Week in Review: Rhonda

And another week is gone. It’s kind of freaking me out that the weeks are flying by.  I have a vacation coming up at the end of the month and I am not at all prepared.  Yikes.

So… like, what can be said about Monday?  It always feels a little like being fatigued in a swimming pool, trying to climb out on the deep end, but slipping on the tiles.  This week, I spent the day trying to get my life together.  At least I had a crockpot to cook for me and kids who cooperated for the most part.

For school on Tuesday, we were talking about the letter F.  They had an assignment to write their favorite F-words.  When I was transferring their answers into a Venn diagram, I was impressed that “fuck” wasn’t on their lists.  However, when I asked them what they thought my favorite F-word is, all three boys yelled, “fuck!”  Cool.  Claudia wore this new dress for the first time and I totally freaked out over her in it.  So damn cute.  We went to the store and I finally decided to try some coconut vinegar.  I love apple cider vinegar for all its health benefits, but wanted to mix it up a little.  I’ve been taking a daily shot of coconut vinegar and it definitely has a more mild taste than ACV.

Wednesday was super lovely.  I have newly designated hump day as park and library day.  This first run of that worked out very well!  In the evening, I made spaghetti and celebrated Winesday.  Of course, Claudia demanded I read her books to her repeatedly.

Does anyone else have an improvement in mood start around Thursday?  It’s the promise of the weekend to come…. I start getting an extra pep in my step. I didn’t even get annoyed when Claudia wanted to try on all my “card-e-mans.”  Vodka may have played a part in the patience.

I spent Friday running errands and crafting after we finished school for the week.  Lavar Burton has a great Reading Rainbow video about how money is made.  Claudia’s bows have been in a shoebox since we moved here and so things weren’t being worn.  I have beautiful bow holders I made her in the storage unit, but they wouldn’t look right in the half bath, where I do her hair.   I grabbed a couple of inexpensive items (a wall sign from Dollar Tree and ribbon on sale at Michael’s) and made a new one.  Bonus points for the fact that it will match the existing ones in storage once we move this fall.

Saturday was amazing, at it always tends to be.  After manicures and mimosas, and a leg rub, I took the rest of my drink for a car ride.   We tried to make it to an open house, but the realtor had already left.  So we hopped all over the metroplex, hitting up Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart.  We ended the day with homemade pizza and a Dateline episode.

Sunday went as most of them do around here… did nothing.  Well, I did organize all my writing utensils into my new 160-slot case.  And I definitely did some drinking and eating.  And for sure, as always, did some bed lounging.

Do you also have that one day a week that you just do….nothing?

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey guys! And so another week has passed us by…and we here we are again – To share the thrilling details of exactly WHAT me and my crew have been up to… 🙂

Wednesday was my off day…and we got into all kinds of fun…and had a few too many crying/tantrum moments. Wednesday was also the Baby Daddy’s birthday soo the kids and I set out to get him a few treats.

This is Cooper trying to negotiate why his dad needs these bubble gloves. In reality, he wanted them for himself. After much crying, whining, and convincing, I was able to get Cooper to pick out an appropriate Star Wars themed toy for his dad. Of course he also wanted a toy for himself – I reminded him how he’d just had a birthday. Coop pleaded “Please can it just keep going???” lol

We also went to WalMart for a few essentials/non essentials. 😉 Sophie needed a new big girl car seat, and we just also needed some food for the house. After we dropped off all of our purchases at home, we headed to the trampoline park. I’d wanted to do a beach day but the weather was threatening with rain for most of the day. SO to the trampoline park we went. The kids were tired so it was a short and sweet visit. And yes. No pictures. Did it actually happen though?? 😉 haha It did.  I DID snap some videos. So – if you aren’t following us on all forms of our social media…you should definitely get on that!

Speaking of social media outlets…while the kids napped that afternoon, I unboxed and swatched my most recent Ulta order that came in that day. I’m for sure going to do a follow up blog post where I talk about my first impressions and how those have stayed or evolved over several times of trying these products.

