Anchors Aweigh : November 2016



Last week was a whirlwind of the very best kind. I just love Thanksgiving. I am definitely guilty of skipping ahead to Christmas when the calendar hits November 1st, but Thanksgiving Day is still something I absolutely love celebrating. It doesn't get much better than family and food!

Wednesday was November 23rd, which is the day in 2014 that Taylor Grace went to be with Jesus. Last year, it was the hardest day of the year for me. I have never felt so emotionally disconnected from the world as I did that day, and I knew it was going to be hard this year too. Last year, I was completely by myself, so I was really able to feel the weight of what that day meant to me. This year, I knew I would be surrounded by both mine and Parker's families. I am not really one to grieve in public and want everyone around me to be happy, so I decided not to remind anyone what day it was. Obviously Parker knew, and I had multiple conversations with Danielle about how anxious I was to be around so many people on a day that was so hard last year, so she knew as well. 

I woke up that morning and immediately Facetimed Parker. We sang Happy Birthday to Taylor Grace and blew out a "2" candle for her second birthday. We did the same thing last year with a "1" candle, and it's one of my favorite traditions for our sweet angel. 

When I walked downstairs, I found a bouquet of white roses on the counter with this note. Tears on tears on tears. Danielle wrote a note from 2 month old Emmett to his cousin Taylor. So sweet.

I spent the rest of Wednesday with my Phelps family, and it was a really sweet time seeing all of them. I am thankful for inlaws and family that embrace me even when Parker is away. Taylor was still in the back of my mind, but I was able to really enjoy my time with them. Love them very much!

Thursday was turkey day! Oh Thanksgiving dinner, how I love you. My family does a big Thanksgiving lunch which I love because it means I get to eat earlier! It also means I usually eat the leftovers for dinner... win win win ;). 

The day was spent with good old-fashioned family time. And these days, that means obsessing over my sweet nephew. He is one loved little boy!

Auntie Natalie was hanging out with her pupper nephews, and the next thing I saw was this little train of cuteness. It's a ruff life over there for Jenny and her cousin Sully. 

Eating for two on Thanksgiving was not something to complain about! I did have terrible indigestion that night, but at least I earned it! I found my belly doubles nicely for a table. Look mom, no hands!

 My immediate family. Just missing my sweet husband, but this was the first year we had baby Emmett with us! So thankful for them. Family is everything, yall.

  I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving with the ones you love!

Dear Taylor | 2 Years Later

Dear Taylor Grace,

Today is November 23, 2016. This means you have now been in Heaven for 2 whole years. How is that possible? In some ways it feels like just yesterday that you were growing inside me, and in others, it feels like a lifetime ago. I hate that. 

Reflecting back on year 2 of knowing you are There instead of here, many things haven't changed. I still remember you every single day. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my sweet daughter in Heaven, and I think the hardest part is knowing what could have been. I so desperately wanted to raise you, hold you, and mother you, and I still do. 

Being pregnant with your baby brother hasn't made me miss you less. He will grow up knowing he has a big sister watching over him, and one of the things I am most looking forward to is hearing him say your name for the first time. 

Losing you wrecked me, changed, me, and taught me more than anything ever has. I still wouldn't take any of it back. Of course I wish you would have been healed while still inside me, but I have never for a second regretted our journey with you. I am so, so thankful God chose me to be your mom. I still smile when I think about what a fighter you were. I've talked to so many nurses and doctors, and carrying a baby with triploidy halfway through the pregnancy is unheard of. I've never met a doctor who has seen a baby with your condition make it as far as you did. The 18 weeks 5 days I had with you (possibly more since our dating was likely off) were the greatest gift. 

Today is the day your dad and I celebrate your life. We will light a candle, put it on a big birthday cupcake, and sing you "Happy Birthday" just like we did last year. The only thing that makes this day bearable is knowing I get eternity with you. When I finally get There, I am holding you close and never letting go. Happy 2nd birthday in Heaven, little girl! I love you angel baby. 

Love, Mom

Peace Of Mind During Deployment

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & Road ID but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #roadid #RoadIDItsWhoIAm

When Parker deployed, safety obviously became a huge concern for all of us. I still wanted to continue an active lifestyle of running, walking, and exercising outdoors, but I felt the added risks with Parker away.

Obviously we were in for a huge surprise this deployment. Just 10 days after Parker left, we found out we were pregnant! My plan to run a gajillion miles during deployment quickly fell by the wayside (hello first trimester that rocked my world!), but I still wanted to remain active and enjoy the outdoors. Daily nature walks with Jenny became my go-to, and I have loved every minute of it.

