Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Two is Always Better Than One

 I'm not sure how many of you have experienced news that truly shocked and rocked your world.
If you have, you know what I am talking about.
And if not, well, let's just say it leaves you in that shocked state for hours days.

Back on January 16th, I found out I was pregnant, with my first little one.
I was pretty surprised that I was definitely pregnant after only a few months being married.
Let's just say, when looking at family history, this fact alone was quite a little miracle.
Mono and I were so incredibly excited when we found this out.
Of course loads of plans and dreams began.

I immediately set up an appointment with the doctor and the first available date was one week later, the 23rd. The excitement remained and morning sickness set in and the days passed.
The morning of January 23rd quickly came upon us and Mono and I sat in the waiting room, waiting to be called in. I had to go to like 4 waiting rooms for the different things they needed to do. 

We were finally in the room for the ultrasound and as I laid on the table and they showed us the baby on the screen, and we heard the heartbeat, we were absolutely amazed at the gift of life. It's so amazing to think that that little spot, that doesn't look like much of anything is in fact a life, with a beating heart. Many, many, many confused people say this isn't a life yet. But after seeing that, how could they not believe it. What was that little thump, thump, thump sound? The heart, right? If it is not a life, what's the heart doing there, beating? Makes me so sick to think of these people in the world that disrespect the unborn so much!

Now, as if seeing our baby wasn't exciting enough, the nurse had to give us even more excitement for the day. She said to me, "Okay, do you see this?" And I said, "yes." She asked if I knew what it was and of course, the worrier that I am, said, "no," but in my mind I already thought the worst. She said, that's baby number two!!! Yes, TWO! Two, as in twins!!! 

Now, not only does fertility not have the best track record in our family, but we have no twins at all.
So not only was being pregnant, this soon, such a gift, but the fact that I was pregnant with twice the blessing, made it even more of a miracle!

Needless to say, Mono and I sat there in complete, joyful shock. 
After the rest of the appointment was finished, I had to schedule my next appointment.
The lady said, "Was your pregnancy confirmed today?"
I laughed and said, "yeah.
It certainly was confirmed... twice.

And now, the phone calls began. We had all of our family to call as well as our dear friends.
Everyone was still on a high from our wedding, then the one baby news and so we knew that the news of twins would just make everyone go nuts with excitement.
And nuts they went!!!

After we came home from the doctor, Mono had to head to work. I met him at Church and while I was sitting there during Mass, knowing that that very day was the same day thousands of people were standing up for life, walking in D.C. We may not have been there to show our support against abortion, but we were certainly supporting life in our own special way! It was so great to hear our priest talk about the gift of life. It hit home even harder after the big news we got a short while before.

So, now we have lots more to think about... twice as much. 
It's so exciting to think about. I'm not a whole lot worried of being a mom times two, but the thought of going into being a first time mom with two babies from the get go is a little nerve wracking.
I know it will all be fine and for now, I just pray that both of these little ones grow healthy until they are ready to join us out here in the world!

I've been constantly nauseous, until today. 
Today, I beat the heck out of it.
I won!
The weather was amazing, my vitamins are in my system, I ate some great food, I stayed busy and also got lots of rest out in the fresh air! I am praying that these amazing days are not far and few between. I still had feelings of a bit of queasiness, but it was totally, completely tolerable and I enjoyed my day!

It's 6:40 and I have yet to have a terrible wave of it. Ah, that thought just makes me so happy. As long as these two little ones are healthy, I hope days like this come frequently so I can enjoy picking things out and planning for their arrival!

Please keep our family and especially the twins in your prayers!!! We cannot wait to meet them, but we want these next 7 months or so to be healthy for them!

That's my news for now. I hadn't been up to writing at all, or doing much of anything, so there haven't been any posts. The better I stay feeling, the more posts hopefully there will be!

119. beating the crud out of morning sickness today
120. fresh, sunny air
121. open windows
122. being able to actually accomplish things again
123. two babies!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Slight Disappointment

Last night we went to a friend's house for dinner. I was bringing dessert. I always get nervous when I have to cook for someone here at our home or to bring to dinner at someone's home. I am always afraid whatever I am cooking or baking will not turn out like it should.
And that happened last night.
I've made this brownie and peanut butter torte before and it tasted fabulous!
Last night, it didn't. It wasn't up to par. Below my expectations......
And the picture, well I feel the same way about it.

