Noah: One Month

Dec 27, 2012

Sweet Noah,

You're one month old today! You just had your first official long car trip this past weekend. We had an eight hour trip that we decided to make overnight and you slept almost the entire way. You really enjoy being in your car seat and usually fall asleep a few minutes after we buckle you in. 

We just celebrated your first Christmas in Virginia with all of our family. You met your aunt Megan, uncle Stephen, uncle Will, and some great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for the first time. I was worried that you would be fussy or not like being passed around, but you've done great! In the past two weeks you have been much less fussy and usually only cry when you're hungry or your diaper is full. Other than that, you are usually wide-eyed and happy. You love to lay on our knees and stretch out your arms and legs. You smiled from day one and the smiles keep on coming. You have a wide array of facial expressions and have even tickled us with some chuckles in your sleep. 

At your two week appointment you had gained a pound and a half, so we can only imagine how much you weigh right now! You love holding your head up and are really strengthening your neck muscles. Last night you turned over on your side for the first time. You are sleeping pretty well most nights, but still get up one to three times. You are sleeping next to me in your pack and play for now, but usually spend more time next to me or on my chest during the early morning hours. You wake up in the morning in a great mood and usually grin at us while your eyes are still adjusting to the light. Talk about melting mommy's heart! 

You are exclusively breastfed and are such a great eater! You don't respond very well to ANY caffeine, though, and I have had to learn that the hard way! Right now you're sleeping around four hours at night and then wake up about every two hours after that. You are so hot-natured and sweat so easily that you have to sleep in a thin onesie. You love a tight swaddle so anything else under there makes you too hot. During the day you enjoy napping in your swing or in the sling with me. I love wearing you around and having you so close, and you crack me up with your little moans and grunts during your sleep. I predict you'll be very musical!

You love bath time, especially now that you're able to be in your baby bath. You love laying in the water and having the warm water poured on your hair. Daddy and I have a little routine where we lay on the bed with you after your bath and you just look up at us and coo and smile. You seem to really like to be naked and usually give us a big smile right after your clothes are taken off.

We have loved every minute with you this first month. Daddy and I have loved being your parents and we both have no idea what we did before you came along. We've loved watching you grow and try to remember to take in every fleeting moment. You have brought such joy to our lives, little one. We love you with every single inch of our hearts and feel so blessed to get to love and care for you every day. I can't wait to see you grow and change and show us your developing personality these coming months.

I love you, sweet boy, and I love being your mommy. 

Friday Letters

Dec 21, 2012

Dear Husband, I wish you could just feel what I feel when I think about you and our little family. I admire you in so many ways and am so happy to be sharing yet another Christmas with you out of the hopefully many to come in our lifetime together. And just because we have bambino, I still want to dress up for you, and kiss you just because I get to, and make time to just be us. Dear Noahyou have yet to find out, sweet boy, just how much you are loved. My heart feels like it might leap out of my chest every time I look at you. I am proud of you already and cover you in prayer almost every time I hold you- that you will one day become the person you were created to be and that you will give control to the One who created you. I love you, sweet baby, and I am thankful every. single. day that God allowed me to be your mommy. Dear Virginia, see you and your beautiful mountains soon! Dear Family.....

Merry Christmas!

First Three Weeks

Dec 19, 2012

Noah turned three weeks old yesterday! Michael and I were talking last night in bed and agreed that in most ways it feels a lot longer, like he's been a part of our family forever. What an adventure these past few weeks have been. 
  Noah had his first two doctor appointments at one and two weeks. His pediatrician is great and he "passed" his appointments with flying colors. He is gaining weight wonderfully and is having absolutely no issues. We are so thankful for that!  He is growing so much and Michael and I are enjoying every minute of it.
{First outing to his first doctor appointment- slept the whole way!}
Michael has been an amazing support through every step. I'll talk more about the labor support in Noah's birth story, but he has really slid into this new role with ease and done an amazing job. He's a great daddy and husband.
{Right after Michael opened his Christmas gift from Noah- a matching Huskers beanie!}
After Noah was born, I asked my mom to stay with us that week and we are SO thankful she did! She was really helpful with things like making dinner and helping me navigate breastfeeding, although I have to say that Noah was an amazing nurser right away. She's one of my best friends and was an awesome extra support for all those first-time mom emotions. And well, let's be honest, there aren't many people I feel comfortable with whipping out the boob in front of! It was nice not to have to worry about modesty! It was so comfortable that it really didn't feel like we had a visitor. She and Michael did an amazing job taking care of Noah and me. 

