October 25, 2011

My First Giveaway!

I remember when I got my first digital camera.  It wasn't that long ago.  I remember wondering how I was ever going to get real pictures again.  You know, ones you put in frames and in photo albums.  Then, I remember someone telling me about Shutterfly.  I've never had another worry at all!  And my photo albums are full and I could probably use a few more since Baby Sister came along.

So guess what?
It's that time of year again.  
That's right.  
Christmas cards!
Christmas is only 2 months away. I can hardly believe it!

Remember this post last November?  Man, what a great deal that was.

Well, this year, Shutterfly has stepped it up!  They are offering even more for bloggers!  And I get to share it with my faithful readers.

I already have my photo appointment made to get our Christmas pictures done.  I think I have already picked out the card I want to use as well.  We'll see how my pictures turn out!

Not long ago, I went to their site to look at the new card designs they had so I could get an idea of how/where I wanted to do my Christmas pictures.

There selection has expanded quite a bit over the past few years!

They have Christmas cards.
Here are a few I like!
Click on the picture to take you to the order page!

I think this one would be great for my bro's family!
They also have other cards like birth announcements, thank you cards, etc. Just a few short weeks ago, I ordered Baby Sister's birth announcements from here!

They also have other greeting cards.  It just so happens that I ordered birthday invitations for Big Sister last year.  They were so cute!  And easy!

They basically have a card for any occasion!

How would you like to experience their Christmas cards for yourself?  Leave a comment telling me whether you've used Shutterfly before and what you liked about it or why you would like to try them! 
Shutterfly has generously provided three of my blog readers with codes to receive 25 FREE Christmas cards!  Winners will be chosen November 4th!

Have fun!
Comment away!

October 21, 2011

Watch out world!

This girl cooked 2 recipes Sunday night.  Yep, you read that correctly!  This girl who rarely cooks because I don't care to.  No desire whatsoever.  But, I've decided I must learn and endure for the sake of my children.

I refuse to cook for the family when the hubby is home (he's on 3-11 this week) because all he does is tell me how I could have done it better. Oh, and makes fun of me for following a recipe to a T!  I need direction people.  Plus, I like a good casserole because they are generally easy.  The hubby thinks you should have at least 3 or 4 different things to eat each meal.  Oh, and he LOVES to fry anything.  Thus why I haven't lost all my baby weight.  That's about to change though.  That's another post though.

I have recently become obsessed with the Pioneer Woman, mainly because I LOVE her step by step PICTURE recipes.  That's exactly what I need.   A picture to show me exactly what it all is supposed to look like.

So I decided to try some new things.

So I made this recipe for Scalloped Hasselback Potatoes.  You see, nice pictures.

And here is my final product, sans sour cream because I forgot it.

Not as pretty as that picture, but not bad for my first time.  I will recommend making the slices a bit thinner, as the potato needed to cook longer than suggested to get 'done.'

I also attempted this recipe for Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini, even though I didn't have all the same ingredients.  And I don't have a panini maker.   It was good but there is no picture proof basically because it was NOT pretty.  Good but not good to look at. HA!

The kiddo enjoyed a goldfish shaped PBJ sandwich with some pretzels.  I'm working on her branching out too.

So watch out world!  I haven't cooked any more this week but it was a start!

October 20, 2011

9 weeks

This cutie is 9 weeks old today.  Man, time flies.  She is sweet as pie and adores her big sister.  She smiles all the time, especially when Sissy is singing to her.

Here's the customary info that probably no one is interested in but me.

Diaper - Size 1 diaper, but will be moving up soon.

Weight - Was 10 pounds and 4 ounces on 9-28. That was the last time we officially checked. I need to weigh her at home just to see what she is now.  We don't go back to the Dr. until Dec. 1.

Clothes - Size 0-3 and some just 3 months.

Activities - Smiling all the time.  We love seeing those 2 dimples and those bright blue eyes.

Sleeping - She still gets up about once a night but I can handle that.  Big Sister didn't completely sleep through the night (which I call sleeping 7-9 hours, not what the 'experts' say of 5 hours).  She still naps a lot during the day but is staying more awake more often.  She goes down for the night between 9 and 10 pm on her own, in her crib.  She usually wakes up for the day around 6 or 6:30.  Then falls asleep usually on the way to the sitter's.

