This is my story

My photo
New mommy to my son, Elijah Ryan. Wife to my husband and best friend, Nick. New homeowner and HGTV obsessed. Wedding Planner for Two Be Wed. Avid Pinner. Lover of writing, books, movies, vampires (not the Twilight kind) and Harry Potter. Enjoys lazy days, coffee and spending time with my little family. Here to share my tales of mommyhood, marraige, love and life.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 A Year in Review

The end of another year is upon us and what a year it has been!! It still doesn't feel right that this year is coming to an end and another one will begin with tomorrow. This has been my year to the core. I've had many more ups than downs, and can't seem to find a year out of my twenty-two years that compares to it. So, let's review.

January: I turned twenty-two as I was six months pregnant with what would be the joy of my life. I anxiously awaited Elijah's arrival and what was in store for me as a mother. I also started my last semester as a college student. It was very bittersweet.

February: The hardest month of the year for me as I was as huge as a hippo and had lost the ability to do simple things such as tie my shoes, and shaving went out the window (Sorry TMI alert). Also Nick was gone the whole month and we spent our first Valentines day as a married couple, apart.

March: My whole world changed as we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, Elijah Ryan Joseph into our hearts, three weeks early. Everything in that moment changed as he became the center of our world, the joy of hearts and the love of our lives. And every moment since has truly been a blessing.

April: Is kind of a blur because we didn't get much sleep and our life was devoted to the care of little Eli. The month consisted of many precious moments shared as parents and as a family.

May: Another bittersweet moment as I ended my college career and graduated. I had feared that I wouldn't be able to graduate and have a baby all in the same year, let alone months apart from each other, but I managed to do it with the help of my professors, family and friends.

June: I was basking in my accomplishments and enjoying being a new mom. I sadly stopped breastfeeding Eli after three months, not by choice but because his hunger overcame my lack of production. I'm thankful that I got to breastfeed at all and was happy that I was able to extend that special bond between him and I, even after giving birth.

July: Eli began eating cereal. He wasn't a big fan at first but eventually got it down to a fine science. Eli also had his first beach trip! I think he shares my love for the beach, because he loved the water!  

July also marked the end to apart of my own childhood: the last Harry Potter film. This was a huge deal to me being the HP freak that I am. It was another bittersweet moment, (I had a lot of those this year) because the series was a staple in my childhood but thinking back on it, it's ending was timed appropriately as I became an adult in numerous ways this year.


August: A big month for us. Eli turned 5 months and had began to crawl. In the beginning it was more of a spider crawl but he was determined to master crawling, and with the help of Dad crawling around the house out of example, he did (and very well!). He has turned out to be very advanced for his age (like his momma ;)) but I think it's more due to the boy inside that wants to go, go and not slow down. As a result I've been a very busy mom, but a very happy one.

We also began the search for our new house. As our family grew, so did all of our belongings and it was time to expand in space. Within a week of searching, we had found what is now our new home and operation "Building Our Dream Home" began.


September: Eli's appetite grew and he began to try more solids. There wasn't anything he tried and didn't like (just like Mom & Dad.) Except for peas but they've grown on him. His favorite was sweet potatoes and still is.

October: We celebrated Eli's first Halloween! He was the most adorable lion you've ever seen.
We also watched the process of our house being built from the ground, up. It was such an experience and one I'm glad to add to this year's list. And one I'm proud to scratch off my bucket list.

November: We hosted our first Thanksgiving while in the process of preparing for our big move. It was hectic but very humbling. I'm glad we were able to provide a place for our families to come together and give thanks. 

Nick and I also celebrated one year of marriage. This was a feat for us given everything this year has brought us. But we shone through it all and we are stronger for it. One year down, forever to go!

December: We moved into our new home just in time to celebrate our first Christmas together as a family. And it was a memorable Christmas too! All three of us got sick with the cold, but we were determined not to let that get in the way of our Christmas spirit! It was our first Christmas in our new home, first Christmas as a family and Eli's first Christmas. A lot of firsts and all of them will never be forgotten.

