Tuesday, May 28, 2013


The 39-week mark is here! Only one more week until Riley's due date, and I'm starting to wonder if he's holding out on me. He's proving wrong our suspicions that he would arrive early. I guess since God blessed us with Riley in His perfect timing, it's only fitting that we welcome him into the world in God's timing, too. Yet another lesson I'm learning in letting go of control and being patient. But between you and me, I am still eating spicy foods, just in case!

Switching hospitals didn't work out, but my regular OB is on vacation this week, so we may end up with a different doctor after all. I just have to believe that every detail is being divinely taken care of. I am still planning another Hypnobirth and focusing on a smooth, drama-free labor. And do you know who else is considering Hypnobirthing? Kate Middleton! She suffered hyperemesis gravidarum as well, something I've had in both pregnancies. Man, it's somewhat exhausting being copied by royalty. And also kind of flattering...

I've been doing a LOT of resting. My parents are keeping our firstborn so we both can get some rest, and so my husband can catch up on his projects around the house. He's been so good about taking over for me when he gets home that he has pushed his to-do list aside. But as of today, he's put a fresh coat of paint on our front porch railing, our kitchen, and some accessories in the nursery. Not to mention our yard is immaculate! I believe he's nesting more than I am.

We'll have to do some before and after pictures of the kitchen, formerly tan and now a silvery grey, once we accessorize a bit. And the nursery still isn't ready for a big reveal, but here's a sneak peak:

We're going with a woodland/forest friends theme for Riley's nursery: a lot of neutrals with pops of emerald green and pumpkin orange. The green we used for the nightstand is Behr Happy Camper.

We found the lantern lamp on sale at Pottery Barn Kids this weekend! 

There's still a lot to be done, so this will be a work in progress, but I'm having so much fun getting inspired! Here are a few pieces of inspiration I've found:

This was my inspiration for Riley's nightstand, and I love the way the frames are arranged over the crib! See it here.

Wouldn't this tree stump cushion be so cute?

And how about this clock?

I love the idea of slicing up a tree trunk for the walls.

I will say this: as grateful as I am for my parents helping out with Liam, our house feels so empty without him here. I'm so thankful for the rest, but Liam leaves such a big hole! Ready to meet Riley and have both my boys back in the house!

Friday, May 24, 2013

25 Random Things

Honestly, I love reading random facts about other people on the Internet. It just amazes me to learn about the uniquely interesting things that you'd never guess about other people. 

As I'm waiting around (not so patiently) for Riley to make his arrival (I'm 38 1/2 weeks now!), I thought I would post these 25 random facts about myself that I once posted to Facebook. I hope you enjoy seeing the slightly weird side of me!

1. I can't sleep well at night if I leave my closet door open.

2. On days in which I wear my Michael Kors black patent leather ankle boots and bright red fingernail polish, I secretly feel invincible.

3. I am in an exclusive, committed relationship with proper grammar.

4. I enjoy opening a brand new jar of peanut butter. The top of the jar has the most peanuts.

5. My top five StrengthsFinder 2.0 strengths are: strategic, responsibility, belief, communication and developer. If you have no idea what I'm talking about and have never taken the test, you should. It's a vital part of self-discovery.

6. It takes nothing more than brightly colored paper clips or a pack of Sharpies to brighten my day.

7. I detest having to remove my makeup and wash my face every night. It takes so long

8. One time I got lost in downtown Birmingham and had to have a police escort to my gynecologist appointment. He found me driving the wrong way down a one-way street in the ghetto. After I sobbed uncontrollably about being lost, he stopped traffic for me so I could turn around, and then let me follow him to my doctor's visit.

9. I have had five broken bones: two in my left arm (at the same time) from someone pushing me down on the playground in sixth grade; my left ring finger from tripping over my cousin while playing indoor hide-and-seek; my left collarbone from falling off the bed when I was two or three, and my tailbone from rollerblading.

10. I've never watched, or wanted to watch, any of the Star Wars movies. 

11. I had a bee fly up my shorts when I was little, and it stung me five times. I'm allergic to yellow jackets, and as a reflex, if one comes near me I will hold the hems of my shorts so it can't happen again.

12. Kitchen gadgets, office supplies, cosmetics and accessories—these are a few of my favorite things. 

13. Sometimes I, too, want to play backyard football. That doesn't make me any less of a girl.

14. I detest dishonesty. I will not be your friend if you lie to me. Period. And likewise, you can bet your shiny pony that I will never lie to you.

15. I frequently leave cabinet doors and drawers open slightly because I don't like the noise it makes when they slam shut.