{Papi Gunter & Noah in their matching WVU gear!}
A few days after my mom left my dad came down to visit. Because of his work schedule he wasn't able to come down with my mom when Noah was born. It was so heartwarming to see him meet Noah for the first time. He loved getting to spend time with his first grandchild and tried to  get an early start on teaching him sign language! 

It was nice to have visitors, but by the time my dad left I was ready for some alone time. Michael had already been back to work for a week, but my transition didn't really feel solid until Noah's and my first day home alone.

Our days so far pretty much consist of eating, changing poopy diapers, "playing" (or getting blank stares and furrowed brows as I make every happy facial expression and baby noise known to man), and napping- although I have yet to nap while Noah has napped. It's been advised, but I actually enjoy that time while he's sleeping to get things done around the house. It's therapeutic to get things done, even if it's just a load of laundry or vacuuming. I realize time with Noah is more important than trying to keep everything perfect, but I am really efficient in a short amount of nap time. It's a win-win and helps things feel more peaceful. I also wear Noah in the K'tan so it give us that closeness that is really important for baby and mama and also frees up my hands for important things like eating lunch! I've planned ahead for dinners using the crockpot and/or frozen meals I made in advance. That has been a HUGE help! Once Michael gets home from work he spends time with Noah and I finish up dinner and enjoy a nice shower. I'm so glad Michael chooses to be involved and doesn't check out when he gets home. He's right in there with me changing dirty diapers and helping out in other ways. My day doesn't feel hectic and I truly believe it's because I've been organized and multi-task pretty well. As he gets older and more active, I might have a different story! 

{First Bath!}
Noah has been sleeping 4-5 hour stretches on a good night, so I'm thankful that I'm at least getting some sleep. The first week when Michael was off we would go to bed super late. Now that he's back to work we're trying to get in bed early. Getting a newborn ready for bed has proven to be quite a task! We usually change his already full diaper and then I nurse him to sleep. However, we have one poopin' baby so during almost every feeding he has some pretty good diaper action and we have to change him again. This wakes him up more and back we go to nursing. This little charade will probably change eventually, but for now we head for bed an hour before we actually hope to all asleep!  We cosleep, but try not to bedshare. Instead of getting a bassinet that would only be of use for a short amount of time, we brought his pack 'n' play in and raised the mattress. He sleeps in it right next to my side of the bed. At first, he would only fall asleep in his carseat, but after week two we put him back to sleeping on his back in the pack 'n' play. Sometimes he will sleep on my chest for a few hours and when he's hungry I bring him into the bed to nurse him. He falls back asleep easier that way and I don't have to stir too much.

{Baby K'Tan - yay for babywearing!}
 Originally, we had decided NOT to go back to Virginia for Christmas. I had no clue how my recovery would go and the thought of traveling with a newborn sounded stressful. The combination of a small emotional breakdown while putting up our Christmas decorations (at the thought of not being home for Christmas while Blake Shelton sang a Christmas version of "Home" on Pandora)and most importantly, an amazing labor/recovery helped us change our minds. We've had to set a few boundaries for ourselves concerning the trip just to make it less stressful on us trying to make it to everyone's houses and limit Noah's exposure to all the nice crud going around. We pretty much will be between my parents' house and Michael's parents' house (although I may be tempted by a mall trip)and have asked family to come to us. Oh, who am I kidding- they just want to see Noah. Kelsea and Michael who?! ;) We're prepared with the hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes! Germs, beware! 

Speaking of Christmas, we sent out our Christmas card this past week. I didn't get a ton and only sent them to family and a few far away friends, but I love how they turned out! My mom took the Christmas pictures and I took the one of Noah swaddled.  My mom took a ton of photos while she was here and we had our first family photo session a few days after arriving home. Noah slept through every little session we had, even while positioning him over and over! 

To sum up these three weeks? I am absolutely LOVING being Noah's mommy. He is such a sweet baby, already giving us smiles and coos (that I swear sound like "hey"). He's holding his head up for long amounts of time, loves a warm bath with mommy, and is eating and sleeping like a champ! My recovery time was wonderful and I truly felt back to normal in a short amount of time...physically, that is. Emotionally & hormonally...well, let's just say things are still balancing themselves back out! 

