Anchors Aweigh : May 2017


Preston and Jenny

One of the most common questions we get from family and friends is "How is Jenny doing now that baby Preston is in the picture?". We were pretty sure Jenny would be just fine with Preston, but it's still something that was in the back of our minds leading up to his birth. Thankfully, Jenny has responded exactly as we thought she would... she couldn't care less.

A family tagline is "Jenny is not impressed". Because honestly, she's just not. She has a fun little personality, loves being loved, and loves anything to do with playing outside. Other than that, she's unimpressed with pretty much everything. Preston has been no exception. We kind of see this as best case scenario. She leaves the baby alone and doesn't really have any interest in going near him. It doesn't get much easier than that!

When I was pregnant, I had so many people tell me "Just wait until the baby is born. The dog will become second fiddle". I'm obsessed with Jenny, so naturally I was a little offended by these comments but kept my mouth shut. Now that I have a baby, I can see that there was some truth to this. Preston is my child and obviously number one, and he became number one as soon as he took his first breath. Jenny is second now, and rightfully so. 

That said, she's still my best girl and my little buddy. We still take our daily walks, snuggle in the evenings, and do nature hikes as often as we can. You can still hear the phrase "we have the best dog" uttered throughout our house at least 10 times a day. She's still our favorite girl and our furborn!

I am really excited to see Jenny with Preston when he is a toddler. I can picture them running around together and being the best of friends. Then again, there is an equally likely chance that Jenny will still be completely apathetic to the toddler version of Preston. Regardless, we love our unimpressed pup and think she is a fabulous fur sister to her human brother!

House Tour: Nursery Closet

I did something really weird. I decorated Preston's closet. Maybe that's not actually that weird, but it does seem silly to decorate a closet when you think about it! We had several sweet decorative items or special keepsakes that were given to us that didn't have a good spot in the nursery, so I decided to make a sweet little whimsical closet space. I actually quite love his little closet!

I shared some of the details of the nursery last week, so today, here is a look inside little man's closet. 

The adorable banner was made by my mother in law for my baby shower. It perfectly matches the nursery color scheme we decided on! The mobile was made by my super talented friend for my other baby shower. I love the little airplanes!

Here's a closer look at the mobile. It hangs at the top of the closet and is so fun to see when I open his closet every morning. 

I didn't need much shelving space (I am sure that will change as he grows and accumulates more things!), so I used his shelves to hold some fun keepsakes. The piggy bank has his name engraved on the side, and the scrabble tiles are a gift from my mother-in-law. The silver cups are antiques that my Nana gifted us. One was actually given to me for Taylor Grace, and the other is for Preston. Preston's also has a silver spoon in it that was given to us from Parker's squadron. That will be what Preston eats his first bite of food from in a few months!

I was originally planning on doing an airplane-themed nursery, but when Parker and I decided we just wanted 1-2 airplanes in the nursery to keep things simple, these became closet decorations. I love the vintage feel!

This is called a ring of blessings. My mother in law made it for my baby shower, and our friends and family wrote little prayers or wishes on the cards for baby Preston. It is so special, and I can't wait to read it to him one day.

This was a gift as well, and I love that it is personalized for baby Preston.

I made these little clothing dividers on the computer and cut them out (cheap, party of one). They have been great for separating his clothing by size. They were so easy to make on the spot too!

House Tour: Nursery Details

I put a lot of thought into our son's nursery. I had dreamed about this room for so long, and I wanted it to be perfect! Apparently I am very indecisive (very true), because the final product was nothing like I originally envisioned. I completely changed my tune halfway through my pregnancy and am so glad I did. I really love his nursery and could happily spend all day in that sweet room. 

I wanted it to be a very calming, soothing space, and I think we achieved that. The only real theme I went for was "sweet". Talk about vague, but I wanted light colors and sweet, personal details throughout. We had the room painted a very very pale baby blue. It doesn't show up baby blue in photos and barely shows up that way in person. It's very muted, but that's exactly what we were going for. We chose white furniture with white, silver, and gray accents. Very simple!

The changing table is one of our favorite features in the nursery. Parker built it when he got back from deployment just in time for Preston to be born. He did such a good job!

