Monday, August 26, 2013

A rough few days...

You guys know I'm usually all rainbows and unicorns around here, but holy cow.  The last few days have been a little rough. Why, you ask?  Well, let me just count the ways...

One.  I can't go into too much detail without breaking my no poop rule, but I'll just say that we've gone back and forth with three different formulas over the last week to try and find the right... balance.  It's kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears... only... not.  This morning was a colossal mess.  Spit up everywhere, followed by a diaper change that was significantly premature.  I ended up having to stick Gracie in the bathtub and start a load of laundry before I even had my breakfast.  

Two.  Because of the aforementioned tummy troubles and formula switching, Miss Priss had a rough night on Friday.  She had terrible gas and tummy pain, so after the third time she woke up (after letting her cry it out both times, poor baby), I went and got my sweet girl and put her in bed with us.  We all manged to get a few more hours of sleep this way, and Micah and I got to sneak in a few sweet snuggles.  

Three.  I didn't get to bed until 5:00 a.m. the "night" of my birthday because I had a repeat of the random, excruciating stomach/back pain I experienced while pregnant.  And I had stupidly taken two Tylenol PM before I went to bed because I felt the pain coming on, and I had hoped the medicine might help me sleep through it.  Instead, I ended up just feeling like a zombie as I cycled through any and every position I could think of to ease the pain.  Micah woke up to discover me missing and must have had a panic attack when he searched the house and couldn't find me.  He eventually walked into the office to find me laying facedown on the floor because it was the only stretch of carpet big enough for me to spread out on in the only position that made the pain bearable.  By 4:45, I was feeling okay enough to try and sleep.  Needless to say, I didn't make it into work on Friday.

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Four.  My throat started feeling yucky on Saturday night as I was celebrating my birthday with my mom and stepdad with steaks on the grill and my favorite chocolate mousse cake (which my Mom has managed to remember to get me every year since I turned 15, I think).  When I woke up on Sunday, I knew I was coming down with something and made an appointment at an urgent care clinic near the house.  The doctor couldn't tell, yet, if it was viral (i.e., a cold) or bacterial (upper respiratory infection-ish), so I'm giving it a few days before I start the antibiotics and praying like crazy I don't give it to Grace.  Poor girl's had more than her fair share of sick lately!

Five.  The Zulily shipment that was supposed to be delivered this weekend never made it.  (Okay, so this one's pretty whiny, but I'm on a roll here. And I feel like I've sort of earned the right to whine for a minute or two.)

There's more, I'm sure, but my mind must have blocked it out in the interest of preserving my sanity.

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There isn't a single second that isn't completely worth it.  But I won't lie... there's no part of me that will miss the spit up and diaper blowouts when they're gone. :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Grace: four months

My darling Grace,

Has it really been four months since you've arrived?  That seems impossible, sweet girl!

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Here are your four-month stats:

Four Months at a Glance

Weight:  15 pounds, 5 ounces (75th percentile)
Length:  24.5 inches (50th percentile)
Eating:  anywhere from 2-6 ounces - your eating has gotten incredibly inconsistent
Sleeping:  9-10 hours at night
Diapers:  size 2
Clothes:  3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months
Things You Love:  pulling Mommy's hair, talking to us, bath time, lotion time, grabbing your toes, sleeping on PawPaw's belly, grabbing your paci clip and pulling it loose from whatever it is attached to, your little glowworm, the breeze, dancing with Mommy, listening to Mommy sing "Pop Goes the Weasel"
What You Can Do This Month: pull up to sitting position, sit propped up, bear weight on flat feet, spontaneously grab things and interact with them, grab things and put them in your mouth, laugh, track things 180 degrees

This month has been a whirlwind!  You recovered from your cold and ear infection, only to get a tummy bug and a sinus infection.  We also took you on your first trip!  We drove down to Galveston with Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Seth, Aunt Diana, and cousin Landyn to stay for a few days.  You slept nearly the whole way there and back, except when you needed a diaper change.  You loved sleeping in the breeze under a canopy at the beach, and you looked adorable in your cute swimsuit and floppy hat.

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Eating:  Oh, girlfriend.  Your inconsistent eating has had Mommy a little stressed this month.  Sometimes you suck down your bottle like you'll never have another one.  But fairly often, you eat a few ounces and then get super squirmy and refuse to eat any more.  Clearly, you're getting plenty, and it might just be that you're still not back to normal from the antibiotics, but your doctor is a little worried we may have some kind of tummy problem.  We've switched you to soy formula for a week to see if that helps - we've got our fingers crossed!