And that's this year in a nutshell. I became a mother, a college graduate and a homeowner in one year. Like I said, 2011 has been my year -hands down. I'm actually sad to see it end but I'm more excited for what this new year holds for me and my family. So, bring it on 2012. You have your work cut out for you!!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years! See you all next year!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reason for the Season

Christmas is just days away and the Joseph family still has a long list of to-do's. Most of our gift shopping is complete, just a few people we need to check off. Plus we our hosting our first party in the new house, yay! (Nick finally caved in -what can I say, he spoils me!). We hosted a tacky sweater party last year and it was a lot of fun so we decided to do another one this year but more casual. It's a Christmas/housewarming party and I'm pretty excited to put my holiday Pinterest board to work. Don't worry there will be a party recap post full of ridiculous photos and what not.

Anywho, among our list of to-do's is Eli's first Santa visit. It's a little last minute and I'm pretty sure I'm out of mind to be going near a mall so close to Christmas but it's one of those things a new Mom has got to do. But this visit has made me think about the real reason for the season and what I want to teach my son.

Sure, we've all heard the rants about how commercialized Christmas is these days and Santa is the front man. But then I think back to my childhood and how excited I was to go to Santa's wonderland, putting together my list for Santa and looking forward to Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. That's just it though, Santa = gifts. Yes, giving gifts is apart of the season but its not the real reason. In these last few months with the craziness of the move, I've fallen short in my walk with Christ. I know the move is just an excuse but I won't get into that now. Bottom line is I don't want my shortcomings get in the way of what's best for Eli.

I guess what I'm getting at is whether to raise him believing in Santa or celebrating the birth of Christ, or both? I want to share with him the same childhood memories I have of Christmas but I also want him to know Christmas is more than just receiving/giving gifts but celebrating the birth of Christ who came to save us all. I know he's too young now to grasp all of this but you have to start somewhere. I'd like to believe that you can celebrate both but at a reasonable balance.

We will see where the years take me but for today, I'm choosing to celebrate both. I'm going to take my son to get a cheesy picture with Santa but I am also going to start the tradition of reading to him each Christmas the real story of Christmas.

What Christmas traditions do you celebrate? How do you celebrate Christmas with your children? I'd love to get some feedback.

And before I go I have to share our adorable Christmas photo because I really love it, a lot.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and can't wait to share all about ours after the holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eternally Blessed

It's a beautiful Saturday morning and I happen to be the only one awake, which is very rare so I'm taking advantage to update! This past week has been such a blur with the move. Lots of packing, unpacking, moving things around and trying to make our new house into a home. It didn't take long though because I absolutely love it and it feels as if it was made for me -oh wait, it was! But all kidding aside, it's more than I could have ever hoped, dreamed, or wished for. The first morning I woke up and thought I was in a hotel, it felt so nice and new. Everything about it feels perfect and truly unique to us because we chose this layout and as of now, there is no house like it in our neighborhood. It's a pretty cool feeling.

But aside from living on cloud 9 and feeling like the luckiest girl ever, I feel eternally blessed. I look around our new house and think to myself, how unreal it is that I live here and how could I ever ask for more? I have everything I could ever want in the world -a loving husband, a healthy baby and a beautiful home! I have to admit with the new house I became very selfish and materialistic at times because all I could think about was decorating and what I had to have to make the house 100% perfect. Now that we're all moved in and everything that I've been daydreaming about for the last 4 months is real -I can't imagine wanting more. I am so, so, so blessed. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't know very many 23-year-olds who have it all -the house, the husband and the baby. But I do. And I take that for granted more often than I'd like to admit.

So here I am, throwing myself under the bus and hoping that I can turn over a new leaf as I start this new chapter in my life. I have to get my materialistic needs in check and start paying more attention to the things that really matter. The blessings I have are still needs to others. I need to want less and give more. And this is the perfect season for me to start my new resolution. This Christmas is about giving to my loved ones, because my heart is already full of thanks and love for my family, friends and my new home.

And none of this would have been possible without my amazing husband. You are my biggest dream come true. I know I don't always give you the thanks you deserve as often as I should, but if and when you decide to read this, I want you to know how grateful I am for you and all that you've given me. I wouldn't be a wife without you, a mother without you -I wouldn't be me without you. You've made all my dreams a reality and I am eternally grateful for that. I love you baby and thank you, thank you, thank you.

