A Season to Remember: Go Urban Eagles!

Anyone remember the movie The Big Green? Even though I hated wasn't a fan of soccer before I met Travis, that movie was one my favorites growing up. I loved the fact that a group of kids expected to do lousy and looked down upon ended up surprising everyone and taking the championship. It was your typical feel-good movie, and you walked away wishing you could be a part of a team just like that.

While the Albemarle Urban Eagles didn't win the championship our boys started the season off already the underdogs. They are a group of 12-15 year old kids from all different parts of the world from Burma to Liberia to Mexico and more, and while they may have played soccer all their lives in their neighborhoods, they had never played on a structured team. From the first time they stepped on the field that first game all the way to the last game you could see the joy in their faces and the passion in their play. They loved being out there and anyone who came to watch was blessed. They loved playing so much they'd be ready to go to the game 3 hours before game time--we're talking 7:30 am on a Saturday morning for a 10:45 game! They ended their season last night by placing 3rd in the tournament, and even with a loss, they left the field with heads held high and smiles on their faces. We are so proud of these boys and already can't wait for the fall season to begin!  

Congrats, Urban Eagles! You did a stellar job! 

Ready for the game!

Even with a loss at the end of the tournament there are smiles all around!



A Cantaloupe (again) + Welcome Baby Kiah!

Remember a few weeks back when I said Juice Drop was the size of a cantaloupe and then half way through the week the bump.com changed fruits on me? Well we've come to 24 weeks, folks! Which means Juice Drop is officially the size of a cantaloupe!--until thebump.com wants to change fruits on me again. I don't think they would do that to me though, considering she really does feel like a cantaloupe inside of me! I can tell she's getting so big because her kicks and punches are getting stronger and I'm feeling her move more often throughout the day--which puts a big smile on this Mama's face every time :)

How far along? 24 weeks 
Total weight gain: 12 lbs
Maternity clothes? again, wearing them most of the time but a pregnant lady's only got so many maternity clothes--and most of them are for nicer wear. My casual pre-materninty shirts (v-necks, tank tops, etc.) are becoming belly shirts so I think it's time to add casual maternity clothes to my collection lol
Stretch marks? no :)
Sleep: a little rough this week. I tried sleeping with a pillow behind so I don't roll over on my back, which has helped, but a girl who's used to tossing and turning all night in her sleep finds it a pain to stick in one position all night!
Best moment this week: meeting Kiah!! *see below*
Miss Anything? being able to do an entire workout without having to stop to pee several times
Movement: stronger kicks and punches, more throughout the day, hiccups!!
Food cravings: Dr. Pepper
Anything making you queasy or sick: no
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: still nope lol
Symptoms: my ribs have been killing me! especially when I sit for too long or right after I've eaten.
Belly Button in or out? outie 
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: the mood swings have been bad this last week. I don't even know who I am anymore lol! but I am happy most of the time :)
Looking forward to: getting bags done for friends so we can start working on the nursery!

We met a very special person yesterday who when we met wasn't even 24 hours old yet! Weighing only 7.2 pounds, Kiah Lily Jackson is a tiny little thing with beautiful big blue eyes (she had them open the whole 2 hours we were visiting!), full lips, and a teeny tiny nose. Her little fingers and toes were almost too much to take. She is absolutely perfect in every way, and I couldn't be more excited for Stephen and Heather! 

Memorial Day, the day Kiah was born, felt like it lasted twice as long (Stephen and Heather say it flew right by for them). So many people were waiting in anticipation from 7 am until 6 pm (a little after the time Kiah was born) to hear of her arrival! Phones were attached to hips as text messages came in saying: 6-7 cm dilated! and they just broke her water! and any minute now! which any minute now lasted 3 hours! When we finally received the message of her arrival at 5:46 pm, anxiety was replaced with joy and thankfulness to God! Travis and I were feeling so many emotions the entire day. Not only were we so overjoyed for our friends and their baby girl but the reality was beginning to sink in that this will be us in 4 very short months! We couldn't help but imagine what it's going to be like driving to the hospital, being in excruciating pain(!), and then finally getting to meet our own baby girl! We look forward to that day with GREAT anticipation, and while some days it will feel like 4 months is forever away, I know this summer is going to fly by and she'll be in our arms before we know it! 

Welcome Baby Kiah! We love you so much!


A Graduation Gift (Tutorial!)

Ahhh, High School Graduation...the end of a chapter, the beginning of a new journey. I remember graduating 9 years ago and thinking I'm not ready to grow up! I still say that some days! I also remember being so excited to go off to college, living in a dorm room, and figuring out how to live on my own. With that, I needed all the necessities to get through the day, and one very important necessity is a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste and something to store it in so the nasties don't get all over the toothbrush. Too bad I didn't have the little pouch I made for Alexis back in my day. After making one of these for her last week I'm determined it's the must-have for heading off to college this fall!

