Nursery Reveal and 37 Weeks

37 WEEKS!!!!!!

37 weeks are officially done- which means this little baby is *technically* ready, and safe enough to be born!  No more than 2-3 weeks to go!  We had an appointment last Wednesday and Annabelle Grace was weighing in at 6lb, 12oz.  She had grown 9oz since the last appointment we had before Michigan- so it seems she could be a big girl!  As of last Wednesday she had turned head down as well, so I’m reallllllllly hoping she stays that way.  I apparently have a lot of amniotic fluid, which makes it easy for her to turn around.  We have another appointment this coming Friday, and will continue to have an appointment each week until she is born!

Since we’ve nearly made it to the end, it’s time to post pictures of the nursery!  I love her room, and can’t wait to add her to it!  Until then, I just like to walk in and look around or sit in the glider!  I’ve pretty much organized and washed every possible item, so really there is nothing left to do!  So, let’s start with the before pictures!  These pictures are from days after Will and I moved in to the house- nothing had been done, except us moving our furniture in, and laying down an area rug because the carpet that came in the house was needing to be replaced. (We basically lived out of this one room for a good amount of time, while the house was being worked on!)

Since then the room had finally been turned into a guest room- with new carpet, and new paint- a light blue-green color.  Our first addition to making it a nursery was buying a crib!  We decided to go with a converter-crib- one that will work for her as a baby, as a toddler, and then convert in to a full-size bed so that we won’t have to buy new beds over and over.  We found this crib on Amazon, and really like it!

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Then we decided to move everything out of the room, add a carpet we ordered from Wayfair, and pick out a paint color!  We picked a Benjamin Moore “Greige” color- I believe it’s actually called Rodeo.​​

Our biggest splurge on the room was actually for the dresser and end tables.  We decided to for-go a changing table.  Since it doesn’t serve enough of a purpose later on- and really- how often will one of us be beside the changing table?!  Odds are this baby is getting changed where we are when the moment happens.  So, we added the cost of the changing table in to the furniture we would use in her room.  We found it on ETSY, and absolutely love it!  It will last for years- and can easily be transitioned in to any of our other rooms later on.

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We also order an unfinished, wooden, monogram sign from ETSY- it’s so much cheaper to just paint it yourself!  Plus we could match it easier to the quilt rack my Nana made years ago, and to a bedside table that Will already had from his first house!  (Obviously Will did all of the painting!  He was such a great sport about it and did a wonderful job!)

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The picture frames and mirror came from ETSY, curtains we had to order since we have such high ceilings/large windows, and the book shelf and slide-in baskets came from Target! (Bought with free gift cards from purchasing other baby things, win-win!)  The lamps are some that my Mom gave us a while back, and most of the little picture frames were gifts given to us!  We went pretty basic with the crib bedding since it’s recommended to keep it pretty simple.  We did add a crib skirt that will be seen better when the bed is converted to a toddler bed.  Soooooo, without further ado- here are the final pictures!

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 ​Here is a video tour of the room as well!

We also have a bonus closet beside her room and bathroom! We have filled it up with everything else!

​So there you have it!  Annabelle Grace’s room is complete!  Now, we’re just waiting on her!  Oh- I almost forgot- we also have an older, antique cradle that my parents gave us.  Will was able to get it put together and painted and distressed it!  We will keep this in our room for a while, while she is itty-bitty!  We have gone back and forth on how to make a mattress for it, as the sizing is not like anything sold today.  Foam seemed like the simplest fix- but there were a lot of reviews about chemicals and gasses that come off of it, not being good for the baby.  I decided to see if there was a way to have one custom made and it was actually able to work!  We found a site that custom makes the mattresses, and it was only $60.00!  Win-Win!  We’ve moved the cradle to our room, and now are just waiting for the mattress and fitted sheets to show up!

