First Halloween

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!  We recently moved into a very kiddie neighborhood and are loving it!  We hung back at the house most of the night and had lots of trick or treaters.  Later in the evening we put on the giraffe costume that Mimi bought us and made the rounds to trick or treat with family.   





Unfortunately, someone slept through the whole ordeal . . .




Newborn Preview


The weekend before last my husband's very talented sister and brother-in-law took our newborn photos.  I love how they captured the joy of this special time in our lives.  Here's a little preview.  Can't wait to get them back!




If you're interested in seeing more of their work, visit www.randyolive.com.

Amateur Photographer

Last Christmas the hubby gave me my first "grown up" camera.  I'd call it semi-professional.  I'm still learning how to work it, having refused to spend time reading the manual and insisting that I'd figure it out as I go.  My first subject was our dog, Judge.






But Judge was soon replaced . . .




. . . by our sweet baby boy.







Nursery







We moved three weeks before I delivered, which made it a little hard to nest.  We were so fortunate to have family help us with some of our unpacking, cleaning, and painting.  So far, the nursery is all that is finished.  The rest of the house will likely be a work in progress for a long time.














All Worth It

I was told that I would be in "recovery" for 30 minutes to an hour.  That SO did not happen.  I began to feel a good bit of pain as the doctors finished sewing me up.  Soon after they removed my epidural I found myself in extreme pain.  I remained in recovery for four hours while the nurses administered one pain medication after another, securing permission from my doctor for each, to try to get my pain under control.  Who doesn't respond to morphine?  Me!!  

While in extreme pain, nurses repeatedly pushed on my wound to ensure it was not leaking, and I was repeatedly required to use my non-existent abdominal muscles to cough and blow into some mechanism to ensure I did not succumb to pneumonia.  The next 24 hours were the most painful 24 hours of my life.  There was little pain medication that could be administered in the first 24 hours after receiving general anesthetic...for a reason that I still don't understand.  The only thing that brought me any peace was seeing and nursing my sweet son every 3 hours.  

I was absolutely miserable during those 24 hours, insisting on never having another child EVER again. However, once I was able to begin strong narcotics, my tune changed.  Over the course of the next 2 days in the hospital, I made great strides towards recovery.  It totally amazed me how fast the human body can bounce back.  Four days after surgery, I was in and out of bed on my own (still with a great deal of pain, though), walking at a normal pace, and showering and dressing myself.  

I now look at my son, who has completely stolen my heart, and I say "it was all worth it."  I can't believe how fast and how deeply I have fallen in love with him.




And now I know I'll go at least one more round...in a few years.

Back with a Twist

Hello readers!  Wow!  I can't believe it's been a year since I last posted.  So much has happened in a year.  First and foremost, the hubby and I welcomed our first child a few weeks ago.  It's crazy that this time last year I was not even pregnant.  

We found out that we were pregnant in January.  Several weeks later we took a trip to Hawaii, which was wonderful until morning sickness hit.  I felt sick as a dog for most of my first trimester, absolutely wonderful my second, and huge and uncomfortable for most of my third.  In my third trimester, the doctor told me I was carrying extra fluid, which caused discomfort (pelvic pain, back pain, and trouble breathing) and a slew of worries (potential problems with the baby, pre-term labor, and risks with delivery).  As a result, we had weekly ultrasounds, which also revealed that the baby was consistently measuring 2-3 weeks larger.  At 38 weeks, my doctor decided it was time to induce.  

It was nice to have a planned delivery date.  I finished up work, took a few days off, and then spent the weekend with the hubby savoring our last bit of time alone together for the next 20-something years.  The night before I was induced neither of us slept very well due to extreme excitement . . . and a little bit of fear of the unknown.  We arrived at the hospital promptly at 5:30 am.  As we entered the labor and delivery ward and pushed the security button, a voice came through the speaker asking what we were there for.  We looked at each other oddly and the hubby answered, "um, we're here to have a baby."  His answer felt strange and exciting at the same time.  We were given our choice of rooms and introduced to our nurses, and then the whole process began.  I cried here and there throughout the day because I was so scared of the unknown...scared of pain, scared of what was going to happen to my body, scared of the epidural, scared of my life changing, even though it was for the better.

The day passed extremely fast, with a good epidural, of course!  Before I knew it, it was 7pm, I'd been in labor 12 hours, and I had hardly dilated.  By then it was clear that labor was not progressing.  My doctor had warned me weeks earlier that I may be delivering by c-section, so I was prepared when he recommended that route.  After nearly fourteen hours of labor, we made the decision to go ahead with the c-section.  I recall being extremely hungry when they rolled me into the OR on a table (I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours).  All I could think about was eating a big, juicy hamburger.  And I recall asking the OR doctors how soon until I could have one.