I found this toothbrush and toothpaste pouch on pinterest (which can be found on etsy here) a while back and decided I could definitely make my own, so when the time came for Alexis' graduation I knew exactly what I was going to make her (don't worry, little sis, yours is coming soon!) And the great thing is, you can make one for your little graduate or for yourself too!

Here is my first ever sewing tutorial so please forgive me if it doesn't make any sense whatsoever, and please feel free to ask questions!


*wash cloth

*ribbon (I did a yard just because I didn't know how long it should be, but really it's your choice)

*matching thread



*cutting mat

*sewing machine (unless you plan to hand sew which you could definitely do too!)

Step 1

Fold your wash cloth about half way (like the picture below). Decide how many pockets you want to have (I made 4 pockets). Pin your first pocket at 3 inches. Sew the edge (where my middle finger is) and 3 inches in (where my pointer finger is), making sure you back-stitch to secure.

Step 2

Pin and sew for the remaining pockets making them evenly spaced (3 inches each) and the other edge (don't forget to back-stitch!)

Step 3

I cut my ribbon in half (which I realized later you don't have to do) and made them the length of the wash cloth--you can make it any length you desire. 

Step 4

Turn the wash cloth over. (Here is where I realized you didn't need to cut the ribbon in half lol). If you did cut the ribbon like me put the ends of the ribbon together and pin where the ribbons meet right above the fold from the other side. (If you didn't cut the ribbon, pin the center of the ribbon right above the fold from the other side).

Step 5

Stitch to secure (I stitched twice. You can use whatever method you want to make sure it's on there good and secure).

Wasn't that super easy?!?! And super cute!?!? Another great thing about this little doodad is you can throw it in the wash when it gets dirty... Brilliant!

Now, go make one for your little graduate or for yourself


A Grapefruit + a Mashup of Stars and Whales = a Heavenly Symphony

I can still remember the tangy yet sweet smell of grapefruit in the mornings from long ago. My dad would eat one every morning, with his spoon in hand and newspaper in front of him, he was ready for his day. I had a taste of it one time, and that was probably the last time. My little tongue stuck out and all I could think is how can a fruit taste this bitter? Ick! Little did I know I would later come to love the idea of a grapefruit inside of me regardless of it's bitter flavor. Hip, Hip, Hooray for growing Juice Drop, you have now graduated to a pink, bitter fruit that will forever remind me of mornings spent with your Grandpa!

How far along? 23 weeks 
Total weight gain: 12 lbs
Maternity clothes? wearing them most of the time! Let me tell you how good it feels to wear clothes that actually fit you and don't pinch in places where you shouldn't be pinched: IT FEELS GREAT!
Stretch marks? no :)
Sleep: still pretty good, still waking up most nights to pee, still finding myself waking up on my back (whoopsies!), and still sometimes forgetting I have a belly until I sit up in the morning 
Best moment this week: spending time with GREAT friends in Charleston and basking in the glorious sun on the beach! Oh, and despite having no power last night, meeting new neighbors and spending time with friends because the only thing to do was sit outside of your house
Miss Anything? being able to lay on my stomach when I lay out in the sun haha!...you should see a pregnant lady trying to get her back tan, it's a sight to see!
Movement: so much!!! **check out the video below**
Food cravings: I hate this question because I crave anything and everything! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: no
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: still nope lol
Symptoms: major indigestion! 
Belly Button in or out? outie 
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy but the mood swings hit pretty quickly and Travis gets the brunt of it; sorry, babe! 
Looking forward to: a weekend without any plans! :)  

Besides hanging out at the beach and enjoying some quality time with our amazing friends this past weekend we got the opportunity to see a few movies. Travis went with the guys to see The Avengers (which I still wouldn't mind seeing) and the ladies and I saw What to Expect When You're Expecting. Of course I was expecting all of the stereotypes and myths you hear about being pregnant and laughs throughout, and that's exactly what I got. It was pretty good and I cried during the labor and delivery scenes (out of pure joy or fear of what is to come for me, I still don't know yet!) but the best film we watched this weekend wasn't at the theater; it was a short video of Louie Giglio speaking about a symphony of praise to God. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and listen to just a snippet of what God gets to hear constantly--a mashup of stars and whales singing and creating a symphony of praise! If you don't want to listen to all 14 minutes, let me just describe to you the beginning, then you can jump to 8:35 and listen to what it sounds like all together. Basically Louie explains that different stars make different sounds and whales make sound by singing to one another. Louie takes all those sounds and mashes them together to make a song. It is so beautiful and you can't help but sing along (he puts it to lyrics you may know). While Travis and I sat together watching and praising God, Juice Drop began moving around like I've never felt her before! It was such a beautiful moment because I could just imagine her dancing inside of me to the music. And knowing that the God of the universe, who thoroughly enjoys listening to the stars and whales (his creation) singing, loves this little being inside of me more than any of that, He loves seeing her dance for Him, and this same God who holds the universe in His hands also holds my baby girl in His hands! WOW! How can you not be humbled after an experience like that and not have tears in your eyes for the awesomeness of our creator?! This will be a moment I will always cherish and remember. I can't wait to be able to tell our little girl about the night she danced for her Heavenly Father.


