Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Three Years Ago

I made one of the best decisions of my life. I stood at the front of a church in a big white dress and vowed to be with Ryan "until death do us part". It was a truly spectacular day. I had spent hours getting ready for the day. It started with hair, then make-up, and finally ended in getting dressed. Then I waited outside the sanctuary with my dad, in a church all decorated for Vacation Bible School, (Narnia theme, I stared at Aslan while waiting for my cue.) before I finally was able to get married.

 We were surrounded by friends and family who supported us and knew that we were making the right choice. At just 21 and 22 years old, we knew that we were meant to be together and to be partners on the journey of life. And I am so happy that we made that trip down the aisle that resulted in us being man and wife!

The ceremony itself was short and sweet. I wanted it that way.My whole family was a part of it, from bridesmaids to candle lighters to my escort down the aisle. And my sister, Kelsey, wasn't left out of the celebrations. I had a groomsman walk down the aisle with a single white rose for her.

When the ceremony ended we walked back down the aisle to a video montage that my younger sister had put together for us. We were so excited and happily welcomed all of the "congratulations". Then we took a whole bunch of pictures, jumped into a limo to take us to a place to take more pictures, and finally made our way to the reception!

We dance to "Amazed" by Lonestar and my dad and I danced to "I Loved Her First" by Heartland.

 And then we spent the rest of the time having fun. We talked with our guests, had lots of delicious food, had some cake, and of course danced the night away. When it was finally time to leave, I was almost sorry that the wedding part was over. But I am so happy to say that the marriage part has been just as much fun!

Sure we've had our ups and downs, but when you know you have someone who truly loves you and will fight for you by your side, somehow the downs seem to fade away. In three short years we have experienced so many things:

  • Finishing college
  • Getting pregnant and losing it
  • Ryan getting a "big kid" job (My term for it)
  • Moving back to our hometown 
  • Getting pregnant with our wonderful daughter
  • BILLS!
  • Learning how to cope as parents AND a couple
  • Finally settling into a routine that has all the people involved fairly happy
  • The anticipation of our second child ( There is less than 2 months until his debut)
But honestly, I need to thank God every day for the man he blessed me with! I love you Ryan, always and forever!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Believe

... in leaving your toddler overnight once in a while. It's good for the parents and good for the child. Sarah was able to spend a wonderful evening/night/morning with Grandma while Ryan and I got to celebrate our anniversary.

... prenatal massages are totally worth the money! I don't think my mind has ever been that zoned out and just turned off before.

... wedding receptions are not a place to bring toddlers. It makes for stressed out parents and toddler meltdowns.

... in taking the time to reconnect with your husband. It's nice to be able to go out and talk about non-parent things and rediscover just why you married the person you did.

... that vet services cost way too much money, but I will continue to pay them.

... I need to start getting this place ready for another baby. Time to get the newborn things washed and set up.

... I can handle two kids under the age of two. (I have to tell myself this, or I would probably freak out.) Honestly two kids doesn't worry me, it's more the adjustment period and getting used to having the two of them.

What do you believe in this week? Link up with Exploits of a Military Mama and let us know.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Pregnancy

So I've been noticing a lot of sympathetic looks from people lately. I'm thinking it may have something to do with the heat/humidity and my big ol' belly.  Or I get comments like "August, it's gonna be HOT!"

I find the looks humorous though. The comments I could live without, but they come with the territory. I happen to think being pregnant in the summer isn't so bad. Sure it's hot, but it would be hot even if I wasn't pregnant. But there are lots of plus sides to summer pregnancies.

  • The abundance of fresh produce. I'm loving all the in season fruits and veggies. Berries, peaches, and watermelon anyone?? We went blueberry picking with some family and friends and I'm happy to say we have tons of them now! Anyone have any good recipes for blueberries?

  • Swollen feet don't fit into closed toed shoes/boots very well. With Sarah, I had to borrow winter shoes from my sister so I had something to wear in the snow. Now flip flops on the other hand, pretty comfy when your feet start to swell. Summer weather, flip flops, and pregnancy are a great combo.
  • Lounging by the pool all day. I have never felt so light in my life! When I'm in the water I pretty much forget that I'm even pregnant. It's nice to have a break from the extra weight and with winter pregnancies you can't sit outside in/by the pool.
  • Pregnancy cravings are a lot easier to satisfy in the summer. Whether it's ice cream or lemonade. Also the fresh produce makes it easier to choose a healthy option instead of the not so healthy ones.
So later when I have a whiny post about how hot it is and I can't believe how many weeks I have left ... someone kindly remind me of this post and my positive outlook on summer pregnancies.