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As for what is happening now that 37 weeks are done-  I’m getting asked A LOT if there are twins!  People seem so shocked when I tell them there is only one, and it’s a baby girl that still has 3 weeks to go!  I honestly love watching people’s reactions, and answering their questions.  I’m still doing Pure Barre and walking as much as possible!  I always check with my doctor and he tells me to continue going until the day this baby pops out- so I go!  It also seems to make a big difference in keeping my glucose numbers lower!  My energy is still staying pretty strong- though at the end of the day I am wiped out!  My fingers have started to swell some.  I can get my rings on and off, but it is slightly difficult, so I have now added them to a necklace to wear.  I’m up about 18.5lb from pre-pregnancy, and my belly measures about 44.5 inches around!  I am starting to get a few, what I assume, are stretch marks around my belly button, and I’m really pretty okay with it!  I’ve waited a long time for a sweet baby to be inside of me, and having the marks to prove she was there is something I’m pretty happy about!

So- here are some pictures!  I’ve attached a 20 week picture beside my 37 week picture!

24 Weeks and 37 Weeks:

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Andddd: Proof that my belly is 44.5 inches wide and has some potential stretch marks near my belly button!

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So that concludes this updated post!  Now we wait!  I’ll continue to update until Annabelle Grace arrives!  That’s a post I can’t wait to write! (My bags are packed and I have outfits and headbands ready to go!)  Oh- and I bought myself one little fun thing for after her arrival- some new {PINK} tennis shoes!

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Oak Island and Michigan 2017

“I never want to leave this sunset town, but one day the time may come.  And I’ll take you at your word, and carry on.  I’ll hate the goodbye, but I won’t forget the good times.”

-All Time Low, Good Times

This summer is the last summer that it will just be the two of us!  Will and I are so incredibly excited for August, and getting to start our family of three!  However, since this is the last little bit of time we have with the two of us- we wanted to really try to make a trip with each of our families work this summer.  We wanted to have time to share our pregnancy with both families, stay up late, go out, and really enjoy the trips that each of us grew up loving.  Next year will be so much fun when Annabelle Grace is ranging from 9-12 months when we hopefully have these same vacations with our families.  We will be playing differently, following nap and sleep schedules, and loving every minute of it- but it will be different.  We are so glad we could make these trips work this summer.  Here are a few recaps!

At the end of May we went to Oak Island, North Carolina with my family.  I was just starting my third trimester of pregnancy.  Yes- we did drive!  We did stop a good bit for bathroom breaks, but the traveling itself wasn’t all that bad!  Our first stop Saturday was to Provision Company in Southport while waiting on the rest of my family to arrive!  We had shrimp, crab cakes, and corn on the cob, and it was delicious!

 Once everyone showed up, we found our house, and of course had to see the beach!!  We did, obviously, document my belly as well!!!

My sister, Kristin and her family- Brad, Ava and Kylie showed up late Saturday evening- so of course we stayed up to see them!  Of course Ava and Kylie LOVE Will! (Which is a good sign, since he is so close to becoming a “girl dad!”)

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We took Ava to Carolina Beach with us to ride the Ferry and get donuts at Britt’s!  This particular time of the year they are only open on the weekends, so Sunday was the only day we would have a chance to get them!  Britt’s Donuts, by the way, is very well known, even outside of North Carolina.  The only type of donuts they serve are glazed donuts, and the lines are always insane to wait in to get them!  For anyone living in Arkansas, I would describe them as similar to Shipley’s Donuts.

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Ava passed out on the way home waiting for the Ferry, though she would tell your differently- and that she was just pretending!.

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Of course, when we finally made it back- it was time to go back to the beach!!!

From there on out, we had plenty of great meals with lots of seafood!  Of course we ate at Provision several more times, walked around Southport, and visited the Farmer’s Market on Oak Island. (and I bought a hair bow of course!)

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One of the last days we were in Oak Island, there was a pretty big storm! The ocean was very rough, lots of hail, wind, and the road even flooded up a little bit!  I always enjoy a good storm at the beach- so long as it isn’t like that all week!!

All in all we had a great trip to the coast of North Carolina.  We’re looking forward to when we get to take Annabelle Grace one day!

