Anchors Aweigh : December 2016


Things I Want To Remember: Week 30

I remember telling my sister that I would breathe a sigh of relief when I made it to 30 weeks. I know 24 weeks is considered viability, but 30 weeks just feels like such a milestone. 10 weeks or less to go... that doesn't seem possible! Week 30 has been a good one!

I had a doctor's appointment to check the heartbeat, and everything looks great! The heartbeat was in the 120s/130s, which the doctor seemed pleased with. Taylor's was always in the high 140s, so I am not used to hearing the 120 number. If the doctor says it's normal, then I'm a happy camper. My belly is also measuring right at 30 weeks, so that's a praise!

I gained 2 pounds in the last two weeks, bringing my pregnancy total to +21 pounds. Since early in the second trimester, I have been averaging about a pound a week.

The hip pain I mentioned last week has gotten so much more manageable. Very grateful! I mentioned it to the doctor, and she said it is completely normal.

Movement has started changing from swift kicks to slow jabs and rolls. I think our little guy is starting to run out of room!

My Virginia friends threw me a baby shower this week, and it was so so perfect! I will blog about it when I get the pictures, but I felt so loved and so grateful for such wonderful friends on the east coast.

Last but not least, if I haven't mentioned it before, stairs are my arch nemesis. I can walk 2-3 miles with Jenny without breathing heavily, but one flight of stairs has me out of breath by the time I reach the top. When I am on the phone with Parker, he can always tell when I've walked up the stairs because I start huffing and puffing. It's so pathetic, yall.

Deployment Video

A little known fact about me is that I think my husband has the coolest job in the world. There is something about being a Naval Aviator that is just so cool to me. I am like his little groupie. It's a rarity these days to be truly getting to live out your passion, so seeing Parker do that is just the greatest feeling as his wife. 

He put together this video to show "a day in the life" while he has been away. He did a great job on it, so I wanted to share! Enjoy!

Special Christmas Ornaments On Our Tree

I thought it would be fun today to share some of my favorite Christmas ornaments on our tree! I like a fairly uniform tree, so most of our ornaments are various gold and red patterns from Hobby Lobby or Costco, but we also have several keepsake ornaments sprinkled in.

When Parker and I take a trip, we usually grab an ornament as a souvenir. We also have a few ornaments that are special because they represent a member of our family. Those are my favorite on our tree and the ones I get most excited to hang!

This first one was actually a gift from my mother-in-law this year. It was the perfect size for a sonogram picture, so I slipped in my favorite image of our sweet baby boy. Love him so much!

This is an ornament I made with our wedding invitation. I cut each line into a strip, curled it with a pencil, and put them all in a clear ornament with our initial.

I made this one with Jenny's paw print when we lived in Florida. It was our second Christmas with her. You know you are an obsessed dog mom when you have your pup's paw print on the tree!

This was a Christmas gift from one of my sweet friends this year. Her husband was also on deployment most of the year, so she made us these matching ornaments to commemorate this chapter. So thoughtful!

These next two are my Taylor Grace ornaments. I always hang them at the top of the tree right under the angel. This first one is a crystal cross and was a gift from a family friend shortly after Taylor went to Heaven. There is a little charm at the top that has the year 2014 written on it. I love it.

This last ornament is my favorite on the tree. It was a gift from my friend's mother in law in 2014, and I cry every time I put it on the tree. It's just so beautiful and special to me in so many ways.

I love little ornaments that make a tree more personal, and the ones above are what help make our tree ours! :)

Things I Want To Remember: Week 29

Hello week 29! Not going to lie, it feels like week 37, but 29 it is! It's been a slightly challenging week of pregnancy, but it's all still been a blessing and one I wouldn't trade for anything. 

The most notable thing about this week has been this sharp pain in my pelvis and hips. It's mostly on my left side and really only an issue when I stand up or walk. Sitting or laying down isn't painful. There are times where it's been too painful to walk, and I have to sit down and give myself a little pep talk to get through whatever I am doing. I am sure baby boy is just sitting on something, but I'll talk with the doctor next week to make sure. Definitely painful!

