Sunday, January 29, 2012


Last Sunday night/early Monday morning I woke up to the sound of tornado sirens. Annoyed at not being able to sleep due to sirens, I turned on the television to see if any of these so-called tornadoes were heading anywhere near us. The television woke Matt up and we watched as the weatherman talked about a tornado that would be coming our way in the next 20 minutes. Our phones began to go off as we got calls and texts from concerned friends and family checking on us and reminding us to be aware that we may be in the path of the tornado. After a few minutes Matt and I began the "I guess we should get up and in our safe place" "uhhh....yeah I guess so". Little did we know just how close our home would be from getting hit and how lucky we were in the end.

We went to the hallway and hovered in the bottom or our linen closet. The power went off as the storm worsened and we listened to the news on Matt's phone. There is nothing more scary than hearing the weatherman get more anxious as he discusses the tornado which is coming straight down a path to your house and "wow just how serious the rotation in this tornado is!".  I was shaking, and our dog Max was too. I just kept praying to God to watch over us and protect us. After about 10-15 minutes in the closet the weatherman stated that the tornado had passed our area. We were so thankful that we were okay and could go back to bed. We still had no idea what and if the tornado had hit.

I woke up a few hours later to multiple calls and texts from more family and friends asking if we were okay. We turned on the television again and saw the damage as the sun was coming up. We had no idea how much devastation this tornado had caused and just how close it came to hitting our home. The tornado literally hit areas within a mile from our house on both sides (some were farther away, but some were very, very close). The 4 main roads that surround our home were blocked due to damage and we weren't able to go to work until hours later when 1 of those 4 roads opened up. 

Only 2 people died from the tornado that hit our area. If you drive around and see the extent of the devastation in Clay (the city that we live) and other nearby areas that were hit, you would have no doubt that God played a role in keeping our town safe. That God has watched over us and that he is to whom we should always trust and give our thanks to. It truly is a miracle more people did not lose their lives.

Though hundreds of families have lost their homes and belongings, the faith and positive messages I have heard from the survivors and those affected are amazing. Our community had thousands of volunteers just yesterday, including my awesome husband, who went out to the neighborhoods to help clean up. That's not even counting all the volunteers who have been helping all week. I am already amazed at the progress and seeing just how much has already been done to clean up our city. In church today, which by the way was overflowing with people there to give their thanks and praises to God, our pastor said we actually have an abundance of donations and are actually not taking any more at this time. I have never even heard of that happening! Though the tornadoes were horrible and devastating to us and our community, I believe that God always is in control and I have seen him firsthand this week through these survivors amazing stories, the selflessness of our community members in coming to the aid of the survivors, and the faith that I have heard being proclaimed from everyone I talk to.

Please continue to pray for our community as we continue to rebuild and cope with this tragedy.

Here are a few pictures of the devastation, some taken from my husband as he was in the neighborhoods cleaning up, some from friends, and some from our local newspaper. These do not do any justice to the extent of the damage this tornado has caused.


I gotta get a little bit better on these since today I am 27 weeks...but here's the review for the last week

How far along: 26 weeks 5 days at the time of this picture
Weight Gain: 18lbs
Sleep: has been still good until the last few nights when I have woken up with back pain. Gonna have to get myself a body pillow...and yes, I jinxed myself last week by bragging about not having or needing one
Best moment this week: I got a job promotion! This is perfect timing since our bills will be going up after Baylor arrives! Babies aren't I hear!
Food Cravings: pizza, veggie sub sandwiches from Publix, and of course sweets
Movement: still all the time. I think I can feel fingers now! It's weird looking down and seeing my belly bounce and move.
What I miss: being able to tie my shoes easily
What I am most looking forward to: we have a doctors appointment coming up and I am eager to see how he is measuring
Milestones: I think seeing my belly move like a wave. It was the weirdest thing but amazing at the same time.
Workouts: Still maintaining my 4 workout average per week. I really think it helps give me energy throughout the day.

And belly button is still an partial innie. We we will see how long this lasts though!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

25 weeks

It has taken me 25 weeks to realize I picked the worst area in my house to take these pictures! The yellow drains me and the lighting is terrible! Oh well!

