Princesses, Potlucks, and Purses


Our weekend started on Thursday with a mommy/daughter date to Disney on Ice. When I heard they were coming to town I just knew that I had to get tickets. My neighbor also happened to be going the same night and she told me that she was going to let her girls dress up in costumes so I decided E needed to as well. She was so excited to be Tinkerbell! (I know it doesn't look like it but I promise she was. It's almost impossible to get her smiling on camera these days!)

There happened to be a Chick Fil A in the parking lot of the arena so we stopped there for dinner first. And this is the only picture I got. I think she might have been kissing the cow...
We arrived at the arena a little bit early so that I could take E around and let her look at all the vendors.

 And, of course, she talked me into buying her a very overpriced spinning light stick. Why is she so hard to say no to?

I didn't really get any pictures of the show but I have to say that we both loved it. I wasn't sure if E would sit for the whole show but she did great. I'm sure the popcorn and pretzel she ate helped too.
It was such a fun experience and I can't wait to take her again! Hopefully Jesse will be all healed up by then and will be able to go too!

On Saturday night our church had a potluck at a small park. Emerson loved being able to run around and play and it was nice to be able to visit and relax without worrying too much about what she was up to. I did have to keep a close eye on her around the dessert table, though. She kept running up and grabbing cookies and other treats. Little stinker!

The weather was perfect and it even started to get a little bit chilly as the sun went down. I love that it is beginning to feel kind of like fall- at least in the evenings and the mornings.

Yesterday was the 4th service at the new church. Each week there are less empty seats and it's pretty exciting to watch it grow. I know my friends have worked so hard to get it off the ground and I can't imagine how they must feel to see all of their hard work come into fruition. We are loving it so far and really looking forward to getting more involved. 

Emerson seems to really enjoy it as well. She happily goes into her Sunday School class each week and always comes out with a big smile on her face. I also love that their memory verse this month is Jeremiah 29:11. It's the verse that hangs in Emerson's room and what I've deemed as her life verse until she's ready to choose her own.  Hearing her recite it to me is pretty neat!!

And on that note, can I just say that my sweet girl is just getting too big! There is just something about these pictures that make her seem so grown up. Yesterday she insisted on her bracelet and these two purses to match her outfit. I can't believe the accessorizing has already begun, although I guess I asked for it by putting a bow on her head just hours after she was born. :)

So those were the highlights from our weekend. In between we played at the park, watched movies, cleaned the house (though it doesn't look like it now!) and just hung out. I definitely don't have any complaints! :)

Before Adelyn Arrives: Part One


Back in November of last year I wrote a post about the things I wanted to accomplish before we had a second baby. I remember thinking at the time that the actual arrival of another little one was SO far off. Yet, here we are with less than 4 months to go until we meet our second precious daughter! Despite the fact that the time has flown by, I'm happy to say that I was pretty successful on my Must Do's Before Baby #2! (I feel like I rarely complete everything on my lists so I'm pretty excited about this!)

Here's a breakdown:
-Get in the best shape of my life: So I wouldn't say I was in the best shape of my life when I got pregnant but I was in pretty good shape and in a regular workout routine. I had finished Body Revolution just a few months before and I have to say it was probably one of my favorite programs ever!. I didn't have a six pack or anything but I was fit enough to consider this a success.

-Complete a half marathon: Did it! You can read all about it here!

-Move back to the States: We've been in California for almost 7 months now and I think we can say that we are pretty well settled.

-Decorate our house and make it feel like HOME:  I'll just say that this is a work in progress. I was off to a good start but once the morning sickness hit I really didn't do much of anything. I still have quite a few projects I want to do but Adelyn's nursery will take precedence. We also know that we will probably eventually move before our time in California comes to an end so I definitely don't want to put a lot of money into buying things particularly for this place.

-Create Emerson's toddler room: I ended up using all of the decor from her nursery and just revamping it a little bit to fit into her smaller room. I have a few more tweaks to make and then I'll be sharing pictures.