Indigestion is still pretty bad after every meal. Same old, same old on that front. It's not a big deal until I try to lay down to go to sleep. Then it's a battle not to throw up. So far, I am winning the battle! haha

He is still such a little mover! I love it! I could sit and watch my belly move around for hours. I still can't really tell which body parts are where, but I definitely feel him all the time! He is most active when I sit or lay down. 

Recent Reads: December

I remember when I used to review 3 books a month on this little blog. I think it was July or August that I last did? Clearly, I have been slacking! I told myself I would become a full on bookworm when Parker deployed, and for some reason, the opposite happened. I had all the time in the world and dedicated it to the ever productive... wait for it... Netflix. It happens, yall.

I did manage to finish 3 books to review for December though! I loved every single one and am so excited to share them with my fellow book lovers. All different genres yet equally enjoyable. So, here we go!

Look Again
By Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is probably my favorite author right now. She writes novels about nightmarish things happening, but every situation is realistic and forces you to put yourself in the character's position and say "What would I do?". In Look Again, Ellen receives a missing child card in the mail with a picture of a baby that looks strikingly like her son. She knows her adoption of him is legal and right, but she still can't shake the fact that something is off. As she dives into the mystery, she uncovers more and more details that will ultimately put her in an unthinkable predicament: tell the truth and risk losing him forever or hide and hope nobody finds out? This is the kind of book that had me hook, line, and sinker, and I can't recommend it enough!

The Knockoff
By Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

This was such a fun, enjoyable read. It's about a fashion magazine's editor in chief who is somewhat of an icon in the fashion world. When she returns to work after a leave of absence, her magazine has been taken over by her old assistant, and nothing is the same. She is forced to adapt and deal with this young, entitled girl's way of doing things while still maintaining what she values most about the magazine. It's such a fun story and would make a really good chick flick! I loved it!

December Caravan
By Rebecca Vandemark

This third book is a collection of short stories written by my sweet friend and fellow blogger, Rebecca Vandemark over at Caravan Sonnet. Rebecca gives a raw and honest glimpse into her life, starting with the abrupt ending to her engagement and navigating through various health issues that have come up along the way. She has been through more than most ever have to deal with, yet her faith and love for the Lord is evident and encouraging throughout the book. It's a quick read that will leave you feeling uplifted and grateful for a God that loves us no matter what life may throw our way. I enjoyed it!

Have you read anything nightstand-worthy lately? I'd love to hear!

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately in our neck of the woods...

First of all, thank you so much for all of the prayers for sweet Jenny! I blogged last week about her surgery to remove a cancerous mass from her leg. The surgery went great, and now we wait for the biopsy results to tell us if the cancer has spread to the rest of her body. We are praying the tumor they removed was stage one, meaning nothing has spread and they got it all. Would you please pray this with us?

While she was getting the exam that ultimately revealed she had a tumor, I looked up to see this look on her face... Poor thing hates the vet, but Parker and I have laughed about this picture so many times. Her eyes couldn't be bigger!

Post-surgery means she gets to wear the cone of shame for a couple of weeks. Needless to say, she hates it. I don't make her wear it if I am in the room with her, but she has to wear it any other time. Here she is trying to convince Dad to make Mom take this darn thing off of her. 

Saturday morning, I had my first ever massage experience in the form of a prenatal massage! My sweet friend gave me a gift certificate this past summer, so I saved it for when I was nice and pregnant and in need of a little relaxation. It felt great!

Saturday evening, a few friends came over for a Christmas craft night. We love any excuse to get together, and we spent the entire evening painting wine glasses and indulging in girl talk. These two were over until after 1 AM, but we finished our glasses! So much fun. 

