Hello, weekend

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The last weekend of July is here.  August, the month when school starts back here in Georgia, is just around the corner.  I can’t even believe it, this summer is just flying by.

This weekend I am headed up to visit a dear old friend (and her adorable redheaded baby with big dimples that make me squeal with delight) in South Carolina before coming back for a neighborhood pool party on Sunday.  Parker and I made some good progress on the nursery this past week, but I have given him quite a lengthy Honey-Do list while I’m gone that I hope he works on.

Anyway, I better get on the road to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic headed up north out of town.  Hope you all have a great weekend.

PS – this morning, I finally googled “how to shoot a subject in front of a window” because I never can get the exposure just right – either the subject is right and the background is way blown out, or the background is right and the subject is a dark blob – and the simple answer BLEW MY MIND.  So, that’s the first picture I shot to test it out and I gasped when I saw that I actually did it.  And then I smacked my forehead that it took me that long to google that silly question.  Ask and you shall receive!  (Now, I must add “clean windows” to my To Do list ASAP.)


Ramblings at 28 Weeks

This is a long and totally rambling post of my current thoughts and whatnot to document this time in my life.  A journal-like post, if you will.  If you skip this one, or don’t make it to the very end, I won’t be mad atcha. :)
28 weeks

“Though still extremely premature, babies born during this week have the potential to survive with intensive care that could last weeks or even months.” (source)

On Sundays, I start a new week in gestation and I always check this site to see how big my baby is and what little milestones have just occurred and what is to come in the following week.  When I read that sentence above, about my baby being able to survive if he were born right this second, I felt really proud.  Kind of like when I ran marathons and passed the 20 mile marker (the farthest I ever trained before the race), and I would think, “Okay!  I made it this far and I still feel pretty good, I’m gonna be fine.”  Of course, marathons have a way of really stickin‘ it to ya in those last milesjust as I’ve heard pregnancy does. ;)  I feel so happy to be on this side of the pregnancy.  There’s a lot of unspoken worry deep down, especially in the beginning of “What if I lost it?” which could still happen of course, but the chances (and worry) are less and less the further along we get.  Grow, baby, grow!

I can confidently say that my body was made to be pregnant.  Pregnancy agrees with me.  This body feels completely comfortable growing a child and I absolutely love it.  I love it.  Sure, there are decidedly unpleasant side effects (like heartburn morning, noon, and night, gah!) - but I never expected my life to be the same once we got pregnant so I don’t resent anything that comes along with this journey.  I never sleep through the night anymore.  I can’t even remember the last time I did.  And it’s really not a big deal.  I get up 3-4 times (at least…) to waddle to the potty, then waddle back to bed.  And I wake up at least as many times to turn over which is not so much a simple maneuver, but more of a choreographed dance that requires moving the giant pillow I use to support my knees before heaving my belly over to the other side – all as silently as I can muster, so as not to disturb Sleeping Beauty on my left.  A couple of times I have woken up in agony from twisting wrong and wrenching my lower ab muscles that are already being stretched to an extreme.  It makes me wonder if I’ve done irreparable damage or if I should do like Jessica Alba did and wear a corset after giving birth to help those muscles find their way back home after the baby’s born.

Last night, as I slipped back into bed from yet another trip to the bathroom, I laid down with both my hands on my belly and for the first time felt the baby turn and flip over.  It was the first time I felt something other than a kick or quick flutters.  This was slow and undulating, rocking from side to side.  Almost like waves.  It made me smile a sleepy smile in the dark and drift back to sleep where I dreamed about giving birth… and telling my midwife to “shut up and let me focus” when she was cheering me on during pushing.  Haha! Sounds about right. ;)

