Friday, December 21, 2012

How far along? seven weeks.
Total weight gain: i do not want to pay attention to the scale. you can thank past body image issues for that. i just ask the doctor to tell me if i'm not gaining enough or gaining too much. if i hear a number, it triggers something very unhealthy in my mind.
Maternity clothes?  none. i just realized the other day that most of my maternity clothes from ainsley are fall/winter clothes. i will probably have to buy some summer clothing this time around. 
Stretch marks? none. and none from the first pregnancy.        
Sleep: i don't think i am as sleepy this week or as much as i was with ainsley. i remember falling asleep while eating or in mid-conversation. this time around, i seem to have a little more far, anyway.                
Best moment this week: after a big scare, i called the after hours emergency line and they scheduled me to come in for an ultrasound the next morning. the greatest moment was seeing my little one for the first time and hearing that he/she is healthy and doing great. what.a.relief. i hope my scares with this pregnancy are over.
Miss Anything?  food. coffee.                 
Movement:  none.       
Food cravings:  ewe. none. food is completely uninteresting and nauseating to me. mornings are the worst. i feel bad for ainsley. it takes me awhile before i work up the nerve to fix her breakfast and lunch. thank goodness for daddy who makes dinner so i don't have to fight the urge to throw up.       
Symptoms: extremely nauseous. all day. every day.     
Anything making you queasy or sick:  everything. especially when i open the refrigerator. i even threw up while taking the dogs for a walk. some men that were fixing up the house next door even came over to ask me if i was okay. how.embarrassing. i'm sure they enjoyed my response of, "no, i'm not sick, i'm just pregnant. sorry."
Labor Signs: none.
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: i have been really happy. yesterday, i was a little cranky. i think it's because i know i have so much to get done, but i'm too sick to do much of anything.    
Looking forward to:  my next appointment. jan. second. i think i just need affirmation that everything is still going well and that baby r is still doing great. i'm nervous!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


How far along? 6 Weeks
Total weight gain: Unknown. Although my pants are fitting a little better, so maybe I've lost some?
Maternity clothes? None

Stretch marks? None
Sleep: I would be sleeping great if Mark didn't snore. I think I have officially become the wife that sleeps on the couch because her husband won't stop snoring.
Best moment this week: Searching for our new home, which has also been stressful!

Miss Anything? Coffee. So bad.
Movement: None
Food cravings: Surprisingly I have none so far.
Anything making you queasy or sick: So far, so good :)
Gender: Unknown
Labor Signs: No

Symptoms: So tired. Some back pain. I also feel like Dolly Parton.

Belly Button in or out? Normal.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: I have been super happy. Today, not so much. I am a major bitch today.
Looking forward to: Spending the holidays with my family!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

the secret is out...

the little family of 3 will soon be a family of 4 (well, at least four anyway)!

so, to add on to the busy time of mark accepting a new job, selling our house, buying a new house, and moving...we've decided to throw having another baby into the mix. do we have to keep this level of excitement up forever!?  :)

seriously though, we are so over the moon excited about this! we kept waiting for the 'best' time to start trying. we weren't quite sure when that was. and i swore i didn't want to become that couple that scheduled sex into our calendar. so, for the month of november we decided to see what happened. never in a million years did we think it would happen so soon!

we went to the doctor and established a due date of 08.06.13. a summer baby! and i'll get to see our little sweet thing on 01.02.13.

we broke the news to our family and friends with this sweet little picture:

and i've also decided to keep a little weekly diary journal of my pregnancy. here is my entry for week five:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

weekend fun & 2x4 stocking holders

this weekend was full of fun and surprises. i think mark and i have officially determined that our family motto is, 'go big or go home.' each year together, we seem to experience several life moments all at the same time. this year is proving to be just the same. but, i wouldn't have it any other way.

mark has been offered and has officially accepted a new job in staunton, virginia. hopefully beginning at the end of january, he will be the new guidance director at the high school he graduated from. i am excited about this new change. i think we both agreed that we needed a new, fresh start somewhere. neither one of us are really thrilled about where we live now. we love our friends that have grown to be like family, but it never quite felt like 'home' to us. we're more than ready to find our place. a place to raise our family.

so, now comes the potential of searching for a new home AND selling ours at the same time. eek! it's both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. since i am staying at home this year, our price range is significantly low. we are able to afford the mortgage we are paying now, but we have to wait and see what mark's salary alone will qualify for. the first time we searched for homes, i never fell in love with any of them. the very first home we looked at, i fell in love like. we put an offer on the home, but lost it to a CASH offer. seriously!? i still drive past that house when i drive through culepper. sigh. after that, nothing ever compared. mark fell in love with our current home, but i have to be honest...i hate it. always have. and i am so ready to move!