Our next family trip of the summer would be with Will’s family to Michigan.  Once we got home from the beach with my family we had an appointment, and unfortunately found out I would be dealing with Gestational Diabetes for the rest of my pregnancy.  We kept our fingers crossed and hoped this wouldn’t interfere with our potential trip near the end of July.  I would be almost 35 weeks along when we would leave for Michigan, so you never know what could happen by that point.  Fortunately we were cleared once again for this trip!  We had to drive again, and stopping to move around and drinking plenty of water were even more crucial.  Because of this, we did turn the trip there and back into two day trips.

We made it a few days before Will’s parents arrived, but had a little time with his Aunt Kelly and his grandparents.  Kelly and Will decided they needed to get in the water.  It was incredibly cold and the water was even colder!  They did it though- and actually swam around a good bit!

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While in Michigan, we ended up having amazing weather.  Every day there was supposed to be a pretty good chance of rain/storms- but every day, it ended up being wonderful weather!  It only really rained on Saturday when Will and I had to leave anyhow.  The water was still super cold this year- but I did get in.  The first day it was a little too cold for me still, but as the week went on, and the weather got warmer, I could bear it a little more!  I even sat on a paddle board while Will paddled me around!  His arms and core definitely got a good workout!

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We also made to get a belly shot on this trip too, since we did one in NC at the beginning of my third trimester!

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We did tons of walking while in Epworth, to try to keep my numbers for my glucose low- and apparently it worked wonders!  The whole we we were in Michigan I only had a few “bad” readings.  Because we were able to keep my numbers so low, we did FINALLY cheat one day and get REAL ice cream.  I got that small scoop in a cup so that I could really take my time eating it!  I even got a little whip cream on top- and I enjoyed every bite!

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We also splurged a little on the diet and had Bortell’s with Will’s parents one day.  We got fried whitefish, french fries, and coleslaw- and it was wonderful!

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As the week went on, by the end of the day- my walking realllllllly slowed down!  (We seriously walked several miles a day!) Will thought it was funny to use SnapChat to document just how fast we were truly going.  He of course waited until our last walk of the day, after being in the sun all day, and going up a hill!!  It really is kind of funny though!  However- at least I was still moving! At almost 36 weeks!!

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Our trip to Michigan was also wonderful, and I’m so glad it also worked out for us!  (and we came back with baby still intact!)

Now that our last two family trips as a family of two have happened- we wait for little Ms. Annabelle Grace to decide to grace us with her presence!  We did have an appointment once we got home from Michigan, and much to our surprise- she has flipped head down!  Now, here’s to hoping she stays that way!

Soon- I’ll post a completed Nursery Blog Reveal!  Stay tuned!

35 Weeks (basically!)

Time for a quick, quick, quick update on all things Baby Annabelle Grace!

As of today, I am 34 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  I’ll officially be 35 weeks along on Monday.  HARD TO BELIEVE, and so exciting all the same!  This baby could show up in four to five weeks- and I still feel like she’ll get here sooner rather than later- I’ve felt that way since the beginning.

This third trimester has most certainly been the most difficult for me!  Not because I am physically miserable by any means- quite frankly I still have a pretty perfect pregnancy, according to my own body.  I still don’t get very hot, my weight gain is right at 16 pounds total- and it is ALLLLLLLLLL in this baby and in my belly. (quite literally!)  I am still working out and doing Pure Barre like four times a week, and still only modify somewhat- ab work is getting a little difficult due to the bowling ball inside of me, but that’s to be expected.  I have a small amount of lower back pain, a TINY bit of swelling in my hands and feet, and a SMALL amount of fatigue.  So small that I took my first nap EVER since knowing Will a few weeks ago, and it was only 15 minutes…. no repeats since then!  The most recent “belly picture” I have is from about 33 weeks with my sister-in-law, Jennifer, who is also pregnant- about 7-10 days behind us!

