Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow days...

I was listening to Matt Pond’s song, “Snow Day” today and it made me remember the past…

Growing up we had more snow days than I can even count. I used to love snow days. These days when the power goes out it’s such a big inconvenience, back then it meant sleigh riding, snow ball fights, playing Monopoly and Clue by candle light, hot chocolate and togetherness. 

I miss the simple pleasures snow days used to bring to my life. I remember anxiously listening to the radio for school cancellations and praying for school to be canceled. There is also something so peaceful about a huge snowfall. It brings a silence with it that is breathtaking. 

Everything stops, if even for just a short while.  Joel and I got to experience this in NYC last year. It was amazing to see one of the busiest places in the world, slow down. I was literally standing on a normally busy street and there were only a few headlights on the road. 

My only wish is that we would get more snow days here in Charlotte. Until then, I’ll keep going home to the mountains and enjoying my little white wonders there. 

Hope you enjoy the song as much as I do...enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus, aka...Joel (after all they both have beards) gave me some wonderful gifts today! This was our first Christmas together as a married couple, and my first Christmas ever spending it without my family. We didn't get to go home this year for Christmas because my mom, dad, grandpa, and brother's family all have a stomach flu. We're postponing our Christmas gathering until next weekend, with the hope that everyone will be feeling better - and less contagious!

Joel and I started some of our own new traditions this morning, and carried on some old ones. We both took turns reading the bible and praying before we exchanged gifts. Joel whipped up my favorite breakfast, french toast, maple syrup bacon and homemade skillet potatoes. And we've been watching the classic, Ben-Hur all morning by the fire.

This year we set a limit on spending. I got him two new pairs of shoes, his old ones were falling apart and he continued to wear them with no complaints, so I felt he was long overdue for an up grade. I also got him a golf cooler with a special surprise inside... a voucher for 7 rounds of golf. I think he liked this one the best. He had hinted more than once this was what he really wanted...

Joel had the giving spirit a little early this year. He gave me a new pair of UGGs and a long gray sweater dress a couple weeks before Christmas. Today, I opened three more thoughtful gifts.

He gave me a rose gold angel wing pendant necklace to signify our little angel on the way. Which I love!

A Michael Kors watch! I love the rose gold. He has such good taste.

And one of my favorite books that I can't wait to read to our baby. So sweet! I sure am one lucky girl!

What Christmas means to me…

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

It’s so easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. As we go about our lives and get shuffled into the hustle and bustle of it all.  From Santa Claus to Frosty, cable is airing the 25 days of Christmas, but none of the shows are about the real meaning, the reason for this season…Jesus.

I remember growing up, the real Christmas story used to air. There were other shows on TV centered on Jesus too like “The Little Drummer Boy.” I don’t remember the last time I saw that one air. What changed? What has made everyone get so far away from the real meaning?

Every Christmas before one gift is touched, my family sits down with the Bible and we read the story of the birth of Jesus (Luke 1:26-38, 2: 1-20, Matthew 1:18-25).  This has become a great tradition in my family and I am looking forward to starting this with my own children. It reminds us all that gifts are not the real meaning. We all love Santa, Christmas trees and everything childlike that this time of year is known for, but the real meaning should be celebrated and glorified, the birth of our Savior.  Happy Birthday Jesus.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2:14

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs...Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 23, 2011

From our home to yours...

Pregnancy has taught me to…

  • Always have snacks. I keep snacks at my desk at work, by my bedside, in my purse and sometimes even in my car. The best way to avoid getting sick is to keep your stomach 50% full all the time, so I try to nibble on something every two hours if possible.
  • Drink lots during the day and slow down on the fluids after 6pm – otherwise I’ll be up all night!
  • Plan out what I’m wearing to work the night before. As my belly continues to grow, I never know if what fit me last week will fit me today. Good thing I like to plan ahead!
  • Take naps often. Every time I can lie down, I do! I haven’t slept the whole night through since I became pregnant. Napping is the one way I can catch up on my beauty rest – and it seems I am always tired; after all I am growing a human inside me.
  • Bring a glass of milk to bed with me. As odd as it seems, it’s the only thing I’ve found that helps relieve my ulcer pains at night.
  • Watch my attitude. Joel has told me more than once I’m being hormonal… I don’t always notice it, so I try to be more aware before I speak now.
  • Take some ME time. Whether it’s a manicure/pedicure, nap, reading, bath or massage, I figure now’s the time to pamper and indulge myself before the baby arrives. It makes me feel better too!
  • Read more… I thought I knew the basics and felt confident at first, but there is still so much I have to learn. Reading and talking to others makes me feel more prepared and less stressed.
  • Not to overdo it on the good days or else plan a lot of rest for the next day. 
  • Let things go in one ear and out the other... it seems everyone has a pregnancy story they want to share with you. What happened to their friend, sister, a friend of a friend... It used to scare and worry me at first, but now I know to take the stories with a grain of salt. 
  • Let some things go… there will always be dishes and laundry to do, a bed to be made, floors to mop and carpets to clean. With the constant nausea and exhaustion I’ve felt over the past 4 months or so, I’ve learned its okay to let some things go…after all, it will still be there tomorrow.

