Our Baby Shower!

Our shower was incredibly beautiful!  We were so blessed, and surrounded by so many loved ones, helping us celebrate our baby boys.  My sisters did such a wonderful job, I have never seen a baby shower so breathtaking!  They did a vintage Christmas theme, and the food was amazing!  Such a spread!  We had a hot beverage bar w/ all kinds of mix-ins, a galvanized bucket full of iced drinks, chocolate dipped pretzel rods, a variety of finger sandwiches, sausage balls, a buckeye cheese ball (which is like a peanut butter ball in dip form!!) with all sorts of goodies to dip in it, cupcakes, chex mix, and puppy chow...a variety of chips and three different types of dips!  And I'm still not sure I listed everything!  It was outta this world!  We also have amazing friends that came early to help out, Megan, Ashley, Jennifer, and Renea all showed up to help however needed, and I appreciate them so much!  My mom worked her tail off getting the house ready, cleaned, and decorated for Christmas too.  I can't say thank you to all of these special women enough.  They pulled off a perfect shower.  And now, for some pictures!

Directing Guests:

The beautiful back patio:

Come on in!

The drinks and mix-ins bar:

The elf name game (there were a lot of good ones...mine was Sparkle Jingle Bells, the funniest being Foxy Glitter Bottom!)

What a display!

Mom's Christmas Candy Shop:

The hot drinks:

There were lanterns and candles all over, the whole house was so cozy.

The main food table:


Chips and Dips:


Three of the lovely ladies who pulled it all off, my Ashwee, Megan, and Ashley A.

A few of the sweet guests:

Jason's Aunt Crystal:

Jason's Great Aunt Pearl, his Dad's cousin, Ann, and his Aunt Debbie:

One of the lovely hostesses, Alaina was behind the camera the whole time!

My bee-you-tee-ful Momma:

My sweetie had everyone cracking up, of course!

Helper Renea:

This is not even half the guests or the stuff we got, things and people were flooded through the rest of the house, and we received gifts through the mail from those who couldn't make it.  We have been "showered" with many of the things we needed.  My parents bought us the Cadillacs of car seats, and Jason's dad bought us the crib(s), so those were both big ticket items that we were very grateful to receive!  We also got swings, a bouncer, a twin stroller, adorable clothes, a special train set, gift cards and money to fill in what we still need, the twins Willow Tree figurines, books, and an assortment of all other kinds of baby goodies!  We are pretty well prepared for these little fellas to get here in only a few months!  I think the shower sent me into nesting mode, I am loving getting everything together, washing their little clothes and blankies in the yummy smelling Dreft, setting up the crib (they are sharing for a little while), etc.  I can't say thank you enough to everyone involved in pulling this off, and everyone who came..we love you all!


Happy Thanksgiving!

So very much to be thankful for this year!  We are beyond blessed.  We are all moved home and getting settled in.  It's so nice being back home with our family, and spending Thanksgiving with everyone after having to miss it last year!  The boys and I are excited for all the good food this time of the year brings:)  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

A couple of update pictures:

Woah, Babies!


A Bit Late!

We found out two weeks ago what we're having, but with moving coming next week, pulling stuff off walls, appointments, tons of phone calls, and trying to sort out what we have to take home and what TMO is going to pack up, blogging got sidelined.  And thank goodness TMO is back up and running, so we don't have to move it all by ourselves, I can't imagine how scrambled I would be then!  So, here is our 20 week update and what we are looking forward to having...

Yay for sweet boys!  We are so excited to welcome these little guys at the first of the year, Noah Wayne and Hunter Ray!  I am feeling them more, and stronger these days.  Twice now, I've been able to feel them with my hand, Jason has yet to catch them yet, and he's so anxious to!  They are supposed to weigh around a pound each now, how cool is that!?  Our appointment on the 15th was wonderful, they both were very active and a little stubborn.  They didn't want to sit still for their measurements and pictures.  We go back Monday (I'll actually be 21 weeks tomorrow!), and we will get to see them again, I hope whoever we get in with in Winston Salem will be as good as the doctors in Wilmington have been, I will really miss them!  But, man, I am ready to be home with our family again!

