Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nursery Happenings...

We finally started to make a little headway on the nursery.  It's starting to actually look like a nursery rather than just a random room.  My mom helped me paint the walls.  We did 3 walls a light gray and one wall white which I later did gray stripes on.  We got a crib.  After 2 failed attempts at Craigslist, we opted to just order one.  We were looking for black and unless we wanted to pay a ridiculous amount at the baby stores, we had to order one online.  Here's a couple pictures of all of that...
 

 
 
  We got the dresser from my parents that my mom had when she was a kid and I also used when I was a kid.  It's gone through 4 different paint colors in the past 50 something years.  So Darren spent hours and hours stripping all the paint off and sanding it.  Then I primed it and painted it black and got some more modern-ish handles.  I think the transformation is awesome and I love it.  It will serve as good storage as well as the changing table.  Here are before and after pictures of all the hard work... We didn't actually get a proper before picture so these are during the stripping and then the drawers are after the paint was stripped off.
 


This dresser has been antique white, olive green (blame the 60s), canary yellow, and back to white...

 
 
 
and Ta-da... doesn't it look so much better?? I'm quite proud of the outcome and I'm hoping it will be in the family for several more generations.  They just don't make furniture like this anymore.
 
 
Next up is the curtains and crib skirt.  Thanks to my very talented mother who professionally makes window treatments for designers and such, I just have to buy the fabric and I'll have custom treatments and bedding.  The problem with that is, I'm kind of a snob lol so I found some fabric that I really like but it was pretty pricey so we went to look for some fabric at a huge fabric store in the area.  I just couldn't find anything that compared to the one fabric I found.  So we are going to take some Ikea panels that I have and replace the bottom third of the panels with this fabric I have picked out.  The fabric will also be used for the bed skirt.  The black out roman shades will just be white with 2 stripes of the color from the fabric.  Here's an example...  I have 3 frames the color of the ones you see in the picture.  I'm going with the geometric fabric and foregoing the striped fabric to save money.  Then we have the grommet panels already.  I think it will look really nice when it's all together.
 
 
  I still have quite a bit to do but it's getting there.  I'm sure my sweet lil' Maddox will never care a thing about his nursery but considering that I'll probably be spending quite a bit of time in there, I thought it would be worth it to find it nice and cozy :)
 
'Til next time!  I really do need to do some pictures... and other than being tired, pregnancy is going pretty well thankfully.  I have my dreaded glucose test on Friday... fun fun.  I'm going to call this week and see if there is any alternative for me since I've had surgery and can't drink all they require you too in such a short amount of time.  We'll see :)
 
Ciao!

 



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Another Baby Update...

   So it's been a while.  I'm really not good at this blog thing evidently.  But figured I'd make a post about things that are going on and baby progress.  First of all, the baby finally has a name.  At first, we were going to go with Benjamin Clay but it just wasn't clicking at all with me.  So within a day, we went a completely different direction and I love what we came up with.  So without further ado... meet....
Maddox Josiah
 
   Isn't he precious? :). I had to go in for a repeat ultrasound last week because they couldn't see some things they needed to in the other one I had due to the way he was sitting.  It's crazy how different they look between 18 weeks and 23 weeks.  He actually looks like a baby rather than a little alien creature lol. I'm finally feeling him kicking and moving around.  My placenta is in the front apparently so that's why I'm just now feeling him.  It's not really consistent... just enough for me to know it's him.  Darren felt him for the first time the other night... but just once because Maddox stopped moving when he put his hand on my belly... go figure right?  I also saw my belly twitch tonight which was kind of funny.
 
  In other news, we got the nursery painted last weekend.  I just have to paint the stripes on the wall where the crib will be.  We finally ordered a crib.  After a couple failed Craigslist attempts, we just decided to go ahead and order a new one.  Darren is almost finished stripping and sanding the dresser/changing table so we'll be able to paint it soon.  He's also going to try his hand at a wooden monogram for the wall.  His cardboard draft looks pretty good so I have faith in him :). Mom and I went and looked at fabric last week.  We didn't have much luck.  We are going to go to her friend's workroom and look at her fabric swatches and hopefully just find some we can order.  She's going to alter Ikea panels that I bought a while back, make some black out roman shades, as well as the crib skirt.  We are going with a light gray, aqua, and yellow color scheme with black furniture.  It's all coming together. :). I've kind of been dragging my toes with it for some reason.
 