So I am actually 26 weeks today,but this picture was taken when I was 25 weeks and I will just go ahead and update ya'll on this past week.

How far along: at the time of this pic, 25 weeks, 5 days
Weight Gain: gulp...17lbs. I think Baylor went through a growth spurt in the past couple weeks!
Sleep: I really can't complain, been sleeping just fine. I still haven't had to use any extra pillows or buy any maternity type pillows. I just jinxed myself on that, didn't I?!
Best moment this week: Baylor got the hiccups last night! It was so funny, it felt like he was kicking but it was an exact pattern that didn't stop for a good 5-10 minutes...poor thing! No one likes having the hiccups!
Food Cravings: This week I have been eating some popcorn like it's going out of style
Movement: lots and lots. I have read weeks 24-28 is when you feel baby moving the most and I am loving it!
What I miss: still nothing comes to mind, just enjoying this time
What I am most looking forward to: we have a doctors appointment on February 1st. Those are always fun...can't think of anything else right now
Milestones: I think the hiccups were a milestone for us--that I got to feel it! It was pretty neat!
Workouts: I worked out 5 days this week! Whoop whoop! I will say that I notice I am out of breath and tired easier than before when I walk, I am pretty sure it has something to do with carrying an extra 17lbs.

Also, update on the belly button, which is still in, but is starting to emerge a bit. Half of it is starting to pop and the bottom half is still an innie.We will see how long that lasts!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blogging for the lazy

                                               Here's how to blog if you are lazy. Like me.

This is what I did last Wednesday. 
See? Wasn't that easy.
Okay, okay, I guess I can steal a few of Amanda's pics.
And tell you what has been going on.
As aforementioned, last Wednesday night we celebrated one of my best friend Meredith's (aka Mere or Merenara) birthday. We had a girls night and kicked off the celebration at a Mexican restaurant for dinner and then went to Sips N Strokes, a painting class where people get drunk as they paint. I mean, genius, right!? This time I was sipping H2O, but don't worry, some of the girls drank one (or two) for me. It was a fun night, and I think Mere really had a great time celebrating her birthday with us crazy girls.

 The girls at dinner from left to right: Megan, Merenara, Bethany, Era (not sure I spelled that right?!), Erica, Phoenix, Melanie, Amanda, and moi
 So here is what we were supposed to be painting:
 And here is my interpretation: not quite like the original....don't worry, I won't quit my day job
Bethany and I getting ready

The group with Mere's pic...she is super creative and artsy so hers looked great!
 Thursday, Matt and I practiced our parenting/babysitting skills and babysat Mattox for a couple hours while Matt and Angela were at work
The boys chillin

'What you lookin' at!?'
I got all confident and cocky about my babysitting skills when I was able to rock him to sleep and laid him in his nap nanny....until he woke up crying 30 mins later.
Seriously, look at those cute chunky cheeks!
 We had a lot of fun watching Mattox and realized how difficult and tiring it is to watch a baby. Perhaps I should have done this prior to being 6 months pregnant??
I'm sure it will be fine though once Baylor gets here, guess I better start resting up until then....

Oh, and we did get to register this weekend. Did we know what we were doing? Absolutely not. But I think we may have gotten a few things we will actually need. Nipple covers are good, right? If it's baby Einstein product our baby will be a genius, right?

Friday, January 13, 2012

6 months!!

Can you believe 6 months is already here?! I know we can't!
I am just getting more and more excited to meet my little man!

How Far Along: 24 weeks, 5 days
Weight Gain: ?? haven't weighed myself this week
Sleep: is hit or miss, some nights I sleep great, others....not so much
Best Moment this week: I got to practice being a mommy (or substitute mom) by watching/babysitting Ang's baby Mattox yesterday for a few hours, Matt even came for a bit to help. It was fun and made us more aware of just how busy we will be in a few months when he gets here! But also, completely thrilled we will have our own baby here soon!
Food Cravings: always sweets, always sweets.
Movement: I woke up in the middle of the night a few nights ago to find out he was having a party in my belly at 4am, the craziest feeling was when I felt him move at the same time on BOTH sides of my belly. He is getting big!
What I miss: Nothing
What I am looking forward to: registering this weekend!
Milestones: We're 6 months in! That's a milestone!
Workouts: I worked out 4 days this week, walking a lot and did my prenatal video several times.