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Sleeping:  I think we've finally got the sleeping through the night thing down.  You usually go to bed around 8:00 or 8:30.  We do a dreamfeed around 9:30 or 10:00, and then you sleep until we wake you up around 6:15.  You sometimes cry around 4:00 a.m., but you put yourself back to sleep after a minute or two.  (Most of the time.)  Daddy's ready to drop the dream feed, but I don't think you're quite ready, so we'll stick with it for now.

Naps are pretty inconsistent.  They're hit or miss at daycare (it must be too loud in there for you, love!), but you do slightly better at home.  {Any mommas out there have any advice for establishing a consistent nap schedule?  It may be time to switch to a four-hour schedule... when she does have a good nap, she often sleeps through her next feeding time.}  I'm trying to let you figure things out, but I know we're going to eventually need to get you back on a good schedule.

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Other Stuff:  You're still mostly just as happy as ever, angel girl.  You're tolerating outfit changes better.  Your thighs are getting deliciously chunky, and your feet are nearly as thick as they are wide.  Bathtime has become a safety hazard because you splash so much that the floor becomes SOAKED!  We have to keep a towel down so Mommy doesn't slip and fall!  Your "conversations" with yourself (and us) are getting louder and more insistent.  We love hearing you talk.  

Your hair has started to lay down a bit, which makes Mommy strangely sad.  Ha!

Every month, you're getting smarter and even more adorable.  We're having so much fun seeing little glimpses of your sweet, funny personality.

See how you've grown?

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We adore you a ridiculous amount, baby girl!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I'm going to shamelessly steal a fabulous blog post idea from my girl, Anna, today.  (If you guys aren't reading Anna's blog, you totally should.  She's a country girl after my own heart, and I always love reading what she posts.)

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Reading:  Divergent by Veronica Roth.  Y'all, I honestly haven't read a fiction book since before I got pregnant.  I just haven't had any desire, and if you know me at all, you know how very, very out of character that is for me.  But I think I'm finally getting back in the swing of things.  I started Divergent on Monday night and could hardly put it down!  It's sort of Hunger Games meets Harry Potter (without the magic), and I'm really, really loving it!  Like, maybe almost as much as I love Hunger Games...

Listening to:  Like Anna, I've been hooked on Miley's new song.  I also just realized that the super catchy "When I'm Gone" song I've been humming to myself for the last week or two is actually the sung by Anna Kendrick (the only decent actress in the Twilight movies) and is the song she sang in Pitch Perfect in her audition for The Bellas.  I'm probably the only idiot who didn't know that, but I really love her voice.

Loving:  Annie's Organic Chocolate Chipper granola bars.  Banana-blueberry smoothies.  Extra-long baths.  Air-dried hair.  Matte actions for Photoshop Elements.  And these gorgeous flowers my mom sent me for an early birthday present.

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(This matte image happens to have been taken and edited on my phone - isn't it amazing how the quality of cell phone pictures has improved over the years?  Heck, isn't it amazing we can even take pictures on our cell phones?)

Wearing:  In real life:  black (maternity) dress pants (just keeping it real, y'all), a black and white-striped tank, and a royal blue open sweater.  In my heart:  pajamas.

Looking forward to:  Well, tomorrow is my birthday.  And I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to turning another year older, but aging is a privilege denied to many, and I won't ever take it for granted.

Cooking/Baking:  My grocery list for Saturday has all the ingredients needed to make these dishes on the SkinnyTaste blog:  Zesty Lime and Shrimp Salad, Greek Salad Sandwiches, and Banging Good Shrimp.

Wishing:  That it wasn't so freaking cold in my office.  I'm not usually one of those cold-natured girls who is always cuddled up in something warm, but I swear it feels like a meat locker in here.  I'm wrapped up in a blanket (probably so tacky), and my fingers are still icy.  Although I guess it's better than the alternative...

Alright, friends?  What are you currently up to?

My makeup must-haves: eye products

So we talked face products last week.  This week, it's all about the eyes.

I own entirely too many eye makeup products, y'all.  I think I have twenty-five M.A.C. eyeshadow palettes, alone.  But my list today is short because I use the same stuff 95% of the time.  I've definitely shared about most of these products before, but now they're all in one place.