  Anyway.  I know I need to do some pictures.  I kind of still feel like I'm in the "is she pregnant or just really chubby?" phase so pictures aren't exactly my idea of a good time :). Speaking of pictures though... I've thought about getting back into the photography world.  We sent our equipment off to Canon to be serviced and fix a focus issue we were having.... $1,000 later, I guess I need to make sure it's all good lol It's still sitting in the box they shipped it back in.  That will definitely all change when I have my own little subject that I can use whenever I want and I don't have to set up times or ask permission of anyone.  That's why photographers have kids right?  lol j/k!
 
  Well... that's all I've got for now :). 24 weeks this week.  Uncomfortable but dealing with it.
 
Ciao!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pink or Blue?

It really shouldn't take as long as it just did to come up with a starting sentence.  I'm having a hard time putting thoughts together these days.  Not really sure where to start this one.  I blame it on baby brain.  It's no joke really.  And these emotions... what the heck! I am not a crier and the littlest thing can put me on the verge of tears in a second.  I don't like it!

Ok...so we had our ultrasound last Friday.  It was sweet and a great relief since we hadn't had an ultrasound in 10 weeks.  A lot happens in that time for sure.  We didn't want to find out the gender of our little one in the doctor's office so we had the tech put the gender in an envelope for us.  Everything is looking good as far as we can tell.  Our sweet baby was being a little lazy (or perhaps just stubborn like both of it's parents) and was sitting on my spine with it's head toward my belly so the tech couldn't get it to move so she couldn't see all the heart that she needed to and couldn't see all of my umbilical cord to make sure it has the proper veins or whatnot.  So I have to go back for another ultrasound in 4 weeks.  Can't say I'm complaining....I just hope everything is fine.

After the ultrasound, we took the envelope to the park and opened it.  After some dinner (cause this momma is pretty much always hungry), we went to Carter's, Kohl's and Babies R' Us.  We were just so relieved to FINALLY know what this lil' baby is!  I'm glad to not have to call our baby "it" anymore.  It's really hard to wait 18 weeks.  I don't know how the people that don't find out do it.  We sent this to everyone after we opened the envelope :)


Saturday, we had a gender reveal party with a few family and our closest friends.  I covered a huge box (which took forever) and filled it with the balloons in the color of the gender. We are truly grateful for those who came... especially to Limary and Philip who came from 2 hours away :) Love you guys! We made sure to open it at the beginning of the party because really I was just tired of keeping it to ourselves lol. So here's our little video...

  video

That's right.... we have a sweet little bouncy (at least I assume....I can't feel him yet) baby boy! :) I've really known it for weeks.  I never had a reason for why I thought it was a boy but I'll call it intuition.  Now we have to come up with a name.  I had a lot longer of a girl name list than I do boy names.  Right now we are leaning toward Benjamin Clay.  Benjamin was my grandfather's middle name and I've just always liked the name.  Clay is Darren's middle name and it was also a name from one of his ancestors (can't remember which). 

I'll try to post a little more frequently but like I said, I'm good to form a complete sentence and I kind of need those for work :). So... that's all I've got for now.

Ciao!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Oh...Hello....

I've been a little MIA lately.  Two months.  A lot has happened in two months.  My sweet niece was born.  I turned 30.  We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.  I went to the Biltmore for the first time with some friends.  We went to the beach then to Charleston for a weekend to have a photo shoot with our favorite photographers :)...will share some of those below.  I hosted a fun baby shower for a good friend with the help of the girls in my Life Group. Lots of stressful changes at work.  We went on a wonderful cruise. And the craziest thing of all... SURPRISE!



