Baby Q #2

Friday, May 2, 2014

So, the big secret I've been keeping...
Baby Q #2 is expected to make their arrival in December!
I'm sporting a lovely little almost 8 week bump.

I haven't been nearly as sick as I was with Lylah. Thank you, Jesus! But I've also been a lot more tired this time around. I can't sleep enough. I'm so fatigued that it's a miracle if I get much of anything done.

This baby has been prayed for for a very, very long time. Long before Lylah was brought into this world. We have always wanted lots of babies. Lots- meaning four!
With my condition though, we're now thinking two, maybe three if I'm very lucky.
 Speaking of my condition... I'll have surgery the first week of June. My Dr. is going to place a cerclage (stitches on the cervix to keep it closed) and strict bed rest will start right after surgery.

If you're a believer, I'd really appreciate your prayers! I know I'm in for a very long stressful journey. I've prepared myself for that. It isn't going to be easy at all but if it's God's will, we're praying we carry this baby to term, and bring him/her home with us healthy and happy. I couldn't be more excited but I've also been battling some anxiety this go around too. Mostly why I've been so quiet. It's hard for me to admit when I'm scared because that means I'm not trusting Him. I'm trying my hardest but I do have some fear. I'd so much rather be free and trust Him. And I'm getting there <3


Goodbyes & Keepin Secrets...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey, friends!
It's been awhile. Week before last my sweet friend lost his life due to a drunk driver. After giving up a huge fight his family decided to take him off the ventilator. He was pronounced brain dead the day before. And he also had suffered several other major injuries that would not allow him to ever "wake up." While this was no easy decision for his family they knew it was the right one. Michael would not want to live that way. Especially when he could save so many lives. He brought it upon himself to become an organ donor without even mentioning it to many friends or even his family. We weren't at all surprised though because that was his nature. He was a very giving, very kind, very sweet man. His smile would melt your heart. His laugh was the most infectious contagious thing I've ever heard. I swear him arriving to Heaven must have been the most beautiful site for all of the Angels up there. And now I have yet another wonderful guardian angel to watch over me. I'm so blessed to have even known this man, let alone called him such a great friend. He had the most beautiful soul.

So, I'd just like to encourage y'all to spread the word about my dear friend, Michael! Look up #MCstrong Pay it Forward on Facebook. So many wonderful acts of kindness have brought our community and so many others together to honor this man. Living a way he did every single day of his life. My purpose now will be to advocate against drunk driving and for organ donation. As well as "Paying it Forward." Please, please, PLEASE remember never drink and drive. It just isn't worth it. The costs alone in a DUI is astonishing. But the thought of injuring or killing yourself along with others is unbearable. It is I consider, the most selfish careless act any person can do. If you don't care enough about saving your own life think about the one's you are endangering by being on the road when you clearly shouldn't. (Rant over) Also, by being an organ donor Michael's final act of kindness was saving 200 + lives. His organs and tissue donation is a beautiful gift I know he's celebrating in Heaven. Seriously, this kid loved the spot light! The attention he is getting now that he's gone is certainly making him smile up in Heaven. If you feel that it is something you believe in and is right for you, I encourage you to become an organ donor. It's a wonderful beautiful gift that will continue to give long, long, long after you're gone.

So, I've been quiet mostly because I've been dealing with the loss of my friend, and it brought me back to some dark painful days with losing Lylah. At Michael's funeral our pastor made a very good, unique point that I've never been told before. He basically said if you're angry with God that's a good thing. It means you know what he's capable of. You know from all of the stories in the Bible that God could deliver a miracle, could bring Michael back, or could have saved him and chose not to. He didn't deliver. It means you believe. That was a wonderful thought. One I'm still thinking about almost a week later. I was angry because he was just accepted to Medical School. Had a very long promising life ahead of him and it was stolen from him. Stolen by someone who was so careless and selfish and just plain stupid! But, then I stopped and realized Michael would not want us angry. He was a very strong passionate believer in God. If he were here and this was another friend of ours I wouldn't doubt that he'd say, God has better plans ahead for him. His story isn't finished. There's a plan. God takes the ones he needs to bring others to Him. And y'all it's crazy how many people now believe in God because of Michael's passing. So So SO many people have become organ donors. Have decided to "Pay it Forward" in Michael's honor with simple acts of kindness to strangers. It's remarkable to see the outpouring of goodness in a world that I thought it was lost. 
It's definitely evident that God called Mike Home because He knew the good that would come from it. I'm not so sure that the same results would happen from someone who passed at a later age. This shocked our town, pulled us all together, and encouraged nonbelievers to BELIEVE!
God's work is really beautiful.