Let’s see, what else is new?  I cut my hair!  Cut off a lot actually, but it wasn’t even a big deal, even though I’ve been keeping my hair long for about six years or so.  Ordinarily I would agonize over this kind of important life decision (eye roll) for weeks, gather lots of images to show my hairdresser, convince myself that right now really isn’t the right time to be cutting off so much hair since my face is rounder than usual and short hair would just accentuate that fact (another eye roll).   But this time I just called and got an appointment the next day, walked in and told my guy (John Robert at Dragonfly Salon, Atlanta peeps!  He’s the best!  And super hunky too.) to cut it short and trusted him to make me pretty.  I don’t even know how many inches were cut off (there was a lot of hair though).  I realized I‘ve reached a time in my life where that kind of thing just doesn’t make it on the priority list of things to obsess about anymore.  Another milestone in life.  The “I don’t give a $&*#!” milestone.  And that feels good!

I finally bought some maternity jeans a couple weeks ago and it’s ....AMAZING to be able to wear real pants instead of the same rotation of dresses and leggings that I’ve been wearing for months.  I don’t know why I waited so long.  I also got a few shirts and finally a couple of new bras (it was getting hilarious with my other ones..).  It was one of those trips to Target where you walk in to just buy milk and trash bags and $200 later you’re like, “Waitwhat just happened?”  Target has that power over everyone, I know you’ve been there before too.

Parker and I built a book shelf/book rack for the nursery this weekend and changed out the light fixture in there too.  It only took us all freaking day and two unplanned trips to the hardware store, but hey, we’re making progress!  In the middle of a very frustrating moment trying to get the light fixture up, I rubbed my belly and said, “Oh baby boy, you will have no idea how hard your mom and dad worked to make this room special for you.  You probably won’t even think it’s that special because you’ll never know otherwise.”  But isn’t that the way it is for parents?  Parents work so hard for their kids and the kids don’t even realize it?  Ah well, sign me up!

Also on the nesting front, I have been organizing and cleaning like mad!  Last week I went through our kitchen and took every single thing out of every single drawer and cabinet and vacuumed all crumbs, dust, whatevertheheckfallsinthere, and scrubbed them with a magic eraser until they were brand spankin‘ new again.  This never would have happened before because I wouldn’t have even noticed the job needed to be done, but these nesting hormones don’t miss a beat.  And then I took on the project of organizing my spices in matching jars from World Market, which I’m still giddy about.  Our label maker really got a workout that day.  Behold:

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Is there anything more satisfying?!  With room to spare too.  I still have to empty the fridge, scrub it clean, and reorganize it (I’m writing this post to procrastinate doing that actually…) and I’ll be done having my way with that room.

Also, in case you saw on Instagram, our air conditioning went out last weekend, but thankfully we’re back to blasting it 24/7.  I’m not kidding - it is SO HOT.  So much hotter for a very pregnant girl than the rest of the population, I swear.  Just typing that gives me hot flashes.  I made myself comfortable in front of a vent once it was fixed.

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While it was broken, we had to retreat to my parent’s house over the weekend while we waited for a technician to come out the following Monday.   Oh and then!  As the tech was leaving, it was raining and somehow he tripped and fell into this brick column outside in front of our house (it doesn’t actually hold up the roof or anything, it’s a real head-scratcher)and the whole thing came crumbling down!  Evidence:

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Parker walked outside to see what the noise was and found the poor guy just staring in shock at the mess he had just made and in no way could possibly fix.  The guy felt so bad and was SO embarrassed.  Poor thing!  What he didn’t realize was that he did us a huge favor!  We were planning on getting rid of that thing anyway when we build a porch over the concrete this fall and were dreading having to load up and haul all the brick to the dump.  He took it all away for us as an apology and we “called it even”.  I’m just glad it didn’t fall in to our cars or the windows (or the tech, obviously)!  Could have been bad, but ended up just a happy accident.

Okay, enough rambling.  This is the longest post about nothing in particular ever.  Over and out.


26 Weeks + Some Bump Photos

How was your 4th of July holiday?  Parker and I drove up to Maryland to visit my Grammy, stopping halfway to visit family in Bristol, Virginia each way.  It was a really great trip and even though the long drive was a little extra difficult on this pregnant body of mine, I am glad we made it.

