Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What do you think of when you hear "girls' weekend"? Probably a beach, beachy drinks, music, dancing, gossip, food and more food, and a lot of laughs. Add one breast pump, one pregnant lady, 6 girls, one bathroom, and approximately 36 pieces of luggage and you have my weekend!

Six of us spent the weekend on St. Pete beach in Florida, on the Gulf. I'm the only one who doesn't live in Florida anymore, so I made an extra long weekend of it and spent Thursday and Sunday nights with my bestie Lesley and her sweet family. Since I don't get to spend a lot of quality time with her kiddos, I really enjoyed getting to do "everyday" things with them like bath time and breakfast. Love those babies! 

We got down to St. Pete (and yes, we left the kids behind for #GW2015) Friday afternoon and hit the beach as soon as possible. Then we prettied up and did dinner before dancing our butts off to live music at a nearby beach bar! 

Since we went a little hard on Night One, we took it a little easier on Day Two and a lot easier Night Two. But that didn't stop the good times! Or the excessive use of the selfie stick (best thing EVER and a mandatory for a girls' weekend!). 

Such a fun weekend with these girls! Too bad girls' weekend only comes around once a year -- though there was talk of making this a biannual thing! 


Friday favorites

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's here, friends: Fridayyyyy. I have been exhausted all week, most likely because of the jam packed weekend we had on Florida for my cousin's wedding. There just aren't enough hours in a day - or days in a weekend.

A few things that are making me smile this week:

One. I got to spend some QT with my cousins last weekend. They are so special and dear to me, and since we're spread over 3 states, we don't get to see each other often. We just have a blast when we're together. And our little "baby" cousin Katie was an absolutely gorgeous bride!

Two. I planted a garden a few weekends ago and I any wait to take advantage of some of my homegrown goodies! So far, everything is thriving...we'll see how long that lasts with my black thumb! 

Three. My Lilly came in! And almost everything fit! Happy day! 

Four. I've found some new Gluten Free treats lately: New Gist GF beer and Udi's frozen pizza crusts. So good for a cheat meal!!

Five. I'm so thankful for encouraging friends who send me uplifting messages and share things like this blog post with me. It really makes all the difference to have a support system! 

Happy weekending! 
Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

Turn down for Lilly

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Morning, ladies. Raise your hand if you're nursing a Target for Lilly hangover today. Ouch. 

I actually can't complain about anything other than lack of sleep. I got really lucky and scored a lot of things on the mobile app at 2:50am when I was waiting for the website to go live. I happened to refresh the app on my iPad and there were about 30 items available - most of which were on my short list! So I added some to my cart and checked out four different times. I actually let a few things go, like a tote, towels, and even some clothes because I didn't want to overdo it but of course I'm kicking myself now. If you got one of the straw totes, you're welcome ;)

Somehow, even thought my adrenaline was pumping like I had just completed some sort of competitive sporting event, I was able to go back to sleep until about 6:45. I was in line at my closest Target at 7:40 and I was at least 100 people back from the door. I didn't expect to be at the front of the  line but really didn't think there would be hundreds of Lilly lovers there by the time the doors opened (the line behind me was much longer than in front of me and actually wrapped the building). 

I have to say that my local Target handled things as good as can be expected, though my bone to pick with corporate is this: you have to set an in-store limit on items in times like these! I wasn't aware that I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep but some people clearly got the memo to wipe out full racks of items in one fell swoop and then list everything on eBay within the hour. JerksI saw so many people with carts positively overflowing with things that - and I would bet my "real" Lilly on it - weren't even close to their size. Heck, I'm pretty sure I saw college girls buying toddler Lilly because it was all they could get their hands on. Their motive remains unclear though desperate times can cloud one's judgement. 

So what did my early morning Target run yield? A beach towel and some nail files. Better than nothin', right? 

So let the eBay games begin. Just say no to price gouging! I mean a little markup for your time is fine but 150%?! Seriously? I'll go to my local Lilly boutique at those prices, mmmmmkay thanks. 

The one thing I really wanted was the pink See Ya Later shift (size 8 if you're selling or trading!) but I did get the scarf in that print, so that satisfied my gator Lilly lust. Sorta. 

Despite the website frustrations, sleep lost and crazy women running amuck across the county, #LillyforTarget was actually kinda fun. I hope you managed to get a few of the things you had your eye on! Or even something you didn't think you needed until you saw it this morning, like nail files. 

