Giveaway Public Service Announcement

I was just looking through the entrants for the giveaway, and I realized I neglected to remind you all to either (1) include an e-mail address in your comment or (2) make sure your profile is linked to your blog so I can leave you a comment letting you know you won!

So if you didn't leave an e-mail and there is no other way for me to contact you, please leave another comment with your e-mail. Any entries that do not include some way for me to contact you will not be counted (I hate sounding so mean, but this is important, People!).

Also, one comment came through as anonymous, and I don't know who to give that entry to - so check to make sure it wasn't you! I wanted to be nice and give Ms. Anonymous a chance. *smile*

That's all.


Blogging In McDonald's

Tonight Derek and I are going on a date night. What's the occasion, you may ask? The occasion is that we haven'te been out in months, and since Wyatt is weaned I want some seafood. Derek is sweet enough to play along, since he happens to hate seafood, but I've been waiting over a year to have some, so we're going!

At the moment I'm waiting for him in McDonald's because they have free Wi-fi. I was considering going home first after work and taking a shower to get all the spit out of my hair, but I had unsuccessful attempt to download my iPod's software update over lunch break. I was a mere seven minutes away from completion when I had to go back to work.

Seven minutes! And it has to start over every time I stop it, which means I have to wait an hour or longer again.

I would just download it at home, but our internet stinks. If you live in a rural area and know a good high-speed internet provider, please tell me the secret. Thanks.

I've been wanting this update for months, because I want the Pinterest and Grace To You apps, and I can't get them without the update! So I am going to complete this download before we get dinner if I have to sit here all night.

Okay, that's not actually true; I'm not that crazy. But if you knew how much time I've devoted to this today, you would think I was crazy. Thankfully I have nothing better to do anyway since I can't go home without driving forty-five minutes, and I'm waiting to meet my hubby.

The one bad thing about date nights on days that I work is that I don't get to see much of Wyatt. I kissed him goodbye this morning, and by the time we get to my mom's to pick him up it'll be way past his bedtime, so it will be straight home and to bed for him. This will play out nicely for Derek, because I'll most likely volunteer for the early morning feeding so I can snuggle with the baby.

Speaking of sleep, remember that one post about how well Wyatt sleeps? He is totally making it non-relevant the last couple weeks. He's waking up once or twice in the middle of the night every night, which is unheard of for him. And we keep trying all kinds of things, and nothing's working!

We've figured out that he's not eating enough right before bed, so he's waking up hungry - and we've started to suspect that maybe his regular formula is giving him too much gas. So my new plan is to go back to the sensitive formula, and see if that works. He also could be growing or teething, but who knows? He actually did sleep alright last night though, so maybe there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm excited right now, because I downloaded Windows Live Writer the other day, and I actually might have time to check it out while I wait for my download. I hear it's amazing.

I refuse to waste time watermarking and resizing pictures for a post until I figure Live Writer out, so I apologize for the picture-less posts lately. I better play with it and decide what I think soon though, because Wyatt's eight month post is coming up, and I have to include pictures in that post. Plus I have a bunch of six month photo shoot pictures that I keep meaning to share. Anyway, if I like Live Writer maybe I'll do a post about it.

I realize I have alot of blog housekeeping to do. I haven't changed the poll on the sidebar in about a month, and I haven't updated my book list. But I did get around to re-designing my page. Totally ignoring the "content is more important than design" rule there. I just like to make things look pretty.

Twenty-eight minutes left on the download! I think we're going to make it this time.

Don't worry, I won't write for twenty-eight more minutes. I'm done.



He Cares About The Little Things

I am just overwhelmed at God's goodness as I write this!

I can't go into details, but Derek has been going through a situation at work. Basically, if things went one way, it could make his job for the next year alot more stressful. From all appearances, it looked like this change was going to be inevitable, and we were both kind of resigned to it, though we did pray that things would just stay the same if at all possible.