Yep.  After years of never really thinking it would happen for us, I found out I am pregnant.  I actually found out on February 26.  So technically when I posted last, I knew but obviously I wasn't sharing.  I wasn't feeling weird or anything, I just thought "hey what the heck, I'll take a test while I'm home for lunch".  Not expecting anything different than what I've seen for years (aka a Big Fat Negative), I took the test and just kind of non-chalantly waited the couple of minutes and took a peek.  Then I did a double take thinking "you've got to be freakin' kidding me".  Surely my mind was just imagining that second line there.  So I hid the test in the drawer while having a minor panic attack on the inside.  I had to keep it to myself all afternoon! Yikes!

So, when I got home, Darren was already at home because he had not been feeling well and had gone to the doctor.  I went and took another test with the same results.  Normally, I would probably try to come up with some fun way to tell him our big news but I just couldn't hold it in any longer.  So, I held the test behind my back and walked in the living room and said "ok...so I don't have any cool way to tell you this so I'll just show you" and showed him the test.  His reaction "are you serious?" obviously with a huge grin on his face.  We hugged and then sat down and were both like "I don't even know what to think right now".  That was a Wednesday.

Do you know how difficult it is to keep that quiet??? My gosh!  I started feeling sick about a week later and was out of work just for a day.  Then apparently I have the worst poker face ever and can't keep my mouth shut so a couple people at work found out but I trusted them not to say anything and they didn't.  I had my doctor's appointment at 8 weeks along with an ultrasound and got to hear the sweet lil' heartbeat.  We were going to wait until 12 weeks to tell anyone at all but I just couldn't do it.  So we decided to go ahead and tell our parents and then swear them to secrecy for the next month.  Our parents are super excited of course.

We were able to wait until we were about 11 or 12 weeks before telling everyone else.  It's still all a little surreal and really I don't feel pregnant...just fatter lol which for someone who just lost 90lbs is a more than a little difficult in many aspects.  From about 5 weeks 'til 11 weeks, I took a nap in the morning after getting ready for work, napped at lunch, napped pretty much the entire evening and then went to bed and slept all night.  I was nauseous all day long and the only thing that helped were sweets.  Seriously....how horrible is that for someone who is used to counting carbs lol  I stopped trying to worry with the diet thing and just tried to keep my food down so I could help this little one grow.

The waiting is excruciating.  Waiting to find out whether we are having a boy or girl.  Sheesh.  I don't feel like I can do anything until I know that.  I'm just sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  Then bring on the decorating and planning.  We find out on June 5 :) I'm so excited I can't stand it.  I have an appointment this Friday for my 16 week so at least I'll get to hear the heartbeat again.  That does offer a little peace to all the worrying that I seem to be doing.  Oh....and according to the doctor, I'm due October 30.  I think it's more like the first week of November but who really knows :)

Anyway...that was long!  Here are a few of pictures from our photoshoot with Kristin & Aaron Byrum in Charleston.










 
Had to get a group shot :)  Only took a couple shots to get it right and I love it...

I promise I'll write more often now that I feel like a somewhat normal person again and my secret is out.

Ciao!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five on Friday

So I'm doing this Five on Friday thing again but unfortunately I don't have any pictures to go along with my 5 thoughts for this week so maybe it'll be a little more boring lol  If you want to participate, just go to A. Liz Adventures and link up your blog.


One
We finally heard back from our CPA after 3 weeks.  I was shocked...amazed...speechless at the results.  Let's just say that God is SO good!  Not only do we not owe anything but we're getting back more than we've ever gotten back before. Crazy!  If you missed out on what I'm talking about.  We went to HR Block and at first we were getting back $1200 and then I got a call the next day that said they miss-figured things and that we would owe $1300.  So we went to a CPA to get a second opinion.  I am SO thankful we did!

Two
I found a new app for learning languages.  It's free and it's called Duolingo.  You can go to the website and work on it there too.  It works on phrases, spelling, verbal, etc.  You can work on multiple languages at once.  Right now, I'm working on French and Italian :)  I like to multi-task.

Three
Divergent! Next Friday! Woohoo!  I'm going to have to go ahead and remind myself that it's not going to be as good as the book but I hope they have done a good job.  I'm already not sure about the person they chose to be Tris but whatever lol Maybe she'll be a lot better than I think.

