Tuesday, November 29, 2016

bebe dos:: nursery inspiration


We're twenty-five weeks in, and actual plans are underway for Anna Cate's nursery! Ever since Drew switched jobs (WOOHOO!), we've had more time to think and plan and more resources to pool from. Originally we were really torn about how we would do the kids' rooms -- shared nursery + guest bedroom/office? Nursery/office + big girl room? Big girl room/office + nursery? Put Anna Cate in Lilly's furniture, and get Lilly a toddler bed? Or twin bed? Or full bed? Get a whole 'nother nursery set? So many configurations, so so many decisions to make!!

Finally we fleshed through our thoughts on the way to Atlanta from Savannah last Friday evening. We love Lilly's entire nursery suite, and have always planned to keep it forever and convert it all the way to a full size bed; either she can stay in it until she goes off to college, or we can get the girls some sort of bunk / twin beds in a shared room and use the nursery furniture for our guest room. It seemed wasteful to get an entirely new nursery set, especially since I hate having to resell anything (let alone furniture!)

We came to the conclusion that the best usage of our time and space and money would probably be to invest in one more crib (which we could resell when JC outgrows it) and have Anna Cate's nursery be my combination office (and also kind of a playroom for the girls, to keep them entertained while I work!).

I still don't know exactly what all we're going to put in here -- right now the plan is to definitely get the crib (ordered!) and a bigger, longer (more functional) "desk" -- I'm thinking more of a dining room table style than a traditional desk. It will need to fit the iMac and my embroidery machine, as well as give me space to write, sketch, and hoop designs. Planning to use my current "desk chair" (a Louis upholstered chair from my 445 office days) and maybe center everything along the window wall, pushed more into the room.

I'd love to get a soft rug, but I don't know what size or shape (or if I should keep with the neutrals color-wise or bring in color there). The walls will be painted Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams. 

Right now it seems the crib is scheduled to arrive by TOMORROW. (Insert surprised face!)

We definitely don't have the room ready to paint quite yet, but we did clear it out except for my desk for the time being. MAJOR progress done!

Monday, November 28, 2016

bebe dos:: twenty-five weeks

How far along: Is it just me, or does it seem REALLY FAR ALONG that I'm suddenly 25 weeks?! Time is flying!!!



Total weight gain: I have no idea.

Clothes: This weekend - gray large men's sweatpants and a grey long-sleeve maternity shirt. I'm ultra classy! Haha.
Sleep: I prefer around 9 hours a night. Caught up on my messed-up travel sleep Saturday night - Sunday morning.
Cravings: Gumbo. Ice. Shopping.
Symptoms: Incontinence while sneezing. Bump. Discomfort. Heartburn.
Diabetes Management: Desperately need to send over my levels because they're jank.
Exercise: A couple of walks and moving boxes down from my office to the garage. Because #nesting.
Mood: Crabby, impatient, but also happy and excited.
Miss Anything: My waistline.
Nesting: Actual progress here!!!!!! We bought a couple of new shelving units for the garage, and have been moving storage boxes from upstairs down, so we have an actual nursery. Many plans underway for my combination nursery-office!
Nursery: We BOUGHT A CRIB! Decided on our way to Atlanta Friday night that we would opt to just buy a crib rather than a full nursery set or go ahead and get a bunk bed/twin bed/guest bedroom suite... So we bought a gorgeous crib called the Julienne (SO APTLY NAMED, RIGHT?!) yesterday, to be delivered sometime probably next week. We've been moving storage / boxes / junk out of my office to clear it out, and plan to paint it Sea Salt by the weekend or so. It'll be my combination office AND nursery, so I'm going to get a new desk and some closing/locking storage for my wedding/embroidery things, and I think it'll work out nicely! We shall see!

Best Moment this week: Probably not actual Thanksgiving, since Dani was violently ill and I had to take her to the ER (boo!) -- definitely put a damper on our traditions and we didn't get to eat everything as usual, but it was still so nice to be around family. Who knows what Thanksgiving will look like next year?! (Will we be able to travel, or want to for that matter? What will life be like with two babies? Will Dani still be at her same house?)
Thankful for: Family, resources, Drew's NEW JOB (he starts today!), our home, my sweet toddler and the little life in me.
Looking forward to: Christmas season!! So much!

