still taking things one day at a time around here... and savoring the moments we have together before Justin's return to work next week (nooo!!!).  so far, Bellamy has been fairly laid back... really only fusses to eat.  and, nighttimes haven't been altogether horrible either.  sleep is definitely not as scarce as it was during Asa's first couple weeks.  speaking of my boy, we know he's got some love for his new little sis... we're just hoping it gets a little more tender... sooner than later.  he switches between jealousy, curiosity, and affection on a hourly basis.
i can't blame him... this baby girl is rockin' his little world!
i'm learning the fine line between grace and discipline these days.  things are gonna be just fine.
all in all, we're good... really good.  thank you, Jesus.

our week, complete with a visit to the pediatrician (weighing in at 6lbs 9oz! and perfectly healthy, with the exception of being slightly jaundiced), sweet visitors, Bellamy snoozin', play time with our boy, and pumping... LOTS of pumping... perhaps too much.

now, i'm so excited to have one of my dearest and best friends, Kristi, from Kristina Lynn Photography sharing a few words on the blog today.  She has two sweet babes... her first is a precious boy, Ezra, who'll be 3 in a couple short months and she and her husband Slade just welcomed there baby girl, Hazel, into the world a little more than 3 weeks ago!  i love that our girls are so close together, and although her family lives in Greenville, SC we hope for them to do a little growing up together!

On Hazels coming into the world...
 Like every birth you never, ever feel ready. I think for us this was more true with Hazel. Ezra was our first so all I did all day was think about him and, in essence, prepare in my heart. With Hazie, I felt like I could have waited one more week, then juuust one more and so on. One thing that helped me want to stop "putting it off" (like I really could) was the excitement to find out the gender of our little one. I carried the same (but felt alot worse) so I had started assuming I was having a boy (but was secretly hoping for a girl). I also was ready to not be pregnant.  I had a good chuckle over a post Carey made one day about her pregnancies being pretty smooth... no throwing up, no headaches or getting enormous and uncomfortable, etc. Mine have been pretty much the polar opposite, you name it I had it, and towards the end it was debilitating nose bleeds every day. So one prayer I did have is that our new baby would be not as difficult as my first,after a rough nine months. I don't know if she really is just that much easier (it seems like it and she is sleeping nights like dream - no pun intended) or if I am just more relaxed, but this go round does seem easier. (thank you Lord!) Also just very thankful that she's alive- the nurse told me we were very blessed in this case, considering they'd found an unexpected knot in her cord called a "true knot".  I made the mistake of googling it and realized that, yes, it is a scary thing. All my dumb worries seemed pretty small after hearing that news and we just basked in a tearful thankfulness.

A quote from Slade  "Her cry sounds like the wheel of a squeaky cart."

Coming home...
This was easy compared to the last night in the hospital. Hazie had gotten accustomed to being held all the time and had started crying when anyone put her down. I didn't want to let her cry at all because friends and family were always there and that would be distressing to some of them. So I was anxious to see what she would do when we got home. To my surprise, it was like she suddenly forgot her hospital habits and just knew she was home, she loves her little closet/room (no we don't put her in a regular closet like Harry Potter or some horrible parents) we have a closet that is basically a room (I actually really love it for her).

Tricks of the trade...
One thing that has helped me (living in a house with with stairs, where the kitchen seems like a million miles away) is bringing breakfast up stairs to feed my 2 year old while I nurse her, or before so it doesn't end up being 10 before he eats. Also, the little bouncy seats are wonderfully useful when I need to put her down.  Aaand, lastly... I dont ever wake her up at night (I mean she knows when she is hungry!)

Over the last few weeks I have actually been very peak and valley when it comes to my moods and emotions, so I have been relying on the truth of scripture rather than what my emotions are telling me. I feel very mundane and unspiritual much of the time. When I was wrestling with this one day, Slade reminded me of the comforting verse in 1st timothy 
"But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety". Of course I am saved through Jesus and Him alone but this is the everyday mundane way God has ordained for me to be refined and tested and purified. I consider it a blessing to work in the home as unto the Lord. I don't have to be a spiritual super-woman and have revelations for heaven everyday. I just have to be faithful to the Lord in the everyday diaper changing and in my heart.



so, baby Belle came quite a bit earlier than expected... this is why i've been m.i.a. for the past week or so.  just getting settled in around here.  
in the meantime, i asked a few mommas to share their stories on a growing family... how the dynamic changes, tricks of the trade, and how the Lord grew them during that time of transition.

first, meet Rachael.
she's the super mama behind Letters to Ames.
stop by and show her some love :)

Hi! I'm Rachael - a nurse, a musician's wife, and a momma to five kiddos. I blog about our life over at www.letterstoames.com

Carlisle asked me to write a little something about my experience with a growing family. When I married my husband, I became an instant mom - he has two sons from a previous marriage. We became pregnant with our own son shortly after getting married. 17 months after Ames was born, the twin girls came along! If you're confused, it's okay - we are still reeling a bit, too. My husband has been known to call all of the kids "Steve" at one point or another (note: no one in our family actually has that name). 