Thank you all soo much for the sweet comments each week. It means so much, and you are completely boosting my ego, I'm not gonna lie. (ha!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nursery: Early Sneak Peak

We have recently begun working on Baylor's nursery and I am loving how it is starting out. I thought we were starting really early but now that we have gotten started I realize just how much there is to do and with so little time.
Cribs, bedding, shelves, changing tables, gliders, oh my! And that's just the basics.

Matt has been working really hard on the walls (notice the wainscoting he did) and painting the dresser over the past couple weeks. I think he did great and I love that he cares so much about making our baby's room so perfect! Now I can't wait to get started with the details and decorations. We are still missing some large pieces of furniture that we will get as we go.

Here is a sneak peek into this project very early on. Please note the pictures were taken with my iphone so they are not the best quality (who said the 4s had a good camera?! Mine must have gotten skipped over in that department..).

Bedding with the beautiful Crib the grandparents surprised us with

Gracie wanted to be like Vanna White but ended up looking like the devil. She's still mad at me that I cut part of her out of the pic. Don't worry, she'll get over it.

A terrible picture of the drapes

Blue dresser Matt painted (it was black!) and a cute frame my friend Amanda bought us

When the nursery is all done I will post pictures of the room. Don't hold your breath though, because it may be a few months!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

23 Weeks

How far along: 23 weeks, 4 days...Doctor said today I'm measuring a little ahead at 24-25 weeks
Weight Gain: 12.5lbs
Maternity Clothes: Not really sure what I could say about this every single week...but yeah, still wearing them, lol
Sleep: Been sleeping pretty good, I wake often during the night but it's no biggie...found out I am anemic today so that may have to do with me being really tired lately
Best Moment this week: passing my glucose test! No Gestational Diabetes for this girl! Wohoo!
Food Cravings: we ate a hand rolled bagel in NY and since then I can't get bagels and cream cheese (of course none add up to the deliciousness of the one we had in NY)
Movement: Still lots! I think I am starting to feel him turn and move more, not only just feeling the kicks
What I miss: nothing! Trying to enjoy every moment!
What I am looking forward to: 3 more weeks and I'm in the 3rd trimester!
Milestones: nothing that I can think of, everything is just going great, and we couldn't be happier!

Also, I have been working out a lot lately and so I am going to add a category to hold myself accountable, so...
Workouts: 4 times already this week! I have been walking and doing my prenatal video. I can't get enough, I just feel so good afterwards! Let's hope I keep it up!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New York Part 2

Wednesday we pre-arranged a tour called the "Freedom Tour" where we would see the 9/11 memorial, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and more. Unfortunately due to the company being very disorganized, we were kicked off the 9:30 tour even though we were the first ones waiting for it and sat in the cold arguing with the guy (along with 12+ other people who were "overbooked"). Luckily though, we got scheduled to go on their 12:30 Freedom Tour that same day. The tour took us to ride a ferry (thankfully we were able to sit inside since it was FREEZING) to Battery Park and then we got off and walked up around Wall Street, toured Trinity Church, and saw the 9/11 Memorial. We then walked back and rode the ferry around The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was really neat to see everything up close and the tour really was worth the hassle!

That night we took some locals advice to go to 9th street to eat (less touristy and crowded, better food) and ate at this wonderful Mexican Restaurant. Everything was so fresh and fantastic and I wish I remembered the name so I could recommend it to people!
The Ferry we took

On the bus we go

the New York Skyline from the boat

The Wall Street Bull

Hot chocolate a Sculpture at Trinity Church

At the 9/11 Memorial

The names of the victims surround the pools

Statue of Liberty
 Thursday we ate lunch at Carmines, a restaurant we had been trying to get into all week after hearing from several people how good it was. It was really worth the wait and lunch was delicious.

Afterward, we conquered the Subway again and went to Chinatown, Soho, and 34th Street. Chinatown was interesting (to say the least) and I got a Tiffany bracelet there (it's real I promise ;) ). I liked the Soho area but we didn't really spend a lot of time there once I found out the Old Navy on 34th sold maternity clothes, oh how easily pleased I am.  I loved seeing the HUGE Macy's all decorated for Christmas and wished we would have gotten to go in there, just because I wonder what the heck could take up that much space! And in case you are wondering, Old Navy was a sucess!