with the excitement of starting over in the home department, i have been looking online for homes in staunton. for the most part, they are disappointing. it is definitely a less expensive area than we live in now, but the nicer homes in our price range are in the most absurd locations. until linden drive. ahhh, linden drive. i love it. this is the first time i have been excited about a potential home. it's beautiful. the layout is exactly what i'm looking for. there's a yard. a fenced in yard. the home is officially move in ready. we wouldn't have a single project to do (unless we wanted one). it's got tons of storage. no carpet. a bathroom in our bedroom that can provide relaxing moments. yes! sign me up. we shall see :)

so, that's we are right now. and i'm happy and hopeful about the future.

because mark loves me, he let me have a craft day on saturday. i'm not much for decorating the home for every holiday, but for ainsley, i'm trying. i wanted to get our mantle ready for christmas (even though we won't even be in our own home christmas morning). we have beautiful stockings, but no hangers. so, my project for the day was making stocking holders.

and here they are:

they were super easy to make, but they were also time consuming. i had all of the materials laying around except for the hooks.

1. six 5.5” pieces of a 2x4
2. mod Podge
3. holiday scrapbook paper cut to the sizes of the 2x4's
4. paintbrush
5. wood glue
6. 3 medium sized versa cobra scew in hooks [i wanted to find silver, but they only had white]
7. sticker letters
8. drill and drill bit for making pilot holes

after cutting the  scrapbook paper to the desired size, you will mod podge it to the piece of wood. i have found that applying the mod podge LIGHTLY onto the piece of wood helps to ensure no bubbles occur after applying the paper. once the entire block is covered, allow some time to dry. once dry, you can go over the entire block with mod podge for an extra seal/top coat cover. once completely dry, add your sticker letter to the front.

to add the hooks, you need to find the center of the block. you can do this by using a straight edge. make lines connecting the corners of both pieces. the 'x' marks the center. drill your hole and screw in the hooks.

and you're done. easy peasy.

i just love our stockings :) 

here's a picture of some of our other goodies displayed on the mantle. my daughter is obsessed with the the glitter ornaments. i personally love my tinsel tree [made from a cereal box]. the other tree is made from twine and has the cutest button topper. 

 now, to get my christmas shopping done this weekend

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


this year has been a wonderful year so far. i've taken off the year as a special education teacher to be at home with my daughter. i think that most people decide to take off the first year of their child's birth, but to be quite honest, my husband and i couldn't quite get our shit together that soon. so, at the end of last school year, we took a leap of faith and it was the best decision ever! sure, before the paycheck even comes we're broke, but mo money, mo problems, right? [may biggie smalls rest in peace] :)

with that being said, ainsley turned two in november and i swear a light switch went off. holy.batman.temper.tantrums. some days i don't even recognize my own sweet girl. and some days i seriously think she spends the entire day in time out. and those are the days that i think something might be "wrong" with her [whatever that means]. and those are the days that as soon as mark gets home, i run away for a few minutes to have some "alone" time [i say "alone" because that ultimately results in not having alone time at all].

to deal with the frustration of a terrible two year old, i have been dedicating more of her nap time to a little craft therapy. it seriously helps to clear my mind and calm me down. after the wedding, i've gone through a lot of my craft stuff to organize and store away. for this particular nap time i found some unused fabric from the wedding and three embroidery hoops.

there's a wall in ainsley's room that needed some attention. it's what you see immediately as you walk into her room. i never knew what to do with the empty wall. her room is small and in an awkward position in our house. there really isn't enough space to get a decent picture of her room an a whole. but, i think you get the point! i think it's super cute and a way to use materials i probably wouldn't have used before. i may add to it in the future, which will hopefully be in a new house entirely :)

and there's a little picture of my sweetness to end the post. this face says it all. she is definitely looking for some trouble to get into :) but, i still love her. lots. just like she loves "lots of cereal." and "lots of grapes." and "lots of candy." that is her response when you ask her how many of a certain item she would like. it's super cute.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

...two years of perfection

i've been sitting here staring at the computer screen wondering how to put my thoughts into words. i am not sure there is enough room or enough words that would adequately describe how much my life has changed since the moment ainsley entered my life.

though, one thing i know is certain: the light at which she shines ever so brightly...even in my darkest moments and worst of moods, i can see beauty and love.

as my sweet little girl turned two, i have been amazed at watching her vocabulary grow exponentially. when people hear ainsley speak, it is almost with 100% accuracy that they will comment on how well she speaks for her age. there are many moments in life that i find myself talking with her like she is already an adult and forgetting that she is only two. she amazes me.