I'm excited for this trip to Virginia this coming weekend. My sister and Michael's brother have yet to meet Noah and we're SO excited to finally introduce them. Michael's parents haven't seen Noah since the hospital so I know they're anxious to see him again, too, and I'm glad we won't have to rush back home so everyone can get to spend some time with him. We also have tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, and great-grandparents who will get to meet Noah for the first time. We'll be in Virginia a week, so this week is being spent preparing for the trip- making sure the house isn't a wreck, washing and packing for Noah and ourselves, and making sure we have all our Christmas gifts ready to go. 

I'm still working on Noah's birth story. I am still so amazed at my labor and his birth and can't wait to share the experience!



Dec 5, 2012

I am so proud to introduce our new, sweet boy Noah. Born last Tuesday, November 27th at 12:13am at 8lbs, 4oz and 21 inches long.

His birth was everything I hoped it would be and my husband was an amazing support through it all. I'll eventually write an official birth story and I'm so excited to share such a life-changing experience. 

I never knew how overwhelming this type of love could be until I held Noah in my arms. There is nothing that can explain what my heart feels all at once. I'll truly never be the same.

 Michael and I feel so blessed and are so thankful for a healthy baby boy. And Noah and I are absolutely blessed with an amazing dad and husband who loves us so much and takes such good care of us. 

We also think it is so very special that Noah not only shares a middle name with Michael's late grandfather, but now also shares a birthday with my late grandfather. Both men passed away from cancer and we can't help but smile when we think of these special connections. 

I can't wait to share all the amazing milestones and special memories that we'll now encounter as a little family of three. 

"Family of three" makes me smile.



Nov 22, 2012

It's amazing how much things can change in a matter of two years. For me, the holidays are when these changes are magnified just a bit more than usual and seem just a tiny bit harder to swallow than any normal day. 

Being eight hours away from my family and hometown is hard this time of year, especially with a baby on the way. In so many ways this move has been a blessing - M and I have turned towards each other and experienced things together that we may not have had we stayed in our comfort zone. My love for M has grown in ways that I didn't know it could. Then there have been other times I've wished that home was right down the road and I could drop in for dinner and a much needed conversation or simple hug.

Through it all-getting married, moving away from home, starting new jobs, buying a house, starting a family, and going from a working woman to staying at home-I feel I have transitioned well for the most part. But then this time of year comes and reminds me that some things won't always be the same. 

We won't always be "home" for the holidays, starting with this Thanksgiving. I won't always be a part of every family event. I won't always be a part of what everyone else is getting to experience together. Relationships won't always be the same- they may change, grow, diminish. It's easy to say this is a normal part of growing up, but until you actually get to that point- that holiday, that conversation, that moment- and see and feel the change taking place, it's hard to fully understand how much it will really affect you. It sounds dramatic, but there's almost a slight mourning that takes place, especially when you're as sentimental as I am with a tendency to hold on to the past. Even through phases of depression and struggles, and swaying in my faithfulness to God, His grace is amazing and He has blessed us tremendously- through people, situations, circumstances, conversations.  

It's not easy, but there's an excitement in it all. It's why I thrive on change, because most change can be wonderful if you let it. It reminds me of redemption- there is a "loss" of sorts- of how things used to be, but grace abounds and something even more wonderful is born. In our case, quite literally. 

I'm so thankful this Thanksgiving that although it will not be spent in the beautiful Virginia with family, that we have something to look forward to with the birth of Noah. A new family of three will be born, too. And even though the traditional meal won't be enjoyed in the traditional place, we will get to see our family as soon as this new life decides to show his precious face. On top of that, God so sovereignly brought us close to some great family and brought some good friends into our lives, with whom we will be able to spend some time with this Thanksgiving. 

It's truly humbling to see how the grace of God can be found even in the smallest of situations- when it seems silly to  feel a certain way. It reminds me that no emotion is too tiny that it doesn't matter to Him.

The transitions won't stop here, I know. Not only for M and I as we become new parents and create our own family traditions, but for me personally as I work through ongoing struggles and I wrestle with purpose and goals and dreams all while learning how to be a I learn how to surrender things I can't I fight loneliness and struggle with finding my place in this town and making connections.

My goal is to take this journey one day at a time, to get back to surrendering it to God and relying on HIS wisdom, to invest more in current relationships, to remain open to new things, people, and opportunities, and to show the same grace to others in my life that I have been given.