-Organize, organize, ORGANIZE: I think I can just say that this is also still a work in progress. The house is fairly organized so the main struggle is just keeping it that way. I can only imagine what it will be like with another kiddo in the mix.

-Set up a playroom in our new home: So I'm sad to say we only have three bedrooms here and that leaves us without a playroom. I did convert a portion of the laundry room into a little art station for Emerson and we have found a way to stash her toys throughout the house but we don't have a dedicated playroom at the moment.

-Complete as many items as we can off of the Toddler Time Bucket List we created based on this one: I have no idea what I did with this list so I'm going to have to chalk this one up as a big fat fail!

-Join and get involved in a church: We've been working on this one since we arrived and I think we may have finally found the place for us. Since it's just getting off the ground it should give us plenty of opportunity to get involved!

-Start selling embroidery projects on the side.  I did this for a couple of months but I really slowed down when the morning sickness hit. Then Jesse broke his leg and I decided to shut down shop indefinitely. I may or not return to it but for the time being I'm staying busy with project for E and A.

-Get into a regular date night routine.  We had a few date nights when we were still Abu Dhabi but we haven't had a single one since we moved. I haven't really pursued finding a babysitter and I'm not sure when I will. 

-Take Emerson on a vacation: I counted our trip to India even though she doesn't remember it!

-Start the transition to a toddler bed: Emerson has been successfully sleeping in her toddler bed since the end of April. She does seem to be outgrowing it so our plan is to buy her a twin size bed very soon.

-Potty Train Emerson- I'd say we are about 95 percent of the way there on this. She's doing great at home and on outings (with a few accidents here and there) while still wearing diapers at naptime and at night. I wrote more about that here.

-Spend LOTS of quality time with my sweet girl: I think I've done a pretty good job at this. Moving here has given us so many opportunities for fun activities and I've been able to take Emerson to do so much. Jesse's injury has also allowed us quite a bit of time together as a family of three!

As with any to do list,once you cross off one thing there seem to be 20 more that pop up. I have quite a few things I feel like I need to get done before January (AKA before I get so huge that I can hardly move!) I'll be sharing those in my next post!

What I've Done Lately


Baked This:
 With help from my lovely assistant.

Sewed this:

Read this:

Watched this:

Captured this:

Utilized this:

Created These:

Convinced E to let me do this:

We are finally making progress in this department! 

Helped Paint These:
And made E's day in the process!

Smiled because of this:
Her little grin gets me every time. And she pretty much  made my day yesterday when I picked her up from Moppets and she ran up to me and said, "Hi Mommy! I'm so glad to see you!"

What have you been up to lately?

Baby #2: 23 Weeks


How Far Along: 23 Weeks

Size of baby: Around 12 inches and 1.5 pounds

Total Weight Gain/Loss: +13 pounds

Maternity Clothes:  All the way

Gender: A baby girl, Adelyn Elise

Movement: I feel her the most at night but she seems to be getting more active throughout the day

Symptoms: I'm feeling really good and quite large! I feel like I've grown quite a bit over the last few weeks.

Sleep:  Still good. There have been a few times I have woken up super early (4:00 AM) and been wide awake but it might because I have been going to bed really early. I really have no complaints in the sleep department.

What I miss: Nothing right now

Cravings: I finally got my fried pickles last weekend and they were amazing!! I also had to have sushi on Monday and it definitely hit the spot. 

Best Moment This Week: I've been able to get in some good workouts so I'm feeling great. I can really tell that working out makes a huge difference in my mood and how I feel physically so I'm hoping I can stick to my "routine" for as long as possible.  I can also feel the nesting urge kicking in pretty heavily. I have the urge to organize everything!!!

Shopping: None this week but I have started compiling a list of wants! We don't technically "need" anything but I do have a little wish list that I will be sharing soon!