That night we went to see the Rockettes, which was really neat, but definitely geared more towards kids. It was still a great show to see!

Matt at Madison Square Garden

Macy's on 34th

We tried to get this older man to take a picture of us with the Radio City Music Hall sign and this is what he took. The line was moving and I felt bad asking him to re-do it so here's a cute pic of Matt and I. Ha!

Waiting for the Rockettes to start

Beautifully decorated Radio City Music Hall

Matt and I sportin' our 3D glasses. I think we pull them off nicely. 

As quick as it came, it was time to fly back to Atlanta and head home. Our trip was wonderful and we had a great time. New York at Christmas is beautiful and there is nothing like it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New York, New York...Part 1

New York was an awesome trip! And we learned a lot of things from our trip. Like it's really, really cold up North. And New York is expensive (think $16.50 for Matt's 6 pack of Michelob Ultra).  And learn how the subway works before you try to just jump on a train (or you may go the wrong direction). 

We arrived Monday pretty early, around 11am. Once we took the crazy ride in (and I thought drivers in Birmingham were bad!) we checked into our hotel (The W in Times Square=niiice) and headed out to explore. We shopped a bit and later that evening went to Rockefeller to see the big tree. We also went to the "Top of the Rock" which was the top of the Rockefeller building. It was really neat after I got over my fear of heights and I loved that we were able to see the whole city, including the Empire State Building all lit up. (Some say the Top of the Rock is better than going to the top of the Empire State Building because you see the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock).

Our awesome room at The W

Times Sqaure is HUGE!!

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller

Crowded? No, not at all.

Top of the Rock

Empire State Building!

New York skyline at night--beautiful

Tuesday we jumped on the Subway and headed uptown to the Upper East Side. We walked around Central Park and went to the Metropolitian Museum.  Afterwards we went to Grand Central Station, which is huge and beautiful! We kept thinking "okay, so this is Grand Central" and then we'd turn a corner and see another huge area with more stuff. On the walk back to our hotel from Grand Central Station we stopped by Bryant Park which was really neat also. They had an ice skating rink set up and I wished I could have shown off my Nancy Kerrigan-like moves.  Too bad I'm pregnant and couldn't. The people of New York missed out on that one.

That night we went to see The Phantom of the Opera and it was amazing! Best part of the trip for sure! Here are pics from Tuesday:
Exploring Central Park

From a bridge in Central Park

The MET=awesome!

Matt pretending checking out the art

Grand Central Station

At the Phantom of the Opera

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Holly Jolly Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas and looking back I can't believe how quickly it came and went. But every second of it was awesome and I already miss my family!

Friday afternoon we headed to Atlanta after getting off work and spent the evening relaxing and spending time with my mom. 

Saturday for lunch we went to visit my dad's extended family at my Aunt Luanne's house and were able to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins who we don't get to see often.

Christmas Eve we always spend at my father's house eating a big meal and exchanging gifts. There may or may not be a tradition for everyone to take tequila shots (you can decided once you see the pictures). It is always a ton of fun at my dad's on Christmas Eve!

my brother and Matt trying to figure out how to sift flour

Guys doing what they do tv and drink beer

tequila anyone?? Not this girl this year. Darn! (insert sarcasm)

Matt, me, and baby Baylor by the tree

My brother Chris and sister-in-law Adrienne

Christmas day we woke up at my mother's house, opened gifts, and went to my momites (grandmother) to have breakfast and exchange gifts with my mother's extended family.  It was so much fun catching up with family that we don't often see, as they live in Florida! And breakfast Christmas day is always fantastic at my momites!

Matt and Jason got spy glasses in their stockings


Matt got the family pink poodle joke gift

Matt, me, and mom

Whew! Got that all? Now factor in prior to heading out of town, spending a couple nights doing Christmas with Matt's mother, dad and step-mom, since we wouldn't be in Birmingham for the holiday.

                               And then the day after Christmas we headed to New York! (more on that in a bit!)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!