Just some notes I want to remember about this stage of pregnancy:

-I am starting to feel the results of the added weight in the front, it doesn't take much for my back to just wear out.  I see one of those multiples support straps in my near future.  Other than that, and still getting tired pretty easily, I feel pretty good, and am just so thankful that the boys are doing so well, growing, and letting me know more and more of their presence.  I am still amazed at these precious miracles, and feel beyond blessed!  
-There are many a night that I wake up, and all I can think of is having an apple and glass of milk, so that's what we have:)  I'm loving avocados, and due to the price and the fact that I am horrible at picking good ones, I can't get my fill!  Pickles are still delish.  And chocolate has made it's way back onto my favorites list. For a long time, I had no desire for sweets, but that's come back a little bit, specifically cupcakes and Twix bars.  I have to limit these, of course, but they are so good! 
-I am finding it harder to maneuver in bed now.  I have to sleep slightly propped up, and rolling over is a chore.  My hips hurt, and using about 5 pillows in different positions is helpful, yet doesn't help the maneuvering issue!  
-My feet disappeared a while ago, and I can no longer breath when putting on socks/shoes.  My husband and family think this is funny.  My feet/ankles have started swelling some when I'm on them a lot or when we travel.
-My husband is amazing.  I get a foot rub/back massage almost every day, and there are never any complaints (well almost never) when a craving hits and he's heading to the store at all different times of the day or night.  Plus, he won't argue, he gives in almost immediately (I think he's afraid of tears or rage..not sure which one), he's my peacekeeper.
-Buying baby clothes is so much fun!  They have come a long way with boy clothes since I bought for my sweet nephew.  Plus, it is fun buying some matching things, and other things that just coordinate.  I've had to reign it in for now until we get through this transition and J gets a new job (several prospects, praying for the right one to present itself!).
-I'm one of those fortunate women whose face gets round with pregnancy.  I resemble a pregnant chipmunk.

Okay, I'm wrapping up for now.  I probably won't post until after we're moved.  I can't believe that in 8 short days, we will be completely moved home!  


Change...and lots of it!

It's funny how life can completely change in the span of one day.  We were fully counting on Jason extending his military contract to stay in until after the twins are born.  That's not happening now.  His extension didn't get approved, and as of December 1, we will be considered "civilians" again.  We are scrambling.  I am slightly panicking.  We have to get our house moved, figure out what we want to do with the house, figure out job security, insurance (especially with twins coming soon!), and so on, so forth.  In the middle of all of this, there are so many things that we are so thankful for.
  1. We have an amazing family who have already jumped into action planning, and helping.  We are able to move in with my Daddy & Momma until we get through this transition, get a job, and are able to find something to live in.  They are all jumping to figure out how to move us, and help in many ways since I'm not as spry as normal;o)
  2. Our babies are moving a good bit now, and I'm able to feel little flutters and bumps throughout the day.  They are constantly reminding me that they are still my joy through this!
  3. TMO.  They are the moving company for the military.  They will come in and pack everything as well as move it.  Ashley and Matt have so graciously let us use their large basement to store everything until we get another place, thus saving us a good bit on storage fees.
  4. An amazing support system, including family, friends, and a wonderful church family who are praying us through this, and putting their feelers out for job opportunities for J.
  5. The fact that Momma will be here Monday, and that Tuesday we will be going in to find out the genders of the twins!  We are all so excited!
  6. And, more than anything, that our God is SO good, and always faithful.  In my moments of insecurity, panic, or confusion, He is always there.  We have felt in so many ways, that this was God closing the door on J's military career.  We have been on the fence about it, and both of our hearts' desires are to be back home.
  7. With a few health scares through the pregnancy, it is comforting to think that we will be near our support soon, making it easier for them to get to us, and close by for when the babies come!
As scary as this new season in our lives is, we feel God in every part of it.  There's still a lot that we don't know, but we know that God has a plan for us, and we are trusting in that.

Last week, in Walmart of all places, I decided to pass out.  Well, not really decided, my body kinda forced it on me.  Luckily, I had the foresight to get to the floor, and also J was with me.  I had a seizure, and woke up throwing up (this is a horrifying experience, let me tell ya, throwing up in public has always been a big fear of mine, I've decided that I will probably never show my face at that particular Walmart again).  After a long night in the ER, I was sent home with instructions to rest, and that this sometimes happens.  Geez.  But, the babies are fine, and I got an unplanned visit from Ashley.  After lots of rest, and some major blood sugar monitoring (they went nuts afterwards, thanks in part to the fact that the ER staff didn't give me any of my night time meds despite asking for them), I am on the mend health wise.  I'm still trying to overcome a lot of anxiety when I go anywhere, and we've decided it's not a good idea for me to go anywhere alone.

With all of this to say, I'm not doing a 2 week chalkboard update this week.  I'd rather stretch it to 3 weeks and do the next one when we know the genders:)  But, I wanted to post a few pictures of baby related happiness.

