Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Confessions: Nesting, Unfollows & Gnats

I've been saving these up for two weeks...so here we go!

|one|

If I ever made a "Favorites Things List" (in Oprah form of course), I would definitely include a subscription to XM Radio for my lucky audience members. We just have it in our cars, but it's probably the best bill we pay every year. Yes, I just said it was the best bill. ANYWAYS, recently XM debuted the new Garth Brooks Channel. Y'all. I'm OBSESSED with this channel. It's the perfect mix of all Garth's songs and some of the best songs from ALL other genres of music.

I have some major sing-alongs to this channel. 


|two|

"Nesting" hasn't hit me yet for our home, but when I find my 33 week pregnant with twins self on all four's on the floor squeezed under my desk DUSTING the bottom of said desk...I think we can all agree it's "nesting", yeah?



|three|

For reasons unbeknownst to me, we've had an unreasonable number of gnats in our house the past couple of months. We keep NO fruit or food laying out, we take trash outside, our garbage disposal is clean...we shouldn't have them. Hopefully it's just something to do with the HOT summer we've had and the cooler temps will help get rid of them. They have to be the most annoying thing ever...a close second to Seinfeld, presidential debates and the basset hound next door that decides to howl at 1am for no reason other than to hear himself. 


|four|

Call me shallow, but one of my biggest concerns lately hasn't been ANYTHING pregnancy related or about the life changing events that are about to happen to us. Nope, I sit and wonder most days about where we're going to put our Christmas tree this year with a new recliner currently in its place. Of course our babies are on my mind always, but that dang tree situation...it's got me stumped. 


|five|

Lately, I've unfollowed or blocked several people's posts from my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I'm over the drama and I'm over all the random politically driven shares. I want to see pictures of my friends' everyday life and read uplifting posts...and the occasional meme cracks me up.

But I'm done with complaints and rants. Too much negativity for me. 



Happy Thursday friends...the weekend is in sight and Fall is in the air!!! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

3 Years

Today the Mr and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. This year, I am more thankful for him and our marriage than I've ever been before. Marriage is truly "for better or worse". 

When I think back over the last three years, I want to cry, laugh, and roll my eyes at the same time. We've shared so much and experienced more together in 36 months than we ever anticipated. 

We had the BEST day three years ago with our friends and family...


but we had NO idea then what three years later would look like. 


I'm grateful for the good and easy times and in hindsight, I'm just as grateful for the down in the dumps, life sucks, hard times. The tears, the overwhelming punched in the gut sadness, the arguments...real life moments that are just plain hard. As my husband, Stephen has been the best supporter I could ask for, especially during everything we have dealt with the past year and a half. It's cliche to say but I really can't imagine going through this life with anyone else. 


Our biggest adventure and joys await us in just a few short weeks. We're excited to start to this journey as a family of FOUR. We're excited to see just how much our lives are about to be flipped upside down. There are still moments of nervousness and overwhelming anxiety, but our excitement to finally meet our sweet Amelia and Mae Parker outweigh all of our fears. 


(Just a little side note for those following our journey to parenthood, if nothing changes, we do a have a date and time scheduled for a c-section. WHICH IS NUTS! We found out Monday, and I'll share that on here in time; just want to wait in case something does change.)

We appreciate all the love, encouragement and support you have all shown us, and continue to show us. We can't wait to share this next chapter with you! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bumpdate: Week 32

How Far Along?

32 weeks and 6 days
                    
Gender?

GIRLS!

Names?

Amelia Gentry & Mae Parker

Due Date?

November 12 will always be the technical 40 week due date, but we’re still planning on a mid-October delivery.

Weight Gain?

I’ve gained about 3 pounds in the last 4 weeks, but the girls are growing like weeds!

Stretch Marks?

Just a few, but nothing horrible. It’s amazing to feel them move and feel different spots across my stomach turn rock solid.

Maternity Clothes?