117. weekends
118. dinner with friends

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some Things Come and Some Things Go

Okay, so like I mentioned in a previous recent post, my creative juices have begun to flow again. What a wonderful feeling. Today has been a really busy day, and I got so much done (thanks to my husbands help with all the Christmas decorations boxes and some other heavy work). And now, I'm exhausted with a back that is killing me! But it was worth it! :) It's such a great feeling when you see your work accomplished at the end of the day, especially when some of it involved using your creativity. 

thought I'd tell you how I went about doing this floral arrangement. I had been really wanted an old and worn, long, rectangular, wooden box to hold white and green, with hints of gray floral pieces in it. Of course I wish it could be real, but I'd need a garden the size of this state and a personal caretaker to keep what I wanted in my house every day! So a DIY faux floral arrangement it would be!I picked out my favorite white flowers and greens from my local craft shop. I found my favorite fuzzy, gray pussy willow for my hint of gray too! Yay! I think it is just the touch of gray that I wanted. 
 Then I picked out some cheap floral foam to equal the size I wanted my arrangement to be. I would say it is about 18x 6 or so. Then I put them together and wrapped clear packing tape all around it so it would stay together nice and tight.
 I added one more set of the greenery and a few more big white hydrangeas (than what is pictured here). Thank goodness for major percentage off, coupons and gift cards!!!!! It made this all possible!
 Then I took a heavy duty scissor, cut through and around the plastic, rubbery coating of stems and once you could see the wire,
 I bent it back and forth until it broke. It was the easiest way I have done and didn't take all that much effort. There are a lot of stems, so your hands get tired by the end, but each stem was bearable to do.
 Then you start putting pieces in, I usually figure out how I want it to look by picking three large flowers, put one on the left, one in the middle and one on the right, but not completely in the same spots. And then I go from there filling in with the big flowers, trying not to put too many of the same flower in the same area. Then I went ahead and put the sprigs of thin branches in to stick out a bit more.

 My apologies, all of these pictures were taken at night so the quality is not at it's greatest.
 So that part was all done yesterday. Today I went to Home Depot, had a 1"x5"x6' (or however the number order is supposed to go) plank of wood (stain grade) cut to the sizes I wanted. I picked out the stain that I wanted (very small can) and headed home.

After all my errands, dinner and clean up, I got to work! This was the creativity/rest project before all the actual hard work that had to be done in the house this evening.

I took my wood, and took my hammer to it, making dents and markings in it, then I hammered the pieces together, forming my box.
 I didn't need 5 nails, but I wanted that look. I was going for an old, worn look and for some reason, the extra nails made my mind happy getting it to that look.
 Then I stained away. I used two colors, a dark, ebony color and then a normal brown shade. First splotches of the ebony, then the brown shade over it. I am letting it dry and will determine if I want another coating over it tomorrow or not. When the staining was done, I placed my arrangement inside and wallah! Done! A pretty piece that can be moved about in our home, due to it's neutral coloring.

I am pretty happy with the outcome! I can't wait for a sunny day to take better pictures and to enjoy it with the sun shining in.

 So, the creativity has come and is making me quite the happy girl. But, my voice has gone completely. Like I said, some things come and some things go. This is by far, the worst loss of my voice that I can remember to date. I have lost it three times already this winter season, but this time, it is not because of being sick with bronchitis. This came out of nowhere and is just getting worse. I have to scream to get out the fainest squeaky whisper. And if you are not standing right next to me, forget it. I called Mono earlier today at work and he said he couldn't understand a word I was saying. Then this evening, I tried speaking with my Dad on the phone. Strike two. So, if you try calling, don't expect to hear or understand me. Hopefully this won't last long. I don't mind this, but I do mind not being able to communicate. I am exhausted from screaming at the top of my lungs all day long. 

Thankfully, none of my creative projects or relaxing hobbies require using my voice! Making note/recipe cards, floral arrangements and paintings... blogging, taking pictures... 