That concludes my rant/confession of the week. I'll be posting house pics soon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Case of the Moving Blues

Today we would have closed on our new house, keywords would have -as in did not happen. You can imagine our disappointment after spending the whole week thinking we were closing today and moving this weekend, only to find out yesterday that it wasn't going to happen. As I've been told this is normal. Apparently banks enjoy getting your hopes up only to crush them at the last second. (FYI: BofA is a POS) I apologize for the undertone but we haven't been happy campers at the Joseph house today. Instead we've been mopping about wishing we were in the new house already. But can you blame us?? We've waited 3 months for the house to be completed and now that it's ready we can't move in because we're waiting on the bank! ??&%^%*

Our almost new home. Isn't it so pretty!! The hot guy in front came with it ;)
Ahem. So, here's the moving update. As of now we don't have a date scheduled for closing. It should be no later than the end of next week but they can't give us an exact date. The only plus out of all of this is now we have time to finish packing because we haven't gotten much done. The downside is Nick has a work course scheduled the following week, which means we may have to speed move-in over the weekend. I was looking forward to moving in at our own pace instead of being rushed to get in and out. I know not much about moving is really enjoyable, other than the new place, but I really wanted to enjoy this move because it's a huge staple in our lives and family. We're making the biggest purchase of our lives. Into a home that we hope to spend forever in. HUGE! All the stress of making such a huge purchase, packing and moving, and now more waiting, has caused a lot of tension in the house. I just want to close and be done with it so we can be happy & stress free again!! (Until the next huge life-altering event aka Eli's first birthday party)

But as my Dad reminded me today, good things come to those who wait. We've been patient this far, what is one more week? Right? We shall see...stay tuned for the next, hopefully happier, moving update.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Catching up + 30 days of Thanks contd.

I can not even fathom that November is practically over. That this year is almost to its end!! This month has been crazy busy between starting my new job, packing for the big move and the holidays. So I have a lot of catching up to do so bare with me.

First of all, we move THIS WEEKEND!! It's completely unreal how fast the house was completed and 15 days ahead of schedule! CRAZY!! But this move has been completely different than the rest. Despite the not-so-fun packing and manual labor of moving, I'm excited in a whole new way. Of course moving into a new place is exciting, but moving into my own house, my own dream house is over-the-top exciting!! And to top it off, we managed to save enough money to furnish the whole house!! EEK! I.can.not.wait!! I'll more than likely post pictures after Christmas because I can't imagine how I will have time before then.

Second, Thanksgiving came and went in a flash (like most things in my life). It was a highly eventful Thanksgiving to say the least (what isn't with a family of 20+) but a success nonetheless. Me & Nick ended up hosting last minute due to my mother-in-law's sudden knee surgery. She had surgery on a torn meniscus the day before Thanksgiving but the surgery went well and she is on the road to recovery now. So picture two rookie Thanksgiving cooks and a mobile, teething baby, and that's what my Thanksgiving looked like. The beginning at least. But in the end I'm glad that we had the means and the room to have my rather large family over. The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing and the company was wonderful.

With Thanksgiving in mind, brings us to the 30 days of Thanks that I began in my last post and did not do such a great job of keeping up with. Never fear though because I finish what I start and I have A LOT to be thankful for this year.

