What I'm Loving

Happy Wednesday! The weeks are sure flying by :)

{1} I'm LOVING half days at work :)

{2} I'm LOVING this little guy, who went walking with mommy the other day :) Unfortunately he didn't grasp the idea of being my protector when he ducked away from cars, but we had fun nonetheless. And got very hot. 

{3} I'm LOVING this serving platter. I'm ordering one today.

{4} I'm LOVING that the Fourth is on Monday! Not only does that give me a three-day weekend, it also means fireworks and the BEST meal. A nearby town has a big picnic and the main meal is dressing, kettle beef and gravy, potatoes, ham, tomatoes and more. Yum! I grew up going to this meal and look forward to it every year. 

{5} I'm LOVING that J is planning a date night for us this weekend :)

{6} I'm LOVING that I'll be a MRS. in 18 days. And on the beach in 17.

{7} I'm LOVING that my hairdresser is so awesome (and a good friend) that she's taking Friday and Saturday off work to travel to Gulf Shores with us and do my wedding hair! She's been the only one to touch my hair in more than four years and I totally didn't want to have to cheat on her for my wedding day. 

What are you loving on this beautiful Wednesday? 


Monday tidbits

— This weekend seriously flew by. We had a birthday party to attend Friday night, I had to work on Saturday morning, then we went to a friends house for washers/BBQ that afternoon. So yesterday I was so glad to just stay home and clean!

— Since I had to wake up at 5 a.m. Saturday, I left the party early and told J to call me if he wanted a ride or just stay the night. The next morning, I decided we needed a king size bed. Although I didn't sleep well being in the house alone and with storms, it was nice having extra room for all of my pillows :) 

— Speaking of pillows, I paid entirely too much for a throw pillow at Walmart yesterday to keep in my desk chair, since my back began hurting about 2 every afternoon last week. It's almost 4 and, knock on wood, no aching back yet.

— We had the PERFECT food at the BBQ. Hamburgers and hot dogs (Tuff's faves) as well as watermelon and veggie tray. I chowed down on everything ... which may explain why I've gained a pound since Friday. Also, I didn't miss the beer :)

— We planned to get the wedding reception invitations sent out today. However, the post office didn't have any wedding-ish stamps and I refuse to use the generic liberty bell. So I ordered stamps online :) Also, when I was compiling all the addresses last night, my computer crashed and I lost about an hour of work. Not happy. Luckily most were in my email/phone/facebook, so I've recompiled a lot of it during my lunch and other break today :)

— I NEED A DEEJAY. Nuff said. Other than that, we just need to buy the serving trays and reserve pub tables to rent for the bar area and we're well on track for all of the reception plans, too. 

— I am on a major fruit kick right now. 

— I realize my posts have been incredibly boring with no pictures lately. I just don't feel like pulling out the camera for some reason. 

— This is going to be a CRAZY BUSY week at work. But that's good ... usually :)

Baby gear question

Hey mamas/aunts etc.

Did any of you use the Halo SleepSacks? Have an opinion on them? 

One of my online deal sites has them on sale for $14 each today, and I gather they usually retail $20. So I'm wondering if they are worth the investment or if blankets work fine, what sizes to order, etc. 

Thank ya :)

And no, this isn't turning into a baby blog. I'll be back later today with a weekend wrap-up or some tidbits :)


Bumpdate - 19 weeks

Today, I am 19 weeks pregnant! 

Comparing these pictures to last week (which I will post below) I think I look I may look a little smaller. But trust me, things are definitely getting tighter :) Last night, I also noticed that the left side of my belly looked bigger from the side than the right, but I'm told that is normal. Anyhow, this is my left side. 

During Week 18, Baby R measured about 5.5 inches (think the length of a bell pepper.) He also began flexing his arms and legs — J and I joked that he'll come out with big muscles, ha! 

Lots of back aches this week. And very interrupted sleep. 

Still craving hamburgers. I thought I was being smart the other night when I decided to make meatloaf, one of our FAVORITE meals, but it tasted kinda gross. I think it may have been the texture? Baby R is also loving cantaloupe and strawberries this week. 

I'm not wearing any maternity clothes yet, but think that's probably not too far away. And feeling lots of flutters, but no kicks, punches or definite movement.

Next week is Baby R's halfway point! But I won't consider it halfway until 24 weeks for me — because it will be the halfway point since I found out. 

