December 29, 2011

Christmas in the Ozarks

Crosbi has been enjoying her first Christmas with family in Missouri. As I write this we're soaking in a little quiet time, just the two of us. She has met so many people over the past few days and while she's been a trooper, she has been a bit overwhelmed. So has her mama. I'm finally able to take a few deep breaths, look through some pictures and get back to my blog. It only took us getting to the last day of our trip for it to feel like a vacation, but that's okay. C is loved by so many people who just couldn't wait to see her. She is one blessed little girl.

Since we arrived in Missouri last Friday afternoon, Crosbi has spent lots of time with family.

She cuddled with Grandpa Dave and loved when he got out his guitar to sing songs to her. She especially likes Jesus Loves Me.

She met her Uncle Drew for the first time. It's so crazy that my 17 year old brother is an uncle, but he's a pretty great one. I have a feeling he and Crosbi are going to be buddies.


She also met her great grandparents for the first time.

Grandma Jo couldn't believe she already weighs more than 10 pounds!

She met her cousin Emerson. These two are going to be partners in crime.

She opened lots of gifts. So many that they won't all fit in the car.


But her favorite time was spent lounging in her slippers taking nap after nap, after nap.



Christmas will never be the same!

December 15, 2011

Three Weeks

It's hard to believe my little girl has been in my life for three weeks. She continues to amaze me every single day. I have been unbelievably blessed. Crosbi is such a happy baby. At her last doctor's appointment, her doctor said to me, "What a relaxed baby!" I told my dad this and he said she obviously doesn't get that from me. It's true. She's just like her daddy in the best ways.

She's sleeping great too. Last night she slept for six hours, ate and fell asleep for another two and a half hours. How did we get so lucky? Even if she were waking up more frequently during the night, I couldn't complain. She never cries, just squeaks a bit until I make my way to her. The expression on her face when she first wakes up is my absolute favorite. I may be half asleep, but when I look at her I immediately perk up, kiss her sweet face and thank God for the incredible gift He has given me. One thing about late night feedings, it allows lots of good prayer time, and for that I'm thankful. Speaking of prayers, Allison gave me the best book: Prayers for New Mothers. I cry every time I read it, but it's so spot on for where I am right now. I can't recommend it enough.

As amazing as Crosbi is, there are a few things that I'm still trying to get used to. I wish I would have known how difficult nursing would be. Labor was a breeze compared to breastfeeding! I'm determined not to give up. We will get it figured out. I love being needed so much by my sweet girl and I know how good it is for her. Sooner or later we'll get it together.

Leaving the house is tough too. Todd and I attempted to get some Christmas shopping done last night. We made it to one store before I called it quits. I was exhausted, Crosbi was hungry. It was a bit crazy. I'll be so glad when she's on a better schedule so that I can leave the house more often. I'm feeling a bit trapped in the four walls of our home, but I know this will pass and I don't want to wish away this time with my girl.

Next week we head to Missouri for Christmas. Prayers are definitely appreciated! We need to survive a 14-16 round trip car ride and our efforts to give the grandparents equal time with Crosbi could get ugly. I've never been this nervous about a trip. A drama free Christmas is all I'm asking for this year.

I'll be back with C's one month update, and as we get into a better routine, I'll try to not make this blog "mommy central." Right now being mommy is a 24-hour job, but I don't want to lose the old me. We'll get it sorted out eventually!

December 5, 2011

Big Day Out

My mom went home yesterday and Todd went back to work this morning. Needless to say, my morning started with a lot of tears. But Crosbi and I are doing great so far. It's not even 11am and I have a fed, napping baby and I'm showered and dressed for the day. Not a bad start. We're just both missing Todd like crazy.