Day 8- I'm thankful for my new job, babysitting a sweet 3-month-old boy, Kayden. I'm thankful to get to know the little nugget, for the growing friendship between him & my son and the extra cash that allows me to pay for my school loans each month.
Day 9- I'm thankful for my other job as a wedding consultant. I'm thankful that I have an outlet that allows me to put my creativity and event planning skills to good use for others happiness. Each wedding I've had the opprotunity of planning has been an adventure and a learning experience that I've only grown from.
Day 10- I'm thankful for my boss, mentor, friend and pretty much big sister - Natalie Dawley. Thank you for living the life you do and setting such a positive example for me to follow. It's been a blessing to follow in your footsteps and I'm forever grateful for the opprotunitues and encouragement you've given me along the way. I love you dearly for that!
Day 11- I'm thankful that I have a job. It may not seem like much financially but it's more than many Americans out there have, still struggling to find work in our economy. I'm thankful that I have more than one opprotunity to contribute and provide for my family.
Day 12- I'm thankful for my life group family. I know I haven't known many of you for long but I've enjoyed getting to know each of you over the last few months. I'm thankful for your support and fellowship in my journey with Christ. I look forward to each week that I get to spend with you guys.
Day 13- I'm thankful for the Waters Church. I've learned so much about Christ, faith and love from the community and the pastor than I ever have in my years of attending church. Thank you for being real and imperfect just like I am, and welcoming me into your community.
Day 14- I'm thankful for my health. I don't always treat my body as well as I should but I am alive and healthy.
Day 15- I'm thankful for our new house. I'm thankful for the financial ability to build our dream house to raise our children and make lifelong memories in.
Day 16- I'm thankful for my current house. I'm thankful that we were able to expand to a bigger home as our family was expanding. It has been a nice little home for us and we've shared precious memories in it. I will miss the gorgeous patio a lot.
Day 17- I'm thankful for my degree and that I was able to earn it despite the obstacles I went through. I'm thankful for the professors that cooperated with me during my pregnancy and made it possible for me to complete my education. I'm thankful for the security my degree provides me, that when the time comes I can use it to get a salary job if need be.
Day 18- I'm thankful for my education and the well rounded person I've become because of it. I've always loved school and look forward to the day when I can teach, and impact others the way many of my teachers and professors have impacted me.
Day 19- I'm thankful for my Dad, Brad. I'm thankful that he has loved me as his own even though he didn't have to. Thank you for the effort and discpline you spent on me because I am a better person for it. I know there were times we didn't always get along but I am grateful that you were the man that raised me, and proud to call you my Dad. I love you.
Day 20- I'm thankful for my sister, Rachel. You are unlike any other and I'm so proud of that. You have an unconditional heart and the most unique outlook on the world that I admire. Thank you for friendship and being there for me when I needed you the most. I love you and you will always be my baby sister.
Day 21- I'm thankful for the world's greatest grandparents, Mama & Papa. Thank you for loving me like your own grandchild and welcoming me into your loving hearts. I've enjoyed getting to know both of you and enjoy every moment we spend together. I have learned a lot about family, love and marriage from you both and am thankful for the day that you officially became my grandparents.
Day 22- I'm thankful for my mother-in-law, Paula. Thank you for bringing the most amazing man I know into this world and for raising him the way you did. You have the biggest loving, caring and giving heart than any woman I know. I admire your perserverance in life and your amazing cooking skills. I'm thankful for your love, friendship and everything you have taught me. You have given me big shoes to fill as your son's wife!!
Day 23- I'm thankful for a happy home, one filled with laughter, joy and love.
Day 24- I'm thankful for the means to host Thanksgiving at our home. I'm thankful to have all of my family together in one place to give thanks.
Day 25- I'm thankful for cold weather. It doesn't happen often in Houston but when it does it is much appreciated.
Day 26- I'm thankful for my iPhone. It's amazing how much I can do with such a small device. It has been a lifesaver on many occasions.
Day 27- I'm thankful for one year of marriage with my loving husband. I thank every day that he chose me to spend forever with and I cherish every moment together! Happy Anniversary babe!
Day 28- I'm thankful for babysitters. They are essential to maintaining a happy marriage and my sanity. Thank you to those of you who have sat for us especially Mimi & Lula.
Day 29- Today I'm thankful for the upcoming holiday season. To be able to have my family over for Christmas morning and give to those I love most.

And if this post wasn't long enough, I have to take a moment to be a proud mama and brag about my little angel. He got his first tooth on Thanksgiving and has been a trooper through the whole teething experience. I'm sure there are some killer teeth to come but so far he really hasn't been that bad. I seriously have the best kid ever!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween + 30 days of Thanks

Another month has come and gone. It's crazy that this year is almost over but the best part of the year is still to come: the holidays. I love this time of year because it's all about what I love most, family. I'm already counting down to Thanksgiving and have my holiday Pinterest board full of yummy recipes to try. And don't get me started on Christmas. Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday and I'm looking forward to it even more than usual because we'll be in the new house. I've bought all new Christmas decorations and already let Nick know the first thing that's going up is the tree. I could go on, and on but I need to rewind to the most recent holiday, Eli's first Halloween. He was a cuddly lion and a cute one at that. The lion suit didn't last very long, which I expected, so before we went trick or treating he changed into a friendly skeleton.

