{Weekend Recap} Our Very Sick Little Girl

Happy Friday, girls! I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and a terrific week. I'd like to say we have had both but if I did, that would be a lie. I've spent most of this week at home with a very sick little girl. Therefore, it's left me with no time to blog, clean, or even go to the restroom by myself. The life of a mom. If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you know a bit of what's been going on but if not, let me fill you in on what's been taking place this week during my absence. 

So let's start from the beginning...

This past Friday afternoon, while attending a baby shower for a coworker and his wife, an announcement came over the school speaker that my child's daycare was trying to reach me. Not thinking much about it, I quietly stepped into a nearby classroom where our school secretary had transferred the call. When I answered, Harper's teacher informed me that she was calling to let me know that Harper was running a fever of 101.6. Of course, as a mom, my first question was how was she acting. Ms. Joy quickly informed me that she had been playing all day but at snack time they happened to notice her just sitting there and not eating. Being very unlike her, as she's a big time snacker, they walked over to check on her and noticed she was feeling pretty warm which led them to check her fever. Since she had been playing most of the day, I chalked it up to the arrival of her two year molars but told them I'd send Kevin to pick her up and try to get her in the doctor just to air on the side of caution with a long weekend up ahead. 

Unfortunately, with it being a holiday weekend, the doctor's office wasn't into taking in an unscheduled appointment so late in the evening so we were abruptly told we could either wait and bring her next week or take her to urgent care. Despite that I understand where the doctor's office was coming from, it was still frustrating. So we decided we'd wait it out and see how Harper did. And by the end of the evening, I was thinking that I was glad we had waited it out because she seemed good as gold and no longer had a fever. Since Kevin had to work, Harper and I headed out to grab some Mexican for dinner with my friend Brittni, Aunt B as Harp calls her, and even did a little shopping after. All the while Harper did the best she's ever done in public! She ate most of her food, drank a lot of tea, and talked and laughed to her little heart's content. 

But then Saturday morning rolled around and I woke up to a very fussy and whiny baby, who yet again had a fever. We had plans to to tag along with my coworker and her daughter that morning, but with Harper not seeming to feel well, I decided I'd cancel our plans. That was until Harper heard me mention Hutson's name, my friend's daughter, and she kept saying "see Hutson, see Hutson" over and over. Since she was pretty adamant and I couldn't persuade her to do anything else, I texted Taylor and told her I'd meet up with her but I'd drive separately in case we'd need to leave earlier than planned. So by late morning we were on the road and headed to Friendly Shopping Center to do a little window shopping. We managed to get in a little shopping at Bath and Body Works, The Limited, New York & Company, Belk, Carters, & Old Navy before finally deciding to call it quits and grab some lunch at Jason's Deli. Harper had done great up until that point. When it came time to eat, she began to get fussy again and decided the hot dog she'd asked for over and over again wasn't what she wanted to eat afterall. So as soon as the rest of us finished eating, we decided to call it a day and went our separate ways. 

Throughout the rest of the day, Harper ran fevers off and on but they were all easily managed with some Tylenol every four hours or so. Her fussiness stopped and she played around the house as she often does. Towards the evening, my mother-in-law came over and we took Harper walking in the neighborhood. All the while Harper chatted as she usually does. So again, we just figured her 2 year molars were the cause of her fevers and once they finally broke through, she'd be back to normal. 
Sunday rolled around and our day started much the same as the previous day. Harper woke up with a fever, took some Tylenol, and spent the rest of the morning laying around watching tv. All the while refusing to eat and do anything other than take a sip of drink here and there. Since I didn't feel like she'd be up for church, we decided to load up the car and head to the lake with my parents. Afterall, a little sunshine and summertime is good for the soul. Sadly, Harper didn't think so. So while everyone else soaked up the sun and water, Harper and I spent our time on the porch rocking in the rocking chairs, snacking on my Mom's yummy food, and catching up with family and friends. Around 5 o'clock we decided to head on home. Since it was still pretty nice out when we arrived back at the house, I decided to take Harper walking through the neighborhood. Again, my mother-in-law joined me. And yet again, after Harper's fever broke, she was back to her normal, happy go lucky self. She laughed, talked, and wanted to play when our walk was over. 

