Anchors Aweigh : September 2016


Things I Want To Remember: Week 18

It's been a fabulous 18 weeks of carrying this little bundle of love! 18 weeks is a special week in pregnancy for me because it's the last week (according to the dating) that I carried Taylor Grace. I am thankful that I have God-willing many more weeks of pregnancy ahead with this sweet boy, but I am also thankful today for those first and only 18 weeks I had carrying my daughter.

1. I still call this phase the "pregnancy sweet spot", and my only real symptoms are frequent bloody noses (so weird, but I'll take those over nausea any day!) and thirst. I guzzle water all day and into the evenings and still feel so thirsty!

2. My stomach is starting to feel tight, and my belly button is starting to flatten. I sort of had a panic moment earlier this week thinking "We aren't even halfway there! How is my body going to do this?!". I feel like I am already pretty big and stretching out more by the day!

3. His movements are starting to feel much more pronounced. Rather than a little fish swimming, it now sometimes feels like something is doing front rolls in my stomach. It's so cool! I tried to let my mom feel when he was moving a lot, but she couldn't feel anything. He is still too small to be felt from the outside, so for now I will enjoy being the only one to feel his sweet little self. :)

4. My mom and I registered this week! It was fun to pick out all the cute and tiny things for our little man, and I hope I actually learn how to use half of them when he arrives. Clueless, party of one.

DIY Monsterific Halloween Candy Stand

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WalmartMonsters #MiniMonsters #Walmart 

Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays to celebrate as an adult. I used to think Halloween was just for kids and never really got too excited about it, but that ship has sailed! Parker and I love Halloween! Passing out candy, throwing parties for our friends, and of course all the sweet treats... it's good stuff!

Halloween parties are so much fun to plan, and today I want to share a quick and easy way to throw the perfect Monsterific Halloween Bash! Monsters are fun and epitomize the Halloween spirit, so I came up with a DIY Monsterific Candy Stand to serve all of your favorite Halloween candy.

I found some cool new Mini Monster-themed cans of Canada Dry® at Walmart that became the inspiration for the stand. The Mini Monster Cans are so festive and perfect for any Monsterific get-together. For this simple little candy stand, you will need a candy bucket (also found at Walmart), your favorite Halloween candy, and two 6-packs of your favorite Mini Monster Cans soda flavor. I chose Canada Dry, but you can also choose Sunkist®, A&W®, 7UP®, Squirt®, and Big Red®. Get creative and mix it up!

Stack your Mini Monster Cans in a circle with 6 on each layer. I chose to go with two layers since my candy stand was going to be displayed on a table. These cans stack well, so go as high as you want!

Top with your candy bucket and fill it up with candy! Easy peasy!

Another great feature of these Mini Monster Cans is they come with an interactive app! The Mini Monsters Augmented Reality App brings each can to life with an augmented reality experience. The monsters actually interact with each other, and the app allows you to take selfies with the monsters. This would be a great party activity! You can activate the experience by downloading the app by visiting Here are a couple of snapshots of the app from my phone!

If you're interested in making your own Monsterific Halloween Candy Stand, head to Walmart and find everything you need to get started! Bonus: there is currently an Ibotta offer for these Mini Monster Cans! T-minus 1 month until Halloween, yall! Tis the season for candy and all things monsterific!

The Pros and Cons of Pregnancy During Deployment

A fellow pregnant friend of mine texted me and told me I should write a blog post on handling pregnancy during deployment. I jokingly replied back and said "That would be a one word post: survive". ;)

I got to thinking though and realized it would be fun to write a post on the pros and cons of doing deployment and pregnancy simultaneously. We debated this combination for a while before we decided to try, and as excited as we are and absolutely thrilled to be welcoming our sweet son, there are definitely pros and cons to choosing pregnancy during deployment. 

Before I begin, I do feel a little silly saying "choosing pregnancy during deployment". We had a very small window to time it and just got lucky. God blessed us with this pregnancy, and there really wasn't anything we could have done to time it so perfectly but pray and hope for the best. 


