Friday, September 19, 2014

This v. That {Oh Hey, Friday!}

Today, Caleb and I are off to spend the weekend with my family in Atlanta. B is working all weekend, so the little man and I are looking forward to getting in some quality time with my parents and my sister. My dad's birthday was earlier this week, so we will be having a belated celebration of that. My sister found her wedding dress last weekend (eek!), so we will be paying a visit to the bridal store so that we can see the dress in person - cue the tears. And finally, we will be taking Caleb to his second annual Braves game at Turner Field. Last year, he was just 4 months old when we took him to a game, and he loved it. But this year, he will be so much more aware of what's going on, so I can't wait to watch him take it all in. We've been battling both the dreaded teething monster, as well as the onset of a cold (think: completely sleepless nights for the last 2 nights or so), so keeping my fingers crossed that my little man cooperates and feels good so that we can all have some fun.

In other news, I'm back today for the weekly "Oh hey, Friday!" link up (link up information can be found at the end of this post). And today, I have some earth shattering things to share. Ok. Not really. But I do have a few - very shallow and unnecessary - things I need your input on. They are all things that I am contemplating purchasing in the near future, but haven't made my mind up on yet. I like to call it "This v. That." Your job is to help me decided on either this or that. And, go.

1. Puffer Vests
I think I want one. I've even narrowed it down to a color (red). But, do I go with the $40 Old Navy option (left), or the $80 Gap one (right)?


2. Halloween Treat Bags
Caleb will only be 17 months at Halloween this year. While he may wear a costume, I doubt we will be going door-to-door to trick-or-treat. But that hasn't stopped me from perusing adorable treat bag options. And, of course, Pottery Barn is in the running. Fellow mamas - would this precious bag be a worthwhile investment? Or would it be better to wait and purchase this when he is older and will actually be trick-or-treating?

Pumpkin Felt Tote Treat Bag

3. Black Booties
I recently purchased these adorable herringbone booties. And love them. So much so, that I'd like a pair in black. However, I recently noticed that Target carries a very similar option. So, do I go with the tried and true TOMS wedges (top)? Or take a chance on the fraction-of-the-price Target knock offs (bottom)?
'Desert' Wedge Bootie (Women)
Women's Mossimo® Estella Wedge Booties

4. Patterned Scarves
All I've been hearing about is the infamous plaid Zara scarf that was so elusive last year, and that has apparently made a comeback this year. Of course, I was never quick enough to grab one. But that doesn't mean I can't still jump on the patterned scarf train. But, in what scheme? The classic black, red and green plaid (left)? Or a buffalo check (left)? 

Plaid Lace Infinity Scarf       


After returning the ridiculously-priced Fryes that I'd coveted for so long, I am back on the hunt for a pair of boots. I've found a pair that I like, but I've also had many suggestions toward a completely different pair (which both happen to be made by the same designer!) So, should I go with the light caramel pair - which I could totally see paired with black leggings or dark jeans (left)? Or the cognac pair - which look a bit dressier to me (right)? 

So, let me have it ladies. I need some opinions! 

If you'd like to join the weekly Oh Hey, Friday fun, simply pop on over to visit Karli of September Farm and Amy of The Farmer's Wife. 

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Mothering Milestone

For the last six weeks or so, Caleb has been attending a Mother's Morning Out preschool program twice a week. It's been a great thing for us both, as it gives Caleb a chance to play and interact with other children his age (which he doesn't get a chance to do much otherwise, as we don't know too many people in this new town yet). It also gives me a chance to get some work done every week. I am still working part-time for B's dad, and I rely on the several hours a week that Caleb is gone to get the majority of my work done. When Caleb's home, he's full speed. And he's not, and never has been, a good napper, so I can't rely on long nap times to get things done.

The first couple of weeks of preschool drop off were rough. Caleb would cling so tightly to me, I was sure he would eventually rip my clothing off, creating a somewhat embarrassing scene. He would kick, and cry so loudly - with real tears - that I felt like an absolute monster leaving him. I would usually hand him off, and then rush to my car with tears welling up in my own eyes at the thought of leaving my poor little baby crying. 

