Monday, August 21, 2017

Life Lately

Last Friday morning (August 11) I got up with a strong feeling that I needed to look at my phone to see if one of my best friends, Kayla, had gone into labor. I brushed it off and went to the bathroom and came back and looked at my phone leisurely a bit later and I had about a million texts and missed calls starting at 2 am... Kayla's water had broken and they were already at the hospital! I called Ben immediately to come back from being on his way to meet a friend for breakfast to get Beau.. bc I had to get to the hospital!! 

Once I got there at around 8 Kayla had already gotten her epidural and at her last check she had been at a 3. Ben ended up bringing Beau up to be with me while he went to a quick meeting so he got acquainted with the waiting room life. 

No biggie, just waiting on your girl to be born. Haha! 

Not long after this photo we left the room for Kayla to have her check and the grandmas to be in the waiting room got a text saying she was at a 9!! We all thought it was a joke at first but were then thrilled to know there would be a baby by lunch! 

Susannah and I left to run get a cookie cake, of course! :) 

Beautiful Ella Mae was born at one o' clock on the dot. 

Just look at this beautiful family!!! 

Can't get enough of this girl! 

So you might be thinking... didn't one of your other friends just have a baby too? YEP. Kayla and Rachel are actually childhood best friends (Kayla is how I know Rachel, although her and her husband are now in our home group too!) and they had baby girls three days apart, totally unplanned. What's nuts is that their original due dates were 9 days later than when they had the babies, but still ended up 3 days apart. Rachel's baby was breech so she had a scheduled c-section, and Kayla went into labor early. This is nuts, right? Anyway, it's going to be so sweet for these girls to grow up together. 

So last week I went to pick up our Wal Mart Grocery pickup on the way back from getting my tooth adjusted at the dentist. I got home, opened the trunk, and saw Sunny D, Cheetos, and a bunch of other stuff I don't buy. They gave us the wrong groceries! I called back and they said that we could come pick up our groceries, but that they couldn't resell the groceries if I brought them back.. so this lead to Ben eating cheetos and feeding Beau his first Lunchable! HAHA!! 

On Wednesday we had our first accountability meeting with Baby Laurel and the girls were LOVING it!! 

Afterwards I went with my mother in law to run a few errands and my sweet boy fell asleep before lunch! He usually would wake up when I picked him up but he was OUT! 

Such an unexpected blessing to get to cuddle my sleeping boy! 

Look how big he looks trying on this hat.. hurts my heart! 

A photo of my big strong boy the night before his surgery! 

For those who have asked, this was NOT Beau's thumb surgery. That will happen sometime this winter. We have our appointment with his hand doctor at the end of October and will hopefully schedule then. This was just an outpatient procedure, and although this is super unlike us, we're choosing to keep the details of it offline. However, I love and appreciate you all so much and am so grateful for you caring about our boy! 

Waiting to get checked in! 

After we checked in and he had all his vitals checked, we got to go visit our family in the waiting room for about 30 minutes before Beau would go back for his procedure. 

Look at our strong and sweet boy. This photo hurts my heart so much. He hadn't eaten or drank anything in so long and he was still in such good spirits! My sweetest little heart. I shared this on instagram but people kept commenting on his hair (of course! haha!) and how happy he was. We have the happiest boy! 

Playing with Granny and Pops for a last few minutes before surgery!

My boy in his hospital gown. Hurts my heart!

We waited in the waiting room for about 2 hours with our family. Thankfully my niece was there to keep me distracted, I love that girl so much! The hospital kept texting me updates throughout telling me that he had fallen asleep, the procedure had started, was going well, closing had begun, and was finished. Then our awesome doctor came out to tell us that everything went perfectly! Praise the Lord. While talking to him a nurse came to get us to sit with him until he woke up. When we went back he was laying on a little bed with an oxygen mask laying off to the side to help his system clear out quicker. He was under a big blanket and was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. We sat by his bedside until he woke up and then I could hold him, even though he quickly fell back asleep. 

So this is funny.. we were both texting people updates and Ben decided to take a new photo of Beau and I for every message "because it's easier" haha! So he literally sent his Granny this photo of me texting. So goofy! 