Umm…yes. And whatever genius at the Motherhood Maternity stores that designed their leggings…God bless you. Those are THE MOST comfortable things I’ve ever worn!

Belly Button In or Out?

Still in but it’s stretching out sideways. It’s weird. What’s even more weird…one of my gall bladder surgery scars is inside my belly button, and it’s all popping out and disfigured looking. It’s attractive.


(Please ignore whatever condition the guest bed is in behind me in these bump pics. I usually take   them right before i walk out the door for work or last thing at night. Either way, that bed is usually in disarray by that time. I typically get ready in here in the mornings since I leave before Stephen gets up so there's either stuff to grab for work, or clothes laid out for the next day. OR my huge body pillow...which I will finally admit is AMAZING!)

Currently Reading?

Nothing really of importance. Did I ever mention that I left the private FB group I was in for Fall 2016 moms of multiples?? I did. It got to be waaaay more drama than I cared to see on my newsfeed every day. For the most part it was supportive and a good source of shared info. BUT, it got to be where a few of the moms were whiney..and I can’t handle that. Yes, pregnancy is hard…a multiples pregnancy is REALLY hard. But this is such a blessing and answered prayer for some of us, and I choose to be thankful over posting little complaints every hour. (Literally.) OR complaining about family members. (Please, keep your family drama off of social media.) OR calling out some of us in the group who don’t post on a frequent basis. (REALLY? It’s a closed group, we ASKED to be added, so I’m pretty sure we can comment and post when we want to or when we don’t want to.) That was the final blow for me, and I left the group immediately. I’m pretty content with NOT reading that mess on my newsfeed anymore.

Cravings?

A friend of mine posted this on IG, so now I’m on the hunt for it!

I’ve also desperately been wanting chocolate cake or brownies every night lately. I eat apples instead. It’s NOT the same, but the better choice for all 3 of us.

Am I Showing Yet?

I’ll be 33 weeks with twins tomorrow…this question is irrelevant.

Symptoms?

Knock on wood, the heartburn has been significantly better in the past week. Maybe the girls have moved just enough to give digestion a fighting chance. Whatever it is…I’ve been grateful for it.




Best Part of the Week?

We had a couple of fun things this week that I want to remember. I decided to go ahead and get the girls’ hospital bag ready… which meant it was finally time to do some baby laundry. We washed most of their newborn sleepers and gowns, their bibs, socks, blankets and swaddles. The smell of baby laundry…heaven help. I’ve heard about this scent before, but it’s better than I expected. Honestly, it was an emotion time doing this “chore”. For all the years and prayers and tears shed so desperately wanting to be a mother and now, SO close to meeting two little girls...our girls. It’s just A LOT to take in lately!

The bookcase we ordered for the nursery came in and it’s literally the last thing we were waiting on. We’ll be putting that together and HOPEFULLY finish the room this weekend!


Worst Part of the Week?

I broke down and went to my least favorite store ever. Verizon. I DESPISE going in there; mainly because the sales guys treat me like I’m a little girl and that I’m clueless and I HATE that. My phone is past due an upgrade and I’m having to delete texts, voicemails, call logs, ANYTHING at least twice a week because of storage space…or lack there of. So, it’s time to upgrade before the girls get here because let’s be honest, the amount of picture and video taking is about to become my favorite hobby of all time. I got the info I needed and my options written down from the guy after asking him multiple times to do it. Now, I just have to decide which route I want to go and then fun part, GO BACK, and get a new phone. Anyone else hate going into Verizon or another cell carrier store??

Miss Anything?

I still miss overall comfort. It’s getting difficult to get up and down from chairs and from the bed at night. BUT, that’s just part of it, right? It’s temporary. I can handle temporary.

Movement?

Both girls are still rather active, but they’ve started slowing down. I’ve read somewhere recently that after 30 weeks, you tend to not notice as much movement as in previous weeks just because the baby is growing and her space is becoming limited. SO, I assume with 2, they have even less space. However, when we see them every week on ultrasound, both are just fine and moving around as normal. Just not as many kicks and jabs as I’ve felt before.