Jason came home from work a few weeks ago with a present.  I love presents.  This one made me so happy!  A Willow Tree to celebrate our miracles, and an owl tea-light holder.  Did I mention I love presents?  Especially ones like these.  He knows me really well.

I can't see my feet anymore.  It happened so fast, but with them being between 4.5-5 inches each crown to rump, plus all of their "baggage", I can't say I was too surprised.

And a profile shot.  They have moved up over the past 2 weeks, and I'm carrying higher now, and they have pulled to the front a lot more.  I can tell too.  Heartburn is so much fun.  I'm also thankful for Zantac.  Especially since I still love pickles, and they give me heartburn.

As I wrap this up, we are asking for all the prayers we can get.  We covet them, and would appreciate them more than we could ever express.  Thank you for checking in with me today, be back soon with our exciting reveal (praying they both cooperate)!

Jeremiah 29:11-13

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


15 Weeks

1 week away from the 4 month mark!  We are so excited!  I'm feeling pretty good other than the hormonal headaches that the doctor warned me about.  Apparently hormones drop a little between now and week 20, causing a lot of women to have headaches.  Treating with Tylenol is not always a sure fix, so I'm thankful for ice packs!  And I'm thankful that our freezer got fixed today to keep me supplied with ice packs!  It's been broken for 3 weeks, and they had to order parts and wait for all the warranty stuff, and then fix it, we were glad to see that man pull up this morning!

Oh, and it is officially FALL!!!  I am LOVING the cooler temps, and the even chillier ones at night!  We are seeing a little yellowing on some the of trees, I always get so excited at this time of year.  Plus, the first signs of fall are in the stores, too!  Hello Honeycrisp apples & Pumpkin Spice creamer!  We saw pumpkins at Wally World yesterday too, looking forward to loading up on those pretty orange gourds this weekend:)

Target has some really fun wigs for Halloween this year.  We had a good laugh trying them on and taking pictures.  There were a lot of fun ones, but here are a few of my favorites!

Happy Fall Y'all!


Second Trimester!

So, I missed week 12.  My plan was to do every two weeks, but week 12 was chaos!  Jason's parents were down visiting, and his dad had a massive heart attack while here.  We are thankful that he is okay, and that he had such good doctors and paramedics that saved his life.  He had a major blockage, and had to have a stint put in.  The heart attack damaged 55% of his heart, but it is recoverable.  He started having major chest and arm pain in the middle of the night, so I called for help.  Thankfully, he actually had the heart attack in the ambulance, and they were able to save him.  God was looking out for him for sure.  But, all that to say, we were back and forth at the hospital in Wilmington every day, and by the time we would get home, I was totally wiped out.  The week before that, we had a scare with some bleeding.  We were really shaken, but beyond thankful that everything was fine with our precious babies.  The doctors think that since I've stretched out so quickly, that I may have popped a blood vessel or that my cervix got bruised, and caused some build up of blood in the bruise.  All foreign to me, but the most important words were that the babies are just fine!  We are praying that we won't have any more scares like that!  I am taking it easy, and when my body says stop, I do!

Anyways, here is the most recent chalkboard update.  I am actually over 14 weeks now, and will do another chalkboard in the next week or two.  

We did this one last week, and I am just getting it posted since we had our family down to celebrate Alaina's 18th birthday this weekend!  Ashley and Austin hung back a few extra days, and are still here with us while Matt is traveling for business.  Saturday night we rode into Beaufort and ate at the Dock House.  The weather was perfect, the view was amazing.  It's located right on the waterway, so we enjoyed views of yachts, sail boats, and a few kayaks.  The cool pre-autumn breeze was even a bit chilly, which to a woman carrying twins was refreshing!  We ate out on the upper deck, so we could see a ways down the water, and the lights across it where beautiful once it got dark.  We walked the boardwalk afterwards, and made a stop at the fudge factory for some yummy dessert.  It was a really fun time with everyone, and we all left uncomfortably happily stuffed.