Like the title says, keepin secrets... I've got one.
That's also why it's been pretty quiet around here. A lot is going to be changing on my little piece of the internet. I'm a horrible, I mean HORRIBLE secret keeper. I smirk, smile, my eyes tell a story without me even knowing it. While, I know y'all can't see me I still can't write without spilling the beans.

So, wait about another week and my secret will be out ;)
Can't wait!


It's The Little Things: Clinging to Hope

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I wish this Wednesday for It’s The Little Things link up with JessAshley I could share some beautiful moment I had with my family or a photo that brought a ray of sunshine to my day in my previous week, but today my heart is heavy. And the only ray of sunshine I can feel is the glimmer of hope I am desperately clinging to.

Last weekend a very dear friend from high school was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. He sustained several injuries and was rushed to the hospital. Within minutes they began operating on his brain. Later we learned, the woman that hit my friend along with 3 young women was driving under the influence (twice the legal limit) she didn’t believe she drove and didn’t remember getting in the vehicle, she also ran a red light going roughly 45-60 mph in a 30 mph zone and t-boned the car my friend was in. He was on the side of most impact. He has undergone now two brain surgeries but is responding to stimuli. Which is a VERY good sign in this situation.

As the hours and days progressed we learned he suffered a stroke but his diligently working nurses and doctors were optimistic and hopeful for his survival. Although, he had been in a coma from the beginning. It wasn’t until yesterday that we learned otherwise. My friend suffered another massive stroke Monday night that caused him to lose complete function of the right side of his brain and severely damaging the left side. A few hours later he was pronounced brain dead. It wouldn’t be long before he passed away we were told, and they wanted his family to consider organ donation. Because he's so young and his heart and lungs were stable they don't know exactly when he'll go. They gave him a mere couple days at the most. But definitively said he will not survive this.

My dear friend was a year younger than me but was a part of a group of friends that we all considered family. He majored in exercise science and had just been accepted to Medical School. He wanted to practice sports medicine. Writing this alone is breaking my heart that he’ll never have that opportunity. This man was SO loved, I mean I can’t even describe to you how much. He had the most infectious smile and laugh. All he had to do was smile and an entire room lit up around him. He had a very strong faith and was always willing to say a prayer for one in need. He even encouraged the boys on his high school and college baseball teams to pray before every practice and game. It became a wonderful tradition so many of our “friend-family” began doing. I never realized how close knit of a family we were then until leaving high school and moving our separate ways. Now coming back to my hometown and settling down it all is so clear to me. My best friends have all grown so much over the years, and we’re all in different places in our lives. One thing remains: neither time nor distance has separated a thing between us. When we come home everything is still the same. And this alone I’m truly thankful to God for. Most don’t have relationships like ours and it’s a rare beautiful gift.

I was going to leave it at that but I can literally feel the pit in the bottom of my stomach, the salt on my cheeks, and burning ache in my heart.

I’ve briefly talked about my brother-in-law’s motorcycle accident in August. He too was hit by a woman who wasn’t paying attention. Of course, we think she was drunk by the evidence but for some reason her blood alcohol content wasn’t screened at the police station. So while I can’t say for sure he was hit by a drunk driver, he was hit by someone who wasn’t paying attention and was very distracted. She didn’t even see my brother until he was on the pavement half under her car. The woman never got out of her vehicle to see if he was okay. She told dispatch that she was late for a dinner date and needed to get to the restaurant, and wanted them to hurry up so she could go. She also merely got a slap on the wrist for her actions. But I pray today, she realizes the damage she caused. My brother will never walk again. He underwent a week of intensive surgeries, spent 2 and a half months in the ICU, and around 4 months of needed physical, occupational, & vocational therapy. My brother would have made a wonderful Dad, and had a very hopeful future of meeting the right woman and walking down the aisle. He won’t do those things either. By the grace of God he’ll be able to father a child it just will be different for him, considering he can’t feel anything below the belly button. While, this all may seem silly, he’s still alive it’s a VERY hard pill to swallow. Someone so undeserving of such trauma and tragedy has to endure it every single day of his life now.

And while my dear friend was SO incredibly undeserving of this tragedy as well, it’s a painful reminder of what was yesterday and what will be tomorrow. Yesterday, a day where the sun was shining and he was still smiling. Tomorrow a day without it.

Through the struggle with my brother and waiting for an entire week to know whether or not we were burying him our beginning a very long road to recovery, the loss of my own sweet beautiful daughter, and now dear friend I have learned one thing.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

I BELIEVE in a God that is only good. He doesn’t cause these things to happen. However, he has a plan. And we’re living His plan while He’s unfolding our own stories. I desperately cling to the truth in His promises. While, we live in a broken world we’re here to bring those to Him and trust His plan while it unfolds. My friend was very much sent from God. He showed others the hope there is in Jesus. My babygirl did the same. And through my brother’s accident I learned how desperately I need my faith.
Because without Jesus, there is no hope.