I was lifted from one table to another and in a room surrounded by a ton of people that I did not know.  My doctor and husband appeared dressed in full scrubs and I began to settle.  Pain medication was administered, a sheet went up, and before I knew it I could feel pressure in my abdomen and tugging.  Within minutes I heard the sweet sweet cry of my baby boy.  My husband brought him over to me and I recall thinking he was the most beautiful thing that I'd ever seen.  They quickly disappeared and it seemed like forever that I remained on the table while the doctors sewed me up.  I was no longer afraid nor did I care about hamburgers.  I had a son.




Pumpkin Stem Hunting

Today I hiked out to the edge of town in search of pumpkin stems at a pumpkin patch.  I called in advance to ensure they had not thrown their stems away.  Upon arriving, I was handed a box of stems along with a very curious inquiry as to what I would do with them.  One person's trash is another person's treasure.  I guess the thought of mixing trash with velvet is a little random . . . but I'm so excited to try it!  Stay tuned for the outcome.

XOXO

Pumpkin Lover


Image via Southern Living

Velvet Pumpkin Love

Hello all!  Things are changing around here . . . I'm coming back!  Anyone else just in love with these plush pumpkins popping up all over the place?  I want to test my hands at making one, but I can't think of how to go about finding those curley-Q vines.  We'll see.

That's it for now.  Will be back soon.


Image via the Nesting Place

My Memory Guest Bedroom

One day these guest rooms will be filled with cribs and children's toys, but for now, I'm enjoying having the space to decorate and host guests.  I like to think of this bedroom as our "memory room," titled after my husband's grandmother's own "memory room," which my husband and friends ironically call the "Anne Frank Room," as they find old stuff creepy.  

The picture reminds me of a certain canal in Venice and memories of my summer abroad with dear friends.




The boots below are my grandfather's old boots.  After he passed, my father, his only son, received the majority of his goods.  Earlier this year my mom handed me several trash bags of stuff from my closet at my parents' house.  Somehow these boots had made their way into one of the bags.  I'm SO not returning them.  I love looking at them and remembering my grandfather.  When we have friends stay, they often inform me that "someone left their boots," and I just chuckle.  Maybe it's weird decor, but it's personal to me.  



Ever since we adopted Judge, my Grandmother has started collecting Weimaraner things for me.  I get Weimaraner birthday cards, news clippings, etc. now.  It's quite fun to see what she comes up with.  It's a reminder that she's always thinking of me.  It's very endearing.  She found this pillow recently, and I'm totally in love with it.  Now, the little statute in front of it was all me . . . 






At our wedding, we displayed wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents.  I proudly display them in our home today.  It's fun to remember where we came from and to think about what they were all like back then.


Coastal Guest Bedroom

We live approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes from Galveston . . . not quite close enough to have a "beachy" house, but I thought a coastal themed bedroom would do.  First, let me backup . . . when we moved into our house, this room was hot pink, with a big disney mural painted on the wall.  Now, you're thinking cute, right?!?  No!  It was an absolute eyesore!  So believe me, aqua was toning it WAY down for this space!  

I wanted to do a little more than just aqua, so I added in the whites and greens.  Very beachy, you think??  








The mirror below was a freebie hand-me-down that was more of a tarnished gold when we got it.  I painted it white, and added brown and blue accents to give the appear of wear and tear over time.  Then, I stenciled it with craft paint to personalize it.  The picture on the dresser below is of my Dad and I at Galveston when I was little.





This rocking chair was handed down from my grandparents.  My grandmother watched me every day for the first two years of my life while my mom taught school.  Even after all this time, her memories of those two years seem to be clear as glass.  I love to listen to her stories of those years.  I envision her rocking me to sleep in this rocking chair.  I plan to someday rock my future babies in the same chair.  




This little nightstand I scored for $10 from a local thrift store.  It was one of my first renovations.  A practice piece, I guess.  The handles were brass, but I took them off, spray painted them silver, and then added a touch of blue to match the decor.  The picture on the right is of my mother and I in Galveston when I was a baby.  I wish I had a close-up.  She's absolutely beautiful!




The church we now go to is somewhat contemporary, but the church I grew up in was very traditional.  Several times a month the congregation sang "It is Well With My Soul," which has become one of my personal favorites over time.  When my world is full of stress and conflict, this song brings me peace.  Accordingly, I chose the hymn for the piece below.

The hymn's background is something I find so humbling and inspiring.  The writer, Horatio Spafford, wrote the hymn after suffering several traumatic events.  The first, being the death of his son during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.  The second, being in 1873 when he and his family planned to travel to Europe on the SS Ville du Havre.  He was detained on business, but sent his family on ahead.  While crossing the atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with another vessel.  All four of his daughters died.  Shortly thereafter, Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife in Europe, and as his ship passed where his daughters died, he wrote the hymn. 




The dresser below was another one of my first pieces.  It's actually one of two identical dressers that was in my room growing up.  The two dressers were originally purchased by my grandfather for my mother and aunt.  Dinged-up, and well-loved, it was in dire need of a transformation.  I love antiques, and family antiques always seem even a bit more special.