Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday High Fives

It's Frrrriiiiddaaaayyyyy, all daaaaayyyyyy! Holla!

And because I'm short on time, here's my abbreviated list:
  • Flying to see my besties for a baby shower honoring Ziggy:) He has moving like crazy all week out of excitement.
  • Purchasing Zig's "going home" outfit from the hospital. I saw it online and knew he had to have it. It's the sweetest. Can't wait for you to see it.
  • Did I mention it's Friday?
  • Getting our AC fixed on Wednesday! We had been without since it's gotten warmer, and with an internal furnace radiating through me, it's been a long, sweaty road over the last 3 weeks.
  • Patriotic sprinkle donuts on Memorial Day. The Hubs looked over while eating his and said "nothing says America quite like playing hookie from work and eating donuts." Merica!
  • Having a complete stranger awkwardly making eye contact with me a few times in the store and then finally walking over and saying "this may be awkward, but you're the most adorable pregnant woman. You look gorgeous." I seriously fought back tears and the urge to kiss her on her face. Granted I was having a good hair day thanks to a visit to my hairdresser and was in one of the few outfits that is somewhat flattering, but she made my day. The kindness of a stranger can strike deeply. How can you encourage someone you don't know today?
  • Consistent sunshine and warm weather. Now all I need is a tan.
  • Oh, did I mention I'm going to Charleston today?
  • Celebrating 2 years with the Hubs on June 1st. Where has the time gone? Looking forward to the next 50+! 
Happy weekend, Y'all!! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Tale of Two Pants

Last night after a long day of running from one meeting to the next, followed by one errand to the next, I finally walked in the door of our home to find the Hubs doing laundry. Is there a sweeter sight? I don't think so, unless he's doing laundry while handing you a sprinkle donut.

My feet were aching and puffy thanks to my persistence on still wedging my feet into heels a few days week, but it all faded as I watched him throw teeny tiny baby clothes into the washer. Thanks to some awesome hand me downs from my cousin and her growing son, Jack, we had roughly 40 articles of the smallest clothes to wash and sort and the Hubs was on top of it.

As I stood in our room contemplating what I should wear to our church group, I heard a question from the laundry room. "Umm, this may be a dumb question but are these your pants or baby pants?" My first though was "what the what could he possibly be holding up??!!" But then I didn't even need to see what he was holding up nor did I care. For the first time in months, I felt tiny again. God bless him for that dumb question and not being able to tell whether the said pants belonged to our future son or myself.

As I rounded the corner to get a glimpse of the pants in question, there he stood holding up a pair of my cropped leggings. I don't know why but it caused me to laugh so hard I was crying and then had to run to the restroom for fear of wetting my pants.

I'm happy to say those pants, the very pants that I had worn on Sunday, DID look teeny and even baby-ish if you squinted hard enough. The Hubs looked bewildered that those were in fact mine, and I was beaming with pride as I tried to catch my breath through belly laughs.

As I went back in to finish the "what to wear to group" debate after being told my current outfit looked a little "American Pregnant...I could see you cruising on a pontoon boat down the Rock River in it", I fielded a second question from the laundry front. "Umm, based on my previous confusion on your pants versus baby pants, are there yours too?" And there he stood with a size 4T sweat pant and an honest yet hopeful look in his eye. No sir, those would not be mine. This momma does not wear cargo sweat pants. Cue the tears and laughter again.

God bless a man who does laundry on a weekly basis without being asked and even more so a man who genuinely asks you if these are "yours or the babies?" He is to be praised from the mountain tops and lavished with gifts and jewels!!

Case in point, I leave with you exhibit A.
In his defense, there's not that much difference to be seen.
Praise the Lord for stretchy pants. Can I get an Amen?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hello Third Trimester

We've made into the third trimester, folks! I couldn't be more thrilled to be just three months away from meeting our little nugget face to face. This week marks 28 weeks and counting.

There were times in the first trimester that made me truly question whether or not I could ever do this again. Cue 4 months and I started to think "hey, this isn't so bad anymore." By 6 months I'd never felt better. I had a TON of energy compared to my previous trimester, and no longer spent time laying on my bathroom floor or having ultrasounds every few weeks to ensure things were still A-Okay. I could do the second trimester again and again and again. Or maybe just one more time. Let's not get cocky.

