Monday, November 23, 2015

stitch fix: postpartum experiene

My obsession with Stitch Fix continues...
So there I was, nothing but maternity clothes and pre-baby clothes. Living in sweats, tanks and still looking about 5 months pregnant with my postpartum pooch. If it wasn't for requesting postpartum and nursing friendly tops from Stitch Fix my last month of pregnancy I'd of not had much in the way of flattering. And by flattering postpartum outfits I mean my trusty sleeveless rayon nursing/mat tops that I wore out for months and months after T's birth. Not that there's anything wrong with that, they're just wore slick out from years (yes years) of use.
My stylist Traci pulled through like a champ for me! Sending slouchy a sweater to pair with leggings (or maternity) pants to wear to her doctor appointments. Comfortable and loose wrap dresses, one casual and one kinda dressy (worn to baby showers pp and a wedding reception). With my 25% off because I bought all 5 pieces each item was around 35$ a piece. I think they do their best when you say "The cheaper, the better" on your style quiz. 
Since pregnancy I've gotten a couple fixes, here are some of my faves below!

If you decide to try stitch fix, I'd so appreciate it if you used my referral link. It doesn't cost you anything and it gives me a little credit. Also you can cancel stitch fix anytime if you don't think it's right for you. Their customer service is awesome!



Friday, October 9, 2015

Stitch Fix. My Maternity Experience

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you all about my Maternity Stitch Fix experience! I decided to go for fixes in my second trimester, and it took about a month to receive my first fix.
A bit of a back story on why I decided to do Stitch Fix, 99% of my clothes were from my pregnancy with Truman, they were all rayon, clingy nursing tops. Between working full time and having a 2 year old, I didn't exactly lack for things to do in. I decided to give Stitch Fix a try since going shopping on the weekends wasn't in the cards, and shopping at the mall made me an angry person. What can I say, the style bus didn't stop at my house and hasn't for several years! ... college and a style savvy roommate was the last time, to be exact. 
Anyways so RAYON, yes. Tired of my worn slick out rayon shirts from my beloved Target. I just asked for a basic first Maternity fix and I got some of the cutest well made items!


this shirt and necklace. bet i wear this necklace once a week still! 

I still wear this ensemble, postpartum!
 Here are some pics, towards the end of my pregnancy. Little did I know there was an almost 9 lb baby of sweetness in there! The floral print shirt has buttons down the front making it easy for me to nurse in, and the blue dress is easy to access as well. Just keeping it real, because if you nurse or plan to nurse, you gotta have access.
 
Here are some of my postpartum Stitch Fix items, I asked for things that would be comfortable, hide my postpartum pooch and be easy to nurse in. Since I started requesting more specific things I've been super happy with my fixes. I think it's important to be specific with your stylist to achieve good communication. I even set up a pinterest board per the websites suggestion of things I liked.



I have kept all five of my items since I started requesting postpartum clothes. When you keep five of the items you get a 25% off discount, making them much more affordable in my opinion. I did have a shirt that I liked and I kept and then after wearing it one time I decided it wasn't the right shirt for me. So luckily there are stitch fix buy sell trade Facebook groups and I sold it to a girl who had been wanting it for a while! Talk about a win-win. 

I just wanted to share my experience through maternity and these past few weeks of being a postpartum mom. Believe it or not this gave me confidence, just by helping me look put together, and that made me feel better, simple as that.

If you decide to do stitch fix, let me know I want to see your fixes! Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Welcome, Willa!

*there are intimate pictures here, so reader beware.

 
Willa’s Birth Story.


I’m not sure where to begin! Her birth was so different than Truman’s. Truman’s was organized and planned. He was post dates induced, broke water at 6AM, born before 2PM for Tman. We laughed with the doctor and nurses between contractions and pushing. Willa’s was almost polar opposite! And I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Sunday before her birth we were all lying in bed and I felt my stomach tighten up, thought it was her balling up. Then it happened again and again. So finally we started timing them and then they just stopped, same thing for the next night.  