Being bashful with Daddy.

Cute as can be.

Mama Lion & Baby Lion.
Hey there Bones.

The Joseph Gang
I've never been a big fan of Halloween. I can't recall one Halloween that I actually enjoyed myself but having a kid has changed that. I had more fun this year dressing up with Eli than I ever have before and I know as he gets older, it will only be more enjoyable.

This month, I'm joining on the thankful bandwagon and decided to do the 30 days of Thanks. I rather do it on here than Facebook because I'd like to look back on it next year and see if my thanks have changed. So bare with me on this rather lengthy post because I have 7 days to catch up on.

Day 1: I'm thankful for my son. He is the constant light in my life and my biggest blessing. He is better than anything I could have ever wished for in a child. He is healthy, happy, smart, funny, charming, and beautiful. I never knew that I could love someone as much as I love him and couldn't imagine a world without him in it. Every day is a new adventure with him and I'm looking forward to the many adventures we will have together!

Day 2: I'm thankful for my husband. I don't even know where to begin when it comes to how thankful I am for Nick. He is truly my best friend and loves me even at my worst. He is the most loving, caring, loyal, funny, handsome and ambitious man I know and I am so proud to be his wife. I am thankful for his dedication to our family to ensure a life of comfort, peace and happiness.

Day 3: I'm thankful for God and his unconditional love. My spiritual relationship has thrived since I've had Eli because I know now how God loves me. It hasn't been an easy journey but I'm thankful that God never gave up on me even when I have.

Day 4: I'm thankful for my family, new & old. I've always been very close with my mother & sister but when I got married, I gained a whole new family that loved me as their own. I'm thankful for their love and support through our roller coaster of a year. I wouldn't have survived a wedding and a new baby without all of them.

Day 5: I'm thankful for my mom. She is my best friend and always has been. Now that I am a mother myself, I have a new found love and respect for her and how she raised me. My mother worked hard to provide for us against all odds, and taught me to always have an open mind and love everyone I meet. I admire her loving and carefree heart & spirit and hope that I am just as much of a positive influence on Eli as she has been on me.

Day 6: I am thankful for my best friends who love me for me and keep me sane. I would not be who I am today without your love and support. Thank you for all the late night phone calls and the crazy adventures...I'm sure there will be many more to come!

And today, Day 7: I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I always knew that I wanted to spend those early years at home with my children but never thought I would end up the opportunity that I have today. I get to spend every day with my son, teaching him, loving him, watching him grow and never missing a single moment. I'm thankful that my husband's job allows me to stay home and make my dream come true!
More days of thanks to come!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Mod-itional" Kitchen Inspiration

You know you've grown up when all you want to do is watch HGTV and shop for home goods. My mind has been swarming with ideas for the new house and I've driven Nick mad with all my decor talk. So I decided to unleash it here instead for the sake of my sanity and my marriage.

I've also become a big fan of garage sales (another sign of me getting old) and was thrilled to come across my new kitchen table at one this weekend! I've been searching for a farmhouse table for the kitchen but they are hard to come by and can be very expensive if bought new. Our current table is so nice that we rarely use it so a resale find is perfect for us because it's already worn in and will withstand children (or so I hope).

Tada! Our new table:
{Same colors but oval instead of a rectangle.}

As soon as I saw it, it was fate. I haven't quite sold Nick on it but I'm hoping it will grow on him. My plan is to sand it down and reseal the natural wood table top. I really want a natural finish so I'm going to skip staining it. Then I'm going to change the hunter green to black. I thought about white but I don't want it to be too country and I don't think Nick will go for anything too colorful so black it is.

These are some of my inspirations:
farm table and chairs

chandelier + farmhouse table

I love the mixture of new & old, modern & traditional (or as HGTV would say "Mod-itional") and bringing in the farmhouse table does just that. Our new kitchen has dark espresso cabinets making it feel modern but the tan granite counterops and the addition of the farmhouse table will put the traditional in "mod-itional". (I really like that word, can you tell?) The table came with four chairs that I plan on painting black as well. If I had the choice (and the money), I would love these metal cafe chairs but they are ridiculously priced, $1,000 for ONE chair!! I know I have expensive taste but that's just wasting money. What I really love about them is the industrial style and how they contrast with the farmhouse table.