Before my mom left, we went out on our first family outing. I had been wanting to go to the Porter Flea for months and had hoped it would be my first big trip out of the house. I'm glad we made it. We scrambled to pack Crosbi's bag and jump in the car, knowing the nearly hour round trip drive would take a big chunk of our time and C may not make it too long. Thankfully she proved us wrong. She did great in the car and slept the entire time we were out shopping. She definitely calmed any fears I had of getting out of the house with her. Once we get her in a better routine, we'll be out and about a lot.

A few photos from our trip to East Nashville:

Crosbi might have slept the entire time, but we were more than okay with that!

We're heading out soon for our first trip just the two of us. C has a doctor's appointment to check if she's gaining enough weight. The rain is pouring outside, making me a little nervous. Wish us luck!

*Update: I rescheduled the appointment. It's storming like crazy here. Not ideal for my first trip alone with my little girl. We'll try again tomorrow!

December 2, 2011

What I've Learned (Week 1)

For someone who didn't have a whole lot of experience with babies, this past week I've taken a crash course in Babies 101 and my confidence is growing. Crosbi and I had an immediate connection and she has given me so much patience as I learn the ins and outs of being a mommy. While this past week has been filled with lots of rest, healing and cuddles with my sweet little girl, I've learned a few things along the way.

For instance, I learned a "Sitz Bath" is literally just a bath that you sit in. I would be lying if I said I didn't look for a box of Sitz at Walgreens. Thankfully I was in a hurry or I would have definitely asked the cashier where the Sitz was located. I'm so glad my wonderful nurse at the hospital filled me in. Who knew?

I invested in some great baby products. A few have made this past week so much easier than it could have been.

If you're a friend of mine, and you invite me to your baby shower, I'm probably going to buy you a Miracle Blanket whether you registered for it or not. Once Crosbi is swaddled in her MB, she is sound asleep. Twice she has slept five hours straight during the night. Not too bad for a twelve day old baby! This blanket definitely lives up to its name.

The Simplisse Gia Nursing Pillow has been great too. I was going to get a Boppy, but I did a lot of research and found so many great reviews on the Simplisse. It's angled design keeps Crosbi's head inclined so that I don't have to lift her head with my hands. She seems to love it.

The Itzbeen Timer has lived up to its hype as well. I'm not really sure what I would do without it. If you were to ask me the last time Crosbi has been fed or changed I would probably look at you with a blank stare. It has been so great to just look at this little timer and be reminded. Although, the reminders seem to get closer and closer together. I'll take a glance at the timer and think, "What? It's already time for her to eat again?"

More than anything, I have learned what nobody could have ever told much I would fall in love with my little girl. I wasn't prepared to feel love like this. I look at her and my heart hurts. When I put her down at night, I instantly miss her. I don't want a minute to pass that I'm not with her. Everyone tried to explain this to me, but until I met her, I could never understand. She is my world. My fears of losing time with Todd have vanished. I see him when I look at her. My heart is overflowing and I thank God for this new place he has brought us. I'm so undeserving of joy like this. But I will praise Him and offer my thanks by loving the two angels He has given me well.

Alright, I need to stop before I can't see the screen through my tears. Plus I'm sure the Itzbeen Timer will be reminding me how hungry my daughter is soon!

November 25, 2011

Hello World

Our lives officially changed forever on Monday, November 21st at 9:18pm. Crosbi Adelle made her debut weighing in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long. She's a short little thing!

We are absolutely head over heels in love with our little girl. We can't get enough of her.


I have so much more to say, but don't quite have the energy yet to say it. I'll be back soon. For now, I'm going to go snuggle with my sweet baby. 

Thanks to all for your prayers, encouraging words and comments. We feel the love!

November 19, 2011

The Waiting Game

For months I have stared at November 16th on the calendar. That date will forever be permanently stamped on my brain, so it's a bit strange knowing it passed us by three days ago. I really thought I might have this baby early. I'm not sure why I thought that way. My mom was a week overdue with me and my sister. Maybe it was just wishful thinking. These last few weeks of pregnancy haven't been the easiest. I know that's the case for every expecting woman. By the end, you're just ready to not feel pregnant anymore. I felt that way until my due date came and went.