Can't wait to see what everyone ended up with! And seriously - you can see my online orders and items that are en route to me above. I'm for real willing to entertain trade proposals! :)  (because I will likely not be keeping all three of those swimsuits!)


Keep it coming, love! (Don't stop it now, don't stop it no)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Keep it coming, love! Keep it coming, love!
Don't stop it now, don't stop it, no, don't stop it now, don't stop!

Don't know about all my Lilly ladies out there, but i can't get this song outta my head since first seeing the Lilly for Target tv spot earlier this week! Who else is dreaming of affordable Lilly? And who else is slightly freaking out about the possibility of a sellout in like 5 minutes? Better get your game faces on, ladies. 

Here's my list of must-haves from the Lilly for Target collection!

One. See Ya Later shift, $38
I love that they chose a gator print for this collab! As a Gator girl, Lilly's gator prints are a collector's item for me. This is my #1 must get and I will be super sad if I can't get one! (Or have to pay a scalper on eBay)

Two. Swimsuits, $24-40
I love these three suits. I'll be honest: I haven't purchased a one piece since probably middle school. But these are adorable. If I can, I'm going to get more than one since I can't make up my mind anyway (you can always return...but beware, there's only a 14-day return window for Lilly for Target!) 

Three. Shoes, $30-38
Love these pineapple sandals and the gold wedges. I have a few pairs of Lilly shoes and love them all, so I'm hoping these will be similar! 

Four. Nosey Posie canvas shopping tote, $15
A Lilly tote for under $20? Yes please ma'am. 

Five. Throw pillows, $25
Husband's just gonna have to deal with some pink. These are so cute for spring and summer, and y'all know how I feel about throw pillows! 

So what's my strategy? I've heard the online store will be up around 3am Sunday morning, so I plan to setting my alarm for about that time (there's no way I can stay up until then!). Then I want to head into my local Target early Sunday to check out the other pieces in person - or fight for the items I want if I don't get them online! 

Best of luck, ladies! Can't wait to see everyone's haul! 


Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

Easter Sunday

Monday, April 6, 2015

After a last-minute decision, we spent Easter with my in-laws and I'm so glad we did! They originally had other plans and we didn't really have any plans, so it just came together the day before to spend the holiday together. 

Let's be honest: when you're not a kid and you don't have kids, Easter plans aren't usually elaborate or all that exciting. Maybe next year will be different, but we had a low key Easter in 2015 and it was really nice! 

We spent Saturday night with A's parents and caught up with them out at dinner.  Then we went to church on Sunday, followed by a delectable brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in their town. Afterwards we went back to my in-laws' house and watched the junior Masters Drive-Chip-Putt championships on the Golf Channel - those kids are so cute!! - for some quality time before heading back to Columbia. 

It was a quick trip but definitely worth it! So thankful for family and especially that He Lives! 


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives

Five on Friday

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ladies, I am in Sunny (or rainy...) Florida right now! I'm visiting my family for a few days in my hometown and it's so nice to be with them. I seriously cherish the time I get to spend with them, especially my grandparents - sometimes living a few states away is tough! In just going to soak up as much love and Vitamin D as I can this weekend! 

One. I'm here right now. Home.

Two. Back in my actual home, we've had some nice days lately and A and I have been able to play with the dogs in our yard. I even got a little sunburned last weekend! And then the next day it was cold and rainy again: go figure. 

Three. I've had a breakthrough in the kitchen: I will never boil eggs again! A friend told me about this trick and it's so easy, it will blow your mind. Place eggs directly on oven rack (put a cookie sheet on the rack below juuuuuust in case one breaks), turn oven in to 325 and set time for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, put the eggs into an ice bath and voila! Perfect hard boiled eggs without the guessing game! 

Four. I spent two days this week watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt until there was nothing left to watch. Another Netflix win!!

Five. I switched my closet from winter to spring (Penny helped, naturally). We're not out of the winter woods yet but I had to have something to wear in Florida! And it won't be long until South Carolina is scorching, y'all! 

Happy Friday! 
Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

An update on me (and the baby fever that won't go away)

Taking things to a serious level today. But before I get into this, I want to say thank you. Many of you have been so sweet to think of me, pray for me and offer well wishes after reading about our sad time at the end of last year. And that is how I shall refer to it from now on because I am hopeful and determined that the sad time is behind us and we are moving into a brighter, happier time!

