31 July 2015

Welcome to my Office (A reveal of sorts)

 Ta Da! That little nook right beside our family room has been transformed into a real live office!  I mentioned in this post that I've been wanting some kind of office or desk, so I'm actually really thrilled to see this spot finished.  A couple weeks ago, Andy's family came over to visit, and I looked at Andy's dad with my stack-o-wood in hand like sooo, what are YOU doing for the next hour? And because he is one of the most helpful people this side of the Mississippi, he kindly obliged to help me construct the desk portion of the space.  With out him, my furring strips and I would have been lost.

Happy Friday, everybody! If you need me, you know where I'll be.

27 July 2015

Hand-me-down Initiation + Genetics

You guys, GENETICS! When Marin was born, and even now at two years old, we constantly hear how much she looks like Andy.  There are some features that don't resemble his, but her overall look definitely favors her dad.  When the doctor handed me Brite, I could tell right away that she was a bit smaller than sister, her eyes more almond-shaped like mine, her face more round, her skin more caramel; even her cry sounded quieter.  But there was also something about her that looked so much like her big sister too. 

So, here is each of our little ladies at three months, a small tribute to hand-me-downs, being two completely unique people inside and out, oh, and to the weird fact that two things can be SO different but EQUALLY beautiful, at least to their mama. 

Happy Monday, friends.

21 July 2015

A picture of the four + house projects

I can’t believe it took this long to get a picture of the four of us.  But, thanks to family vacations and extra hands, here it is! During my pregnant nesting craze, I started a gallery wall in our living room and left the largest frame empty, so Brite could be included in the pictures once she arrived.  So, with our first REAL family picture of all four of us printed and hung, we now have a finished gallery wall to boot. To the next project! 

Funny I should mention. This past Saturday I turned off Marin’s baby monitor by Andy’s side of the bed so he could sleep in a little.  Ah, but whilst he slept…I was preparing my Lowe's shopping list for another house project.  I’ve been wanting a desk space or office.  Right now my computer usually ends up on the kitchen counter or night stand, so I’ve been trying to brainstorm and budget for some kind of computer resting spot.  I didn’t want to use one of our bedrooms because it seemed like a waste of necessary bedroom space.  Ideally, I wanted the desk/office in a central spot where I could still see and be a part of what everyone was up to.  So, we picked the small (very small) nook in the hallway that leads to the master bedroom.  It’s just off the family room so still pretty central. Also, the nook measured nine inches deep and my laptop also measures nine inches deep.  Coincidence? I think not. Wink.

Here are a few of the pics from the beginnings of the project. Hopefully an itty bitty, finished office will be here soon! Happy Tuesday, friends. 

17 July 2015

Brite Wren: A Birth Story

I was 39 weeks on Monday April 20th.  I had an early appointment scheduled and the doc and I had some ummm…plans.  Must we really say membranes here? Let’s just say it quickly and keep moving.  She stripped my membranes.  Onward…since this worked with Marin, I felt pretty confident things would start rolling along soon.  I started to feel some cramping around 4 pm, but it was pretty irregular, so I didn’t pay much attention to it.  My neighbor Whitney texted me to see if Marin and I wanted to come over to play. We sat in her backyard while the kids splashed in the water toys, Marin covered in water and sneaking her first sip of diet coke because hello possible CONTRACTIONS HERE. Whitney and I talked and drank diet coke with “Ooh yay I’m feeling another cramp!” interludes.  Andy got home from work a little early that day, so Marin and I said our byes and headed in.  By six o’clock the cramping had tapered off, so I had resolved that our little lady had decided to extend her stay. 

Then to my surprise, the cramping started again just as we were wrapping up dinner. They were a bit more uncomfortable but still irregular, 3 minutes apart then 7 minutes apart, etc.   I decided to call the on-call doctor around 8:00 pm to get her thoughts about whether or not this was labor because I didn’t want any rushing–to-the-hospital type of situations.  She told me that it didn’t sound like active labor because the contractions weren’t frequent or consistent, but that we could head to the hospital if we wanted.  I told Andy what she said and of course, you know, with visions of having a baby on the highway dancing in his head, he was pretty much in the “Get in the car now” mode.  BUT, I really hate being at the hospital and wanted to labor at home as long as possible if it was actual labor, so I decided to just keep timing the cramps for another hour to see what happened.  And there it was…by nine o’clock they were 3 minutes apart.  I knew our drive to the hospital was going to take about 40 min. and that second babies usually come a little quicker, so I told Andy it was time. 

My parents were at our house within ten minutes.  We gave hugs and kisses to Marin and told her that she would get to meet her baby sister soon. We walked out to the car with all of our bags in hand. And here comes one of my favorite moments.  Our neighbors, Whitney and Stevie, happened to be getting home as we were walking to the car.  They saw our bags and were like, “Wait. Wha?! Is it happening?!”  We told them we were headed to the hospital.  Stevie asked if they could pray for us real quick.  They put their arms around our shoulders and the four of us huddled in prayer, contractions happening through it all.  They prayed for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, and they prayed for our daughter by name (some of the few people we actually told the name).  They prayed she would be a light for the Lord.  You ever just feel like heaven’s listening? 

We thanked them for sharing in our joy and for praying for us. Then we hopped in our car.  I’m always really nostalgic about the car ride to the hospital, with both of our daughters’ births.  We talked, drove slow, and breathed through contractions and butterflies. It’s a car ride we could never have wrapped our brains around when we were the Megan and Andy who had just met, exchanging numbers and wondering what would come from this relationship.  Then all of a sudden there you are together, sitting in this hushed moment just before you have your second child. 