Mood?

Overall, it’s been a good mood around here lately. Everything I’ve been stressed about with work, is GONE. Our new hire started on Monday and she’s picking up QUICK. I already know she’ll handle everything just fine while I’m gone. It’s been SUCH a relief and answered prayer really!

What am I Looking Forward To?

Our anniversary is next week. We’re still trying to decide what to do, but we’re both looking forward to it.


Worth remembering...

I posted this on Facebook and IG earlier this week, but Stephen was helping with the laundry and started matching all of the girls’ socks. It was just a full-circle kind of moment that hit me. I can’t wait to see him with his girls. He is going to be SMITTEN I just know it!


We couldn’t get scheduled this week for our weekly appointment and ultrasound, so we’re going 10 days in between appointments this time instead of 7..which is fine. We’ll go Monday and see how they’re doing. Our doctor said last week, we’d start talking soon about calendar dates. EEK! 

Chances are these girls will be born via c-section whether it’s scheduled or if I go into labor on my own. They’re just not positioned for a vaginal birth and never have been. Of course, anything can happen and anything can change in the next few weeks, but MORE THAN LIKELY, we’re looking at a c-section. Which is totally fine with me, whatever is best for our girls I’m on board with!  Time frame wise if everything continues to go well, she won’t let us go more than 4-5 more weeks. FOUR TO FIVE MORE WEEKS!?!!? How has this flown by THIS fast?!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fall-la-la

I had every intention of sharing my Thursday Confessions today (because I've got some doozies saved up), but it's the "official" first day of Fall so I thought I would break out the annual Fall decor post! 

PLUS, if you've been following my blogger friend, Sarah, you've seen that today in her Fall Favorites Series she's sharing her Fall decor. Be sure to check out the comments to find links to others' fall home decor ideas!!

I didn't go back and look at last year's post, but I'm going to assume that not too much has changed this year. This is the first year, I've not bought a single new item to add to my collection. WHAAAAT?! To see last year's post, just click here. I think the longer we're in our home, the more our seasonal decorations will find their set places and not be moved around as much...we'll see. 


I took all of these pictures early yesterday morning. Early, as in still dark outside early and my real camera's batteries were dead...so it is what it is this year friends. 

Anything that looks specific for Halloween will be removed for a few specific Thanksgiving touches. The "trick or treat" will become "gobble, gobble, gobble"...gotta love the $1 aisle at Target for little goodies like this! The canvas I painted last year and ended up selling several of; it was a last minute decision but turned out fun! 


Inside my antique cabinet, there's the usual breakable seasonal things. I have a feeling these will be in here FOR SURE for the next several years. 


I've kept our table simple this year because lately it's been a catch all for random gifts coming in, thank you card writing, owners manuals and warranty cards to fill out for carseats, strollers, etc. It's just been too cluttered lately to worry about a bigger centerpiece.


More breakables that will never be moved until the girls are what...10?


On top of the same cabinet...I love this little space!


My favorite wreath! I love changing this thing out every season or on a whim to new colors! The box of all colored fabric flowers makes my heart happy when I open it. 


I added a couple of fun pumpkins to our tv stand and will use the jack-o-lantern on top for Halloween candy in a few weeks. 


I got this Halloween table runner years ago at Kohls and just LOVE it. At some point, I'll add some candy corn to the glass pumpkin jar and then remove the table runner after Halloween. But for now, it's cheerfully perfect!


Ok, on to our mantel. I managed to shove the large stroller box that had delivered the night before out of the way for this one picture. 

I don't think this has changed much from last year. Our mantel is the perfect size for fun decorations and for layering.




This metal pumpkin by our entryway table will be moved out side in a couple of weeks. For now, I'm trying to keep my fall-craziness contained to the inside of the house and not parade it to the neighbors just yet. (Hence the HUGE mum I'm hiding on the back porch for the time-being.)