At my last doctor's appointment, ironically on November 16th, we learned that I have still not made any progress. The baby hasn't dropped. I haven't dilated. Nothing. Zero. I haven't had one contraction. I thought I had experienced Braxton Hicks, but now I'm not sure I ever did. It may have just been Crosbi stretching out her tiny arms and legs all along. Yet, I'm scheduled to be induced on Monday night. My initial thought was, "Sure, that makes sense. I'll be five days late. No reason to keep stalling." But now my thoughts have drastically changed and I'm having an all out battle in my mind about being induced. I just don't want to force my body to do something it's not ready to do. My little girl may not be ready. She's safe and sound in my belly. My blood pressure is as close to perfect as it can be, she still has plenty of room to squirm around, and other than feeling huge, I'm doing fine. I just feel so torn. I trust my doctor and when he says he's not concerned that I haven't dilated, that I could still have a completely normal delivery, I believe him. But, I'm really starting to think I should let nature run its course and when Crosbi is ready to make her appearance, she will be sure to let me know. This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

Todd has been incredible. He supports my decision either way. I have an appointment on Monday before we're admitted to the hospital. If I haven't made any progress, I may have to give it another day or two. I have to be able to walk away if I don't feel comfortable moving forward. I'm praying for discernment. I don't want to make a decision out of fear of labor. I want to do what is best for by body and more importantly, my baby. Ideally, I would go into labor naturally and have the decision made for me.

To my close friends and family who keep up with this little blog, I ask for your prayers. Todd and I are praying that God will give us wisdom and discernment. This is one of the first big decisions we will make as parents, and we want it to be the right one.

For now, I'm going to wrap this up and spend the rest of the evening curled up with my husband. We have had such a great day. The weather couldn't be better. We enjoyed one final pre-baby brunch at Noshville, loaded up on our favorite things from Trader Joe's, and even stopped for ice cream. When we got home we were immediately back in our pajamas and back in bed where we have been for hours reading, napping and watching TV. Because we can.

Thanks for all of the incredible support during this crazy journey of pregnancy. Your encouragement has made even my hardest days a little easier and I have never felt so covered in prayer. I can absolutely say I have not walked this road alone.  Thank you.

I have a feeling my next post will be a big announcement that our little girl has entered our world.


Stay tuned...

November 10, 2011

39 Weeks (and counting!)

I have done a horrible job of blogging this last trimester. For one, I've been awful at remembering to take pictures of my belly. I know I'm going to regret that. I was uploading photos and posted a belly pic from 38 weeks and realized the last belly shot was from 31 weeks. A lot changed during that time!

Todd and I have been staying busy. I have yet to experience the crazy nesting urge, but I have been wanting to get the house ready. The nursery is practically finished. The walls are bare, but I want to fill them with photos of Crosbi, so the "big reveal" may still be a few weeks away. I figure I'll have lots of time on my hands during my maternity leave, and I can get the room just the way I want it instead of throwing things on the walls just to feel like I finished it before she arrives. Add in the fact that Pinterest is daily giving me new ideas, I don't feel so bad in taking my time!

Yesterday I had my 39 week doctor's appointment. I was really hoping to have made some progress since I hadn't made any at 38 weeks. Unfortunately I was told again that I have not dilated at all. I'm glad friends had told me that being checked can be really uncomfortable. I went in prepared, but left sore and crampy. Just a sign of things to come, I suppose! Thankfully the baby is head down, she just hasn't dropped yet. I'm hoping the full moon tonight will be enough of a gravitational pull to get her in the right direction. We will see! I'm just hoping she's not packing on the pounds these last few weeks. I was nearly 10 pounds when I was born, and I'm not too thrilled about the idea of delivering a large baby. But more than anything, I just want her to be healthy. It's crazy the fears that can fill your mind as you near the end. I've definitely had a few breakdowns when I start to think about labor and delivery and meeting my daughter for the first time. It's really overwhelming. 