Everyone told me that it would take a couple of weeks, but that eventually, Caleb would be comfortable enough that drop off wouldn't be quite so traumatic. I looked forward to the day when I wouldn't have to feel quite so terrible at every drop off. But secretly, I was also dreading the day in which Caleb ran off without a backward glance. Dreading the day in which I felt like he didn't need me anymore.

Well, folks. That day was yesterday.

We headed to school at the usual time. Instead of carrying Caleb into the building, as I did for the first couple of weeks, lately I've been letting him walk next to me. So, I unbuckled him from his carseat, pulled him out of the car, set him on the ground, firmly gripped his tiny little hand in mine, and we set off. Me walking slowly while he toddled along beside me. My favorite feeling in the world. We got inside, and headed down the hallway to his classroom. I expected him to start to resist me, as he did last week. Last week, he planted his little feet as soon as he saw his classroom door, and wouldn't walk any further - I had to carry him the last couple of steps last week. But yesterday, he just kept right on walking. Right through the door. Right up to one of his little friends, and several brightly colored toys. I let go of his hand, and he looked up at me. His little face screwed up. His little chin quivered. He let out a teeny cry. He reached for his pacifier (which was clipped to the collar of his polo). But instead of popping it into his mouth, he pulled the clip off, and handed the whole pacifier to me. His little body was shaking from trying not to cry. My brave little boy. So, so brave. I put his paci into his little bag in the event that he did indeed decide he needed it later on that morning, hung the bag on his hook, gave him a kiss and left. He was still fighting tears as I was leaving, but just a minute after I'd stepped out, I peeked back in, and he was off and running. 

I exited the building, hopped into my car. And broke down. And y'all. I cried for the better part of the entire three hours he was there. No joke. I called my best friend and cried. I talked to my mom and cried. Spoke to B and cried. I am oh, so proud of my little man for being such a big, brave boy. My heart could just explode with pride. But oh, it hurt so bad at the same time. A part of me felt like I was just dying. My teeny little man is not so teeny anymore. He won't always need me. And every milestone is a strong reminder of this. It's a hard reality to face.

When I went to pick Caleb up, I couldn't help being just a teeny bit satisfied to know that he'd been waiting impatiently for me to arrive since seeing another classmate's mother pick her child up a few minutes prior. There were tears in his little eyes, and he couldn't get to me fast enough when he saw me at the door. I've never been so grateful to scoop his little body up and squeeze him close. My little buddy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

These Things, I Know...

I am not one of those people who pretends to know everything. I am very aware that there are lots of things I don't know, and therefore, won't act like I do. However, there are a few things that I DO know. And today, I'm going to share them with you. Because, really, what else is there to talk about on a random Tuesday?

Here we go...

The Art of Holding Hands Forever: Pictures of Elderly Couples in Love. This is the promise Josh and I made to one another, we're playing for keeps.

Never stop holding hands with your man. Always cuddle. Always kiss.

Everything goes on sale. Eventually. Patience, grasshoppers. Patience. Very few things are worth full price.

McDonalds is ok once in a while.

Shutterfly books take a heck of a lot of time to make. Worth it? Yes. But good grief. Settle in when you prepare to create one of those babies.

Expensive mascara is not worth the money. The drugstore stuff is just fine.

Sarcasm is totally underrated. And under-used.

Flowers are nice once in a while. But they do die. Love letters are better.

Baby powder works just as good as dry shampoo. Maybe better.

Toddlers are a whole lot of work. Is it wrong that I sometimes wish my baby was still back in the reclining, or even crawling, phase? It was so easy when I could set him down in one place and he would just stay there.

Donuts are the bomb.

No matter what anyone says, including the 'fashion forward', white pants shouldn't be worn after Labor Day. Or before Memorial Day. Sorry.

Blog friends are just as real as IRL friends.