Wednesday I’d been to my weekly check, it was 4CM and 60% effaced, almost double what I’d been the week before. She said “You’ll be in like Flynn” and she was right. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help things along and she said “Just enjoy your evening” so we did just that. James and I met up with T and we had Mexican food on our favorite patio in town, complete with good music. I got home and the contractions started again. I could tell it was coming! We decided to go to sleep and see what happens. I woke up at 2:15 Thursday morning, and pain was radiating in my back and around to my abdomen. By 2:30 we were out the door with a sound asleep Truman, headed to the triage of the women’s hospital. * And I cussed every stop light we hit and timed contractions all the way there. Mollie my SIL met us there and took Truman home with them (life savers).
 We got there and I was still at four (what!?) they monitored me in the triage for an hour (something I didn’t know they’d do) and within an hour I was at a 6 and being admitted. I shivered and shook from the moment I laid on that table, it was awful. She asked if I wanted an epidural and I answered yes faster than you could blink an eye. I’d not planned for a natural birth, and honestly I couldn’t remember the breaths, I asked the nurse “okay give me some breathing tips” and my dad’s probably ONLY health advice he ever gave me came flowing from her lips “breathe in your nose and out your mouth”. So I did just that and with every contraction dad’s words of wisdom came into my mind. 
I’d gone from a four to a six within an hour, and by the time the anesthesiologist got to the room I was at an eight, and excited to see him. I was scared of the pain; I have no problem in admitting that. I was scared. He left our room at 5:30 with the epidural about ½ ass set up. By Six AM I was complete and felt ready to push. The nurse assured me that the pressure was just her moving down and that she’d really like to see me at a positive station before they break water and start pushing.  I could tell the epidural wasn’t a total success, the pain had dimmed a bit but the pressure and oh I don’t know, 75% of the pain was still there. We rested between contractions and I did my best to breathe through them. Finally our doctor walks in the room at 7:20, breaks my water, gives me one practice push and then suits up in her delivery attire (IDK the proper name) the nursery crew comes in and by 7:31, and three intense pushes and the most pressure I’d ever felt in my entire life later my doctor says “April, open your eyes” and I get to see my precious girl for the very first time. We locked eyes and I began to cry. They let me put her on me skin to skin immediately and I just sat there quietly relishing the moment with tears of pure joy. I watched James cut the cord and he snapped some pictures. James did an amazing job considering everything that was going on. I have to say he had to go lay on the couch twice thanks to the intensity of the situation. (That’s love friends!)

A little side by side comparison of how much our babies look alike! Tru was 7#11oz and 21", Willa was 8#14oz and 21" too.
Truman is a super, duper big brother. He's very proud of her and loves to touch and be near her. Makes my heart just soar. It's incredible how much he's taken to her. 
Welcome to the world little Willa Dawn! 

Dilations
3:10 – 4
4:00- 6
5:10- 8
5:30 – 9.5
6:00- complete

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

EDD

Yesterday was my estimated due date... TMI but it was that "first day of your last period due date" I also I have a cranial measurement due date we took when she was 20ish weeks of 7/30. I don't give due dates too much merit because well, they're estimates. :)
Feeling really good, feeling positive and a little antsy to be honest. But physically I feel really good.
Gave my body some majorly due credit and love today and thanked it for being so strong and powerful through not only this pregnancy but the last one as well. I feel that I'm incredibly critical and hard on my body and I've not gave it near enough credit that it's due. I'm going to try to be gentler to myself during establishing a nursing relationship again and healing postpartum. I owe me that much. Do you think you're too hard on yourself too? I have to remind myself often that I am a soul, I have a body, and this body is flawed but it's capable and good.
Over share, but I even drive past my dads grave site and think angry thoughts of his body failing him, but that's not where he is, just the shell of what carried his larger than life soul.
Guess that's all I really have to say about that.