But then Monday rolled around and it was a totally different ball game...
On Monday, I had made plans to run to Danville with Brooke, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, to pick up Kevin's Father's Day present. Since most of Harper's fevers had taken place in the mornings, I had asked my mother-in-law if she'd watch Harper while I quickly rode out and she'd graciously said yes. Around 9, I text my mother-in-law and told her we'd drop off Harper in about thirty minutes. She said that was fine so I headed on up to Harper's room to get her up and ready. But as soon as I walked in her room, I knew something wasn't right. Harper was standing up in her bed, eyes barely open, and could hardly speak. As I picked her up, her body was radiating heat. I quickly changed her into some comfy clothes and took her downstairs to get her some medicine. But not five minutes after taking her Tylenol. she started shaking and wouldn't communicate. Brooke and I both looked at each other and knew we needed to get help. So Brooke took Harper to the car, while I quickly ran upstairs to tell Kevin I was taking Harper to urgent care (he was sleeping from a long night at work). 

We arrived at Urgent Care and didn't have to wait long before they took Harper back. I filled them in on her symptoms and they took her vital signs. At that time she had a fever of a 103 and that was nearly an hour after she'd just taken Tylenol. The doctor immediately checked her ears, as she's had many ear infections, and told us her tubes looked good. Since she's also prone to strep, he decided to do a strep test to see if that could be the issue. After waiting about fifteen minutes, the doctor came back in and told us that that test had came back negative as well. He checked her lungs and they were clear so it wasn't likely she had a cold. So we were at a set of crossroads. Clearly something was wrong, but the question was what. After discussing some options, the doctor arranged for us to be shuttled to the hospital to meet with a pediatric emergency room doctor. 

The transfer didn't take long and after checking into the hospital, we were in a room in a matter of five minutes. By that point, Harper was completely out of it. The nurse retook her vitals and she didn't have a clue. In my haste to get Harper help at Urgent Care I had completely failed to mention to the doctor on call that at one point, Harper's legs and feet had turned purple so I mentioned it to the nurse on staff at the hospital. He quickly assured me that in children it often meant they were under stress and with a fever as high as hers had been, it was probably okay. But they'd check her heart just to be sure as it could signal issues there. But thankfully after checking, her heart sounded okay and was beating as it should be. 

After looking at her chart and seeing that Harper had hydronephrosis (a kidney condition she was born with), they decided our next option would be to do a catherization to see if she had a urinary tract infection. And ladies, let me just tell you, this was by far the worst moment I have ever had as a mom. I can handle holding my child down for shots, for strep tests, for vital checks, but I could not hold her down for that. Thankfully, Brooke said she would stay with her, and I left the room, headed to the hallway, and balled my eyes out. As I stood outside with only a wooden door separating us, I could hear Harper's screams and cries. It broke this mama's heart. And when the nurse opened the door and I thought it was over and she proceeded to tell me that the first cath didn't work and they'd have to do another, I died inside. The next fifteen minutes were the longest of my life. When it was all over, I grabbed Harper up and vowed to never do that again... But thank the good Lord, an hour later, we met with the doctor and she came to talk with us and confirm that Harper did in fact have a bladder infection. Even better news, we could go home. And to home we headed as fast as we could. 

I'd like to say that was the end of the scariness but it wasn't. 

With it being a holiday, we hadn't considered that the pharmacies were closed and apparently the hospital hadn't either. So we decided to continue alternating Motrin and Tylenol every few hours until we could get Harper's medication Tuesday morning. But by Tuesday morning, Harper was still very out of it and I could not get her to take her medicine. On top of that, the doctor stressed that she should not take that medication without food as it would make her very sick. So I called our regular doctor and explained that Harper hadn't ate since Friday, had barely drank anything in five days, and wouldn't take any more medicine from her being so out of it. I told them the hospital didn't seem worried about her lack of intake but I was as I feared she was dehydrating. The nurse on call agreed and asked me to bring her in immediately. By that point, my nerves were so tore up and I was sick as a dog. Thankfully my dad came to the rescue and offered to drive us there. 

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long before we were seen. The nurse checked all of Harper's vital signs and looked into her mouth. Since it was still moist I was relieved to hear that she wasn't dehydrated... yet. She informed me that if Harper didn't drink anything by the next morning, we'd need to bring her back on Wednesday for an IV to get some fluids in her. Despite the huge relief, I immediately started to panic at the thought of her having to come back the next day. And the next words out of her mouth, made me downright sick. As the nurse was on her computer, she noticed Harper's urine culture had been sent out for further examination and the results came back negative. As in it showed she didn't have an infection. What the heck? The nurse explained that when Harper's urine was dipped at the hospital and placed under a microscope, it showed bacteria which signaled a bladder infection. However, when the urine sample was sent out to find out exactly what type of bacteria, no bacteria was found. Yet, all of her levels were high which signaled an infection even though the test shows that there was none. I asked what all this meant and she calmly informed me that basically Harper has all the signs of a bladder infection, but she may or may not actually have one. In layman's terms, after all Harper had been through, we still weren't sure of what we were up against. Yet, she reassured me, that whatever Harper did have, that she was on a broad spectrum antibiotic that would kill any bacteria that was in her body. I'd like to say that helped but it really didn't. When I left the doctor's office I felt so defeated and upset that here my baby was suffering and in the end, we still had no answers. 