And with a blink of an eye, here we are in the home stretch. While in Texas, my sister in law asked if I was having any heartburn. I confidently said "No, I've only had it twice in the last 7 months." And just like that...heartburn central. Rookie mistake to speak so soon and so confidently. Little did I know that one week from muttering that statement I'd be standing in my kitchen gulping down a tablespoon of yellow mustard. Straight up, yellow mustard. I doubted it's effectiveness after reading it online when we didn't have any Tums and I thought I might die right there at midnight in my jammies, but apparently it worked. I woke up about two hours later, while still propped upright on my bed, and I had not perished. It was a heartburn miracle. I've never been more thankful for mustard in all of my days. Scoot over ketchup. You are no longer the star of my hot dog condiments.

With the third trimester comes many, many tasks:
  • Birthing class and creating our "plan". We start our classes next Wednesday, but I can already tell you that my plan involves keeping Ziggy in there as long as possible and then accepting the epidural as soon as possible. It will not be rocket science, I assure you.
  • Setting up the nursery (which means tearing down the guest bedroom, painting it, etc...). We thought we were moving so there was zero point in setting it up in our current house. It's funny how plans have a way of reshaping themselves when we least expect it. And by funny I mean not funny at all really.
  • Putting together a crib.
  • Selecting a pediatrician.
  • Choosing a name. I still vote for keeping it Ziggy, as it's grown on us and I cannot imagine calling him anything else, but I'm not sure he'd appreciate Ziggy as much as we do.

I'm sure I'm missing a million things that we need to do, but this shall be a good start. He'll come when he's ready and we'll try to be as ready as possible for his arrival. In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be rocking this third trimester like a sweaty champ, downing spoonful's of mustard with a smile on my face.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday High Fives

Short weeks are the bomb, aren't they? And the best part about this short week drawing to a close? I have another one coming next week. Winner, winner!

This week I'm thankful for:

  • A rapidly growing baby who now can kick both of my sides at one time. The other morning I awoke to either a foot or hand trying to knead it's way out. I LOVE this process. If you catch me smiling or giggling for no reason it's because Ziggy is using me as his personal jungle gym and I love it.
  • My first 1/2 day Friday beginning today! From this week until the 1st week of August, I'll be out of the office and jump starting my weekend by 1pm every Friday.
  • New York style cheesecake from Valli. If you haven't tried, do it now.
  • An awesome breeze and sunshine spilling into my office this week. Fresh air just makes the day go by a little faster.
  • The Hubs' sore muscles healing quickly.
  • Having my yucky glucose test behind me. When they ask you if you want Sprite or the orange drink, don't be fooled. That junk is NOT Sprite. I found that out the hard way. Let's call it what it is people, lemon-lime drink. Calling it Sprite is just mean.
  • Learning that the house we thought we had lost, thanks to an awful, evil seller, may still hold an ounce of promise for us. Time will tell, but as the great theologian Jim Carey said "So you're telling me there's a chance..."
  • Dinner tonight with family so I can hear all about my brother's honeymoon.
  • A cookout tomorrow night with friends.
  • A Memorial Day parade on Monday. I'm a sucker for parades.
  • Hopefully having some time to relax this weekend.
  • Milk. I cannot get enough.
Happy weekend, Y'all!
And Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Iron Husband

This will be my last Ironman post, but I could not close that chapter of this book without dedicating a post to my Iron Husband (that's even been his name in my cell phone since he signed up for Texas last fall).

The Iron Hubs had done two Ironmen before we began dating (for the 1,000 time;) so this was not a new experience for him. I had sort of watched from afar with his first two as we were still good friends at the time, but I had not seen everything that goes into a goal of this caliber. I only saw the end result in the race photos (in which he looks incredibly handsome, if I may add). Once we volunteered together at Ironman Madison, I began to have a better understanding of just how much would go into his training should he ever choose to do another one.

I remember a few discussions in the days following Madison where we shared our thoughts on it probably being easier for our little family if we did not have a new born in our midst while he would be tied up most weekends with training. He agreed with the logic and we sort of left it at that as I did not want to pressure him into another one if he was not ready. Randomly over the next month or so, he'd mention it here and there and that he was "keeping an eye on the Texas registration page." Long story short, the Ironman bug had once again taken a big ole bite of the Hubs and he clicked on that "register" button for the third time and thus began his training.

