We Are Having A…

Friday our doctor’s office called us with testing results, I’d had the verifi Prenatal test (p.s. I have no affiliation with them, just linking since it’s rather new to the testing game) which is why we found out gender so early. Everything is fine – it doesn’t change the risk with ciHHV-6, but it does eliminate other issues or complications. That’s why we opted to do this, in case there was something that might be a bigger risk with ciHHV-6.

And then the nurse asked, “Would you like to know the gender?” It was one of those moments where the whole world stops for a second – you know whatever words come next are going to change your life. And they did. I started to cry and told her, “You just made my whole day,” and she was so excited – it was wonderful.

So then once we knew, and Bella knew we knew (and wasn’t about to wait to find out), I ran out and bought balloons, came home and searched for a box – finding the only one big enough but barely fit in. Then we realized my camera battery was dead. And once Bella opened the box, the jammed in balloons didn’t come out and Sam had to help her pry them out and I forgot to turn the phone the right way and then the video was a mess to try to clip together –

Bella Gender Reveal 1

Best laid plans y’all. So I scrapped it, did a short clip of her cutest moment, and found one of my favorite pics I snapped.

Ready? :) Turn up your sound, she gives a little squeal that melts my heart.

(not sure if it was because of the gender or just the fact that she loves balloons that.much.)

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Did You Know… #NationalSiblingDay

Did you know that my little sister Alyson is pregnant too?

She is. 13 weeks ahead of me.

It’s her and her husband’s first baby. It decided to be stubborn during her 20 week ultrasound so they’re still waiting to find out the gender.

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{The Myth of} All Better

You know that saying about how a baby won’t fix a disaster of a relationship?

It’s true of course, but often in the midst of, “If we could just have a baby…” it tends to be ignored. Because really, what wouldn’t a squishy new baby fix?

And then when it happens, you slowly begin to realize that yeah, that saying is right. This is still life, and it’s still hard, and as much as you love your kids – now you’ve got a lot more stress.

So this is the same as pregnancy after loss for a lot of us. Especially me. I’ve tried really, really hard to stay grounded about another baby after Kaden died. I knew that it wouldn’t fix the loss, it wouldn’t fix me, and it wouldn’t fix our life.

And yet.

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Mom Purse with a Working Upgrade: Fashion Editor by Thirty-One

I have a love/hate relationship with purses. I’ve never been a purse kind of girl, but it wasn’t because I didn’t like them or see the need. It was because I needed to have the perfect purse. Every time. So this led to spending hours shopping and leaving frustrated that all the ideal purses were $$$ when I could just be a little more bohemian and buy a cloth one for $15.

Which I did. Several times. And always hated them.

Fashion Editor by Thirty-One

For the past few months, I’ve been using the Fashion Editor from Thirty-One – part of their new Jewell line. Because I have southern friends, I’ve heard about Thirty-One for years ;) but I haven’t ever owned a product of theirs. The description stated, “perfect for work, with a zippered laptop pocket” and I was sold.

I carry my laptop with me several days a week to work after therapy/when Bella has her classes and had been starting to think I needed a purse that was meant to carry one – with padding. I had the world’s ugliest laptop bag I’ve been using for two years, but thankfully one of the cats finally barfed on it and freed me from the feeling that I had to keep taking it with me.

The Fashion Editor is this purse that hits every mark I have in my head for a purse. Like someone who makes a list for a potential spouse, I have a purse list.

  1. Good sized
  2. Neutral color
  3. No slip straps
  4. Several pockets (but not too many)
  5. Place for a cell phone
  6. Somewhere to clip my keys

Fashion Editor by Thirty-One

I wanted to be able to fit my giant glass water bottle, a Macbook Air, and whatever animal Bella insisted she needed until we got to where we were going. Plus all my other stuff.

Fashion Editor by Thirty-One

I love how lightweight this bag is, even when crammed full of stuff. I also love that my laptop sits in it securely, and the cell phone pocket on the outside has a little magnetic clasp. Now that I see the quality of their bags, I find myself looking at the women in my food co-op who bring their cute Thirty-One totes with them every week, and thinking how handy that would be too.

Fashion Editor by Thirty-One

I can say that not only am I a big fan of their products now, but also what they stand for. Thirty-One Gives lists ways they are involved in giving back through partners like:

 

Interested in purchasing a Fashion Editor bag or seeing what else Thirty-One has to offer? Find a consultant (or ask your friends- more than likely someone is one!) and check out their entire Jewell line as well.

 

I was not paid for this review but did receive the Thirty-One Fashion Editor for review. Thank you to Thirty-One!

Things That Add Up: Benefits for Veterans and Active Duty

We’ve been a military family twice over. When Sam and I were married at 20 and 19, he was in the Marines. After 4 years, multiple deployments that totaled nearly 2 1/2 years, and a deployment mid-war to Iraq, he decided not to reenlist, and we spent 5 years as civilians.

We learned after he left just a few of the opportunities that were available for veterans and active duty. Companies like Direct Energy offer discounts and rewards plans for military members on their electricity and/or natural gas, telephone companies offer discounts, many appliance stores have a standing percentage off. With no kids at the time and both of us working full time, we didn’t think much about that. Then we had a baby, one income, and horrible insurance to deal with.

After Bella was about 10 months old, he told me he wanted to go back. This time the Army – more family friendly which was better for us. He spent 4 months away in training and came home to move us to El Paso.

Army Life [Read more…]