Now, I'm going to sit, watch a show and then take a shower and get to bed. Ah, so lovely! It's been a successful and good day and I look forward to a day ahead... a Friday at that! The weekend is soon upon us!

112. successfully made projects

113. sweet e-mails from sweet friends

114. a clean house

115. a husband that helps out around the house

116. chocolate almond candy from my grandparents (Bello and Bella)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's Back!

Folks, my creativity is back and flowing again! I hope it stays nice and steady for a while! I created my note cards the other day, made a flower arrangement (fake) today, and if I can get a few errands run tomorrow, I'd like to pick up a small piece of fabric and a small piece of wood for two more projects. Hopefully along with all that needs to get done around here, I can still keep time set aside for putting the creative juices to work. And, if I have even more time, I have a fun little painting I want to do. Just a quickie. I guess I have a weekend ahead of me to enjoy some of this too.

Next week I'm going to be heading over to my friend's house for lunch, girl talk and craft time! Cannot wait! She's a sweetheart and so are her two girls. We don't have a ton of time, so we need to do something that doesn't involve a lot of tedious work... How do recipe cards sound? Decorate our own? I had fun making my notes cards, so I thought recipe cards for two girls that like to cook would be fab.

Today my Mom came for a visit. She was going to be in the area in the morning and she met up with me to run some errands. She helped me brain storm and move things around in the house too, to make things settle in my mind more. I took our Christmas decor down, which is so unlike me. Normally, I leave it up as long as I can get away with it. But for some reason, this year, I just wanted to put everything away and see what my house looked like in normalcy. So we had fun and I am pretty happy about the thoughts I am going to go on for the house. 

It is really so great to know I actually want to be creative again. I'm hoping it lasts a while and I get a lot done in the time it is here.

On a different note, my voice is gone... again. For the third time in a very short time frame. Fun stuff. Good thing blogging doesn't involve my voice. 

107. the fact that nothing beats folding clothes warm out of the dryer when you are freezing cold!
108. knowing that the creative juices are back... so making floral arrangements become fun and easy

109. days spent with my mom

110. winning our wedding canvas 

111. for the chocolate milk my husband made me even though he had just came in from working hard in the garage 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guest Post: Jimmy

 Hi Guys!
Greetings from one of my favorite spots to hang out... the couch.
I usually sit with Mare when she blogs and I have picked up the knack of how it all goes, so tonight, the post is going to be written by me!  I thought I'd tell you about a typical day in my life, a few of my favorite things and some recent things that have been going on.
 As you can see, Mare takes lots of pictures of me. 
And, you can also see, I spend a lot of my time on the couch and cuddling.
In the morning, when Mare and Mono are ready for the day, all three of us go outside when it is time for Mono to go to work. I get my morning little walk outside and we say goodbye to Mono... until he comes home for lunch.
Mare usually makes the bed right after this, but I always sneak back into my, their, our bed...and I stay there for a good portion of the morning.
I get up later in the afternoon, go to the couch, play with my toys, you know fun stuff.
My days are pretty calm.
Sleep, go out, have treats, eat dinner....
I'm really loved so they are all good days.
I think besides my family and cuddles, treats are my very favorite thing ever!
My best buddy, Uncle Duncan, leaves me his chewys when he leaves. 
Oh my. They are just the best
I spend a lot of time during the day playing with them and chewing on them.
I like to take it in my mouth and then toss it across the room and run and get it and start all over again.
It's a lot of fun.
And then I rest and chew them for a while.
Always on a rug.
I don't like to play with it on the couch or in the bed because I can't throw it and chase it, but I slide too much on the wood floor.
Our rugs are perfect.
And then I get more chewys for my teeth. I get a few a week.
They help keep my teeth nice and clean, aaaannnndddd Marezy says it helps me have better breath.
Lastly, I get good boy treats.
They're tiny, but they are sooo yummy.
When my Dad and Momma come to visit, they give me lots of them... because they miss me so much.
That's a good amount of goodies, don't ya think?
Besides the bed that I let Mono and Mare sleep in share with Mono and Mare, I have two other beds and a house. One in our room and one in the den. The one in the den is small and really, really soft. It's navy blue with a white whale on it... that's why we call it the whale bed. I sleep there sometimes during the day when the sun is coming through the window nearby. I also have s soft fabric house that my blanket is in. When I just want to go away and be really cozy, that is my favorite place to sleep.Sometimes I don't even go in a bed. I like to lay on the cool wood floor in the sun. It is one of my favorite places to sleep besides the big comfy bed. And lastly, the bed that is in our room, that is more like my toy box. I play in it sometimes though, but never really take naps in it.
Believe it or not, I don't like a lot of toys.
My favorite ones are my chewy, my empty 2 liter bottle of soda, my squeaky mini soccer ball and my rope. Most days, when I play, it's with my chewy from Duncan.
And the happenings in my life these days... I hadn't been feeling well and I have had to go back and forth to the doctor a whole bunch of times. I HATE going to the doctor. The doctors and nurses are really nice, but I can think of places I'd much rather visit with nice people at. I had a little surgery the other day and I go back for my next check-up next week. And after that, I have to wait another 3 or 4 weeks to see if the surgery helped. Please say a prayer it does. I don't want to keep going back. And I want to start feeling better again. Thanks for all of the prayers that you have said for me. Mare always told me you were all praying for me. It made me feel better.
So, now you know my daily schedule, my favorite treats and toys, all about my favorite places to lay and what has been going on in my life... Is there anything else you'd like to know about me? 

