Wednesday, January 27, 2016

You're not coming to my birthday party.

I have some really good friends.  Some have been around since high school, and some were college friends, but I haven't really created any new friendships much once I graduated.  Part of my issue is that I'm not doing a good enough job being there for my friends I currently have, so why try and make new ones? Plus I tend to be a little difficult to get to know, so I don't want to spend the time letting someone new truly get to know me (and me them), and still have that relationship not compare to one of the friendships I already have and inadvertently neglect.

In my life, friends cannot truly know me without knowing my family.  My family is so important to me that I feel that someone doesn't understand me unless they've spent time with my husband, sisters, parents, nephew, etc.  And then they can see the real me.  It's probably not super healthy to have my identity be partially defined by others, but these people are the ones who have made me me and confident in who I am.

This all changed a few months ago when I was introduced to one of Ri's friend's new(ish) girlfriends.  I knew from our initial conversation that he'd found a gem.  She was super sweet and genuine.  The conversation flowed easily at dinner that night and Ri and I realized that we had found a couple we equally enjoyed spending time with - kind of hard to come by!  In the last few months we have spent lots of nights hanging out on the patio with our new couple friends chatting over each other's weeks and plans.  I know we will hold onto the memories of these nights drinking wine by the fire when our friends move away.  They are planning to move about 2 hours south of us within the next year or so, and we will miss them terribly.  At least a 2 hour drive is doable for a day or weekend trip!

This friendship has made me realize that it's okay to open up and be vulnerable to people I don't know super well.  We have shared plans for our futures, dreamt of our next vacations, griped about our jobs, and cried (well just us girls ha) while talking about the moments with our loved ones that have shaped our lives.  I am so thankful for God putting her in my path and showing me that it's worthwhile to be open to new friendships and let my guard down every once in a while.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Best Things About Today

1.  The Frank Sinatra Tribute Concert on DVR - some of my fav singers belting out Frank's top hits! Think John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Harry Connick Jr, Garth Brooks, Alicia Keys, and the cutest - Adam Levigne.  I can't.

2.  Chocolate Fro-Yo from Jason's Deli - I MAY have went here for lunch, ordered a sandwich/salad bar combo, and proceeded to actually only eat cornbread muffins, crackers, and chocolate fro-yo.  may have.

3.  My momma just arrived in Orlando so the next few days will be filled with picture texts of the happiest place on Earth... and my most favorite.  Sure, I'm jealous, but this is a good consolation.

4.  Finding out my cousin will not be deployed to Afghanistan in a few months as originally planned.  Enough said.

5.  Watching T care for her new squeaky ball she got for Christmas.  She carries it with her EVERYWHERE.  It's even cuter because she's destroyed every non-Nylabone toy she's ever received, so for her to be kind and gentle with a squeaker toy?! Unheard of.  She randomly licks it and makes odd noses while playing with it.  I'm pretty sure she thinks it's alive, and it is definitely her new best friend.  Creepy? Yes.  Hilarious? Absolutely.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

10 on the 10th - January

We got our first real snow of the season today.  This coat is a MUST for anyone who experiences winter weather.  It does not allow cold air through at all and warms my bones when I'm out in the elements.  I already wrote about this here, but it deserves another shout out solely because of how many days in a row I've worn it lately.

2.  Bath and Body Works 3 wick Candles

Say no more right? I have noticed I get the most use out of these coincidentally when we are expecting company any minute and I'm hoping to cover the dog smell.  My fav scent currently is Frosted Cranberry.

3. The Slow Cooker

We are officially in slow cooker season.  I use mine at least once a week for a beef or chicken dish, cooking on low all day while we're at work and practically ready as soon as we walk through the door.  Tomorrow night we're having my take on Shay's Brown Sugar & Honey Mustard Beef Briskets. 

No other chapstick can top it.  Seriously.  I started using this year's ago at the recommendation of my sister when Burt's Bees just wasn't cutting it.  My sis had just visited the doc for some unbelievably awful sunburnt & chapped lips and he prescribed this.  OTC, non-medicated, and the best thing to heal dry lips.  The best part? It's only going to set you back $1 per tube.  I'm the one buying the entire stock when I am out.

5.  Workouts with Jud

Soon after we moved in to our home in a new community, I knew I needed to find a trainer.  I really enjoy a good run, but I also need someone to push me to circuit train - lift weights, strengthen my core, etc.  My husband kept mentioning a yoga factory just up the street, but I ignored him thinking it was only a yoga studio.  Boy did I find a gem once I finally tried that place! The environment is welcoming and positive, and the owner, Jud, and his yoga instructors are top-notch.  I have been training with Jud for almost 2 years now, and this place feels like a second home.  Weeknights and Saturday morning workouts boost my self-esteem and make me a much happier person to be around =)

6. Organic Florida Grapefruits

My aunt and uncle moved from Columbus to Sarasota, FL last year and have sent us a beautiful gift basket of Florida oranges and grapefruits for Christmas the past two years.  I mow through the grapefruits, while Ri prefers the oranges.  After we finished them off last year, I searched for a local comparison, but couldn't find one.  The closest thing we have around here is the organic variety.

I selected this for one of my samples in a Sephora reward and fell in love.  It's volumizing, but not clumpy and not crazy pricey.  Lately I have been feeling extra lazy and shall-we-say fresh-faced? This has been my go-to makeup item to liven up my au naturale face.

8.  Notes App on my iPhone

The Notes app native to my iPhone is my to-do list, idea catcher, and payment tracker.  I have always been big on electronic over paper, and this app is my lifeline.  I have a few notes that I share with my husband so we can have a centralized place for our goals and lists.