Friday night, I dropped my entire wine bottle just mere minutes after coming home with it. :(:(:(:(:( It was ok though – Shaun bought more AND my kitchen floor got a nice unexpected and thorough cleaning as a result. 🙂

Saturday was just a lot of chilling. We hung out at my parent’s house. My dad started putting up the pool and filling it with water. The kids LOVED that. The water was sooo cold but they played in it for a while. Especially Sophie. She was in heaven. Aunt Grace came over after work and hung with us. And of course Uncle Shane was there 🙂

Oh! and Saturday morning I did another unboxing/swatching on our snapchat. That time it was of a little colourpop order that I’d gotten Friday night.

I will also be talking about these products in a future blog post follow up. 🙂 The left arm are swatches from an eye shadow palette (Blow Me Away) and the right are swatches from a blush/highlight palette (Double Play).

On Sunday we decided to spend a little time outside and hit up a local nature trail: The Tuxachanie National Recreation Trail The trail is 12 miles long – but we only did two miles because: kids. AND to go the complete 12 mile round trip you’d definitely need an entire day that started early in the morning planned out. There is supposed to be an abandoned WWII POW camp at the end of it – so I for sure would like to check it out in it’s entirety one day. 🙂

So yeah, that was our week/weekend. 🙂 Thanks for coming by and seeing what we were up to! What did you guys do last week?

5 Lippie Brands You Need To Try

I have a long-standing obsession with lip products.  Before I regularly wore lipstick, I was addicted to lip balms.  I had them in my car, bedside drawer, purse, kitchen….anywhere I was going to be.  Once I started wearing lipstick daily, my obsession got deeper and now?  Well, I can’t stop buying it, whether I need it or not.  I have come to rely on five brands more than any others and I just have to share the love with you!

Clockwise from top left: NYX Kitten Heels, Colourpop Molly, Colourpop Marshmallow, Lipsense Purple Reign, Tarte fomo, Colourpop Mugshot, Urban Decay Disobedient, Colourpop Sunday; Center: Colourpop Moment of Weekness set
  1. Colourpop. This brand has a cult-like following and it’s absolutely warranted.  All of their lip products are great.  I have 20-30 of them and my favorite formula is the Ultra Matte.  They go on smoothly and evenly and wear well through some drinks.  Some colors transfer more than others, but for $6 a pop, you can collect and wear the hell out of them.
  2. Lipsense.  You would just about have to live under a rock to not know what this is at this point.  It is sold through independent distributors and it is hot hot hot right now.  There’s a good reason for that.  I am not kidding you when I tell you it lasts all day.  I can make out with my fiance, neatly.  It’s life-changing for someone like me, who is always kissing, eating, and drinking.  The price tag can throw some off.  $55 for a starter kit seems like a lot, but I have been wearing mine several days a week and it looks like there is plenty of product left.  And when you’re ready to buy another color, it’s only $20.  Totally worth it.
  3. NYX.  Another bargain brand, NYX is also a cult favorite.  I have every shade of the liquid suede, which is there most popular product for a reason.  It is not transfer proof, but will last for at least a couple of hours of normal wear.  My favorite thing about it is that I don’t feel it on my lips like some other liquid mattes.  Also, the color selection is to die for!  There is something for everyone and $6.99 price tag means you can collect them all!
  4. Tarte.  I have shared my love for Tarte before.  I am completely obsessed with their lip paints.  They recently launched quick dry lip paints, which I have not tried, but their creamy matte lip paints are amazing.  Colors are on-trend and the formula is creamy and comfortable on.  They are worth the $20 for the smell and comfort alone.
  5. Urban Decay.  I have never been a huge fan of Urban Decay.  In general, I find them highly overrated.  However, they have a couple of standout items and one of those is their Vice lipsticks.  Sometimes I want something creamy and nourishing instead of a liquid matte.  In that case, I reach for Vice lipsticks.  They come in different finishes and I tend to gravitate toward the creams.  They are priced at a reasonable $17.

Are any of these your favorites?  What lip brands do you love that I haven’t mentioned?

Planned Parenthood

Hey guys! So so happy to see you came by again. 🙂 Today, I wanted to spend a little time talking about Planned Parenthood.

Healthcare and access to affordable healthcare, in general, is a really hot topic lately. The fact is – it’s been an issue for years. Planned Parenthood is an organization that is striving to provide millions of people with access to high quality healthcare for men, women, and children along with access to sex education, all of which is so so so important. Planned Parenthood has been around for 100 years, and despite your particular political affiliation or personal beliefs about reproductive health care, we think you should take a moment to educate yourself on exactly what Planned Parenthood does and why it is so important that Planned Parenthood be able to continue to operate.