One thing I noticed shortly after the twins were born was that I couldn't force a routine or a schedule right away like I did with Ames. As a result, things have actually been easier - more laid-back, more relaxed. My son is the most amazing toddler on the planet. He loves to sleep, he loves to eat, and he loves to be around people. He's adjusted to having two sisters with a ridiculous amount of grace, and it's taught us to be more flexible. This week, Ames takes two naps a day, something he hasn't done in months. Normally, I'd be reading stuff on the internet and trying to "fix" it. But I'm not going to worry about it. This week, it's working for us. The same goes for the girls. Sometimes, they nurse & nap in the car. Sometimes, one of them has to wait for a diaper change while the other is eating. It's okay. Grace abounds.

Another thing that has been radically different this time around is my acceptance of help. I went back to work very early with Ames, so I pretty much held onto him 24/7 outside of that. I paid dearly, as I could have used a break. Instead, I suffered some postpartum depression in silence (or occasionally, by way of tearful tantrums at home). Although the twins were born mere weeks ago, Chris & I have already taken a few trips out alone and left the kids with one of our moms. This has done wonders for our marriage and our sanity. The girls have also spent a little time in the nursery at church, so that I can actually listen to the message instead of breastfeeding in a dark corner somewhere. 

Both forcing myself to relax and taking time away from the babies takes a little adjusting and a little work, but it's been so worth it.


a little blog update...

for those of you who follow by email and don't get the blog updates through facebook, 
i'm changing my URL...
the other was only because 'lalalu' alone was unavailable and this one seems more appropriate.
alrighty, so that's that!

be blessed today!


such a good God we serve...

this week, 2 years ago, was 'round about the time we would have been meeting our first baby girl.  our hearts broke a thousand times over when we lost her to a chromosomal defect, known as Turner's Syndrome, at just 21 weeks in utero.
now, while we can't wait to meet that perfect little beauty Heavenside one day, the Lord reminded me of His unfailing love and faithfulness today with the realization that almost exactly 2 years later, we're counting down the days to meet our baby Belle.
with the overwhelming desire he placed in my heart for it, i always felt so sure that one day God would bless me with the amazing responsibility of motherhood... and while the road's been a bit bumpy, our prayers have been answered through Asa and Bellamy... and, hopefully, a couple more. 
last night Justin and i sat down to write a long letter to our boy. we wanted to make sure we recounted the past 15 months of our life with him before his little sister comes along.  we want him to know how God used him to grow our hearts 10 times their size and heal the brokeness... we've learned to love in a whole new way... on another level.
we prayed for him like Hannah for Samuel, and we commit to raising him with a love so deep for our faithful Heavenly Father.
Bellamy is part of His promise too... and the one after that... and the one after that... and the, well, we'll see ;)

so, we choose to celebrate this precious life He's entrusted to us and praise Him through the good and the bad.  it's the only way.

we rounded out our day with this little stud
thank you, Jesus!


newborn quirks...

it's amazing to me that each sweet new babe's personality is being formed from the very moment of their existence... and every one is different.  God is awesome!
i've been pretty good about jotting down all the odds and ends of Asa's precious life since he was born.  i hope i'm not too distracted to do the same for Bellamy.
with baby girl's arrival quickly approaching, i've been reminiscing quite a bit about the newborn days... all of Asa's sweet little quirks... and whether Belle will have some of the same or be a baby all her own!

things that did the trick for Ace...

--patting his bum and shushing him sent him straight off to dreamland
--he preferred being cradled while nursing, as opposed to the football hold... which suited momma just fine
--took a pacifier from day 3
--when fussing for no apparent reason, skin on skin worked miracles
--belly sleeper
--didn't mind the bouncy seat
--snoozed to the sound of the blowdryer, but the vacuum... forget about it!
--loved being in the baby bjorn or Ergo
--for gas, gripe water
--being outdoors was and is always the perfect fix to his baby blues
--i could sit on the sofa, lay him back on my legs (head on my knees) and sway back and forth for days before he was over it.

things he didn't so much care for...