Recent Blessings


Yesterday morning I woke up in a grumpy mood. I don't know why. I got plenty of sleep and Emerson actually slept in until 7:00. But for some reason it was just one of those days where I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 

Later that morning, Jesse offered for Emerson to stay home with him while I went to the grocery store. (This is a huge blessing in itself, isn't it?)

I made a pit stop at Starbucks and headed to the store with a long list in hand. As I was driving I was going over all my little complaints I've had swirling in my head. Basically, I was whining to myself. During my little whine fest, a thought hit me. It was actually a comment on my post about gratitude and comparison last year and it has stuck with me ever since I wrote that post. My friend Lyndsey said that she reminds herself that God has given her everything that she has prayed for. As soon as that thought came to my mind, I started making a list of all of the things that I am thankful for and all of the blessings in my life. I think it's only fitting that I share them in The Blessing Box today! The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed to be in a grumpy mood at all. I am surely blessed and I find that when I choose to focus on my blessings instead of life's little complaints, I'm much happier! So here are my blessings for today:

1. I'm married to my best friend. He's a wonderful father, my soulmate, and the person I most love spending time with.

2. I'm a mommy to this sweet girl. How in the world can I not be absolutely thrilled with my life when this little angel constantly tells me things like "Mommy, I love you sooo much." and "You're my best friend ever!"

3. My sweet girl is going to have a baby SISTER! I am so excited for the bond that they will share and I want to cry happy tears just thinking about watching them grow up together. Emerson is already so in love with "baby Adewyn," I just can't wait for them to meet.

4. We have a safe, comfortable home that allows us to live well within our budget. It may not be my dream house (and I may long for our house in NC daily!) but it definitely more than meets our needs.

5. My health (and the health of my family). I am so thankful that I have remained healthy during this pregnancy and I have been able to continue to exercise and keep up with everything else. That is definitely not something to take for granted! 

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'll stop here for now. I can assure you that there are no grumpy moods in this house today! 

Baby #2: 22 Weeks


How Far Along: 22 Weeks

Size of baby: Around 11 inches and 1 pound

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  +11.5 pounds

Maternity Clothes: The only thing that is not maternity is workout clothes and they are getting uncomfortable. I'll either have to buy a few things in a size up or get some maternity workout gear soon.

Gender: A baby girl, Adelyn Elise

Movement: Yes, and we are starting to be able to see it from the outside. Now I just can't wait for Emerson to be able to feel her.

Symptoms: Nothing much to report this week. My hips still ache, I'm always hot and I'm starving most of the time. But overall I really can't complain. I feel pretty good!

Sleep:  Emerson hasn't been sleeping well due to a cold so I've been up more than usual but I made up for it with a LONG nap a few days ago.

What I miss: Nothing right now

Cravings: So I've really been craving some fried pickles but I don't know where to get them here... I'm thinking by the end of the weekend I will have fulfilled this craving! :) I also can't get enough veggies and dip.

Best Moment This Week: Buying her dresser and getting it moved up to her room. 

Shopping: I bought one little outfit on clearance at Target. I really wanted to go through Emerson's clothes before I bought too much. I pulled out one box yesterday and it was so much fun going back through everything. A lot of E's newborn stuff won't be appropriate because it's too summery, but there are some things that we will be able to pass on to Adelyn. It's just fun having tiny baby clothes in the house again!

Our Neck of the Woods

I realized this morning that the blog has been pretty quiet this week. I do have a bumpdate post that's ready to go but it's missing one important thing: the picture! Hopefully I'll get my act together today and get it taken and posted. In the meantime, here's a little bit of what's been going on in our neck of the woods:

-Emerson has been sick with a nasty cold since Tuesday. I hate it because there's really not anything I can do for her. We've been doing lots of cuddling on the couch and taken plenty of warm baths. The last two nights she got a full 12 hours of sleep and she seems to be feeling a bit better today.