Four
We are doing another photo shoot with our favorite photographers... Kristin Byrum Photography.  It's April 13 and we're going to drive down to Charleston for something different.  I'm really excited about it.  I have NO idea what I'm going to wear yet.  I don't want to do jeans but I really need a tan  lol

Five
Here are five random facts about me....
1) When I read a magazine, I start from the back page and work my way to the front.
2) Darren had a personality class at work.  We figured out that our personalities are pretty much opposite lol but we work :)  So according to Myers, I am INFJ (Introverted Intuition with Extroverted Feeling).  Darren is ESTJ (Extroverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing).  The descriptions are right on the money...kinda crazy.
3) I watch movies I own when that come on tv and even sit through the commercials but rarely watch the dvd.
4) I've lived in North Carolina my entire life and have never been to Biltmore.  I get to go on my 30th birthday this year thanks to some friends that I'm going to do some maternity pictures for while we're there.
5) Funny thing....I can't come up with a 5th one right now :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Five on Friday

  Yes...I know it's Saturday but I've been wanting to participate in the Five on Friday link up that A. Liz Adventures does on her blog for a couple of weeks now but I just haven't gotten around to it.  So here we go :)  I believe the point of Five on Friday is to just make a list of your thoughts for the day or what you have going on.


ONE
To say I have baby fever is a mild mild understatement lol and it doesn't help that several of my friends are pregnant so I have to go into baby stores to buy baby gifts :)  Are these not too cute?!  I'm so tempted to just pick up a few things for myself but that's not exactly practical when I wouldn't know when I would be having a baby (seasons and all) or gender.  Oh well...it'll happen.


TWO
  I got a new planner :)  I was using my phone but I like to write things down and I lost all my contacts' addresses so I decided to go back to the old school way of life and get a pretty calendar.  Of course, I have to color code everything and it all just makes me happy lol  The planner itself is by Martha Stewart.  I got it from Staples.  I ordered the calendar pages from I Heart Organizing's Etsy store.


THREE
   I got to hangout with one of my best friends today.  I haven't seen her in over a year and now she lives over 2.5 hours away :(  Of course...eventually, that will be even further away but I won't think about that one.  I'm so thankful for Limary.  We've been good friends since college and although we don't see each other often, we can pick right up where we left off.  Those are the best friends to have.


FOUR
   I would really like to be any place like this.  I need a vacation.  A nice warm tropical vacation where I can relax and not think about anything.  Too bad that's not going to happen any time soon.


FIVE
  I saw Frozen today.  After all the hype I've seen on it on Facebook, when Limary and I decided to go see a movie, we figured, hey why not.  and I LOVED IT!  I'm quite certain I have a new favorite Disney movie.  Granted....I'm kind of a mess and cried in a couple parts but oh well :)  It was funny and sweet all in one.  I loved all the characters and how it has adult humor and kid humor.  I will definitely be buying this one! :)


Ciao!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Financial Freedom Friday: February

February Debt Demolition... $-1,200 but with the lovely interest rates, etc...that really only makes my debt $885 smaller than last month but progress none the less. 

The really bad thing is that we went to see a cpa last Friday and he is re-doing our taxes from what HR Block did.  When he was looking over things, he said "I'm not liking what I'm seeing".  Umm.... can you come up with a better way to explain that to this overly anxious person that is translating that as "you're going to owe even more than what they said"??  So we're playing the waiting game and I'm really not sure how long we are going to have to wait for him to be through with them or how much it's going to cost us afterward (they said it could take 3 weeks).  So I may be reluctantly adding another $1,300 to my debt total.  1 step forward, 2 steps back.  Seems to be a recurring pattern in my life.

I decided to make a list of goals (however lofty they may be) for 2014.  You can't reach goals if you don't make them right? And you might as well make them challenging.  So here they are...

2014 Financial Goals

Debt Payoff:
~Pay off credit card
~Pay off whatever IRS money we are going to owe
~Pay off our car

Savings:
~Save 1 month's worth of income as a cushion (next year, we will hope for 3 months)
~Save for baby (I don't want to wait until I'm pregnant to do this one!)
~The alternative to saving for baby would be saving for a down payment on a house.

Other:
~Look into additional Life Insurance.  Dave Ramsey suggests 10x your salary.

What are your financial goals for this year?