1. You don't have to cook. 
My first trimester was rough, and not having to cook was the biggest silver lining of going through it on my own. I joked that I had an aversion to all food, but it really wasn't a joke. I couldn't stand the smell of food and wanted nothing to do with it. Cooking was out of the question, so it was nice not having anyone to cook for. 

2. You don't have to focus on anyone but yourself. 
This sounds selfish, but if you have a rough first trimester, focusing on yourself is a full time job. It was all I could do just to feed myself. The extra laundry, making lunches, etc. would have just about killed me. 

3. You are distracted.
Rather than being constantly aware that your husband is gone, you are instead consumed by the idea that this tiny human has taken up residence in your belly. Distractions are definitely nice when dealing with deployment!


1. The obvious: He misses everything. 
Seeing your husband miss ultrasounds, appointments, feeling the baby kick, etc. is tough. Pregnancy is magical (even the hard parts), and you want to share it together. 

2. He could miss the birth. 
You could time it so perfectly that you literally get pregnant the week before he leaves, and you still may risk him not being back in time for the birth. Deployments get extended, babies come early... missing the pregnancy is one thing, but the birth is another. One of my best friends is a rockstar and had her first baby halfway through deployment. She handled it with more grace and class than I think I could have, but the birth is obviously a huge life event that you want to share with your husband if you can help it. 

3. There is nobody to take care of you. 
Again, if you have a rough first trimester like I did, it's all you can do just to put food on a plate and eat it. Not having someone to run out and get you that McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese because it's the single thing in the world that sounds halfway decent is tough. While a pro of pregnancy during deployment is not having to take care of anyone, a con is definitely not having anyone to take care of you. 


We've all heard the saying "there is no perfect time to have kids", and I agree. There will always be a reason not to do it or some factor that slightly complicates things. The military definitely adds its own set of considerations to the problem, but all in all, you have to decide what's best for you and your spouse and go for it. 

Things I Want To Remember: Week 17

The days since my nephew was born are absolutely flying, which means this pregnancy as of late is absolutely flying! If people ask me how I'm feeling, my response is usually something to the effect of "Oh I'm great! This is the pregnancy sweet spot!". It's so true. Second trimester, I just love you. 

1. I had a doctor's appointment this week! My doctor found the heartbeat immediately, and it's going strong at 150 bpm! So funny, he found it on my right side, which is where I always found Taylor's when I would listen with my doppler. When I think about it, I feel this little one wiggle more on my right than I do on my left. I guess my babies just like hanging out on the right side!

2. I was anxious to see what I weighed at the doctor's office this week. As of week 13, I was still at my pre-pregnancy weight. I knew I had gained weight since then, but I had no idea how much. I was up 7 pounds! It makes sense- I feel like I eat everything. I'm hungry all. the. time. All the time. 

3. I got back into the swing of things exercise-wise this week and have been power-walking most mornings. It feels so good to get moving!

4. I showed Parker my bump one morning like I do every day, and he said "Oh my gosh! It looks like you have a basketball under your shirt!" I told him ohhh, just wait. ;)

5. Feeling our baby move is still my favorite thing ever! He moves a lot, and I feel him when I am sitting/standing still. I just love it!

6. We introduced Jenny to my nephew this week, and she was completely apathetic. She noticed us holding a baby but really didn't care. We'll see if she cares more when the baby actually lives with her!

Blogger Q&A

It's been ages since I did a Q&A, and with several new faces around this little space (welcome!), I thought there was no time like the present to change that. Here are 10 perfectly random questions that I thought were light and fun. And here's a picture of me (Chelsea, if we haven't met!) and Parker (my main squeeze) that I pulled from the archives. 

1. Are you named after anyone?
I am not. My parents wanted my siblings and me to have our own unique names, so they didn't give us family names. I love my name though!

2. When is the last time you cried?
Hmm, a couple of days ago? I cried a lot when my nephew was born 11 days ago but have probably cried since. Pregnancy hormones are real, and I always tear up on Sunday mornings at church thinking about Taylor Grace. I didn't used to be a crier!