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GESTATIONAL DIABETES however, has just really been a downer!  I started out on such a positive note- thankful to have just made it so far in a pregnancy, and I still am.  However, weeks ago, I didn’t realize how hard it would truly be to maintain such a strict diet.  By eating properly and exercising- the goal is to hopefully avoid any medicine or insulin.  If I am able to keep my blood sugar numbers lower, than any risk to the baby is also smaller.  I haven’t cheated ONCE.  I have exercised the appropriate amount, and journaled all my food intake to make sure I hit the right numbers for protein, fat, and carbs.  So far I have been able to avoid the insulin, but every week it gets so much harder to keep my numbers in check.  Apparently it gets harder the bigger the baby gets…….  Which in turn makes me even MORE frustrated.  At least if I was eating junk food, not working out, or gaining a tremendous amount of weight, I would feel like I “earned” diabetes…..but I’ve done none of the above.  All I want is REAL ice cream!!!!!! It also becomes frustrating because if you’ve ever miscarried- you start to feel guilty about being upset about any little set-back in a viable pregnancy.  You have an inside argument that you aren’t “allowed” to be upset about these things- which I know is just silly- but it doesn’t stop those feelings from creeping in!  Any how, moral of the story- my rant is over, and I’m still luckily able to avoid insulin- so that’s a plus.

Oh- and because I can’t just cheat or eat fun things- I have to really pay attention to when I can eat certain things, what I can eat, and how they affect my blood sugar.  (Oh- and finding ways to work in enough carbs to not mess it up either…) SO, the best thing I have discovered I can somehow eat is the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad from Panera, with a baguette as my side.  Pretty sure everyone else is tired of having to eat at Panera- but it’s seriously the only thing I actually like having/getting to eat over and over….because there are a lot of repetitive meals with gestational diabetes!

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Now- on to the actual doctor appointment update!  The fun part!  We went today and FINALLY got another ultrasound- the one thing I can thank diabetes for!  However, we learned that this dear baby inside of me potentially weighs 6 POUNDS, 3 OUNCES!  Um, hello- that is infant- sized for some full-term babies- and this one in me still has 4-5 weeks to go! That is almost HALF of the weight I have gained period from this pregnancy!  She also has a longer thigh bone, so she could potentially be a taller baby!  Have you met Will and I?  Or our families?!  None of us are tall…so that’s funny!  Her belly is definitely a little rotund as well.  She was not a fan of having her picture taken today- but our awesome ultrasound tech- Kelly, was still able to get us some good pictures!

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Those are not holes in her head, or weird skin places- she had her face squished up next to the placenta, which makes it hard for the camera to get a good angle to actually show everything!

At this appointment we also learned that she is breech- meaning her head is under my ribs.  Ideally she should already be flipped over, with her feet in my ribs.  We’ve got like a 1-2 weeks window where is would still be easiest for her to really flip on her own.  That’s even still about 50/50 odds that she will.  After that she may or may not flip before her due date.  On the bright side, I am good to go with amniotic fluid, which does make it easier for her to flip, but on the downside, she is a little bigger than most babies at this week, so that could be making it harder.

Our doctor told us to look up “versions”  which is basically where he would use his hands to try to flip her over from the outside of my tummy.  This is done in a hospital setting as it does come with its own set of risks.  Will and I have read about it a little, and I’m still not sold on the idea yet.  I’m not huge fan of the idea of a c-section, but will do what I need to to get this baby here as safely as possibly.  At our next appointment we should actually get to hear more of his perspective on the whole topic- which is what I prefer more any how.

Oh- in one of my previous posts I mentioned we had our maternity pictures taken, and posted one we had gotten.  I’ve since posted the others on Facebook- but in case you can’t see that- here are a few of them!  (They were taken around the 30th week mark, by Kati Mallory Photo and Design)

The nursery is also basically done!  We have even installed our carseat into the car and my hospital bag is ready to go!  We are currently on our way to Ludington, Michigan for our last family vacation with Will’s family before Annabelle gets here.  Because I’m so much farther along we do have to stop a lot more, so we turned the trip in to a two day trip and are spending the night before we finish our drive tomorrow!  I’ll definitely do a post soon about both of our family trips once we get back from this one!