Because I never really wrote about my path to pregnancy before our loss, I'm going to start from the beginning and catch you up. Really put alllll my personal business out there because that's what we do, right?

Here's a timeline:
  • July 9, 2011: we got married!! Best. Day. Ever.
  • July 2013: we take a dream vacation to Italy. This is our last major "before babies bucket list" item: check!
  • November 2013: I take my last birth control pill. Getting excited!
  • December 2013: we officially start trying for baby Hamilton!
  • February 2014: I start "charting" (taking my temperature every morning to chart my cycle) and taking ovulation tests to make conception more likely. 
  • September 2014: I have a conversation with my doc about our attempt at baby-making. According to my charts, my luteal phase (the time between ovulation and a period) seems to be too short to sustain a pregnancy. My NP is skeptical that I'm ovulating at all and recommends I start Clomid if I don't conceive that month. (If you don't know what Clomid is, I'm a little jealous! It's a drug that induces ovulation for women who may not be ovulating.)
  • October 2014: I start taking my first round of Clomid that cycle. The side effects - hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, acne - are just lovely. But totally, 100% worth it. 
  • November 20, 2014: I get the surprise of my life when, at the doc to get a Clomid refill after Round One, I find out I'm pregnant. I'm out-of-my-mind happy. I tell Alex that night when he gets home and we laugh and cry! We tell our parents a week later on Thanksgiving. 
  • December 7, 2014: at 6 weeks pregnant, I'm bleeding. I go to the ER and they tell me there's a 50% chance of miscarriage. 
  • December 9, 2014: blood tests for hCG confirm I am losing the baby and the pregnancy is not viable. I choose to have a D&C. 
  • December 10, 2014: I have a D&C. I am emotionally devastated, but medically, everything goes well.  
  • December 22, 2014: at my post-op, my OB tells me I have healed fine but the pathologist is concerned that my pregnancy may have been a partial-molar pregnancy. The only way to know for sure is to see how long it takes my hCG level to hit zero. In the meantime, she says in no uncertain terms that I cannot, under any circumstances get pregnant again until we know the pregnancy wasn't molar (a molar pregnancy can be harmful to the mother because in rare cases, cancerous cells can form. A pregnancy could essentially feed any cancerous cells, thus the rationale for preventing pregnancy). Needless to say, I'm crushed. She said I might have to wait 6 months or maybe even longer before we can try again, which seems like an eternity. 
  • February 2015: after several hCG tests, my levels have quickly returned to zero (the normal level of a woman who is not pregnant), thus indicating that my pregnancy was not at all molar. Praise the Lord! My OB gives me a Rx for Clomid again. Here we go: Round Two. 

And that brings us to now!

Don't you wish sometimes that you had a crystal ball and could get a glimpse into your future? To know how the story unfolds, or even just read a few critical lines in advance? For anyone who has tried to get pregnant - I don't care if you tried 2 months or 2 years - you know it is so, so hard to remain positive month after month. That when baby fever hits, it is relentless. Don't get me wrong: compared to many women, I haven't been trying that long at all. There are women who have been trying for years to have a baby and I am in awe of those women and their perseverance. In my case, I know that God sent me that baby at that time to ease my mind, because I was starting to go crazy. No, really.

Trying for a baby is without a single doubt the HARDEST thing I have ever done. Harder than the trials of dating and eventually finding my husband. Harder than grad school and then trying to find a job at the height of the Recession. Harder even than dealing with my parents' divorce when I was in high school. Trying for a baby will test you in every way. It will try your emotional strength and maybe even your faith; it will affect your marriage (in good and bad ways) and friendships (jealously is a terrible thing); it will occupy your every thought, making work or anything else darn near impossible; it will hold your future plans hostage (want to plan a vacation? You'll play "what if" until you go nuts). But I know this is ALL part of His plan. So that baby that we lost served an incredibly powerful role: it showed me I could get pregnant. It helped me relax. And it helped make me more aware than ever before that God is in control and He holds the blueprints for my life - not me.

So for now, I am trying to stay relaxed. Trying to remember that God's plan is perfect. Enjoying this precious season in life of just me and Alex before we have a family. Because I know in my heart that it will happen.

And if you're going through something similar, please know you're not alone.

Onto happier times! Best best is yet to come!

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