Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Harper Shea

I've managed to be away from the blog for too long again, but this time I have the best excuse! 

Harper Shea arrived on Wednesday, September 16 at 8:02am.  She weighed 8lbs 12oz and was 20.5 inches long.  The past two weeks have been full of adjustments, but we're settling in nicely as a family of four.  In between feedings, diaper changes, and being a mommy to two sweet girls, I've been working on Harper's birth story.  I hope to finish it soon.  Until then, here are some pictures of our newest addition!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Weekend: Eric and Chelsea's Wedding

Our weekend was busy, but so wonderful!

After years of dating, Eric and Chelsea were married on Saturday.  Chelsea had already asked me to be a bridesmaid and Eric was planning to ask B to be a groomsman when we found out we were expecting. Realizing I would be nine months pregnant at the time of the wedding, we decided that being in the wedding party probably wasn't the best idea.  We hated not being an active part of their special day, but, given the circumstances, were happy to watch from the sidelines.

The wedding was at a beautiful outdoor venue.  We were all afraid it would rain at some point, but, thankfully, that wasn't the case.  It was overcast, but dry, and things were able to go on as planned.

 Aniston was a flower girl, and loved every minute of it...even though she forgot to throw her flowers until after the wedding was over.  She took everything very seriously, and did much better than I expected her to as she stood with the bridesmaids. 

My dad was Eric's best man, and he escorted Aniston out after the ceremony.  It may have been the sweetest thing I've ever seen.


We had a great time at the reception, even though I spent most of the time sitting down. My belly doesn't really allow for much dancing these days, but B had a pretty precious partner as a fill-in. :)

Since Harper's due date is so close, my biggest fear was missing their wedding.  It was a beautiful day, and I'm so glad we were able to be there!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Aniston started preschool this week.  The past four years have passed so quickly.  Our sweet girl is growing up much faster than we'd like, and it seems like we arrived at this milestone in the blink of an eye.  We've spent the last several months preparing for preschool.  We talked about it a lot, let her pick out a bookbag, and attended orientation.

When Tuesday arrived, Aniston was ready.  Her mama?  Not so much.

Since I'm a bit emotional these days anyway, and since sometimes Aniston and I have separation issues, B suggested he take her on the first day.  As much as it killed me not  to go, it was absolutely the best decision for us.  We said our goodbyes at home, gave each other special kisses in our palms, and I left with a huge lump in my throat.

I cried as I prayed for her day in the garage.  I cried on the way to work out of worry--What if she was scared?  Lonely?  Didn't like it?  I cried in the parking lot because my baby isn't a baby anymore and everything is changing this month, and I just don't know how to deal with that.

A little after 8:30, B called and I realized my tears and worry had been completely wasted.

Our girl bopped into her classroom without feeling the need to even tell her daddy bye.  There were no tears and no signs of hesitation on her part at all.  B sounded a bit incredulous as he relayed the events of the morning to me. 

She had a great first day, and every day since then has been the same.  She loves it, and I'm so happy for her.  We've spent every evening this week playing school, and it's so sweet to watch her.  She has put little pieces of tape on our rug to denote our spots for story time.  There are center signs on the walls.  We've been told to raise our hands if we have something to say, and if we want a snack we should say "yes, ma'am," when it's offered.  She's a little sponge, and she's taking it all in.

She can't wait to get there each morning.  Yesterday, B said the assistant got her out of the car, helped her put on her bookbag, and then Aniston ran to the door.  The teacher in me says she probably shouldn't be running, but the mama in me couldn't be happier.  She ran because she's excited to be there and can't wait to start her day, and I'm so thankful for that. 

She's going to have a great year!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five on Friday

1| Busy, busy, busy
After a nearly three week break from the blog, I'm back!  I made it through a week of teacher workdays and two weeks of the new school year--whew!  We're off to a great start.  The days have been long and tiring--like they always are at the beginning of the year--because there's just so much to do after the students go home, but it has been great.  I love third grade, and I'm enjoying getting to know this group of kids. 

2| September
When we found out we were expecting in January, September seemed so far away--too far away to even fathom, really.  When I flipped the calendar page to September on Tuesday, I a) couldn't believe it, and b) couldn't believe how many things were written in the tiny squares already.  It's going to be a busy--but good--month!  Aniston starts preschool next week (more on that in a minute), Eric and Chelsea are getting married next weekend, and we're having a baby.  All of those things are exciting by themselves, but when you put them all together, that's a lot of life for just one month!