9.  Nylabones

Our baby girl is a chewer.  These bones are the only toy she doesn't destroy in under 3 minutes.  Tulip does some serious work on them when she has energy to burn or wants to entertain herself - "play independently" if you will.  The best part about nylabones is that they're designed well so she can hold them herself.  Her favs currently:

I just finished a little gallery wall of our fav pictures in our living room (been on my to-do list for over a year), and everyone who has stopped by since compliments it.  I am very satisfied with both the quality and pricing that Canvas People offers.  Sign up for their emails to stay up-to-date on the best promotions, but make sure to read the fine print on shipping costs!  Here's the latest addition to our living room:

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Quiet Pregnancy Announcement

Yesterday I found out I am pregnant.  I am thrilled, but so apprehensive at the same time.  I know how common miscarriages are, and I want so badly to hear that heartbeat and the doctor say everything's developing beautifully before I let the excitement overtake me.

This will be our first baby! I told Ri last night when he got home from work.  I left work early to run to Hallmark and grab an ornament to hang on our tree.  The ornament's a tool belt with a teddy bear, rattle, and bottle in the pockets and it says "Welcome to Dadhood" :) I placed it on the tree and told him that his ornament came early this year and he should look for it on the tree.  He was shocked.  He hugged me so tightly and I didn't want him to let go.  We both are feeling so much right now, and have A LOT to educate ourselves on about pregnancy and babies.  I can't think about anything else.

It should have come as no surprise to either one of us, but I think we thought it would take much longer.  I even assumed we may struggle with infertility because that heartbreaking journey seems to be prevalent for a lot of women I admire.  It is not lost on me how lucky we are to even be able to get pregnant, even if this pregnancy ends in a miscarriage.

Because we're 2 weeks from Christmas, Ri and I both started plotting how we were going to tell our families on Christmas Day.  Although, I'm pretty sure 2 of our sisters and our brother already suspect I might be pregnant since I refused one of his famous margaritas last night.  Last night before bed, we both second-guessed whether or not Christmas will be the day to share our news, because I will not have been to the doctor yet.  The appointment is 4 days later.  We'd hate to get everyone so excited only to shatter their joy 4 days later if the doctor cannot find a heartbeat or the baby isn't developing properly.  We still have time to mull over the decision of when to tell our close friends and family.  We will definitely be following the rule of sharing the good news only with the people we would also be willing to share we had a miscarriage.

I bawled in the car on the way home yesterday when Faith Hill's "A Baby Changes Everything" came on in my car.  But that song normally makes me tear up anyway so who knows if I can blame it on the pregnancy hormones.  How fitting that God has already given us such a gift this Christmas season? The message of Jesus coming suddenly speaks to my heart on a deeper level.

I had a miscarriage.  My husband and I have spent New Year's weekend holed up at home, lying low and soaking in what's happening.  We cancelled plans with great friends New Year's Eve once the signs turned from skepticism to obvious.

The hardest part so far in going through all of this is sharing the news with those close to us and inadvertently replacing their excitement and happiness with sadness.  When we told my family on Christmas morning, my parents were thrilled, but MY SISTERS.  My sisters lost their minds.  They were screaming and crying.  It was hilarious.  And one of my best friends shared the news with us earlier this week that she is pregnant and due this July.  I am so happy for her and trying to think of the best way to tell her we will not be comparing notes week by week for the next 8 months as originally thought and experiencing first pregnancies together.

At first, Ri and I were oddly okay.  It was almost as if we did not believe it or did not have any attachment to this baby for which we had not yet heard the heartbeat.  Each day since has honestly gotten tougher, but I am so thankful for my husband and his strength.  He has taken on all of the housework, planned meals and made dinner, and put me to bed early when the early pregnancy exhaustion overtook me.  He came to bed with me when he was not tired at all and had more things he wanted to do, but knew I really needed him.  He knew what I needed without me having to say it.

I think I cry now more because of the emotion that overtakes me when I think of the love he has shown me in the last month and a half and I feel as though I have not shown him that love in all our marriage.  The biggest thing I am going to take away from this experience is that I am going to love him more intentionally.

The silver lining in all of this has been seeing our love grow over the joy and loss.  We never spend entire weekends at home sitting on the couch or just being.  We have connected more over the uncertainty of this new life and life lost and become faithful together.

2016... we got this.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Guess Who?

So yesterday, Ri and I went to his sister's for a New Year's Eve celebration.  This isn't just any celebration, his sister and her husband dream up special games to play throughout the day, write them on fortune cookie-type paper, and place the paper inside balloons.   The balloons are inflated with confetti and hung on one of the Christmas trees in their home.  Each hour from noon to 8pm, our nephew gets to pop that hour's balloon and play the game written on the paper.  The games we were there for included shaking-your-booty-while-trying-to-pop-balls-out-of-a-K-cup-box-with-a-hole-tied-to-you and Bingo! It is seriously the most precious day ever.  The excitement is written all over my nephew's face.

One of the day's games was Guess Who?... however, we have played this game many times before, so what did his creative parents do? Replaced all of the players with photos of people and pets in our family.  I was stunned.  Who thinks of this stuff?! It was beyond amazing seeing how much planning and sizing of the photos had gone into this.  I was truly in awe of their parenting genius.  While playing this game with his grandpa, our nephew asked "Does your person have a tail?".

And that folks, is why four year olds need to be frozen in time to forever capture their cuteness.
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