Fast forward with me for a second to this past Friday. As I watched him load his bike into the transition area, I began chatting with a girl from Iowa. After a few minutes of casual banter, she blurted out "I don't know about you but I'm so ready for this to be over. I want my normal boyfriend back. I know this is emotional for them, but it's exhausting for us too and I'm tired of having a crazed boyfriend." I didn't want to make her feel bad so I just smiled and encouraged her that she just had one more day.

Why I share that story with you is part of the reason why last weekend was such a powerful and fun experience. I DIDN'T want it to be over at all because the Hubs NEVER once seemed crazed throughout the 7-8 month process. He remained normal. And what stands out the most to me is that he never once complained about the training, if he was exhausted or sore, etc... Sure there were times that got a little hairy like prepping for Easter at our house and he had to train for 7 hours the day before and couldn't help as much he would normally, but he made up for it by cleaning with me after he'd ridden his bike for said 7 hours (when I know he was exhausted and wanted to sit down) and even skipped out on his training the day of to help me cook. He was always very much present and the farthest thing from crazy. His attitude throughout made this whole experience a positive one.

So as we wrap this one up with a pretty, yet very manly Ironman bow (or medal), I wanted to give my Iron Husband a shout out.

Iron Hubs, I've always thought you were incredible even at 18 years old, but you continue to amaze me with your dedication to your career, our family and your goals. You are never content for too long unless you're doing something to better yourself or your family and I'm so thankful for that. You use everything the Lord has blessed you with and you are making the most of the life you've been given. You're stronger than I ever imagined and seeing you push through the bike and run this weekend was something I will never forget. Sure, seeing you cross the finish line itself will be engraved in my memory and can still bring a tear to my eye, but crossing that line isn't the hard part. The hard part is putting one foot in front of the other on mile 120 when your legs are dead and the sun is scorching and it'd be easier to stop than to continue. That's where I was the proudest wife in the Woodlands. You never once complained, even as I watched you lay trembling in the bed before you fell asleep that night from the pain. You've suffered through 2nd degree sunburns for the last 5 days and STILL have not complained. You're a champ, a stud, an inspiration, a winner, a non-crazed and loving husband, son and brother through it all, and you're an Ironman. I'm so glad to call you mine last Saturday, today and everyday. Keep chasing your dreams. I'll be a few feet behind you every single time (and right next to you if it doesn't involve running, biking or swimming;). I can't wait to tell Ziggy all about the time he went with me to Texas to watch his dad lay it all out there on the pavement. I love you and am proud of you.

PS...Remember when we were 18 and talking about our dreams and you said you wanted to write a book and possibly be the President of the United States? I think I make a better Ironwife than a First Lady, but if the presidential bug ever takes a big ole bite out of you, well, I guess I'll be up for that too;) Just give me enough warning to take down any ridiculous Facebook photos of me drinking queso through a straw first.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lessons Learned as an Ironman Rookie

If you follow me on Facebook, you were probably well aware that we spent 5 nights in Texas last week for the Hubs Ironman Woodlands race. And if you know me, which you should by now, you had to predict that I would have some blogging to do after our return. I mean, how can I not share some stories with you after such a cool trip? Had your fill of IM Texas already thanks to Facebook, meet back up with us on Friday. You have my permission to take a pass at the next two days.

As a rookie spectator, I can honestly say that I was blown away by the entire experience from start to finish. Usually after a trip that tiring, I'm ready to come home, sleep in my own bed and get back to some normalcy. However, I didn't want to leave come Monday morning (especially when our wake up came at a whopping 3:30am. Barf.) It was such a packed weekend, but one full of high energy and so many things to see. Volunteering at Ironman Madison in 2013 gave me my first taste of this sporting event outside of the Hub's stories, but after this weekend, I'm a true fan. I hope to continue to volunteer or simply be a spectator in Madison regardless of whether or not the Hubs chooses to put himself through that participate again.