Moral of the story, love your body! Or keep trying really, really hard to like in my case.
It's the only one you've got.  XO

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Those last, long weeks of pregnancy.

I'm in my thirty-eighth week of pregnancy with this sweet lady!
I'm humbled and delighted to say it's been a very smooth pregnancy. Nothing that can't be fixed with EATING BETTER and a trip to my chiropractor.
If I'm thinking right we've got 2-3 weeks left should she decide to go over. I'm kinda notsosecretly hoping that she's born on T's birthday, or my BFF's birthday, or on my cousin Kaye's birthday, or JDillys birthday, or in my 41st week, Mommom's birthday. :-D I can see Mommom and my dad in heaven laughing at me for entertaining the idea of plans like this.  Regardless, there are a lot of nice days ahead.

Idk how the quality of these pics will be but here's some of the haps around here lately. 

These two are wrestle mania!
We've been on a swimming and play date binge! It's been a lot of fun! Not going to lie though I'm way tired the next day! 
37 weeks here and she's in no hurry, just like her brother was! 
General cuteness ­čśŹ

Last week, finding humor in the large things ;) 



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crock Pot Ribs (one crock pot, two meals)

These meals were absolutely delicious! My pictures (below) don't do them justice, It's just a proven fact that I suck at food photography, and also more relevant, I'm addicted to cilantro. :) I hope you cook these and enjoy! The pizzas were the bomb and I definitely recommend getting the Monterrey jack over mozzarella, it really compliments the pizza well.

Mango-Chipotle Pork Spare Ribs Cilantro-Lime Sweet Potatoes and Black Bean-Pineapple Salad


Recipe selected from the eMeals Slow Cooker Clean Eating Family Plan.


Mango-Chipotle Pork Spare Ribs

Slow Cooker
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3½ lb pork spare ribs
  • 1½ tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp salt, ¾ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (or use flat-leaf parsley)

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle pork with chile powder, salt and pepper. Place in a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker. Add oil, mango, broth, garlic and onion.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours. (Shred 2 cups pork, and reserve for Hawaiian Pork Pizzas recipe.) Sprinkle remaining pork with cilantro.

Cilantro-Lime Sweet Potatoes and Black Bean-Pineapple Salad

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1½ lb sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp salt, 1½ tsp pepper, divided
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (or use flat-leaf parsley)
  • 1 (15-oz) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss together potatoes, oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a large bowl; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning once. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp lime juice and cilantro.
  3. Stir together beans, pineapple, bell pepper, 1 Tbsp lime juice, and ½ tsp each salt and pepper.




Hawaiian Pork Pizzas Fruit Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing

Recipe selected from the eMeals Slow Cooker Clean Eating Family Plan.

Hawaiian Pork Pizzas

Prep Ahead
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-lb) balls bakery whole-wheat pizza dough
  • ¾ cup organic barbecue sauce
  • 1 (8-oz) block Monterey Jack cheese, freshly shredded
  • Reserved 2 cups shredded pork (from Mango-Chipotle Pork Spare Ribs recipe)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Let dough stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out each dough ball into a 12- to 16-inch circle; place each on a large baking sheet. Spread barbecue sauce over dough, and sprinkle with cheese. Top with pork, pineapple, bell pepper, and onion.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until crusts are browned and cheese is melted.

Fruit Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 lb store-bought deli fruit salad

Instructions

  1. Whisk together orange juice, honey and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add fruit salad, tossing to coat.

Time

Clock
20mPrep
15mCook
35mTotal





Thursday, May 7, 2015

Little Man+Little Miss : {Double digits have arrived!}

Our sweet baby girl should make her appearance within the next 13-15 weeks! I'm allowing myself to go post estimated delivery date, of course. The heat and weight may change my attitude between now and then but I want her to come when she's ready, and on her own, (ideally) even if that means going past the EDD.