The three frames hanging above the changing table were my cheap take on Etsy prints. I designed them in, printed them at Walgreens, and spray painted three frames I already had on hand. They read Jeremiah 1:5. John 3:16, and Psalm 139:14.

Parker also built this bookshelf, which I love! It's exactly what I was hoping for and was finished just days before Preston entered this world.

Archie is my stuffed gorilla from my childhood. I begged my parents not to get rid of him because I thought he would make such a fun addition to a nursery one day.

I just love the simple little mobile above his crib. It fits the gray/white color scheme, and the elephants are too cute!

His sweet name is hanging above the crib. I ordered the letters off Etsy and painted them.

I love this little airplane lamp. It is actually the only airplane we have in the nursery, but it's an ode to Parker's passion while still keeping with the simple theme I was going for.

This is another favorite corner of the room. We prayed and prayed for that sweet baby, and the Lord certainly delivered!

This chaise lounge was in my home office before the room turned into a nursery. I didn't really think it fit the nursery and still think it's a little too feminine for a boy's nursery, but it's a great place for Parker to sit and talk to me while I feed Preston, so I love it for that reason. It fits the color scheme of the nursery pretty well, and I've come to like having it in there!

Mobile: Pottery Barn
Name Letters: Etsy
Lamp: Target (discontinued)
Wooden wall hanging: Hobby Lobby
Chaise Lounge: Wayfair
Rug: Costco
Pillow: Stein Mart

Previous House Tours:

Thoughts on Mother's Day 2017

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and I spent the entire day celebrating and relishing in the sweet baby boy that gave me a reason to celebrate. Being a mom is the joy of my life, and I am so grateful to be on the journey. Mother's Day is always a reminder of the little girl who made me a mom. I always wish I could hug her a little more on Mother's Day. Taylor Grace will always be the one who made me a mom in my eyes, but baby Preston is the one who made all my dreams come true. Getting to be his mama here on earth is the sweetest gift!

I think Mother's Day is hard for as many people as it is joyous. Whether you've lost your mom, lost a baby, or struggled with infertility, it's a hard day for many. For anyone that fits into that category, you were on my heart and mind yesterday, and you were in my prayers. Mother's Day was a hard day for me last year and the year before. It was a happy day to celebrate my amazing mother, but it was also a day to remind me that I didn't yet have any babies here on earth. 

This year, I am thankful for God's provision. A year ago today, we had no idea that baby Preston would arrive 10 months later. We had no idea just how greatly God would be blessing us in 2017. 

What Goes Through Your Head When You're A New Mom...

I'm a mom (still so fun to write!), and if I've learned anything, it's that moms have to stick together. I can draw up a conversation with a total stranger and talk for hours about breastfeeding, baby clothes, and poop schedules. I've become a very hip, happening person as you can tell.

Seriously though, I've learned that there are some things every mom goes through. Particularly, there are several reactions every mom has to standard mom life happenings. Here are a few...

When people ask if your newborn is sleeping through the night...

When you see another mom in the grocery store with a screaming baby...

When you get all your chores done, have time to shower, and actually put on real clothes...

When the UPS man rings the doorbell while the baby is sleeping...

When people without kids complain about being tired...

When that precious baby wakes up at 4 AM, and you are both delighted to see them yet utterly exhausted...

When your husband comes home from work after you've been holding a baby for 10 straight hours...

When someone wants to talk about something other than your child...

When your baby finally poops after 3 days of being constipated...

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday! Here's a little look into life lately in our neck of the woods...

For me, it's all about those baby snuggles. We are nearing the end of the newborn phase, so I am cherishing those tummy naps he takes on my chest. They are getting fewer and farther between, and as fun as it is to watch him grow and learn new things, leaving the newborn phase is sad!

Friday night + gorgeous weather = walks along the waterside. We've learned the easiest thing to do with a baby is walk. Whether it be with the stroller or the baby carrier, Preston loves it and we do too. On this Friday night, we loaded up the stroller and took a walk along the water.

Jenny is a big fan of our long Saturday walks... here she is thinking she is pretty hot stuff next to this fountain. ;)

In other Jenny news, she would like for her brother to get bigger faster so she can play with him. 99% of the time, she couldn't care less about her new roommate, but on the rare occasion, she will go sit next to him and offer her toy.