But since I plan on using the chairs that came with the table, I decided I would bring in the industrial feel with these alumnium bar stools from Target that are a similar style but at a much more affordable price.

Aluminum Dining Stool
 I also wanted to add a bench for additional seating and to add to the casual dining feel. Target wins again with this farmhouse dining bench that goes perfect with the table. I'd like to add a fun fabric + cushion to the bench and paint the legs black to match the rest.
Farmhouse Dining Bench
That about sums it up, for the kitchen at least. I really like the direction I'm going in but we'll see how it all turns out once these ideas are turned into a reality. Or remain a fantasy...that all depends on what Nick thinks of my "mod-itional" ideas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Mother's Struggles + 7 months

7 months ago this little man came into this world and changed my life completely.
He gave me the greatest purpose of all, being his mother.
Motherhood is just like any other journey, it has its ups & downs, its peaks and valleys.

In the last few weeks there have been more valleys than peaks. With Nick gone and the two of us sick, it's gotten the worst of me.
I've felt frustrated, anxious and defeated often.
And as awful as it sounds, I've felt resentment towards my husband for not being around, even though he's gone working to provide for our family. These feelings have only made the distance harder on both of us and caused a lot of unnecessary arguments.
I'm not proud of it but that's the truth.
I've let these emotions eat at me and then I'm left feeling guilty and selfish.
My saving grace has been fellow mommy friends & bloggers and knowing that I'm not the only one.
Every mother struggles, new & old, because being a mother or parent is not easy.

It's supposed to be hard. Your life no longer revolves around yourself, instead around your child.
You have to become selfless, patient and full of unconditional love.
Your choices & actions mold him into the person he will become.
It's a huge responsibility but also a blessing as well.
And the last thing I want is for my son to learn resentment, anger and selfishness from me.

All these emotions have caused me to stray away from my spiritual relationship as well.
I've felt under attack and haven't attended church in weeks.
Again, not proud but it's the truth.
I know God doesn't want me to feel these things because he has given me the blessing of becoming a mother and an angel of a son.
I believe this because in the last week I've heard several stories that have really put things in perspective.
There are women out there who have lost children, struggled to have children and those with children fighting to live.
I should be grateful because not only was I able to have a child, but a healthy, happy and beautiful baby boy.
When I look at him, all those feelings disappear and I am in awe of what a blessing he truly is.
I know I can't overcome these negative emotions without acknowledging them and turning them over to God.
So I am openly admitting my convictions, for the sake of my own conscious but also in the hope that it might reach someone else who has been feeling the same.
I know there will be days when it will be hard and I will feel defeated but there will be more days that I will be grateful and happy for this journey of motherhood & everything that comes with it -the good & the bad.
Because in the end, the good always trumps the bad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life as of lately

It's been a whirlwind of a month. It feels like September came and went. I'm not complaining though because that means we're only closer to moving into the new house and it's finally my favorite time of the year...fall! I love everything about fall. Boots, scarves, layers and pumpkin spice lattes.

So far the weather has been absolutely beautiful so I have a feeling this fall is going to be heavenly. I'm not in much a writing mood so I'll just post a few pics of life as of lately.

The house is coming along beautifully. It's really starting to look like an actual house. Within a week it went from slab, frame to roof. I'm glad I got to see all of the stages because it's going to make for a killer scrapbook. As of now, the expected completion date has moved up to beginning of December so we will for sure be spending Christmas in our new home!

And this little man turned 6 months. He's officially crawling, grabbing, spitting, and I'm pretty sure I've heard him say "momma" at least once. I can't believe it's hardly been half a year! Time really does fly. I love the stage he's in right now though. His personality shines through everyday. I'm so lucky to spend every minute of every day with him so I never miss a beat.

I don't think I could ever love something as much as him.
Lots of love in my life lately. love, love, love.