 

Lucky I’m In Love With My Best Friend {THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!}

“You make is easier when life gets hard….I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend; Lucky to have been where I have been; Lucky to be coming home again; I’m lucky we’re in love in every way; Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed…”    

-Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, “Lucky”

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Hey, good gracious, we made it to THREE years!!!!  We have legally stuck together through (quite literally) thick and thin for THREE WHOLE YEARS.  I’m pretty proud of us!  Since meeting Will in November of 2012, I seriously have found my best friend, partner in crime, soulmate (this is a sappy post, so of course I have to use the sappy words!), traveling mate, confidant, comedian, dance partner, forever date, doggy daddy, and soon to be human daddy!

These three years have been nothing short of exciting, interesting, sad, and even boring at times- and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Compared to some people, Will and I have a long ways to go- but if these three years are any indication of what’s to come- then I think we can handle it!

We’ve had some great times together!  (Most of the pictures I pulled for this post have come from Facebook, so excuse the quality of them….between having pictures in a millions places- it was the easiest to save them from Facebook!)

One of our first dates together- when Will took me to eat Sushi for the first time (it’s Will’s fault I like it so much!) and then we saw Mary Poppins at the Orpheum, and Will semi-fell ASLEEP in one of the loudest parts!

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Celebrating Christmas with two large dogs… who don’t always cooperate- but that’s about to be our lives forever…sooo- good practice!

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Getting those same silly dogs to ride on a four-wheeler with us! (Which they love doing by the way!)

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Buying a house together….

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and fixing that same house up together (still!) (forever project!)

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Working out together! (Running, Pure Barre, Yoga!)

Will teaching me how to shoot a gun…. 

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A TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT (that Will ended up having a ton of fun at!)

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There were even light up bracelets attached to our chairs that turned on and lit up depending on the song!  This particular weekend trip/concert also came right after one of the hardest things we have been through in three years of marriage- our first miscarriage.  Going through loss together has been hard and sad, but has most certainly helped us build an even stronger foundation.

We have been to Hot Springs… and we took the pictures:

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We went to Michigan last summer, with intentions of having our first full-week vacation in between my jobs changing!

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With that trip, we unfortunately went through miscarriage number two…. but we seriously made the most of it, and still had a great time with that one exception.  Will has been my rock more times than I can count- and again, as horrible and not-fun of a situation that miscarriage is- we once again, got a little bit stronger.

Now, during this fourth year together- we finally get to add “parents” to the list of things we will do together.

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Happy Three Year Anniversary to us, and many more to come!!

Goodbye House, Hello Motherhood

Seriously, the year of 2017 is proving to be such a HUGE, GREAT, BITTERSWEET year!!

As of about 45 minutes ago, my Greensboro, NC house (shown above) is officially sold!  I bought this house BY MYSELF a little over seven years ago, not realizing at the time I would eventually find myself living in the Deep Delta South, much less happily married, with a baby on the way!

Since moving to Arkansas back in 2012, I had been renting my house out, to the same lady up until February of this year.  Back in 2015 she showed a little interest in buying the house, and we thought we were done with it- of course any time you think something, that’s not how life works out, so we continued owning this house, up until March when she moved out!  Before we could put the house on the market there were things to be done on our end and the rental company’s end, but once it was on the market, it was under contract within a week!  Fortunately everything has come together just as it needed to, and now we’re done with it.

It is seriously bittersweet!  I was so proud of myself for being able to buy a house at the age of 23 on MY OWN!  I became an “adult” there!  It was my space.  I moved here in 2012, honestly assuming I would be back in NC after my two years of teaching- obviously there were other plans for me that I was unaware of!  Over the last 5 years, the house has been a hassle, with repairs being done to it, and it really became annoying, especially after Will and I got married and I knew I would not be moving back- but none the less, it was still my little piece of NC.  I feel like this is my official, final goodbye to North Carolina!

On that note, FINALLY having all of this done with is such a relief!  Dealing with a house when you live 12-14 hours away over a phone and email can be quite a pain!  You also don’t ever get to see anything done, and so many simple things that we could have fixed on our own, had to be paid for (which is always more expensive when you include labor…)  Thankfully my parents were able to check on some things for us, and my Dad was able to start mowing my yard while it was being shown and looked at!