Being pregnant and going on long walks by myself poses a few risks. Throw in the fact that my husband is overseas, and it forced us to take pause. If something were to happen to me, who would know? If I passed out from exhaustion or experienced a pregnancy complication and was unable to speak for myself, it could be days before Parker was notified. That didn't sit well with either of us.

We turned to Road ID to give us the peace of mind we needed. Road ID was created on the concept that active people should wear ID as part of their gear when participating in outdoor activities. I have both the slim band and sport band and alternate between the two. You can customize the information, so of course I have my name, city, and emergency contact numbers for my husband and mom.

I had heard friends talk about Road ID and was always intrigued. Looking back, it took me way too long to pull the trigger and purchase one. Each year, 450,000 people are taken to the hospital unconscious and without ID. Year after year, over 122,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are hit by cars. Thousands more suffer from blackouts, heart attacks, concussions, heat strokes, and other serious accidents. Yall, it's just not worth the risk. This bracelet could literally save a life.

Road ID has been the perfect way to ease both Parker's and my mind during deployment, but Road ID really is for everyone. When it comes to safety, it's about being smart. And this is smart.

From 11/24 through 11/28, take advantage of 20% off ALL Road ID products and gift cards, while supplies last!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 26

I am posting this bumpdate a little earlier than I usually do in the week, but with Thanksgiving on Thursday, today seemed like a good day to recap week 26! I turn a new week on Saturdays, so I am almost halfway through week 26- nuts!

 1. I don't really have abs anymore, so getting up or rolling over takes more effort than it used to. Ab muscles have been replaced by a very giant belly!

2. I was on the phone with Parker this week, and he randomly asked if I had just walked up the stairs. I replied "yep, how did you know?". "Because you're all huffy and out of breath". #embarrassed #pregnancyishard

3. His movements are still strong and so much fun. I love watching my belly move around from the outside. It's just the coolest!

4. Baby Phelps attended his first Aggie game in utero this past weekend. There were two little boys in front of us playing and watching the game, and it got us so excited to take Emmett (my nephew) and baby P to games when they are older. Class of 2039!

Sweet Home Aggieland

This past Saturday, my dad treated my family to an Aggie football game! We have been talking about attending a game as a family since the twin and I were freshmen, so almost 10 years! Since my middle sister is graduating with her masters in May and my littlest with her undergrad, this was the last football season to do it before every kid was a former student. It was well worth the wait!

The Aggies played UTSA, and I was glad we went to one of the games we were slated to win by a landslide. It's more fun to watch them win than lose. ;) As much as I love our team, they can be unpredictable, so a low-profile game was perfect. 

Just being back in Kyle Field is nostalgic in and of itself, and I found myself missing Parker something fierce. So much of our history as a couple happened in that stadium, and he would have been over the moon to be back. One day! My twin and nephew also stayed back since he's still so little, so we really missed them too!

We took a selfie before heading in. Everyone was pumped up to watch the Aggies play! Despite how sunny it was, it was actually quite cold at the beginning. It had warmed up by the end though! My little sisters and mom looked adorable in their Aggie game day getup, but I resorted to leggings and a sweatshirt. I used to love looking cute for game day, but at 6.5 months pregnant, that was as good as it was getting. 

 We had a great view of the yell leaders, which are our version of cheerleaders for those not familiar. We love the yell leaders!

One of my favorite parts of the game was watching the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band perform at halftime. Our band is very different from most college bands. I don't really know how to describe it, but it's just different and I love it. When the band is ready to perform, the whole stadium yells in unison "Now forming at the North end of Kyle Field, the nationally famous Fightin' Texas Aggie Band!". We love our band!

 We won the game, but it was hardly a shutout like it was maybe once predicted. We won 23-10, so thank you Aggies for pulling out the W while we were there! Thanks to my dad for making the experience possible! I loved getting to see the Ags play with some of my favorite humans. 

Group shot of everyone! It was a fun, Aggie-filled day that we will all remember forever. Love this family (the people pictured and those not) so much!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 25

Week 25 has been so much fun! There are some weeks that don't feel like much happens, and then there are those weeks where I feel like I experience something brand new and exciting. This has definitely been one of those! Here's what I want to remember about week 25...

1.  I had a doctor's appointment to check the heartbeat, and it ended up being the funniest appointment. The doctor would put the doppler on my belly, we would hear the "whoosh whoosh" sound of the heartbeat for a few seconds, and then we would hear a giant "thud!". The baby kicked the doppler! This literally happened four times before the doctor looked at me and said "Okay, his heart rate is in the 140s, but I can't get any more accurate than that because the baby won't cooperate." He really isn't a fan of being messed with, but I just got such a kick out of him kicking the doppler away. Little stinker!