some of my favorite ainsley-ism's:
1. when she makes a mistake and says my bad.
2. she loves pointing out things that she thinks are humungous (did i even spell that right?)
3. she wants to watch mickey mouse for just a little bit and then i take a nap.
4. how she wants just ONE treat. just ONE mom. as she, very passionately i might add, displays her little index finger to model exactly what 1 looks like.
5. how she examines our every inch of skin for boo-boo's...just so she can kiss them.
6. how she wakes up so happy (most of the time) and i get to wake up to her singing each morning
7. how she delicately takes care of her baby doll: covering her with a blanket, feeding her "snacks" and taking her along in the baby doll stroller for our family walks. she has the most sweet, tender and caring nature. i definitely see a lot of my husband in ainsley. it melts my heart every time. every time. how amazing it is to go from walking our baby in the stroller, to seeing our baby push her own doll around. where has the time gone? i.must.stop.blinking.

and as my mind wanders, i just can't put into words all of the life lessons my sweet ainsley has taught me. you inspire me to be a better person. every day you remind me that we may not have much, but we have love. and a life filled with love is so worth living. you remind me to let go, live life, and that making messes can sometime result in something beautiful. you remind me to have patience and that silence is sometimes necessary but also a little boring. i am in awe of you...every single part of you. every day i thank my lucky starts for you and feel so lucky that you found your way to me.

it's amazing where life takes you. every situation, decision and all of the different roads i traveled on were bringing me exactly where i was meant to be...with you in my arms. many nights were spent wondering why is this happening to me? the moment the nurses laid you on my all made sense. that rainy thursday night, i never felt so whole. so in love. so content.

we have created many beautiful memories over the past two years. here's to many, many more. i love you, unconditionally, and always will. you taught me how to do that, too.

at birth (1 day old):

at one:

 and at two:

i love you sweet girl. xoxo.

and while i'm at it. here are some other pictures from our family session this fall:

a huge, big, loving thanks to for capturing our family at our best :) xoxo.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

...because the small details make a big difference

i know i have been doing a lot of complaining regarding the lack of time that i have to dedicate to the wedding. but, when i do get the privilege of spending time wedding planning, i actually have a lot of fun.

i have been working a lot on our small details...the part that i think can make or break a wedding. while i won't be having my perfect wedding, i hope that i do a good job reflecting the relationship and love between mark and i.

i wanted everyone to get a sense of what mark and i love about each other. i asked mark if he could sit down and make a list of reasons he loves me. i did the same. i used photoshop and turned them into little 8x10 posters that we plan to display at the wedding:

(you have to click on the images to view the entire picture. i'm still a little blogger challenged)

 i bought old frames and painted them the color of my choosing. i printed the posters off onto thick card stock and cut them to the appropriate size. easy peasy & all that jazz. the "she" looks hard to read on the computer, but in person it's not.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

silverware solution

So, like I said earlier, we decided on BBQ for our dinner reception for one main reason...cost. It was a very cost effective option for our low budget wedding.

When meeting with the caterer, however, they charge people a rather costly sum if you want to add plates. Plates for the wedding reception were going to be just as much as the food, and so we declined the option and began searching for an alternative.

My dream would have been to visit different antique stores to buy mismatched china, however, with Ainsley, that just wasn't a realistic goal for me. Ainsley is at the toddler stage where sitting in a stroller and shopping is extremely painful for mommy...she wants down, wants snacks, wants milk, wants water...basically, she wants everything that you aren't giving here, or don't have, which results in leaving the store 10 minutes after we got there because a large temper tantrum has begun.

Eventually we decided and agreed upon biodegradable, recyclable, disposable plates made from bamboo leaves. They are really cute and actually match my decor, so it worked out!

They even had silverware to match. I knew that we needed to come up with something cute to display the silverware...and I didn't just want to wrap them in a, I decided to tie in the paper doily from the program pockets and wrap all of the silverware in a paper doily as well (thanks mom for wrapping everything!) A cheap solution, a lot of time, and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.

 How many more days left until the wedding? Eek!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

wedding programs

One area that I really wanted to save money on were the wedding programs. I don't really see the point in having wedding programs, however, my mom thought otherwise. In my eyes, the programs are just something that people use as a fan and then throw away when they leave. That equals throwing away money to me! So, when I was "told" that I needed to have wedding programs, I knew that I was going to be doing them myself :) After much thinking and many ideas being thrown out the window, I came up with a simple and cheap program idea. First, the program. I made the program on my own using Photoshop. I found a cute idea that I liked while browsing online for program wording, so I ran with the idea and tweaked it a little:

I knew that I wanted a holder for the program because I wanted to add little games to the programs for people to work on while they wait for the ceremony to start. I picked up a pack of paper doilies ($4), kraft paper ($8), and used a custom stamp that I already previously owned. And here was the final result:
I'm happy with the results. Now, who wants to have a crafting party? :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Who said planning a wedding was fun?