Click for more Information

Planned Parenthood also offers many different kinds of sexual health care services for men at their locations.

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It’s not a new thing that people want to deny others access to healthcare through PP on the premise that PP is running around handing out abortions like candy. And, that they are using federal money (aka YOUR tax dollars in the form of Medicaid) to fund these abortions. The thing is though – I’m not here to talk about or discuss the necessity of a woman’s access to a safe abortion – that is just ONE of the things that some Planned Parenthood health care providers do. I’m here to talk about the threat to defund PP and  ALL the things that PP Healthcare providers do for men, women, and children who would otherwise not have access to affordable healthcare. Today…yesterday…this very minute..there are politicians at the federal and state level crafting and attempting to pass bills that will take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood health care providers all over the United States. I read a lot before I wrote this post. You can find news articles that spin what’s going on, in regards to the threat to PP, whatever way what you want. You can read articles that will dispute everything that PP claims to be true… For me. The facts remain – our federal and local governments are making efforts to defund PP. That’s the truth. I support Planned Parenthood – for all that they do.

Now, you may be wondering… how can I help? How can I let my voice be heard and known. Well the Planned Parenthood website has outlined three really important ways you can take action.
Another way you can help? AND support a small business run by an amazing woman?  A friend of mine just put out a new keychain in her Etsy shop [Mississippi Mayhem]. It’s in honor of moms like us – doing this thing our own way…standing up for what is important to us and to our kids even when that stance isn’t popular – and 15% of the profits from her sales this week (on ALL of the items in her shop)  will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

[Click here to go straight to this featured KeyChain]

Because you guys. Planned Parenthood is important. If not for me and you…for our daughters…for our sons…for all the people in your life who may need access to healthcare through PP..at some point.

And to bring my point a little closer to home. Here are some PP funded health care centers in Texas and Mississippi. You don’t live in those states? Just go here and search your own state. See for yourself the impact PP is having on the people that live around you. Still hung up on the whole abortion thing? Yes, their facilities often provide access to abortion – but women can receive abortions…and do receive abortions..at plenty of other facilities. Shutting down PP doesn’t shut down abortions from happening. Shutting down PP shuts down millions of people’s access to affordable reproductive healthcare and sex education.

Again, thank you guys so much for coming by today, and I hope you all are having a fabulous week. 🙂

 

 

What We Wore

Hey, hey!  It’s Wednesday and you know what that means – time to pour out your favorite glass of wine.  Oh, it also means that you can peep what we are wearing lately.  Let’s get to it…

Dress: Joe Fresh (legit 5 or so years old). Sandals: Old Navy. Necklace: made by me.

Tee: Old Navy, old.  Jeans: Old Navy, current style not available, but similar here.  Heels: Eliana Bucci (I got mine at either DSW or Nordstrom last summer and can’t find them online).

Top: Old Navy.  Jeans: Target.  Necklace: BaubleBar (invite code).  Wedges: Jessica Simpson.

Top: Tovia brand from Ross.  Shorts: Walmart.  Flip Flops: Old Navy. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

 

UNIFORM… haha Switched it up this time and put chambray over a black dress rather than black pants. 😉 Shirt: CATO Dress: Oldddd WalMart dress Earrings: N&S Brown Cut Out

Cardigan: Target [similar] Top: WalMart [similar] Pants: Jordache Skinnies

Shirt: StitchFix Pants: StitchFix (can’t tell but they are a flare leg … heart eyes at these pants… ) Earrings: N&S Matte Gold

 

Cardigan: Target [similar]  Dress: Target Earrings: N&S Select Black

Shirt: Ross Pants: Denizen Jeans from Target Earrings: N&S Blush ( I don’t see this color on the website anymore 🙁 )

 

We are linking up here…pleated poppy

And that is all folks! Thanks for coming by!! What were y’all wearing?

 

Cooper is Four

This past Sunday (April 2) my first born, my baby boy, turned four years old. It seems so ridiculous and obvious to say…but I can’t believe it. I look at him and am in awe at how much of a little boy and not a baby that he is now. 🙁 There’s something about your first born. That little tiny human who made you a mommy. Especially when you can still remember how badly you wanted to become a mom.