And as an avid list maker, I bring you a few Lessons Learned as an Ironman Rookie:

  • The Texas sun is H-O-T. Our pasty Midwestern skin was not prepared. Make the guys at the Bullfrog sunscreen booth your new BFFs. Thanks to their SPF 50, I came back home about as butt-white as I arrived. I'm guessing I could've used a little sun, but avoiding the pain of a burn as we stood in the sun for about 13 hours was a top priority. The Hubs was not so fortunate.
  • Port-o-potties will also be your new BFF, whether you like it or not, especially when pregnant. They are often times the only option around.
  • Apparently all 2,500+ athletes strive for bathroom "success" before they plunge into the water. Unfortunately, if you're a spectator who has to wait to use the dreaded port-o-potty until all the swimmers have done their business, it's going to be a rough experience. I almost puked about 10 times in a 3 minute span. I was happy for them, as I can only imagine that pooping in your wetsuit would set an awful tone for the next 8-16 hours, but dang Gina, that was nasty.
  • Splurge on the big, fat, colored chalk. I bought a pack of standard, white chalk to doodle encouraging messages for our Ironman along the running route. All I could muster was "Go Tim F." and that alone snapped 4 sticks of chalk. After my fingernails and knuckles slammed into the pavement with each chalk-snap, I gave up. Dang those $3 extra dollars I was trying to save for Ziggy's college fund.
  • Carrying your Hubs jumbo sized, warm Gatorade is stupid. Once he hits the water, chuck that puppy. Your "oh this isn't heavy at all" backpack tends to gain weight as the hours pass. Don't need it, chuck it, and don't worry about whether he'll need it as he passes you later on.
  • Be prepared to eat your way through the day. Okay, twist my arm on this one. You will have a lot of windows of time to kill and there might not be a ton to do other than shop and eat if you're in a good location. Our longest time span without seeing the Hubs was about 6 hours and you cannot shop that long. So we ate.
  • Bring a chair. By about 6pm my legs and back were tingling and the only place to sit down was on top of my backpack in a sea of prickly ground cover plants. I feel dumb even typing this when the athletes could hardly stand by that point, but it's my list and this is a lesson I learned whether I'm a wimp or not. As I plopped down on my bag I wracked my brain for anything "crushable" in the pack before I sat down on it. The one thing I forgot about was the banana I had stashed for later. Needless to say, I had some wonderful "banana pudding" smeared all over the inside of my pack that evening. Small price to pay. RIP banana.
  • This is one major sporting event where everyone is nice and happy. No one is drunk or booing for their opponent. Everyone is on the same team. If you're standing next to another family and awaiting your athlete together, it's 100% normal to ask where they're from, what their athlete's name is and then scream just as loud for their Ironman as they pass as you do for you own (and vice versa). One couple's athlete passed about 20 minutes before the Hubs did, but they knew we were anxious of his whereabouts and they stood next to me until he passed, all the while yelling "Looking good, Tim! You've got this, Tim!" You're all in it together and your pride runs deep for each athlete regardless of name and hometown.
  • My mother-in-law was amazingly selfless for my sake. She fought my resistance as she offered to carry my heavy backpack as the day went on. She carried it herself for much of the afternoon to my dismay. I felt horrible watching her carry it as I knew how much it weighed, but I can also tell you that it saved my aching back and feet for awhile as I got to walk without it. It was a long day for all of us, but to have someone look out for the pregnant chick in the group meant a lot and made me feel like part of the family even more.
  • And most importantly, be prepared to be obnoxiously proud of your Ironman (or woman). You just can't help it. You're watching firsthand someone accomplish something incredible, and unthinkable for people like me, and there's just something that clicks inside of you. You're watching someone fight for their dream, which is why America loves to watch The Voice, American Idol, Biggest Loser, etc... We're hungry for inspiration and dreams realized because it means that we, too, can do anything if we're willing to fight. As our matching shirts stated "Ironman, Superman, #1436 is both to us!" It's so true. If you're willing to fight for a dream, I will always rally around that. Always.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Main Street Market or Bust

If you live in the Rockford region, or are a vintage lovin foul like so many of us, chances are that you've heard of Urban Farmgirl (UFG). She's a blogger and Kane County Flea Market guru (think upscale market, not truly a flea market, in the Chicago burbs) and she calls Rockford home for her beautiful shop. The first time I walked inside of her shop I declared that "I wanted to live there forever". It's beautiful and swoony with white and pale aqua everywhere, and is almost like antiques hooked up with Pottery Barn and had a love child.