Fall means football, and I'm still in love with these printables I found online a couple of years ago along with the wood power T that I picked up at the Bell Buckle arts and crafts fair last October!


Finally, our orange and (kind of) white burlap rag wreath. Stephen loves when this one comes out every year. It's his favorite piece in my Fall collection. 


That's it friends...thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you're enjoying this first day of fall too! I maaaay have filled my cup with cider this morning before walking out the door...the heart wants what the heart wants! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Catch Up...

Today I'm sharing a few photos (to make more storage room on my phone...I've gotta do something about that problem soon!) to catch up on life lately. There was a time when I thought "eh, my blog won't be TOTALLY about pregnancy or our girls" and yet, here we are. It's the phase of life we are in and I'm so thankful for it! However, I know it may not be everyone's cup of tea to read right now, and that's ok..I get it. But if you're following along with us on this journey, thank you for sharing in our joy! We've caught ourselves looking at each often lately and in total disbelief that we'll be parents of TWO girls in less than 5 weeks! MIND. BLOWN. 

 For our showers, I wanted to give a little "thank you" gift to all the ladies that helped host our special days. I was able to hit up Bath & Body Works on two separate occasions and stock on SEVERAL Sweet Pea hand soaps. 


I bagged them up in clear, cellophane bags, tied them off ribbons and a tag I made on Pic Monkey that said, "Thank you for showering our Sweet Peas with love! Stephen, Erica, Amelia & Mae Parker" (Shout out to the handy salesgirl on shopping trip #2 for the free bags and ribbon! She was a sucker for the twin girls thing as soon as I told her what I was doing. Turns out, Bath & Body Works girls are fairly inquisitive when you check out with 20+ bottles of the same thing.) 


We've been gifted with ALOT of diapers. This pic doesn't do justice for all the other packages, boxes and cases we have on hand! We can't imagine how many we're going to be going through, but we have a pretty good stockpile going in Stephen's parents' basement. We're keeping all the newborn sizes in storage here and anything bigger sending to their house for the time being. 


My feet and ankles have begun swelling pretty regularly lately. I shared this on IG last week, but I was able to maneuver my hard drive at work around to be the perfect foot rest for my puffy "cankles". #noshame


My friend Angela gave us a rocking chair several months ago before they moved. I sent it off to be painted and recovered and picked it up last week. It looks SO good in the girls' room...I can't wait to share a big 'ol "finished project" post on our nursery! 


(I'm also a tad sad that I won't be able to lay the seats down in my car and haul stuff around much longer. BUT, the two carseats behind me will be a more than welcomed change!)

Back to the "cankles"....

Compared to several in my family, somehow I turned out with the most normal feet and rather small ankles. My feet and hands are the only body parts to ever be referred to as "dainty" for me. HA. #truestory 

SO...when my feet started swelling last week, let's just say Stephen started doing anything he could think of (ice packs included..and who even knows if that works) to get the swelling to go down and my feet back to normal. I've tried to reassure him that it's totally normal and SHOULDN'T last after the pregnancy. I don't think the ice packs worked, but I'm not going to let him stop fussing over me just yet. I kinda like it! 


We've gone from appointments every 3-4 weeks to every 7-10 days. On Friday we got to see our head-butting (literally) little girls. They are growing perfectly and doing wonderful. I hope to share a bit more about them later this week in a 32 week bumpdate post. These 4 weeks in between "bumpdates" are FLYING!


Stephen's mom ordered these cute smocked dresses for Christmas and the cutest little socks! I just need to find the perfect tiny, little red bow for them!


Speaking of in-laws...my father in law is becoming quite the runner lately. Look at his time at a 5K over the weekend! 


He finished 1st in his age division! Go POPS!!! (He's in the orange shirt below...he had LOTS of time to change clothes after he finished and before they handed out medals.)