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BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara.  If you try just one thing from this post, it should be this mascara.  I have tried so many things to lengthen and volumize my lashes without making them clumpy.  I was a fan of Maybelline's Volum Express the Colossal Mascara for years, but I noticed that after a few hours, it started flaking.  I've also used DiorShow Blackout, which is fabulous, too.  But this stuff, y'all.  It really does define and lengthen my lashes better than anything else I've tried.  And it never clumps.  Ever.  I recently tried Benefit's They're Real Mascara, and I really did like it -- it definitely gives you a false eyelashes look, and the brush is great.  But it's just too darned clumpy for me.

M.A.C. Eyeshadow in Tempting.  I've been in love with this shade for about 10 years now.  I use it in my crease (when I'm doing full eye makeup) or all over the lower part of my lid (for a quick-and-dirty approach), and it's pigmented enough, but not too much.  I think the warmth and slight shimmer really accent blue eyes, in particular.

the Balm's Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer.  I gushed about this double-duty product last week.  For me, it's the perfect all-over eye color.  I like warm colors, as I think cool colors wash me (and most people, actually) out.  It stays on amazingly, and it's a great base for layering.

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Greed.  After fourteen hours of labor and two hours of pushing, the nurses were preparing me for a c-section.  My adorable momma looked over at me, as I was gripping the side of the bed in pain because my epidural had worn off, and said, "Ryan, how is it that your eyeshadow still looks fabulous?"  Swear to God.  (And you can totally still see it in some of the pictures.)  This primer is totally the reason that the rest of my face makeup might be totally gone, but my eye makeup is still hanging on.  It also provides a fantastic base color for the days when I don't have a lot of time to spend on my eyes.  I've told you guys about this stuff before, but right now is the perfect time to buy it - it's 50% off!*

Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon.  This stuff goes on amazingly, is easy to blend (but stays put if you don't want to blend), and lasts forever.  This color, in particular, is gorgeous and goes so well with the other warm colors I gravitate toward.

M.A.C. Eyeshadow in Retrospeck.  To the extent you're not into the highlighter/eye shadow duo, this color is a fabulous alternative.  I've used it forever, and it's almost identical to the Mary Lou Manizer - maybe just slightly more pigmented.

* Same as before, I have definitely not been compensated to tell you about any of these products.  I just totally dig them and wanted to share.  Over and out.

Love Always, Nancy J

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A {morning} in the life....

4:25 a.m.  I hear Gracie's cry over the monitor.  I groan, roll out of bed, stumble through the house into the nursery and give her her paci.  She goes back to sleep immediately.  I get back in bed and fall asleep.

4:45 a.m.  She cries again.  Micah knows that it's his turn, so he goes in and gives her the paci again (without me even asking.  Best. Husband. Ever.).  Two times is usually our limit, so I pray that she stays asleep this time as Micah slides back in bed.

4:55 a.m.  She's at it again, and this time I try and let her cry it out (after cursing myself for even giving her the paci in the first place).  After 12 excruciatingly long minutes, I realize that she's not even close to putting herself back to sleep like she usually does.  So I go in and check on her.

When she sees me, she starts wailing even harder.  Poor baby.  I pick her up, sniff her to see if we've got a Code Brown situation (we're clear - praise the Lord!), and try and comfort her.  She arches her back and continues to cry.  I rock and shush her for at least five minutes before I carry her into the bedroom and, in a panic, ask Micah whether I should just go ahead and feed her (she usually eats at 6:15-ish) or try and give her the paci to calm her down.  We agree to feed her (seeing as how the paci wasn't really working anyway), and Micah goes in to make the bottle while I try and calm her down.

5:25 a.m.  As she's frantically sucking down her bottle, I wonder why in the heck she's needing an extra feeding when she's gone weeks without one.  She just finished the antibiotics for her sinus infection -- is her tummy hurting?  Are the probiotics we gave her last night to try and counteract the tummy troubles from the antibiotics actually making them worse?  Is she hitting a growth spurt?  Are you even supposed to feed babies at night during growth spurts after they've stopped taking nighttime feedings?  She fell asleep at 7:30 last night - did she just get too much sleep?

Just as she finishes the last of the bottle, she spits almost all of it up.  Fabulous.  After I wipe us both off, I lay her in her crib to see if she might go back to sleep.