Before posting the other pictures I have of the bump, I'll address a few questions:

  • Our anatomy ultrasound is scheduled for July 12. However, we ARE NOT finding out the baby's sex. Although it's super tough, we think that this is one of the few things in life that can be a surprise, so we want to go for it. Plus, I think it will give me even more encouragement to push the baby out.
  • That being said, I really hate calling the baby an "it." So since "he" is universal and I've been having pretty strong intuition it's a boy, we will refer to the baby as a he. His nickname right now is Tuff - after the cowboy in "8 Seconds" and because his daddy and I feel he is quite tough, making it through what I put him through.
  • I "fake drank" at my friend's bach party because we weren't ready to tell anyone yet. 
  • We kept it a secret until I was 12 weeks. We didn't tell our coworkers until I hit 16 weeks. 

15 weeks 5 days:


16 weeks 6 days

And 17 weeks 6 days. I think the reason I look bigger here is because I'm wearing a different style of shorts. And ignore the nasty hair - J didn't get home until almost 10 and it was my last chance for a 17 week picture so I just went for it. 


Finding out :)

Let me start this out by saying that although Baby R wasn't planned, it does not at all mean we don't consider him/her a HUGE blessing that has already changed our lives. We wouldn't change it for the world!

Also, I know there are a lot of women who struggle with infertility, some of whom read my blog. I do not at all want to make any of you feel offended, saddened or hurt when you read these posts. I know that infertility is a scary, emotional thing, so I feel doubly blessed that I got pregnant so easily. 

So ... do you remember this post where I talked about going off the Pill because I didn't feel like it was working right with my body? Apparently it wasn't because I was already pregnant at the time! 

In the following couple of weeks, I had a lot of pregnancy symptoms, but it didn't cross my mind I could even be pregnant. My boobs were sore, I was getting frequent headaches and I was quite tired, but after doing some research, I learned that these were all symptoms of going off the Pill. Even when a friend told me she thought I could be preggo because of these symptoms, I told her she was wrong, it was just the lack of hormones!

But then I started getting really nauseous. My go-to lunches just looked/sounded/smelled HORRIBLE. And this wasn't a symptom of going off the Pill. The thought I could be pregnant crossed my mind, but I still didn't really believe it. But, I had a bachelorette party that weekend and planned to drink large quantities of alcohol, so I figured that if they thought crossed my mind, I should take a test. J urged me to as well, saying that I better not go out and get drunk with his baby in my belly. 

So I go to Walmart and buy the cheapest test they have. I actually bought a two-pack because I figured I'd probably need another one someday and it was less expensive that way. 

That night, I took the test. Y'all, the pregnant line immediately turned blue — before the control line did! I walk into the living room to tell J, and he immediately accused me of messing with his head. I tell him how the pregnant line turned blue first but the control line was supposed to turn first, so he insisted I took the test wrong and need to do the other one. While he reads the directions, I gulp a bottle of water and then he times me as I take the other test. Same results. 

After that, we really weren't sure what to do. Some googling (don't you hate it) led me to believe that this test often gave false results. But I also read that getting a false positive is VERY rare. So we decided not to worry about it too much and just go to the Health Department the next day. No way was I believing an at-home test at that point, and I didn't feel the need to go to the doctor just yet. 

Of course, we had the same results at the Health Department. The nurse there told me that the preggo line showing up first just means you are REALLY pregnant. And I was --- when we found out, I was between seven and eight weeks. 

I quickly scheduled an appointment with my gyno, who again confirmed the pregnancy. Unfortunately she doesn't do OB, so I had to find another doctor for that. And with insurance, I really only had a few choices (the hospitals are very weird here with United Healthcare, which I will be swapping to after the wedding). 

In all honesty, I don't think either of us really believed it until we saw our little peanut and heard the heartbeat. Then again, we were so scared that I was kinda far along before finding out that we kept it our little secret until then, just to be sure everything was OK. Nothing seems real until others know :)

I wasn't sure how to calculate my due date since I was so irregular, but the ultrasound tech determined it based on Baby R's measurements. According to what she calculated, I will be 19 weeks tomorrow :)

I think this post has gotten pretty long and wordy, so I will end it here for now. I plan to do weekly "bumpdates" on Fridays or Mondays (depending on how busy I am!) So tomorrow I'll catch up with some photos and info that I've been emailing to friends. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email or leave them in the comments section :)


What I'm Loving

* Real quick, thanks for all your sweet comments about our baby news yesterday! I'll start posting about finding out, where we are now and more tomorrow.