Diamonds aren't a girl's best friend. They're just shiny rocks.

And money can't buy happiness.

Macaroni is the best comfort food. Followed closely by grilled cheese sandwiches.

Sometimes, a day spent in pjs is just as productive as a day spent in real clothing. Especially if it's a cold, rainy day. Those kind of days call for pjs and hot chocolate.

Just-out-of-the-bath babies smell better than anything in this entire world. Hands down.

And baby kisses and cuddles can't be beat.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Boot Revelation {Oh Hey, Friday}

Happy Friday, lovelies!

I won't lie, since becoming a SAHM, Fridays don't mean what they used to when I was working full-time, and lived for the weekends. They also aren't quite as special since B started residency, and any regard for family time on the weekends was quickly stomped on by his upper levels. However, he is scheduled to be off all weekend. So this week, I am definitely excited that today is Friday! I am helping out with a wedding on Saturday, but otherwise, we have no big plans and that is the way that I like it.

Here's a few things from this week. 

1. Shocker
I finally bit the bullet and ordered these boots. I convinced myself that I needed them, and justified the purchase by saying, "They're a classic. They'll last forever, so they'll pay for themselves in a year or two." And then I got them. And I didn't love them. Well, didn't love them enough to feel good about the almost $400 price tag on these babies. Nope. They are going back. Just couldn't do it.

Frye Melissa Button Back Zip Wine Antique Soft Full Grain - Free Shipping BOTH Ways

2. In Other Boot News...
Since the Fryes didn't work out, I am still on the hunt for a (more reasonably priced) pair of boots. I have brown riding boots and I have black. I'd really like a caramel/cognac color - you know, that light shade that works with both black and brown, so if anyone has any tips, I am all ears. 

3. The Teething Monster
Caleb is officially teething. Most of you know that he didn't even get his first tooth until 12 months. Well, right around the time the first one came in, he got another one, and has been sporting just the two bottom teeth for the last several  months. Until one day recently, when I noticed that his upper gum line was swollen and angry red. His left canine has now broken through, and his right one will be right behind it. And there are bulges all over his gums. Poor kid is trying to catch up with his more toothy friends, and is being a bit over-ambitious about it. Which has resulted in a cranky, needy little man. Who doesn't want anybody but mommy. And who has ended up in our bed every night this week. Sharing a bed with a 15 month old is no bueno. Even if the bed is a king. Despite all the fussiness, I will miss this gummy little smile. (See his bottom teeth there?)

4. Cool Weather
I have been more than a little jealous of all of you Northern gals who have been experiencing true fall temperatures for the last few days. Send some love our way! It's still been hot as hades down here in Georgia. I am not wearing my white pants or summery sundresses any longer, but I still haven't switched out my summer clothes for fall ones, or put away my sandals. However, next week, the highs are looking to be in the 70's on some days, and that has this little Georgia peach just thrilled. I can't wait for some crisp, cool autumn air. A closet switcheroo may just be on its way after all.

5. Some Favorite Reads
Some of my favorite bloggers have written some great, heartfelt posts this week. You can catch them here, here, here, and here. If you don't currently follow these sweet bloggers, pop over and visit them to see what other goodness you're missing out on. You won't be sorry. And if you're in need of some great reads, take a glance at my list of favorites over to the right. All of the gals I follow are absolutely wonderful.

Well, that's all I've got for today. It's been a loooong week, and I am very much looking forward to spending a couple of days with my favorite guys, soaking up some quality time together. Wishing you all a very happy weekend.

If you'd like to join the link-up, you can do so by visiting sweet Karli of September Farm and Amy of The Farmer's Wife. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Some Lovely Little Wednesday Things

I'm back. And in a much better mood than I was on Monday. Thank you all for your kind words of support and encouragement in response to my heavy-hearted post. With all that's been going on in terms of B's crazy schedule, and me trying to keep the house in running order, continuing to work part-time for B's dad, and full-time (single) mothering, I've been lacking in both time and inspiration lately, and unfortunately, my blog has taken the brunt of this. I appreciate you all more than you know, and the fact that you continue to read and take the time to leave words of encouragement means the world to me. I will, hopefully, be back to responding to emails again as soon as possible.