3| Preschool
Earlier in the summer, I mentioned we had enrolled Aniston in a half-day preschool program at a local church.  We really think it will be great for her, and we're excited to see her learn and grow this year.  She had orientation a few weeks ago, and I was so nervous for her.  I quickly realized there wasn't any need for me to worry, though, when she came to me (the parents were encouraged to stay to watch) and asked when B and I were leaving...and was pretty disappointed when I said we weren't.  Ha!  I hope that's a sign of good things to come.  Going to preschool for the first time and then welcoming a baby sister two weeks later is a lot of change for a four year old (and our little family).  I'm praying it all goes well.

4| Baby Update
Counting today, we're seventeen days and a morning away from meeting Harper Shea!  My appointments are weekly now, and everything is still going well.  My doctor had worried about my blood pressure going up when I went back to work, but, thankfully, that hasn't been the case.  She's still measuring ahead, but we haven't had an ultrasound lately so we're not really sure how big this little girl is going to be.  I can't believe we're this close!

5| And yet...
We're still not ready for her.  (Is anyone surprised by that?)  We're getting there, but we're just not quite ready yet.  There are still several things that need to be done or purchased, and hopefully we'll take care of most of those this weekend.  (Maybe.)  I do have a bag packed, and I'm pretty proud of that...since I didn't have one ready with Aniston and had to give our parents lists of things to bring to the hospital.  Harper's hospital things are ready, too, and I'm working on getting Aniston's stuff together for her nights with grandparents.  B installed Harper's carseat in my car earlier this week.  It's so strange to look back there and see two carseats!

Have a great (long!) weekend, friends! :)

I'm linking up with April and Amy today.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Teacher workdays start tomorrow and, just like that, summer is over for me.

I feel like I've failed this summer in lots of ways.  There were so many things I wanted to do, especially with Aniston, that I just haven't had the energy for.  This pregnancy has been so much harder on me.  (Physically speaking.  Emotionally, it has been a hundred times better.)  I had planned to make this last just-the-two-of-us summer so special and fun...and it just didn't happen.

We didn't visit the library for story time.  We didn't go to the splash pad.  We didn't go to the movies.  We didn't do much shopping.  We haven't played outside as much as she wanted to.  For the first time in her little life, we didn't even go on a vacation this year.  Between my doctor appointments, B's work schedule, and him being part of the worship team at church, there just wasn't a good time to go.  (Not to mention the fact that I couldn't even imagine lugging all the beach necessities and a four year old through the sand to sit in the sun all day right now.)

Even though, logically, I know that it's okay, I still feel like I've failed her.  Next summer will be different.  It won't just be me and her during the day anymore.  Harper will be here, and as wonderful as that will be, it will be different.  That's such a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around at this point.  Maybe it's because she isn't here yet and I don't know how our family dynamics will change.  Maybe it's because I fear the unknown.  Maybe I'm afraid Aniston will feel slighted, less special, less loved.

Maybe it's pregnancy hormones and I need to get a grip.

This morning, as all these thoughts were running through my mind, I took time to snuggle with her as she started to wake. I told her what a treasure she is.  I told her how precious she is to me.  I told her that just like God had made every star in the sky, He had also made her, and she is beautiful and perfect and a thousand other things that I can't even put into words.  On this last day of our last just-the-two-of-us summer, I breathed her in and marveled at the wonder she is.

And then I asked a question.  A simple question, but one I was afraid to hear the answer to, one I had already cried over.

Did you have a good summer?  Her answer was a quick yes with a smile.

Curious, I followed with another.

What was your favorite part?  Without any hesitation at all, she answered,  "You, Mommy.  My favorite part was you."

Maybe I didn't fail after all. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Five on Friday

1| Harper
I had an appointment on Wednesday to check on Harper.  Everything is going well, and her heart rate is in the 140s.  She's still big--measuring at over 36 weeks when I'll only be 34 tomorrow.  Dr. H says she's in the 78th percentile, and he's anticipating a healthy, chubby baby at the end of September.  Lots of people have asked if the c-section date will be adjusted, and the short answer is no.  Barring any complications, we're still looking at September 21.  Dr. H is sure of the due date and, even though he says it will be a very uncomfortable month for me, it's what's best for Harper.