 Over our vacation I hurt my hip(s) and have since then been seeing a chiropractor whose really helped me get back to feeling great! He's given me great tips to help keep my hips in better shape and he and his wife are going to be there in the later weeks of pregnancy to keep me comfortable and ready for birth! Between them and my doula I feel really prepared physically and mentally.
I'm still in a complacent place in this pregnancy. A lot of thinking "What will we do if X? What will we do if Y?" A lot of thinking about how our son is going to adjust, and how we are going to adjust into a family of four (five if you'd like to count our fur child). Just a lot of preparedness that I didn't even know about before our first born.
You honestly just don't know until you know... you know.

One thing I do know, I'll be cutting out dairy, and going back to paleo here in the next couple weeks,and for quite awhile after pregnancy. I know that I'll have her checked for lip and tongue ties, I know that reflux (even silent) can be a culprit, and I know about these growth spurts and how she'll be on me like a chubster at an all you can eat buffet. I know that I need to give myself and my house some slack. I know that I need to rely on James and anyone that is brave enough to come over for help. And I know that our boy is going to go through some major adjustments that may not be easy.

 Speaking of the boy, he started preschool! We are so proud of him. I really think he'll enjoy himself and he's in good hands. He's such an independent one and I feel like this approach is the best for him. He's very sensory, hands on, manipulate material kinda guy that I feel like this is right up his alley. He's also began speech therapy a couple months ago for being expressive-delayed. I think he's really starting to like his speech path, and I really like her too! What a neat and rewarding job to have!

Over the weekend we went to a mini-derby at Equestrian Bridges, it was a fundraiser for autistic children to receive equine therapy. Such a neat place! I want to go there every weekend and ride! Little man was in LOVE with the miniature horses, he rode twice and in between "races" he wanted to be by the corral where the "race horses" were. He's got a lot of his momma's "Ellie Mae-ness" in him with huge compassion and love for animals.

And last for you, another selfie of yours truly. I started getting a Maternity Stitch-Fix from Stitchfix.com. Stitch Fix does women's (maternity and non-maternity) clothing. It's a monthly clothing service where a professional, personal stylist helps "style" you. I hate shopping and I hate the mall and I only ever wear things I find at Target or at Sam's Club, so I really needed some help. I really liked my first fix she sent the shirt and the necklace you see in the picture above, as well as some black maternity crops, a high-low shirt that'd be perfect postpartum too and a sweet faux-leather moto-jacket that I'm having major remorse that I sent back. The quality of all the items was really nice and the prices around the 40$ mark. I get my next fix later this month, I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Destination: Duck Key

Thought I'd tell you all about our trip to The Florida Keys:
After all I pay for this blog domain and am slacking bad in the writing department.

I don't want to brag, I want to inform: This place is FAMILY FRIENDLY! If you're considering a beach-y family vacation, seriously consider the Hawks Cay Resort at Duck Key, Florida.

Quick overview so I don't lose you:
It's an hour and a half from Key West (approx 60 miles)
It has a whole kid-focused club called the Indies Club, mini golf, basketball courts, soccer field, day camp, playground, 3ft-5ft deep huge pool and a pirate ship splash and side park and it's own restaurant (and bar).
The resort is 60 acres and has lagoon access all around. (we saw a manatee, sting ray, small shark and crab out our townhouse backdoor!)  There are four or five restaurants, one is pretty swanky, and there is a salt water lagoon, a dolphin sanctuary, and five pools I believe. One tiki bar but all restaurants have a bar area as well.
At night on the weekends they have live music at the main pool and there were nights when we stayed out swimming past 10 PM. Lots of kids, lots of families, lots of babies in strollers, lots of tweens. You name it.
There's a marina so you can go on boat tours, fishing guides, snorkeling/scuba, para-sailing, jet skiing, and much more!

Again, check out Hawks Cay resorts website, their professional pictures and information put all of mine to shame! 
 


This is us on "Blue" A huge party barge type boat. We did a sunset cruise one night (booze cruise) and we went out in blue to snorkel a protected reef where we saw tons of colorful fish!