Grammy’s house is where Parker and I got married and is surrounded by beautiful fields and picturesque landscape so I really wanted to get some photographs of my belly in this place that means so much to us at this stage in pregnancy.  The dress I wore is the same dress I wore for our engagement pictures – it’s my mom’s wedding dress.  I just love this dress so much.  It’s so flattering and photographs beautifully, so I wore it again.  When Grammy saw me in it, she said, “Boy, I’m glad your mom didn’t look like that on her wedding day!” Haha :)  I have to say, it was a much tighter fit than when I last put it on, but I was still able to get it zipped!  Also worth mentioning: For the first time in my life, I have cleavage!!  Rejoice!  Pregnancy is awesome.  :)

Anyway, Parker was my photographer for these photos.  I really wanted my beloved wedding photographer, Nessa Kessinger, to take them, but with a baby on the way, professional portraits just weren’t in the budget.  We rented a nicer lens than I own which helped a lot, took about a million shots to get a few good ones, and I edited them to make it not-as-obvious that a couple of amateurs were in charge, but overall I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out.  Although, I do confess to pouting during our shoot and saying, “I wish Nessa were here…” more than a few times.  Maybe next pregnancy!

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Also, just for record-keeping sake, a few things other things worth noting:

Parker and I spent 4th of July in downtown Frederick, MD which was a lot of fun.  That town is awesome.  We had a good time doing a food crawl with all the food trucks and stands outside.  I ate not one, but TWO corn dogs that day - very odd for me since usually corn dogs gross me out.  Pregnancy cravings are strange!  Also: funnel cake, obviously.  We went back to Grammy’s after a while to nap and rest before going back out for fireworks.  What is it about fireworks that are so romantic?

We left Grammy’s house with a rocking chair for the nursery and the rocking horse that my grandfather built for my brother and me.  He also built toys when he was involved with Habitat for Humanity after he retired and kept a few, which we took also.  I’m so happy that our kids will get to know his beautiful woodworking skills, even though he’s not here anymore.

Baby boy is kicking like crazy!  It’s so enjoyable to feel him move and be so active.  Especially when we were visiting Grammy.  I would lay down on the sofa and without fail, it was playtime.  More so than ever before, even since being back home.  He really liked that one sofa I guess.  Also, his kicks have become so strong that I don’t wake up, but incorporate them into my dreams when he’s kicking at night.  And a few times I’ve felt alternating kicks on both sides of my belly, like he’s putting both arms out in opposite directions and punching, rapid-fire style.  It’s very entertaining.

Nesting is kicking in.  I’ve started collecting things for the nursery, but nothing is put together yet.  My dad is supposed to help me with a few projects this weekend, and Parker is going to be picking up the crib from Ikea this week too so it’s going to come together soon.  In the meantime, I’ve found myself rearranging all the furniture in the living room, scrubbing baseboards, and vacuuming every nook and cranny I can reach with my extender hose, so I think I can definitely say I’m nesting.

Also, the heat and humidity this year are really hard on me!  I get nauseous when it’s really hot out and so I am trying to stay inside during the worst of the day.  And being as big as I am at 26 weeks, I keep thinking it’s going to be a very long summer.  But then I realize that it’s already halfway over and our little one will be here before we know it, so I am trying to relish every moment of this wonderful pregnancy and not pine for any moment but the present.