But thankfully some good did come out on Tuesday evening and Harper finally muttered up enough energy to drink a few sips of tea and eat three fries. Three french fries have never brought me so much joy! By night time she'd managed to drink about six ounces of drink throughout the day and even managed to take some of her medicine. Praise the Lord! Since Harper continued to drink and eat a few bites here and there, we didn't have to return to the doctor on Wednesday. But Harper was still so weak and puny, we spent the whole day on the couch, cuddled up, and sleeping. 

Yesterday was the best day of all. Minus one small detail... the doctor's office called us and told us that Harper's strep culture had came back POSITIVE! Three whole days later. Again, I had the same reaction of what the heck?! But the doctor yet again, explained that sometimes it may be negative in an office, and appear 24+ hours later as positive when it's sent off to the lab. This one took 72 hours to show up!  How crazy is that?! But I am so relieved to finally have some sort of answer as to why she's been so sick. I can't imagine fighting off strep and a bladder infection at the same time. Poor baby! 

But back to the good stuff, Harper woke up and requested to ride in her daddy's car yesterday morning! A clear sign she was feeling much better! Kevin of course, answered her request, and they rode out. She even managed to have enough energy to go grab a bite to eat, though that's literally all she did was eat one bite. But the fact that she had the energy to sit up the whole time brought this mama so much happiness. By the end of the evening, she wanted to go out again, so we headed to the place with the "red balls" aka Target. I was so anxious to do anything to keep her happy that we ended up buying her everything she asked for... a new ball, beach chair, cup and plate, and some pop (popcorn). On our way out she saw Starbucks and wanted some ice cream (a vanilla bean frappucino) so we graciously purchased her one with no whip cream and when she drank a fourth of it, I did the happy dance!

Here's to hoping this weekend is going to look much brighter... and not quite so scary!

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{Friday Link Ups} Swimming Lessons, Anniversary Recap, & Gift Wrap Organization

Happy Friday, girls! I am so looking forward to an extra long weekend. One of the perks to being a teacher (; After a fairly busy week, I'm looking forward to some extra time at home with my little family, tackling a few small projects, and doing a little lot of spring cleaning.  But I'll save all of that for next Monday, let's just stick with today's topic at hand... Five on Friday (:

1} Swimming Lessons
This week Harper started swimming lessons. My brother-in-law's girlfriend, Brooke, is a lifeguard and since Harper is very comfortable with her, we asked her if she'd be willing to teach Harper the ropes. She of course, answered yes, and we started lessons that day! Having not been in the pool since last year, Harper was a bit skiddish but thanks to a waterproof ball and some gentle nudging from my mother-in-law, Harper managed to eventually get in the pool and enjoy herself. 

2} Anniversary Traditions
Every year on our anniversary, Kevin and I head out to Jaycee Park, the place we met, to take a photo. Over the last four years, this has been my absolute favorite anniversary tradition. I love having each of these photos to see how much we've changed. 

3} Anniversary Celebrations
Yesterday, Kevin and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. Brooke and Bryan volunteered to watch Harper for the evening so Kevin and I could enjoy a night out together. Our initial plan was to go to dinner and then head to Celebration Station where we could act like total immature kids and play games and compete at a round of putt putt. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us so instead of a game night, we made our way to the movies to watch Pitch Perfect 2. If you haven't seen it yet, go NOW! After the movie, we headed to Sapparo, a local Japanese restaurant, for dinner. And as always, we ended our date night with a Target run. I'd like to say I picked up some awesome goodies but this time we limited our trip to groceries (; lol

4} Gift Wrap Organization
I don't know about you mama's but I have so many gift bags, tissue paper, and rolls of wrapping paper than I know what to do about. Currently all of it is stuck in a massive storage tub out in our garage that takes up most of the space in the bottom of our outdoor closet. Since I'm going to be needing that space very soon, I decided to look into some different storage options and came across this lovely idea of using a ClosetMaid wall organizer. Does anyone else have one of these for your gift wrapping items? Or do you use a different storage method? Please let me know before I drowned in wedding, baby, and holiday bags...