And we all could use a little more hope.

If there’s anything I want out of this post it’s to educate. I strongly believe even after 1 drink you shouldn’t drive. There’s a reason alcohol is considered a drug. Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not trying to sound above it all. I enjoy a cocktail or two. But there’s a fine line. And in my small town it’s been a very, VERY fine line the last year. From my high school alone we will have lost 5 students due to car accidents that could have been avoided. Please, don’t ever drink and drive. You may think you’re fine but in hindsight you aren’t just risking your own life, you’re risking someone else’s as well.

Someone’s Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Friend.

I can’t imagine a world without my sweet friend. I know he’s going to make Heaven a little more beautiful with his smile.

So, today I'd like to say it's the little things in life that truly mean the most. I pray y'all realize and understand the gravity of that. I pray for comfort for my friend as God calls him Home. I'm desperately praying for his family because they are awaiting a very daunting and long journey with their grief. I know that I serve a God that is the ultimate healer, and I know my friend will be healed whether it's in this life or in Heaven. I pray that he knows how many love him and have cherished his friendship and love. The lives he is going to be saving is the ultimate gift he would love to give. I know my friend would give it all if he could and wouldn't think twice about it. I pray all those that know him find comfort in that. That he is leaving this broken place healed and healing so many others. God's greatest work, I can assure you of that. 

I pray you hold the ones you love a little closer because
I can promise you: tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.


5 on Friday: Lovin Lately

Friday, March 28, 2014

 I'm linking up with the 5 on Friday ladies again but this week I'm doing it on a few items that I'm lovin' lately. You should definitely check their blogs out it's always such a fun read
A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, The Good Life, & Hello Happiness

I’m really loving my Hunter Boots. We have a random 50’ day, then some snow, and back up to the 60’s and then drops back down to the 30’s, there’s mud...everywhere! Can spring just be here already? And I could really use a little sunshine on my skin.

My brin & bell bracelet. I love supporting small business owners. It’s great to give back to the “little guy” in my opinion, and Etsy is an awesome outlet to wonderful handmade items. I’m not a huge jewelry lover. I wear my wedding rings, a gold heart with Lylah’s baby ring on my gold necklace, and my brin & bell initial bracelet daily. This bracelet is absolutely perfect for dainty wrists like mine. It’s delicate and so cute. I only take it off to shower and sleep. You can customize yours anyway you’d like she has tons of options. Whether you’re into gold, rose gold, or silver and whether you want a symbol or initials, or a combination. LOVE it so much!
brin & bell
(Disclaimer: This is not a paid product review just my own opinion about
one of my everyday staples)


Fresh mani & pedi for Spring. Hoping it will at least help me pretend it feels like spring when it doesn’t. Really looking forward to some warm sunshiney weather!
Nails: OPI “Bubble Bath” with OPI “Pirouette My Whistle” on top
Toes: Orly “Gumdrop”

Really looking forward to this weekend. Of course, it’s another busy one. What is it with March & April? It’s pretty chaotic. But the best kinda busy. We’re going to a concert tonight and a BBQ tomorrow night. Hopefully mother nature gets a grip because we’re now expecting a few snow showers with the high at 50’.. makes sense? Nope.

This cutie… how could you not love her sweet face? Poor girl got a bath this week and it’s always a shit show. She loves to swim but hates the bath. She’ll run as fast as she can and jump as far as she can into a lake but when it comes to hoppin in the tub for a bath when she’s stinky it’s a no go. Poor girl, you can’t help but laugh a little though she’s so pitiful.

Happy weekend friends!

Time Doesn't Keep

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I’m linking up again with Jess and Ashley for the It’s The Little Things link up. One that I seriously love so much and look forward to writing each week. And I really enjoy reading everyone’s “little things” that often end up reminding me
to slow down too. Such an awesome link up to be a part of!

Free print download available here
When planning out Lylah’s nursery I was obsessed with figuring out the d├ęcor. I absolutely love decorating our home and knew having a fresh room, especially a nursery to do would be my heaven. I had always heard of this sweet little poem but it wasn’t until I was pregnant that I really felt the meaning of it. I knew somehow I wanted to incorporate it into the nursery. While I know this doesn’t really pertain to a puppy, I’d like to believe it kinda does for me.