--back to sleep
--like i said, the football hold
--being swaddled
--would NOT take a bottle... exclusive breastfeeder 'til 9 months!
--the car (the opposite of what you hear about most other babies)
--hated the Serena & Lily sling
--lasted maybe 2 minutes in the swing
--allergic to dairy his first 12 months (so thankful that has passed)

i'm fully expecting some trial and error with our new baby girl, and
i think i'm excited about it.
nervous, but excited.

i'd love to hear what worked (or didn't) for your little bundle.
got any tricks up your sleeves??

i'll leave you with these... 
baby boy, just moments old and still sticky

oh, love.

momma smooches


this week in instagram...

Monday... spent a good part of the day at home, takin' in some sweet time with this little guy.
then the afternoon and dinner at my parents.
and, my little sis spent the night at our place.

an empty jug of OJ... entertainment for days!

Tuesday... Justin took the day off {YES!} and the four of us lazed around and went to the Splash Pad for the afternoon :)

@ the Splash Pad

he LOVES his Aunt Kathleen!

downtown Davidson... dinner at the Soda Shoppe, Ben & Jerry's for dessert. YUM!

we decided Kathleen should stay for another slumber party on Tuesday night! 

Wednesday... ran some errands with the little sis and {pretty much} completed baby Belle's nursery... eeeee!
all that's left are a few finishing touches... here's a sneak peek!

 Thursday... playdate with Asa's best little bud, Colt... his momma's pretty great too!
 munchin' on snacks before they hit the {frigid!} water

i love this girl and her sweet boy!

winding down...
Colt, after some blueberries and Asa enjoying his latest read.

there you have it!
trying to beat the heat and lovin' on the simple things in life!
rolling into another busy weekend.


wishful wednesday...

no funky new pinterest/etsy finds to report this week.

i simply wish {hope, pray} that baby girl will hold out long enough for us to enjoy our last little beach vaca as a family of 3.
i so look forward to the fun trips we'll take as our family grows, but for the next little while it's just us and our boy... i wanna make the most of every second! 
and, i know how much more fun we'll have with Ace on the beach this year as opposed to last.
 sure, last year's trip was wonderful and fairly simple {with a 4 month old that will fall asleep anywhere and doesn't whine when you're slathering him with sunscreen and stretching tight swimshirts over his head}  and, i know this time around will come with a whole new set of challenges {at 16 months}, but getting to see him take it all in will be priceless, i'm sure!...
tottling through the sand, showing momma sea shells, chasing seagulls, splashing in the tide... 
it's the perfect recipe for photo/video overload! 

also, i'm trying to stay optimistic about what my comfort level {at 37 weeks prego} might be.  it's the beach, right... relaxation station.
i'll be fashioning a bathing suit or flowy dress for most of the week.
with no housework to get done, i'll be taking more time out to kick these swollen feet up.
the hubs will be around to tag team it with Asa.
all things considered, this should be good.
as long as the sun is sweet to me... and the doc gives me the go ahead.

i had Asa two weeks early.
you won't find me holding my breath, thinking the same will happen with this one, but there's always that possibility.
{i'm actually trying to convince myself of the opposite... that she'll be on time or late... that would figure}
very soon {within days} after i was found to be dilated with Asa, at just one centimeter, i was in labor.
given this fact... and the fact that we'd be returning from the our trip 2 weeks before my due date, my doctor wants to check me next week before we plan to leave and then decide whether or not it's the best idea.
we've pretty much decided that we're going regardless.
if labor strikes, i've prepared myself for the worst 4 hour car ride home EVER, but we're making it home! mark my words!
my plan is to be fully packed {for both beach and hospital}, have the house spotless for our return and arrangements made for Asa and the pets at a moments notice... that way, we're prepared, come what may.

still, my wish is for a sunny, relaxing, dream of a week with a little time to spare when we get home...
we shall see.


whew... false alarm...

maybe i was on my feet a bit too much, maybe i didn't drink enough water, but whatever the reason... while takin' in some slumber party fun with my little sis last night, the false labor fairy stopped in for a visit.
i really only experienced some mild braxton hicks with Asa until the real deal came along.
he came two weeks early, so i've thought that she might do the same, but not 5 weeks!
{i'm not ready}
it started exactly as it did the first time around, only they were 4-5 minutes apart and lasting 20-30 secs. 
 {Asa was much more gradual... starting at 10-15 minutes apart and getting closer and more uncomfortable over the course of a whole day}
my instinct told me i wouldn't be heading to the hospital to have a baby just yet, but just to be sure, i gave the on call doc a ring.  he put me at ease and advised me to do just as i thought... feet up, lots of water, and not to worry.
i did, and added a tylenol pm to the mix.
i don't medicate very often, but figured it would take the edge off and possibly help to give me the first good night's rest i've had in weeks.
woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to spend some QT with my boy.

in those moments last night, reality began to set in... and not just a little bit.
we'll be bringing home a precious new baby girl in just a few short weeks! how can that be?! 
i can't wait to meet this baby Belle that i've shared such a sweet connection with over these past 9 months.
but i want to make sure i'm taking in every last second of our family of 3.
EVERYTHING's about to change.



seriously the light of my life, this little goofball!

my sweet friend, Jen, was showered with all things wonderful for her baby girl Willa today... we're due the same day!