5} Harper 
I snapped this picture of Harper this week. Whenever someone talks to Harper these days, she's started propping her head up on her hands and it's just the cutest thing . 

Hope you ladies have a great weekend!

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{An Anniversary} Four Years.

Today, Kevin and I are celebrating four years of marriage. It's hard for me to fathom that almost eight years ago, I set my eyes on the man I call my husband. My best friend in the entire universe. My biggest supporter. My confidant. My shoulder to cry on. The father of my child and future children.

Our first date night at the Dixie Classic Fair

On May 21, 2011, I walked down the aisle of the church I grew up in and vowed to love, honor, and cherish the man of my dreams for the rest of my life.

Over the last four years, we've made so many memories. Some good, some bad, and some I'd downright like to forget. Our courtship and our marriage have in no way been perfect. We argue, we fight, we get on each other's nerves. I know how to push his buttons, and he knows how to push mine. But at the end of the day, we can't go to bed angry. We know how to apologize and make up. We move on and we forget. Because despite how it may not always be pretty, it's life, love, and marriage. and neither of us are perfect. At the end of the day, there's no other man I'd want by my side.

Love you more, Kevin Holt. 

*For more pictures from our wedding, visit the wedding tab at the top of the page. 


{Weekend Recap} Military Balls & Mommy Moments

Happy Tuesday, girls! Well, this weekend was another fast one. It seems like these days the weekends are just a blur. On one hand it makes me sad, on the other hand I remind myself I'm that much closer to summer time. And this girl is SO ready for the sunshine and summertime.

Friday was field day at school. Thankfully the weather cooperated and it was the perfect mix of cooler temperatures and cloudy skies which offered us teachers some relief as we ran from one station to another with our kiddos. Since field day was a bit hectic and chaotic, our principal announced they were "paving the parking lot" at 3pm. In other words, us teachers were free to go home early. Woot woot! Since Kevin had to work Friday night, I hightailed it home so I could get in a good hour hanging out with him before we had to go pick up Harper doodle from daycare. We spent our hour alone curled up on the couch, watching Family Feud, and chowing down on a Tostino's pizza. And in all honesty, it was perfect. Long gone are the days I long to get dressed up and go out. Now the perfect date night is being able to cuddle on the couch, in something comfortable, with absolutely nothing on the agenda. It's heaven.. But like everything life returns to normal and when our hour alone was up, we headed to pick up our favorite little girl who greeted us with a huge smile on her face and a quick hug. When we arrived back home, Kevin only had about thirty minutes before he needed head into work. So we spent his half hour at home doing one of the things Harper loves to do most... played with her mega bloks she got from Aunt B.

Since Kevin had to work, just Harper and I met my parents for our usual Friday night dinner. Since we didn't have as many people to sit, we headed to a local vegetable place that could easily accommodate us four. As we were finishing up dinner, my friend Brittni, otherwise known as Aunt B, called us up and asked if we were still eating. Since we were, she headed over to the restaurant and enjoyed some dessert with us. Since she's practically been adopted by my parents, we sat a while longer at the restaurant while Mom and Dad caught up on what has been going on with her. By 8pm, the waitresses were beginning to start cleaning up; a clear sign they were ready to call it a night. So my Dad quickly paid for our meals and then we carried the party back to my house. While Mom worked on tacking some of Harper's way too big shorts, we all hung out in the living room and watched a Hallmark movie before calling our Friday night to a close.

Because I knew Kevin would be sleeping in Saturday morning after working a long twelve hour shift the night before, I made plans to do a little shopping in Greensboro with Brooke, my brother-in-law's girlfriend, to pick up a few items I've been wanting for summer. We headed to Marshalls first to look for some new workout clothes. Thankfully we got lucky and I ended up finding some new workout tops and a couple of pairs of capris for the gym. Since Homegoods was right next door, we swung by there for a few minutes but not really being in the mood to shop for the house, we walked right out the door without purchasing anything. But that wasn't the case when we headed across the street to Target. While there we grabbed a drink from Starbucks, Harper's favorite 'ice cream', before doing a little bathing suit shopping. And it goes without fail that the dollar spot got me once again. When everything is a dollar, it's so hard to say no. I ended up with some cute patriotic decorations and grabbed up a few things for an upcoming cookout we'll be hosting for our closest friends in a few weeks.