Now that it’s gone, it’s one less thing to worry about when our sweet baby girl gets here!  Going along with so many bittersweet changes- I had another big change to my life back in May!  Many of you probably already know- but Will and I decided finally that I would stay home once Annabelle Grace was born instead of returning to school in August.  This particular decision was another one of the biggest I myself have ever made!  I have waited and waited for both a teaching job (lower elementary) and a baby!  This past year I was fortunate to have been hired at Desoto as their new K3 teacher (Pre-school teacher for 3 year olds).  I fell in LOVE with my job.  We had lost one baby back in 2015, and lost our second baby not even two weeks before I started my job with Desoto.  The biggest thing that held me together was getting to see those sweet little faces every morning!  I had waited for a job like this to open up, and it finally did.  Even when we finally got pregnant for the third time this past winter, the biggest thing I kept telling myself was “if we have to lose this third baby to miscarriage, at least I have a job I love- that’ll help me get through it.”  Well little did I know, this baby has decided to stick around!  Yayayayayyay!!  Butttt, that also meant seriously having to think about what I wanted to do.  With any other job I would have quickly said I would be leaving and staying home- but not this one.  I loved the school, my class, the age of the kids, the staff, and the parents.  I also have been so incredibly cautious to not get my hopes up with this baby.  I have enjoyed my pregnancy- but when you lose babies or have trouble getting them, you find yourself still questioning everything.  This job was the light at the end of the tunnel if I lost Annabelle.  In the end, and after careful consideration of so many things, we decided I would stay home!  The closer her due date gets, the more real it becomes, and I become even more excited!  I basically just got upgraded to the biggest teaching job there is, and I can’t wait to watch our daughter learn and grow!!!  Oh, and to make it even more real- we had maternity pictures taken Friday.  (I’m 30 weeks pregnant now!)  We’ll get to see more of them soon!  Will’s friend from college, Kati Mallory is a photographer out of Little Rock and she was so fun to work with and takes great pictures!

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Sooooo, goodbye house, hello motherhood!  I love this trade-off!  =)  Now, to celebrate three years of marriage soon-June 21 is not far away!!!

Yep, I failed a test! (and 29.5 weeks!)

Sooooo, it’s time for a big update!  We made it to the THIRD TRIMESTER (woo hoo!) but I figured I would wait to write this post until after our appointment (which turned in to multiple appointments!)

Last week I had my regular Glucose Screening appointment.  I failed.  Basically what happens at that appointment is you can eat, just nothing with sugar, so Will and I had scrambled eggs and broccoli that morning, and water.  Then, an hour before your appointment you drink this SUPERRRRRRR sweet “Glucola” drink.  Mine was fruit punch flavored.  Once you drink it, you can’t eat or drink even water until they prick your finger.  They pricked my finger, I failed, by like 9 points.  That earned me another appointment yesterday to basically do a bigger version of the same test, but with actual fasting.  I couldn’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before.  Will and I showed up to my appointment, and they prick your finger once.  If you pass, you then have to drink another Glucola Fruit Punch drink….. and then you come back each hour for the next three hours to have your finger pricked again, still with no water or food in between.  Unfortunately I failed, again, and again!  A nurse spoke with us about it, and sent us home with a folder FULL of stuff to read….

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Basically when diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, there is nothing I could have done to prevent it, or nothing I did while pregnant to cause it…which stinks because I still exercise a reasonable amount, have not gained too much weight while pregnant, and have been eating fairly healthy since the beginning since I was so scared of miscarriage to start with.  That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed a cookie, ice cream, french fries, etc here and there- it was just all in moderation.  Now for the most part, even those few times are gone for the next 11ish weeks.  When I failed the first test, I had one week, doctor’s orders, to continue my diet the way it had been until this three hour appointment, so during that week I did squeeze in one more of my favorite sundaes, in case it would be my last!  Bye bye peanut butter cup sundae…..