When I think back to before I had Cooper I think about how I really  didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted my life to look like. What I did know? I knew I wanted….I needed a child. I had to be a mom. That was one part of who I always thought I’d be that I knew I could not…and would not let go of. My life would not be complete or whole or a life that I wanted to live – unless I could become a mom. I know that there are so many women who have and who currently feel this same way. It’s so hard to put into words the desperation that you can feel over a desire to have a baby – to become someone’s mom. You would throw caution to the wind. You would do whatever you had to do. You would spend ridiculous amounts of money. You would do anything. And everything. To be called Mom. To be Mom. To have a child that is yours. Yours forever. For always. You don’t think about all the inconveniences, fears, bad days, crying, sleepless nights, tantrums, doubts….You don’t think about any of that when you need a child.

Making a baby. Finding a baby. That becomes the priority. You don’t even consider what you want or need beyond that. At least, I know I didn’t. I was blinded by my hunger for motherhood. And I was so fortunate to be able to fulfill that hunger. 

Cooper and I have been through it together. There are a lot of people in my life who I feel like have helped make me the mom that I am. I have had the opportunity to be around some fantastic women, especially my own mom, who I feel like I draw upon for inspiration when it comes to raising my children. However, Cooper has been the biggest influencer when it comes to making me the mommy that I am today. We’ve learned together.

When you are the first – things are a lot different for you and for your parents. I think part of me really relates to Cooper, because I can see my personality in him and I was also the first born. We set the tone and the pace for things. He, by default, is the standard by which my parenting choices are measured. When I talk about things Sophie is doing…I almost always compare it to the way Cooper behaved in similar situations.

Cooper is not a morning person. I can so relate. He’s not really himself until he gets that cup of milk and some chill time. I don’t drink milk…but I let me tell you I’m not myself without some coffee in the morning. And really…how about you just don’t talk to us until we’ve had a few moments to adjust to having to be awake? 😉

He is incredibly stubborn and ferociously curious about the world he lives in. He will ask you why, a million different ways, until he fully understands and grasps a concept. It’s really rare that he’ll take a response along the lines of “because that’s just how it is”. He honestly wants to know WHY it is that way…and HOW it is that way. He’s not just asking why to ask why…he really wants to know.

This kid. He has got an insane memory. Things that happened YEARS ago. He remembers. He’ll bring up an instance all on his own. And we just all look at each other in amazement that he even remembered.

Also, don’t rush the man. He will do things in his own time and in his own way. Most times, you have to wait for something to all of a sudden become “his idea” before he will agree to do it. 😉

Some of his favorite people to be around are his grandparents. I am so grateful and happy that he has such loving relationships with both sets of grandparents. He sees them all every single week, and he just really can’t get enough.

He also is one lucky little boy because all of his aunts and uncles love him probably just as much as his mommy and daddy. I love that most of his immediate family is close to us – and that he gets to see them on a regular basis. Sophie and Cooper are pretty much on their own when it comes to having cousins near their age BUT their older cousins and aunts and uncles never ever hesitate to play and entertain.

We celebrated Coop’s Birthday Sunday afternoon at The Little Chidren’s Park in Downtown Ocean Springs. Coop calls it the “yellow park”…and pretty much requested that party location since he turned three there last year. 😉 We had a great afternoon. The rain held off…and Coop had a blast running around playing. Power Rangers are his current obsession..so a Power Ranger Party we had.

And…now because this is my blog..I’m going to get a little cheesy and say something to my child that can’t read…but hey:

Buddy, maybe one day you’ll read this – and I just wanted to say that I love you so much and on April 2, 2013 at 3:30 am …when you made me a mommy…that was a day that I had waited for such a long time…and every time I look at you I am grateful to have you in my life – and that you call me mommy….even when it’s you whining about having to take a nap. 😉

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey y’all! Welcome back another glimpse into our past week. What DID we do? Let’s see … let’s see…

Wednesday was my off day this past week. It typically is..unless something special is going on that week for me or one of my co workers. We got up per usual that day, early early…whereas throughout the rest of the week I’m dragging those little butts out of bed. We did the usual: hung around the house relaxing and cleaning up a bit. Then we all got ready and headed to Target – to scope out some stuff for Cooper’s upcoming birthday party. He wanted a Power Ranger Party, and thankfully, there is a Power Ranger movie out right now. I was able to find all the decorations super easily.

