Friday, December 12, 2014

10 Things I Wish I Knew before Marriage

My husband and I are quickly approaching our third anniversary. While I am no expert on marriage, I have learned a lot about myself during these last three years. If I could go back and give my single self a little advice, this would be it:

  1. Be selfish with your time. Once you have a family, "me" time becomes "our" time. Being alone is ok, one day you may forget what it's like and the grocery store will seem like girls weekend.  
  2. Travel as much as possible. Even if you're alone, get on a plane and see as many places as possible. One plane ticket is a lot easier on the wallet. 
  3.  Plan your wedding. It doesn't matter that you've been single for the last 3 years, every girl has the right to know what she wants. Plan away, sister.
  4. Happiness is something you have to choose. Don't depend on a thing or a person for your own personal happiness. You control how you feel, choose to be happy regardless of your circumstances. Finals will be a faint memory one day, I promise.
  5. Pray and grow closer to God. Have a personal relationship with God, it's the most important thing you can do for the present and the future.
  6. Enjoy school. Don't wish away your education. You are privileged to sit in a classroom learning on an almost daily basis. Gain as much knowledge as possible and never stop seeking answers. Form your own opinions but always be open to other perspectives.  
  7. Avoid cooking. This is probably bad advice. But eating an avocado for dinner or a bag of chips won't cut it once you're married. Men like a meal, like a full meal with meat and a starch. AND skipping a meal? Forget it. So like I said, avoid cooking, you have the rest of your life to do it.
  8. Finding the right person will happen when you expect it least. I am convinced that 99 percent of the human population has heard this piece of advice. And I am pretty sure 98 percent of them ignored it. Be the 1 percent, believe me, it will happen.
  9. The wedding isn't a big deal. Many coin the wedding day as the "most important day of your life." Trust me when I say it's not.
  10. Those "most important" days are yet to come. The best days will be found in the midst of trials and triumphs. These "important" days are often unplanned and unexpected but perfectly timed.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Last Minute Trip to Birmingham

Nearly a year has passed since we have been back to Chris' hometown. We typically make a few trips throughout the year but 2014 has kept us especially busy. Last week we decided on a whim to book flights to Birmingham to visit Chris' family. After almost missing our connecting flights on our way there and our way back, we made it! Going home is always bittersweet for Chris, he would like nothing more than to move back. However, our jobs and families make living in the sunshine state rather appealing to me. It actually shocks me a bit that we are still here, we never planned to stay in Florida after we got married but life happened and our roots deepened. Part of me would love to experience life in another state, but letting go of a place I have called home for 25 years seems impossible.

Have you moved for the sake of a lifestyle change or new scenery?  What was your experience?

Bits and pieces of Birmingham:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

The Christmas tree is up, stockings are hung and Home Alone is playing in the background. It's official -- my favorite time of year has finally arrived.

Here's a quick tour of my very own winter wonderland courtesy of my iPhone:  


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beautiful and Heartbreaking News

And I received the greatest news of my life (again) on Sunday, September 28, 2014. God has given me another chance to be a momma and to say I am ecstatic would be an understatement. While joy and excitement consume me, fear is also playing a large part in the emotions I am currently feeling.

I have to give myself a pep-talk every time my bladder reminds me that I am growing life. Who would have thought that going to the restroom would be so terrifying? I am just sure, so sure, my world will come crashing down around me again.

One thing that is very different this pregnancy than my last is my faith in Jesus Christ. My trust is in him. I will not let fear, loss or grief consume me like it once did. I will do my very best to give my worries to the Lord this time. I am praying for His will and not mine. I can't honestly say that I did that last time.

I am counting down the days until I am 14 weeks and mostly out of the woods to share this exciting news with my friends and family. I just wanted to record my initial feelings, thoughts and emotions.

Thank you to everyone who has supported and prayed for Chris and I on this heartbreaking and beautiful journey.
All my love,

I wrote this nearly two months ago and it has been staring at me in my drafts. And the question remained, should I share? After a lot of thought, I decided that if my journey gave just one woman hope, comfort and/or the peace she is seeking, it would be worth it. 
See, I wasn't planning on getting pregnant during this time. I found out the day before I was scheduled for an MRI. I was supposed to be scheduling surgery to remove a mass they found on my uterus but when the positive sign I have longed for showed up, everything was put on standby. Unfortunately, I miscarried a few weeks after I found out I was expecting. Physically this miscarriage was much more difficult than my first but emotionally I found a peace that I searched for endlessly last time. Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I didn't know if I would ever have the chance to see a positive sign on a stick ever again. While my outcome was not what I prayed for, it restored my hope, a hope that I had lost. And for that, I am so grateful.
Know that if you or someone you know is experiencing a similar situation, you're not alone. We're all in this together. I strongly believe that our babies are waiting for us in a beautiful place and we will have the meeting or reunion we so long for.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Word for the Summer is Growth

Hey there!

The summer is practically over and I am about three seconds away from pulling out my Christmas decorations.

If I had to sum this summer up in one word, it would be growth.

Over the the last few months I have had some growing pains but I feel stronger and more grounded in my faith than ever.

Here are some important lessons I have learned and have to continually remind myself of:
1. Don't run from God when things get tough. Read your bible, go to church and keep praying.
2. Exercise. Your body and mind will thank you for it at the end of the day.
3. You are strong. But remember your strength can come from others when you need it. Stay close to those that love you.
4. It's OK to be sad, but don't let it consume you.  
5. Happiness is a choice, you must choose it everyday.

If you had to sum up your summer in one word what would it be?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Ugly Truth About Infertility

Definition of Infertility: an inability to get or stay pregnant after a year of trying if you're under 35, or six months if you're older. 
I am now an unlucky member of a group that no woman wants to be a part of, a group that is silent and many times overlooked, a group of infertile women. 
To all of the wonderful people who are privileged enough to know nothing about this heart wrenching group, please note that my emotions and actions have no logic behind them 99 percent of the time.

If I avoid you, it's because I don't feel like crying in public or putting on a fake smile. It's embarrassing and I am trying to hold on to the little bit of self control I have left.
If you tell me that it will happen when the time is right, please know that the tiny amount of self control I have managed to hold on to may escape me and who knows what  will come out of my angry, bitter and selfish mouth.
If you are not a doctor and even if you are, keep all of your comments about stress, timing, ovulation kits and prayer to yourself. I am currently doing all of the above. 
If you are pregnant and I don't seem happy for you, please don't take offense. I am just extremely angry and pissed that it's not me. So yes, jealousy is the word I am looking for here.
If you know someone struggling with infertility, don't give up on them. It may seem like the sane person you once knew is lost forever but they are not. They are just buried under a pile of negative pregnancy tests, ovulation kits and baby shower invitations. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cabin Fever

Back in October (what!) Chris and I spent a long weekend in Pigeon Forge, TN with some close friends and family. Besides waking up and drinking a hot coffee on the back porch, the highlight of my trip was...go-carts. Not kidding! Chris and I were giggling like little school girls the entire time, which he never would admit to and would probably cringe if he saw this BUT he doesn't read my blog very often sooo... now the entire world wide web knows, Chris giggles. It was so nice to disconnect for a while and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, If I didn't love Nordstrom and hate bugs so much, I could definitely see myself calling a little mountain cabin home, it was truly lovely.