3. What is your favorite lunch?
Currently, a panini with turkey and cheese. I eat one every day and really look forward to it. My sister teases me because I eat lunch at 10 AM but honestly, I'm just hungry all the time. I'm in that stage of pregnancy where I cannot seem to get full, and I look forward to my hot sandwich more than anything else!

4. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
No, but I untie them before I put them back on. I don't want to mess up the heels but am too lazy to untie them when I take them off, so I pay for it when I go to put them on again. 

5. Do you think you're smart?
I've learned there is no set definition of "smart". I think I am socially smart, fairly creative, and a decent writer if I put forth the effort. Math and science aren't my strong suits... that would be my husband!

6. What is the first thing you notice about people?
This is weird, but I instinctively look down at someone's left hand upon meeting them to see if they are married. Knowing this fact changes nothing about how I will interact with them, but for some reason it is the first thing I notice about a stranger. 

7. What is your favorite smell?
Parker, Jenny, and desserts baking in the oven. 

8. What is your natural hair color?
I have never dyed my hair, so what you see is what you get! I have always described my hair as dirty blonde. Parker thinks this is silly and says it is light brown. I secretly think he's right, but I'm too stubborn to change my position on it after all these years. In my defense, my hair does lighten up a lot in the Summer!

9. What is your favorite food?
This is a hard question to answer when pregnant because most of my favorite foods stopped sounding good early on. Traditionally, I am a big fan of anything with cheese or anything with chocolate. 

10. What is your current Netflix show of choice?
Grey's Anatomy. Yall, I need help. I have seen this entire show through once before but for some reason decided to start it all over again and can't stop watching. There are so many good shows that I have never seen, and I can't stop watching the one I have!

Happy hump day yall! Halfway to the weekend!

5 Easy Ways To Save Money At Target

I should probably start this off by saying this post is not sponsored by Target. Target has absolutely no idea who I am, but boy do I love me some Target! Target is just happiness, and I could easily spend 2 hours walking up and down the aisles. I love the dollar section, I love the clothes, and I think I own half of their Fall shoe line. 

If you know me, you also know I love to save money. I like to find the most cost-effective ways to do things and love to feel like I'm getting a deal. Since I am an avid Target shopper, I have figured out a few cost-cutting tricks to help me enjoy my favorite store without the guilt. Here are my 5 favorite ways to save money at this magical place called Target, aka God's gift to women:

1. The Cartwheel App

Please tell me you have heard of the Cartwheel App. You probably have, but it bears mentioning anyway. It's a free app on your smartphone with offers on items you were already going to buy anyway. Items rotate out, but I have gotten 50% off of clothes and shoes, and so many cosmetics, housewares, decorative items, and food are 5-20% off each week. You select the product you are buying in the app, and the app generates a barcode. Have the cashier scan this barcode at the register, and the difference instantly comes off your bill. Download it, yall. 

2. The Target REDcard

Now before you write this one off because you don't want a credit card, listen to this: you can get the REDcard as either a credit or a debit card. With the REDcard, you get 5% off every single purchase plus free shipping at Seriously yall... 5% off each trip. It's free money! You also get 90 days to return anything bought with your REDcard, and you don't need a receipt. I don't ever get store credit cards, but I love the Target REDcard debit option. It comes straight out of my account just like a regular debit card would, and there are no annual fees or anything like that. Again, it's free money. 

3. The Ibotta App

This smartphone app is not specific to Target, but it can be used at Target. It actually applies to nearly all grocery, convenience, pharmacy, etc. stores. You earn cash back on items you were going to buy anyway and can get a gift card or paypal credit once you hit $20. This is another one that's just free money. One of the ways to cash in your earnings is a Target gift card... yes please. 