Nothing else really of note.  She usually likes bath time but only if Sissy is there to help.  I gave her a bath last night and Big Sister was not there to help and she cried through the whole thing!

Baby Sister is also an extremely gassy baby.  Luckily, she passes it well. hehe.  We give her gas drops at least 1-3 times a day and that seems to help.

Ok, I think that's enough for today.  My babies are getting so big. Big Sister's 5th birthday party is already scheduled and is only less than 3 months away. Wow.  Next year, kindergarten. The next year, college.


October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

October 17, 2011


There is a blog that I have read for a while now, written by Angie Smith.

You can read it here

She is married to the lead singer of Selah and lives in TN. They lost their precious baby girl Audrey in 2007, after she lived for just a few short hours.  They knew she was not going to live long but her story is powerful.  I've also read her book about the experience as well.

Since Saturday was National Day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day, she posted about a new website that a friend of hers has done.

It's called Lost for Words cards.  I wish I had known about the site or they'd designed it a long time ago.  It's cards for the times when you don't know what to say.  Words can't replace the loss but the right words sure give encouragement.  I saw quite a few on there that I could have used in the past.

So go check it out.  Pretty good stuff.

October 16, 2011

Sayings from the kiddo

Overheard at my house tonight at bedtime.

"Feel my muscles.  They are so big.  Just like Samson's.  I'm so strong that I can lift my Barbie jeep all by myself.  WITH ONE HAND."

If you know my child, you understand the dramatics that gets all caps.

Kiddo's class went to the Pumpkin Patch not long ago and the kids were so wild because they were soooo excited.  On the drive over, we had a conversation that went like this.

Me, "Now, don't be acting all wild and crazy once we get over there."
Kiddo, "Why?"
Me, "We have to behave so we can go on other field trips."
Kiddo, "But Mama, that's the way God made me!"

Who am I to argue with that??????????

October 15, 2011


October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  In honor of this day, I am re-posting our story.  Warning, it's long and emotional.

Originally posted on January 26.  Read it here.

Now that everyone has seen our news, I want to be able to Keep It Real and tell you the entire story.  Only a handful of people know this story and it's not one I share easily. I've written and rewritten this post numerous times. And sorry, it's long....

Fast forward to May 2010.  I was VERY surprised to have some pregnancy symptoms.  Waited and then took a test.  Positive.  SHOCKED.  Not 100% shocked because we weren't really preventing but for other reasons I'm not getting into here.

Immediately called my super fabulous and wonderful Doctor to schedule an appointment.  They told me to come in the next day for a urine test.  Did that and it was really positive.  I was not supposed to actually see my Dr. that day because it was his surgery day.  He just happened to be walking by and saw my chart outside the door.  So he knocked and came in.  He was surprised to see me.  I told him I was surprised to be there.

Having the most wonderful Dr. I know, I told him I was terrified I was going to have twins since they ran in my family.  He offered to check and see.  Had an ultrasound at 4 weeks. Amazing.  Only showed 1 tiny speck in there.

They scheduled me an appointment to come back in 2 weeks for me 6 week check up and ultrasound.  I remember my 6 week with kiddo.  I got to hear the heartbeat.  That early.  Awesome sound.

We've had many, many friends that have had trouble conceiving or with miscarriages so I was always concerned.  The closer my appointment got, the worse I felt about it.

So, two weeks later, I was back at my Dr.'s office, lying to people I saw there telling them I was there for my yearly check-up.

They called me back for the ultrasound first.  I did not have a good feeling about it.  There was a new young girl (granted this was 3 years since I had been, she may not have been that new) that did my ultrasound.  I saw the screen.  I saw a sac and nothing else.  She could get no heartbeat.

I knew I had lost the baby.

The sweet girl kept saying, "You must not be as far along as the think."  She was wonderful.  Never led me to believe any different.  But I'm no dummy.

I went back in the waiting room for what seemed like EVER.  And it was a complete ZOO.  Too many things going on out there that was getting my blood pressure even higher.

Finally, the nurse called me back.  I sat in the room for about another 30 agonizing minutes.

Finally, my Dr. came in and was very solemn.  He told me that he didn't like what he saw on the ultrasound and he wanted to do some lab work to confirm or not.

We talked for a long time about everything.  He said that God has a plan for everyone and sometimes it's not on our time, but His alone.  I agreed but it was still hard to hear.

