Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ready Or Not

Here he comes!!

I'll be on a blogging hiatus over the next few days as we wait to welcome our son into this world of ours. After finding out yesterday that his arrival needed to happen sooner than later, we kicked it into high baby mode and were at the hospital by 6am to start the induction.

Needless to say, last night was not spent sleeping as visions of the labor, but more so our little nugget raced through my head.

And now we wait. I've never been great at waiting, but amazing things come to those who wait.

Until we chat again, I wish you a fabulous week and  I look forward to introducing Ziggy to you.

Let's have a baby, shall we?!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday High Fives

Today marks the end of my summer, folks. It's back to full days on Fridays and I'm so broken up about it that I have not stopped crying out of my right eye for the last four days. Or that could be from the pink eye, but even if it is, I'm still pretty bummed that my half day Fridays are complete for another year. See ya in 2015, half Fridays. You and your endless possibilities for afternoon naps during horrible Lifetime movies, estate sale shopping or spending time with my mom
 will be missed tremendously.

With that I bring you the good things that got me through a rocky week:
  • Getting a prescription for this eye of mine. I went back to the doctor yesterday as my eye was getting progressively worse and the minute the doctor walked into the exam room, she took one look from across the room and said "oh, you poor thing. Let's get you some drops." Thank you, thank you!
  • Texting and emailing with my BFF's in Charleston this week. They're always on my mind and even just a few texts back and forth make the distance feel not so far. Miss you girls SO much!
  • The Hubs and his buddy putting in our car seat. We're all set, Ziggy!! Your car seat and swing await you.
  • Finally getting to watch Jen Hatmaker's Big Family Renovation show on HGTV last night. They're just the cutest, most real family. Check it out if you can stay up that late on a school night.
  • Celebrating my in-laws for their anniversary with a little hibachi and Red Mango. It was fun to do something different for dinner and the food and company were both wonderful. The Hubs may have ruined his shirt thanks to being an overzealous chocolate syrup eater, but no one's perfect.
  • The start of Bachelor in Paradise. I make no apologies for the crap TV that I partake in and it was nice to not have a void in my Monday night entertainment. Could I have been doing something more productive like painting the trim in our house to get it ready to list? Sure. But who can pass up watching a house full of drama queens and clueless men on a tropical island? Not this girl.
  • Getting the little nugget's room finished for his arrival. He'll have a little more space in the new house, but for the first month of his life, I think this nursery is perfect and will hold many precious memories.

  • Welcoming our furniture pieces back that we had sent out to have painted. I'm so pleased with how they turned out. Rennie, recognize any of these pieces? It's hard to tell the colors in the photos, but some are an antique white and some are a French gray, and all of them look so much better! Here's a little before and after for you.
Before (gag):



Happy Friday, Y'all!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pink Eye The Stink Eye

I can comfortably say that during this pregnancy, I have weathered many a random, physical challenge and lived to tell the tale. From battling the flu for a full week when I was about 8 weeks pregnant to morning-afternoon-evening sickness, to pregnancy induced Carpal Tunnel, to today's joys compliments of pink eye, I have seen my fair share of random illnesses in the last 9 months. The good news is that in each instance I've been able to power through and Ziggy seems no worse for the wear. The high fevers during the flu were the scariest, but this little nugget is tough and went unscathed.

The down side of this weeks illness is that I currently look like Sloth from The Goonies. True Story. My face is fairly swollen when I awake these days and now I have the pleasure of having one eye about 50% swollen shut. I dread looking in the mirror this week. It's ain't pretty folks. No way around it. I keep telling myself "if the Hubs doesn't run and hide and somehow still finds me remotely attractive after all of this is said and done, well, he shall be dubbed Saint Hubs".

I don't typically ask for prayer over small illnesses such as the stink  pink eye, but if you don't mind sending one up for me, I'd be very grateful. I can power through this thing, but I'm worried about our son coming a few days early and his momma looking like a combination of Sloth and one of those white rabbits with the bright red eyes that you see at the county fair, in every single photo of his first days of life. And more importantly and less selfishly, I don't want to worry about giving this gunk to our new baby. I want to be able to hug and kiss and cuddle him as much as he deserves and as much as I've been anxiously waiting to do without fear of harming his brand new eyes.

This too shall pass, and if I have to walk around with one eye fully done with make-up and the other as bald as an eagle and running nonstop, I can do it without much complaint (note "much" complaint. I'm human and this stuff stinks!). I just pray this doesn't take 7-10 days like the doctor mentioned or I shall forever look like I'm winking at the camera in every single photo of Ziggy's arrival. Not exactly how I imagined looking in our first family portraits. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Hard Side of My Career

When explaining what my office does to other members of campus, I often tell people that we have the pleasure of being the "warm fuzzies" department at the College. Granted, we do a lot more than hand out free smiles and donor thank you notes, but when it boils down to the basics, we're often here to share great stories of student success and strong causes with donors who want to make a difference with their financial "treasure". And when you give to someone without expecting anything in return, do you not get to feel all warm and fuzzy inside? It's joy in its most simplistic form. You have a need and I have a resource that can fill your need. When that need is met, we both get to feel the relief and the joy of living beyond ourselves. Warm fuzzies, right?