In other news, since I'm feeling fairly confident that I may go late, I've accepted the fact that I may spend Thanksgiving in the hospital this year. Because of that, I'm already getting excited for Christmas. It will be so wild to have a baby in the house this year. One of the things that always gets me in the holiday spirit is buying new Christmas ornaments. A few years ago I decided to go all silver and gold on our tree and I still love the way those colors look together. While shopping for ornaments isn't the best way to spend our money right now, I lucked out with a gift card and coupon to Pottery Barn and gave myself a little retail therapy. 

Plus, I had to get Crosbi her first ornament, right? 

Anyone else in the holiday spirit? Maybe I'm just needing a really good distraction these days!

October 28, 2011

Girl Power

As the arrival of our little girl becomes closer by the day, I've found myself being more reflective. In my quiet time, I think about my hopes and dreams for my daughter and the woman she will eventually become. It's when I think about her future that I am in awe of what a great responsibility God has placed in front of me and I sometimes struggle with the fact that He has given me the task of raising her (along with her dad, of course!). I in no way have it together, and now I will teach this little girl from my experiences and mistakes. It's a bit overwhelming.

I've never really prayed specific characteristics over her. I want her to be exactly the person God has called her to be. I would love if she has her father's sense of humor and laid back outlook on life. I hope she's driven like me and chases her dreams even when it's scary. I hope she loves the outdoors and getting dirty like I did when I was little and that she has the athletic ability of her dad and the musical ability of my father. I hope she laughs a lot. But she may come into my world and be quiet and reserved like her mother, and instead of laid back, a bit high strung like me too. She may love pink and ruffles and cringe at dirt. She might hate the Cardinals (gasp!). But she will be uniquely her and I can't wait to get to know her.

While I don't pray specific traits over her, there is one prayer that seeps into my mind constantly (aside from praying that she will follow Jesus at a young age and be on fire for God. I want her to do big things for His kingdom). But after that, I pray she will have amazing girlfriends in her life. I know without a doubt that she will be shaped more by her friends than by me and Todd. I know this, because it has been true in my life. I have been so fortunate to have always been surrounded by incredible women. 

I'm excited for Crosbi to get to know the women in my life that I love like crazy and for her to seek her own similar friendships. My girls give me strength that I can't define. They carry me when I'm too weak to walk and they challenge me to be a better me. Oh, that Crosbi would have that.

 I can't wait for her to have sleepovers and a part of me can't wait for the day that I have to tell her and her friends to go to bed because it's 2am and they're still up talking and laughing. I want to be there for her when her friends turn their backs on her, and celebrate with her when God restores those friendships and makes them better than ever. I pray even now that God will place godly women around her as she grows and that she will love women and not feel the need to compete with them.

This week I was able to sneak away for some girl time with my sweet friend, Christi. We walked arm in arm and talked about our lives and what the future holds. I left strongly convicted that I can't let being a mom cause me to be so busy that I don't have time for my girlfriends. They are good for my soul. I know that Crosbi will see that and be encouraged as she grows to find her own group of girlfriends who make her feel more loved than she can imagine.

Sweet Crosbi, I hope you know that you have the freedom to be whoever you want to be. I pray that you will love Jesus with all your heart. That you will have a crazy passion for God and His people. And I pray that He would surround you with women that will enforce both of those things as He has for me. I love you.

October 21, 2011

Down to the Wire

I am officially overwhelmed. There is one tell-tale sign in my life that my brain is overloaded and each time it happens (sadly it has happened way too many times), I feel like I'm spinning out of control. It's trivial really, but it's an alarm for me and today I'm trying hard to just breathe.