After Target, we headed straight for the park. It was a beautiful day. We went to our favorite park on the beach in Ocean Springs. The kids played for a while on the equipment – then we decided to take a walk on the beach and dip our toes in the sand (well…and hands and legs and heads…apparently). I think this upcoming Wednesday we’ll wear swim suits and have a full on beach day. 🙂

Aunt Grace came over and hung out for a little bit at the house after the kids woke up from their nap. That was super fun. 🙂 Coop and Soso always love waking up to find Gracie at the house. I THINK we went back to the store after she left. Yeah. We definitely went to WalMart. I had to buy milk and other essentials. I feel like I’m always at some store or another…. lol That night I cooked dinner…and we did the usual shabang.

Friday night – the kids stayed at Grammy and Ppop’s, and mommy was able to run around doing last minute shopping for Cooper’s party which was that Sunday. I got all kinds of food. I also got Coop a Power Ranger shirt and Sophie got a CUTE Power Ranger (or PowPow…as she says) dress to match.

Saturday was my birthday spa day! I spent most of the day at the IP Casino enjoying their spa amenities and receiving a massage and facial. It was amazing. I was super anxious and nervous beforehand. Why? Eh just all the unknown. Where do I go? What do I say? I was all alone…so I also didn’t have the safety net of having someone I know and am comfortable with there. BUT like I said the whole experience was amazing. The staff was super friendly and really put my mind at ease as soon as I walked in the door. The massage was my favorite part. That was my first time to have one. I’m definitely wanting to make it a regular thing now. 😉 I did enjoy the facial. I wasn’t blown away by it though. I honestly have a pretty thorough skin care regimen that I follow on a daily and weekly basis. I didn’t feel like the facialist told me or did anything that I don’t already do….except for the face steaming part. AND there was a lot more talking involved than I expected there to be. It felt like getting a haircut. That obligatory small talk…that turns into a stranger telling you their whole life story. Small talk = this introvert’s nightmare Sooo yeah. I survived that part though. 😉 haha

Sunday was Cooper’s much awaited party. We really had a great time. HE had a blast, which is all that matters. If you were there – and you are reading this – thank you so much for coming and making his day special!

Alright guys! That’s what I got for this week. What were you all up to?

Week in Review: Rhonda

Well it’s been a rough week.  So rough, that I didn’t even think about writing this post until after noon.  I woke up really sick Monday.  A cold morphed into a sinus infection and I was lucky enough to PMS through the entire thing!

Monday and Tuesday were complete blurs…. post office runs, shots of medicine, and lots of time in the bed reading and watching TV.  Overnight, about 2 am on Tuesday morning, we were woken by the weather.  Tornado sirens forced us into our tiny half bath, but we were very fortunate and suffered no damage.

Wednesday, we made a meal plan and a trip to the grocery store.  I was so excited to cook some yummy stuff.

I honestly can’t tell you what happened Thursday, other than drinking lots of coffee and tea for my throat.  I think I had pretty much hit the worst of my sickness.  I legitimately wanted to sleep all day.

Friday was Claudia’s birthday and we took a trip to her favorite place, Target.  She was able to choose one thing out of the dollar spot and naturally, she chose bubbles.  I hate bubbles, but birthday girl gets what she wants. After Target, I made taco salad and packaged up orders.

Saturday, we celebrated Claudia’s birthday in the best way.  As soon as Dustin got here, we had brunch, then opened presents and had cupcakes.

After that, Claudia and Quentin helped Stuart clean his motorcycle before we grilled burgers for dinner.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

Sunday we woke to lots and lots of rain.  The patio began to flood, but luckily it stopped short.  We had brunch again as usual then after Dustin headed back home, had some tv time in bed.

Sunday night was the ACM Awards, just about my favorite thing to watch all year.  I completed my journal spread and enjoyed too much vodka.

What did you do this week?  Any celebrations?