A Graduation in Chuck Town

This past weekend in Charleston was UH-MAZING!!! Not only did we get to spend a little R&R on the beach the last day, we got to celebrate with great friends the graduation of Alexis Evans, who by the way Travis used to babysit (yes, I said babysit) when he was in middle school! We spent the weekend in a beach house on the Isle of Palms, taking morning walks next to the waves, the afternoons on the roof or by the pool, and eating nothing but delicious junk (Juice Drop really loved me for that!)

I could do this everyday!
Travis trying not to burn his face and catching some zzzz's
The first two days were kind of cloudy. We were hoping for some sun to poke
through especially when the weather channel said UV of 9...yeah, right!
Abby and me with the Graduation Girl, Alexis, in the middle

Red sky at night sailor's delight :)
Our humble weekend abode 
We couldn't help but take pictures of Juice Drop! She's already missing the beach :)

Oh, Chuck Town, you have a big piece of my heart!


Happy Birthday, Baby Sister!

Happy Birthday, Baby Sister! You may be turning 18 today, technically an adult, but you'll always be my baby sister--the rambunctious little girl with bangs cut too short (by your own doing) and your sweet little voice that could melt anyone's heart. I love you so much and I am so proud of the young woman you already are! You are wise beyond your years and I love witnessing the way God uses you and will use you in the future. You are such a blessing to my life, Emily!


A Sweet Papaya and a Mother's Day Blessing

We've hit a big milestone, folks! Juice Drop is weighing in at one whole pound! We're not talking ounces anymore. She's getting big and Mommy can feel it! Yep, that's right, Mommy can feel it in her lower back, in the way she walks (soon to waddle, I'm sure lol), in the extra breaths she needs to take...but it's all worth it knowing that our baby girl is growing strong! Praise God for this beautiful miracle and for the discomforts I have to go through so that our child can become all that He wants her to be! Some of the symptoms I feel aren't the greatest but I know they are for a reason. I love learning about what my body is doing in order for her body to form and grow correctly. It's so interesting, and I can't stop saying this but it's truly a miracle! I love being a WOMAN! (haha!)

How far along? 22 weeks 
Total weight gain: 12 lbs
Maternity clothes? I bought a new pair of shorts, and let me tell you, I thought I was ok in my pre-pregnancy shorts but when you step into a pair with a giant elastic band your whole life changes! You can do moves you didn't think you could before! Yay for maternity shorts!!! And I also bought a much needed bra (sorry fellas if you're reading this lol)
Stretch marks? no :)
Sleep: pretty good
Best moment this week: hearing Juice Drop's heartbeat for the 4th time--that sound never gets old and celebrating my first MOTHER'S DAY!!! 
Miss Anything? fitting into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes
Movement: at least two to three times a day! And Travis and I have both seen my belly move now because she's either kicking or punching in there!
Food cravings: sweet
Anything making you queasy or sick: ham..we had it last night and I couldn't finish
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: still nope lol
Symptoms: lower back pain if I sit for too long, peeing like a racehorse, and still the best symptom that negates all the bad symptoms is feeling her move!
Belly Button in or out? outie! 
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy but the mood swings hit pretty quickly and Travis gets the brunt of it; sorry, babe! Last night's mood swing was pretty bad. I was in a bad mood and I didn't even know why--I annoyed even myself! 
Looking forward to: Charleston this weekend!!!!  

Mother's Day was this past weekend as I'm sure you all know (I hope you did something nice for that special lady in your life :) ) and with it being my first, the day was more special than it's ever been before. I've always loved Mother's Day anyway because I was able to spoil my mom and come up with creative ways to tell her I love her (she's always preferred homemade gifts as opposed to store bought). But this Mother's Day, this day, it was for me! Travis did an amazing job of making me feel that way too. We went shopping for clothes that actually fit me (hallelujah!), he took me out to dinner to a delicious Italian place (Italian is my favorite!), and then topped off the night by giving me a gift card for a prenatal massage! Isn't he the best?! After an amazing day with my baby and her daddy, I realized something about special days like these. I think Mother's Day is better than birthdays! (besides the cake and ice cream part lol) It's a day to celebrate the role God has given women (I believe all women are mothers regardless if they have children or not, they are a mother to someone). What an amazing gift and one of the most rewarding roles to be granted! I woke up Sunday morning reading Proverbs 31 and my prayer is that I can be half the woman that lady is! Go read it for yourself--it may just change your life :)

My Mother's Day cards from a dear friend, Mama Terri (Travis' Mom), and Zing (our neighbor)
My mom's Mother's Day gift this year: a beach bag made by moi (homemade, just how she likes it :) and little Juice Drop's picture :)