Doctor Visits:  My next will be Friday!
Baby Position:  I have no idea!
How is Lilly:  Sweet. A handful. LOVES Christmas lights! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

bebé dos:: twenty-four weeks

I'm quite a few days late to the game (thanks to Thanksgiving travel and washing my phone in the washing machine/dropping my phone in a toilet), but we're six months along!

How far along: 24 weeks!
Total weight gain: I don't track it weekly, but thus far it's been +12 from pre-pregnancy.

Clothes: Gap maternity tops, leggings, Simply Southern tees, gold loafers, green sateen pants.
Sleep: 10pm - 7am most days.
Cravings: Lemon cookies. Shrimp and grits. 
Symptoms: Needing to pee. Some small back pain.
Diabetes Management: Rough. High levels, lots of insulin.
Exercise: Walks around Charleston Tuesday, that's about it.
Mood: Good!
Miss Anything: Wine (I want it pretty much daily). Being able to wear flattering pants.
Nesting: Some home projects under ways.
Nursery: Thinking about the color to paint.
Best Moment this week: Heading to Savannah?
Thankful for: Family, Charleston, new clients, money to afford a new phone.
Looking forward to: Christmas season starting up!!

Doctor Visits:  My next will be December 2!
Baby Position:  I have no idea!
How is Lilly:   Miraculously sleeping in this morning!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

bebe dos:: twenty-three weeks

How far along: 23 weeks!



Total weight gain: I don't track it weekly, but thus far it's been +12 from pre-pregnancy.
Clothes: I got a gorgeous pair of evergreen ankle pants at A Pea in the Pod and I'm obsessed -- I wear them pretty much daily and it's SO NICE to not be wearing leggings. Favorite outfit is gray t-shirt, green ankle pants, gold pointy-toe flats, and J Crew tortoiseshell necklace. I took advantage of a Gap sale yesterday and ordered some more t-shirts (pink v-neck, light pink long sleeve, navy long sleeve, navy stripe) since they were SO CHEAP and all my Target shirts from last pregnancy are seriously so short. Why do they make maternity shirts so short?! Also wore my red silk dress to the BSA gala... one small perk to my boobs not growing as fast this time; didn't look vulgar with my non-cleavage "cleavage."
Sleep: I need to be going to bed earlier every day. I get so tired.

Cravings: Cottage cheese. Halo Top ice cream. Mexican salads. Meat. Averse to jack cheese, omelettes, cauliflower that tastes like cauliflower.
Symptoms: Constantly needing to pee. Bump. Baby kicking me often. Fatigue.
Diabetes Management: IT'S ACTUALLY BEEN EXCELLENT! I had my A1C rechecked last Wednesday, and it was 4.8!!!!!!!!!! That's phenomenal, for you non-diabetics -- it was my level before I got diabetes! (Back in the good ole days where I could eat moose tracks ice cream with actual carbs and it was no big thang.)
Exercise: Not much, sadly. Walks.
Mood: Pretty good. Still irritable but not as bad as normal, maybe. It's been nice to get out, hear good news, SEE Anna Cate (and her be perfectly, beautifully normal!!!!!!!!!!), and the weather is ever-so-slightly cooling off.
Miss Anything: Wine (I want it pretty much daily). Being able to wear flattering pants.
Nesting: I started looking at / thinking about my hospital packing list last night. That's progress, right?! Seeing Julianna Cate made me think of her as more real and REALLY look forward to meeting her in a few months!
Nursery: I've ever so slightly THOUGHT about her room and what we might need to do in there, but no actual progress has been done. I'm closer to ordering Lilly a pair of sheets, though!
Best Moment this week: Seeing that perfect little baby in a perfectly normal healthy ultrasound!!!!! And getting my A1C results back!!!!!!! Callie's party was fun, too, as was the Style Me Pretty luncheon I got to attend on Friday afternoon.
Thankful for: A husband that cooks delicious healthy meals for me and cleans my house and is overall top-notch. My sweet healthy toddler, and a sweet healthy baby sister that I know she'll adore playing with. Easily accessible childcare nearby (and free!). Potential clients and a working business.
Looking forward to: Election Day coming and going (I have a bit of anxiety about it -- I don't feel like we're really winning either way). In all honesty, I'm ready for a female president... I think it's time for our country, I think Hillary is experientially capable of doing a good job, I would love to have that monumental moment on the cusp of the birth of my second daughter... but I also don't have assurance that she'll select qualified, fair, moral supreme court justices or conduct her affairs with utmost integrity. I don't find her appalling, but I'm uneasy. And I also don't think she's a shoe-in for the position; America is totally split right now and the election could truly go either direction. So I early voted, exercised my political efficacy, and am praying for God to lead us the right way whatever that means. His will be done, not mine. May He give us what we need and not just what we want. May He direct us to do His will as individuals and as a country -- take care of the poor, exercise fair judgement and implement fair laws, assist mothers and encourage Christian family values. May we see beyond party lines and our own short-sightedness and selfish ambitions and love one another as we love ourselves. JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL! On a brighter, lighter-hearted note, I am looking most forward this week to Christmas Village shopping with Mom on Friday!!!!! YAY traditions! Hope I can rally through (Lilly too!) and have energy and stamina to bear the crowds and find some gems for loved ones!