Top left pic is T at the pirate ship, top right is off our backyard of our townhouse.

Scenery from around the resort. The water just got brighter as the day went on.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Another (amazing) Slow-Cooker Clean Eating 1 for 2 meals

 Two recipes here: 

- Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos w/ quick refried black beans


- Santa Fe Chicken Pizzas with Arugula Salad

Instead of making my own tomatillo sauce I just bought some decent ready-made salsa verde, that really cuts down on the grocery list! Both husband and toddler loved these meals. Husband said- you could open up your own pizza place with a pizza like this. Ha! Make your own gourmet pizza, friends!  - Enjoy


Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos Quick Refried Black Beans

Recipe selected from the eMeals Slow Cooker Clean Eating Family Plan.

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

Kid-Friendly
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 12 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 3 jalape├▒o peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 (16-oz) pkg corn tortillas, heated
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced

Instructions

  1. Combine tomatillos and water to cover in a large saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Drain and transfer to a blender.
  3. Add jalape├▒os and cilantro; process until smooth.
  4. Add onion, lime juice, salt, and pepper; pulse to combine.
  5. Place chicken in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker; top with 1½ cups salsa verde, cumin and garlic powder.
  6. (Reserve ¾ cup salsa verde for serving and ¾ cup for Santa Fe Chicken Pizza recipe.) Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.
  7. Remove chicken, and shred with 2 forks.
  8. (Reserve 3 cups shredded chicken for Santa Fe Chicken Pizzas recipe.) Return remaining chicken to cooker, and toss with sauce.
  9. Serve in warm tortillas with reserved salsa verde and diced avocado.

Quick Refried Black Beans

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 (15-oz) cans organic black beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Rinse and drain beans, and add to skillet.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  4. Add ½ cup water; mash beans with a fork to desired consistency.
  5. Stir in cumin; cook until thoroughly heated.

Time

Clock
30mPrep
8h 15mCook
8h 45mTotal

So the next night you can make:

Santa Fe Chicken Pizzas with Arugula Salad

Recipe selected from the eMeals Slow Cooker Clean Eating Family Plan.

Santa Fe Chicken Pizzas with Arugula Salad

Crowd Pleaser
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup homemade salsa verde (from Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos recipe)
  • 2 (12-inch) organic whole-wheat prebaked pizza crusts
  • 3 cups reserved cooked shredded chicken (from Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos recipe)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalape├▒o pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 (8-oz) block colby-Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 (5-oz) pkg fresh arugula
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread salsa verde over crusts.
  3. Top with chicken, corn, bell pepper, jalape├▒o, and cheese.
  4. Bake directly on oven rack 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is melted.
  5. Toss together arugula, cilantro, oil, and lime juice in a bowl.
  6. Top pizzas with salad.

Time

Clock
15mPrep
15mCook
30mTotal


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Got Leftover Brisket? Do this the next night:

This was stupid good you all! My only suggestion is to take the 2 TEA of chili powder as a suggestion, you could always do less. I thought it was a bit spicy, it didn't stop our toddler from enjoying it though. We all really, really liked this and despite my poor picture it actually made a very pretty plate!




Open-Faced Brisket Sloppy Joes Sweet Potato Wedges and Dill Pickles

Recipe selected from the eMeals Slow Cooker Clean Eating Family Plan.

Open-Faced Brisket Sloppy Joes

Classic Favorite
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 cups reserved chopped brisket and 1 cup sauce (from Brisket and Onions recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 (12-oz) whole-wheat baguette, halved lengthwise

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat; add onion and bell pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and chili powder; cook 1 minute.
  4. Add brisket and sauce and brown sugar; stir.
  5. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.
  6. Preheat broiler.
  7. Broil baguette, cut sides up, until toasted.
  8. Cut each half into 3 pieces; top with brisket mixture.