A positive thing that has come from the transitions I've experienced the past few years has been a deeper, truer thankfulness for the people in my life and relationships I previously took for granted. It's easy to regret those times, and even though I sometimes wish I "knew then what I know now" I realize that it is only by looking at those times and seeing the mistakes that I am now able to change and grow. And that is something I will always be thankful for- that is what grace truly is.

Baby Update: Almost There!

Nov 14, 2012

I can't believe that really any day now M and I will be parents. I've been terrible about posting lately - we were busy with visitors for about four straight weeks after I quit work and in the past few weeks I've been trying to relax and wrap up some last minute house stuff before Noah comes. Our bags are packed and sitting by the door, the car seat is installed and ready to go, and I'm noticing every little feeling and hoping labor starts soon. My home decor projects/progress hasn't gone as fast as I'd hoped, but we're making progress none-the-less. Noah's nursery is two steps away from being done and I've found even more things I want to do in the rest of the house thanks to Pinterest. Speaking of progress, I started Christmas shopping little by little back in August and thanks to online shopping and some awesome coupons, I'm two people away from being completely DONE! Feels great! I'm going to try to post some more as I wait for Noah to make his arrival, but I definitely promise some good baby posts once he gets here! For now, here's what will probably be my last update for this pregnancy. 

How Far Along? 39 Weeks, 5 Days

Size of Baby Noah: Little bebe could be anywhere from 7 to 9 pounds, but the midwives' guess he won't be that big based on my current measuring and belly size. We'll see!

Total Weight Gain: 27lbs.
Maternity Clothes: More specifically- stretch pants! I'll put on the maternity jeans once in awhile, but at this point the stretchier around the belly the better!
Sleep: This has been such a day-to-day change for me- one night I'll stay up pretty late watching tv because I'm not too tired, and the next night I'm exhausted and sleep really well throughout the night aside from the bathroom trips.

Stretch Marks: I feel really thankful in this area. I found one small mark on my hip that I know is mainly from weight gain in that area, not my belly stretching. I do have the linea nigra, but no stretch marks anywhere else. I attribute this to nightly vitamin E oil and good genes! 

Labor Signs: Definitely more Braxton Hicks and tons of cramping recently. At my appointment this week I was 1cm dilated and 40% effaced. My midwife basically told me not to expect him before my due date. She guessed I'd go around 41 weeks. Because of our choice for as natural a birth as possible, we won't discuss induction until closer to 42 weeks. I'm okay with this, but am hoping he comes earlier than later- we're just so excited to meet him! 
Belly Button: Still an "innie", but barely!
Gender: BOY.
Movement: Only slightly less than normal. He's running out of room but still wiggling around, especially when I'm laying down! He likes to kick his little feet out into my side, causing some pretty odd belly shapes!
Food Cravings: My appetite has been pretty normal this entire pregnancy and it hasn't changed much this last month.
How's Mama? I get asked this on a daily basis. My response? Ready & Restless. I've been told to relax and take time to be lazy - advice easier given than followed! My task this week/weekend is to try not to be too anxious about it all, relax, enjoy the last few days of it just being M and I, and trust that God knows when Noah's coming and that's good enough for me.
I'm no good at awkward self-portrait, mirror pictures so ignore the weird expression that was supposed to be a smile, not a smirk!

Random Monday: a list about lists, chevron, and a little bit creepy

Oct 8, 2012

It's been a busy two weeks in this house! Here's a little list at what we've been up to - 

1) I finished up a hectic last week at work, managed to survive, and said goodbye to my job and co-workers this past Friday - talk about transition!

2)Slowly, but surely, putting Noah's nursery together - one organized space at a time!

3) Making three or four more to-do-lists for a total of about's a problem, I know. 
4) A visit from M's dad this past weekend to hang out and cheer on the Huskers!  

 5) TODAY- Attempting to mark off some decor-themed tasks around the house! 

This first one is pinterest-inspired (go figure), but I added my own twist instead of the pennies. 
Pinterest's Version....

My Version....
 I liked the chevron stripes better than the pennies for our kitchen. It took some painter's tape (and a few hours of trying to figure out the chevron taping process), navy spray paint, and a husband who was nice enough to do the spraying for his prego wife and I think they turned out looking pretty good!

Next little task was our front "porch". Over the past week I accumulated a wreath, a rug, and some mums and wanted to add a touch of fall decor to an otherwise boring entryway. Again, I resorted to chevron and I think it turned out pretty cute!
 The mums need a little help (as I've neglected to water them a bit), but with some water they'll open up eventually!