2. I am up 4 pounds since my appointment a month ago, which brings my weight gain to a total of 15 pounds so far.

3. I started getting a sharp pain in my upper left thigh just under my hip. A few times it has gotten so bad that my leg actually gives way from underneath me. I guess it's sciatic?

4. I don't remember what it was like to not have a bloody nose every morning when I wake up. It's not bad at all, but I always have a little bit of blood in my nose. I know this is common, but it's still strange to me!

5. I am feeling very pregnant lately and have to constantly remind myself to take it easy. I love to be productive and get things done around the house, but I just can't keep up with the pace I used to, and I am trying to be mindful of that. I can be so stubborn, but I definitely want to make sure I am taking care of our little guy.

6. The coolest thing this week has been the increase in movement. Not only do I feel him move all the time, but I can now see his movements clearly from the outside. It's so fun!

Virginia Is For Lovers

When you enter the state of Virginia, you are greeted by a giant sign that reads "Virginia is for lovers". I suppose it's the state's slogan. When we first moved to Virginia, I was open in saying I wasn't necessarily the biggest fan. It was cold, it was different... it wasn't home. Fast forward 2 years, and I couldn't love the place more. It really has become home, and even though we would love to end up in the South again one day, Virginia will always be home to me. I am thankful we don't have any impending moves because I am just not ready to say goodbye to the lovers state!

I have spent a large chunk of the Fall in Texas, but this past week, I came back to Virginia to spend some time with friends. It was just the best and much needed! I was with my friends every day and rarely spent any time at home. It was a week so full of love and just really has me counting my blessings. The military isn't always the easiest lifestyle, but it sure has produced some of the sweetest friendships. 

The first part of the week was spent prepping for a baby shower my friends and I threw for our friend Ali. I helped with food and the crafting/DIY portion, and my friend Karly and I stayed up until midnight the night before crafting for the event and loving every minute of it. Here are the hosts with the mama to be!

Fun fact about Ali and those sweet babies (she is pregnant with twins!) she is carrying: they are due on the exact same date as my baby. Neither of us had an easy road to parenthood, and the three babies in this picture were so wanted and so prayed for. Getting to walk through every step of pregnancy together has been such a joy!

I had a dinner with some fellow deployment warriors to celebrate hitting a deployment milestone, and our sweet husbands sent flowers for the event. Parker made sure my bouquet included lilies because he knows stargazer lilies are my favorite flower. He told the flower shop to add stargazer lilies but that if that wasn't possible, regular lilies were great. The bouquet was full of beautiful lilies that made me smile from ear to ear. It's the little things, yall.

I ended the week with a little girls night. Good old conversation, yummy food, and lots of laughs. Very thankful for them!

A few of the husbands met at the same restaurant and had guys night on the other side of the restaurant. It was funny seeing them every time Ali and I had to get up to go to the bathroom, which was quite frequently because #pregnancy. 

There were so many wonderful little moments that I didn't take the time to photograph, but overall it was just the best week. Friends make life better, and they sure do help deployment go by faster!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 24

I am officially six months pregnant! How on earth did that happen so quickly?? 24 weeks is what doctors deem "viability week", so I am thankful to have reached that milestone and hope this little guy is comfortable and stays in for many more weeks to come. 

 1. I used to only have indigestion in the evenings, but this week it has been more consistent throughout the day. I don't really see this going away, so I am hanging in there and just trying not to overeat too much!

2. I keep forgetting how big my belly is and am constantly bumping it into things. Oops!

3. I am getting more and more easily out of breath. I am still power walking throughout the week and doing fine with that, but little things like walking up the stairs or pacing around while holding my nephew get me out of breath lately. I've never felt so out of shape!

4. Baby boy is most active at night when I lay down to go to sleep. I love those quiet moments of just laying there and feeling him move. It's the best!

Baby Shower

I had my first ever baby shower the weekend before Halloween and am excited to share a few pictures on the blog today! It was held at my mother-in-law's house and co-hosted by 5 wonderful family friends who all watched Parker grow up and have been so welcoming to me ever since I became a Phelps. 

Everything was absolutely perfect. The decorations were so beautiful, thoughtful, and personal. The food was delicious, and I happily helped myself to two platefuls. The guests were all so sweet and loving celebrating our baby boy. It was just the best afternoon, and I am so grateful to all who were involved!

I wish I could share every detail, but for now I am going to leave out the pictures where his name is visible. We just aren't quite ready to share that yet! :)

The decor was spot on to what we are envisioning for the nursery... soft, vintage airplane for our future little flyboy!