And before I go... Eli's Halloween Costume:
Lil' Lion Baby Costume by Incharacter - 6003

Can you imagine my little babe in this adorable costume? Pretty much the cuddliest lion you've ever seen.
 I can't wait for professional pictures this month!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Sick Baby & My Worst Nightmare

The past few days have been rough. Eli has been vomiting and barely eating, which is really unlike him because he is my child and loves to eat. The week before he was diagnosed with reflux, similar to an adult's heartburn, he gets a burning sensation before spitting up. A friend of mine thought he had it at 2 months but I dismissed it thinking it was normal for babies to spit up but then he started crying more often before spitting up and I knew she was probably right. (Sorry Kristin.) We went to the doctor, confirmed it was reflux and went home with new medicine. 3 days later, Eli starts vomiting like crazy and lost his appetite completely. As a new mom or parent period, this is your worst nightmare. Your child is in pain, you don't know what's wrong and there's nothing you can do to help. So after church Sunday, Eli threw up yet again and I lost it. My heart was aching with worry, not knowing what was wrong or what I could do to fix it. To the ER I went looking for answers. After 3 hours, they said he probably had a reaction to his reflux medication and to keep him hydrated until we went to the pediatrician. Then came crisis #2. When we picked our pediatrician, I was in the delivery room and the nurses needed a name. Nick ran next door and found the pediatrician next to my OB (turns out it was the same one he had as a child). After he was born we just stuck with it because we didn't really know another pediatrician to go to. After the reflux incident and my doctor blaming me (!) for not mentioning his symptoms earlier, I knew it was time for a change. I called my friend Kristin, because she had a similar situation and she recommended her pediatrician, Blue Fish Pediatrics. So we broke up with our original pediatrician and tried out Blue Fish. I'm so happy we did because I love our new pediatrician. In our first visit, I learned so much more and felt more confident then I ever did at with our previous pediatrician. She explained reflux to us, told us it was unheard of to have a reaction to Prevacid (his medication), and that he would outgrow it within a few months. Turns out Eli's symptoms was really a stomach bug and explained that when babies are sick instead of pushing the virus out like we would, their stomachs spaz and come up. She put my nightmare to rest and said he would be back to normal in a few days. Praise the lord! As soon as we got home, Eli's appetite had returned and he hasn't thrown up since. I'm sure my uneasiness only made his symptoms worse, so I'm glad I got some peace of mind. The whole experience was a blessing in disguise because we wanted a pediatrician closer to our new home and it's only two exits away! Still, having a sick baby is no fun and I'm happy to have my baby back to normal. But at least we got a fantastic pediatrician out of it!
{My babies}

All is well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Patterns & Colors

It's thunderstorm central in Katy, TX tonight so I decided to pour myself a glass of wine and redo my blog design. Pretty happy with how it turned out. I've been slightly obsessed with the background pattern, and the color gray (since I'm redoing our bedroom in gray + yellow) so both reflect the current me. Since Nick has been gone I've spent a lot of time watching HGTV, SVU marathons (guilty pleasure) and living on Pinterest. 2 out of the 3 have given me lots of ideas for room/home decor, and I can't wait to put those ideas into action. The two things I'm drawn the most to is:

Stripes & Gray
I'm thinking about doing a striped bathroom upstairs (the only place Nick will let get away with it) and a striped accent wall in Eli's room. I'm doing gray in the Master bedroom and possibly the guest. The guest room is debatable because I want to do a whole house color scheme, but Nick and I can't agree on colors.

I like:
The only problem is both these palettes feature variations of blue and Nick can't quite get past the color. The story behind that is because our bedroom is sea foam green but looks more blue -and we hate it. So I'm still trying to sell him on the dark teal blue color. Particularly this one:

The room is painted in Martha Stewart's Plumage.
I realllllly want this color in the study or dining room. But for now, it will just exist on my idea boards until we get closer to moving in or Nick approving the color. Hopefully the latter comes first. Still working on my idea boards, they change daily so when I get around to making up my mind I'll post. Now off I go to daydream more about patterns, colors and my new house.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Building Our Home: What Goes Into a Home

The most overwhelming part about building a home is choosing what goes into a home. Kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets -what color for the cabinets, what kind of wood? wood flooring - real or laminate? Counter tops - granite or silestone? Faucets - chrome or brushed nickel? Things I've never even thought of before have been dominating my thoughts for the past week. Since we signed the purchase agreement on the house, we've been going over a pricing sheet for every possible upgrade we could make on our home. The whole process was a bit overwhelming because there is so much to choose from and you have free reign to do whatever you want. As long as you can afford it. And with our taste, we are always drawn to the most expensive stuff but we had to be realistic and compromise. After several lists, google images & some serious 'sleeping on it'...we made our final decisions, all of which I'm very proud of!