While I was doing this, M was working around the house and in the yard. Apparently creepy creatures just love it here. M found a baby snake (not poisonous) in the yard and for the past four days a gross spider has been hanging out in its web in the rose bushes along our walkway. The snake didn't bother me, but I have arachnophobia and M refuses to kill/move this thing! He's pretty sure its an orb spider, but I can't even look at pictures of spiders online too long so I guess I'll trust M's word. Needless to say, if you're the same way you may want to scroll the page super fast!

M had off today for Columbus day and it was my first official day at home and not at work. I'm glad M could be here to buffer the adjustment a bit, but tomorrow might be a different story. It's certainly an adjustment, but I think the worrying about the details of my responsibilities as a case manager will certainly decrease this week as I explore this new role and place in my life. Working on baby's room and getting into "nesting" mode will surely help my focus turn and the transition be that much easier. 

Off to enjoy the last few hours of the evening! I promise a full nursery reveal when its finally finished! 

Wordless Wednesday

Oct 3, 2012

Miscellany Monday

Sep 24, 2012

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

1. This time of year is tied for favorite with Spring, both season when the weather is just right. It's so refreshing to be able to open windows and doors and feel the breeze and fresh air coming through the screens.

2. I officially have two more weeks of work left. As vocal as I've been about my excitement, it will be a bittersweet day. It's a transition that we've planned since we began dreaming of a life together, one to add to our long list this year. A transition not just from work to home, but to a new phase of our lives. It's exciting, scary, overwhelming, and wonderful all at once.

3. I'm trying to put together a worship playlist to have going during labor. Any suggestions of peaceful, calming songs are welcome! Did anyone else have anything special that got them through that time that most wouldn't think about?

4. I can't help but think about all the changes coming with a new baby. I'm so excited to have Noah here to complete our little family. I can't wait to see M be a dad and for both of us to experience the overwhelming love that comes with being parents. I'm excited about finding our way of doing things and starting traditions that at special to us. Here's a little sneak peek of his room- not finished yet, but getting there!

5. Can I just say, Ikea is the bomb?! I just got their 2013 catalog and it is a good thing there's not a store close by or I'd make weekly trips. No joke. 

6. See the links at the top of the page? I totally plan to work on those once work is done. I'd love to have a record of the fun recipes I've tried along with personal photos of their success once they've been mastered. I also plan to get back into jewelry making and hopefully getting back into making it a small side income. We'll see! 

That's it for my random Monday. Off to check on my chicken-pot-pie and put some sweatpants on! Happy Monday!

Baby Update: 31.5 Weeks

Sep 19, 2012

How Far Along: 31 weeks, 5 days - almost 8 months!
Size of Noah: Somewhere between 3 and 3.8  pounds and probably around 16.5 inches, give or take. At the rate my belly has been growing the past month or so, I'd say he's growing well :)
Total Weight Gain: 18-20 pounds. It's obviously picked up a bit. :/ I've really done a good job lately at eating healthy and eating out less so let's hope from here on out it is mostly baby and belly. I can feel changes in my thigh/hip area and I think I'm beginning to show the weight all over more. I know our bodies hold on to fat a bit more snug when we're pregnant, but I'm not taking it so well. It's hard not to feel really insecure with all these crazy changes going on. I've only got a little over 8 weeks left, so let's hope I don't hit the 30 pound mark!
Maternity Clothes: Pretty much everything right now. I sleep in M's tshirts because they leave me plenty of room. None of my old t-shirts fit me anymore. :(
Sleep: This has probably been my biggest compliant so far- I'm uncomfortable sleeping on my back at this point but it's also uncomfortable to roll over a lot. I also have to pee ALL THE TIME, and Noah lets me know when my bladder is full! I just don't get a full night's sleep like I used to. Which according to EVERY SINGLE WOMAN, I better get used to. If I only had a nickel...
Stretch Marks: Nada. none. zip. zilch. Now if only it will stay that way through the next four or so pounds my baby has to grow. Vitamin E oil, don't fail me now!
Labor Signs: I can't really tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and just having some muscle soreness due to dehydration. I've had to pick it up on the water intake and it has helped. I only notice the occasional tightness lower in my abdomen, but usually it lasts about two minutes then goes away.
Belly Button: It's starting to flatten out and look a little odd. But still an innie!
Gender: BOY. I'm getting more and more used to the idea of having a son. This sounds awful, but boys have always annoyed me. Once they're past like two years old, they just get on my nerves. I know I won't feel that way about our own son, but it has been somewhat of a mental adjustment!
Movement: TONS. Noah moves a ton during the day and right before bed. He really has some drastic movement going on! I love the ones where it feels like he is just rolling or moving slowly. I now can tell which side he's snuggled against and when his foot or head is lodged up into my ribs. I'm hoping he goes head down smoothly in the next few weeks as things get more snug.
Food Cravings: Nothing really specific, thankfully. Still struggling some with sugar, but I've found this hasn't been as much of a problem as it was early on.
Food Aversions: Meat. I can eat some chicken, but I have zero appetite for red meat.