Well, thanks to Urban Farmgirl's creativity and her vintage connections all over the country, Simply Vintage was chosen as one of the 79 vendors to participate in her first ever Main Street Market. We sent off our vendor application with bated breath and we're thrilled when we got the "welcome, vendor" email. Then came the planning, collecting and painting. One of the things that I never realized before owning a small, vintage business was how much work goes into each piece you find. More times than not, the piece has been sitting forgotten and collecting dust and decades of dirt somewhere. Not only do we, as vendors, have to hunt for days on end for our pieces, but we then haul it (and they did not make things light-weight in the past, let me tell ya), unload it, scrub dust, dirt and spiders off, prime it, paint it, reloading it, haul it, unload it again, etc... Side note... just as a head's up and a little advice, when trying to negotiate a price on something of that nature, try to think through how much the vendor paid for it, how much money they put into primer, paint, a protective finish supplies, and their time before you ask them to slash a price by 50%. Ask gently please. Chances are we want it to go to a good home (and our husbands don't want to have to reload it into the Jeep nor store it any longer) so we'll negotiate it with you if you're realistic and respectful. A tiny piece of our heart and much of our sweat is in each piece, be gentle, please.

As the weeks led up to the sale, Mary aka "Urban Farmgirl" began posting vendor spotlights. Oh my word. These vendors are talented! Intimidated is a good word to use to express what I felt with each new vendor she'd feature. Some of these women came from all over the Midwest (and even further) and they are like vintage ballers. And then there's little ole, Simply Vintage. Just trying to make a sale here and there. I do not want to relive the week leading up to the Market. I was beyond tired but had SO much to do. A few times a night, I'd tell the Hubs "I quit. No one is going to buy this stuff." I was intimidated, tired, nervous and defeated. But we were committed and had paid for our booth so off we went on Friday evening to unload six truck loads of inventory from our shop. Main Street Market or bust!

With about 10 minutes to spare before the gates opened at 10am on Saturday, we finally placed the last item in its place. We stepped back, took a look and thought "here we go." The gates opened at 10am and I kid you not, I saw grown women power walking passed 78 booths to get to UFG's booth. They did not even glance our way. They were women possessed with credit cards burning holes in their pockets and husbands somewhere at home praying that they would not come home with any more "old stuff". My heart sank as the crowd flew past our booth. This is going to be a LONG day, I thought.

And then just as quickly as the first group passed us by, the second group hit us with a vengeance. And then came the third group and the fourth group and the.... By 10:45 we had sold almost every piece of furniture that we had brought. Within 45 minutes! My mom and I served as the cashiers while my partner, Traci, manned the sales floor, and we could not keep up. It was money hand over fist in multiple directions. I remember asking my mom what time it was while we were frantically trying to ring people up (thinking it was probably about noon) and when she said 10:38 I about died. My fear was that we'd have to reload 6 truck loads of stuff back up at 5pm and make $100 or some other insanely low and sad amount. We left at 5:45pm with about 8% of our entire store inventory left. Boom. I'm still on a high from it 4 days later thanks to the couple of thousand shoppers who came through. Thank YOU, ladies and gentlemen (yep, even men found some great treasures)!

Needless to say, I'm already pumped for next year's event and may or may not have started to restock my inventory by Monday. What??

Want to check out Urban Farmgirl online, visit
To check out Main Street Market's page, visit

Here's a sneak peek at our booth:
This is pretty much what my house and life looked like for the week leading up to the show. Both may still look a bit like this since I have events every night since.
Just a two of the pieces I recovered and painted.
The white and yellow chevron chair and matching scale were probably two my favorite pieces I did. The chair sold by about 10:15am. Success. One of my mom's scrabble art pieces, shown below on the yellow chair, flew out of the door.

I don't know what it is about unique colored shutters, but these bad boys sold within minutes. Luckily we had another set that the Hubs brought mid day, and those sold within 5 minutes of hitting the floor. 
I think all but one thing in this picture sold.

Selfishly I pulled the pogo stick for myself. I loved it when I found it an estate sale and after about 30 people picked it up and passed on it, I decided to keep it. Needless to say, a teenage boy came by around 3pm and was heartbroken when we told him it "sold". I should've sold it to him.
Sorry, friend. Maybe I'll part with it next year. Some finds are just harder to let go.

