Anchors Aweigh : November 2017


Recent Reads: November

I may not have been a good blogger in the month of November, but I did get into a few books this month! I read two that I absolutely loved and didn't want to end, and I read one that I never should have picked up in the first place. Here's what occupied my nightstand this month...

It Ends With Us
By Colleen Hoover

Yall, this is one of those books where I was so bummed when it was over. I just loved it! It's about Lily who had a tough life growing up, but everything seems to be working itself out now that she has fallen in love with Ryle. They are happy and perfect, but the reappearance of Atlas, her first love, threatens to change everything and causes her to question everything she thought she knew. I am a new fan of this author because she writes in such a personal way that you can't help but get sucked in. I loved this book and think you will too!

By Colleen Hoover

I loved It Ends With Us so much that I picked this book next since it is written by the same author. It again did not disappoint! I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn't put it down. Layken, who just turned 18, moves with her mother and brother to a new state where she meets her handsome neighbor, Will. They instantly hit it off and have the best first date either has ever had. A couple of days later, Layken shows up for her senior year of high school only to find out that Will, who is 21, is actually her teacher. Their worlds are turned upside down as they wrestle with the feelings that pull them together but the reality that keeps them apart. The characters are well developed, likable, and relatable. I loved this one and already have the sequel on my list to read for next month!

Everything I Learned About Life, I Learned In Dance Class
By Abby Lee Miller

Ugh, I kind of hated this book, but it's totally my fault for choosing to read it. I have never been a fan of Abby Lee Miller, but I used to love watching Dance Moms, so I thought I would give it a shot. I was hoping for some fun, behind the scenes moments or back story on how the show got started. There was none of that. Instead, she gives parenting advice (she doesn't actually have kids, so there's that) and repeats herself over and over. I really wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Not so good, yall. 


November 23rd is easily the most emotional day of the year for me. It is the day my baby girl went to Heaven. I still remember November 23, 2014 like it was yesterday. We were living in Norfolk, VA, and I had listened to our daughter's heartbeat the night before with my doppler. She had hung on for one more day, and I was grateful. 

November 23, 2014 was a Sunday. We went to church that morning, and I don't remember what we were singing, but I remember being very emotional during worship. I was holding my small, pregnant belly when I looked up with tears in my eyes and said "God, thank you for this gift. I give her back to you when you are ready". When we went to check her heartbeat that night, it was gone. She was gone. 

I am finally to the point now where I can type that without crying. I have written and told it so many times, but I still do get emotional sometimes when I think about what could have been. She would be 2 and a half now, full of personality and ideas all her own. Knowing I will never get a life here on earth with her is still just as painful as it was the day I found out she was gone. I will always mourn what could have been, no matter how many children I have or how much time passes. 

November 23rd fell on Thanksgiving this year. The two previous years, November 23rd has been a really hard day for me. I feel numb and almost dead inside on this day every year, so I assumed that is how I would feel this year too. I woke up feeling empty thinking of Taylor but full knowing I got to celebrate her life with my baby boy for the first time. We were in Texas with family, but I wanted to celebrate with my little crew before the hustle and bustle of the day ensued. It ended up being a really sweet time. Like every year, we sang happy birthday and blew out a candle on a cupcake. This year was really special because it was the first year Preston was with us to celebrate his sister in Heaven. I held him close and just felt thankful for the journey. I will always miss her, and I will always love her, but I know she is in Heaven watching over her brother here on earth, and I know as soon as I get to Heaven, I am never letting go of her. Another year has passed. We love you, Taylor Grace. We love you so much.

Baby Registry Tips For A First Time Mom

When I set out to create my registry, I had absolutely. no. clue. what I was doing. Seriously, none. There are sooo many baby products out there. Never having had a baby, how was I supposed to know what I needed, which brands were best, and what was extra that I could leave off? What I quickly realized after talking to friends is that very few first time moms know what to register for. We haven't had a baby yet, so how are we supposed to know what they need, right?

I registered for a lot of things I use and swear by, but I also registered for a lot of things I didn't end up needing or using. I thought I would take today to put together a list of several items every baby registry needs as well as give a few tips and tricks on creating a baby registry for the first time mamas of the world.

Choosing Where To Register

When choosing where to register, you want to take several things into consideration. The goal is to make it easy for people to purchase off of your registry. While any gift is generous and appreciated, babies are expensive, so if people purchase things you actually need, that will really help to ease the financial burden of welcoming a baby into your family. 

1. Return policy: you will inevitably end up returning a lot for various reasons. You will be given duplicate items, you will realize you don't actually need the item, etc. Make sure the store has a great, convenient return policy. 
2. Proximity to where you live: this sounds like a given, but you want to register at a place that is close to where your baby showers will be AND where you live. For example, if you register at Buy Buy Baby, but the closest Buy Buy Baby is an hour away, nobody is going to buy things off of your registry. 
3. Give people options: Register at 2 different places, and put different items on each registry. 

I chose to register at both Target and Amazon, and I would choose them both again in a heartbeat. They are convenient for almost everyone and returns are free on Amazon and always easy at Target for any items I needed to return. Amazon gave online shoppers a great option, and Target was perfect for anyone that actually wanted to go to the store.

Throwback to registering at Target with my sweet mom!

Basic Items Every Registry Needs

Here is a basic list of items that every baby registry should have. You will have items to add to this list, but here are some essentials:

Changing Table
Rocking Chair
Car Seat

Diaper Genie
Changing Pad
Changing Pad Cover (the wipeable version will be a life saver)

Milk Storage Bags
Breast Pump (check with your insurance provider before registering- most cover this)
Pumping Accessories
Nursing Pads
Nursing Pillow
High Chair or Booster Seat
Baby Spoons

Swaddling Blankets
Baby Mittens

Crib Sheets
Burp Cloths
Diaper bag

Good luck mamas!

Baby's First Halloween

Our first Halloween with a kid is in the books! Oh my goodness, can we talk about how cute little kids are on Halloween? Parker and I have always loved passing out candy to little kids, and it had been 2 years since we did that together since he was deployed last year. We passed out candy to about 10 different Moana's and more Marvel characters than I could count. 

Our favorite part was definitely taking baby Preston trick or treating though. He's a baby, so of course he had no idea what was going on, but man was he cute! I had an old lion costume for Jenny as well, so they were both lions. Jenny was a whole new level of unimpressed. I mean seriously, this picture speaks for itself. 

We went trick or treating to a few of our neighbor's houses and called it an early night. Parker and I both felt super awkward trick or treating because it was obvious that Preston couldn't eat the candy, so clearly we were trick or treating for our own benefit. We really just wanted to get the trick or treating experience with Preston for his first Halloween!

One awkward moment that I am still kicking myself over- it was still light outside when we took Preston trick or treating, so you couldn't tell which houses had candy and which didn't since no porch lights were on yet. I knocked on a sweet lady's door who speaks only broken English, and when she answered the door, she looked completely shocked to see us and instantly put her face in her hands saying "oh no, I wasn't prepared!". I kept telling her "it's okay, it's okay!" and started to leave, and she ran to her pantry, found some dried mangos, and tried to offer me them. She was mortified. I was mortified that she felt so badly. Eeesh, it was awful. After that encounter, I was ready to call it a night. Other than that though, the night was so sweet and so fun seeing Preston as a little lion cub!

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween! Happy November!


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