16. I hate the game Monopoly.

17. I used to chase sunsets. Meaning, I was obsessed with taking pictures of them.

18. I cry every time I watch Rocky Balboa. I also have three Rocky posters, the soundtrack, all the movies, and a Rocky doll.

19. I play bass and acoustic guitars, but I secretly fantasize about being able to play drums.

20. I love to write pretty much more than any other activity in the world.

21. My ideal job is a physical therapist or a personal trainer. 

22. For me, running is as much a spiritual experience as it is physical. There is something so divine about the act of enduring through intense pain to reach a goal, sacrificing comfort for commitment, and practicing the lost art of refusing to give up that brings me to a deeper relationship with God. 

23. Clowns, cats and birds—These three things send chills up my spine. And those subhuman creatures from I Am Legend. And basically any characters in face paint.

24. I believe that marriage is the bloodiest battle one may ever endure, but it's absolutely worth the fight.

25. I believe you have to lose your life to find it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out all fear. 1 John 4:18

Currently, I’m reading my way through a new book that is changing the way I view my role as a mom, in a very good way. I could write a dozen posts about the nuggets of truth I’ve been absorbing from The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Dr. Meg Meeker, but I wanted to start with the chapter I’m currently in, “Habit #9: Let Go of Fear.”

This is a very timely chapter for me as I am preparing myself physically, emotionally and mentally to give birth. Facing my deepest fears head-on is a crucial part in assuring that my mind is clear and at peace when I give birth, so that I don’t feel anxious and weighed down. It’s also a beast of a challenge to take on! Does anyone really enjoy this process? I’ve been an emotional train wreck this week for sure!

No one told me when I was pregnant that one of the overarching traits of a mom was to constantly worry about her children. And quite frankly, being a parent frightens me more than I know how to handle. First and foremost, I’m terrified of the world my kids will grow up in, and the things they may face, and the possibility that I won’t be there to protect them from it all. Our world is so completely different than it was 30 years ago, and the temptations and threats that lie ahead for our children are ones I couldn’t have imagined when I was a child. Not to mention that while our government is continually trying to strip more and more authority from parents, they still hold parents highly accountable for the actions of their children.

I feel so much pressure to produce perfect children because I fear that if I make one mistake, they won’t have what it takes to survive, let alone make a difference, in this world. And I’m afraid that every decision I make will significantly alter the course of their lives. If I let them watch television, it will prevent them from developing the ability to focus and learn. If I don’t squelch their temper tantrums, I will produce children who are out of control. If I let them eat sugar, they will develop diabetes. If I deviate from their routine, they won’t learn discipline and self-control. If I give up one inch of control, things will get out of control fast. This kind of pressure is paralyzing at best, absolutely crushing at its worst. And if I continue to let it taunt me, I may just go batty! (And so will everyone else around me.)

 “We fear something horrible happening to [our kids] because we can’t control what will or won’t happen. Furthermore, we are afraid that we might not be able to handle the pain, that joy will never return, or that we may never find meaning to live if we don’t have our kids. But none of this is necessarily true, and even if it was, what could we possibly do to stop it? We can give up control because the truth is, we have a lot less than we think we do anyway.”

It took two years for us to get pregnant with Liam, and Riley was an unexpected blessing when we had been sure the timing wasn’t right. We obviously had no control over the point in our lives that our children came to us; they were a gift from God. I think it’s the perfect time for me to realize Who ultimately controls the course of their lives—Who really orders their steps. All I can do is pray for the power to parent through my own weakness, and entrust the fate of my children to their Creator, who has a divine purpose of His own for their lives.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


In all of the times that I’ve prayed for God to give me His vision for our family, the one thing I kept sensing was that I was created to be a mom of boys. I don’t know if that means I’ll never have a girl, but I always knew my life would be full of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. I couldn’t love it any more than I do!

My days with Liam are never boring! He is the sweetest little guy, always eager to please. He’s friendly and caring and funny, and he amazes me with how quickly he learns new things.

A snapshot of life with Liam (none of these photos are staged!):

Wearing his camo boots. All the time. With everything. Even PJs.

Lining up rocks and chalk.

Hiding toy cars all over the house, under every pillow on his bed, under his bed, on the windowsills, etc. I even found one stuffed inside one of his boots yesterday.

“Fixing” everything with his screwdriver, from the front screen door to the air vents.

Inspecting the dirt underneath a picnic table at the park.

Taking a break from his workbench to grab a muffin and a good read.

This little guy rarely leaves his side. Lately, he insists we kiss his “bear bear” goodnight, too.

For those of you with little boys, what's your favorite part of sharing life with them?