Doctor Visits:  My next will be December 2!
Baby Position:  I have no idea!
How is Lilly:  Precious. Her little cheese smile is the best thing ever. She entertains us daily!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

i don't understand.

This week, leading up to election day, I continuously prayed, "Please, Lord, give us what we need and not what we want. Be with our country. Lead us in the right direction, whatever is Your will. I put my trust in You to be sovereign today, tomorrow, next week, forever. You already know the results of our election. Give us the grace and wisdom to accept whatever it is that is Your plan."

I woke up Tuesday morning and I kept telling myself, love conquers all. Love drives out all fear. Love will prevail. Whatever happens in this 2016 American election, love is the ultimate winner and love will overcome evil.

I don't, and didn't, think Hillary Clinton was our savior. She is far from perfect as an individual and legislator, she is a flawed human (just like all of us!), she is not a magic pill to solve our country's problems or even make anything better. My hope was not in her.

I don't, and didn't, think Donald Trump is inherently evil, or the worst person to ever exist, or un-redeemable, or whatever else. I have been horrified that the rules of human decency never seemed to apply to him in his voters' eyes, and repulsed by the rhetoric of hatred towards others that fueled the fire in his campaign. It is and has been blatantly obvious to me that he appealed to a MASSIVE demographic of people -- a huge quantity of my closest friends, family -- for a plethora of reasons. I have friends that favored his economic policy proposals, friends that explicitly chose him for his choice of VP and the hope that he might appoint conservative SCOTUS justices, friends that supported his second amendment protections, friends (FAMILY) that felt/feel he was the evangelical choice and believe that he was appointed by God to overturn our current American political and cultural landscape, and many, many friends that have been disappointed in the government who wanted to "drain the swamp" and see some serious change. You can't pigeonhole Trump supporters -- he had major appeal to a wide variety of people and emboldened them to vote, and he won.

I understand WHY people voted for him. They didn't like Obamacare, or health insurance's skyrocketing costs. They didn't want to have their hard-earned money taken away by the government. They didn't trust or like any of the other candidates. (Or maybe they vehemently hated the other candidates.) They didn't like the way government has been run thus far. They were tired of the same political party controlling everything. They were ready for serious, dramatic change. They want government to stay out of their business operations. They don't like their tax dollars going to social services. They want to overturn Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal. Literally the reasons why go on and on and on, and that's why he won. They had a lot of reasons to vote for him.

The problem - A problem - with all this is that he also appealed to the angry, the hateful, the vicious. He was endorsed by hate crime organizations! With every disillusioned vote he got from someone just wanting to protect the unborn, he got another vote from someone who hates Muslims. For every vote gained because of his proposed tax cuts and job creation, he got another one from someone who favors segregation. I'm not saying it was a 1-1 ratio, but his appeal was broad. And undeniably, he appealed to racists, bigots, sexists, people who sexually assault others, people who commit hate crimes.And I don't understand how to reconcile it. It really felt like love fell short.

In the 24 hours-plus since he was elected our next president, Muslims are afraid to wear hijabs in public. People who may even look like they MIGHT be of a non-white ethnicity (or aren't straight, or male, or fill-in-the-blank) are getting screamed at, harassed, robbed, beaten, their cars vandalized, sexually assaulted, asked to sit at the back of the bus. By no means am I saying any of the rioting or burning done on the part of Clinton's supporters in various cities is right or excusable or justified -- but I can't ignore the countless reports of the ugly side of Trump's voter demographic that are committing hate acts because they erroneously think his becoming President suddenly justifies and permits inhuman behavior.