Now that we are in our second trimester, we are no longer being seen by our infertility specialist, and we have moved to our regular ob-gyn.  We also get seen by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for the high risk part of it (diabetes, twins).  Both appointments, we were really pleased with the doctors, and the staffs. Everyone was really nice, and we got another ultrasound at our maternal-fetal appointment yesterday.  Both little ones looked good, and were active, moving, kicking and punching.  In one picture, one of them had their arms behind it's head, lounging.  In another shot, it already looks like they may have Jason's pouty lips. It's so neat how they can see all of that with ultrasound.  We go back October 15 (less than a month!), and that's when we find out their sexes!  I'm so excited about that one.  We will be a little over 18 weeks by then.  They did all my organ function labs as well as a thyroid check, so that we will have a base line to go by, and right now, everything looks really good and normal:)  They will be monitoring my BP since it was a little higher than I normally run, and just making sure they stay on top of any early warning signs of preeclampsia.  I really feel like they have a good handle on things, and that God has placed us in the right offices.

In other news, we are less than a week away from the first day of fall!  We are feeling some cooler temps in the evenings and early mornings, and it's getting me so excited!  I can't wait to wear boots.  I keep holding off, but probably not for much longer.  To wrap up, I have to say how very thankful I am for my family and friends.  For my parents who rushed to be with us at a moment's notice when we didn't know what was happening with our scare and helped calm us down, and brought in a voice of reason, a daddy who makes his famous homemade vanilla milkshakes and a momma who dries my hair, for Alaina who stayed behind and took care of things at their house so they could be here with us.  For Ashley who has helped pick up the slack around the house this week because I've been so tired, by cleaning, doing laundry, and even making our bed, it was really nice to come home yesterday evening to a clean, peaceful house with candles lit, smelling like fall.  For the most wonderful friends who have been continually praying for us through everything, and calling/texting to check on me, and for a neighbor who came to sit with me when I was nervous in the days following our hospital visit, mowed our yard while we were back and forth visiting J's dad in the hospital, and has let us take up most of her freezer space since ours died.  Again.  In the midst of everything going on.  God has given us an amazing support system, and a bountiful supply of love.  We are so blessed.


These twins ain't wastin' time!

We found out that we were expecting early, only a little over 4 weeks pregnant!  And, from then on, these two have not wasted any time making their presence known!  I never thought I'd show SO early, but I guess with double everything, the rules don't apply!  At week 6, I already had a little pooch but didn't know there were two yet, I just chalked it up to the bloat everyone talks about...

At week 8, they had popped out and we knew there were two by then!  It made a little bit more sense that my stomach was forming a basketball shape...

But, even two weeks later, they were appearing even more!  I'm thinking I'm going to be pretty uncomfortable by the third trimester, whattya think?!

The first trimester has surprisingly gone by pretty quickly.  I'm 11 weeks, and am looking forward to the 2nd trimester coming soon!  We have another ultrasound Tuesday, and we are excited to get to see our little ones again, and hopefully a little more detail than our first ultrasounds when they were so teeny!  They will be the size of figs this week, seems funny to compare them to food, huh?  With the first trimester bringing me so much nausea, I think the lack of food that agrees with me has counteracted much weight gain.  You'd think with that belly, it would be at least 5 lbs by now;o)  My weight gain as of yesterday is 1.8 lbs!  Woohoo!  I'll be trying to post an updated picture with a few fun facts every two weeks.  It's a good picture journal to look back at, and for the babies to see one day.  

We're getting excited for summer winding down, and hopefully cooler temps soon!  We're coming up on my favorite time of the year..autumn and winter.  I have some cute second trimester fall weather clothes that I can't wait to wear.  Only 29 days until the first official day of autumn!


Our Twins

I have been absent for a while now.  Mostly due to the previous post:)  I've been quite nauseous, and extremely exhausted most days, and lack the energy to do much with the blog.  I haven't gone into detail on here about our journey to becoming pregnant, or our desire to have kids.  It's been a very private matter to me, and hard for me to talk about at times.  But I want to chronicle this time, and to get the full understanding of what this time means, I feel like I need to give some history, plus, it will be cool for the twins to read someday.  So here goes!  (Disclaimer:  this is a long post!)  

5 years ago, at the end of 2007, after discovering that once I was off of birth control, I had constant, debilitating migraines, and no periods, we knew we were going to need help getting pregnant.  We had been married 2 1/2 years when J got back from his first deployment which was 7 months long.  We got a referral to an ob-gyn here in town, and they promptly put me on Clomid (an ovulation inducing drug),  they did a few tests on both of us, and determined what we pretty much knew.  I have PCOS, and don't ovulate on my own, let alone, ever have a period.  We prayed the Clomid would work, and it did.  My levels were showing that I was now ovulating, and I was having 34-36 day cycles for the first time ever without bc pills.  But, the doctors at this particular office didn't take into account that my cycles were longer than a 28 day period, and they just had me on a generic schedule.  Turns out, down the road, after getting in with an infertility specialist, they had us trying at the wrong time of the month, and being new to this whole thing, and not really understanding what my body was doing, I had no idea that we were completely missing our window.  After 6 months, they gave up on me and sent me somewhere else.