Monday, June 20, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

Well I failed it, but I'm not going to let it bother me too much. I was really hoping to stick with it, but life got in the way. And it's not even like I was crazy busy, it was just everyday tasks. So I decided to keep my list of blog prompts for times when I truly feel like I have nothing to write about.

This week is a busy one for us! We have something scheduled for every day this week and that means that I will have a happy baby! She loves getting out of the house and playing and I love it too. A well played baby = a baby that naps well. Today Sarah got to spend the day at my mom's house while I went to a meeting for the historical society. I was gone for most of the afternoon/early evening. She had a blast over there and played, ate, and napped like a champ!

I was a little nervous to leave her, because she had such a strange morning. She woke earlier than usual and then went down for a nap only an hour after waking up. So instead of having a 2 hour morning nap at around 10 - 12 it was 8:30 - 10:30. When she woke up, you would have thought she'd never been fed with how badly she was begging for snacks. But luckily that didn't seem to impact her too much while she was at my mom's. It is making for a pretty tired baby this evening though because it pushed her afternoon nap a couple hours earlier, but hopefully she sleeps well tonight!

Tomorrow is another doctor visit for me and then blueberry picking with our families and bible study group in the evening! I love fresh blueberries!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Last year, we were still getting the hang of taking care of a new baby. This year, we are blessed with an energetic toddler and another new baby on the way! How things can change in a year's time.

I am blessed with an incredible husband who is a great father. He has the patience for bath time and bedtime. Trust me when I say that bedtime is no easy feat.  He changes diapers, makes meals, and wakes up early on the weekends so I can sleep in! Sarah loves playing tag and chase with Daddy and knows when it's time for him to be home from work. She goes to the front door and asks me "Dad-ee?" When he does get home, she says "hi" in the sweetest voice and is ready to play.

Love you babe, and our kids are so lucky to have you as their Dad! Here's a few pictures from the photo shoot we did for Daddy's card.

A special shout out to my Dad as well. The man who taught me to work hard, set high goals, and never settle!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Favorite Books

I read way too many books to just have one favorite. I love reading, it's probably my favorite past time. Give me a nice warm bubble bath and a good book and I am one happy lady! Generally the thicker the book, the better .So here's a few recommendations from me.

  • Cheney Duvall M.D. (series) I loved this set. My mother in-law got it for me for Christmas one year and I re-read it every 6 months or so. It's a historical fiction/Christian novel set.
  • North and South trilogy. I love these books too. Again another historical fiction set in the Civil War era. I re-read these once every couple of years.
  • Jodi Picoult has written a lot of books that I have really liked. There have been a couple that I didn't enjoy very much, but she is generally a good bet.
  • The Hunger Games - I know these are the popular books to read right now, but I read them before it was cool! These aren't my typical genre, but they are pretty good if you can stand some gory descriptions.
  • Harry Potter Series - Yep I said (typed) it. I am one of those that waited impatiently for each book and I am on the edge of my seat waiting on the last movie. I will go and see the whole movie even though I'm going to be 8 months pregnant at the time. 

And here's a suggestion from Sarah. (We read this book over and over and over again)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Random Picture Time

Day 6:  Random Picture That Makes You Happy

This is the face Sarah makes when she is waiting on the pacifier fairy to drop by. See, she loses her binkie at night and wants it back and just leaves her mouth open like that. She expects someone else to put it back in for her, even at 14 months old. (This picture is from 5 months) But I love this face, it's so cute!

This was when Sarah was sitting all on her own and in her wet wipe phase. All I had to do to make her happy, was give her a wipe to play with. I think this is when she first started looking less like a baby to me. Her expression her just makes me happy because she is happy.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meaningful Songs

I'm pretty sure everyone has at least one song in their life that will bring back a specific memory, or that will always be special to them no matter how old/unpopular it is. My blog prompt for today was a song that has a special meaning. Well I can't pick just one, I have a few.

The first is "Who You'd Be Today" - Kenny Chesney. I'm sure if you've read about my sister, this song would come as no surprise. In the time period between finding out she was dead and her funeral I listened to this song on repeat over and over again. When I sat at my desk trying to come up with the words to say at her funeral, I had this video playing on my computer in the background. I never did find the right words, but I spoke from my heart. And when it came down to sentencing I used the words of the chorus to explain to the court how horrible it feels to have someone ripped away from you so suddenly. This song really captures the pain of loss but puts it beautifully.

The next is "If I Die Young" - The Band Perry. This one is also tied to my sister. I can picture her saying the words of this song. I can't really describe why this song captivates me, it just struck something in me.