Just another day in the neighborhood! We love spotting peacocks along our afternoon walks. Such a unique thing for a neighborhood to have.

Parker and I decided to try Hello Fresh, a meal delivery service that delivers fresh ingredients and detailed recipes. We thought it would be a fun little date night in, and it really was! We made them together (or Parker made them while I stood around the kitchen corralling the baby). The recipes are healthy and use ingredients I normally don't think to use, so it was a really cool learning experience!

Cinco de Mayo with some of our favorites. What you can't really see in this picture is Preston's mustache pacifier. So. darn. cute.

Thankful for friends who embrace our little family and love on our son! This boy never runs out of people who want to hold him!

That's life lately!

The Boy Behind The Blog: Daddy Edition

It's been a good chunk of time since we did a boy behind the blog, so Parker is here today to answer a few questions about his new role as a dad! To say parenthood is an adjustment is a gross understatement, but we've loved tackling this new phase of life together. Here are Parker's thoughts on our new life as mom and dad!

Questions and Answers (my responses to his answers are in gold):

1. What has been the best moment of fatherhood so far?
Probably seeing him giggle when Chelsea wakes him up in the morning and asks him how handsome he is. 
There is nothing like bending over his bed and seeing that big grin when he spots us for the first time. It's just the sweetest. 

2. What has been the most surprising thing about parenting so far?
I'm surprised at how easy our baby is. He's so low maintenance. He takes after his father!
So true. Preston is a dream baby and really easy as far as newborns go. 

3. What has been the hardest thing about being a parent?
Watching him cry and not being able to figure out what's wrong, although it's usually either he needs to eat, he needs to poop, or he's cold. 
Parker is very much looking forward to Preston being able to tell him what is wrong. I keep reminding him that we have a while to go until that happens. 

4. What's the best advice you can give a first time father?
I'm kind of new at this, but I guess just to make sure you help in any way that you can. Realize you're part of a team, and don't forget to continue making her feel special.
Very sweet, hubs. I echo the part about being a team. That's the only way you'll get through it!

5. What has been the biggest adjustment with having a baby?
Adjusting to a baby's schedule. Not being able to do whatever we want when we want. I can't wait to go to the movies again!
Parker is dying to go to the movie theater! This has always been our favorite date night. One day we will go again... one day. ;)

That's all folks!

Preston Lee | His Name Story

For some reason, Parker and I kept quiet about our son's name on the blog and social media. I'm not really sure why. We didn't even have a good reason, but I realized around week 24 of pregnancy that I hadn't shared it and just decided to keep that going. 

Since I was considered high risk during pregnancy because we had a chromosomal abnormality with our first pregnancy, I was eligible for the free blood test they can do at 10 weeks. This test looks at the chromosomes and can tell you if there are any abnormalities. It can also tell the gender. I had this test done at 10 weeks 5 days, and just before week 12, I got the call that our baby was not only healthy, but that he was a boy! Favorite phone call ever!

I had been convinced up to that point that it was a girl, so I was shocked in the best way! I was also convinced Taylor Grace was a boy, so the takeaway here is that my mother's intuition is zero. As soon as we found out it was a boy, we knew his name. I remember Facetiming Parker since he was deployed to find out the gender together, and as soon as we did, we both said "We know his name, right?!". And we did! Our first son was always going to be Preston Lee. 

I remember having a conversation with Parker when we were still dating, and he told me that he loved the name Preston and wanted a son named Preston one day. We weren't even engaged, so this was at least 7 years ago. I loved the name too! I loved it so much, and we discussed it so long ago, that I actually had convinced myself that I came up with it. Parker tried to tell me he had come up with it, but my twin sister had to confirm this before I believed them. I could have sworn I came up with it!

Lee is Parker's middle name and a family name on his side, and we both loved the idea of our son being named after his dad. And that was that. Our first son would be Preston Lee, and it was decided before Parker even asked me to marry him. 

We just love our son's name. I'm sure every parent loves their kid's name, so that was probably a silly thing to write. But it's true. We just love it. Fun fact: Parker also always wanted to have a daughter named Taylor, which is obviously the name of our first baby. So Parker has named both of our children. I joke with him that I get to name #3. It's only fair! Thankfully, Parker and I have such similar taste in baby names that he could probably name every single one and I would absolutely love it. 