Well, Derek recently had the meeting that would decide whether this thing at work was going to change or not, and I was praying for the meeting, that if at all possible the Lord would work it out for things to stay the way they are.

But with the Lord, nothing is impossible! It was decided that the changes were not going to happen after all! When I heard, I just wanted to cry, because I know it was wearing on Derek, but the Lord worked it all out for us!

I'm just amazed at how the Lord cares about the little details about our lives. This wasn't anything too drastic or earth-shattering - it just would have caused a bit more work and stress. But the Lord heard our prayers, and showed His love to us this way.

This reminder that the Lord cares and wants to hear about even the little things we have to deal with in this life came at such a perfect time for me. I know the Lord not only did this for Derek, but He did it at this precise moment in time to remind me that He's got this - He's got everything under control. He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), He loves us (1 John 3:1), and He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28), even when it is in a less obvious way than in this instance.

What an awesome God we have!


6-9 Month Clothes

A sweet friend of mine from dental hygiene school sent me a gift card for Wyatt when she heard he was born! I finally decided to use it last week (plus a little out of my own pocket - I couldn't resist the cuteness) to buy these for Wyatt! We were in desperate need of some 6-9 month clothes.

Clothes For My Baby









Fashion To Figure Giveaway!

I was recently contacted by a company called, Fashion To Figure, and they asked me to host a giveaway on the blog!

Fashion To Figure is a company that offers fashionable clothes in sizes 12-26. I checked out their website, and they have a ton of cute options! Here are some of my favorites.




I'm liking the color blocking trend this year.


Feminine top.


Pretty jacket.




Cute dresses.


I think this dress with some boots and a cardigan would be perfect for fall!


If you win this giveaway you can pick out any item that is $30 or less from the website as your prize!

When I was scoping it out to see if I would like to host a giveaway for Fashion To Figure, I was kind of expecting that the clothes would be a bit pricey. It seems that alot of times when a company is filling a specific niche like this, they tend to over-charge.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the prices are very affordable! There are alot of options for the $30-or-less-prize. In fact all the items I included in this post (except for that last dress - I splurged a bit when I picked that one) are less than $30!

Now, I'm aware that alot of you may not fit into the size 12-26 range, but if you win the giveaway you could . . .

(1) Pick from their accessories. I like this necklace, for example:



Or

(2) You could offer to let a friend who does fit into the size range pick out a prize instead!

I'm going to keep this simple:

To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment telling me your fall go-to outfit!

This giveaway will end next Wednesday, October 5th, and I'll announce the winner on Friday!


Nail Trends . . .

Now participating in the gray/taupe nail color craze . . .



Hope you all have a great weekend!

Moms And Babies - Lyndsey






This week I'm featuring Lyndsey from It's A Love Story, Baby Just Say Yes! I found Lyndsey's blog shortly after getting pregnant with my baby, and it's been fun reading her blog through our pregnancies and the births of our little boys! Read on to learn more about her!



Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I'm Lyndsey. Former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I have been married for 3 years, and my husband and I are loving every minute of life with our newest addition!

What's your baby's name and how old is he?

Our son's name is Liam Briggs and he is 5 1/2 months old.



Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

Right now our daily schedule goes something like this…

8-8:30am - Liam wakes up and eats.
9:30am - "breakfast" time - oatmeal.
10am - Liam naps.
11am - Liam eats.
1pm - Liam naps.
2pm - Liam eats.
4pm - Liam naps.
5pm - Liam eats.
6:30pm - "dinner" - fruit/veggie.
7:30pm - Liam eats.
8pm - bedtime.

That's our typical weekday schedule with of course lots of playtime and some errands and play dates sprinkled in. I try to be at home during most of his meals so I can nurse him and run errands in between if I need to. And his "naps" can be very hit or miss depending on the day!