Sweet Potato Wedges and Dill Pickles

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 dill pickle spears

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut potatoes into wedges; toss with oil, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until tender.
  4. Serve with sandwiches and pickles.

Time

Clock
10mPrep
25mCook
35mTotal

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I don't even know what to call this update...


Babe is asleep…
Laundry and diapers are done…
Kitchen is clean…
House is in decent shape…


That means I get to update my blog!

Here’s what’s been going on, for better and for worse… a rollercoaster of events and emotions since I last updated you all in what, October?



Lets start in November because I can’t remember that much further back.
- And also forgive me if I lack in detail, you surely understand why.



November started out with my brother’s birthday – The Jech group met up with Morgan his fianc├ę, her family and my and Morgan’s parents for a classy night at The Tilted Kilt, (Morgan’s pick). We had a wonderful dinner with the family that ended with cake, so what’s not to like? Morgan and Jaime had just announced to us that they decided to up their wedding from May of 2015 to mid-November of 2014, so we were all wedding talk and chatter, exciting stuff! Also just a day or two before that we decided to put our house on the market. So the hubs and I were anxiously plotting our next landing since we just knew for sure it’d sell in a week’s time (it didn’t). 
At this point dad was doing pretty well, at least that’s what he’d tell us anyhow. He was walking, slowly but unassisted and in real good spirits. He had decided to not take chemo until after the wedding so he could build up strength and it just so happen that his treatment would line up on the day before their wedding, which would have been zero fun for him. 
Fast forward two weeks- to rehearsal dinner; dad had been having quite a bit of trouble with lymphedema and neuropathy in his left leg due to radiation damage, general crappiness that is cancer. He had to use a cane to walk. We all had a decent (hectic albeit) rehearsal then off to the dinner (everyone’s favorite I’m sure). Dad was pretty give out by dinner so after apps came he decided to go to the truck and his friend, Billy went with him so they could visit (which if you ever saw this duo you’d know that was a dangerous thing) they even ate their dinner out in the truck too. #IdowhatIwant
The next day was the wedding day and what a fun day it was for Morgan and Jaime! It was pretty damn cold too. We took outside pics and whined and bitched about how cold it was (heck, the guys had on long sleeves, pants, AND jackets mind you). By the time the wedding rolled around it was dusk and the party had commenced! I’ll post some pics so y’all can see.
(thanking Kari Kidd for letting me share these pics) 