5:35 a.m.  She's still talking to herself in her crib and making it abundantly clear that sleep is the last thing on her mind.  I scoop her up, change her diaper, and snap on a bib.  She giggles her sweet little giggle, and I melt.  We head into the master bath, and I strap her into her infant seat so that I can get ready.  She spits up again, but thankfully the bib catches most of it.

5:55 a.m.  As I'm headed to throw my work clothes in the dryer, I look down and see that she has made a colossal... ahem... mess in her infant seat.  I take the munchkin to clean her up while Micah deals with the seat.  I go ahead and put on her outfit for the day (plus another bib - the other one was already soaked through) after I wipe her down and change her diaper again.

6:10 a.m.  She's getting sleepy, so I put her in her crib while I finish getting ready.  She's out before I'm even out the door.

6:30 a.m.  After I load up the car, I quietly pick her up and strap her in her carseat and head into Dallas.

6:55 a.m.  We're about 10 minutes from daycare when she wakes up crying.  She never cries in the car unless she has a dirty diaper, and I feel terrible that she has to sit in it until we can get to school.  I reach back to give her her paci a few times before I finally give up.  Almost there.

7:15 a.m.  I walk into her classroom (with her carseat, diaper bag, and bottles in tow) and see that we're the first ones here.  Guilt washes over me as I sign her in and fill out her information sheet as quickly as I can.  Her sweet teacher gets her out of her carseat and puts on her third diaper of the day while I finish the paperwork.  Grace is all smiles as I kiss her goodbye, wishing that I could just take her home to snuggle all day.

7:25 a.m.  I am halfway back to work when I realize that I still have Micah's cell phone with me (he forgot it at home).  I turn around and head back in to put it in Grace's diaper bag so that he can have it when he comes to pick her up this afternoon.  Her teacher is holding her in the doorway so that Grace can "talk" to some of the teachers who have stopped by to say hello.  I smile and know that she is well taken care of.  After I drop Micah's phone into the diaper bag, I sneak another kiss just before she spits up again and help Miss Jessica clean her up.

I get in my car and drive away for a second time.  I already miss her.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Galveston vacation...

We got home yesterday afternoon from our very first vacation as a family of three.  And forgive me for bragging, but we pretty much nailed it.  Minus a few diaper blowouts, my fear of giving Gracie a sunburn, and the fact that the island was so ridiculously crowded we could hardly find a place to eat.

We drove down Thursday, grabbed some dinner, checked into our hotel, and promptly crashed.  I had forgotten how noisy Grace is when she sleeps, so Momma didn't sleep very well.  (Although we may or may not have snuggled her up in our bed with us for a little while, which more than made up for the sleep we lost.)

We spent Friday at the beach, which was a blast.  Apparently you can't put sunscreen on babies until they're six months old (thanks so much, Emily, for the tip!), so we spent most our time under a large pop-up canopy we brought with us to keep the little love out of the sun.

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We did venture out into the water for a few minutes, and sweet girl loved it.

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Doesn't she look absolutely delicious in that little floppy hat?  Kill me...

It didn't take long for the breeze to send her into dreamland, so she snoozed away in her Rock 'n' Play while the rest of us played around in the water.

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After a surfside diaper change (not as bad as I had feared), we stripped her down to her diaper, stuck her in my beach chair, and let her continue to doze.

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Micah's brother's little boy had a blast shoveling sand and tossing it into the ocean.

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(Aren't they such an adorable family?  Landyn's got that serious face mastered, y'all.)

And Micah and his dad and brother fished and managed to actually catch a few.

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After we got back to the hotel and managed to get cleaned up, the restaurants along the seawall had already begun to fill up.  So we ended up at one of the fancy restaurants (in some not-so-fancy clothes) and enjoyed some delicious seafood.  (I swear, if I could live on fresh shrimp and scallops every day, I'd be in a perpetual state of bliss.)

The girls left the boys to fish the next day while we headed to the aquarium and rainforest at Moody Gardens.  If you've never been and you find yourself in Galveston, you should totally go.  The rainforest, in particular, was super cool.  I was so enthralled with all of the animals (who, incidentally, were just hanging out in the trees completely unrestrained.  I almost ran into a monkey and realized that it probably wasn't smart to bring my four-month-old to a place where she might get pooped on my a flamingo.  Oops!) that I forgot to take any pictures.

Well, except for this one.

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I apologize if I just gave you a heart attack.

(Actually I'm not.  That was totally the point. :))

I have this weird love/hate relationship with sharks.  I'm so fascinated by them, and they don't make me fearful of the water, but when I see them up close, or even on TV, I'm completely terrified.  Something about that pointed nose and those teeth.... so creepy.  I can't even begin to handle Shark Week.