We checked in at the labor and delivery counter around 9:45.  They told us it would be a short wait while they prepared a room.  I had forgotten how perplexing the labor and delivery waiting room is. I mean, there is the guy restocking the vending machine and the family eating McDonald’s right next to LADY IN LABOR.  Oh, hello. 

They called us back around 10:30.  We settled in.  Our nurse Katherine was so kind and peaceful. Peaceful is important, friends. When she checked me I was already 7 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced! I remember being shocked that I could be that close to 10 centimeters and not be in any real pain yet.  The doctor came in and we decided to go ahead and break my water to get things rolling a bit quicker.  Andy would laugh at how easy I just made that decision sound. The reality is that I was in full fickle hormonal paranoia mode and my doctor’s knowledge and years of experience were no match to my Google doctorate.   Also, was it really necessary to make me use my remaining brain cells.  

After breaking my water, we put in the request for the epidural because we figured things would start moving pretty quickly…which they did.  My contractions started feeling more intense, to the point where I couldn’t talk through them anymore.  Thankfully the anesthesiologist walked in soon after that, just as I was entering the “throw up pain."  He told me that he had one person ahead of me but for some reason they weren’t ready yet so he came to me first.  I could not have been more grateful that he let me skip in line because only a few minutes after he put in the epidural I felt like I NEEDED to push.  I told the doctor with urgency, “I really need to push! Can I go ahead and push!?” I never felt that with Marin because I couldn’t even feel my ear lobes during my labor with her.  So, yeah, it was go time.  Andy was so calm and encouraging, just telling me every contraction that I was doing a great job.  Poor guy was simply rubbing his thumb on my hand at one point when I looked at him like…if that thumb rubs my hand one more time.  It’s okay; we laugh about it now. 

Then, at 12:39 am, Brite Wren entered the world.  Her cry was quiet and her eyes were alert.  The doctor layed her on my chest.  I couldn’t tell if it was something in me that felt more confident this time around or if it was her, but her entrance into our lives felt like a whisper, seamless, like she had always been ours.    

We love you, Brite Wren.  Our hearts leapt at your first breath and will for each one after.  We are honored to be yours.     

15 July 2015

It's Vacation, Baby!

This past week we were in Hilton Head on our annual Summer trip with Andy's family. This trip always seems to come along when we most need it. Sometimes I thrive on a change of scenery, so while I love that our family has found an everyday rhythm with two babes, I was so glad for a road trip and the beach!
Since our last road trip we have acquired a new form of transportation, a minivan. I call it my humility on wheels but I secretly love it and drive it with the music loud and the bass down low for good measure. Needless to say, it was a welcomed companion this trip #becauseSTUFF. Once we arrived, the relaxing began. Well with two kids, it's more like pretend relaxing, but I'll take it!
We wake up early every morning, but for some reason it's easier at the beach. Brite is most settled during her morning nap and Marin has been skipping her afternoon nap so we let her sleep until she wakes up on her own somewhere around 9:00 am.  So, Andy and I were able to drink a couple cups of coffee and chat each morning before we heard a single peep. It was like a date every morning.
After the girls woke up we took the mornings slow, Andy usually taking Marin for a walk while I got things cleaned up and ready for a day at the beach. Andy's family really knows how to do the beach. They set up the tent, the cooler, the chairs. Everything is ready so that we can spend the entire day out there. And thank goodness because the getting ready for the beach and the actual beach time need to be the correct ratio. The sunscreen alone takes eons.
Once we were out there and settled, Brite appreciated being bounced and held by a standing person at all times while Marin played and played and played. How beautiful to watch her free little spirit out there. I don't think there is anything more fun then Marin on the beach. She was a little thrill seeker in the waves but a content sand castle smasher too. She was happy to rest for a minute to enjoy an entire watermelon then up and ready for more sand.
In the evenings we would head to dinner, skin smooth from showers and muscles tired from playing on the beach. We abandoned schedules and enjoyed the late Summer nights with family. After getting back to the condo each night, we would take turns putting an amped up toddler to bed. And no matter how much shampoo I used while giving her a shower earlier that night, I could still smell the ocean and sunscreen in her hair as I cuddled up beside her for bed each night. She would fight sleep to the very last minute before she dropped like a stone. Beautiful beach exhaustion from her greasy hair all the way to her sandy toes. So beautiful.
Honestly, the week was over just as quicky as it began. And we were packing up the Toyota Humility before we knew it. I'm so grateful for a little rejuvenation, for these memories and for family that loves on our girls, delighting in them like we do. Here's til next year!

09 July 2015

Kaitlin and Greg's Baby Shower

Okay, so I really scored big in the cousin-in-law department, and she is such a beauty and dear friend.  So, you can imagine the squeal I let out when she shared with us that she and her husband Greg were expecting a BABY! And their journey to this point is just as amazing and grace-filled as they are, a true reason to celebrate. 

So, here it is,  a beautiful little celebration that Kaitlin’s mom and I just recently had the honor of planning for the parents-to-be and sweet baby girl, Sarah Mak.  We love you, Kaitlin, Greg, and little miss Sarah Mak!

Thank you, Carrie Tabb (http://www.carrietabbblog.com) for so perfectly capturing the day.