Dad was pretty weak by the wedding, he’d had company in and out all day to see him, plus like I said, damn cold. And being damn cold plus sick is just miserable. I watched him come in the chapel and my heart absolutely broke. He was down to being fully assisted or in a wheelchair. I hated that leg bothering him with ever fiber of my body by this point, and I know I wasn’t alone in my loathing. He didn’t stay long, enough for the ceremony and to watch them be introduced. It was clear that he was wiped out and ready to go home, so he did just that. We all stayed and had a grand ol time, danced and partied, Morgan even went a little extra crazy…
The next day we went to moms for Sunday Brunch and dad was still in bed, I went in to see him and he was pretty lethargic and just absolutely exhausted. I was highly concerned and called our family friend who is a doctor and told him what I was seeing, and he suggested we call an ambulance. He was malnourished and spent roughly 24 hours in the hospital getting fluids.
At this point James, Morgan, Jaime and I decided that one family would stay with mom and dad every night incase they needed us. We helped haul in wood, build a fire, keep dad comfortable, attempt to keep the house clean on and on for two weeks. I went with dad twice to his oncology group and got to meet some big-hearted people, who were all crazy about dad. He had all the nurses nicknamed and they all knew him too! Haha, makes my heart happy just thinking about it. His numbers were looking good but he just had zero strength and comfort thanks to the leg.
Thanksgiving came and we had the whole Anderson clan at my parent’s house, we had a fun, low-key thanksgiving where we all just hung out and enjoyed each other. We even ate dinner in the living room as opposed to the traditional around the dinner table so we could all be in the same room together. Morgan and Jaime stayed that night with my folks and called me early the next AM saying that they were taking dad back to the hospital.
This is where I spare you the details, because it’s painful, and raw still, but we lost dad early the next day. I just knew I was going to go back and see him there that next day but that wasn’t the case. We all spent the day in his room with him, and we even watched the hogs (lose) to mizzou. We were all there except Mr. T-man to spend the day with him.
The next few hours- days were a blur. I personally went through some major emotions, chills, aches, stomach trouble, flushing I felt and was physically sick and heartbroken. Jaime saved the day; she typed up dad’s obit and created his program for the service with minimal help from all of us (we just bossed her around basically). We decided that his service should be a celebration of life instead of focusing on the end.
His services were held at our family church in Fayetteville, my friend Natalie read a bit about dad and dad’s friend Bart Hester did the eulogy. They both did such a wonderful job. The reverend that preformed the service was wonderful and I’m just completely in awe of him now. We even had a top-notch musician provided by the church to play the songs we selected. My one request was Jeff Buckley’s Halleluiah, instrumental. We took him to his resting place and so very thankfully some of the truck drivers drove their bobtails and semi’s. I thought dad would like that, even though those trucks weren’t working that day. The masons of dad’s sect preformed a ritual that they do for all of their members that I’ll never forget. The leader did it all by heart, and you could tell it was hard for him to get through. What a sweet, sweet man.
            We had a pouring of love and sympathy from family and friends that would make anyone feel appreciated, loved and cared for. My friend Ashley even gave me a sign that says, “It is well with my soul” and on the back the meaning of it. I’d always liked “It is well with my soul” but I had no idea the tragic story behind it. I honestly just thought it was an old gospel song. You should look it up.
            Now here’s where I start to skip and go goofy because this is a long, long blog post and bless you if you’ve even made it this far.
Heres a couple collages I made for mom. Dad and boys bond was as special as ever. Tman loved and respected dad more than any of us! 





           
A line from Natalies eulogy; a quote from dad's favorite movie that I've seen at least thirty times, but hever truly heard this line: 

“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.


            Mid December I had my 6-month check up at my gynecologist (tmi, but oh just you wait) she asks when was my last errr… cycle.  So I tell her “uh, October I’m pretty sure” and something like “I’ve been pretty stressed lately here’s why XYZ” One little test and one little ultrasound later I’m seven weeks pregnant. We decided to surprise our families with the news on Christmas. We * should * have said “Surprise we’re pregnant and also that’s your only gift cuz we headed to da po’ house”.
            Our house still hasn’t sold, and we’re anticipating a little babe here in another six months. I’ve entered this pregnancy so differently than with Tman. I’m in a state of preparedness for my mental and physical health versus a preparation of material things. Luckily T’s stuff is all unisex so the d├ęcor will stay the same, they’ll share a room for awhile (hahaha they’ll both be in our bedroom) and if it’s a girl we’ll get a few new clothes, if it’s a boy we’ll use hand-me-down’s of T’s hat I have stored up. I bought a comfortable ring sling for those early weeks/months and put drool pads on my ergo for those teething months/years. I also enlisted the help of a doula to help me postpartum so I’m not so much of a raging, hormonal lunatic like the last time. I’ve got nursing teas and tinctures on stand by, as well as PPD tinctures on standby too. I simply CANNOT afford to be a basket case with an infant, a toddler and a husband who depend on me. I got some hand-me-down newborn diaper covers, fitteds and some one dollar flour sack towels (FST’s) to get me through those peanut-ie legs days. Maybe, just maybe by then Mr. T will be potty-trained (Hey I can dream!).
            Speaking of our boy, he started daycare last week, going part time to this wonderful lady. He’s not happy when I drop him off but when I go to pick him up he doesn’t care to leave! He’s a sweetie though… hot mess but a sweetie. Pretty typical toddler. 

Oh and I'm eating like a horse. #landfill