Saturday's dinner experience was a repeat of Friday's, so we ended up ordering in and hanging out in Micah's parents' hotel room.  I swear, you guys... if there was an in-law lottery, I totally won.  They're the most wonderful people on the planet, and we had such a good time visiting with them.

We headed home on Sunday and made it home (after only one diaper blowout - so very un-fun) with just enough time to get all of our clothes washed, wash some bottles, and catch the new episode of Dexter (holy. cow.).

Overall a fabulous weekend and a great little getaway.  But I think it'll be awhile before we venture out of town again.  Vacations with babies are exhausting!

(P.S. Today is my eleven year date-i-versary with Micah.  You can read all about how we got together here and here.  I'm a lucky, lucky lady, you guys.)

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Headed home...

Hi friends!

Micah, Grace, and I have had a fabulous long weekend in Galveston with family. We are about forty minutes from home, and I am hoping Grace can make it a little longer before her next feeding.

I'll definitely check in tomorrow, but I wanted to say hi and share a picture or two of Miss Priss.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My makeup must-haves: face products

I'm a makeup junkie from way back, and I feel like I've tried a billion different things over the years.  And although I've got tons of products stuffed into more than a few makeup bags, I tend to use a few favorites over and over because they just work best for me.  So I wanted to share those with you because I figure someone should benefit from my many purchases.  This week, I'm sharing my face favorites.  I'll be back soon with my favorite eye products. :)

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Mac Pro Longwear SPF 10 Foundation.  If you're the kind of girl who has perfectly balanced, dewy, and acne-free skin, this foundation is not for you.  (And let me also say:  I hate you forever.  I'm sure you can get by, riding around on your unicorn with your pot of gold, with just a teensy bit of sheer powder.) But if you, like me, need a full-coverage foundation, there's nothing that covers better and lasts longer than Mac's Pro Longwear.  I've tried a gazillion different kinds of foundation, but this is definitely my very favorite.

Nars Blush in Orgasm.  The hype is true.  This is a beautiful color that I think would work well on almost all skin tones.  It's pricey, and I'm sure there are similar colors in other brands, but I shelled out the bucks to try this stuff, and when it runs out, I'll definitely buy more.

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer.  I got a sample of this in my Birchbox one month and fell in love immediately.  What's awesome is that it's perfect for highlighting AND as a base eyeshadow.  If I'm going all out, I put it on the places where I've highlighted (with the Mineralize skinfinish powder) to give it a little shimmer.  I've tried Benefit's Watt's Up luminizer, but this one works much better for me.

Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel.  Don't freak out.  It's not that kind of Monistat.  It's a chafing relief gel, and I explained here why this stuff makes the perfect foundation primer.  I absolutely love this product, and this 1.5 oz. tube lasts FOREVER.  It looks like the price has gone up a bit on Amazon (apparently I'm not the only one who is buying it), but it's still tons cheaper than the nearly identical Smashbox product.

Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.  Again, if you don't need a lot of coverage on your face, you probably don't need foundation AND powder.  But I do.  And this stuff has a really pretty finish.  Right now, I'm using mine for highlighting because I've got a little more color on my face than usual, and the color I bought (the lightest MAC makes, by the way) is too light.  But I'm considering buying another shade to have around for when I need it.

BareMinerals Faux Tan.  This color is fantastic for generalized bronzing, and I've also been using it for contouring.  According to Cara, you want to make sure whatever color you're using for contouring (i.e. creating shadows on your face to refine its shape) isn't too orange, so I'll probably eventually invest in The Balm's Bahama Mama, but I've had this for awhile, and it's definitely working for now.

So those are my face must-haves.  What things are you guys loving lately?  Come on and share with the class. ;)

P.S.  This is decidedly NOT a sponsored post.  I just love this stuff, y'all.

Also, you may have noticed the new feature on the top left of each of my photos enabling you to pin directly to Pinterest.  Please feel free to pin whatever you want except for pictures of my little cutie pie girl.  Those pictures are only meant for my fabulous (and non-creepy) blog friends to enjoy. :)

Over and out, friends.

Jordon @ Love Always Nancy J

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dreaming of fall...

Raise your hand if you're ready for fall!