There are a couple of songs that have happier memories. Like "Amazed" - Lonestar. This was mine and Ryan's first dance at our wedding. I can't help but smile if I hear the song on the radio. It just reminds me of how happy and in love I was on my wedding day! (Not that I'm not now, but there's something special about the way you feel on your wedding day.)  We partied hard and had a great reception and each time I hear this song, it reminds me of why I married Ryan and why I was so excited to be a wife.

Another positive memory song is "Wabash Cannonball" - KSU Marching Band. (Pardon the video quality, I'm actually somewhere in that mob of band kids!) Anytime I hear this song, I am immediately transported back to a college football field and early morning practices. This song just screams school spirit to me and I was in the band for five years. I think I could play that song in my sleep at one point.... college marching band was like nothing I had ever done. My director was one of the best if not the best! And my friends were wonderful! I complained about it at times (okay a lot of the time): when I had 12 hour days, hard practices, 4:00 AM call times, sectionals, or during the dreaded band camp. (We're talking 13 hour days outside in the late summer heat. It was rough. We practiced harder than some athletes, which is why marching band should totally be considered a sport ...I digress.) But I loved my experience overall and I would do it all again.

Any special songs out there?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What a Weekend!!

I love when we have activities planned for the weekend, but not so much a jam packed weekend. Lucky for us, this weekend was the former. We were busy, but not running around like a chicken with its head cut off busy.

I mentioned before that my dad was in the hospital. So we were trying to make sure we visited at least once a day to say hi and let Sarah cheer up Grandpa. Because honestly, no one sleeps in a hospital and there isn't much to do when you're tethered to an IV stand. The good news is that he's home now and on a low fat diet to hopefully keep his pancreas calmed down. I'm not sure how long he has to stay on that diet or even why he's had problems to begin with. I think the doctors are in the same boat. Anyway, here's hoping everything stays healthy and there are no more hospital visits! Here's what Grandma did while we were in the hospital with Grandpa.
An attempted ponytail. Sarah's hair isn't long enough on top so she kind of looks a little like Pebbles from the Flintstones.

Yesterday, we had a BBQ with Ryan's boss and coworkers. It was nice to finally meet all the people that he talks about and put faces to names. Sarah seemed to enjoy herself. Ryan's boss had a big backyard for her to run around in (that's where everyone was milling about) and there were three dogs to keep her busy. I was thankful that she never discovered the dogs' wading pool! She did however find a brick path that she wanted to climb over and over and over ... Mama got tired pretty fast.

Then today, we had a nice day of church and friends. We went to the 11:00 service (because I'm sure you all have picked up that I am not a morning person) and then out to lunch with Ryan's family. Lunch was a bit of a stresser because Sarah was ready for a nap about the time we ordered food, but she didn't have a complete meltdown in public, so I'm still counting it as a successful outing. Once we got home she napped and so did I. In all fairness, I intended to watch a movie with my sister and husband but sleep won and who am I to argue with that?

This evening we were able to catch up with friends who just moved back to town! So excited to have fellow parents here to hang out with. They totally get the staying in because of naps or bedtimes or finances thing! I'm so glad they are back and I hope we can get together more often! Oh and we had a yummy taco bake for dinner! Yay for new recipes that are quick and easy!

By the way my prompt today was silly. (Weird hobbies or collections) I don't have either so I thought I'd recap my weekend instead!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


So the post for today was supposed to be wedding pictures, but I thought I'd save that for my anniversary. So I switched out that post for one on nicknames.

Now the prompt is just the word nicknames ... so what should I tell you about them? I don't really have any that I go by anymore unless you count "honey" or "babe" from Ryan. Sarah on the other hand has some good ones!

Monkey - We started calling her this when she was just a newborn, and she will answer to it. She even has a "Hey Monkey" song that we sing. If you start singing it, she dances almost immediately! Monkey was also my nickname as a baby. (I think this is a pretty common nickname for babies.)

Sarah Bear - Again another one she got as a baby. And yep, there is a song that goes with this one too. It goes to the tune of THIS but we substitute Sarah for Gummy. (Don't judge the song, it was found randomly on youtube when I was searching for something else.)

Sea Turtle Eyes - This is what we call Sarah when she is sleepy. If you look at the sea turtle from "Finding Nemo", his eyes are only half open and that's what she does with hers when she's tired.
(See the similarity?)

Gremlin Baby - She growls when she's angry. That has evolved into this growly voice that she uses when she's upset and she sounds kinda like a gremlin. It's cute and slightly funny now, but I hope she outgrows it.

Banana Hands - She's a messy eater and she laughed when my sister called her this. Granted, my sister was saying it in this silly voice that made Sarah squish even more banana. She had banana covering her hands and her face.