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I took the news pretty well, mostly because I would have given anything to have gotten this far in a pregnancy with my previous two miscarriages, and at least I’m done with school, so planning and prep time for the meals and snacks, and pricking my finger four times a day will be a little easier to handle.  I really don’t know how I would have handled this if school was still in session!   I also know this isn’t going to be the first time I give something up for this sweet daughter of mine, so what’s a little practice ahead of time…

Now, to be completely honest, I did handle the news fairly well.  We got home and I started trying to figure out what I would be eating for the next week and making a grocery list.  It did take a while, but I felt pretty good about it, so off to Walmart I went- to buy groceries and pick up all my blood-sugar checking supplies from the pharmacy.  Basically the pharmacy was no help when it came to if insurance even covered anything, so I stood on the diabetic aisle calling our insurance company by myself and having to ask a million questions for about an hour, to finally be told nothing is covered, but it could go toward our deductible if we buy a certain kind (which by the way is priced outlandishly!)  Sooooo I walked out, called Will since he was on his way home from work, and finally cried.  Anyone who really knows me, knows I am a perfectionist when it comes to doing things (and I don’t fail tests, like Will likes to say…) So this will definitely take some time on my part realizing some parts of what I eat won’t be the end of the world, so long as I am conscious of what I am doing.  It will be a work in progress, but I know I can do it!  We also have an appointment next Wednesday morning with a Diabetes Specialist before our regular appointment, and that will certainly help with understanding how to plan meals and snacks!

Now that you know all about my fun times ahead with Gestational Diabetes, I’m going to move on to the fun part!  Everything else looked great- the doctor measured from the top of my belly to the bottom and according to that measurement, Annabelle Grace is still on track to be born around August 21!  He checked her heart rate and it was still strong and 140bpm.  My weight is still on track, and as of today is up 13.7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  My iron was a little low, so I also have to watch that and make sure I’m getting enough iron, but other wise, things look good!  I measured my belly around my belly button this morning and it’s 41.5inches around… that’s just crazy!  I’m still doing Pure Barre regularly, and am trying to walk/run here and there when I can too.

29.5 week pictures:

For reference, here are my 20 week pictures:

She has DEFINITELY grown! (But hey, I can still see my toes when I look down!)

As for other updates, we recently got back from a family beach trip to Oak Island, NC with my family a few weeks ago, and we had a blast!  I will write more about that trip soon!

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I also had my second baby shower, hosted by the mom’s and a few grand-mother’s of the kids from my K3 Class from Desoto.  It really was incredibly sweet of them, and just the gesture alone meant so much to me!  We got a lot of wonderful things for Annabelle Grace and are so thankful!

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That same weekend, Lee and Jamie stayed with us!  Friday night we ate at Ramon’s in Clarksdale, and it was delicious as always!

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Jamie went to the shower with me, and Lee and Will stayed at our house- they had lots of baby things to paint!

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Her room is coming together, just so many little things to do to finish it off!  I absolutely love it though!

For now, that’s pretty much it- we are having maternity pictures done by one of Will’s college friends on Friday who is an awesome photographer, Kati Mallory- it should be a lot of fun, and we get to have dinner with Kati and her husband afterwards!  We have a shower hosted by his Aunt Kelly and Uncle John in a few weeks, our appointment next week, and a likely trip to Michigan in July!  So, a good few last weeks together as just the two of us!

Be on the lookout for updates to come!

What’s In A Name? And, Happy Mother’s Day 2017

What’s in a name?  What a HUGE question that really is….!  Your name is the first thing people want to know about you, and a question Will and I have been asked a million and two times since finding out that our sweet baby is a girl.  We have known the answer to that question for a little while, but have decided to keep it to ourselves until today- Mother’s Day.  (Sorry to my Mom- I know it has been driving you crazy that I wouldn’t give out any clues or say I knew the name!!!!)

We both come from families that have strong women in them, and that is such an amazing thing.  Most importantly we both have strong mothers.  Mothers that we both look up to for many different reasons.