Asa, doin' what he do... he's still 50/50 between crawling and walking, but he'll be a pro soon... i'm sure of it!

outside of soakin' up our baby boy and taking in 2 baby showers today..... 
we heard a good, very encouraging word from Pastor Davon,
ate too much yummy food, and wrapped it all up with some Jurassic Park on the tevo.

this was another one of those weekends that literally passed me by before i could blink, but i loved (almost) every second!
hope your all's was just as grand...
here's to Monday!



we've got a walker!
his steps have been coming in 2's and 3's for weeks, but (as of today) he's officially taken it to the next level...
i'm sure most of you momma's know the feeling. 
i can't begin to describe how stinkin' excited i get when my boy is tottling towards me with this proud grin stretched across his cute little face!
i feel like this has been such a long time coming.
i know Asa's perfectly healthy... but it is admittedly hard to watch other kids his age practically running... having mastered the art of walking months earlier.  i try so hard not to compare, but it's a trap i can't help but get sucked into from time to time.
it's days like today though when the Lord has a way of reining me back in... reminding me to TRUST HIM and stop sweating the small stuff.

he still seems to prefer crawling, considering he can get there quicker and it doesn't involve any amount of tripping or falling.
but, with the amount of walking he did today (without any prompting), i feel sure it's gonna be a regular thing in the next couple days.
Justin counted 27 steps one of the times!
i'm so proud!
so proud and giddy and overjoyed that i didn't stop to pick up my camera and capture these precious moments once today!  i know, i'm kicking myself!  but like to think i couldn't be distracted cause i was so busy soakin' it all in!
i'll be sure to take some tomorrow!

in other news, the crib is here!
the last piece to Bellamy's nursery... now all that's left to do is paint it and finish the bedding!  be on the lookout for a tour of the nursery sometime in the next week or two :)

Justin's mom and stepdad brought the crib to us from Asheville (we're 'borrowing' it from his cousin).  they were so sweet to do so, and (bonus!) we got to spend a good part of the day visiting with them.  Justin's brother and his family came too.  we grilled out some burgers, drank some root beer, and finished it off with a walk up to the Creamery.  so good!

i'd say now's about the time to rest it up on the sofa with the hubs and the boob tube!


beach babes...

happy to be home, but so refreshed from my mini beach vaca!
Justin can't stop raving about how much fun he had with little man... he really did such an amazing job... i didn't doubt he would, but he surpassed all expectation.  i came home to all things tidy.  i decided i wouldn't make a fuss if there were dirty dishes in the sink or toys strewn everywhere throughout the house... he's not used to taking full responsibility for Asa AND keeping house, so i figured some grace would be in order.
but he really didn't miss a beat and i'm SO proud to call him my man.
their days included yummy eats, pool time, bike rides, book readin', and rough housing.
and, on Monday they went over to my parents house for a guys night, that included my sister's husband (also Justin), my two brothers, and my dad.  they lived it up for sure!

meanwhile, down on Hilton Head Island, the ladies were soakin' up some beach rays, cooling off in the ocean waves, going for long bike rides, thrift shopping, and playing boggle.
it was such a sweet time.  i'm torn between wishing it could have lasted longer and whether i actually could have stayed away from my boys another day.

iPhone photo reel...

out for a morning ride

baby gator. AH!

The Old Oyster Factory

4 generations of girls (almost)

my little sis and her sweet friend

i spy two beautiful Great Egret birds

i still somehow felt pretty exhausted today, even after my days of relaxation.
but, i feel somewhat accomplished considering i polished, vacuumed and knocked out two GIANT loads of laundry. yes ma'am!

i'm realizing this exhaustion could be connected to the fact that i got a little fried on the first day.  i thought this was impossible since i was so diligent in applying 30 SPF to every inch of my skin that would see the sun, but i was wrong.
apparently, pregnancy (in some women) causes them to be more sensitive to the sun... who knew?
you'd better believe that 50 SPF was my best friend the next day.
i am wondering  though if pregnancy is also responsible for this daggum burn sticking around for decades! my bra straps are still killing me. turn tan already... geez!

alright, enough of that.
i hope you're all soakin up some rays of your own... and not melting.