Obviously Sarah doesn't go by all these names anymore. Some of them were one time things, but still worth a mention. We do use the first two on a regular basis, but the other ones are nicknames she's had in the past or that are used infrequently. It'll be interesting to see what nicknames our little man gets, especially since he is still unnamed. What do you call your kiddos?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 2

Day 2: Take a photo of a random part of your day and tell about it

So this picture is kind of hard to see, my sister took while we were on our way to visit our dad in the hospital.  Yep, that's right my dad is in the hospital. Apparently he has pancreatitis (which is when your pancreas releases enzymes inside of itself instead of further along the digestive tract). Typically this is caused by gall stones, but he doesn't have those. So now he's in the hospital without food or water to give his pancreas a rest. He's miserable ... no food, no drink and pain = no fun!

So being good daughters, my sister and I went up to visit him and try to relieve some of the monotony of hospital stays. Sarah came along and thought that the hospital was a way cool place to be. Although the fact that the sound for the TV was coming out of the remote freaked her out a bit. She was also a little scared of the IV my dad has. I was okay with that, because it meant she wasn't going to get close enough to pull on it. 

Sarah must have known that Grandpa wasn't feeling too well, because she was being as cute as could be for most of the visit. She was running around, playing peek-a-boo in the curtains, showing off her new words, and singing/dancing. Unfortunately she got fussy and wanted snacks from her diaper bag and proceeded to eat them in front of my dad who had been without food for over 18 hours at that point. Oops! I decided we better pack up and leave shortly after that because Sarah was getting sleepy and grumpy and needed a nap. And I decided it would be best to stop torturing my dad.

Anyway this picture is of a totally tricked out purple and black van with a license plate reading "WERWOLF". Strange right? What makes it even better is that the driver was about my grandmother's age! Seriously it was an elderly lady driving this van down a main street in our city. It has got to be one of the weirdest things I've seen in a while.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 Day Challenge

So I decided to do this 30 day blog challenge that I found online. The idea is 30 posts in 30 days, but we'll see just how well I do on that. My blogging has become more sporadic, because I feel like I don't always have "blog worthy" thoughts. So I figured this 30 day post challenge would be a good way for me to stay motivated and just write.

Day 1: Meaning Behind Your Blog Name
My blog has had a few titles over the last year or so, but I finally settled on Beyond Motherhood. I chose it, because while I am a mom now, I wanted to remind myself that I am more than that! I think it's so easy for moms to forget that they aren't just caregivers and cleaners. I know that I get wrapped up in all the little details of my life as a mom and forget that "Mommy" is only one part of my identity.

I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and woman! And every single one of those titles is important as well. I need to remember to take the time to be a good wife and to take care of myself also. It's okay for me to leave Sarah for a few hours and just enjoy shopping or chatting with friends. I struggle with guilt when I take time for myself or date night with my husband. But I know that I need those things to be a happy and refreshed mom to my kiddo!

So when I log into my blog I see my title and remember that I can love my daughter (and my yet to arrive son) but that I need to remember the other parts of myself as well. Otherwise, I will cheat my children out of a fully charged and happy mom.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Almost 29 Weeks

  1. How far along - 28 weeks and 4 days
  2. Total weight gain - I am up nine pounds total
  3. Maternity clothes? - Yep, and finding ones that are good for spring/summer weather has been challenging.
  4. Sleep - Eh it's okay. Between having to pee every hour or so and a teething toddler, it could be better. 
  5. Best moment this week - Finally feeling real consistent movement. Sometimes you can see my belly jump.
  6. Movement-  Yep but definitely more at night ... I hope that changes when he's here.
  7. Food cravings - Sweets, because I had my glucose test this week. So of course after I had the test I indulged!
  8. Labor signs - None yet, but a lot of back aches and Braxton Hicks
  9. Belly button in or out - Well it's out-ish
  10. What I miss - Walking at the same pace as my husband. I constantly have to tell him to slow down.
  11. What I'm looking forward to - Trying to name this kid! The problem is I just don't have a name I love, they are all just okay.
  12. 28 week Belly Pic

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Four Years

is a long time to not see someone you love. It's also a relatively short time compared to the average lifetime. Unfortunately for Kelsey her life was ended at 18. I wonder how different my life would be today if she was still here on an almost constant basis. I think my whole family dynamic would be different, but I can't change the fact that she was murdered no matter how much I want to.

I think her death has given me an even greater appreciation for life and the limited amount of time we all have. I just wish that lesson didn't have to come with such a high price. Someday I will see her again and we can talk about all the things that have happened since we last saw each other. Until then I miss her and love her every day.