 

Melodramatic Birthday Post – Ashley

You guys – it’s Spring. I always say this time of year (March to the beginning of May) is like another Christmas season. There are sooo many birthdays and then throw in Mother’s Day to end the whole shabang. So I’m here to finally talk about my little birthday that occurred last week…and do some rambling….hope you’re all in on this one.  😉

Ok, so… let’s talk about 32. My birthday was last week. Last Tuesday – at 10pm I officially turned thirty-two years old. Honestly, I haven’t even given the number much thought. Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t mind being able to stop time for a little while. You know – stay young longer. I’ve noticed differences in my body and mindset due to aging. Generally though – I’m at peace with my age. So, why am I here blabbing on and one about it? Well I did want to take some time to reflect. Think about where I’ve been … and where I want to be. I’ve always been the type of person that lived more in the future. I always look forward to where I’m going, what type of person I’ll be in ‘x’ amount of months or years… And overall, I’m really happy with where I am now. In this 32 year old life of mine. 😉

I made the comment the other day that I really wish I knew as much about taking care of my body and had the confidence in myself that I do now when I was younger. I am and always have been a super quiet and shy person. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward…not just in person. Ask Rhonda. It even takes a lot for me to interact virtually…. BUT I’ve come such a long way. My highschool and twenty something self didn’t think much of herself much less take any extra time to take care of her mind and body.

Weight was always an issue that I struggled with. The size of my body was something that always made me feel inferior, not attractive, not worth getting to know. I think it is so great now that there are plus sized super models or just plus sized celebrities and public figures who are letting it be known that size does not determine beauty of self worth. I try to flood my social media timelines with women like this. Women who are larger than average, and who are so so confident in themselves. I try to make a conscious effort to compliment my children – not just on their physical appearance. I try to say things like “ Oh my god…you are sooooo cute… and such a sweet baby.” I encourage my son to interact with other children. When he approaches other kids at the park and they don’t want to play with him. Of course, he comes running back to me. I tell him, “That’s ok. Find someone else to play with.” I try to teach him and demonstrate to him that rejection stings but we can move on from that. I want my daughter to be confident in her body and not afraid to wear whatever she wants. I want my son to be confident in his body and to not be afraid to wear whatever the hell he wants. I don’t want them to doubt themselves. I don’t want them to be afraid to make new friends or approach new people – because they worry about the reaction they will receive.  Because I lived that way for so long. I still struggle with that. I’m working on it. And I’ll keep working on it. 😉

Over the past 3 years I’ve made major changes in the way I eat and think about food. I lost a ton of weight….gained some back during and after being pregnant with Sophie…and am now back – less those extra pounds. Rhonda introduced me to the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Lifestyle that was coined, preached, and demonstrated by Vinnie Tortorich. Eating clean. Cutting out the majority of the sugar and grains in my diet. Those things have made me a physically and mentally healthier person. I know that it has made me a better mom. When you cut the crap out from  your diet, you don’t have to worry so much about the amount that you eat. You don’t have to restrict yourself to teeny tiny meals in the hopes of losing a few pounds. AND you don’t just lose weight. You gain healthier hair, nails, skin, mental clarity, energy, and on and on and on. Something else really important that I gained? Confidence in myself. Confidence in my body. Confidence that does not hinge on someone else’s opinion of me. Confidence that is due to my new opinion of myself.

I can look back … ten … or even fifteen years ago – and where I am now? That’s not where I thought I’d be. But you know, I’m ok with that. I had this disillusioned idea of what I thought life should look like at 32. And for a long time – those aspirations and goals that I set when I was a teenager – the fact that I hadn’t gotten to or reached those goals used to really haunt me. It used to make me feel … like I hadn’t accomplished anything   at all. Which is complete crap. I’ve accomplished a lot. Because listen. It’s ok to change your path. It’s ok to quit something that no longer holds any meaning for you. It’s ok to change your mind. I am a better person now. I’m not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. BUT I am thankful the place I am at. 🙂 For me, feeling accomplished is no longer about marking off big achievements or reaching momentous goals. It’s not about having a list of things that I can say “LOOK at all the things I’ve checked off!!”. For me I try to feel accomplished in my every day. I look to my future with anticipation and excitement for things to come; however, I relish the here and now. I focus on the people in my life. I think about what can I do in the next few minutes to make something happen. I want to “Be here, now.” I don’t want to look back and think…. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more…while it was happening.