4. Know the Target Markdown Schedule

If an item is on clearance, there is a chance it will be even further marked down. If the clearance price ends in an 8, it will be marked down again. If the price ends in a 4, that's the lowest it will go. This can always vary, but as a general rule of thumb, here is the markdown schedule:

Monday: electronics, kids' clothing, accessories, stationary, books, and baby
Tuesday: women's clothing, pets, and food
Wednesday: men's clothing, health & beauty, garden, and toys
Thursday: housewares, shoes, toys, lingerie, sporting goods, decor, and luggage
Friday: cosmetics, auto, hardware, and jewelry

5. Shop The Holiday Clearance Section

Target has the cutest holiday stuff. I gush and gush over their Christmas section each year! One of the best times to buy holiday items is the week after the holiday because it's all so marked down. It may not be as fun to buy Christmas decor the last week of December, but your wallet will thank you and it'll be waiting for you next year!

1 Day After The Holiday: 50% off goods, 30% off candy and food
3-4 Days After The Holiday: 75% off goods, 50% off candy and food
1 Week After The Holiday: 90% off goods, 50% off candy and food

Are you as obsessed with Target as I am? Please tell me you have seen how cute their Halloween-themed dollar section is right now!

Pregnancy After Miscarriage

I always imagined I would write a post once we got pregnant with baby #2 about how different pregnancy after miscarriage is. I figured I would be feeling a whole slew of emotions completely different from the ones I felt during our first pregnancy. I think it's almost expected that you feel differently for the second one. More scared, more unsure, less connected...

This post is going to take a different turn from what I envisioned in those days while we were still dreaming of baby #2. I'm here to say that it's okay if you DON'T feel any differently. Because honestly, I didn't. When I saw 2 lines on that stick in June, the same joyful tears flowed down that did back in 2014. 

I loved and wanted the baby just like I did the first time. I started guessing from day 1 if the baby was going to be a boy or girl (for the record, I am terrible at this game and have been wrong both times). I was scared of having a miscarriage this time just like I was the first time. I think if most women are honest, we all hold our breath that first trimester praying and hoping the baby stays alive. 

The only difference this time around was the faith that I could handle whatever was thrown our way. After losing our first baby halfway through the pregnancy, dealing with a chromosomal abnormality, having surgery... I knew that even if the worst happened, God would get us through it. 

The point of all this rambling is to say this: it's okay if you have a hard time connecting with a pregnancy after miscarriage. It's okay if you're scared out of your mind that the same thing will happen again. None of that makes you a bad mom. It just makes you human. It's also okay, however, if you don't feel differently the second time around. It's okay if you love the baby just as quickly as you did your first. It's okay if you smile and tell the world the good news as soon as you find out. None of that makes you naive or incapable of accepting the past.

Pregnancy after miscarriage can be scary, but for me, it has also been a beautiful reminder of how redemptive and good our God is.

Because every post needs a picture, here's a shot of baby #2 at 17 weeks! To many it's just another picture of a bump, but to me it's a reminder of God's grace and goodness.

Things I Want To Remember: Week 16

Well hey there week 16! I am 4 months pregnant with 6 months to go, but if the next 6 fly by as quickly as the first 4 did, I will be meeting this baby in no time! Week 16 was probably my favorite week of pregnancy so far for a few reasons. Here's what I want to remember about this 16th week of carrying our little boy.

1. The day I turned 16 weeks, my nephew came into the world! Parker and I are over the moon about being an aunt/uncle to this sweet babe, and his arrival has us so excited for the arrival of our own little one in February. 

2. I felt our little guy move! I wasn't sure at first but now I am pretty positive it is him, and it's just the most amazing thing ever. I only feel him when I am sitting still, but I break out into this huge cheesy grin every time he makes his presence known. It feels like a quick little fish just swimming away. It's so surreal to be feeling him so early. 

3. Working out stopped this week, and I definitely need to get back in the swing of things. I have been so busy hanging out with my nephew and helping my sister and brother in law out that I just haven't had time to fit it in. I'll work on it for next week!

4. I am really looking forward to my doctor's appointment next week. At the beginning of the pregnancy, I was going almost every other week and had 4 ultrasounds before 14 weeks (the perks of being high risk). Now that I am on a normal schedule, I go to the doctor once a month and I am itching to go back and hear his heartbeat! I love doctor's appointments!