I got all teary-eyed (even tho he told me not to) and said that I felt like it was my fault because I said I didn't want another January baby.

Remember my Regret post?  This is what I was talking about.

It's been hard to let that statement go.  I don't want another January baby.  6 words.  Still tough to hear or write.  I've wrestled with this for a long time.  Who says that?  I knew I would never be able to fully forgive myself and let it go until I was pregnant again.

I had the blood work that day and then went back 2 days later to repeat to see if my levels had gone up or down.  I knew it was bad news so I text my Dr. and asked if he had my results.  He said yes and that he would call me in a few minutes.

When he called he told me that his worst (and mine) fears were confirmed.  No baby.

We discussed options and decided to have a D and C.  If you don't know what it is, you don't need to know.  It's basically outpatient surgery.

A week later, I was having outpatient surgery.  This was only the 2nd surgery I've ever had.  The other time was when I had tubes when I was like 4.

Before my procedure, I asked my Dr. when we could start trying again.  It took the hubby and I most of the 2 weeks to really get excited and over the shock of learning we were pregnant.  We knew we wanted to start trying again as soon as we could.

The Dr. told me I couldn't do anything for 2 weeks but could do whatever I wanted after that.

So in August, we started trying again.

God was teaching me patience.  His time, not mine.  His time, not mine.

Each and every month, I was disappointed.  I think it was October when I text my Dr. to ask if I was ever going to be back to normal.  He said to give it another couple of months and then make an appointment to see him.

Fast forward to December.  I was overdue for my yearly exam with my Dr.  So I scheduled that appointment for the beginning of the month.

We talked for a long time about everything.  He and his wife (our pediatrician) are and have been so wonderful to us!  He encouraged us to keep trying and not get discouraged.  He even told me a story about this girl that came to see him for her yearly exam and the next month was in for her first OB exam.  He said that kind of weirded him out a bit.  We laughed and I left, hopeful.

I honestly thought God was telling us to keep trying but that he still was teaching us about patience and that it's HIS TIME, not ours.

The closer it got to Christmas, the more tired I became.  I usually stay up late and get up early.  I just assumed it was catching up to me.  I was drinking lots more water (trying to be good) so I was going potty (sorry, I have a 4 year old) more frequently.  I was eating less (portion control) so I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I didn't think much about it all until a few days before Christmas.

I honestly thought my mind was playing tricks on me.  I went to the drugstore on Dec. 23rd with 100 of my closest friends last-minute Christmas shopping.  I knew nothing would be open over the weekend with it being Christmas so I sucked it up and grabbed a pregnancy test and checked out in cosmetics.

When I got home that night, I was reading the side of the box for accuracy rates.  It said that 4 days before your missed period, it was 51% accurate.  I liked those odds and if you haven't already guessed it, I'm impatient.

When I woke up Christmas Eve morning, the hubby was at work so I took the test just to see.  I knew it would be negative and I would start the next day.  Usually how it happens.

To my GREAT surprise, it said this...

January 17, 2011 (my Dad's 66 birthday) would have been my due date had I not miscarried.  Extremely bittersweet to find out this news out in December!

Now my new due date is September 1, 2011.  Just slightly delayed from original due date.

I've learned that it's soooo His time and not mine!

And to all my friends that have been through this before and I have not seemed compassionate toward, it's hard to fully understand until you've lived it, been through it.  I sincerely apologize.  I get it now.  All of it.  And the more people I tell, the more I realize it's so common.  Even though, it's never easy to tell the story.  It's much easier to write.  And, while I am still nervous because I know something can still happen, after seeing pictures and hearing a SWEET heartbeat at my ultrasound last week, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me.

No one understands how much of a failure you feel like unless you  have been there.  My dear sweet friend and sorority sister Adrienne has has 7 pregnancies and only 1 baby.  She and her husband are so wonderful that they have also adopted 3 more kids and have gone from a family of 3 to 6 in 2 years.  If you haven't read their story, go to her blog to read it. Super inspirational!

I am glad that we had chosen to wait to spread our news.  It helped me knowing that not many people knew what I was going through.  Though, it did help to talk with some who had been through it before.

The hardest thing was telling my Mom and my mother in law.  Neither of them knew about the pregnancy so they were shocked as well.  There were some people I didn't tell until after my surgery and to them, I am sorry.  It was extremely hard to talk about and still is. 