When these two friends came over for craft night, there was a giant box in my entry way. It is the glider for the nursery and has been there for over a week, but the pieces were way too heavy for a pregnant lady to lift, so I had to leave it there. They not only took the pieces out of the box and carried them upstairs, but they assembled the glider for me. Soooo grateful! That box was driving me nuts, and not being independent enough to take care of it myself was tough considering I can be so stubborn. I now have an assembled glider, an empty entry way, and some very wonderful girlfriends. 

Other than that, life lately has consisted of snuggling a brown dog, walks around the neighborhood, and Friends marathons on the couch. I can't complain!

The Best Deployment Advice I Can Give

Deployment is coming to an end for us (hallelujah!), so I've spent the past couple of weeks reflecting on these past few months with Parker away. I've thought about all of the advice I was given before he left, what really helped and what ended up not resonating as much. I asked so many friends who had done deployment before me for advice. I wanted to be prepared, and I wanted to do everything I could on my end to set both Parker and myself up for a successful deployment.

The most common piece of advice you will get is this: stay busy.

That's good advice, yall, but it's kind of a given. Obviously the busier you stay, the more distracted you are, and the faster time flies. It's science or something like that. While I do think anyone going through deployment should try to stay as busy as they can, it's not an end-all-be-all solution to conquering deployment. Inevitably, no matter how busy you stay, you will still have more lonely evenings on the couch with nothing to do than you care to count. 

If I could offer up one single piece of advice to anyone going through a deployment in the future, it's this: stay positive

Military life (really life in general) is what you make it, and deployment is no different. Circumstances aren't ideal and life is not always going to look how you envisioned it. You have a choice. You can either accept the curveballs and see the beauty in them, or you can let them make you completely and utterly miserable. Yall, don't choose the latter. 

I am the first to tell you that deployment sucks. I mean, really, let's call a spade a spade. Nobody gets married just to send their spouse into harm's way for 6-10 months at a time. It's unnatural, it's hard, and it sucks. But any situation, no matter how hard it is, has a silver lining if you are willing to see it. 

When deployment gets hard, and it will, focus on the positives. Focus on the positive that you have a spouse you love so much that makes saying goodbye so hard. Focus on the positive that deployment is just a season- it's not forever. Focus on the positive that he will come home, and it will be more magical than your wedding day (so I'm told, anyway!). Comparison is the thief of joy, so don't compare yourself to friends who don't have to deal with deployment. Good for them. Instead, focus on how strong you are for dealing with it. It takes a strong person to get through deployment, and you should be really proud of yourself. 

Each day is one day closer. That homecoming date, no matter how far off it seems, will get here. Deployment is just a season, but don't let it be a bitter one. As ready as I am for this chapter to be over for us, I don't regret it happening. The past 6 months have given me opportunities and gifts I wouldn't have had otherwise, and I choose to focus on that rather than the empty seat at the dinner table. That seat will soon be filled. So to anyone about to embark upon a similar journey: chin up, friend. Stay positive, live life to the fullest, and he will be home before you know it.

I told Parker about this post, and he agreed on the positivity thing, but he also had one of his own. The best deployment advice he has for fellow servicemen going on deployment and leaving a spouse behind: get your wife a dog

Amen, hubs. 

Christmas Cards Through The Years

It may be a Southern thing, but I just love sending Christmas cards each year! My mom always color-coordinated our outfits growing up for our annual Christmas card picture that would go to family and friends. When Parker and I got married, I knew I wanted to keep the tradition alive with our little family. They are fun to send, fun to receive, and it gives me an excuse to take a nice picture at least once a year. ;)

I ordered this book two years ago as a way to store our cards and write down fun Christmas memories from each year to look back on. I love it! I have ordered Christmas cards from several sites and honestly, they all do a good job. My only advice is to check Groupon before purchasing Christmas cards. The past 2 years, I have used Photo Affections because they have a Groupon for 78% off. This year I ordered 100 cards for $37.99... not too shabby for this little cheapo!

 We try to make the annual Christmas card somewhat representative of what our life looked like that year. Apologies for the poor quality... I didn't have a digital copy of each card so I went old school and took a picture of a picture!