To my Mom- you have always been an example of independence, strong will, determination, and complete fearlessness in what to me seemed like such scary moments.  You stayed home for several years with me and Kristin, and honestly- those are some of my favorite memories with you.  You even made lunch time fun, when you would pretend our kitchen table was a restaurant and write down our orders for lunch!  You always told the best “ghost stories” at sleepovers with my friends, so good that Lenise can even remember them.  I felt like the coolest kid ever having the Mom who was the PTA president and always at school for programs and events.  I know a lot of kids would probably be embarrassed for their Mom to be around so much, but I truly LOVED it.  As we got older, you showed determination in going back to college and returning to work.  There’s no way I couldn’t look up to you for that, and no way that I too, shouldn’t go to college and make something of myself if you could do it after having two kids.  Your fearlessness has shined through when you faced different types of cancer, from skin, to breast, and even a blood clot.  I remember you talking to us on your bed when breast cancer first became an issue.  I was so incredibly scared, but you just remained calm while I CRIED.  Now, as an adult, I have been able to (unfortunately) relate to you in regards to going through miscarriage.  I HATE that both of us have had to experience such loss- but I am so thankful that when it happened to me, you were able to understand exactly what I was going through and talk to me about it.  As I prepare to become a mother to this sweet baby inside me- I hope I too, instill those qualities in her, for they are the back bone of a strong woman.  I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

Ann-  I’m pretty sure I hit the jack pot when it comes to the mother-in-law department.  You also are an incredibly independent, smart, and determined person!  You have let absolutely nothing stand in your way of doing the job you want and love- and I admire that.  I know from listening to Will how much he thinks of you as a mother- from packing him ONE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for lunch every day, to sewing his Halloween costumes every year when he was little.  You always are ready and willing to help with anything you can, and always have such a positive attitude about things.  I hate that we too, also share the unfortunate experience of miscarriage, but like I said to my mother- it makes a world of difference for Will and I to have parents who have been through such a hard, similar event.  I also hope our daughter inherits so many of these qualities from you, as you too, are a strong woman.  Happy Mother’s Day to you!

So, with that being said- let’s talk about our soon-to-be baby girl’s name!  Click on the video below for our name reveal!

There’s her name!  Is that song we paired with the video not just perfect?  Really every word of the song is perfect, but my favorite line is:

“You were made to shine under southern stars, in my arms tonight.  I can feel the beating of your heart; I’m gonna make you mine.”  -Make You Mine, High Valley

Will and I went back and forth with several different names and options.  With our very first pregnancy we had two perfect names picked out.  Our girl name included part of my mother’s name, and we loved it.  We got pregnant a second time, and debated keeping the same names.  We lost that baby too.  With this third chance we knew for sure that we didn’t want to use our original names.  Sooooo, we had some work cut out for us!  Will loves family names.  I like family names with their own personality.  Or completely unrelated names, so long as the name has a special meaning.  We both loved the idea of a “double name,” like my mom’s name, being Sue Ellen.  We both feel like it has the perfect southern charm to it.  We looked at initials in our families.  We looked at double names, but making it the first and middle name… There is just SO much to consider!

We finally settled on using a blend of both of our mom’s names because of the impact they have had on us.  We wanted the name to sound like a double name, but where we could also still give our sweet girl her own special name as a middle name.  Will’s mother’s name is “Ann.”  My mother’s name is “Sue Ellen.”  We decided to add an “a” to “Ann,” making “Anna.”  From my mom’s name, we of course wanted to keep the double name idea, and we used “Ellen” to do that.  We took the “n” off of the end, and added a “B” in front, making “Belle.”  Together the names make “Annabelle.”  Our daughter now shares the same first and last initial as me, but has a first name inspired by both of our moms, her grandmoms.  Both of our STRONG moms.

Her middle name is a word that I love, and I actually made mention of it in my former post. (You would have to be pretty sly to realize I did it, but in my last post I used this verse, and underlined GRACE.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

The definition of grace:

GRACE: The exercise of love, kindness, compassion, mercy, favor, disposition to benefit another.

Grace is such a perfect word to describe our experience trying to get this sweet baby; such a perfect middle name for this girl.  I have found a quote that I absolutely love and want to have it created in some way for her nursery:

“I will hold myself to a standard of GRACE, not perfection.”  –author unknown

We look forward to officially meeting Annabelle Grace Cashion in August!

We hope you enjoyed this announcement post; and again, Happy Mother’s Day to our mothers, we love you dearly- and there aren’t enough ways to ever say that.