So with all that said, we are elated for this baby and the things to come.  We also have a niece or nephew that will be here about a month before ours.  We could not be more excited for Josh and Mar and Blake!  They were the first to find out our secret since stupid me left the pictures on my camera!

With all that said, I would still cherish any prayers that you could send my way.  I don't think I will get over the nerves until I can start feeling this sweet little bean moving and kicking!  I have more anxiety each and every time I tell someone.  I told my co-workers Friday and I was almost in a cold sweat.  I was shaking the rest of the day.  Weird?  No.  It's real.  My fear is paralyzing.  But over the weekend I decided just to fully turn it all over to God.  If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.  If not, we will try again.  My sweet hubby (don't call him sweet that often) told me Christmas Eve not to get discouraged if the same thing happened again.  And that we would try again.  He is right.  And yeah, I DON'T say that often.

And I want to say thanks to all of you for choosing to go on this journey with us.  We are only 9 weeks so it's still early.  Kiddo seems to be excited.  She's had baby names picked out for what seems like a year.  If you ask her, she will tell you she will have a baby brother named Caleb.  Not necessarily the name we like, but for now, that's what she can call "it".  Nephew says we are also having a boy, but named Equipment.  More specifically, Front Shovel.  Has a ring to it?  ha!

Oh, and as of this very day in 1996, the hubby and I started dating.  Man, that was a long time ago.  15 years ago.  That's half of my life.  We've already outlasted most marriages.  And still going strong!

End of original post.

All I can say now is WOW.  We've been sooooo blessed.  We have a niece who is only 3 weeks older than our newborn.  We have an 8 week old who is sweet as pie.  I don't know if it's the fact that my hormones are all out of whack still or it's everything we have been through, but the connection with baby sister is so different that it was with her sister.  Or maybe's it's that I've already gone back to work and I stayed home for 12 weeks the first time.  

All in all, I think it's simply that I know now what we were missing.  People always say that you never know what you've got until you lose it.  Soooo true.

Our life might be crazy with 2 girls (still hard to believe), a shift-working daddy and a working, crazy mama, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  

And I know one day I will get to meet my sweet angel.  We are abundantly blessed.  Thank you Lord.

October 11, 2011


Now that I've gone back to work I am trying to get into a routine that includes my running.  So far, I've only been successful at this one day.  I'm working on it.  I'm just super swamped and trying to catch up on all my work so some days I never even leave the building.

The last time I did go running, I had a few funny thoughts about the music I listen to when running.

Y'all know I'm a big fan of Christian music.  Third Day songs are perfect for running to.  But here a few samples of the songs that came across my iPod last week that gave me a little chuckle.

The very first song?
These Thousand Hills by Third Day.  Very fitting song for where I run.  Full of unrelenting hills. Great for training but none are fun.

Live Like We're Dying by Kris Allen.  Good beat and great message.  Ironic song that came on around mile 3 or 4.  I thought I was dying.

Sweet Serendipity by Lee Dewyze.  "And I'm doing just fine. I'm always landing on my feet. In the nic of time and by the skin of my teeth. I ain't gonna stress. Cause the worst ain't happened yet. Something's watching over me like sweet serendipity."

Make Your Move by Third Day.  "Won't ya make a move before I change my mind?"  HA.  I RARELY pass people when I'm running.  Unless they are walking, slowly.

Move by Mercy Me. It's got a very good beat.  "When life won't play along and right keeps going wrong.  And I can't seem to find my way... Gonna move. Move. Move.  Gonna move.  Everything is about to change. No matter what may come.  Gotta move to a different drum, no matter what life brings.  Gotta move, gotta move to a different beat."  Love it!

Don't Give Up Hope by Third Day.  "There's always something better waiting around the corner."  I sure hope so, I'm about to die before mile 1 is over.  These hills.

Wanted Dead or Alive by Daughtry.  'Nuff said.  Also, It's Not Over by Daughtry.  This run will never end.

Well, there's always Kelly Clarkson too.  My Life Would Suck Without You.  My life doesn't suck without running, but it sucks being fat so the running helps with that.

Maybe we should end with a little Journey?  Don't stop believing!

You are welcome.  I can hear you all singing it now.

(MAK, that last bit was just for you! Don't stop believing.)