If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

curious, flirtatious, and snuggly



What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I will have to agree with your last mama Ashley and say unconditional love! It takes my breath away how much I love my little guy. He's going to be SO embarrassed by me as he gets older because I require about 10 dozen kisses a day!

Also having something to dress up everyday is pretty fun and you CAN find cute boy clothes out there, it just takes a while to narrow down the good stores!



Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Ha….nope. I guess breastfeeding worked for me and eating (kind of) healthy, but it wasn't an overnight thing like it seems to be for everyone else. Honestly, I think it was mainly just that I gave myself time. I was super swollen after my c-section from all the iv fluids that I actually felt bigger after Liam was born! And breastfeeding was so stressful that I was afraid to cut down my meals for fear of losing my milk supply. I was pretty petite before Liam came around without having to work too hard at it, so I figured eventually I would shrink back down. And I did. It just took a little longer than others - I wasn't back down to my pre-preg weight until Liam was around 4 months. And even now that I'm down even more, my clothes still don't fit the same because my body has changed. So…just give yourself TIME! And then go shopping :)

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

We probably haven't been the best at this, but we do go on dates every now and then. We just make sure to talk to each other about our days, and not always talk about the baby. We're also pretty protective of our weekends. Since Will's not home much during the week we will block out family time or plan activities ahead of time to maximize our time together.

Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

I agree with what a lot of the other moms have said - I feel like there's good "must-haves" for every stage and they constantly change! Liam's playmat has been one consistent thing he's been able to grow with and it still entertains him. Right now he's also liking his Jumperoo. We no longer swaddle, but the Halo Sleepsack was our saving grace! Also, get yourself a good stroller you can go walking with - my little guy LOVES to walk and it gives this mama time to think/relax/listen to music.



What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

My favorite family outing has to be our vacation to the Bahamas we just took. It was a great week of just the three of us! My favorite family moments are weekend mornings when Will and I go in to wake up Liam together and he's so smiley and happy to see us both.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Cut yourself and your baby some slack. Especially in the blog world where there are so many other people in the same season of life you are in, it's hard not to get caught up in comparing your life and your baby with theirs. It's okay if your baby doesn't meet every milestone a month early. What's important is that they're happy and healthy and are loved. Seems easy enough, but I have to remind myself of this daily!

Oh, and you can NEVER give your baby enough kisses :)




Thanks, Lyndsey! Check out Lyndsey's blog to read more!

Freaky People

Do you ever run into someone who just freaks you out?

Apparently someone came into the office this week and was acting really weird, like he was casing the place. Now all the girls are a little freaked out - worried that he may come back and hold us hostage or something.

I intend to buy some pepper spray, keep my phone and the spray on me at all times, and make sure we walk out to our cars in a group, especially after dark.

Any other self-defense tips? Prayers for the Lord to put His hand of protection over us and our place of work are appreciated.


Infertility Guest Post (Full Version)

Note: This is the full copy of a guest post I did for Jessica's blog. I just wanted to post it here for my own records.

I used to wonder, "Why me?" Why did I have to struggle to get pregnant when it seemed so many other girls could get pregnant without even trying?

My months of infertility were one of the hardest things I've had to go through yet. I have always wanted to be a mom and the thought that I may never get the chance broke my heart.

At the time, I struggled to see the purpose in it all. Of course in my head I knew that the Lord always has a plan. But it was frustrating not knowing His plan and wondering why. I couldn't see it.

But as I think back on our journey to get pregnant with our son, when I look for the purpose in it now, I can more clearly see it. He does see the big picture, and I don't - I can't know all His reasons for allowing us to go through ovulatory infertility for 11 months. But I realize now that there are several things I gained through those months of waiting and hoping for a baby, and God did use it in my life personally, and to help others.

I learned to trust Him. It's easy to say you are trusting the Lord when everything is going your way, but the hard work of trusting him comes when everything is falling apart.