And in comes the crowd.
The calm before the vintage storm.

And although this is not our booth, my friend, Jenny, is too stinkin cute not to share with you.
She specializes in mason jar tumblers with custom koozies, mason jar light fixtures, and children's clothing. Her rockabilly dress that matched her booth was a huge hit, and she swears she got more compliments on that than her items.
It was fun to be next to her booth to break up the day a little bit.

Special thanks to my mom for working her tail off for us! We could not have done it with just two of us; no way, no how. So she stood for about 9 hours straight in the hot sun with us. She's the best! And, her awesome Scrabble tile frames, vases, coasters, etc...practically sold out so it was a win-win.

See y'all next year!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Mother's Day First

Can we just take a minute and give our moms a standing ovation? I mean, is there really a harder, more around the clock job than being a parent? They're never truly off the clock. I, for one, am so thankful for the two people that the Lord chose to be my parents. I hit the parent jackpot if you ask me.

With that being said, this Mother's Day was the first time that I got to participate in the holiday. Y'all know I love a holiday, so experiencing a new one for the first time was extra special. And although I don't have a child to hold in my arms just yet, being able to go through the day feeling that little nugget move and kick was as sweet as having him right there for the world to see.

With our traditional, family festivities planned for Sunday, the Hubs surprised me with a special dinner on Saturday. After a VERY long day of working and standing on my feet in the hot sun for 9 hours, I came home to the smell of dinner in the oven. Is there any better smell than a dinner cooking in your own home that YOU don't have to cook yourself. Hallelujah! He had cooked a delicious meal of panko rolled chicken, fresh asparagus and green beans and mashed potatoes (which are my fave). I told him "if you can cook this well, I'm adding you to the nightly rotation." Apparently he's been sandbagging me for the last 2 years;)

I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture before the carnage, oops. 

And then there was cake with a mom sign and a candle. Because every mom should get to make a wish on Mother's Day, right? Right.

And then came the gifts. He could've stopped at dinner and the card, but he really blew me away with his thoughtfulness and creativity. Although it'll never be a competition, this first Mother's Day is going to be hard to top, I tell you.

Thanks to the Hubs, I was gifted a prenatal massage gift card (Hallelujah squared!), Ziggy got cute overalls to wear to the apple orchard this fall and both Ziggy and Piggy wrote me letters. Needless to say I cried my way through them. Those two letters right there were gift enough. They were priceless gifts.


Thank you, Timmy, Piggy and Ziggy and for making this first holiday so incredibly special. It was over the top and I'm so grateful to call you three mine.

And to top off the special day, my "host cadet", Mia, from The Citadel, text me the photo below as we were on the way to breakfast with my grandma. Mia graduated on Saturday with her MBA from The Citadel and I couldn't be more proud of my host child. She's incredible and driven and I'm so proud to know her. Her text read "Happy Mother's Day host momma. I love you and thank you for everything. BTW I did it:):):)" You sure did, girl, and you look fabulous doing it! So, so proud. You're going places quickly. Look out world, here come my hostie!

To all the moms out there, especially mine, I hope you had the best day full of hugs, sweet treats, flowers, laughter and all of the appreciation and gratitude that often goes unsaid and un-shown throughout the rest of the year. It's not that we forget or don't appreciate you, but there aren't enough hours in the typical day to thank you for all you do. You're cheerleaders, mentors, chefs, chauffeurs, nurses, counselors, life coaches, friends, truth tellers, protectors and defenders, comforters, and everything else we need exactly when we need it. You're all we hope to be and more.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We love you forever and always and then some.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

When the Lord's Plan Isn't Your Own

I am a Christian. I love Jesus and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God sent his one and only son to die for my sins and yours. I believe He is in control and sees everything long before I even know it's on the radar. I know He has my best interest at heart, even when it feels as though my heart is breaking.

With all that being said, and all that I believe, I still ache in desperate ways when His plans are not my own. Regardless of how many versus I read that assure me that His ways are best and to take heart and to lean on Him and not my own understanding, I fall short almost every time. Knowing that some things are just not "meant to be" does not make them any less devastating. Do I know that He has a plan, yes? Do I still struggle and feel hurt when the course is changed without any explanation, absolutely. I may have an eternal perspective, but here on earth, things can suck the life right out of you, can't they?