How's Mama?  I'm feeling WAY more tired recently. Right around 10:30 every morning I feel like I need to go back to bed. I think this has to do with the heat and not having enough water at some times, but I'm really trying to take it easy and drink a TON of water. 

I also made "the leap". M and I have always planned for me to stay at home with our kids and two weeks ago I took one more step towards that and put in my notice at work. More on that later, but I feel so blessed by God to be able to make this a reality. 

Also, we've had our third natural birth class this week.  It is geared towards the midwife patients and focuses mainly on natural child birth and alternative pain relief. Most of the couples in the class have the same desires I do for birth. I can't tell you how annoyed, hurt, or discouraged I've been with comments I get when I explain why we're seeing a midwife or the choices I'm trying to make for a natural, intervention/drug free birth.  I don't know if people get offended because that's not the way they did it or if they think I'm being critical of them, but it's to the point where I just downright avoid talking about it because I don't want to have the same discussion over and over again or hear the same comments. 

I feel like I can't fully discuss the reasons behind my decisions with some women because those reasons are the opposite of what many have chosen, which leaves me having to explain why I won't be doing it that way.  And because I haven't "been there, done it", I suppose women feel they can mock or scoff even more because "girl, you'll see when you get there. You're going to be begging for that epidural" or "yeah, you say that now but you'll be telling the doctor, get this thing out of me". Really? Really?! 

I try to educate people on the benefits of why I'm choosing a certain way (when the conversation naturally leads to that point by their questioning) , but they can't see past their own experience to try to encourage me or even wish me the best. I know that things may not go the way I am hoping and that sometimes we can't control all of the circumstances, but I have personally come to the place where I am okay with that. I will have tried my best and if intervention is absolutely necessary, I will accept that and be happy that my baby was first and foremost delivered alive and breathing into this world.

This week, we discussed how labor is one of the only times in life when we experience pain that does not result in injury (although sometimes there are complications beyond our control- fetal distress, etc). It is our body's way of letting us know what it needs at that particular time- whether it be different positioning, etc. So instead of being focused on THE PAIN and working myself up to be scared of it, I'd like to focus on letting it guide me to bringing Noah into the world. There are many times when some of the measures we take to try to prevent the pain actually end up causing it to be worse.

Anyway, all that aside, I really felt relief in those first few minutes of our first birth class and feel like it is a safe place that I can discuss hopes and fears and not feel pressure from others to do things a certain way, or receive ridicule for the choices I want to make. I really look forward to the next few classes and really am going to try to focus on making it a learning, growing experience.


Sep 17, 2012

I was going through my daily blog reads and John from Young House Love posted about a fun giveaway they're doing- a $500 gift card to Home Goods. I absolutely LOVE that store!  In the post he linked up to Home Good's Stylescope quiz and invited readers to take it to find out the style that best fits them. 

I've been struggling with how to decorate the house lately. I've picked paint colors and have a general idea, but I think I'm not too much of a risk taker when it comes to interior design. After taking this quiz, I think it's pretty spot on! The tips that came afterward helped me get a better picture of accent pieces, art, etc. 

So, after picking five of the following...

....I was given:

After seeing some of the items in this spread, I think it's pretty spot on, albeit the two seem like they really shouldn't go together. I love that antique farm look, but the usual antique "country" style has never really been me. I already have some metal letters and some mercury glass. I've always loved Restoration Hardware, and I feel like this picture has a touch of that style, but also has a bit more character and glam. As for the Boho touch, I'm not necessarily a fan of all that brightness going on, but I definitely love touches of color and patterns. Now to figure out how this translates to setting the style of our house...

Interested in taking the quiz or entering the Young House Love giveaway? Head to THIS POST and check it out! 


weekend-Nashville edition

Sep 16, 2012

This weekend, M's parents came to visit and we were able to celebrate M's mom's birthday with her on Saturday. We planned for breakfast together at a local diner, browsing downtown and pedicures while the guys painted Noah's room, an afternoon browsing around Nashville with a stop at Antique Archeology, and ending the day with birthday dinner at Amerigo's on West End.