Last weekend someone asked how old Jessie is and I kindly replied although, I knew what their next response would be. I told them she was two and still gets really excited around new people, much like many labs do. They are an energetic friendly breed. Of course, the person responded exactly how I had anticipated, they said oh wait until she’s 4 she’ll calm down then. Well, asswipe I don’t want her to calm down. I’m sorry her kisses and hugs are not quite what you wanted, but you walked up to us. She in no way tackled the man, jumped on him at all. She wagged her tail, licked his hands clean, and did circles around his legs getting so excited for the pets.

There are times when I think it’ll be nice when she gets a couple years older and wants to play a little less. And then I stop myself right there. Jessie was Austin’s birthday present two years ago. We had just moved into our very first apartment together. We were newly engaged, only two months. And we wanted a baby like yesterday, which obviously isn’t practical when you aren’t even married yet. So, I settled for the next best thing, a puppy. I searched the internet, local papers, and called breeder after breeder for a couple weeks with not much luck. Until I ran into a breeder about 30 minutes away. I knew we wanted a lab. They’re my favorite and Austin had a yellow lab growing up, Maggie (That passed away a few months after we got Jessie) Anyway, knowing we would only want a yellow female I called the breeder with high hopes. They ended up being all spoken for. I bursted into tears, with Austin’s birthday only two weeks away it was feeling like a lost cause. I begged the breeder to call me if someone backed out. Turns out that next weekend he called me and said a couple had changed their mind, and he had a yellow female available. I couldn’t keep the secret I told Austin we had a road trip that weekend to go visit his present. When we walked in all of the puppies ran to the door, and a few minutes later they waddled back to their Mama ready to feed again except for one. She sat at my feet licking my shoes and chewing my shoestrings. He told us that she was our puppy, the only one without a collar on. While Austin held her I paid the breeder and we snapped a couple pictures. He put Jessie’s new collar on her with my name on it, so they knew which one was ours and we left with the fullest hearts.

Here we are, two years later and our hearts are still so full. A few hundred dollar vet visits, three dog beds, and numerous chewed up shoes and God knows what else under our belts and we’re still so in love with Jess. I wouldn’t change any of it because I know this won’t last. Unlike that man who liked my dog just not enough that she was so hyper, I know this won’t last.
Before long she’ll be too old or sick to play like she does now. She won’t be able to take the several mile walks in the woods with us. She won’t be able to go hunting every chance Austin gets anymore. She won’t be able to run to the door when we get home so thrilled we’re finally home. She won’t be able to run laps around our backyard while Austin makes her snow forts and tunnels to run through. She won’t be able to run the perimeter checking on the barns and everything else around the farm every weekend like she does now. She won’t be able to do a lot of what she LOVES to do.

We took a hike through the woods a couple weekends ago and gosh it was amazing to see her so happy. In her element completely. Like it was any other day, just her and Dad trotting around checking things out seeing if they could find an antler shed or whatever else they wanted to do. It was beyond adorable. I usually always go with them to our farm to play but not always out in the woods. It’s a long hike and I get a little whiny (LOL ;) but this time I wanted to go. We finally had some warm weather and the sun was out. Jessie would run ahead like she always does and then she’d stop turn and look back at us like, “Come on Mama why are you taking so long.” My heart swelled up so much I cried. I couldn’t help it but I balled like a baby in those woods. Because I know, this won’t last. And that literally breaks my heart. Jessie was so ready for her sister. She knew something was coming. Dogs are so instinctive it’s crazy. She knew I was pregnant and she knew something was wrong when I went into labor. She knew something was really wrong when we came home without a baby and me sick. She never left my side ONCE while I was pregnant. Or even afterward. She laid with me for days, never moving. She knew.
I can’t wait to see her with our babies one day. I know they’ll ride her around like a pony when they’re toddlers, just like I did with my dog. They’ll trot off in the woods with us or at the farm and Jess will walk right beside them waiting for them to fall. She’ll be right there to catch them. I can’t wait for this part.

But I can. Because I know this won’t last.

Babies don’t keep. This time doesn’t keep. Before we know it we’ll be old and grey in our rocking chairs on the porch drinking teas. Before we know it everything will have changed, and we’ll have missed it if we don’t slow down to appreciate it.
I’m terrified of that. Missing things. That’s why I take a thousand pictures a day or I write constantly. I’m afraid of forgetting something, or missing a moment that may seem mundane. Because in the end those normal, mundane, regular, everyday moments in life turn out to be the most significant.

Yes, baby girl likes us to hold her paws, and when we're in the car
she has to rest her head on the center console so she is in
the middle of us.
Babies don’t keep. This time doesn’t keep. It won’t be like this for long…
(Yes, Darius Rucker lyrics intended…go listen to that song now y’all!)