That night was ROUGH. We've never experienced Beau waking up a million times before and it was crazy! But we ended up having a lot of really sweet cuddles although we were exhausted! This little boy was in good spirits the next morning during breakfast, though! 

Once we realized that Beau was doing so well and acting mostly himself while he was on his medicine, we decided to get out of the house! 

On Saturday morning we went to go check on Ella again.. look how sweet! Can't wait for many more photos of these two, exactly 15 months apart to  the day! XO 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Daily Dime: August 2017

Sweet Kristin sent me an email last week to remind me of the Daily Dime linkup, one of my favorites, and I was so grateful. But then life happened and we didn't really have a good day that I could record our day in its entirety until yesterday, and I kind of forgot. BUT I take enough photos on an average day that I could put together almost a "dime" :) So this may be a bit choppy but it's a look at a real life day in our life, towards the end of summer when life is all over the place!

9:37 am sent this selfie to my friend Nicole to record the fact that Beau was climbing all over me like I am his personal jungle gym. 

In between here is where I could have really used some more photos. :) I spent some time cooking in the kitchen, worked on a few calendar related things for fall, booked our family on a local "Polar Express" steam train in December. We also ran a few real estate errands for Ben. 

12:42 pm I made a quick whole 30 lunch I've seen on some blogs, avocado egg salad. Smushed up hard boiled eggs with avocado mixed together.. looks not so great but was so yummy and filling!

2:24 pm Sent this text my friend Kayla to let her know that we were on our way to deliver her new family of THREE some dinner! They welcomed their sweet girl on Friday. I made them lasagna and included a caesar salad kit, a box of garlic knots, and also made brownies. Easy... but comfort food! 

4:12 pm Sitting on my bestie's couch, snuggling her girl and talking about what's going on in our lives.. literally nothing better!

7:05pm We had our friends the Hamiltons over for dinner, and ate the same meal we dropped off earlier in the day. Towards the end of dinner, McKenna had fed their sweet baby, Anna Lee and Ben asked to hold her sweet sleeping self while McKenna ate dinner. Sleeping baby on your chest is the ultimate happy place! 

9:32 pm A late night for the kids! Ben was leading them through the telling of a "ghost story" before they all left!

10:23pm My friend Sarah had me login to her blog to read the post she had scheduled for tomorrow (today!) on their journey with infertility ahead of time. I would highly recommend reading her testimony of the struggle they have endured and been sustained by Christ through. It's been an honor to walk through this with her and pray for a baby for their sweet family with her since the beginning. It is Sarah's heart for people to see the goodness of God through their story, and I'd love for y'all to check it out and encourage her! 


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Reading Lately

In the last two months I've been on an INCREDIBLE reading spree. I go through phases of forgetting reading for fun is an option (just full disclosure here!) and this summer I've loved it so much. I've realized that on a bad day there's not a whole lot better than curling up with a book I'm dying to finish. Highly recommend choosing a book over flipping channels or scrolling on your phone.

Unrelated photo bc every post needs a photo :) 
Crazy Rich Asians and two sequels by Kevin Kwan
I read these really at the end of spring but haven't recapped. Something to note about my reading style- I read books with urgency and usually rather quickly. These books weren't like that. I always really enjoyed reading them but didn't feel the urgency. That being said, they weren't hard to get into and I really did enjoy them. There are a lot of names that makes it kind of hard to keep up with but overall really easy to read and enjoy. It was an interesting look into a crazy lifestyle.

The Island by Elin Hildebrand
I've read lots of people talking about Elin Hildebrand and decided before our flight to Amsterdam earlier this summer.. LOVED it. It was a beach read but felt a little bit more complex and I felt so invested in the characters. I loved the ending, too.

Barefoot by Elin Hildebrand
Second Elin book! Haha! Honestly my reflection is similar.. kept turning pages and loved the story and was so emotionally invested.

Silver Girl by Elin Hildebrand
Again.. super interesting story of a woman who's husband was just caught doing some serious money laundering and it's about the fallout of that and how she recovers and starts to try and rebuild her life. Again, I was SO invested. She clearly does a great job with character development.