Our first Christmas (2011), we were living in College Station, TX about to make our first big move to Pensacola. We had been married 6 months, and those first 6 months were spent doing all things family and Aggieland. We took our picture in my grandparents' front yard in Midlothian, TX. 

Our second Christmas (2012), we went to the beach with our good friends Ryan and Emily and each took pictures for the others. We spent so much time at Pensacola beach in 2012, so taking our picture there was a no-brainer. We all had so much fun taking pictures for each other and trying to wrangle two crazy pups in the process! Fun fact: Blogging that experience was one of my first ever posts! You can read more here

Our third Christmas (2013), we took our picture on base in Kingsville, TX. The intent was to have the big "Fly Navy" water tower in the background, and you can read all about that little debacle here

Our fourth Christmas (2014), we took the picture in front of our rental house in Norfolk, VA. We just loved that little house, and this card is probably my favorite of the bunch. I love all of them, but the 2014 card is special to me because it is one that we will never be able to recreate again. I was still pregnant with Taylor Grace in this picture, and we had sweet Darla who we kept for a year while her mom was on deployment. 

Our fifth Christmas (2015), we took the picture in the woods behind the home we had just purchased. This was the year we became homeowners, so this location was a given for the Christmas card! This was also the first card that Jenny smiled for. Only took 4 years! You can see more pictures from 2015's photoshoot here

And here we are approaching our sixth Christmas (2016). I thought a lot about what I wanted to do with our card this year. I knew I still wanted to send one, but deployment represented over half of 2016 for us, so I wanted to somehow incorporate that. In the end, I decided Parker and I would both hold signs that pointed to each other and read "All I Want For Christmas Is" and "All We Want For Christmas Is". I created them on and printed them off for $2 at The UPS Store. I mailed Parker his sign, had him hold it next to the plane, and Jenny and I took a separate picture with our sign. I put the two next to each other and am quite pleased with the result!

I blurred out the bottom of this year's card because it has our son's name on it. We just aren't quite ready to share that on the blog just yet. :)

Prayers For Our Girl Please

Hey yall. Short and sweet today. I have a prayer request for my fellow prayer warriors out there. Sweet Jenny is going into surgery today to have a mast cell tumor removed from her back hind leg. Would you please pray with us for a successful surgery and that no cancer has spread to the rest of her body? This little girl is my world, and we hate so much that this is happening. Thank you in advance for the prayers!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 28

Hello 3rd trimester! I really can't believe I just wrote that. We are in the 3rd trimester and have 3 months or less to go until we meet this sweet boy! I am 28 weeks and feeling every bit of it, but I am so happy to be to this point!

I had a doctor's appointment this week and got to hear that wonderful heartbeat! Doctor's appointments aren't as nerve racking this late in pregnancy because I can constantly feel him move, so I am fairly confident there is a heartbeat ;). His heartbeat is in the 140s, and my belly is measuring right on track for 28 weeks.

I found out my doctor can't deliver me, which is a big bummer. I absolutely love love love my doctor. She is just the nicest and knows everything about my history with each pregnancy. She is pregnant with twins due in April, which is so exciting, but she is not delivering after January. I am due in February, so I will have another doctor from the practice. I am bummed because I love my doctor so much, but I feel confident that any other doctor in the practice will take good care of baby and me and make the right decisions when it's time to bring him into the world.

I gained another 4 pounds in the last 3 weeks, bringing my total to +19 from my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I will hit the +30 mark before he gets here, and honestly, that is fine. I feel good, baby looks good, and doctor is happy. No complaints here.