The hardest part of my job, outside of making the "ask" for support face to face or being told no, is when I meet with a grieving family who want to do something beyond themselves to memorialize their loved one. Although these moments are engrained in my mind as the most rewarding donor interactions, they are by far the most gut wrenching at the same time. There are real and very raw emotions involved. Often times the loss is very recent and fresh. Sometimes it was unexpected or many times it was a long and painful process that finally came to an end. Tears are always present. As the fundraiser in the room, it takes everything I have to not sit right there and cry with them. Alas, I am human so there have been times when I've shed a tear right with them, but for their sake I try my best to be compassionate yet collected so that someone is talking them through the process professionally.

Today held one of those challenging moments. This afternoon I sat in a meeting room with a widow of only 3 weeks and her sister, and tried to guide them as they decided what route to take to memorialize the man that they so loved. From the moment the wife walked into the building, I knew this was going to be a bittersweet meeting for her. On one hand, she's being given an opportunity to see her husband honored for the lifetime of the college, but on the other hand, the much more heavy and somber hand, her walking into our office with an envelope of memorial checks was just another reminder of what she has lost. When she could not answer my first question of "how are you doing", I just handed her a tissue and let her have the silence she needed before we moved on. There were stretches of her face being hidden in that tissue while the sister remained the strong one. And when they saw the memorial option that they would decide upon, they both wept together. It was a neat experience to see them both scanning their individual list of options and when their eyes hit one of them, thankfully the same one, they both cried at the same time independent of the other. I saw relief and grief on their faces at the same time.

I am confident that with time and a little acclamation to her new normal, although I hate the new normal for her, this meeting today will serve as the first step in her husband's lasting legacy on campus. Hundreds of thousands of students will see his name on a room within our campus and although they will not know his full story, full impact, and the great love that he has left behind, they will know his name and that someone loved him so much that they engraved it for all to see. His name and his wife's love will forever remain written upon the walls of the campus where he called home for so many years.

What is an open wound right now for his widow will slowly begin to heal with time, and with that time, my hope is that grief will turn to remembrance and someday, eventually, this moment will become a warm fuzzy.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week In Review

It appears I missed yet another "High Five Friday". I'm so slack. Or, more accurately, I'm just slammed trying to prepare for the arrival of Small Frei. Trying to tie up current loose ends at work, while also cramming 12 weeks of upcoming project preparation makes for a long day for this chica. My apologies.

In an effort to give my high fives some credit for making long days better, I shall declare this post a whole darn week in review. I'm just creative simple like that. Here's to hoping you had some fabulous high fives come your way last week as well!
  • Securing a couple large gifts for scholarships at the College last week. Many of our students are so deserving, so every dollar we bring in for them is a super high five!
  • Parmesan Garlic popcorn from the Popcorn Parlor. Fresh, local and delish.
  • Discovering the new show Married at First Sight. I LOVE it. If you haven't seen it, give it a watch. It's a reality show where you actually root for the people versus roll your eyes at their drama. Now, I'm not condoning marrying a total stranger, however, it does make for an interesting experiment and some darn good TV.

  • Spending an afternoon with my mom on Friday. I gave her lunch and a pedicure for her birthday in Feb. Needless to say, it was way overdue!! 
  •  Happening across an AMAZING deal to have some of our furniture refinished for next to nothing. We have some pieces that I bought and had big plans to redo myself, along with a few older pieces that the Hubs already had. That was until this year when we found out we were expecting and painting was on the "no-no" list.  So there they sat, untouched, in the way and collecting dust. As of today, there are 5 pieces being refinished without me having to smell one whiff of a paint fume. It's glorious, friends! I can't wait to share the results. I haven't even seen a finished product and I already feel as though it was worth every cent. Here are two of the pieces (so long Ronald McDonald dressers!!):

  • Catching up with old friends over a delicious brunch on Sunday morning. It was a morning filled with mommy talk, catching up on other skating friends, a few gifts for Ziggy and wonderful fresh apple cider pancakes. I was also given this sweet bracelet in honor of our boy. I love it.

  • This sweet family portrait compliments of my friend's daughter, Sophie. Precious.

  • Purchasing all of our remaining "must have" items from our registry. The Hubs put together the travel system and it is 100% Piggy approved. He let me push him around in it for awhile and seemed totally content being the practice baby.

  • Cleaning out our garage with the help of my parents over the weekend, and my father in law today. This was no small undertaking, but it looks so good! I just want to lay in the middle of it and do garage floor angels there's so much space. Thanks for your help mom, dad and Dick!
  • And the biggest high five goes to Walker, my friend's son, for beginning his healing journey. He's suffered from seizures for over a month now, but is now out of the medically induced coma and experiencing less frequent seizures. He has a ways to go with PT, but his eyes are open and his mom got to hold him for the first time in a month. This picture is pure joy. She's the strongest mom I know!! #Walkerstrong

I hope y'all had a fabulous weekend and are ready to rock this week like 7 Fridays in a row!