Maybe it's just my anti-summer tendencies (Jessica Andrews and I definitely do not see eye to eye in that regard), but I've been dreaming of sweaters and boots and pumpkin spice lattes.  I think I am just officially over this heat.

But apart from the sweating, we had a fabulous weekend.  Lots of snuggles with the pretty girl, a sweet little date for Micah and me, and a get together with some of Micah's friends.  Plus Greek food.  I adore Greek food.

But we had to make yet another trip to the doctor on Friday because the cold she got last month never went away and apparently turned into a sinus infection.  Poor little pumpkin!  How has she already been so sick in less than four months?

She's doing much better, though, so hopefully we'll be germ-free for a little while, at least.  

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And last night I got to spend some time with some of my favorites.  My friend Amber and her little sweetie, Brooklyn, met Grace and me for Cajun food, and we had such a good time catching up.  As always.

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that Micah, Grace, and I are going to Galveston at the end of this week for a little getaway with his family!  This will be Gracie's first trip, and I'm excited.  She usually does fairly well in the car, so I'm hoping for a meltdown-free trip. Fingers crossed!  If any of you mommas have any tips for surviving the beach with an infant, I'd love to hear them.  I've already picked up plenty of Water Babies sunscreen, a floppy beach hat, some sunglasses, and a float with a canopy (which she may end up being too small for).  Other ideas?

Hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I promise I'm thankful!

It hit me the other day that I sort of just... stopped... with the Thankful Thursdays posts.  It wasn't super intentional, but I realize that the abrupt manner in which I ditched you guys was pretty impolite.  It's kind of like a host not showing up to her own party.

Actually, it's exactly like that.

And I'm sorry, you guys.  It isn't like a southern girl to forget her manners! :)  But I think being forced to list my blessings out each week made me less inclined to be genuinely grateful for them.  So I think I'll just post about being thankful when I feel thankful, if that's alright with you all.

Today I'm thankful that my sweet friend Jennifer's little boy made his arrival yesterday.  Jennifer's pregnancy was difficult and stressful on multiple levels, and I know she was so, so, so excited to finally meet her little man.  And he's precious, y'all.

I'm thankful to have a spontaneous middle-of-the-week semi-date night with Micah tonight.  At work, we're taking our summer interns to a "fancy" bowling boutique, and Micah's coming along, so my mom is keeping Gracie this evening.  I'm fantastically terrible at bowling, so it should be a good time.

I'm thankful for my husband, who made up all of today's bottles before he left for work this morning.  Love is... a refrigerator full of prepared formula.

And last, but certainly not least, I'm thankful for this sweet girl.

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Her sleepy little face and those footie pajamas just kill me.

Hope you're all having a fabulous Thursday, friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Premature, but not altogether inaccurate...

As it turns out, the feed on the front page of Project Nursery IS automatically generated.  Ha.

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So as of last Friday, we were just one of many entries submitted last week (but at least I caught a screenshot of our [literal] fifteen minutes of fame! :))


Apparently Gracie's nursery has been selected as one of the finalists for their Rooms and Parties We Love This Week contest.  

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So, to the extent you find yourself perusing the pretty spaces on Project Nursery, feel free to cast a vote for "Gracie's Girly Nest."  But no pressure - the only thing at stake are the bragging rights! :)

Alright, friends... we're off to enjoy the rest of our weekend.  Hope you have a fabulous one!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Why having a baby is hard...

I'm sure there can be no dispute that having a baby is hard.  Like, really effing hard.

First, you've got to actually have the baby.  

As in laboring for fourteen hours, pushing for two, and then undergoing major surgery wherein they extricate the squirmy, little pumpkin from your uterus while you nearly bleed out on the table.  Or something like that.  (Not to mention the nine ten months you spend cooking the little punk while your belly grows to whale-like proportions and your feet swell so badly that you legitimately fear they might pop.)

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And after all that, you've got to try and keep the thing alive.

Your life becomes a never-ending repetition of three-hour cycles (if you're lucky) involving the excruciatingly painful feeding process, which makes you feel more like a milk cow than you ever cared to, followed by diaper blowouts of epic proportions and your husband proclaiming that he will literally throw up if he has to go anywhere near it.  After the baby finally drifts off into oblivion (praise the good Lord!), you try and squeeze in a shower, throw in (yet another) load of laundry, and maybe scrounge up a spoonful of peanut butter for breakfast.  And then she wakes up, and you start it all over again.