This is when we got referred to a specialist a few towns over, this guy was legit, and knew what he was talking about.  He was worth the hour and fifteen minute drive.  After a few month break to give my ovaries a break from the ovulation medicine, and a few more tests, we started with Clomid again.  Only a few months later, we found out J was getting deployed.  Again.  For a year.  Big bump in the road.  We decided that we didn't want him missing everything if I did get pregnant, and stopped the treatments at the end of 2008. He left in January.  Once he got back in December, we waited for awhile.  We enjoyed getting to spend time together, take a few trips, and get reacquainted after living apart for a year.  Plus, J was on a new schedule while he was working as a combat instructor for the Marines.  The schedule was unpredictable, and they told them that our treatments weren't priority and weren't their problem (understanding, aren't they!?) Towards the end of 2010, when he had a year long instructing break where his schedule was a little more flexible, we picked up treatments again.  This time, we were pairing the Clomid with IUI's (Intrauterine Insemination).  I won't go into detail on this, but if you're curious, you can Google it!  It is the procedure before they try IVF.  It's less invasive, and much less expensive.  The procedures were emotional and stressful.  I had a hard time dealing with the fact of what was supposed to be so special between a husband and wife, had become some planned and "clinical".  My reproductive body makeup is all set very high, so the procedures were painful and took much longer for me.  Usually they take about 10 minutes, mine averaged about 30-60 minutes.  I questioned getting help and not letting it happen naturally, but we came to the conclusion that without help, it may certainly never happen (God can do anything, can perform miracles, I truly believe that, but we were worried about my health with the PCOS being out of control, and the migraines not being able to be controlled), and I wasn't ready to accept that.  I also felt that if I didn't try, and we never got pregnant, that I would always wonder "what if" and regret it.  After another 6 month period, and no positive pregnancy tests, we were both emotionally drained again.  We took another break.  So at the first of 2013, we had decided to give it one more go.  This time, our doc wanted to pair the Clomid with hormone shots.  While I was ovulating on Clomid, it wasn't helping me make enough eggs. So, enter Follistim.

Basically, our schedule looked something like this:
Days 3-7:  Take Clomid 
Days 8-??:  Take Follistim shots, going in every 3-5 days for ultrasounds to make sure we weren't getting too many eggs, or that we weren't going to miss ovulation.  When we had a few good eggs, we would schedule an IUI for 2 days later, that night I would take another shot called Ovidrel, that would induce ovulation, and that would make it more precise for doing the IUI on time.

The first month, not knowing how my body would react to Follistim, my eggs got overstimulated.  I had about 20 good ones.  I was instructed not to do ANYTHING, that the risk of 3 or 4 getting fertilized was too great, and that would be threatening to my health.  I was disappointed, but understood.  I tried to just be thankful that the shots were working, and be hopeful that we would get the right dose next time.  The over-stimulation on my ovaries hurt, I could barely bend over without being in pain.  So once I started, they did another ultrasound.  The previous month had caused a lot of cysts.  The second cycle was canceled, and I was put on low dose bc pills.  I felt like we were moving in the wrong direction, and was crushed.  I tried so hard to hold it together until I got out of the office. I called my mom and just cried when I got to the car. And then we waited another month.  Once the next cycle started, I went back in to check on the cysts. They were gone, and they told me we would go ahead with treatment.  Yay!  We finally had a good month.  The dose was right, and we had a couple of eggs that looked good.  We proceeded with an IUI.  And, exactly two weeks after, I started. Another month of no.  I went through the process.  I cried, I wondered why, I prayed, and hoped that everything would be okay to go on with another cycle.  I had one cyst, but they said it was dissolving, and decided to go on with another treatment.  This month was June 2013.  It took longer for the eggs to develop this time, but they watched them closely, and by the time everything was ready, I had 4 large follicles (eggs), and 2 medium ones.  They said that was good, and we scheduled the IUI.  It was Friday, June 21.  It was by far the worst one.  It was painful, and they had to try several techniques to get where they needed to be.  It took a consulting physician to come in and help.  The staff was so professional, and felt so bad, the nurse, Joyce, was by far the best.  She calmed me down, and was so reassuring.  For a little while, we weren't sure they were going to be able to get it, but about an hour and a half later, they did.  I prayed almost the whole time through tears, and questioned that if this month didn't happen, would I be able to do this again.  We prayed daily for the next two weeks, that it wouldn't come to that, and that this time it had worked.  