Saturday evening, while Kevin was working and Harper was hanging out with Kevin's parents, I headed to the AFJROTC military ball with my parents and siblings for an awards banquet and retirement party. One of the instructors I had the privilege of learning under was retiring and he was the guest speaker for the night. The whole evening was pretty much dedicated to MSgt Monroe and he deserved every minute of recognition he got. I am so honored to have had the privilege of knowing him. I pray that in all of my years of teaching, I'll be half the teacher he was to all of us cadets over the last 19 years.

Sunday morning, Harper and I slept in way later than usual. On most mornings, I'm up no later than 8am but having gotten home way later the night before, I guess my body was more tired than usual so I found myself still in bed at 9:45 in the morning. By 10 o'clock I finally crawled out of bed and got myself ready for church. It's a wonder that we even made it to church on time but by God's good grace we made it. Following church, we headed to Mom and Dad's for Sunday lunch where we stuck around for most of the afternoon.

Around 4pm, we finally left and headed to Lowes where we went to order some more flooring (yes, that project is still happening!) and grab some paint samples for our bathroom and Harper's big girl room. As a side note, we had headed there Saturday evening to do the same thing but upon our arrival, someone walked, well ran, out of the store stealing some merchandise so in the craziness, there were no representatives to assist us.

At 6 o'clock, Kevin headed back in for another long night of work. Since it was just Harper and me at home for the night, I decided to ride out and pick up dinner. For some reason, I was craving fried chicken, something I haven't had in ages, so off to Bojangles we went. After I'd devoured my chicken and Harper had consumed half my fries, some macaroni and cheese, and most of my biscuit, we settled in on the couch to watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I knew Harper was getting pretty tired by evidence of the fact that she used her little hand to prop her head up as she watched tv, but I had no idea how tired she truly was until she crawled up on my chest and fell fast asleep.

As I laid on the couch with her on top of me, her little fingers wrapped around my arm, her eyelids fluttering, her chest rising and falling, I couldn't help but get a little emotional when my heart swelled larger than I thought even possible. Not two hours earlier she'd peed in her potty for the first time. Despite how excited I was for the milestone I was a bit sad that she was getting that much bigger and more independent. But in that moment, holding her as she slept, I was reminded that she still needs me. She's still my little girl no matter what big moments she has today, tomorrow, or ten years from now. So if she wanted me to hold her as she slept, that's exactly what I was going to do. So for two hours, I laid with her just like that. For two hours I prayed over my little girl, for the life she'd have, the journey she'd take, and the problems she'd face. When it came time to lay her in her bed, I felt like a piece of me was missing. It was my other half. The part that made my heart whole. And that part was sleeping just ten steps down the hall...


{Weight Loss Wednesday} Month 1

When Kevin and I got married I was in a size 4, weighed about 135 pounds, and worked out five days a week. Not long after we said "I do", I got a big girl job and spent less time in the gym but still managed to get in a workout about three days a week. By the time I got pregnant with Harper I was in a size 6 and weighing in between 140-145 pounds. During my pregnancy with Harper I did my best to try to continue my work out but due to some complications, I was taken out of the gym and all of my free time was to be spent at home with my feet up. By the time I delivered Harper I had gained 40 pounds. Fortunately, two months later, I had lost most all of that baby weight. I was in a size 8 and weighed around 150 pounds. But my body just wasn't proportioned the same as it had been. My abs were replaced with an extra layer of skin and a roll of fat, my love handles were more pronounced, and my legs had a bit more cellulite than I remembered from before. But that was all okay because I had a gorgeous baby girl who made my new additions worth it. Since I knew I wanted to have another baby the idea to work out and work off the remaining few pounds I carried just wasn't that big of a deal to me. I kept telling myself, what's the point of losing it if I'm just going to put it back on. And then my Mom pointed out to me about a month ago that the more I lose now, the less I have to lose after baby #2. And sometimes, I just hate to admit that she's right. So I started contemplating doing something about it. And then my friend Stacey inspired me to make a change.

Several months ago, my {in real life} friend Stacey over at Loving Life and Learning Lots began a journey to lose thirty pounds. Over the last several months Stacey has rocked her diet and healthy living goals and has lost over twenty pounds. Having followed Stacey's journey all the way from the beginning, I was inspired to change some of my dieting habits and try to lose a bit of weight and tone up myself. So four weeks ago, with the help of Stacey's guidance and my coworkers' support, I began to start eating healthier in an effort to shed a few pounds.

The first thing I did was download the MyFitnessPal app. It's free and is such a great tool and motivator. I set up a profile in which I added my current weight, how much I'd like to lose, and how much I'd like to lose per week. From there, it figured out the amount of calories I needed to consume each day based on my current weight and height. So for the last four weeks, every thing I have ate has been plugged into that little app. When I say you can find any food on there, I mean it. I can find everything from homemade ranch dressing to McDonald's cheeseburgers. What I love about the app even better is I can plug in homemade recipes and it'll calculate the total calorie content for me. It's super simple and easy.