We had made plans and started dreams that will never come to fruition, at least not in the way that we were led to believe. We are back at "now what?" and I'm not really sure where to go or even how to go from here. I don't know how to not cry over a dream that was within reach and then taken away without explanation. I need comforting words yet all fall short aside from "that sucks, I'm so sorry." Hearing "there will be others" or "it just wasn't meant to be" makes me cringe and fight back tears. I know the sayers of those encouragements mean nothing short of well, but just because something wasn't meant to be doesn't make it any more of comfort when it's taken away. It doesn't make it sting any less.

I'm trying to trust that there's a plan. Maybe there is. Surely there is if everything I believe to be true, is in fact true. But for the here and now, I am sad and angry and lost and confused. I'm guessing I will be for a while. The bright side is that I have a 1.8 lb nugget kicking me as I type to reassure me that regardless of what our plan looks like, I have one giant blessing on its way to join in our plan. I just wish I knew where that nugget would call home.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Holy Bottles, Bat Man

On Sunday I completed my first marathon! I did it. All 26.2 miles of it. Well, okay, not really. But it felt like it, dang it. What we DID complete was our baby registry which seemed as long, as painful on my swollen feet, and as utterly exhausting as I imagine 26.2 to feel. And there's no one cheering you on from the sidelines as you make it through the baby swing aisle and into stroller hell. Babies R Us really should look into that. Seriously. The free bottled water they offer is thoughtful, but what I could've used was a few people standing along the aisles cheering "you're half way there! Keep going! You just have bedding, diapers and pack and plays left; you've got this!"

I knew we were in above our parental pay grade when we entered the bottle aisle. What the what? Why? Just why? Do we really need 815 bottle and nipple options? I'm thinking this is a first world problem for shizzle, right? The Hubs and I stood there like lost puppies. Nothing can make a soon to be mom feel inadequate quite like the bottle aisle at target. If their goal is to make me feel like I'm 112% in over my head, well played. Why are there no spreadsheets or flow charts on what size you need to start with and how you increase along the way? Is a 4oz bottle for newborns, or traveling, or snacks? And nipple flows? Huh? I'm pretty sure for those moms that nurse, your kiddo is stuck with whatever nipple flow God gave ya. What's Dr. Brown and Avent's response to that one?

Strollers, car seats and travel systems, oh my! Oh my word is more like it. So the Hubs and I did what most well educated and studied up on all things stroller parents would do, we grabbed one, pulled it off the shelf, played with it for 5 minutes and called it good. We never looked back.

My favorite registry item was the diaper genie. We stood there and read all the blasted labels...diaper genie, diaper genie plus, diaper genie elite, blah blah blah...when a mom walked up and said "buy that one, it rocks." It was like a voice from above speaking life into our tired, ragged, floundering parental hearts. Done and done. If only that woman could've followed us down every aisle with her commentary. As quickly as she appeared to save us, she was gone and were left to fend for ourselves. I'm not fully convinced she wasn't a Babies R Us mirage.

I was donzo by the time we hit bedding. Put a fork in me. If the kid has a clean sheet that isn't pink, I'll call it a success. My body was aching, the Hubs had to make a hydration run for us, and our creativity was shot. You know how you watch the Boston Marathon on TV and without fail, someone's bowels go out on them on mile 25 as they push themselves to the max? Oh, the horror! As we rounded cribs, my body gave out and I tooted right there. In the middle of the blessed store. I can only share this with you now because at that point I lost all self respect and self preservation. I left it in aisle 13, aka Cribs at Babies R Us. The Hubs just looked at me and walked away. No words were spoken. I'm pretty sure, thanks to the glorious side effect that is pregnancy gas, that I was NOT the only registering momma to accidentally let one slip in that place. I guarantee that place gets crop dusted more than any other store in America (aside from Farm and Fleet, most likely). WE CANNOT HELP IT. I swear! 75% of the time, Hubs, I'm just as shocked as you are when it happens. Contrary to popular belief, I do not relish in this side effect. Oh I'm sorry, I'm just creating a human life. Toots happen. Deal and walk faster so we can blame it on pregnant Patty one aisle over and he husband can get embarrassed and leave her standing there alone and dignity-less!