Back to relaxing/reading (Mami sent us Bark - the magazine) and time to give Mare her computer back! 

Woof! Woof! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sending You A Note

 I've been experience a tremendous dry streak in my creativity. It bothers me like no other! And finally, tonight, the juices started flowing again.
 First of all, I started an online knitting class... that is way over my head. But I didn't give up and I didn't lose my patience, which was surprising. I am not sure if I was more proud of what I was learning (or trying to learn) or the fact that as hard as it was, I patient through it all. I still have a long way to go and I hope I can do it.
 I'm making a small gray elephant with a pale aqua sweater. Doesn't that just sound adorable? And the look of it reminds me of simplicity, my word for 2012... that I still haven't posted about. Maybe before 2013 I will. Now while my elephant reminded me of simplicity and my goals for the year, immediately it reminded my husband of today's game. Alabama vs. LSU. We're Alabama fans and I guess starting my elephant today was perfect timing. Especially since we won! But, my little elephant won't be sporting a red sweater. It will remain aqua.
 This evening, while watching the big game, I sat at our kitchen table, making little flat card, note cards. They are as simple as simple can be, but I had a lot of fun. I made just short of 100 cards. Some were mess ups, and then I ran out. I only have a few colors in stamp pads so that really limited me as well. I have to start making more of these. Stamping, drawing and painting on them. I don't know what I will be doing with them, but I love them.
Tomorrow, in the daylight, I will take nicer ones, of all the styles. Night time lighting is just awful. I had a lot of ideas, but not a lot of supplies. I was wishing I had all my pretty papers, stickers, markers and everything else in my art room at my parent's house! I'll have to get my hands on them soon so I can keep creating. 

104. a husband that actually cares about my little creative projects... and encourages me