-Last night our little neighbors rang the doorbell and asked if E could come and out and play. Even though she was already in her jammies and probably still a little bit sick, she was so excited and I just couldn't say no. They did bubbles and sidewalk chalk, as evidenced by this face:

-We've made a couple of outing without diapers and she has been pretty successful. The first was to Chick Fil A and she stayed dry for over two hours. I was a nervous wreck though because I was terrified that she would pee up in the play structure! But she didn't and actually waited until we got home to use the bathroom. Yesterday we went out to breakfast and to run a few errands. She used the potty out in public for the first time so I was super proud of her! Unfortunately she had a little accident on the way home but I know it will take time for her to get the hang of it.

-I have been searching high and low for a dresser for Adelyn's nursery for the last month or two. At first I planned on buying one and refinishing it but I realized it probably wasn't feasible with everything else that is going on. So I found this little shop in the town next to us and went to check out their stuff yesterday. They buy furniture and redo it and they had so many cute pieces. I came home with this little gem and I am absolutely in love. The nursery is only 10x10 so I knew I needed something a little bit on the smaller side. I think this piece is just perfect!

-I'm thinking it's time to pull out the Fall/Halloween decorations. Even though it's still 90 degrees here, I've been waiting three years to decorate for fall and I'm determined to do it. Hot weather or not!  I guess it's also time to get started on Emerson's costume. I'm attempting a DIY- we will see how it turns out. :)

And I guess that's it for now. Check back later for my 22 weeks bump date! Happy Friday, friends!

The Day She Was Done with Diapers


I'm kind of in shock that I am even writing this because it came out of nowhere, but Emerson is diaper free (at home) as of Friday. (Except for naptime and bedtime and I know that is a long way off!)

As you know, we've been struggling with potty training for the last couple of months. Before Emerson was two, she started pooping on the potty. She would go on the potty a majority of the time but she absolutely refused to tell me when she needed to pee. Then about 6 weeks ago she started hiding when she needed to poop. I felt like it was a major regression but with everything going on, I just didn't have the energy to really delve into potty training.

About a week after Jesse got home I decided that we would try her in undies to see how she would do. I planned on staying home all day so she could get lots of practice. However after she peed on the floor twice within 30 minutes, I threw in the towel. I decided that neither one of us was ready and that we surely didn't need the extra stress.

Since that time, she's continued to poop on the potty most of the time but there hasn't been a single time that she asked to go pee. That all changed Friday morning. When she woke up she asked me to go potty. She went pee and poop so we made a huge deal out of it and gave her an m&m. I asked her if she wanted to put undies on instead of diapers and she said yes.

I was honestly expecting her to have an accident within the hour but she shocked us by telling us every time she needed to potty. She didn't have a single accident all day!  I was so excited and super surprised!

The next morning I figured she would revert back into her stubborn ways and refuse to potty but she didn't. She had one accident all day and used the potty the rest of the time.  She even wore underwear to the playground near our house and told me when she needed to go. I couldn't believe she was able to hold it until we got home, but she did!

When we went to church on Sunday I decided to put her in a diaper because she's never used the potty out in public. Once we were home it was back in undies for the rest of the day.

So, as of today I feel like I can say Emerson is potty trained- at least at home. Our next step is trying it out in public. I have a little fold up potty seat since she absolutely refuses to sit on the big potty. I'm sure this part of the process will take a little longer and be more difficult, but I know we will get there in time.

I still can't believe that she just woke up one day and decided to be done with diapers. I guess it's true what they say- they will potty train when they are ready. I tried to remind myself of that during those times when I begged her to use the potty but I don't think I really took it to heart. Now I know for the next time! 

Anyway, I am super proud of our girl and she's pretty proud of herself too.  I've been going around gushing about how awesome she is. Who would have ever thought that the potty would be the highlight of our weekend? :)

Baby #2: 21 Weeks


How Far Along: 21 Weeks

Size of baby: Around 10.5 inches long  and 3/4 of a pound

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  +11.5 pounds. I'm definitely feeling large these days and I'm a little scared knowing how far I have to go. 