Believe me that I am not naive enough to think that if Clinton had become president, that these things wouldn't still be happening. I think this was the culmination of months - an entire election season - of pent-up aggression and hate that's being acted out, but I do think the (wrong) justification might not be there had she been elected. I think people of different ethnicities (and sexual orientation, and gender, and fill-in-the-blank) might feel safer had she been elected.I just don't understand how to reconcile where we are, in this broken broken state, and how to get out of it. 

I'm praying for our new president-elect. I hope he does an incredible job, surrounds himself with brilliant and moral and compassionate and wise advisers and takes good advice. I certainly hope God can redeem him as an individual and show us a modern-day biblical example of how he can change a man and make him godly. 

But I just don't know how to reconcile all this hate. My hope, as a white Christian cisgendered middle-class straight woman, looks a lot more hopeful than it does for a lot of people. It's a lot easier for me to access. My day-to-day life isn't dramatically impacted by a new president being elected. My resources haven't been taken away. I don't have to fear that I'll be deported, or separated from my children, or that my parents will be deported, or my husband, or my best friend. I have never had to go to Planned Parenthood to get a pap smear.  I have never had to spend a single night on the streets. I have never had to fend for myself without knowing that I have a loving, supportive family (TWO sets of families, including Drew's) that would be able and willing to take me in if I lost my income or got terminally ill or was in an accident that rendered me completely disabled. I didn't have to parent myself. It wasn't hard to find a lot of role models who looked like me, to look up to, growing up. I have never had to be afraid to worship publicly. I have never lived in a war-torn country and been absolutely desperate to get the hell out, dependent on the graciousness of another nation to take me in. My life looks a whole lot different than a lot of other Americans'. 

So, yes, I am absolutely hopeful and optimistic. I still believe with every essence of my being that love will win, but it's not so hard for me to believe that. I am praying nonstop that the violence will end, that the hate crimes will be squelched, that the hateful will be silenced. But my heart is broken. 

I mentioned yesterday that I've never felt so convicted in my life to actually do something -- donate, volunteer, make relationships, have conversations, stand up for others, pay attention to legislation and vote consistently. There are beautiful people in my circles who have introduced me to ways to make actionable change, locally. I don't want to throw my hands up and feel utterly powerless (even though that's my initial reaction, because I can ignore it).

My plea and my prayer is for God to reconcile all of this. To bring beauty out of these ashes. To give hope to the hopeless. To make sense of it all, because I just don't get it right now.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