October 10, 2011


My oldest kiddo has been singing some songs during Sunday School and I caught her this weekend teaching them to her sister.  It was too sweet for me to not catch on my phone.  I'm so thankful for a good smartphone that allows me to capture these moments.  Although, I did make her do it again because the first time she was ALL up in her sister's face singing.

So thanks to Mandie, my child sings these 2 songs plus Baby Shark (doop doop) about a gazillion times a day.  That and 'I will do my very best for you God.'

I'm so glad we are raising our children in such a wonderful Christian atmosphere.

Sorry, I can't figure out how to rotate the bottom video. Thought I had but apparently not.

October 6, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness

Here is a post I did this time last year and unfortunately there is still no cure.  We must continue to fight.  A year later, I've known even more women affected by this horrible disease.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer affects so many people in this world today and it makes me sick. I've seen friends battle it, families battle it, strangers battle it and some of them lose the battle. The ones I know personally that have survived it are much stronger women that I. Their faith is amazing and never faltering. It's amazing and terrifying to watch, all at the same time.

I hope they will one day find a cure for all cancer. I do believe God has a time and a place for everything, even cancer, and my hope is that all the people going through get a chance to know Him through their journey.

Here is a video I saw that brings tears of joy to my eyes! It's so sweet and inspiring. Healthcare workers are truly a blessing to someone, especially going through cancer.

So in honor of October, make sure that you all do a self breast exam weekly and/or get or schedule a mammogram. Early detection is the key. And no age is unaffected.

If you want to read a truly inspiring story of a young woman (younger than ME) who lost her fight with breast cancer shortly after giving birth to their first child, go here to read about the Sullivan's journey. But, I warn you, be ready to cry. It's an amazing story of how their faith has prevailed.

October 5, 2011

Word-Filled Wednesday

Ok, if you know me well enough (The Cuddler and SIL), you know I have a slight fascination with all things Boomama.  My SIL went to a conference a few weeks ago that Boomama was speaking at and I told her to do some serious stalking and get a picture with her since I wasn't there.

Adequate stalking accomplished!
I borrowed this from my SIL's Facebook page.  She posted just for me!

Then there was some tweeting happening between myself and Boomama and the Cuddler, but that's between us! ha!  What happens on Twitter, stays on Twitter!

My point is that I think Boomama and I would be BFF's if we lived closer to each other. We both speak all things MSU, Survivor, and the love language of manicures and pedicures.

Her post on Monday was hilarious, as usual.  But what really caught my attention (and the giggles) were the comments.  So please go to her page and read the post and all the comments!  I promise you will laugh. A lot.

Click here to view about the 'bridge of fun.'


October 4, 2011

Life is Precious

Man, there is so much going on these days.

I'm having a tough day friends.  So much bad stuff happening around the world and in my small little world.

Sitting in Sunday School this past weekend and some friends got a call that his dad had been in a bad motorcycle wreck.  We found out he didn't survive before church was over.  62 years old.  Had just watched his daughter and granddaughter Friday on the Homecoming court.  How awful.

I dropped my 6 and a half week old off at the baby sitter's house this morning for the first time.  We really like her but it was still hard.  No one should be keeping my baby but me.  At least for a few more weeks.

And it comes in 3's.  My mom just called to tell me my uncle passed away.  He had been sick but we really thought he was getting better.  He was such a sweet man.  He had been a umpire for many many years and we always enjoyed getting to see him during church softball tournaments, etc.  His wife has her own health issues and is about to be moved into an assisted living situation.

Man, we take things for granted.  I think I kissed my baby 100 times in about 10 minutes last night.  Life is soooooooooooo precious.

Please go home and kiss your children, hug your family and tell them how much you love them.

But things can change, in an instant.

October 3, 2011

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It's back to work I go.  Not that I wanted to.  I love my job but would really have liked to stay home for a few more weeks.

It's noon and I'm already exhausted.  I feel like I haven't done anything yet.  I'm still playing catch up. 

Ahhhh, one day I will get back in a routine.  On the plus side, I was almost 10 minutes EARLY for work today.  But only because Mom was meeting me at the office to pick up the baby.  Tomorrow will be a different story when she goes to the sitter's for the first time.

Why can't all women take 12 weeks off and get paid to do it?  We are working our tails off anyway.  Just not on work stuff.

Welcome to the American way.