In honor of being in a happier place on this fine Wednesday, I thought I'd bring you some random loveliness. Just little bits and pieces that have been bringing a smile to my face this week. 


1. An Early Evening (with sprinkles)
After arriving home at almost midnight on Sunday night, and 10:30 on Monday night, getting a phone call that my husband was on his way home at 4:45 pm yesterday was the best of surprises. My sweet man came home, cooked dinner for Caleb and me, and then took us out for ice cream. Sprinkles included. The very best part of the whole night? We were all cuddled up in bed before 9 pm. My kind of night. It was just what the doctor ordered...ha. Like what I did there? (You know, because my husband's a doctor...)

If I can be half this stinkin' cute while pregnant, I'll be doing alright..

2. A Preggers Princess
The Duchess of Perfect is at it again. Pregnancy, that is. I was so excited to wake up to this news on Monday morning. Kate did pregnancy so well with Prince George - let's be honest, she does everything well - so I am already looking forward to the upcoming photos of her pregnancy style with royal baby #2. I loved that she and I were pregnant at the same time the first time around, and just can't wait to follow along this time. She's just perfection in my book. I hate that she is feeling sick again though, and am hoping that the dreaded hyperemesis gravidarum eases up on her soon.

3. The Chick-Fil-A Legend
Though not technically a "bright" spot of this week, I couldn't draft a post tonight without mentioning the passing of Truett Cathy. The man who began the Chick-Fil-A empire. A restaurant of which, all of you know, my family and I are huge supporters. I was so sad to hear of his passing, but filled with joy to know the wonderful legacy he leaves behind. Very truly, a life well-lived. Mr. Cathy filled his 93 years with a whole lot of wonderful, and his hard work will live on. I love that Chick-Fil-A will continue to be privately held. And that it will continue to be closed on Sundays, as always. The family values that have been instilled in this corporation are holding fast, and in a world in which things are always changing (and not always for the better), it's nice to see a company putting it's values and employees ahead of the mighty dollar.

4. A Treasured Moment
My little wild man is just a ball of fun these days. He's full-speed, and into everything all the time. He plays so hard, and I just love watching him go. But, I also love when he slows down, and feel like lately, the only time I see the bit of baby left in him is during naptime or at bedtime. Because it's at these times that he wants his mama most. It's at these times that he's cuddly and sweet, and I could just eat him up. I truly believe that a more precious little boy never existed, and I treasure our sweet moments every day. This week, while laying down with him for a minute during naptime, C reached his tiny little hand over and grabbed mine. And didn't let go, even after he'd fallen asleep. Sigh. Sometimes, I just wish I could freeze time in these little moments. (Sorry for the poor quality of the photo above - it was taken during naptime in a dim room, so this was as bright and clear as I could get it!)

5. Gap Cash
What would a good post be without a little reminder to get your shop on? I earned some Gap Cash with a purchase I made last month, and today we can start redeeming that cash, ladies. So, don't forget! If you've got Gap Cash to spend, you've got until Sunday to redeem it. We are looking at some cooler weather here in Georgia in the coming week, so my 'fall' clothing radar is on high. I want all the cozy, warm, comfy things. The following are a couple of warm, cozy items that I am considering using my bucks on.

Colorblock Monster Sleep Set
Fur Trim Puffer Vest
Rib Panel Sweatshirt Tunic
And with that, I will leave you all to your week! Hope you are having a wonderful one, and will plan to see you back here tomorrow or Friday.  

Linking up with sweet Ashley today for her fun weekly get-together.