Aunt Life

This past weekend, my twin sister made me an Aunt! Baby E came into this world safely and is just the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. I can't get enough of him and am so thankful that I get to be around for the first few weeks of his life. 

I was so excited to be an aunt when Danielle told me she was pregnant back in February. The thought of getting to be the cool relative and watch him grow up was just plain awesome. Now that he is here, I can't believe how much I love him. I just think he hung the moon and want to snuggle him all day long. 

My dad said something this weekend that stuck with me. He said a mother's love of her newborn child is one of the closest examples of Christ's love for us. Here you have this baby who hasn't really done anything to deserve love, yet you love him unconditionally. I'm not even his mother, but that comparison is cool to think about, and it's amazing how much I can love a baby that isn't my own. I'll be honest, he feels like mine! ;)

Parker loves being an uncle and is soaking up all the Facetime dates with his new nephew! This is the first new baby on either side of the family in quite some time, so Parker and I are really getting a taste of what life will look like with a new baby for the first time. I know it's not going to be a cake walk, but man are we excited for February! Our son will be just about 5 months younger than our nephew, so they will be in the same grade in school and hopefully grow up being really close friends. So fun!

Here's a picture from the hospital just a couple of hours after sweet baby E was born! He is already the best baby, and how does Danielle look so amazing hours after giving birth? Motherhood looks good on her, that's for sure!

Life Lately

It's been a few weeks since I did a "Life Lately" post, so I see no time like the present to change that! Life has been pretty darn fun as of late, and I am trying to enjoy each day as it comes. Here's what life has looked like lately around these parts.

I took the babe on a little campus tour of sweet home Aggieland this past weekend and even bought him his first outfit! Maroon will be his favorite color by the time he gets here. ;)

Jenny has been loving time with her cousin Sully. It's so fun to watch them together. 99% of the time, they just happily coexist instead of playing, but it makes for a very relaxed household, so we aren't complaining. They both seem to love the company!

This is how Jenny feels about her cousin Sully. This is also how she feels about the new stick she found:

Power walking is my favorite morning activity! I love feeling like I am doing something good for my body, and my body has pretty much let it be known that no other forms of exercise are tolerated at this point. At least it's something! I took this sweaty bump selfie after a workout one morning to show Parker I don't spend all day sitting on the couch eating cheese puffs. ;)

Yesterday was my nephew's due date! Since he seems to be in no hurry to join us, Danielle, my mom, and I celebrated by getting our toes done. Danielle and I are both sporting blue toes for little man!

That's life lately! Happy Friday yall!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 15

The first trimester may have crawled, but this second trimester is so far flying by! No complaints here! I send Parker pictures regularly of the growing bump, and his response is always something to the effect of "wow!" or "that's crazy!". My thoughts exactly, hubs. 

It was a fairly uneventful week, but I have learned in pregnancy that uneventful is a good thing! Here's what I want to remember about week 15!

1. I started incorporating running into my power walks this week! I am still mostly walking, but it feels so good to mix it up with a little running every now and then. I was a runner before I got pregnant and have been so looking forward to feeling well enough to run, even if it is at a snail's pace!

2. I bought my first items for our little guy this week! I couldn't pass up a couple of Texas A&M outfits. Parker and I have two goals for this kid: that he loves Jesus and becomes an Aggie. The first is a priority, but we wouldn't be upset if the second came true too. ;)

3. I eat sandwiches all. the. time. I'm only allowed to have deli meat if it's heated up, so I enjoy a panini every single day with turkey and cheese. It's what I most look forward to eating! I actually had two in one day recently... I wasn't mad about it. 

Twin sister and I at 39 weeks and 15 weeks. Our first and quite possibly last bump to bump picture!