And lastly, to enjoy every moment of my pregnancy even the aches and the pains because it is such a blessing...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life...

Christmas is one of my favorite Holidays. Well, actually I love all Holidays, even Halloween (if that's considered a Holiday). Holidays resemble fun times and memories for me.

Usually, I know what I want for Christmas by the 1st of November, but this year was different. I couldn’t think of one thing I really wanted or needed for Christmas. I could think of plenty of things we will need for the baby eventually or to improve our home, but nothing that I wanted or needed just for myself. I bet my mom and Joel asked me twenty times what I wanted and each time I would respond, “I’ll have to think about it.” But thinking didn’t help, because I knew I already had everything I needed for Christmas. 

We have been so blessed with a warm house, paid bills, food on the table everyday, clothes on our back and most importantly, one another.  My dad always told us when we were growing up, “You’re old enough that your wants won’t hurt you.” This year it finally sank in.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Ode to the Birthday Girl!

Today is not only the shortest day of the year; it’s one of the most special days of the year too! Today is my dear friend Andrea’s birthday.  Andrea is the kind of person you always want to be around. I think the first day we met, we instantly became best friends. She would do absolutely anything for her friends and puts all of her friends’ needs, worries and concerns ahead of her own. She is beautiful inside and out.

She has been such a blessing to my life and I thank God for giving me such a wonderful friend to lean on, enjoy spending time with and talk to about anything and everything. I know Andrea is a lifetime friend. 

So cheers to you Andrea on your special day! Know that you are a special person to so many people and you have brought so much joy to my life. I look forward to many more lasting memories to come. I love you to Boone and back, and then to the moon and back! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part...

This year, I’m more excited for January 4th than I am Christmas. On January 4th, we get to find out if we’ll be welcoming a beautiful baby boy or girl into our lives. I’m overjoyed to finally know and start preparing. I am 100% the planner of our family. Joel on the other hand, would probably rather wait until the day of to find out. He loves surprises and can withstand the anticipation…while the anticipation kills me and I feel like I have to know!

As a kid, I would try to find my Christmas presents around the house every year before Christmas. My mom had to get creative on her hiding places. I remember one year, she hid the gifts under my bed. I searched the whole house high and low, never even thinking to look in my own room. The gifts were all under my bed the whole time, the one place I would never think to look! 

Well this year, there's another gift I can’t snoop around and find myself.  The good news is there are only 15 more days until we will know for sure! 

Whether it’s a boy or girl doesn’t really matter to us. Joel and I know that whatever the Lord blesses us with, will be loved like no child before.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mommy’s girl or Daddy’s girl?

If you asked my mom if I was a daddy’s girl or momma’s girl, she would hands down tell you that I am a daddy’s girl. 

If you asked me, I would respond a little differently. Of course, like almost all girls, I have a tender spot in my heart for my dad and I adore him, but over the years a friendship has grown between my mom and I that is irreplaceable. 

My mom and I are just alike, so as you can imagine this has caused us to collide on several occasions. We butted heads when I was younger from time to time, but only because we were so much alike and both a little stubborn. Now that I’m older, I’ve grown to appreciate my mother for everything she is and everything she has sacrificed and done for me. She truly is my best friend. She’s the first person I call in the mornings, and if I have news, I instantly want to share it with her. 
Some times it’s hard to fathom all she has done and continues to do for me. I know I will never be able to repay her, so my one aspiration is to be as good of a mother to my baby as she has been to my brother and me. If I can aim to be a mother like my own, I know my baby will definitely feel loved. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snips & snails, & puppy dog tails…

I’d never had a dog of my own until last year. Joel and I had been discussing adopting a puppy from the Human Society Shelter in Charlotte, but I still needed some convincing. Questions and uncertainty flooded my mind… What about my shoes? Will he/she destruct the house? How will we manage the responsibility of training a new little pup? I was a little reluctant to say the least, but all I needed to change my mind was one look.