If you read my post (here) a few weeks ago about the baby shower my side of the family held for us, you read the story about how my dad's brother, my uncle Jerrie, has nicknamed our girls Shirley & Pearlie, and you read the poem he wrote and recorded for us. 

Not long ago, he was suddenly diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. The man has hardly ever been sick in his life and has never smoked. If you look up this disease....well, it's frightening and extremely progressive just to be blunt. 


Currently, he is very sick and has been in the hospital for several days now. He's waiting to hear from a transplant program, and in desperate need of a double lung transplant soon. My aunt, Cheri has barely left his side and our family and their friends stream in and out visiting all day long. We all faith in The Great Physician. This is definitely a "baby steps" process for Jerrie, but any improvement is welcomed. If you feel led, I beg you pray for him and the road ahead of him. 

He's a wonderful God-fearing man. He's a hard-worker and loves his family fiercely...it's difficult for everyone to see how this has brought him down, but we're praying constantly for his healing! 

Thanks for stopping by today, have a wonderful Tuesday!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Our Church Baby Shower

On Sunday afternoon, some of the ladies at our church hosted the sweetest baby shower for us!  My dad has been a preacher for longer than I've been alive. In my 33 years, he's worked with only 4 congregations...so, we tend to stay where we're at for many years. Being the "preacher's family" comes with an implied set of expectations, but honestly, we've never minded. I can't imagine having grown up any differently than my sister and I did. 

We've been attending our current church for 4 years, while it's the shortest amount of time we've been with a group (to this point), the love that these people show us is overwhelming. We are so thankful for them all and for the love and excitement they have for our girls' arrival!


Had to sneak in the obligatory, grandmas, aunt, great-great grandma photo!


Random fact: I LOVE punch. Doesn't really matter what kind..I LOVE it all. Just that morning during church, I leaned over and told Stephen I was really thirsty. He asked if I wanted him to go get me a water. I said, "No, I REALLY want punch." He just laughed and shook his head. So I guess, I had a punch craving that morning...and it was specific...I wanted the easiest punch recipe out there...sherbet and ginger ale punch. It sounded SO good to me. Fast forward a few hours, and there it was! My heart was full!


Some of the ladies who helped host our shower...they are all so good to us! 








Once again, we received so many wonderful gifts for the girls and SO many cute clothes! This was the first shower that we received more matching clothes than anything else. I'm not going to lie...as much as I've said that they'll match sometimes but they don't have to have everything matching, it sure is fun to see 2 of the same little outfits, sleepers, gowns, etc! 



Katey and I have been friends for a looong. were in each other's weddings, go to church together, hang out with our husbands together. They're our go-to's for a game night or card playing night. I cherish her friendship so much! (and am slightly jealous that they're on a plane to Hawaii today..but that's a story for another day)


This lady. She has been one of our biggest encouragers from our first Sunday at church. There's something special to be said about the relationship you form with the people you sit right behind during church service every week, am I right? I have a feeling our girls will be pew hopping or crawling to sit with Mrs. Deloris as soon as they can...if she doesn't swipe them up herself first! 


Our nephew Riley took the camera and started going snap happy at the end of the shower, I'm sparing you about 50 photos on my camera card of random shots. So, this isn't the best picture, but it's not awful coming from a 9 year old. I just love these ladies! 




 Get ready for a few more from Riley...wait for it....


Yikes! 


Fresh flowers and raspberry sherbet...my heart swoons. He must've known about my craving! ha


I'm not sure how he got Mrs. Nelda to do this. Yes, I do...he probably just asked her and she happily obliged. Like I said, our church family is the best! 

Well friends, that wraps up our baby showers. We will never be able to express our gratitude for everyone that came and all the hard work that SO many people put in to planning our special days. I'm a firm believer in the "it takes a village to raise a child" saying, and I'm proud of the village that will surround Amelia & Mae Parker. They have THE best examples of Christian men, women, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, siblings, friends....

We can't wait for the girls to meet their village!