I think 32 is going to be great. I don’t wake up with any dread of what I may face that day. My family is healthy and happy…and so am I. I really like my daytime job, and I am so happy to have this little blog space that I get to share with my best friend. I am so grateful that each of you come by to check in on us…see what we have to say. 🙂 I’m excited for our future, but I’m loving this. This right here. This moment. :):)

Three Years

My entire life, I dreamed of having a daughter.  I always assumed I would.  It never crossed my mind that it may not happen.  It’s funny how we take those things for granted.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was absolutely certain it was a girl.  So certain, in fact, that when the ultrasound revealed huge balls, I was in complete denial.  The ultrasound tech and doctor were 100% sure.  I was not.  I “accepted” it, but cried all the way home.  I didn’t even want to buy boy stuff.  I was that convinced it was wrong.  When he was born, I was delighted and decided it would be ok, because it would be good for my future daughter to have a big brother to watch out for her.

I didn’t have any strong feeling when pregnant with my second child.  I couldn’t decide if it would be a boy or a girl, but I certainly hoped for a girl.  One boy and one girl sounded perfect to me and would complete my family.  Ultrasound once again revealed a FOR SURE boy.  I burst into tears right there in the dark room.  Of course, I accepted it and got hyped up to bring a little brother into the world.

Third time’s the charm, right?  We had decided three was our limit for children and this was going to be the last time.  I hoped for a girl, but had to resign myself to the fact that it was unlikely.  Ultrasound showed a boy.  I accepted it quickly, didn’t cry, but was a little depressed until he was born.  I decided to fully embrace the Boy Mom title as part of my identity.

After Quentin was born, I was so happy for a little while.  I felt like our family was complete.  After some time, I started to get that ache again.  I didn’t necessarily want another child for the sake of having a fourth.  I just wanted a girl.  So desperately.  I felt like I was meant to have a daughter and I felt like my time had come.  I am not sure how, but I managed to talk my then-husband Dustin into JUST ONE MORE.  I had to promise him that it would be the last time and that we would get permanent birth control after.  I also had to convince him that I would be happy with a fourth boy, since there are no guarantees and odds weren’t in our favor.  I meant it.  I was happy to have a fourth boy if that’s what was meant for me.  Being loved on by a bunch of little boys is such an amazing experience.

From the moment I peed on a stick in my work bathroom and saw the positive, I JUST KNEW.  I had a gut instinct it was a girl.  I didn’t tell anybody.  I didn’t want to put it out there into the universe.  I wanted to hold that instinct close to my heart.  When we announced my pregnancy, everyone hoped for a girl.  I wanted to say, “it’s a girl! I just know it!”  Soon after announcing, I was on the phone with my mom.  I could feel it that we both thought it was a girl.  Neither of us said it, but would later admit we were both thinking it.  The days leading up to the big ultrasound, Dustin and I were discussing names.  We had long had our girl name picked out, waiting to be used.  We mulled over boy names and NOTHING worked.  Hell, we had used everything we loved already.  We decided on two “fine” names.  Inside, I knew we wouldn’t need them, so it wouldn’t matter anyway.

Nothing, no past experiences, no instincts, could have prepared me for how I would feel when the ultrasound tech very casually announced, “and it’s a girl.”

Heart. Stopped.  Shock.  I looked at Dustin and tears filled my eyes.

“Wait?  Are you sure?”  I asked.  She pointed out all the important markers of girl parts.  She was certain.

Even though I had felt it instinctually, I still was in shock that this was my reality.  I excitedly announced it on social media after telling my family and closest friends.  It felt like the entire world shared in our joy, and we were over the moon.  I didn’t fully believe it until the 32-week ultrasound, when I asked the tech, “is it still a girl?”  At that moment, my world truly started transforming into a pink paradise and I haven’t been the same since.

Since Claudia Love entered our world, everything is better.  I have a different and unique bond with each of my boys, but the relationship with Claudia is just special.  I see so much of myself in her.  She has changed the way I treat myself, the way I think of myself, the way I think of other women.  I avoid saying anything about skinny or fat.  I model behaviors I want her to learn.  She picks up on all my sass and repeats all my ugly words.  She wants to be just like her mommy, so I have to think about all my actions.

photo by Nicole Brack Photography

I can honestly say, we needed her.  We all did.  I am so thankful Dustin agreed to take this journey with me.  I know he can’t imagine life without her either.

photo by Nicole Brack Photography

I still sometimes can’t believe she’s here.  But she is – and she has been here for three years today.  It goes by so fast.  Cliche, but so damn true.

Tomorrow we will celebrate her with a small family party.  But for now, she wants to go to Target.  As you wish, Princess.