2| Classroom Progress
A few weeks ago, we (and by 'we' I mean several other people--I only supervised) painted two of my classroom walls.  Last week, I decided I really, really needed the front wall painted (it looked so...blah compared to the others).  Thankfully, I have a husband and dad who went along with my whim and painted for me on Tuesday night.  I still have lots to do on the teacher workdays next week, but I'm happy with the progress so far.

3| Speaking of Teacher Workdays...
I can't believe the summer is over.  I'm ready to get back in the classroom (even if it is only until September 21), but, at the same time, I'm not quite ready to give up my days with Aniston--even if some of those days have been very, very difficult.  Which leads me to...

4| Four is Worse than Two
We made it through the so-called Terrible Twos with very few (major) tantrums.  The Terrific Threes were, well, terrific.  But four?  Oh. my. word.  Tantrum after tantrum, an unparalleled level of stubbornness, arguing with nearly everything I say, constantly bargaining instead of listening to directions, lots of attitude...mercy.  I have just been so frazzled by the end of the day sometimes.  Why didn't anyone warn me about this?!  I keep reminding myself that it's just a passing phase and will be over soon--or at least I hope it is!

5|  B's Birthday
We celebrated B's 34th birthday on Wednesday.  (He was 19 when we started dating.  There's nothing quite like a realization like that to make you feel like time really is flying.)  I'm so thankful for the person he is, and for another year together!

Have a great weekend, friends!

I'm linking up with April and Amy today.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Five on Friday

This week has been insanely busy for us...which is why my Five on Friday is really a Five on Saturday morning.

1| Outcry
B and I had the opportunity to go to an Outcry Tour concert on Monday night.  It featured Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Crowder, and lots of other Christian artists.  We had a great time!  It was in Greensboro, which is around two hours away from us.  The concert was long, and we didn't get home until after 2am.  By the time I crawled into bed, I was beyond exhausted, and felt very, very old.  Ha!

2| School
I've spent a lot of time in my classroom lately.  I was hoping to finish this week so I could really enjoy the last couple of weeks of summer, but that was a pretty lofty goal and didn't happen.  I've made a lot of progress, though, and it's beginning to come together and doesn't feel quite as overwhelming anymore.  B, my parents, and my friend Brooke have helped a ton this week, and our church life group came on Thursday to help paint, too.  I'm so grateful to all of them because I definitely couldn't have done any of it on my own!

3| Harper
I had an OB appointment on Wednesday to check on Miss Harper.  Her heart rate was great, but I measured three to four weeks ahead.  This was a big jump from my last appointment two weeks earlier, so my doctor was concerned and wanted to schedule an ultrasound as soon as possible.  I went back on Thursday for that.  Thankfully, everything is fine!  They checked the amniotic fluid level, and it was normal--too much would have been a cause for concern.  I'm measuring ahead because Harper is measuring ahead.  I'm 32 weeks today, and on Thursday she measured just a little over 35 weeks.  According to the ultrasound, she already weighs 5lbs 1oz and her little feet are over two inches long.  She is extremely active (which I already knew) and has a head full of hair and chubby cheeks.  We were able to watch her yawn a huge yawn and wave her hands around.  We loved seeing her again, and are so, so thankful that everything is okay.  She's big, but healthy.  No one is concerned about her size at this point, especially since she's a scheduled c-section.  They're planning to keep a close check on her, and if I continue to measure ahead we'll probably have another ultrasound in four weeks.

4| Anniversary
We celebrated our ninth anniversary on Wednesday.  It was simple and low-key, but wonderful all the same.  We went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner...along with what seemed like the rest of the country.  Unbeknownst to us, we were married on National Cheesecake Day.  This ended up being both a blessing and a curse: our slices of cheesecake were half off, but we had to wait for a table for forty-five minutes on a Wednesday night.  Anyway, after I got over myself and stopped whining, we had a great time and the food was, as always, just heavenly.  We enjoyed spending time together, and left stuffed and happy.  (Also, the wait time as we were leaving?  Two and a half hours.  Insane.)

5| August
August is always a busy and expensive month for us (thanks to me going back to work and thinking that I can't live without new things for my classroom), and this year is going to be even more so as we get ready for Aniston to start preschool and Harper to arrive in September.  I'm determined to stick to a budget both time- and money-wise.  Let's hope this determination lasts for more than a day.

Have a great weekend, friends!

 I'm linking up with April and Amy today.