I woke up this morning in a grumpy mood. I didn't sleep much last night. I don't sleep most nights. I've actually started staying up late with Todd, even choosing to watch baseball with him rather than attempting to sleep because my bed has become a torture chamber in my bedroom. A physical reminder of a sleepless night filled with tossing and turning, restless legs, leg cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom. So I woke up exhausted and forced myself into the bathroom where I cried during my shower, slowly pulling it together by the time I headed downstairs for breakfast. Then it happened. I grabbed my purse, my iced chai and opened the door to our garage. I reached to open the door to my car. Nothing. Locked. Keys inside. Meltdown.

The week Todd and I got married I locked my keys in my car twice. It wouldn't be such a big deal if it wasn't such an expensive mistake. The fee for today's lockout was $60. I did the same thing just a couple of months ago. I think the locksmith company is starting to count on me to make their monthly quotas. The sight of car keys in my locked car has become a red flag that I need to slow down.

Today I got smart. I called our insurance company this morning and for $4 per year, I am now covered on all lockouts. With a baby on the way, this is a much needed investment!

My due date is less than a month away and there is still so much to be done. Thankfully a few of the big things have been crossed off my list: finalizing maternity leave plans, installing the car seat, pre-registering at the hospital, etc. But my to-do list continues to fill up, not only with baby things but preparing to leave work for three months is a chore of it's own. A quick look at my current to-do list would look something like this:

I know I will never feel prepared for a new baby, but I'm starting to panic. To my mom friends out there, how did you handle the last month? Were you better about planning and had everything done months in advance? Did you have meltdowns like I'm having? Were you calm and collected? If so, please share your tips. This flustered mommy-to-be will take all the help she can get!

I can tell you one thing, this overwhelming feeling has helped kick my prayer life into gear. I know that I need to lean on God's strength and not my own. My weakness has been a good reminder that I can't do this alone. I was never meant to.Why do we as women feel the need to have it all together all the time? That's a post for another time...

Until then, have a great weekend and make sure your keys are in hand before you lock your car doors! 

October 14, 2011

Breaking the Bank

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that little girls' clothes are more fun, I would have a nice little chunk of change. But, funny enough I'm finding that the cutest clothes for little girls are in toddler sizes. I'm having the hardest time finding things I love in newborn or 0-6 months that aren't pink. Don't get me wrong, pink is great, I just don't need my girl's closet to look like a giant bottle of Pepto Bismol exploded in it.

Thankfully the good folks at H&M understand my dilemma and have the cutest clothes for age 2 months and up. I just have a slight problem. We don't have an H&M! But, I do have a mom who has an H&M in her city and I think we're going to have to come up with some type of ordering system. I'm thinking I send her a list of the items I want and a check, she does the shopping and ships to my house (making her Grandma of the century) and everybody wins! 

Seriously, with clothes this cute (and incredibly affordable), how can I resist? My little girl may break the bank, but I can't wait to dress her. I just need to get the nursery finished so her little outfits have a place to go. Hoping to have nursery photos soon!

October 11, 2011

Showered with Love

This past Friday night I had my last baby shower in Nashville with close friends and coworkers. It was absolutely incredible and a great way to wrap up a season of baby showers and celebrating Crosbi's coming arrival. My girls went above and beyond - the attention to detail, the whimsical accessories, the delicious treats, I could go on and on. To top it off, my mom flew in from North Carolina to spend the weekend with us and was finally able to meet the girls I've been telling her about for years. It was a magical weekend, one I will never forget.

An incredibly talented friend (Erica) made the adorable diaper 3-wheeler below. How cool is that? I can't get myself to take it apart!

I love these girls. They really spoiled me!

Since I'm on a roll with pictures, I'll go ahead and add some more from my showers in Missouri. Lauren was sweet enough to remind me that I didn't blog about them, and I do need to acknowledge them! The problem is that I was so busy visiting family and friends that I barely took any pictures. Hopefully my family will send more my way. Until then...

I will be 35 weeks tomorrow. I'm ready to not be pregnant, but I'm also starting to panic a little bit. I haven't really thought about what life will be like when C gets here. I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to babies! Surprisingly labor isn't making me nearly as fearful as I imagined. Instead, I think about things like our first ride home from the hospital. Our first night with her home. Life after my mom leaves and Todd goes back to work. Eek!