8 Things That Don't Suck About Deployment

Alright yall, let's call a spade a spade. Deployment kind of sucks. I mean really, it's terrible. Nobody gets married thinking "yay, he's going to leave me for X number of months to go somewhere dangerous!". It's just not ideal. I have a good friend that described deployment as "unnatural", and that's probably the best one-word description you could use. You get married to do life together, and deployment throws a kink in that. 

That said, I am a firm believer that we are in control of our outlook, and finding the positives amidst even the worst situations will do a world of good. So for anyone with an upcoming deployment or who is currently going through deployment, here are 8 things that don't suck about deployment.

1. You have 100% control over the TV. 

Go watch 9 months worth of chick flicks and enjoy it. Binge watch all the Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and Parenthood your heart can handle. 

2. Dishes? Leave them, girl. 

It's just you in the house, so leave those dishes in the sink and don't feel guilty about it. They will still be there tomorrow, and no one will know. ;)

3. You learn to appreciate the little things. 

Whether it's a Skype call, an email, or a text, hearing from your deployed spouse makes your day. It's easy to take for granted the luxury of texting throughout the day or doing every day things together, but you realize just how much of a gift that is once it stops. 

4. Cooking becomes a thing of the past. 

You're just one person- pop that frozen dinner in the microwave and bon appetit! If you feel like cooking every once in a while, make dinner at the beginning of the week and enjoy the leftovers all week long. A little break from cooking is always nice!

5. You grow closer to your fellow military spouses.

Most squadrons deploy together, meaning the other wives will become your deployment ride or die. Nobody understands what you're going through quite like your fellow military spouses. The bonds you will form during deployment are so strong!

6. You can grow closer to your husband.

I said "can" because this is one of those things that may take a little extra effort. Deployment forces you out of your comfort zone, and your communication skills, patience, and love for each other will be tested like it hasn't been before. If you work on prioritizing your marriage through deployment, it really can make you stronger!

7. You get to be selfish.

Especially if you don't have kids, deployment is an opportunity to focus on you. Take a photography class, learn how to cook, read 30 books... just do something for yourself. As much as you may rather be serving your husband, he isn't around for that, so do something for you. 

8. Homecoming. 

Is there anything better than homecoming? It's the moment you've been dreaming of since the day your husband left, and it's absolutely worth the wait. There is nothing sweeter than reunion day!

I'm not trying to tell you that deployment is sunshine and roses, but there are positives, just like in every situation, if you are willing to see them. You'll have a better deployment experience for it!

He Is Faithful

This post has been on my heart for a few weeks, and I am finally sitting down to write it. If you've been around this blog for much time, you know that the baby we are expecting in February is our second, and a baby girl in Heaven was our first. When we found out we were expecting again, a whole slew of emotions came rushing in. I was overjoyed, terrified, and everything in between. I know the immense joy that comes with expecting a child, but I also know the immense pain that comes with losing one. Would the same thing happen again?

August 11th is a day I will always remember- it changed my life. August 11, 2014 is the day we found out we were pregnant with Taylor Grace, and this unimaginably hard yet rewarding journey of becoming parents started. 

Fast forward two years and I am 11 weeks pregnant with baby #2. I get a call from our genetic counselor with the results of our NIPT testing (early screening for chromosomal abnormalities). I just kept thinking "please please please let this baby be healthy". The screening was perfect and came back negative for any chromosomal abnormalities! It also revealed that this baby is a boy! I remember looking down at my planner an hour or so after finding out the news and stopping still. 

The date was August 11th. 

In that moment, everything felt so full circle. Tears came into my eyes, and I just couldn't believe how cool our God is. He has had a plan from the beginning, and although we couldn't always see it before, He has been faithful. He never left us, never stopping loving us, and is fulfilling our dreams of becoming parents. 

I'll never fully understand why God took our first baby home, and there will forever be a place in my heart that is reserved just for her. But God is faithful. From that little girl in Heaven to this perfect boy growing in my belly, He has held our hands from the beginning.

Today, I am thankful for the journey. I honestly wouldn't change the past 2 years for anything. They have molded me into the person I am today and have brought me the greatest joy I have ever experienced. I love those two babies, and I thank God for the journey. 


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