I hit another pregnancy milestone and had my glucose test! I had the orange flavor and honestly thought it was totally delicious. I am a big water drinker and really don't drink anything else, and it tasted like an orange Gatorade, which was quite the treat. It probably also helped that I wasn't allowed to drink anything an hour before and was super thirsty. I got my results a few days later and passed. :)

Indigestion has been a nightly thing for the past couple of months, but now, it is an every meal kind of thing. I eat small meals but still have indigestion after everything I eat. From my morning bowl of cereal to my sandwich at lunch, indigestion is for dessert every time. ;)

Making Memories With My Mom

Some of you know that I went home to Texas for a good chunk of this deployment. I left early August and intended to stay about 2 months. Well, 2 months turned into almost 4, and I ended up staying until Thanksgiving! I never anticipated spending so much time back home during deployment, but it honestly ended up being a Godsend. I was so distracted and constantly surrounded by people who love me. Not to mention, my twin sister popped out one cute kiddo that I have since become completely obsessed with. 

My mom flew to Virginia back in August to make the 20 hour drive to Texas with Jenny and me. That was her second time doing that drive with us, and I was so thankful. I was also 11 weeks pregnant, so kudos to my mom for listening to me whine approximately the whole time about how poorly I was feeling. My rockstar of a mom did the drive with me AGAIN the two days after Thanksgiving to make sure Jenny and I got back to Virginia safely and in one piece. This time, rather than being accompanied by 11 week pregnancy sickness, my mom got to hang out with 7 months pregnant have-to-pee-need-to-eat-all-the-time me. #blessher

20 hours in the car is a long time, but doing it with my mom is seriously so much fun. When you live far away from family, any time you get is a precious gift, and this road trip definitely gave us the gift of time! We pushed farther the first day and drove about 13 hours so that we would only have to do 7 the second day. We left on Black Friday and arrived Saturday afternoon, and we were so blessed with an easy trip and no traffic. Thankfully everyone was at the mall instead of on the road!

I give Jenny MVP for the trip. That's just not a fun 2 days for a pup, and she spent the majority of it doing this. I guess that's comfortable?

 My mom was able to stay with me for a couple of days in Virginia before heading back to Texas, and we had a full to-do list! We walked through what the nursery will look like, redecorated a few spots around the house, tested out gliders at Babies R Us, and online shopped our little hearts out (tis the season for Cyber Monday, yall). 

Since mom has lived in Texas her whole life, she's missed out on the beauty of a real Fall (I had too until the Navy sent us East!). One of my favorite parts of the trip was hearing her "ooh" and "aah" about the colors of the tree leaves. We made sure to do a few nature walks once we arrived in Virginia so she could really appreciate it! Jenny loved showing her Grammy around her neck of the woods!

Cheers to you, mom. The most selfless woman I know. I don't know what I would do without you!

Things I Want To Remember: Week 27

It's the last week of the second trimester! This is both exciting and terrifying, but mostly exciting! The weeks are still flying by, and knowing our son will be here soon is such a joyful thought. 

 1. I got my first charlie horse in the middle of the night, and ohhh did it hurt! Two days later, and my calf is still sore. I have been trying to make sure I am constantly drinking water and not tensing my legs when I roll over at night. 

2. Baby boy is still really active, mostly at night or right after I eat. As I type this, it feels like he is doing flips in my belly. I feel this weird tightness and it feels like something is turning over. It's just the best. 

3. I had a little scare Thanksgiving morning. I was holding my nephew and sat down when he fell asleep in my arms, and all of a sudden my limbs felt like they were going numb and my pulse started racing. I quickly handed the baby to his dad in case I passed out and stood up. I laid down on my bed and breathed heavily for a few minutes, and then everything normalized. It was only a couple of minutes, but it was scary. I think the way I was holding my nephew compressed something internally. I get out of breath fairly often, but never anything like that where I thought I might pass out. 

4. As it stands, working out has taken a back seat for the foreseeable future. I am still walking 1-2 miles a day with Jenny, but I don't know if that counts as working out since we have to stop and sniff everything ;). Fitness is really important to me, but I am listening to my body, and walking 1-2 miles with Jenny each day is really all I can muster right now. 

5. My twin sister and I both agree that I officially look bigger now than she did at 40 weeks pregnant. Love this big giant baby!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...