I never knew His power, His comfort, His grace as deeply as when I had to give Him my deepest desire and just trust Him. I had to accept that He knows what He's doing and let Him handle it. In exchange, I got the gift of knowing Him better - and I wouldn't trade that for an easier road to motherhood.

Through our problems getting pregnant the Lord also gave me the opportunity to really know what other girls were going through and to have the ability to be an encouragement. You really can't understand how lonely and heartbreaking infertility is until you have dealt with it yourself.

In retrospect, I realize that yes, those months of infertility were a huge trial I had to walk through . . . but it was more than that. It was a calling. The Lord doesn't call everyone to travel through infertility. I think the Lord led me through this for a reason - He knew I could handle it, and He wanted to use it in my life. Not only personally, but also that through this trial I could know what others were going through and be an encouragement to them, just as so many of them were an encouragement to me.

When I look at it that way - that the Lord chose me for this fertility struggle so that I could bring glory to Him and encouragement to others - it suddenly becomes a privilege to have walked through this trial, rather than something that was inflicted upon me. It is always a privilege to be used by Him, even if it means we have to go through some suffering - because didn't He suffer much worse for us?

Hindsight is 20/20. The Lord has allowed me to see the answer, at least part of it, to the "Why me?" questions I used to ask.

I can see how the Lord has used my trials, and in light of that, I wouldn't go back and change a thing.

Now, I know it's easy to say these things from the other side, now that I have a baby. But I just want to encourage all you ladies who are going through this now to look for the way the Lord wants to use this in your life, and the lives of others. Trust me, He will use it if you let Him.

But you have to look for it, or you just might miss it.






Infertility Guest Post

Today I'm posting at Jessica's blog, Something Beautiful (used to be Called to Serve)! Jessica is one of my oldest and dearest blog friends - we found each other's blogs two and half years ago, and Jessica is always so joyful and encouraging on her blog!

She recently opened up about her journey with infertility, and I'm so glad she did. I know she will be an encouragement to so many other ladies who might be going through this, because she's just an encouraging person!

Anyway, I was honored when she asked me to guest post about my fertility struggles, so you can go over and read my post here - be sure to look around and say hello to Jess while you're there!



Life Lately Letter

I got a comment recently asking how day-to-day life is going for me, and I realized I haven't done a plain 'ole, casual life post in a while! This is pretty much what I'd write if I was writing you a letter, so feel free to kick back and pretend you're getting this as a letter through the mail.

Dear {Your Name},

Life lately has been pretty quiet, non-stressful, and relaxing. It's probably because I just got back from vacation, but even before that things seemed to have slowed down some.

The weather is most certainly turning cooler, and I'm loving it. The leaves haven't turned yet, but they just sound like fall. I think the rustling of fall leaves sounds so much different than the rustling of summer leaves.

I've been getting the itch to sew something again. I got some really pretty fabric that I'm going to make into a quilt for our spare bedroom. I would have started on it long before now, but the last time I tried to sew, the sound of my sewing machine scared Wyatt. But I think I need to give it another try and see if the noise still scares him.

Another thing that's holding me up is that I"m waiting for this book to become available at the library. I'm about ready to just go out and buy it, for goodness' sake. I've rented it before, and I think there's a design in it that I want to use for my quilt, but apparently it's a pretty popular book.

Football season has started, and Derek has season tickets for his favorite college football team! I think we're going to try to go to a couple games this fall. I think Derek and Wyatt will look so cute together wearing their team t-shirts.

I no longer have to give myself those blood thinner shots (yay!). I talked to another hematologist, and he said that my blood clot is so tiny they can't even see it anymore, and since it was clearly a provoked blood clot, I'm okay to go off the shots. I just have to give myself the blood thinner before I fly, and they'll check my clot again whenever we have another baby to make sure it's gone (if it's not, I might have to be on it during the first trimester). So that's good news! I really don't relish the thought of giving myself shots in a pregnant belly though, so now I'm just praying it will finish dissolving before then.