These were filled with a delicious blackberry lemonade that I must have drank 3 full glasses of. So worth the indigestion I had later on. ;)

 On second thought, the indigestion was probably more so a product of indulging in this wonderful little feast. There were chicken salad sandwiches, fruit salad, cheese and crackers, mini veggies, cookies, and cupcakes. Everything I have been craving and then some!

 My sweet grandmother flew in all the way from Florida to surprise me!

Love this lifelong college friend! Delta Gamma for life.

One of the games was to guess the circumference of my belly using toilet paper. The person that guessed the right amount of pieces to fit around my baby bump won a prize! Everyone guessed, and then they measured me. It took 10 pieces, and 5 people guessed the correct number! They did a tie breaker and had everyone guess what day of the week February 25th is (my due date). Everyone guessed, and they looked at me to give the right answer. I was like, "Ummm, Saturday I think??". It was Saturday, but I was embarrassed that I didn't know for sure! Now I won't forget!

 My twin sister wasn't able to make the trip since she has a newborn at home, so we Facetimed her in for the gift opening. Technology for the win!

Parker's sweet grandmother included a picture of baby Parker in her card. I was so excited because I hadn't seen many pictures of baby Parker before! This was my reaction when I saw how big his head is... I have to birth that yall! ;) It's a running joke in the family that Parker and this baby both have the "Phelps head". Our son's head has measured big at every appointment, and seeing that picture of baby Parker, I now know why! I spent time after the shower looking at albums of Parker's baby pictures. He sure was cute, even with that big old head!

 We received so many wonderful gifts and the most adorable outfits. This baby bomber jacket from my Nana had me swooning. I could just die! Parker loves it too. Can't wait to see our little guy waddling around in it!

The two best grandmas our little guy could ask for. Our son will have the best Lolli (Parker's mom) and Grammy (my mom)!

 At the end of the shower, this party crasher decided to show up and greet everyone. She is the big sister, after all! She looks thrilled, per the usual.

 It was such a special day filled with so much love and joy. We are so excited for this baby boy to arrive and feel so humbled and grateful by how many people already love him. 

Creamy Garlic Pasta

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest

Pregnancy has thrown my body for a loop in so many ways, one of them being my appetite. I have gone from loving food to hating it to loving it again; it's a vicious cycle. There is one food group that has consistently sounded good throughout each stage of pregnancy, and that's carbs. Give me all the carbs, please!

I set out to find recipes to appease the new food group that I cannot seem to get enough of, but I also didn't want to be stuck in the kitchen for hours on end. Quick, simple, and delicious is the name of the game! 

Whether you are pregnant like me or just a busy lady on the go (that's all of us, right?), I want to share a new recipe that has quickly become a go-to of mine: Creamy Garlic Pasta It's hearty, hot, and takes about 10 minutes to throw together. It is the perfect weeknight meal for busy moms on the go, pregnant ladies, or just anyone who loves a good home-cooked dinner (that's all of us too, right?). 


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz La Moderna penne pasta
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream
a pinch of pepper
diced parsley for garnish


1. Cook La Moderna penne pasta according to the instructions on the box. Once cooked, drain and set aside. 
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and butter. Stir together until butter is melted, and add minced garlic. 
3. Mix in pasta, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and a few sprigs of parsley. 
4. Slowly add cream and stir together to combine. 
5. Top with additional parsley and enjoy!

Most of these ingredients are already in your kitchen (score!). For any that you don't have, stop by your local Walmart. That's where I found the La Moderna high protein pasta and picked up a loaf of fresh garlic bread to compliment the main entree. Serve this pasta with a little bread and your favorite veggie, and you have a delicious meal the whole family will enjoy!

his post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest

Things I Want To Remember: Week 23

The weeks are flying by, and our little guy will be here before we know it! I am so ready to meet him and at the same time not ready at all. Does that sound crazy? We have a few months to go, but I know they are going to pass so quickly with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Here's what week 23 looked like for us!

 1. I had my first baby shower this past Sunday! It was thrown by 5 wonderful family friends and held at my mother-in-law's house, and it absolutely could not have been more perfect. The decorations were beautiful, everyone was so kind and generous, and I was reminded over and over how blessed we are to be bringing this little boy into the world. I will do a full post on it soon!

2. I'm so pregnant. I'm over here thinking I am 8 months pregnant and then have to remind myself I am only 23 weeks. My belly just feels so big!

3. I was rubbing my belly and felt a small, hard protrusion. It was the coolest thing! It had to be either his head or his bottom, and it disappeared after I rubbed it a few times. It's just an amazing yet crazy reminder of the sweet little life growing away inside me!

I forgot to take an actual bump picture, so here is the only solo shot I could find from the shower of my bump. It isn't quite a profile shot, but it will have to do!

That's 23 weeks!


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