Monday, November 7, 2016

bebe dos:: twenty-two weeks

How far along: We're feeling 22!
Total weight gain: +12 from pre-pregnancy
Clothes: I have a pants problem. Literally the only thing that's comfortable is leggings -- and mostly just black leggings. I need to sell my stupid maternity jeans so I can recoup some of that money back -- they sucked so bad. What a disappointment! I don't know what to do about getting any more pants that I'll actually like -- I've tried on everything at Target and they all suck. I don't want to spend a billion dollars but I need SOME variety!!!! So this leaves me wearing:  black leggings err-day, sweatshirts, maternity shirts, a black maxi dress (love!), body-conscious dresses, my navy Lilly elephant tunic (& white maternity shorts since it's still 90 degrees), Piko tops, and my Elsa tops (which I can hide the bump in, at this point!).
Sleep: I'm tired often, and getting really fatigued doing everyday stuff now. Part of me is like, what the heck? I'm just walking around Target! But I also underestimate how far along I am and assume I'm still good to do everything like a normal person. I'm mid-second trimester and the glory days of somewhat energy and not being uncomfortable are going to come to a fast close, I'm afraid.
Cravings: Cottage cheese. Halo Top ice cream. Mexican salads. Meat. Averse to jack cheese, omelettes, cauliflower that tastes like cauliflower.
Symptoms: Constantly needing to pee. Bump. Baby kicking me often. Fatigue.
Diabetes Management: IT'S ACTUALLY BEEN EXCELLENT! I had my A1C rechecked last Wednesday, and it was 4.8!!!!!!!!!! That's phenomenal, for you non-diabetics -- it was my level before I got diabetes! (Back in the good ole days where I could eat moose tracks ice cream with actual carbs and it was no big thang.)
Exercise: Not much, sadly. Walks.
Mood: Pretty good. Still irritable but not as bad as normal, maybe. It's been nice to get out, hear good news, SEE Anna Cate (and her be perfectly, beautifully normal!!!!!!!!!!), and the weather is ever-so-slightly cooling off.
Miss Anything: Wine (I want it pretty much daily). Being able to wear flattering pants.
Nesting: I started looking at / thinking about my hospital packing list last night. That's progress, right?! Seeing Julianna Cate made me think of her as more real and REALLY look forward to meeting her in a few months!
Nursery: I've ever so slightly THOUGHT about her room and what we might need to do in there, but no actual progress has been done. I'm closer to ordering Lilly a pair of sheets, though!
Best Moment this week: Seeing that perfect little baby in a perfectly normal healthy ultrasound!!!!! And getting my A1C results back!!!!!!! Callie's party was fun, too, as was the Style Me Pretty luncheon I got to attend on Friday afternoon.
Thankful for: A husband that cooks delicious healthy meals for me and cleans my house and is overall top-notch. My sweet healthy toddler, and a sweet healthy baby sister that I know she'll adore playing with. Easily accessible childcare nearby (and free!). Potential clients and a working business.
Looking forward to: Election Day coming and going (I have a bit of anxiety about it -- I don't feel like we're really winning either way). In all honesty, I'm ready for a female president... I think it's time for our country, I think Hillary is experientially capable of doing a good job, I would love to have that monumental moment on the cusp of the birth of my second daughter... but I also don't have assurance that she'll select qualified, fair, moral supreme court justices or conduct her affairs with utmost integrity. I don't find her appalling, but I'm uneasy. And I also don't think she's a shoe-in for the position; America is totally split right now and the election could truly go either direction. So I early voted, exercised my political efficacy, and am praying for God to lead us the right way whatever that means. His will be done, not mine. May He give us what we need and not just what we want. May He direct us to do His will as individuals and as a country -- take care of the poor, exercise fair judgement and implement fair laws, assist mothers and encourage Christian family values. May we see beyond party lines and our own short-sightedness and selfish ambitions and love one another as we love ourselves. JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL! On a brighter, lighter-hearted note, I am looking most forward this week to Christmas Village shopping with Mom on Friday!!!!! YAY traditions! Hope I can rally through (Lilly too!) and have energy and stamina to bear the crowds and find some gems for loved ones!

Doctor Visits:  My next will be December 2!
Baby Position:  I have no idea!
How is Lilly:  Precious. Her little cheese smile is the best thing ever. She entertains us daily!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

halloween recap

This year was definitely the most fun Halloween I've ever had -- spending it with family, friends, and getting to enjoy Lilly Beth as the most precious little baby cake ever was incomparable!


We started Halloweekend at the Dellingers' house for a family fun day -- Cassie (Drew's stepmom) had decorated everything super fancy / spooky and made a huge spread of food for all the family to enjoy. They also had photo booth props so we made the most of our silliness in the HOT HOT weather. (90 degrees?!?! At the end of October?!!?)


Saturday night we spent with a group of neighbor-friends at the Kramer-Youngs' Hallwoeen costume party. I dressed up as a french press, Drew was Hodor, and Lilly was Boo from Monsters Inc. (Hello easy pajama costume!)


Sunday we played pretty low-key - Drew grilled caprese burgers, I took a lot of naps, and we geared up for a fun Halloween Monday.

I spent the majority of Monday afternoon making my oven costume (procrastinate much?) -- this is the creation of a toilet paper box, black shiny duct tape, cellophane, applesauce pouch caps, paper plates, and some printed range tops. Turned out pretty legit, eh?? Lilly once again served as most courteous baby ever and took a late afternoon 5:30pm nap so she could rally for trick-or-treating.


We had the perfect pregnant family costume -- oven, cake, and baker!


We did dinner at the Kramer-Youngs' and then hit up the neighborhood for Lilly's first trick-or-treating experience!!!!!!! She loved passing out candy a little more than getting it, but really enjoyed herself. And miraculously kept that cake hat on THE WHOLE NIGHT!!!!!!


Drew & Lilly melted my heart with her holding his hand. And then I died when I joined them and she demanded we both hold her hands for the rest of our trek. 


Sweetest night ever!!!!! I know things will get more difficult later on when she's exposed to more candy (and her peanut allergy will make things more complicated), but this year she was super content to enjoy a little Airhead and see all the neighbors' dogs through the glass doors!!!!