105. for the creative juices to be flowing again

106. Roll Tide!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

When in Need, Call Your Friend

A lot goes into planning a wedding, especially from hundreds of miles away. Worrying about makeup was not something I had planned on putting into the mix of plans.
As I have mentioned before, our wedding did not go off flawlessly. There were a lot of painful moments in the planning process. All worth it, none if it ruined our day, but while it was happening, it was quite the struggle.
One of them was my many makeup trials. I knew who would be doing my makeup, but I needed to get the look, and the makeup to go along to make it all come to life. 
 I can't even tell you how many places I went to. How many different looks, people wanted for me. No one would listen. One lady refused to do what I asked her to try and told me I needed to do burgundy and an orangey gold. Ummm yeah. I don't think so, ma'am.
 Well after the burgundy and orangey gold scare, I called my sweet friend in New York in an utter panic. I don't even know why I bothered going anyway to even try the look I wanted. I knew she knew exactly what I wanted. And she did.
 Though I would be getting married in the fall, I did not want fall-like colors on my face. I don't wear much makeup to begin with, much less dark shades. I knew pale pinks and purples and nothing harsh is what I was aiming for.
 I made one last attempt at a second Sephora, where Jilly sent me to look at specific colors. It's pretty funny because before I even told the lady there, she suggested the exact colors/brands/shades/everything that Jilly sent me for! The colors she already bought to use on me! She is good! 
No... fabulous.
 Not only did she do a beautiful job, but it lasted all day long, but it withstood a photo shoot by our wonderful photographer, Megan Beth, in the rain, dancing the night away, many laughs and smiles and even, two waterfalls of tears.
Oh yeah... and cake being shoved in my face, by this handsomely adorable husband!
My makeup was flawless, at least in my opinion. Many other guests at our wedding thought the same. So it's not just me being biased towards my good friend. 
Jilly, I know I have thanked you before, and I think you know how grateful I was and pleased I was with what you did for me, but I want to thank you again. Not just for the makeup though. (Oh, by the way, she stopped at my room somewhere between midnight and 1am the night before my wedding for a quick hello hug and emergency help that only her magic wand could fix. Yes, she does have a working magic wand... in case you were wondering.) Not just for waking up at an ungodly hour doing my makeup, Mom's makeup, or nearly all my bridesmaids, but just for being there. Being the sweet Jillian that you are. Whether it was casual talks batting wedding ideas back and forth, answers of frantic phone calls, helping me pull together my milkshake bar for Mono, or just being a calming sense beside me. 

You are a dear friend that I know I can always cherish. Someone that I can laugh with, share ideas with, grow with, blog with..... We may be different in some ways, but we are certainly so much alike. I mean, two of our 2012 goals were exactly the same, though we never mentioned either to each other before. Thank you for helping me reign in my wild schedule and make it into orchestrated and productive days. Thank you for your encouragement and advice in my running. For always pushing me and helping me get my creative juices flowing. The list goes on, but I think you for all of it. I love you sweet friend. Thank you for everything and for just being you.

note: I can't say the same for my hair... none of it. But Jilly didn't do it, so what should I have expected. Can't expect perfection, unless from Jilly.

104. a sweet friend I can always count on

105. a husband that makes me laugh

106. encouragement

Think NYC, Bridal Gowns and a Runway

Think New York City, runway, thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of bridal gowns, beautiful, thin, tall models, dramatic lighting, fabulous music to set the mood, and two lovely ladies that made it all happen. Oh, but all this in Alabama. Yes, Alabama.

When you say Alabama, most people outside of this state either think of the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, or rednecks. I hate to say it, but that is the reaction that I get. They don't give us a chance. And I can bet that if they just came to visit, they'd be pleasantly surprised with how wonderful a state this is. Believe it or not, we have some amazing, classy, areas here. Fabulous. Great food, great shopping, neighborhoods to just drool over.... And when you say a stylish runway fashion show, most people don't think Alabama

Well, let me tell you, the two ladies that I worked with at The White Room, put together a beyond amazing, New York City worthy show today.! I sat there in the second row, the lights dimmed, the music came on and out came the first model, donning a dress designed by none other than the fabulous, Anne Barge. I was quite proud to see her lovely designs showcased first out of all the other designers. Dresses by Judd Waddell, Kenneth Pool and Amsale were there, to name a few. 

The styles created by these amazing designers ranged from ostrich feathers to the finest of French laces. I am blown away by the creations seen on the pages of magazines and then today on a runway, in front of my very eyes.

One of my greatest experiences in my life was planning my wedding. I had a lot of hang ups and things that truly got me down and discouraged, but the one thing that went without a single hitch was working with the ladies at The White Room, designing the perfect dress. I cannot even fully put into words what I feel for them. They are the most professional, yet down-to-earth and warm people you could ever dream to work with. Their bridal salon is warm and welcoming and oh-so-beautiful. I will never forget the first time they welcomed me there, showing me around amidst all the beautiful dresses. I wish I could get married 500 more times just to work with them, to try on their dresses and to just see their smiles and hear their uplifting voices. No dress will ever be as special to me as the one I designed through their help and the help of Anne Barge. The opportunity I was given, was certainly unexpected and once in a lifetime. And I will never ever forget it. I will always be so grateful to them. 