Overall, I'm really proud of what we chose. I have complete confidence that all of our decisions will produce the most beautiful house I could ever dream of. Everything is very cohesive & gives you that warm, welcome home feeling. Plus we were able to get pretty much everything we wanted and stay within our budget!! (Yay! *pat on the back*) Don't get me wrong the experience was definitely fun, challenging at times, but fun. I mean who wouldn't want to decorate their house from the inside out? But I have to admit what I'm looking forward to the most is the decorating!! Now the hardest part...waiting!!

But before I go,
Happy 5 months to my little man.
love him to pieces.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Building Our Home: A Dream Come True

Exciting news.....We're building our dream home!! It all happened so fast, so I'll start from the beginning before sharing all the details.

A week ago we began the hunt for our future home. We just extended the lease on the patio home we're living in, giving us 6 months to find the perfect house. We knew we were looking for a 1 to 1.5 story, 3/4 bedrooms + study, large kitchen, open floor plan, in a community neighborhood. First stop was Fairfield. We looked at 6-7 houses on the first day & by the end only 2 really stood out. The last house we saw was a model home & that was when the option of building came up. Originally I hadn't really thought about it but after the first mention, building a house started sounding like a better fit for us. Especially since we had the time frame. But nevertheless, we continued the house hunt. Day 2, we explored spring cypress/tomball and fell in love with a model home. As soon as I walked in the house, I had a good feeling. Open floor plan, 3 bedroom, study and a game room (I really wanted a game room but wasn't going to allow it to be a deal breaker). Upgraded kitchen + awesome incentives. Everything was perfect, except the neighborhood wasn't really what we wanted and there was only 1 lot available to build for that floor plan. Even though we really liked the house, we didn't want to rush ourselves into such a huge decision. So we slept on it and continued to look. That evening our realtor called us and said she had found our dream home. It was the same builder as the model home we loved, but in a better neighborhood and better incentives. However, she wanted to keep the neighborhood a surprise. I couldn't wait so I googled and found out the neighborhood was Blackhorse Ranch South. I'd never been in the neighborhood but I knew it was nice because it was a community neighborhood with a golf course. By this point we were sold, the house we wanted & in the ideal neighborhood. However, the builder had another floor plan that we might be interested in. When we went to view this floor plan, the house was in the middle of construction. All there was to see was the actual frame of the house & dry wall. Even so, I knew that this was our dream house. It was perfect. The search was over for me, but Nick felt everything was happening so fast & we needed more time to think about it. There wasn't much to think about because we both knew it was everything we wanted and more. Plus they had great incentives, upgraded kitchen with stainless steel appliances included. As if that wasn't enough, they threw in a sprinkler system if we signed that weekend. And that was all it took. Next day we went to sign the purchase agreement for our new home!!
Our SOLD lot for our future home :)

And now for the details...
Here is the floor plan for the 1st story.
The first story alone is around 2500 sq. ft. Plus we decided to add the optional bonus plan which includes a loft, full bath and 4th bedroom. So the total sq. ft. will be around 3100 when it's all said and done. It's definitely more house than we need right now but it gives us plenty of room to grow into as our family grows. And I have SO many ideas. I'm already driving Nick crazy with all my idea boards for all the different rooms. The expected completion date is December 15 so we should be moved in just in time for Christmas! Probably the most expensive Christmas gift I'll ever get! I just can't believe what a fairytale it has been. To find a home so quickly and it be everything I've dreamt of and more -is just unreal! I can't say I know many other 22-year-olds who get to build their dream home. I really am extremely grateful for this huge blessing God has given us. I know for sure it wouldn't have been possible without the big man upstairs. We prayed for him to lead us in the direction he wanted us to go and we ended up in Blackhorse! Amen to that!!
The end result.
Look for pictures of the building process + my idea boards for the many rooms!