Breathe, Tara! I have such an amazing support system. My mom just kept reminding me of that after meeting so many of my friends with little ones of their own. She couldn't believe how many of my girlfriends are in the same stage of life and will be able to answer any questions I might have. I'm so thankful for that.

So Crosbi, keep getting chubby while we wait on you. You're probably not going to get too much longer and are currently weighing around five pounds. Mommy would be thrilled if you decide to only gain about two more between now and your arrival! But as long as you're healthy, I don't mind if you're a big baby. That's what epidurals are for!

September 29, 2011

Seven Weeks and Counting

A little less than seven weeks to go until our due date. How crazy is that? I still have a million things to do before our little girl arrives and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Definitely thankful that my mom will be in town this weekend to help. Also excited for my last baby shower here in Nashville with my close girlfriends. Lots of fun things coming up.

While Todd and I have been super busy traveling, working, getting the house ready for a new baby, etc., we have decided to be really intentional about our time together these next few weeks. Every weekend from now until the big day, we're having a brunch date. There's just something different about going to brunch rather than going out for dinner. We take our time. We sip our coffee (or in my case last weekend, a perfect cup of decaf Earl Gray with milk and honey). We have great conversation and ease into our day.

One of my hesitations about starting a family in the first place was losing my one-on-one time with Todd, but I think being intentional before the baby gets here will help when our little girl arrives. I think one of the most important things we can do for her is honor our marriage and our commitment to each other. I want our daughter to seek a marriage like the one she grew up around. It's a huge responsibility, but it's a challenge I will gladly take.

To make things a bit interesting, we're going to a different place for brunch every weekend. This past weekend we kicked things off at Marcia's Patisserie in Downtown Franklin. It's a bit pricey for breakfast (especially when they serve the same coffee that is available in my office), but the food was good and the atmosphere is great. Lots of outdoor seating.

I turn 29 on Saturday. Brunch will be a great way to celebrate. I can't believe this will be my last year in my twenties! But, I'll be spending the year with my new daughter. Can't think of a better way to end this decade.

Wrapping up 33 weeks this week. Baby girl is now nearly 4 pounds and around 17 inches long. She is definitely making herself known. I don't even concern myself with counting kicks like the books recommend. She moves so much that I sometimes enjoy the break when she's asleep. We might really have our hands full when she gets here!

September 26, 2011

Maternity Photo Session

First, I apologize for the repeat information. If you follow me on Facebook, you have most likely seen some of the photos from our maternity photo session a couple of weeks ago, but I thought I would showcase them on the blog too.

Our friend Christian did an incredible job of capturing the day for us. I have to admit, I almost backed out of having our pictures taken altogether. The morning of the shoot I woke up cranky, tired and with a horrible attitude. We had been going a million miles an hour with baby showers and visiting family, and I was having a really bad "poor me" day. I felt huge, and didn't want to spend the day capturing how horrible I felt I looked. I'll  blame it on the hormones. Thankfully I snapped out of it, and I'm so glad I did. Christian could obviously read my mind and really focused on the fact that I'm carrying a miracle inside of me and not on my chubby cheeks. It's pretty great to have a photographer that "gets it." I'm so happy with how our photos turned out. The memories from that day will last a lifetime. 

What really made the day special was when Christian explained to us that many couples don't feel comfortable together getting photos taken. I get that. It's always awkward having a camera in your face, but he said Todd and I were just so naturally comfortable around each other. It was such a special reminder that not only is God blessing me with an amazing little girl, but that I get to raise her with my best friend in the entire world. There is nobody I'm more comfortable around. I'm more comfortable in my own skin when Todd is around. I really, really love that boy.

So, if you're up for seeing our photos again, here you go!

Such a special day...and the rain made it even better!