Not only were Cathy and Carolyn working with their professional faces on, but they were there as dear friends. And I can say even 3 months after my wedding, with my beautiful dress preserved in a box, they are just as dear to me as the first day I met them. 

So sitting there today, just a seat away from the front of the runway, I got chills, felt such pride and felt like I was part of such a special operation. Though I do not work for them, had nothing to do with what was put on today, or am not connected to their salon, being that they became so dear to me and I spent so many hours designing, talking, in fittings, etc, I felt such an overwhelming sense of joy. I was so proud of them, for the work they do and for what they pulled off with such ease and class! I only wish I could go to more of those, spend more days with them and even go to New York City to see a bigger (but not better) show! And, I wish my dress could have been seen by all those people! (Though, I could never walk a runway in heels! And, they can't smile... I find that awfully hard to do!)

Cathy and Carolyn, thank you for everything. For every smile and kind word, for all of your help put into my dress and the hours you spent working on it, tweaking it and making sure my fittings went perfectly, for today, for inviting us to be able to experience such an amazing and beautiful event! You are held in a special place in my heart.

101. for the opportunity I was given to have my wedding dress design come to life

102. for two women that could have passed me through their shop like any old customer, instead to have held me as a sweet friend

103. for a puppy that is successfully recovering from his little surgery and who's personality is creeping back!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Long One

A Long day that is...

We've been getting up earlier than usual in this house this week. I enjoyed it the first day, with good reason, but not today. On Tuesday, our first day back from vacation, we were up by 6, out by about 6:30. Today I was up a little later, out by 8. Today I wasn't happy about my reasoning for an early morning. Jimmy had to go back to the doctor, which is an hour away. I don't mind going up there because I can visit my parents while I am there, but these visits to the vet, get to me. My little guy has a problem that they are unable to identify, even after a sonogram, x-rays, multiple urine and blood tests… you name it. I left again without an explanation of what is wrong. And this is not good for the worrying girl I am. Jimmy is not just my pet dog, he is my family. It breaks my heart each time I leave him with the vet. I tell him he is in good hands and he is a good boy, but I can see the look on his face. He is a little guy, with a lot of expression. We go back on Friday, this time for a little surgery. I am petrified of being put under. Anesthesia and I are enemies. Big time enemies. I have been put out twice, and neither were good experiences. They have a hard time waking me up, I turn green and get violently sick. So of course those memories are in my mind, along with the horror stories of dogs and people not coming out of anesthesia. I don't know what I would do without my boy. So for now, I just have to love on him and pray for Friday that his body is at it's strongest and his doctor at his sharpest! Please pray for him on Friday morning for a successful trip to the doctor!

After I dropped the little guy at the vet (he had to stay all day), I went to get my worries covered… aka… my grays. I have awful luck with hair coloring. And after today I realized that my hairstylist may be able to cut hair, but she is not good with color. For my wedding, my hair turned red. Now while I do love girls with red hair, I don't love it on me. It's not my natural color so I just look down right weird. I am a very dark blonde. So today I told her I wanted light highlights. Nothing big, just to cover the grays. Well, I'm blonde. Not as blonde as I was as a little girl, but it's lighter than I've been in a while. And to top it off, she did a horrible job! I can still see the grays and when I don't wear my bangs down, well, let's just say, it's not a pretty sight. I left there even more disheartened than I already was from my worries about Jim.

My hair should be the least of my worries. It'll fade a bit, right? Yes. Just tell me yes. So, after Jimmy was ready to be picked up at the vet, I headed back home. I got home, put my stuff away, gave my boy a special treat, and his medicine and sat on the couch for 10 minutes, and pretty much did nothing. After those wonderful 10 minutes, I got myself up and got dinner going, did dishes, laundry (I had the biggest pile of clean laundry I've ever had to fold), and a few little odds and ends. Then it was time to cook dinner, clean up and then around 7/7:30 I enjoyed quiet on the couch. E-mailing, pinning, blogging. What goodness.

I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow too, then Friday with Jimmy at the doctor, so I am heading to bed now! Remember, pray for my little guy on Friday and I will be sure to let you all know how he does!

99. a husband that reassures me that our little guy will be okay going through surgery

100. a puppy that brings smiles to everyone's faces, even when he isn't happy