I'm really enjoying work lately. Have I mentioned that my sister works in the same office that I do? My sister and I are best friends, so it makes it so much more fun to go to work when she's there. And have I also mentioned that I love my boss and coworker's? If I have to be away from my baby, at least I can be with people I like all day.

We're doing a walking contest at work. We're all wearing pedometers, and whoever has the most steps at the end of the month will win a spa treatment, or something else fun like that. My original goal was 10,000 steps a day, but I've been wearing my pedometer for a couple weeks, and I haven't reached that number once. I even spent a good portion of one day walking around a huge battleship museum, and I still only reached 8500. It's really hard to get that many steps in one day.

Regardless though, I think my sister or I have a good chance of winning, because apparently we're the only ones who are remembering to wear our pedometers every day. Still, I think I need to go walking up and down my road a few times a day to ensure a victory. I'll let you know how it goes.

So a quick story - about a month ago, I received a package in the mail from a company called Birch Box. Inside were alot of makeup samples. I thought they must have gotten my name from one of the magazines I get or something, and they must be trying to get me to buy something from them - I thought it was a pretty brilliant marketing strategy, actually. There are a couple products I want to buy now.

But then a few weeks ago I got another box, and when I looked on their website it said that for ten bucks a month you could get monthly boxes of makeup samples. My first thought was that someone must have signed me up for it, but then I started worrying that I'd get five boxes and then get a bill in the mail. So I called the company to make sure that wouldn't happen, and I found out my sister-in-law (the one we just visited), had signed me up for these monthly boxes of makeup samples! I thought that was so sweet of her - I have the best in-laws! You know I love my makeup and beauty products, and I've been enjoying testing them out.

And have I mentioned that my hair is falling out? I know they say after you have a baby, all the hair that you gained while pregnant can fall out all at once - but isn't seven months after I had my baby a little late for this to happen? And I didn't feel like my hair thickened much during pregnancy in the first place.

Wyatt has been growing like crazy - he's almost 17 pounds now! And I think he's going to be a lefty. Whenever he sucks his them, it's always his left thumb. He's tried to suck his right thumb a couple times, and it just looks awkward - he can't figure out how to make the right thumb work. I think he'll play sports right-handed though, if his "practice kicking" is any indication - he always kicks his right foot.

He's also doing this thing where he scrunches his nose and smiles at people - it's the cutest thing! I must try to get a picture of it, but for now, I'll give you one of him in his first real "fall" outfit. He wouldn't sit still for a picture, so this is the least blurry picture I have.



I'm reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp right now. I had been hearing alot about it online, and I thought I'd get it for our trip. It's a book about giving thanks for all God's gifts in life, including the little gifts that might be easy to miss if you aren't looking for them. She writes in such a poetic way though, and it's inspiring - I'm enjoying it.

I could go on, but I'll stop here. I tend to write really long letters. And if this were a real letter, I'd ask you all kinds of questions about how you are, how your family is, how's the weather, what have you been up to, etc.

Feel free to write me a "letter" blog post back! Talk to you soon!

Love,


Back From Out East


We just got back from vacation earlier this week! We had a wonderful time and did a lot of fun things, despite Derek getting sick for the first half of the week, and Wyatt developing a terrible diaper rash the second part of the week (it figures, but we didn't let it ruin our trip).

We visited Derek’s brother and sister-in-law for vacation this year, and it was so great to spend time with them, and to have them meet Wyatt for the first time! They also surprised us and rented a beach house for us to stay in for the last half of the week (they are so sweet and generous), and it was so cool to stay right next to the ocean like that.

Things I don’t have pictures of, but would like to remember:

Wyatt did great on the flight, and he even got some little wings from the flight attendant.

My sister-in-law surprised me by taking me for a manicure and pedicure – I had never had a pedicure at a salon before, so it was a highlight for me!