Now it's time for my favorite linkup, with Jamie.

For some reason, blogger is letting me upload pictures today. So I'll try to update later. 

{1} I am LOVING that I got almost 12 hours of sleep last night. Minus bathroom breaks, haha. 

{2} I am LOVING feeling little "flutters" in my belly :)

{3} I am LOVING having fresh strawberries for breakfast :)

{4} I am LOVING that I picked my first cucumber out of the garden on Monday. It was delish. 

{5} I am LOVING that I found a great deal on a crib (less than $100 for a 4-in-1) and it's already been shipped!

{6} I am LOVING all the beautiful weather we've been having.

{7} I am LOVING that we're less than four weeks away from the beach. Having the sand between my toes is the best!

{8} I'm LOVING that we finished registering for the wedding yesterday. Now the only big things left to do are book a deejay for the reception back here, send out the invites and rent our vehicles to get down to Alabama. 

What are you loving today? I hope you are all having a great week :)


The BIG announcement

So ...

Our little family of three 

Is adding another member!

This was a HUGE surprise! And part of the reason for moving the wedding up a couple of months. 

Details to come soon --- I definitely want to journal this. But for now, just know that mama and baby are both healthy and happy. Oh, and Daddy and Hank too :)


Weekend wrap-up

This was one of those weekends that it felt like I blinked and it was over! Gotta love summertime, right?

After work, I drug J to a few yard sales. He ended up finding a squat rack (I think) and some other weight things to help complete our workout room. It's weird because he usually gripes when we go to yard sales, but he ALWAYS seems to find things like that. At killer prices, too. 
Later that night, we bought a pizza, rented True Grit, and fell asleep on the couch. I REALLY liked True Grit --- have any of you seen it? 

This was a LONG day. We slept in and then watched a line of showers move through. Then we headed up to Cape to tackle lots of wedding stuff. I finalized the order for our personalized napkins for the ceremony, then we met a friend at the mall to give us another opinion on clothes for the groomsmen. We ended up finding what we wanted at AE and a sale (buy one pair of shorts for $45 and get the second pair for $10) so we lucked out. We ran a few more errands at the mall and then went to lunch at Logans. Those fries are to.die.for! Yes, I am a foodie :) Also that afternoon, we registered at Target. Now I understand why registering is a full-day task! We still need to do Wally World but are planning that for one night after work this week. 
Registering is hard. Especially when you already have a house together. I felt so bad registering for things more than $50, but decided that a registry is filled with suggestions, not things that people have to buy for you. I think Walmart will be a lot easier. At least I hope so. 
Later that night, we went to play some Texas Hold 'Em at a friends house and I left a couple times to get pictures of a bridge demolition for an overpass that will be rebuilt. Here's a couple of my favorites:

Beating the bridge with a wrecking ball

Standing on the Interstate while they demolished one of the last standing structures.

We planned to do work around the house. But J's parents called on Saturday and invited us to their house as they were having a double birthday party/fathers day cookout. So after a yummy breakfast, some baking and cleaning, we headed down to Arkansas. I hate that drive. It always makes me sick and I was exhausted from my 18-hour day on Saturday. So I slept in the back seat of the truck :) We had a great time visiting and spending time outside under the shade trees. Seriously made us wish we had shade trees on our property. 

And that's it :) I think I'll be making another special announcement on the blog tomorrow, so stay tuned! Hope you all had a great weekend!


What I'm Loving

It's easy for me to think of everything I'm loving today :)

{1} I'm LOVING all the sweet comments and support I've gotten regarding our wedding next month :) Y'all/my IRL friends are the best!

{2} I'm LOVING that plans are continuing to fall into place. It seriously was meant to be this way I think. 

{3} I'm LOVING all these great summer nights we've been having. Sunday night we grilled and just sat outside enjoying until about 9 p.m. Definitely couldn't have done that a week ago!

{4} I'm LOVING that my garden is really starting to grow. I think I'll be eating on cucumbers within a week - yum!

{5} I'm LOVING that we got to spend some time with this little man while his mommy and daddy went to a wedding reception. P calls the horses "my horses" and always wants to help feed them - too cute!

{6} I'm LOVING that I've gotten a lot of support while in the process of interviewing for/negotiating this new job - even those at my current workplace who fully support this opportunity. 

{7} I'm LOVING that I have another exciting piece of news to share with y'all next week.

{8} As always, I'm loving my sweet fiance :)


Guess what?

We've set our wedding date!

It will be July 16, 2011!