Next, I started cleaning up my unhealthy drinking habits. Having grown up in the south, I was raised on Sundrop, Coke, and sweet tea. As an adult, those are still the three main liquids I consume. So I decided that was the first thing I needed to clean up. I went from having four cans of  Coke a day to drinking one can of Coke Zero. The rest of the day I drink water or Light Minute Made Lemonade. Though I do allow myself a glass of tea whenever we go out for dinner. I just can't completely cut out my roots (;

After getting my drinks under control, I started working on what I ate. Thanks to Stacey doing this before me, she got me off to a great start on things I could and couldn't eat. I started finding healthier food options for breakfast and lunch and stick to my usual dinners, though I just watch the amount of food I consume at dinner and I choose my seconds wisely. Below are some of my favorite food items you can find me eating and drinking most days.

  • Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches (220 calories)
  • Homemade Bacon Egg & Cheese (153 calories)
    • 1 whole wheat English muffin toasted, egg white, one slice of turkey bacon, 1 pack of skinny cow swiss cheese
  • Dannon Yogurt (80 calories)
  • Walmart's Fresh Market Salads (230 calories)
  • Sandwich Bros Cheeseburger melts (160 calories)
  • Sandwich Bros Chicken melts (160 calories)
  • Or smaller portions of dinner leftovers
  • For dinner, I do my best to stick with meat and veggies
  • If we're having an Italian dish, I stick to a salad with a small portion of spaghetti/lasagna, one slice of pizza, etc. 
  • If we're doing dinner out, I look to my Fitness Pal App for suitable meals with a lower calorie count
  • Fresh fruit 
  • Sargento Cheese Sticks (60 calories per stick)
  • Skinny Pop popcorn (39 calories per cup)
  • Emerald Cashew and Cashew Halves (100 calories per pack)
  • Fiber One Chocolate Fudge Bars (90 calories)
  • Twix mini ice cream bars (90 calories)
  • Coke Zero (0 calories)
  • Water
  • Light Minute Maid Lemonade (15 calories per 8 oz. glass)

Since starting my journey four weeks ago, I've lost 6 pounds and dropped a whole pant size. My goal was only to lose one pound a week but by eating smaller meals and snacking every so often throughout the day, I've found that I'm actually taking in less calories than I am given. Thus, I've been losing more than I intended but I'm not going to complain about that. And to top it all off, I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel and how much more energy I have by the end of the day! It's truly amazing, girls. All in all I've been very proud of how I've done on this little journey. It hasn't been near as hard as I expected. And if I can do it, so can you if you're considering something similar!

For Mother's Day Kevin got me a Fitbit so this week I've started working out again. I can't wait to see how much weight I've lost and how much I've toned up in the next few weeks. I'll be sure to check in with you ladies next month to share some progress (: And if any of you ladies have some other low calorie meal and snack suggestions, please share them with me! I'm always open to some new healthier food options!


{Weekend Recap} Mother's Day

Happy Tuesday, girls! I hope all of you ladies are recovering from a pampered filled weekend. I know I sure am. My little family did all they could to make my day special.

On Friday afternoon, I was out the door from work as soon as my third grade kiddos all made it safely home. After hanging with Kevin for a few minutes at the house, Harper and I headed to Greensboro to the Children's Museum for a birthday party for my coworkers' son. We spent the majority of the evening at the party and finally called it a night close to 8 o'clock so that I could swing by Marshalls and Homegoods before heading back home. Nothing like a little late night shopping (;

Since Kevin worked all night on Friday, Harper and I decided to ride out Saturday morning so Kevin could catch up on some much needed sleep. Because let's face it, no sleeping in is going to happen with a toddler running all around the house wanting to know where Daddy is. ha Since my coworker's husband was also recovering from a long night, we decided to do a little shopping together and take the girls with us. Watching Harper and Hutson interact always makes me smile. It makes me oh so excited to think that one day we may have another little girl for Harper to be best friends with. & that thought just makes me super giddy (; After spending most of the day at the outlets, we grabbed lunch at a hamburger joint then called it a day. But not before making a pit stop at Target. No shopping day is ever complete without a Target run. Whose with me girls?!