You learn to operate on basically no sleep.  Because, even if you're blessed with a good sleeper, you can't go more than four hours between feedings at night because what about your milk supply?  And even if you could sleep, you wouldn't because you can hear every. single. tiny. noise she makes, and you're too scared to move her out of your room because isn't it a little too soon to put her in her crib?

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And you wonder, every single second, whether you're doing it right.

Is she getting enough to eat?  Is she getting too much to eat?  Is her diaper too tight?  Am I holding her too much?  Am I holding her enough?  What is this red mark on the back of her head?  Is she happy?  Is her face supposed to look all swollen and smushed?  What do I do with all of this hair?  (Ha.)

Everyone's giving you advice, and you're sleep-deprived, and you can't remember what life was like without this utterly helpless human whose well-being and very existence depends on YOU.

Yes, these things are hard.  So very hard.  

Hard enough, in fact, to send many perfectly sane women into a tailspin of emotions and hormones involving seemingly rational tearful outbursts over the most random things.  ("But, babe, Sarah McLachlan is telling me that an animal is cruelly abused every hour!  Look at their little faces!  We could be their angels -- it's only 60 cents a day!  Listen to the MUSIC!")

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But the exhaustion and the emotions and the uncertainty of those first few weeks aren't the hardest part about having a baby.  Not by a long shot.

No, the hardest part about creating a life is learning to deal with the sensation of walking around with your heart outside your chest.

Because the moment they first lay that wrinkled little thing in your arms, you've lost your heart forever.  

There will never be another moment in your life where you aren't completely consumed with an overwhelming love for this little person who has your lips and your husband's eyes.  She just stole the show, front and center, and your days of putting your own desires first are long gone.

And the strange thing is, you wouldn't have it any other way.

You watch as your husband falls asleep with her in his arms, and your heart bursts with the knowledge that the two things you love most in the world are laying right there, together, on your couch.  

You leave her for the first time, and you miss her so much you could cry.  So you do.  

And you know that you would give your life for hers without even the slightest hesitation, because the world would be utterly useless to you without her in it.

Yes, friend.  Having a baby is hard.

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But by golly if it isn't the most wonderful thing you'll ever do.

Images by Lauren Ammerman Photography

It's Friday...

I feel like there are so. many. things I want to tell you guys right now.  Nothing major... just a lot of ordinary moments.  Hopefully I'll have some time to sit and stay awhile sometime soon.

Until then... a Friday post. I love Friday posts.  I'm linking up with Leslie, Lauren, Joy, Natasha, and Darci (why are there so many amazing link-ups on Friday?) to confess, share, and unwind.

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Once upon a time, I was a girl who was very much interested in beautiful hair and makeup.  Today I am a mommy who usually can't devote more than ten minutes to either and hasn't played around with new makeup or hair techniques in ages.  BUT I recently re-discovered a fabulous blog that I had originally seen when her genius highlighting and contouring tutorial spread like wildfire on Pinterest.  And now I'm all kinds of motivated to get out of this funk I'm in.  So if you're into all things pretty, as I am, go check out Cara's blog and be prepared to feel incredibly frumpy (but in the good way?).


I've been blasting Miley's new song on repeat for the last twenty-four hours.  And, as a result, I've sunk into a pit of self-loathing because I'm a twenty-seven (almost twenty-eight!) year-old adult and because I do not like Miley Cyrus's voice.  Except in this song.  And Party in the U.S.A.  Whatevs.  Check it out.  From the looks of the video (and the lyrics), she's clearly trying to shed that Disney image...


Micah and I are sneaking out on a date night tomorrow!  It has been almost a month since we had our little getaway in Chicago, and I'm in need of some one-on-one time with my handsome man.  I'm still not sure what we're doing yet (and could definitely use some recommendations for something fun to do), but it will definitely involve something delicious to eat and a big ole' glass of sweet tea.


Please forgive me if I've already mentioned this here before, but one of my pet peeves is the (incorrect) usage of an apostrophe to make things plural, and I've been seeing it everywhere lately.

For example, this is incorrect:  "I bought four apple's today at the grocery store."  

Ain't no shame in just tacking the "s" on the end of the word, friend.  Don't be scared.  

It's also incorrect to use an apostrophe to make a last name plural (example: The Hargrave's.... ick.  I shudder just typing that.), except when doing so to make it possessive (example:  The Hargraves' home).  But I feel like this is becoming more generally accepted, and I suppose I'm just going to have to get over it.



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She is perfection.

That is all.
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