I didn't bring my camera to breakfast or downtown, but if you're ever in Dickson and want a place for great breakfast, you've got to try Ace Diner. Their claim to fame is that Thomas Edison once ate their while passing through the area. The food is good, the exposed brick and original "drug store" bar make it an enjoyable experience. 

You can tell that Downtown Dickson is really trying to make something of itself. They just went through a recent renovation - improving parking, making wider sidewalks, and adding some nice landscaping. There are a few promising shops and I think there are plans in the making to bring some more upscale businesses to the area. It will be interesting to see what happens! 

After breakfast, the guys went home and M's mom and I browsed around downtown then headed to get pedicures. My feet were looking pretty rough, so it was nice to get them pampered!

After pedicures, we went to pick up the guys and head to Nashville. Both sides of M's and my family love the show American Pickers on History channel. 
 If you're familiar with the show, you'd know they've opened up an Antique Archaeology store in Nashville in an amazing section of warehouses close to downtown. M's mom has been wanting to go there the past few times they've been to visit but it has either not worked out or there has been a mile-long line to get in. This time, we decided to make it happen. We got there at a perfect time and didn't have to wait at all.
 Right next door to Antique Archeology is a little candy shop called Bang Bang Candy. We all split some peanut butter fudge and gourmet marshmallows. 
Because our reservation at Amerigo's wasn't until later, we decided to grab dessert first and take it to Centennial Park. M's parent's favorite dessert stop in Nashville is Gigi's Cupcakes. After contemplating over their delicious menu, we eventually found our flavors and found a park bench to enjoy them. There was some kind of music festival across one of the fields so we were able to have some great background music. 

We still had a bit of time before our reservation, so we went to one of M's favorite places on West End called Cumberland Transit, a one stop shop for everything outdoors. M's been eying up a mountain bike and they've been great with providing info! 

We were about half an hour early for our time at Amerigo's, but we were seated immediately. The service was impeccable and the waiter was really knowledgeable about the menu. We enjoyed the Cheese Fritters and Bruschetta as appetizers- amazing! I got the Chicken Pesto pizza and it was delicious, with whole cloves of garlic and a really nice crust. Everyone else enjoyed their entrees as well. 

Even though we've lived here about a year and a half, we still hadn't made it to Amerigo's or Antique Archaeology. We all really enjoyed ourselves, although this pregnant mama wore herself out! I feel really blessed to be able to live near a big city and be close enough to events, fine dining, and things to do! Nashville really has proven to be a fun city and I feel like there is so much more we're excited to explore during our years in this part of Tennessee. 

Hope everyone has had a great weekend! Up next- progress on Noah's room! It looks great!


Sep 10, 2012

On Saturday M got called into work for an emergency, and what was supposed to be an hour or two turned into an almost thirteen hour work day for him. I was really bummed as I kept getting 'still not done. looks like I'll be here awhile' texts. 

I actually had a relaxing morning and even got the movie Midnight in Paris in before I got out of bed. Last week I had really let myself stress over all the junk in almost every room in our house. The only rooms that were even functional were the living room, our bedroom, and the kitchen. And when I say functional, I mean BASIC functions. In no way were they complete or up to my standard of being "done". But I've been known to have pretty high standards so it's relative, I suppose. 

Before I sound too negative, I will say that we have had some "house" accomplishments in the past week. We spent two nights and finally got our garage organized. There's a pile of  things to sell, my home decor/crafts shelf, boxes to eventually store in the attic, and all of M's tools, saws, you name it. We actually had room to park a car. 

Next, we were able to get our sectional from World Market. We had waited almost a month for it to finally come in. I wasn't sure about it at first, but with some positioning, imagination of future items, and some pillows- I now love it! I think it fits the room very well, doesn't take up a bunch of visual space, and is really comfortable.
So to feel good and cross something off my list, here goes!

Left to do:
- Couch. We ordered this sectional from World Market and are awaiting its delivery to the store 
- Rug
- Hide all those ugly wires
- Replace trunk with thinner, wider table
- Textiles- pillows/curtains
-Artwork/Wall Decor/Frames
A little pathetic, but still progress. 

Back to Saturday, I made a mental list starting with our bedroom, on to the guest room, and finally the nursery. 