Maternity Clothes: Yes and I feel like I wear the same few shirts over and over. I definitely have some favorites and I should probably try to mix it up a little bit!

Gender: A baby girl, Adelyn Elise

Movement: She's moving quite a bit! She seemed to really like the music at church this week- she was dancing along!

Symptoms: The hip pain is getting worse by the day. I think the best way to describe it is that it feels like the bones in my hips are grinding together when I walk or move a certain way. I've been trying to do some stretching to help but other than that I think I'll just have to deal with it.

Sleep:  Still good. The belly doesn't seem to impede my sleep at all! I had one rough night where I didn't sleep a wink but I can blame that on the 2.5 hour nap I took that day. I've been trying to avoid naps since then even though there are some days when I feel like I NEED one!

What I miss: Nothing that I can think of

Cravings: Sour cream and salsa (mixed) on anything- baked potatoes, nachos, eggs. I know it's weird but it's so delicious.

Best Moment This Week: On Tuesday while Emerson was napping I was able to go get a haircut and to spend some time shopping, drinking Starbucks, and reading magazines. It was so nice and much needed!

Shopping: Just these faux Toms at TJ Maxx. I know babies don't really wear shoes at that age but I just couldn't resist. Now I want to get Emerson a pair of real ones to match!

I'm pretty anxious to get started on the nursery. I know we still have plenty of time but I feel like the holidays are going to make the time fly by. I'm also really excited to go through all of Emerson's tiny baby clothes to see what will work for Adelyn.  I'm thinking we will get the paint for the nursery this week and I will probably also order the crib. Then all we will really need is a dresser. The room is very tiny so that will be about all of the furniture that it can hold. I'm thinking it will be pretty easy to decorate since it's small and there is not very  much wall space due to the large window and closet. Even so, I want to make it special for our girl!

The Blessing Box


I was so excited when I saw that Natalie and several other bloggers were bringing back The Blessing Box. This was one of my favorite link ups when I first started blogging. One of the last times I linked up was right after I found out I was pregnant with Emerson! Wow, life sure has changed since then!

I have to be honest and tell you that it hasn't been easy to focus on our blessings lately. It's pretty tough watching Jesse going through such a rough recovery. It's also hard being the sole caretaker in the house. As much as Jesse would like to help, it's just not possible. I have found myself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and I've definitely let the stress get to me a few times. But isn't that just the time to stop, take a moment, and focus on your blessings? Despite some of the rough moments over the last month, I know that when it comes down to it we are blessed beyond measure. So, here are a few of our recent blessings:

-Jesse and Emerson have been able to spend a lot of quality time together. As I type, they are snuggled up on the couch together.

-Jesse will be here for Adelyn's birth. Going into this deployment we were fairly certain that he would miss yet another birth. Knowing that he will be here is just awesome!

-I know I've said this before but I am so thankful that I get to stay home with Emerson.  We definitely have our hard days but there is nowhere in the world I'd rather be. It's also been such a blessing that I have been able to be home to help Jesse. I can't imagine leaving him here alone all day!

-I'm very excited about the new church we attended on Sunday. When I met my friend Jamie back in March I knew that it wasn't by coincidence. I really feel like their church may be the right fit for us!

-I am so blessed to be pregnant with another healthy and beautiful baby girl! With everything that has been going on I feel like I haven't been as focused on this pregnancy as I with Emerson but that doesn't mean that I am not thankful. Being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me and I cannot believe that I get to do it again.

-Most of all, I am blessed by God's faithfulness, even when I don't deserve it. Lately I haven't been giving much of myself or my time to God. My Bible reading has been sporadic and I completely dropped out of the online Bible study I was doing. I even feel like my prayer life could use a little work. Despite all of that, I know that He is always with me. I am truly never alone!!

What are you blessed with this week? Go link up and share!

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