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!

Friday Letters

Sep 7, 2012

As you probably noticed, the blog design from Stephanie is finally done! I really like the simple, classic feel of it. She did a great job!

 We've had a ton going on lately, including a week-long trip to Virginia, a great baby shower, and trying to organize our crazy mess of a house. I really wanted to be better about keeping up with writing, but between the busyness and being exhausted it's fallen behind. For today, I leave you with a Friday letters link up with Ashley at Adventures of Newlyweds.


Dear HusbandI love you, you underwear-in-the-floor-and-get-a-new-glass-even-though-the-one-you-just-used-is-right-there-on-the-counter you. Hint. HINT. Dear Sister- I am so proud of you and I miss you so much. I hate not getting to share your days with you. You are working SO hard, much harder than many, to accomplish your goals. You WILL get there and you will look back and think "it was crazy, but it was worth it". You are beautiful inside and out and I can't wait for Noah to meet his aunt.  Dear Job- I can't wait until our relationship is over. Four more weeks. We've had some good times, but you've burned me out. Plus, I found a way better position. The long-term investment is just so much more worth it.  Dear Noah- Everyday I am overwhelmed at the thought of you. The miracle of how my belly has grown, and how I can feel your movement, and hear your heartbeat- all of that is too much sometimes. I thank God that He has given you to us. I'm not going to be a perfect mommy, but I hope that even when it gets tough if I only communicate one thing it is GRACE. We can't wait to meet you.  Dear Clutter- You're stressing me out. I wish you would just organize yourself and either take a hike to Goodwill or convince someone to give me money for you.  Dear Pregnancy Weight- You best be preparing for goodbye. I know you're here for some kind of reason, but you're making me hate the mirror.  Dear West Elm- I wish you were cheaper. Dear Self- Cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to not be perfect and not always have it all together.  Stop comparing, criticizing, and stressing. Surrender and breathe.