Sunday morning Kevin surprised me with breakfast from my favorite local diner. Along with my delicious (and unhealthy) breakfast, Kevin also got me a Fitbit and some colorful bands to go with it for Mother's Day. Though I'll be honest and say that I got that present a little earlier this week (; A girl just can't wait for such exciting goodies!

After breakfast, we headed to church and followed it with lunch at my Mom and Dad's. Then we headed to Kevin's grandparents house for a Mother's Day cookout. We spent all evening hanging out with family and friends, laughed until we cried, and chased all the kiddos around in the yard. We didn't make our way home until after 9pm.

Hope you ladies all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. God knows you deserve it! (: 


{Friday Link Ups} Things from the Week

Hello, ladies! It's finally Friday. I hope you all are as excited about that as I am! After our busy weekend last week, I'm looking forward to some more down time this weekend. If you missed my posts earlier this week you can read about our weekend, Harper's birthday party, and my friend Olivia's rustic bridal shower.

Cinco de Mayo
On Tuesday evening, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with my friend Brittni. We kept it pretty simple again this year and just grabbed some dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. In all honesty, it was just an excuse to grab some Mexican food for supper. I could seriously eat it any day of the week and will jump at the chance to do so. While there, Harper wasn't too thrilled about the holiday so after munching on some chips and eating her rice, she flopped down on the bench seat and laid there waiting for us to be done. The looks she gave us as we lingered could kill.

Recent Purchases
It might seem odd to some, but I've always been a person that goes through periods of what I shop for. In the last year, it's been either wanting to shop for our house or wanting to shop for myself; it's never both at the same time. Anyone else do that? Or am I the only crazy one? Having shopped for the house for the last four months as we've been redecorating, I figured it was about time to do a little shopping for me. Earlier this week I grabbed a few goodies online. My first purchase this week was this short sleeve black Piko top that I grabbed off of Amazon. I can not possibly speak any higher of Piko tops. They are so loose and comfy. I've already told Kevin when we have another baby, I'll be buying one in every color because they'll work great before, during, and after baby and Lord knows that can't be said about maternity clothes. But back to my purchases...Yesterday, I picked up this adorable Striped shirt from Jane.com. I was really hoping to purchase it in the white with red stripes to wear for the upcoming summer holidays (i.e. Memorial Day and July 4th) but sadly it was sold out as soon as it went live. So instead I settled for the white with gray stripes. I think it'll be cute paired with some light colored denim shorts or rolled up jeans. I also grabbed this Floral Kimono from Jane as well. Kimonos are becoming all the rage and for just $15, I thought this one would be cute to try out. The only downside is they're one size fits all, so we'll see how that works out when it arrives. I'll be sure to let you ladies know!

NBA Players
This week I had the opportunity to  meet a real life NBA player. One of my coworker's sons plays for a team in Argentina and since he was in the country he came to our school to talk with all of the students about the importance of grades when wanting to play sports. I mean sure, he was no Lebron James, but considering Howard Wilkerson has actually played Lebron... I'll take it!

The Hubs Heads Back to Work
You may have noticed from my last few weekend posts that the Hubs has been very present. For the last three weeks, he's been able to spend every waking moment with us and it has been so wonderful. A while back I mentioned that Kevin had taken a new job in an effort to not be laid off from the current job he had as his work was cutting some positions temporarily. However, after that post and after Kevin's job training, the lady whose position Kevin was taking decided she didn't want to go out of work after all. Which meant Kevin had to return to his old job and get laid off. And you know what ladies? It was a blessing. When Kevin was first told he'd be laid off back in November, we were worried and we prayed. The thought of him not drawing a paycheck was scary. But after the back and forth of one week Kevin being told he'd have a job, then the next be told he wouldn't, and so on and so on, Kevin was weighed down, burdened, and was mentally and emotionally drained. So when he was told at the beginning of April that he would in fact be laid off, he couldn't be more thankful for the extra break. Over the last three weeks, he has soaked up every moment of being a husband and father. He has spent so much time with Harper, helped me out tremendously at home, and he accomplished so many tasks he'd been wanting to complete for a while now. This lay off was by far a a blessing in disguise. In fact, it was so great, that when Kevin had to return back to work this week, we all nearly cried! haha Funny how God works things out sometimes (;

My Little 2- Year Old
Today is Harper's second birthday. It seems like only yesterday I was holding my little 7 pound 12 ounce baby girl in my arms. I can still see her black eyes, head full of black hair, and precious ten little fingers and ten little toes just like it was yesterday. Time flies by so much friends. I know God has a plan for our little girl and he needs her to grow up to be big and healthy, but watching her go from a baby to a toddler is so hard. I wish I could just rewind the time and really soak it all in.