So that's his name story! Nothing fancy, nothing outrageous... just a couple of 19 year olds who one day decided they would love to have a son named Preston. And when they were 27, they did. ;)


Baby After Miscarriage

For three years, I have wondered what it would be like to have a baby following a miscarriage. For anyone not familiar with our story, our first baby went to heaven halfway through the pregnancy. Her name is Taylor Grace, and she had a chromosomal abnormality called triploidy. We found out we were pregnant with her on August 11, 2014, and she went to Heaven November 23, 2014. You can read all about our journey with losing our daughter here

Fast forward to now. It's Spring of 2017, and I am staring at the most beautiful face I have ever laid eyes on. I have a son, and I couldn't love him more. I don't know what it's like to have a healthy baby on the first try, but I now know what it's like to have a baby after a miscarriage. I have to believe the two situations each present a unique set of feelings and emotions. 

Even though I never met Taylor, she was and is very real to me. I know she is the most beautiful angel in Heaven, and I know I get eternity with her. For some, miscarried babies are abstract since you never meet them, but that was never the case for me. That said, having a daughter here on earth was abstract in a sense that I would never know what that's like. I remember holding my son a few days after he was born and it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is what I had missed. Holding her, feeling her, falling in love with every inch of her body. I now understand what I missed out on in losing her, and it's gut-wrenching. 

Guilt also creeps up in the oddest of ways. As silly as it sounds, there have been times that I feel guilty for being happy. Because I am. I am so, so happy. I've never been this happy in my entire life, and I've always been a pretty happy person. My son cries at 4 AM to eat, and I giddily wake up and carry him to the nursery to feed him. I get to hang out with my favorite little human at 4 AM and love every minute of it. These days of maternity leave have been AMAZING. I just snuggle him and play with him all day... seriously, the best. And then I remember that I have a daughter who isn't here, and I feel a little guilty for being so happy. 

I've learned that this guilt is misplaced, and God doesn't want me to be sad forever. I still think about Taylor Grace every single day. It's been 2.5 years since she went to Heaven, and not one day has passed that I haven't thought about her. I still wear a necklace around my neck with her name on it. I'll never stop missing her and wishing she were here, but I am also able to focus on what I do have (a perfect son) and rejoice in what is waiting for me (a perfect daughter). 

My journey to become a mom has presented the lowest lows and highest highs of my life, but I wouldn't change it. I think having a baby after a miscarriage has helped me choose joy in the hard parts... the sleep deprivation, the crying when you can't seem to figure out what on God's green earth is the matter with your child. I don't mind those moments. I actually kind of love them. I wanted this for so long, and God was faithful. 

9 Years

Today marks 9 years since Parker asked me to be his girlfriend. Or did he actually ever ask? I honestly can't remember. I'll rephrase... today marks 9 years since Parker and I became "Facebook official". So romantic, right? Nevertheless, May 1, 2008 is the day we officially started dating. It's crazy that 9 whole years have passed, but here we are!

Parker and I met at Texas A&M University during our freshman year. He was in the Corps of Cadets and in the same company as a guy I went to high school with. My friend from high school introduced us, and we started casually talking and hanging out. Fun fact: the friend from high school is now my brother-in-law. He married my twin sister 6 weeks before Parker and I were married!

Parker and I briefly dated in the Fall of our freshman year before I decided we were both too busy and broke it off. I still liked him, but the timing just never seemed right. Another fun fact: Parker and I broke up twice during our dating days. I did it the first time, and he did it the second time. Most people don't know that, but we were babies and really had no clue how to do the whole relationship thing. Fast forward a few months to Spring of our freshman year, and I asked Parker to my Delta Gamma Formal. He was my date, we held hands on the bus, and we were officially dating a few days later. Shockingly enough, Nicholas Sparks hasn't come knocking on my door asking to turn our story into his next great best seller. All kidding aside, we love how we met and wouldn't change a second of our story. 

It's been an amazing 9 years with high highs and some low lows, but I've honestly loved every minute of it. I am a firm believer that even after you get engaged and married, you never stop dating. Even with a baby now in the mix, we still go on as many dates as we can and cherish whatever time we do get. 9 years down, forever to go!

For fun, here are some dating throwbacks from the good old college days!


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