So, um, yeah. in one swoop I've taken our blogging relationship to the next level (sorry about that). The upside is that we completed Ziggys' registry and lived to tell the tale. And you're welcome to everyone who is sweet enough to buy something from Zig's registry as I'm certain you'll have a good chuckle at my expense as your eyes hit the crib section. And if for some reason you encounter a preggo and smell an odd odor as you pass her, just give her a little high five and assure her/us that this will not last forever. It won't right? Right?!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Friday High Fives (A Few Days Late)

Friday got away from me quickly and wildly. There was too much to do and not enough time to do it, which sort of sums up our weekend as well. So because this is my little corner of the Internet and I can make the rules as I go, I'm doing my Friday High Fives on Monday. What you think about that?!

Today, I give some blog love to the following happiness makers:
  • A perfect surprise gift for Ziggy from Auntie Tracy before we flew home last Monday. She picked out the cutest sleepers and the perfect pair of wayfarer shades like mine. Ziggy and I are going to be stylin and proflin' in the sun. Thanks, T! Here's our shades together...

  • Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese at Sole's wedding. This stuff mixed two of my favorite things, Gouda and pimento cheese. I would've happily drown in that bowl.
  • Seeing our Piggy after a few days away from him while we were traveling. About 30 minutes down the road to O'Hare, I declared that I already "missed Pig." That fur baby brings me so much joy it's sort of ridiculous.
  • Not missing our flight out of Atlanta on Monday night. Due to the storms rolling in from the west and a delay out of Charleston, there was a window of time when we thought we might not make it out of ATL that night. Luckily our connection was also delayed enough for us to make it. I was thankful to not be the pregnant woman sprinting through ATL!
  • Seeing Sonia, my brother's fiancĂ©, for the first time in over 6 months. She's got her fiancĂ© visa and is back in the states so they can get married.
  • Coming in to our bedroom on Saturday night to find my two men had taken over the bed. Piggy had claimed his stake on my side and Tim was already out cold, lights on and all. I guess a half marathon will do that to you. Please excuse our non-matching pillow cases. I'm a nut about pillow cases and change mine every 3 days, so we rarely have matching pillow cases in our casa.

  • A great church message yesterday on anxiety by Mike Breaux. This was one of those messages that felt like it was written just for me. I've been struggling with an anxious spirit and heart over the house buying process and especially after leaving Charleston last week, so I needed the reminder, in black and white, that the Lord hears me, He sees my anxiety, but that He is and should be my daily refuge and joy giver. It's all too easy to forget sometimes, isn't it?
  • Registering for Ziggy. I'm torn on whether this is a high or not, as it was pretty exhausting, but it was so fun to pick things out for him and picture him in his new swing, stroller, hooded towels, etc...
  • Having dinner with the Freibergs now that they're back from 4 months in the Gulf Shore. Their tans are incredible, the food was delicious and it was so great to have them back. Not to mention it was fun to have them meet Ziggy since he was the size of a blueberry when they went south.
Happy Friday Monday, Y'all!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ode to Pregnancy

There is a place on my right leg
Where my ankle used to be.
ow what’s there is puff and skin
And a cankle for all to see.  

The left ankle bone is going strong
And hanging on with might.
I pray it can stay visible
And not vanish into the night.

Energy has replaced nausea
And cookies replaced saltines.
Decaf has become a trusted friend
But sushi’s an enemy.

Give me cake or give me death
Every carb I crave.
Some days it’s pizza, some days pasta
But donuts are my fave.

"How are you feeling” is often asked
And I’m so pleased to reply.
"I feel like a million bucks today
But two months ago I thought I might die".

Where’s this glow you see on TV
That constantly graces my screen?
Is it something I’m clearly lacking
Or is it just sweat and vomit sheen?

Baby kicks are the coolest things
And have made me fall in love.
Each and every day with this nugget
Is clearly a gift from above.

Oh, pregnancy you make me laugh
And sometimes make me cry.
You’re a whirlwind of emotion and oddities,
Of that I will not lie.

Ziggy, Nugget, my sweet Small Frei
Momma is  crazy about you.
Please be safe, grow strong and mighty
And stay in there until you’re due.

Or until my feet turn into Flintstone feet;) Just keepin it real.