When we were swimming in the ocean, some dolphins swam by not 20 yards away from us. I spotted them first, because I was keeping an eye out for sharks - I never should have watched Jaws. But I read that when dolphins are nearby there probably aren’t any sharks in the same area, so it made me feel better, not to mention it was super-exciting to see dolphins for someone who rarely visits the ocean!

Here are some pictures!

We visited the governor’s mansion in New Bern.





Got some ice cream and Turkish delight in the “purple house” that Kara suggested (still hoping we can make it work to meet next time, Kara!).



Visited Kitty Hawk.







Visited a lighthouse.





Walked by the ocean and down a pier.







We went to stay at the beach house on Thursday.



We spent several hours on the beach.









We went to Wilmington and visited the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship memorial.





Wyatt stayed with his aunt and uncle so that Derek and I could take a walk on the beach.





And besides those things, we just spent time with Derek’s brother and sister-in-law, did a lot of reading and relaxing, and we played Settlers of Catan several times (we had never played it before – it’s a fun game)! We were able to relax and recharge. Wyatt did wonderfully, and I’m sure he must have grown an inch while we were gone (he went through a growth spurt that week).

Overall, it was a great first family vacation!

Okay, now fall can officially begin . . .



Seven Months

Wyatt is seven months old! I can’t believe how big he’s getting.





We tried several more foods this month: carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, and peas. Wyatt is such a good eater – he eats everything we give him. I think he particularly likes sweet potatoes though.



He is so smart, and he’s laughing and smiling even this month, if that’s possible. His sense of humor is developing. He also definitely recognizes and prefers that Derek or I hold him now. He does alright with everyone he knows, but sometimes he’ll get afraid if a stranger is holding him and he doesn’t see Derek or me.

One day when we were packing for vacation, I picked Wyatt up for a minute, and then glanced down and noticed he was starting at the wall. Then he got this huge grin on his face. I realized he was staring and smiling at the picture of Derek and me on the wall! It was so cute.

He loves looking at himself in the mirror. He’ll just stare at himself, and then he’ll start to smile – then he’ll glance at me in the mirror and then back at himself, and sometimes he’ll get a huge grin and then hide his face in my shoulder! It makes me laugh every time.

Wyatt went on his first vacation this month, and he did great! I think he got a little overwhelmed at times at all the new places, but he was so smiley and happy most of the time.



He also went on his first plane ride, and he did wonderfully – we got a couple comments from other passengers saying they didn’t even realize he was on the plane (even though we couldn’t get him to sleep for very long).



He also met his aunt and uncle for the first time this month.





We had our first trip to the beach! He wasn’t a fan of the sun, but he liked it when I carried him and waded in the water.





When Wyatt gets excited about something, he’ll kick his little legs and smile. I haven't mentioned it before, but for several months he does this thing where he kicks his right leg up and down when he's bored - it's so funny! I think he originally started doing it to bounce in his bouncer, but he'll do it anytime now. We joke that he's practicing for future sports.

He’s also been “talking” a lot more in the last couple of weeks – he’s using his tongue to make noises, and I can tell he’s trying to figure it out. He says “momomomomom” now (emphasis on the m’s), but I don’t think he’s quite associated it with me yet. Sometimes he fake-coughs, just to get us to look at him, and then he’ll give us a big grin.

He’s getting cuter by the second.

----------------------------------------------------------------

My Sweet Wyatt,

You are growing so fast! I know I say that every month, but it’s true. I’m just soaking in all these sweet baby moments, because it won’t be long before you’ll be crawling and walking, and soon you won’t be my baby anymore.
It melts me every time you cry and I pick you up and you sniffle and lay your head on my shoulder.

I think it is the sweetest thing when you grab my hair with your baby fingers.

You make my heart smile when you laugh at all my silly jokes (I only do it to make you laugh, and you deliver), and our giggling fits brighten my day.

I don’t mind the slobber at all when you give me one of your wet kisses.

I love every minute of it, Sweet Boy, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Always,
Your Mama




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