Did your jaws just drop? Yeah, I'm still in shock too. We were planning on a fall/September wedding, but I suppose I am just one of those girls who is not at all a wedding planner plus I just saw how much crap and stress my good friend went through in her planning for 1.5 years so we decided that we would both love to get away and have a wedding/honeymoon with the sand between our toes and take our closest, bestest friends and family with us. 

We're going to be married around sunset on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. The next weekend, we'll have a reception back here and share video, photos and more.

I am so excited! 

And this planning has been totally up my alley and it just seems meant to be. 
J was able to trade vacation with a co-worker. ALL of our bridal party (except maybe one :( ) had the weekend off, which is a big deal when two of them work shift work and two weekends a month. 
In the past week, I've not only found and booked the wedding venue in Alabama, we've also booked our amazing beach house, I've met with a lady who designs bouquets and she has everything she needs to make my bouquets (I'm going with silk flowers), I've bought everything we need for the reception centerpieces other than the buckets, I've purchased my dress, veil and shoes, and picked out the bridesmaid dresses. Also, with some stroke of luck the local venue where I wanted to have the reception which is typically booked is open. We have a few things to do this week but other than that, everything is going beautifully.

Have I mentioned how awesome my friends are too? Bel, who lives in Va., is designing my invites and helping with some projects for the reception. The rest of the bridesmaids are scoping out spas so we'll have a place to get our hair and nails done and have a sort of bach party the day of the wedding. 

Did any of you have a beach wedding? How did it go? And any must-visit places in Gulf Shores? 


lots going on ...

It has been beyond crazy this week! Why is it that holiday weeks always seem like longer work weeks? 

Anyhow, we've been busy bees with plans pretty much every night this week. And with wedding festivities last weekend, the laundry is taking the form of a mountain in my bedroom and closet. So that's what I get to look forward to. Oh, and cleaning the rest of the house and cleaning out the dishwasher that's already half empty because I've just been pulling clean stuff out as we need it. I'm avoiding looking at the sink these days. 

If I had my way, I would just sleep and tan. All weekend long. 

On another note, I have realized this week how blessed I am to have amazing bosses. I work in newspapers, and it's no secret these past few years haven't been the best. Since coming to work just over four years ago, I haven't had one raise and have been cut to working only 32 hours a week :( I love my job, but have been halfheartedly looking for something a bit more stable, with better pay. 

Anyhow, a possible part-time opportunity came up earlier this year, which I was asked to apply for. I did, but just didn't feel right about it. Now, I find out that I haven't heard anything back because this employer is looking at employing me full-time! Not only that, they came to my boss (it's a small work environment and his son is just a grade under me) to run it by him. Not only has he given me his blessing to take this new opportunity, he's also giving me some advice (hey, he could be my dad) to ensure this is the right fit for me. Furthermore, he's assured me that I ALWAYS have a job at the newspaper so long as he's here, and that he'd love to keep me on in a part-time fashion to cover some of the areas where I have formed strong ties. Talk about flattering and humbling.

Anyhow, I am meeting with the new people next week to see what they have to say. Hopefully it will be as great of a fit as I foresee and will be a good step career-wise, as well as for my family's future. 

I'm sure no one really cares about that, but I use this blog as a journal, and I want to be able to look back someday and remember all this. 

Have a good weekend, friends!


What I'm Loving

It's a beautiful day, so I can think of lots of things I'm loving :)

{1} I'm LOVING that I got to sleep in today. It was much needed.

{2} I'm LOVING that this sweet couple got hitched over the weekend and I got to be a part of the festivities. 

The bad thing about being in a wedding is that you don't get many, if any, pictures. So I am trying to wait patiently for others to post theirs. 

{3} I'm LOVING that it was a three-day weekend, especially since Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday were consumed with wedding business. We spent Monday being pretty lazy and ended the day at a bbq/pool party with friends. 

{4} I'm LOVING that we get to go to a birthday party for an adorable 7-year-old later today. I remember when Maddie was born, and we haven't missed one of her parties yet :)

{5} I'm LOVING the temperatures in the 90s. If only I had time to lay out.

{6} I'm LOVING my spray tan from last week. It's still visible, so I'm thinking it may be the best 30 bucks I ever spent.

{7} I'm LOVING the new swimming attire J bought me last night. 

{8} I'm LOVING this crazy dog, despite all of his antics. Best preparation for a kid, I swear. 

{9} Of course, I'm loving my sweet Jimmy :)