If you want to join in on the fun, visit these ladies to link up your blog posts today (:

Friday Favorites // Friday Favorites // Oh Hey Friday// 5 on Friday


"Life is Salty, Love is Sweet" Rustic Bridal Shower

Please note, the pictures in this post may appear grainy due to this blog template not allowing photos to be re-sized. For better viewing quality, please click on the photos themselves. 

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to throw one of my lifelong best friends her very first bridal shower. Olivia and I have known each other since we were in first grade so it's safe to say I know her pretty well. She is a lot like me in that we tend to stray from the traditional and love all things unique. Trendsetters as I'd like to say (; So when the opportunity presented itself to host Olivia's shower this past weekend, I knew I wanted her shower to be very non-traditional as it would truly reflect who Olivia is as a person and to top it all off, it would be way more fun and enjoyable.

After playing around with multiple ideas for the shower, I finally decided on a "Life is Salty, Love is Sweet" theme and decided instead of a traditional bridal shower menu, we'd incorporate fun foods that everyone truly loves. So instead of the usual veggie trays, white cake squares, chalky mints, plain peanuts, and party punch we spiced up the menu a bit and served all of Olivia and Justin's favorite salty and sweet snacks. Insert popcorn, homemade trail mix, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, cupcakes, candy, and canned soda here. Wouldn't you agree that those are way more enjoyable?! To incorporate aspects of Olivia's actual wedding day, I used galvanized serving pieces along with pops of yellow, navy blue, and burlap. If you can't tell, she'll be having a country wedding at a farm and I couldn't be anymore excited about that! But enough about me... here's some pictures from the event! 

Love you Liv! Can't wait till your big day!

Party Details & Sources
Galvanized Serving Pieces: Walmart & Target
Glass Jars: Target
Navy Plates & Yellow Napkins: Walmart
Banner: DIY project made from twine, mini clothespins, doilies, and printed photos
White Vase: Target
White picture frame: Marshalls


Harper's Puppy "Pawty"

Please note, the pictures in this post may appear grainy due to this blog template not allowing photos to be re-sized. For better viewing quality, please click on the photos themselves. 

This past Saturday, Kevin and I hosted Harper's second birthday party at our home. Instead of throwing an elaborate birthday bash like we did last year for Harper's first birthday, we decided to keep this party a little more low key. However, that didn't stop me from choosing a theme and going all out with some decorations. Call it the perfectionist in me...

When Kevin and I started playing around with party ideas there were two recurring themes that came up when discussing party ideas... Mickey Mouse and dogs. Since I know character parties will be in my all too near future, I decided to stick with a puppy theme this year. On top of that, Harper is just as obsessed with some dogs as she is some Mickey, so I knew she'd be happy either way. And thanks to Pinterest, I found tons of cute diy ideas that I could incorporate into the party without going too over the top. 

So without further ado, welcome to Harper's Puppy "Pawty"!

When guests arrived, they were greeted with puppy paws on the sidewalk that I made from poster board and colored with Crayola markers. 

 The gift table

The Pet Shoppe

The party banner

The Food
This year we stuck with just a few appetizers instead of fixing a meal. Guests enjoyed cupcakes, homemade trail mix (kibbles and bits), Scooby Doo graham cracker cookies (dog bones), and corn dog nuggets (hot puppies). 

The Favors 
All of our little guests got to adopt a puppy at the end of the party. 

The Fun
We laid out blankets and set up corn hole boards for the adults to enjoy; while the kids played on Harper's new swing set or took turns riding in her car. 

Cupcake Time

The Presents
As expected, Harper was more interested in playing outdoors than tearing through her presents but we did get to snatch a few photos of her opening a couple, with a little help from her two best buddies, before running off to swing on her swing set for the millionth time. 

The Family
And before calling the party a close, we had to have one last family shot! Or at least...we attempted it and this was as good as it got (; 

The After Party
Once the party was over and things died down, Harper finally settled down enough to open a few presents. Since she was so happy in these photos, I find it hard not to share them!

As you can see we had some tail-waggin' fun! If you're interested in where something came from, please check the source list below or leave a comment! (:

The Sources
Puppy Poster Paws: DIY project from poster board and colored markers
Puppy Party Printables: ETSY (purchased here)
Gift Table Frame: Marshalls
Pink Table Cloth, Table Skirt: Walmart
Party Plates, Napkins: Walmart
Puppy Favors: Shindigz Party Supplies
Metal serving trays: Walmart
Glass Jars: Target
Burlap ribbon, burlap cloth: Walmart