Kate Image

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pity, Party of 1 {Weekend Review}

I wish I had a fun weekend review for you today. It feels like it's been a while since I've had a good one to share. Though there were a few bright spots, most of my weekend was spent at home with my little man while B worked. Today is B's 9th day of work. By the time this weekend arrives, he will have worked 13 days in a row. And honestly, I am a bit down in the dumps about the way things are going. I tried to mentally prepare myself for the hours that B would be working before he began residency. But, knowing what I do now, I don't think there's a way to truly prepare for the lifestyle that comes along with being married to a surgical resident. Until you're living it, that is. I know I've mentioned that it's tough more than once. You're all probably sick of hearing it. But, here it is again: it. sucks.

Pity, party of 1. Right here.

I spend so much time alone. Well, never alone. In the company of a 15 month old. And while I love my son more than my life, it can be absolutely frustrating to never get enough time to finish a complete thought, much less a task. I haven't washed my hair since Thursday. I haven't worn a cute outfit since then either. I never get to eat a meal with my husband. Not breakfast. Not lunch. And more often than not, not dinner either. And you know? I miss that man. He is my best friend, and being without him so much is hard. So very hard. 

I miss our moments together. I miss walks around the neighborhood. I miss breakfasts at Panera and trips to Home Depot on the weekends. I miss holding hands while walking aimlessly between stores and running errands. I miss singing country songs in the car together. I miss movie nights and dinner dates. I miss us. B does his very best to be home as much as possible, but he just doesn't have much control over that time. It's 10:00 Sunday night as I write this, and he is still not home. Caleb is asleep. He hasn't seen his dad since yesterday, and won't see him now until tomorrow night. That is, if B gets home in time to see him tomorrow. The tiny bit of time we do get afforded when B gets home at a decent hour is split between spending time with his son, catching up on things around the house, and attempting to give me some attention as well. It's never enough. I always wish for more time, and find myself upset as the hours continually tick by, leaving me more and more alone. I may or may not be guilty of sending my husband mean texts when I get really upset. Which helps absolutely nothing and is totally unfair of me. But, it's real life. It has happened.

Ok... Now that that's out. Pity party over. 

As I mentioned before, there were a few bright spots to our weekend. Last Thursday, I finally made it out of the house for much-needed girls night. I'm not a big fan of selfies, but I had to document the fact that I'd actually blow dried my hair and done my make up on this night.

All of the wives/significant others of the doctors (who all happen to be men) in the orthopedic surgery program met up for a casual dinner at Grindhouse in Atlanta. And we had the very best time. As in, came home with mascara in my eyebrows from laugh-crying so hard! Sometimes, you just need to be around people who 'get' what's going on in your life. Not many people understand the hectic lifestyle we lead, so it was great to be around women who understand the following approach to planning things: Want to have a double date a week from tonight? I'll have to get back to you. In 6 days or so. Want to plan on a vacation next summer? I'll let you know next year. About a week before you want to leave. Want to meet for lunch on a Saturday? Sure. But it'll most likely be just Caleb and me. Want us to come to Thanksgiving? I'll let you know the day before, if that's ok. 

On Friday, I got lucky again when my sister came to town! We didn't think to take any pictures, but we had such a good time together. We hung out for a bit when she arrived, and talked wedding planning (which she is in the thick of). We took Caleb to lunch, and did a bit of shopping at our favorite place - good ol' Target. My sis spoiled Caleb with a couple of new toys and some new shirts, as he's hit a growth spurt and suddenly his t-shirts all look short - but it's still way too warm for all of the long sleeved shirts I've bought him in anticipation of fall and cooler weather. She stayed through dinner time or so, before heading back to Atlanta. And as soon as she pulled out of the driveway, I missed her. Caleb and I played for a bit, then hopped in the car to pick up a pizza and sweet tea, as we know better than to wait on Daddy for meals. We started Monster's University, and B made it home about halfway through, so he got to be part of at least a bit of our movie night.

Saturday was especially tough, as B called around 10:30 in the morning thinking he would be able to get off for the day. And then ended up there until 6 pm. I'd had some plans to drive up to Atlanta and run some errands, and put them off thinking B would be home to spend the day with us. But, nope. Ended up being at home along - again - all day. I was super sad and feeling blue. And then my sweet hubby walked through the door with dinner in hand as well as these lovelies. 