In our bedroom, I completely rearranged the furniture. With the sides M and I sleep on, I was having to get up and walk around the bed in the dark for my more-than-frequent trips to the bathroom. I figured once Noah is here, it will be even more difficult with the furniture the way it was. We really don't have any big heavy stuff in our bedroom and all of it is easy to slide with some hip action, so I felt comfortable doing it myself. I think the way I rearranged it has much better flow, makes the room seem a lot bigger, and makes a straight path for me to the bathroom or hallway. No more running into the bed or other things trying to find my way in the dark.

(Forgive my picture quality. I had to use my little nikon digital to get a wider angle in the room.) We sold our original poster frame online because it really wasn't working for us. It took up too much visual space. M had made a bed frame for our bed in the rental, so we just painted it black and switched it out. I think one of the things I've realized is that matchy-matchy isn't good. I plan to eventually take that black chair out of there and add something different. Also, I ordered fabric for the headboard in Braemore Gazebo Cloud- seen on Young House Love's headboard post. I absolutely love this pattern - it has great color, will add some color to our room, and is fun without being "immature".

For the bedroom list, here goes:
Left to do:
- Replace bed frame with the one that M made for our old bedroom. A new coat of paint and it will look great. 
 Rearrange room
- Recover headboard I made with new fabric and attach to bedframe
-New sheets/bedskirt
-Hang curtains
- Rug
-Artwork/Wall Decor
-New small tv

Our guest room has been a complete nightmare. When our parents have visited, they've been subjected to a simple mattress on the floor, a dresser with the mirror not attached, and fear of the headboard leaning against the wall falling on them in the middle of the night. Yeah, it happened. It was a hazard zone. M's parents are making another trip down next weekend and I was determined to have the room comfortable and ready for any visitors from here on out.

 M and I went to Walmart and found a simple metal bed frame. We were planning on putting it together Saturday, but when he was stuck at work I rolled up my sleeves, sat on the floor, and didn't leave the room until it was put together. I now despise those dumb little tools they include in the box to put things together. I have baby fingers and still had a hard time getting things to fit right and turn with ease. Once it was finally done and I had managed to get the box spring and mattress on the frame and in place, I had to lay on the couch for half an hour to recuperate. It's crazy how much being pregnant takes out of you, especially when I had so much energy before. 

Once I felt like I could move again, I put the rest of the room together, adding sheets, changing out the duvet cover to a brighter, livelier one, and putting down an Ikea rug I had laying around. The next day, M helped me finally attach the mirror to the dresser. I added a lamp, plan to add some flowers, and some other little "guest" items that might make the room more comfortable. It is a very small room, but I feel like the space is used well for now and our guess won't have to help each other up from the floor!  I don't have a before picture, but trust me, the 'After' is leaps and bounds better. 
Needless to say, when I was done with all of this I was completely exhausted. I made some dinner, put on the game, waited for M to get home, and vegged out on the couch. I felt so productive and it really helped reduce the stress I had been feeling about not having our house more put together. I do realize making a house a home is a constant work in progress, but I have issues!

Yesterday, M decided to tackle Noah's room and begin priming before he and his dad paint this coming weekend. I'm anxious to get everything set up and organized. I think it really will help me relax mentally in the last month knowing it's ready. Noah will be sleeping in our room for awhile once he's born, but eventually he's going to have a great nursery to sleep/play in. 

Speaking of Noah, I'm 30 weeks as of this past Friday! 10 more weeks, give or take, and we'll get to meet him. 

I seriously. can't. wait.  

Happy Monday! 

simple sunday

Sep 9, 2012

Just dropping in to show you two things I'm excited about...

 I made this on Saturday after being completely inspired by Sherry at Young House Love. She did something similar in a post about Decorating Sentimentally.

Ok, when am I NOT inspired by Sherry? OR even her husband John?

Those are the actual keys to the places M and I have lived. I KNEW I kept those keys for a reason! I think this will eventually belong in a wall collage above our dresser, but for now it looks great sitting beside our wedding photo. 

Secondly, I did my first load of baby laundry today.
 And that's just ONE of the full bins I had of clothes. I wanted to wash what we got either as hand-me-downs from friends or gifts at my baby shower in hopes to have them hung up and in the closet or ready for the dresser soon! It kind of felt surreal washing such little tiny clothes, knowing that soon a little tiny person will be added to our family. And with him, comes many more loads of little things. It might have been the most excited I've been about laundry in awhile.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!