It's been quite awhile since my last wedding post. I wish that I could say that I have accomplished a bunch of things since I last wrote, but that would probably not be true :) We, however, are making slight progress so I'll take it!

Today actually, I finally finished collecting all of the mason jars that are going to be used for drinking glasses! I bought the chalkboard contact paper, the funky shape punch and foresee a wedding craft party in my near future :)

I also got the materials to make our program pockets. Paper lace doilies and Kraft paper, along with a custom stamp that I wanted to use for our wedding invitation burlap pockets, but didn't quite get to. The Kraft paper is a little darker than I wanted, but it will hopefully turn out well. I am attempting to use Photoshop to make my own wedding programs, but since I'm still learning, I'm not really pleased with how they are turning out...

Mark's parents have been SO AWESOME helping me recently. I think Mark's mom is a little concerned with our lack of progress...that, or she just feels sorry for me :) Along with paying for the rehearsal dinner, she has decided to take the burden off of me and handle everything for me! Ahh, I can just feel the relief pouring off.

So, because I am quite a control freak, I told her that I wanted to do a picnic theme...complete with red gingham tablecloths and a packed Gable box lunch with a cute little label on the front. Knowing these details, she has my complete trust.

I did tell her that I would handle the invite for the rehearsal, as well as the label for the Gable boxes. And this is what I came up with:

 On a crappier note, my florist has been quite MIA recently. I decided to go with the Florist I chose because during our meeting, we really connected. She was the type of person that after a few minutes, I felt like I had known her forever. Since that meeting, however, she has been impossible to get a hold of. Not returning phone calls, or emails, and only responding when we stop in the store. And a month before the wedding, I STILL haven't gotten my contract in the mail even though she "said" she has mailed it multiple times over.  I recognize that I'm a control freak and at first I was worrying that she wasn't on the same page with my vision and was going to bring something that I didn't like. But now I'm worrying that she won't even remember to SHOW UP! We are supposed to have a meeting tomorrow, and I really hope that resolves my insecurity regarding the wedding flowers.

We went to the most awesome antique mall this past weekend and knocked off a ton of items on our list. My most proud purchase was the cutest wire heart chair and an awesome vintage door for only $20! I really hope everything falls together!

Mark and I met with our officiant and finalized our wedding ceremony. We both realized that we are more traditional than we thought. i am most excited about our vows! They are perfect. My newest to-do is to figure out HOW to ask the two ladies that we would be honored to have read at the ceremony. Any suggestions?

I can't believe it's almost August. We are one month away and there's still so much to do!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

dream vehicle

So, if I could own any vintage vehicle, it would be a 1954 Chevy Truck. Granted, I can't drive a manual, but for that vehicle, I would certainly attempt to learn :)

When Mark proposed to me, one of the first things I knew that I wanted for our wedding pictures was a classic truck as a prop. Originally, we were planning our wedding for Ohio and I went to many antique car shows in hopes of finding the perfect truck. Although I met many nice people who were willing to let me use their vehicle for the day, I never really found the "perfect" one.

It was the last day of school for teachers and Mark was coming to my classroom to help me bring some things home.  When he gets to my work, he hands me his phone.  Displayed on the screen were the following pictures (not the greatest quality, but you get the idea):

And there she was!!! Mark randomly saw this truck driving along 522 North in Culpeper, VA and followed, yes followed, the truck to it's destination (which happened to be a gas station so that made it a little less creepy). Mark explains to the man his reason for approaching and to our great luck, the man was so pleased and excited and agreed to allow us the use of his vehicle on our wedding day!

My fella is the best and I am so lucky that he would do all of that just for me :) So, yet another big detail crossed off of my wedding to-do list.

Monday, June 11, 2012

wedding progress, or lack thereof

Ah! Sweet summer! The past 5 months have been a complete whirlwind! Working an hour away from home, with Mark being completely out of commission due to tennis season, Mark trying to start a new business, and IEP season at work was INSANE! Alas, I have made it out alive and I actually feel like I can breathe again.

 So, in the past 5 months, not a lot of wedding planning has gone on. Imagine that. I am a slacker. If there was a job being a major procrastinator, I would rock at it. I have really enjoyed planning the wedding, but unfortunately, there hasn't been much time for it. I sure hope I can pull it together for the next 4 months. Lots to do. Little time.

I have, however, done the invitations and they will soon be ready to send out:

I am extremely happy with how they turned out. Ainsley's babysitter has been an absolute miracle helping me to create little burlap pouches to put the invitations in. The pouches will hopefully look like this when we are finished putting the custom stamping on:

 Thank you to Lemon Tree Paper Co. for the awesome idea :)

Most of our big details are complete. It's really focusing on the smaller details that are driving me crazy. I hope, hope, hope that I can dedicate the time that I need to making this wedding what I have envisioned...