Beautiful Day by Elin Hildebrand
More Elin!! Haha! I couldn't get enough. Although I will note that I didn't read any of these back to back.. well maybe just two. It was nice to have a break from the same location to help me differentiate. This one is about a wedding weekend and again.. loved it!

After You by JoJo Moyes 
So last year or the year before, I read Me Before You and had my heart literally ripped out of my chest. The ending was extremely sad and frustrating and so I didn't really care about the sequel bc I just wanted to remember the good parts of the book. Then last week before my friend Rachel was going to have her baby, we watched the movie bc it was free on Amazon prime. So we literally sat there crying together and for the first time I wondered if I should read the book, even though Rachel and my friend Sarah had both said it wasn't good. UM YEAH. Not good. I finished it out of obligation but I didn't feel emotionally connected, didn't like the story, just was over it in general. At least now I know, I guess?

Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave
I read another book by Laura Dave, Eight Hundred Grapes a few years ago and LOVED it. It was one that I breezed through. So when I saw this new release I was eager to read it. It's about a famous chef who makes youtube videos and is getting all these big deals and then is exposed as a fraud.. and then about her rebuilding process and trying to repair her marriage and I really enjoyed it! I feel like I liked the other book a bit more but I still loved this one. Read the other too if you haven't!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I told y'all my friend Kassidy recommended this book and said she read it super quick.. YUP. One of those you pick up and just love. Its long which I LOVED. I finished it really quickly and couldn't put it down and am eager to read the sequel now. When I mentioned it last week my friend Sarah reminded me that she had already told me to read it, haha! I'll keep you posted on the sequel and from what I understand the third book isn't out yet.

Two old favorites I reread on our trip: 

The Selection Series by Kierra Cass

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan 

These two are some of my absolute favorites to breeze through. If you haven't read them, I'd HIGHLY recommend!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back Home to Brighton

Hi! A few housekeeping things.. two of my best friends had babies last week, AND because when it rains it pours, I had a crown done at the dentist and it got infected. So life has been all over the place and posts haven't been consistent. Email replies are even less consistent. Be on the lookout for changes in both. If you've emailed me, I'll be getting to it asap. I literally have two emails from one of my favorite people ever (Hi Patty Anderson!!!) and am feeling rotten about needing to get on top of things. Hopefully this week, pending this dental situation which is the most non glam thing ever. :) 

Brighton, England has become our home away from home over the past few years. It's where our family lives, and we were so eager to get there after our "meh" time in Brussels. We took the lunchtime Eurostar and arrived at St. Pancras in London. I won't lie.. our love for London nearly made us grab a taxi and head for Hyde Park. But Brighton was calling our names so we bought our train tickets and navigated to the platform for the southbound train. All of it went a lot smoother than I could have imagined, with all of our luggage and whatnot. But by the time our train arrived in Brighton we are SO glad to be able to smell the sea, it was a long day of travel!

My aunt and cousin had an event in London that night, and my brother who was staying there also while golfing in the UK was driving back from a tournament. My grandmother met us at my aunt's house and made us dinner. Beau was so excited to cuddle his Great Nan! 

It was also so nice to get Beau a bath after our long day of sitting on trains!

Nanny made us some English food.. shepherd's pie and "toad in the hole" which was basically sausages in pastry. 

The next few days are honestly a beautifully restful blur. Lots of just spending time with our people and resting. Beau getting acquainted with Benson (the sweetest dog!) 

It was so weird to see my brother driving on the "wrong side of the road" haha! 

We went to the Brighton football stadium for a gift shop run, and Beau enjoyed playing around. 

The beach of stones is one of the most beautiful places. Not as fun for Beau to play in as the sand, but still really sweet. 

Of course we stopped for a cookie at a charming bakery after a lunch out :) 

My cousin Josh and his gorgeous girlfriend Hannah drove down from London to see us for dinner and we were SO grateful to get some time with them. 

Beau LOVES Hannah!!!

One of my favorite photos from the trip!

All the family photos below are probably not that interesting to y'all but they mean so much to me! There were many years of life when I didn't get to see these people and now feel so close to them and it's such a blessing!

.... and the next morning we were headed to Spain together! :) 

PS the top I wore in a lot of these photos has become my absolute favorite, it can be found here