoping Merritt stays head down.  At this point, if she flips back, we just schedule a c-section for next week.  What the what?  Where has 9 months gone??????



We went to Brent's F3 cookout Saturday and enjoyed the most beautiful day outside with friends!



Brent completed the F3D3 - basically torture.  6 days of 2 workouts a day.  As crazy as this is, I am sure am proud of my man and his commitment to this great community of Godly men.  Oh...and I just happen to adore their families too:)



I bribed Emma to wear one of my old dresses......and I can't wait to find a picture of me wearing it to show her.  These 2 pics were taken on a hard day for me - lots of discomfort and soreness from the version, and some hormones thrown in.....





But nothing a smoothie can't help....I may have been 3 times this week....stop judging....it's a carrot kale smoothie...so basically a salad, right?



I was stupid and agreed to sell at a church bazaar this week.  At 38 weeks, I must be committed into an insane asylum.  I am ready though, I think.   But not after a lot of tears, meltdowns, and yelling.  I don't think I have nearly enough pieces, but I can't do anything about it now.  My sanity is worth more. I won't ever plan anything for the last month again. EVER.

Here's a small sample of what I'll be selling.  If you're in Raleigh, it's Tuesday night from 6-8 and Wednesday from 10-2 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, located in Five Points.  Part of the proceeds go to support the church:)  















That's life...for now.  Prayers that the soreness and discomfort from the version will go away quickly so I can have some normalcy before Merritt gets here!  And for my nerves....I am a hot mess of anxiety these days not knowing that life will be like in the next few weeks!!



Monday, November 14, 2016

Child of the Week!

Westminster does such a good job of making each child feel special - and last week was Emma's turn:)  The sweet teachers made sure to do it before I had baby, so Brent and I could participate.

We had a blast filling out the questions they sent home - of course, Emma had a bout 5 answers for each one:)



When she answered the one below, I probably melted into a pile....and I still do, honestly.  Maybe I am actually doing a good job at this mommy thing, after all!



On Tuesday, Brent came with me to drop her off to read a book to the class.  I was totally the cheesiest mom and took pics the whole time.  I loved being in her class and seeing how her day started.



Emma could not have been more proud of her dad.  She had been talking about this all week, and I'm not sure she stopped grinning the whole day!  Brent read one of Emma's faves - Miss Lina's Ballerinas.



We had been doing a lot of carpool with our friend, Abigail - and I LOVE doing it!  One more, we also got to pick up Jay....whom Emma secretly has a huge crush on I think:)  For Emma, it didn't get any better than this!!!



On Thursday, I came in to her class to share a hobby - beads!!  I picked up some pipe cleaners and beads and the kids all made bracelets.  I really did have the best time with them!  I just loved sharing this with them and getting to talk to the kids and her sweet teachers.  What a difference from daycare....I don't mean any disrespect, but so far the pre-school world rocks!!



Even the boys got into it and all the kids made more than one bracelet - SUCCESS!!



Emma's friends, Jane and Abigail really got into it...Jane was like a machine.  I think I may hire her to come help with my next jewelry show!




It was such a fun week to celebrate Emma, but more importantly, be a part of her life at school.  I am sappy and hormonal and irrational, but dang...what a privilege it was for me to do those things with her this week!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Squeezing it in...

I feel like my time with just Emma is coming to a close...and I know that in reality, it isn't (really), but I do feel a sense of urgency to spend quality time with her.  I know this is very normal...

Last week, we had 2 special outings.  For the past 4 years, it has been Emma and me.  She did all the errands with me, all the fun things, and we had each other.  We definitely got on each other's nerves, but she was my sidekick, and I loved it.  When I first found out I was pregnant, my heart broke thinking of how this would change.  Then I got over it some because Emma has been so excited about getting a sibling, and really has been sweet about already looking out for her little sister.  But now that I have less than 4 weeks left, I am getting nostalgic.

Last Tuesday was grey and cool, but we decided to take a Chickfila picnic to Jordan lake.  We were the only ones out there and really enjoyed eating and walking around and playing.





Then, Wednesday, I picked Emma up from school and it was too nice of a day not to go to Maple View Farms for ice cream.  We set up a blanket, share a banana split, watched the cows in the distance, and ran around chasing butterflies and picking weed flowers. 





I have so much anxiety about what the next few weeks and months will hold for us, and I am trying really hard to just focus on my attitude and stay positive.  I know the realities of having a newborn, but I am praying and pumping myself up that it will be great (positive thinking, right?!)  I can't go to worse case scenario because I know it won't help. 

I am so so thankful for this time I have had with Emma.  Making the decision to go part time 2 years ago, and now to stay at home, has been the BEST decision I could have ever made.  I say that hoping I am not offending anyone else or their decision to work or not.  I know it's not something everyone can do.  For us, it is a sacrifice...we are definitely more frugal!   I feel called to take care of my family on a daily basis.  I enjoy cooking, cleaning, running errands, playing with Emma, and doing all the mom and wife things that need to be done here.  I consider it a privilege, really.  I'm not good at managing several tasks at once (like working and being a mom), so I am much happier just doing one.  I was so scared of this change when I found out about baby 2....because it is HUGE.  Going from working to not working and staying at home all week long.  I second guessed myself and didn't think I could do it.  I still have doubts and know it will be challenging, but God's plan was so much better than mine in this.  I am learning to trust Him in this, and I truly feel like becoming a mother has made me a better person.  I needed to learn selflessness, and let go of control, and enjoy simple blessings.  I needed to see small joys in large messes, and learn to live with less things, and more laughter and love.  While the next few weeks are scary for me, I am excited to see what they hold.  This pregnancy has gone by so fast, and was much better than I expected it to be....so I know God will continue to bless the journey:)