He's a good one. He really is. Which is why I miss him so much lately. Gosh, it's hard. 

After our dinner together on Saturday night, we squeezed in a short family walk and then called it a night so that B could be up and at them again first thing yesterday morning. And while B worked yesterday, his dad came over for a bit to watch Caleb so that I could grocery shop and run errands. And that was that.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Moment for Meso

Compared to many of the giant blogs across the interwebs, my little slice of space is just a tiny niche in which to share my life. Despite how small my blog is, I still get approached on a fairly regular basis by people looking to garner an audience for their products, missions, companies, and campaigns. It's rare that I agree to showcase any of them on the blog, as I can't very well say yes to all of them, and I don't want my blog to become some sort of platform for sponsorships and product reviews.

However, once in awhile, you come across a story that you just can't ignore.

A sweet reader, Cameron Von St. James, contacted me recently in regard to mesothelioma awareness. This is a cause very personal to him, as his wife was diagnosed with the cancer 8 years ago, and is one of few to survive it. At first skim through his email, I almost decided to politely refuse his request - as I do with many email inquiries - and wish him well with spreading awareness. After all, I didn't really know anything about mesothelioma. Don't know anyone who's been diagnosed with it. And truthfully, wasn't all that interested in knowing about it. 

However, something compelled me to dig a little further; to visit the links Cameron included in his email, just to see what he was so passionate about sharing with me. He is a fellow blogger, and when I popped over to visit his site, I was immediately struck by what a beautiful family he has. A vibrant wife, a precious daughter...But, wait. His wife had cancer?

Reading a little deeper into their story stopped me in my tracks. Stopped me cold. Because Cameron's wife, Heather, might just be one of the strongest women ever. At 36 years old, Heather gave birth to their gorgeous daughter, Lilly. As a fellow mama, I know the happiness and joy that came along with the birth of their precious baby. I know that Heather was most likely floating on cloud nine for weeks (along with feeling completely underwater and treading diapers). However, when Lilly was just 3 months old, Heather's world came crashing down when she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Reading this broke my heart into a million jagged pieces. The thought of the pain that would come with such a diagnosis - at a time in your life when, as a new mother, every split second is already more precious than it ever was - is just staggering. Unfathomable. 

Especially when you find out that Heather was given just 15 months to live.

Despite her grim diagnosis, as you can see, Heather's story has a happy ending. After surgery, lung removal, chemotherapy and radiation, Heather is in remission, and is an 8 year survivor. She is a loving wife and mother, and her smile is such a light. Though I've never met her, I can imagine how warm and loving she'd be in person. With a smile that bright, she'd have to be.

Sadly, many lights are extinguished every year due to mesothelioma. Survivors of this disease are rare, with the 5 year survival rate being just 10% and the average survival rate being just 10-11%. Shocking? Yes, I thought so. The truly terrible thing about it is that this cancer is preventable. Asbestos exposure is the culprit. But even secondhand asbestos exposure can cause cancer. And the terrifying thing about it? Asbestos is commonly found in older homes, commercial buildings...and schools. And it hasn't been banned in the United States yet. Horrifying. How that's even possible is beyond me. Treatment options are varied, and although the prognoses seem terrible now, they are better now than they used to be with this aggressive disease. Early diagnosis is vital, so knowing the signs and symptoms is key. Hopefully, with more widespread awareness, and more focus on effective treatments, we won't have to lose any more bright smiles to this terrible disease.

Find about more about mesothelioma here.
Read more about Heather Von St. James battle with mesothelioma here.
And visit Cameron Von St. James on his blog here.

As you can see, this story was one that touched my heart. One that I just couldn't turn down. I hope you'll take the time to read a little further and help spread awareness. Take a moment for meso. One day, it could be you or a loved one facing a diagnosis like this.
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