Weekend Pretties

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Look at me, I blogged four days in a row this week!  Haven’t done that in a while, it feels good.  What are you up to this weekend?  I’m excited to get away to the beach for the weekend with my mom.   She needed a date to a wedding and my dad couldn’t make it, so lucky me, I get to go!  We’re driving down to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where I’ve never been before, but I’m very familiar with the gorgeous Gulf Coast so I’m excited.  I reminded my mom that this will be our last trip as just the two of us for a long time and we both got a little sad.  It’s kind of the end of an era since my mom and I have traveled together a lot, just the two of us.  But the promise of a sweet baby boy takes the sting out. :)

It was a little tricky finding a wedding-appropriate dress at this stage of pregnancy, but fortunately I found something cute and non-maternity so I will be able to wear it again in the future.  Also, since the babe is moving around so much and kicking these days, I’ve discovered he can kick me directly in the bladder, so I’ve had to prepare my mom for FREQUENT pit stops along the 5 hour drive.  Ha :)

I’ve been holding on to some of these links for a couple weeks now, so I hope you enjoy.  Have a great weekend.  :)

The most beautiful library America has even seen.

Father of the Bride 3?!?!?!?! *jazz hands*

Along the same lines of reunions….this one made me very happy.

This banned Grey Poupon ad had me cracking up.

It is a beautiful cake, but I’d feel totally cheated if someone brought this out at a dinner party.

Shipping container homes!

I totally want these cookie cutters.  For my kid, of course……….

30 common mispronounced food words.  Did you get any?  (I’ve totally been saying hummus wrong this whole time!)

Crazy things parents do.  Made me laugh out loud.

Totally digging the aluminum chair upcycling trend right now.

Some really good Target shopping secrets.

I’ve been listening to this Edward Sharpe cover non-stop and singing along at the top of my lungs.  I love those girls!


2nd Anniversary Reflections

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Parker and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary this past Monday and I thought I should write a post to document this time and reflect on our marriage, two years in.  And because we didn’t take any pictures celebrating our anniversary, and these pictures are the best we’ll probably ever look in our lives, I’m using them again.  :)  (PS, you can see my posts about our wedding here if you’re interested.)

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I have heard so many people say that marriage is hard.  When giving advice to engaged couples, veteran married couples warn that the first couple years are the most difficult and that marriage is hard work and that you have to keep at it in order to stay happy and keep the romance alive.
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I disagree.  I think marriage is the best thing ever and that it doesn’t need to be hard or feel like work if you choose the right person to spend your life with.  Sure, we have arguments, fights even, but we always come to the realization that no fight is ever bigger than us.  Our love is the alpha and omega, and the foundation for everything else in our lives.  And yes, at this point we have fallen into a routine and we spend most nights at home catching up on our Netflix shows and falling asleep by 10:30 instead of out on romantic dates and adventures.  But, you know what?  We kinda love that.  And we know that romance exists in how we look at each other and show affection, no matter the setting.

Now, I realize those are big words and strong declarations to make after only two years of marriage and before any children arrive, and maybe I’ll revise my statement as the years wear on.  But the hopeless romantic in me believes in the power of love that much, so I stand by my words.

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Also, I don’t know if I ever talked about this here, but Parker and I have a pretty long history.  We dated for two and a half years, then broke up for two years, then got back together for two more years before we got married.  I broke up with him, not because I didn’t love him (because I did – so much!), but because I just couldn’t handle being in a relationship at the time.  I was immature, had no idea what my identity was or what I wanted in lifeand I just couldn’t promise to be with him while I figured that all out.  But he waited for me.  He remained my best friend and closest confidant for those two years and welcomed me back with open arms when I was finally ready.  And the fact that I walked away and could have lost him forever still breaks my heart and makes me cry tears of regret when I think about that time, even though I know it was the best thing for us in the long run.

(PS – Will my waist ever be that small again after baby??!?! ;)  )

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But here we are, eight and a half years after we first fell in love and I am no longer surprised that I somehow keep finding extra room in my heart to love him more all the time.  And I know that seeing him become the father of our son, and hopefully more children in the future, will reinforce the fact that I married right.  We married right.

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Anyway, that’s my cheesy love post of the year.

Here’s to all you hopeless romantics, newlyweds, soon-to-be-marrieds, or even skeptics.  Love doesn’t have to be hard.  It doesn’t have to be work.  Those moments may come, but if you keep your eyes on the prize, love always wins.

All these great photos by Nessa K, who captured our love so perfectly on our special day.