Bella was part of the “B” puppies (perfect for the B-radbury’s). Her mother, Beulah, was found in a parking lot, lost and pregnant. She gave birth to eleven (yes, eleven!) puppies on October 5th of 2010. All eleven pups were given names that started with the letter “B.” From Benicio to Billy Bob all “B” names were represented in this litter. Joel and I visited the shelter several times to play with the puppies and try to decide who would become an official member of our new family. On our last visit, we locked eyes with Bellamy for the first time. She was cold, timid and cuddly. We instantly knew she was ours…

She officially became a part of our family on December 8th when we brought her home. To my surprise, although still rambunctious, she is not the destructive puppy I thought she would be and I can't imagine our lives without her. She is smart, loving, needy at times, playful and always excited to see us. She always looks like she wants a hug. Every morning is like Christmas morning to her. She greets me with the biggest excitement everyday and I know for a fact she loves me.  Maybe we should all be that excited each day to see the ones we love, so that they too, know how much we love them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My bump, my lovely baby bump…

It’s hard to describe the love I feel for my baby already. Joel called me out the other day because he noticed that I’ve started constantly rubbing or holding my baby bump. I don’t even notice it, but I guess in some small way it’s me subconsciously loving and comforting our baby before it even arrives. 

It’s been amazing to hear the incredibly fast heartbeat and feel the tiny movements and flutters. My mom got to feel the baby kick for the first time on Monday night. I was so glad she was with me to experience it. I’m looking forward to the moment the baby kicks again and I can share the milestone with daddy-to-be.

Kickin' it with baby...

Since our new announcement, my whole world has changed and most of my social life has become non-existent. These days making it to work a full day and still having energy to cook dinner, shower and play with Bella (our lovely dog) is a big accomplishment.

Before, life as I know now, I was quite the social butterfly.  Friends are pretty high up on my priority list and I don’t know where I would be today without my girlfriends. Through all the morning sickness, sleepless nights and unsure feelings, my friends and family have been there and I can’t thank them all enough.

Kickin’ it with baby is pretty unpredictable. I never know if I’m going to be kickin’ it nauseous, exhausted, emotional or more like myself. It’s as unpredictable as my naturally curly hair; I never know how it will look or what it will do on any given day.

Life has slowed down for me and I’ve grown to love it. I appreciate moments with friends and family even more. Slowing down has led me to several realizations and quiet moments. Not constantly going and doing all the time gives you more time to think, appreciate and reflect. I’m so thankful for each and every precious moment of this pregnancy and look forward to every new day. Hopefully tomorrow will bring me more energy and a settled stomach!

Greetings Family & Friends!

Welcome to my blog, and my first ever entry! I've always wanted to start a blog and love following others, but I just needed a little motivation. Recently, God gave me the motivation I desired! 

After suffering from Interstitial Cystitis  for most of my life and struggling with severe endometriosis and chronic ovarian cysts, I had been told by several doctors that the possibility of ever becoming pregnant was grim. This was a hard realization to swallow. There were many tears shed and many alternative medicines tried. 

I met my husband, Joel, in 2008. We both work for the same company and out of a friendship, our relationship grew. He was there with me in 2009 when I was told by the doctor that pregnancy would more than likely not be in our future and he stood by me through it all. He is the epitome of loyal. 

In the spring of this year, we got married after nearly three years of dating. We were surrounded by family and friends on a beautiful May day at an old southern plantation called, 1812 Hitching Post. Our wedding was the essence of my style, vintage, shabby-chic with a dash of elegance.  We both knew we were up against some strong odds to be able to have our own child, but we also knew nothing was too big of an obstacle for our God. 

Shortly after marriage, we began to pray for God to bless us with a child if it was in His will and send us acceptance and peace if it was not. In beginning to pray for our life story and God’s plan, we both grew closer to God in our marriage. We began to have an understanding only He can provide. After only four months of marriage, to our surprise and utter shock, we learned we were expecting! At first Joel did not believe it. I myself knew for a fact. I could tell something was different.  We were both cautiously optimistic and we made our first appointment with the doctor… 

Confirmed! Expected due date, May 26th 2012. Only three days away from our wedding anniversary. 

Through this experience my faith has grown stronger than ever. I’ve thrown my pessimist attitude to the wind and know beyond a shadow of a doubt nothing is too big for my God. Even if the outcome is not what I want it to be, I know there is a greater plan. Today, I am nearly 18 weeks along. I’m feeling better and better every day and the baby’s heartbeat is as strong as ever.  I cannot wait to become a mother. I know this will undoubtedly be the most rewarding job in my life.

I look forward to writing more encouraging posts about our life, our baby and other little blessings that get me through the day! See you soon.