On July 4, I made an impromptu trip home for a few days b/c J got put on a stupid duty schedule where he would be gone for 3 days, and I didn't want to spend the holiday alone.  All weekend, I was tired, and crampy.  I kept waiting on my period.  I was nauseous, but chalked it up to the hormone treatments, because they sometimes made me nauseous.  Since my periods have always been so unpredictable, I decided to give it a few days, but that following Monday, July 8, I couldn't wait any longer.  I just wanted to know so I could mentally prepare for another month.  Austin had come back with me for the week, and J was home early that morning.  I went to the bathroom without telling anyone what I was doing.  I took the test, set it down, and went to the bedroom and prayed.  I waited the 3 minutes, and took a deep breath before going in to check it.  I could.not.believe.my.eyes.  It was POSITIVE!!  I had never seen one of those!  I got weak in the knees, I burst into tears (happy tears this time!), and I praised God!  I grabbed the test, composed myself, and called J into the bedroom.  He came around the corner, and I was standing there with the test, speechless, just crying and nodding yes. We cried together, we hugged and kissed, we thanked the Lord again.  We calmed ourselves, and knew we had to tell our family.

We told my mom first.  We facetimed her, and while we were talking, I just held up the test.  It was so fun to get to see her reaction. We then three way called my dad.  After that, we called Ashley who was on the way to the doctor for an ear/throat infection.  She still screamed through her scratchy throat:)  Afterwards, we told Austin he was going to be a cousin, and his eyes got as big a golf balls, and about jumped in my lap to hug me.  After that, we called J's parents, and his dad couldn't hear us over Teresa's shrieking. We filled in a few close, trusted friends as well.

Once we got past the first 9 weeks, we decided to announce it publicly.  That was so much fun, and we have been shown so much love and support.  I had originally wanted to wait until week 12, but with there being two, I am showing early, and it was impossible to hide any longer.  I am about 10 1/2 weeks today, and excited about getting close to entering the second trimester!  I see my infertility doctor one last time next week for another ultrasound:)  A few weeks after that, I will see my new ob-gyn for the first time, and we are praying for an excellent experience.  The new doctor is also in the same town as my infertility doctor, which makes me happy, they have a really nice hospital, and really big!  Much better than the rinky-dink one we have in our town (that still has shared rooms..I didn't even know they still did that!?).  So, that's our story on getting to where we are and being so very thankful that God has blessed us with all of this!  I know there are so many women that battle this and struggle with infertility and I grieved many times over, thinking I may never get to experience this miracle.  But maybe my story will give someone else going through this hope, sometimes it takes a long time, but then sometimes, after 5 years, you get a yes!  So, I will take every nauseous, exhausted day in stride, and continue just being happy that I am going through it, knowing that it means that there are TWO precious lives growing inside me.  It's a miracle, and there are still times I am just overcome with emotion at God's grace and His blessings.  Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.


Coming March 2014....

And we couldn't be more excited!!!



Oh how I love the big blooms of peonies.  Since we are probably moving at the end of the year, I have hesitated to plant them here.  They will be at my next house.  So for now, I found these pretty fake ones at the HobLob.  They will work for now, especially when they are in this old blue mason quart jar.  Pretty good for fakes...


Summer Mantle

I love switching out the themes on my mantle, but after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter, I was looking for something I wouldn't have to change through the summer.  This is what I came up with.  I am digging it.  It's a little coastal, a lot summer, and nice and bright.

I made the big wooden "flag".  I had a few pieces of 1x3 board, and I had J cut them into 2 ft. pieces, I attached them together with the Kreg Jig on the back after staggering them randomly.  To paint it, I used some leftover blue and white paint.  The white is just an acrylic white paint by Apple Barrel, and the blue was from our dresser update, found here, it is a Valspar color called Vintage Blue.  The metal stars were from a little garland that I pulled off, and spray painted white, then roughed them up to let the metal show through a bit.  I hot glued them on with huge globs of glue.

And to finish, I had to rough up the edges a little, and sealed it with a satin sealer.  I accessorized with stuff I already had, milk glass, candle holders, grapevine balls, a fat birdie, candles, and flowers.

I definitely think it will carry me through summer.  Plus, it was perfect for Memorial Day, and for the 4th since it's sorta patriotic.  Almost all of my patriotic stuff is now in the office since it's kind of our military themed room.