34-36 Weeks

There has been a lot going on the last few weeks, it’s no wonder I just feel tired. But they’ve been good, celebratory, fun things. Now, I’m just ready for time to rest and this baby to arrive!

September 20, at 34 weeks, my mom and a good friend (my little sister from college) threw me a baby shower in Charlotte at my mom’s house. It was great to see friends who live there and also family. Thanks to both Mom and MCK for throwing such a cute shower for us! 10712197_861128434834_1285581383_o 10711844_861128479744_2106610325_o

That weekend was a nice, relaxing one where I got to really spend some quality time with my parents and younger sister. We even took a long walk around the neighborhood on Sunday, after which I had a minor scare and this had to happen:10709717_861295090854_692574300_o

I walked, took a hot shower, and should have waiting to put my rings on but out of habit slid them right on my finger and my finger turned purple and started to swell. Thankfully I was able to remain calm, although a part of me wanted to panic, and my dad made me hold a bag of frozen peas above my head until he could pull my band off. The weather has cooled off and I think I could maybe put them back on my finger but I’m playing it safe and wearing them around my neck. I’ve been told this is pretty much unavoidable at a certain point so I’m going with it.

At 35 weeks, P’s friends decided he needed a “baby bachelor” weekend. Basically, just a boys weekend to celebrate (read: commiserate) the loss of his non-parent status. A couple of friends came in from out of town and several local guys participated. Friday night we had a cookout for couples. The boys played golf on Sunday, rented a bus from a random neighbor and went to the Clemson game. And the left-out ladies (boo-hoo, not really) went to Sky Top Orchard on Saturday and had a girls night watching chick-flicks, Hocus Pocus, and eating cheese and fruit. I even stayed at a friends house in the neighborhood so that P could have his true bachelor weekend. I had planned to stay out Sunday too but everyone had to hit the road so we just laid around the house and cleaned up after the party. He had a really great weekend and so did I. It’s funny because now that its football season he’s a lot more social and drinking more and I can’t remember if this is the way football season has always been or if he really is scared that once baby girl is here his life is going to change that much, at least in terms of him being able to watch football with a beer in hand.10395829_862712225904_2789918699571232127_n 10354950_862672011494_4960066155258911656_n

This past weekend – 36 weeks! – two of my very best friends traveled into Greenville for our final baby shower. MD hosted and cooked/baked everything from scratch – avocado salad, apple cake, mac ‘n cheese muffins, butternut squash wrapped in bacon, yum. And ASC surprised me by flying in from New Orleans for basically 24 hours just to attend. She mopped too which was awesome because I don’t think my back would have enjoyed mopping right now. About 15 local friends came to the house and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Afterwards, I should have rested but I couldn’t help but start organizing everything we got and then doing all of the baby laundry up to 3 months that we have. Such cuteness.10686907_864670311884_1604099174425897342_n 10670170_864774587914_3362553692905413350_n 10712775_864774368354_2279781935453507679_n

Yesterday I hit that “I want everything done” mode. Well, not everything, like the touch up painting in the nursery but I wanted all of our duplicate gifts exchanged and our hospital bags packed! After work, I went to Target and Babies ‘R Us to exchange and buy what we needed and them got my bag all packed up to go, except for a going home outfit for me (what do you wear home from the hospital?) and pulled P’s stuff together (just need a bag). It’s only Oct 7, we still have 3+ weeks to go and I’m afraid this month is going to be so hard. Waiting and waiting some more. I’m not the most patient person. I don’t want her to come before she is ready, in terms of health, but I want her to come! I really hope she’s born in October and not November. I think more waiting would just be unbearable!

Saying No.

At my pre-natal Centering Group yesterday we had a really good, unplanned discussion that came up when talking about post-natal care. I think the midwife thought the convo would mostly being about physically healing after labor but as we started talking about our questions and concerns one of the other moms brought up a subject that is also sitting on my mind. Getting everything done. Balancing it all. Learning how and when to say no to people. She and I are both in executive level positions and there’s no one for us that we can just hand items off to. We will have help but it’s just not possible to expect any one person (or team) to be able to step into our shoes so that we can check out for a bit. So we both know and plan on having to stay on top of emails and projects even right after our babies our born. Now, I know that my office is going to do all that they can to allow me time to learn, experience, and enjoy first learning how to be a mom but I also know that I will be back to responding to emails and calling the office daily as soon as I am home from the hospital (or maybe as soon as I am physically capable). My hope is to truly take 1-2 weeks where I can be somewhat silent but I know that I’ll just be trying to figure out how to do it all, just from home and with an infant with an as yet unidentified personality and needs.

I am awful at saying no. The last several months I’ve been saying, once our last baby shower (this Sunday) is over the rest of the month of October is just ours. We have our 2nd wedding anniversary and the baby is due this month so I just want no plans. Nobody come visit, we’re not going anywhere, etc. So when P asked me if it would be okay if two of his work colleagues/friends from out of town could stay with us next weekend I really, really want to say no. We only have so many weekends left and no I don’t want to have people at our house for the 4th week in a row. But I feel awful saying no. People keep telling me that now is the time to be selfish because there won’t be time after the baby is here but it is so hard. I hope they realize that asking two people on the verge of having their first child on their anniversary weekend to put them up is just not ok (which they probably don’t realize because I doubt P put it that way) and we don’t have to give an answer at all.

I’m hoping that I manage to find a way to balance everything. I know it will be hard and I know that it will be different for me than any other woman because my situation is different and my baby will be different. There has to be a way though. And I’m going to have to get used to saying no and not feeling this heaping guilt because of it.

Week 33

Quick work update: I don’t know that I have mentioned it here previously but I have been working a lot of hours lately, definitely more than I’ve ever worked before. 8 (8:30am to 5-5:30pm) hour days were pretty typical for me with a break for lunch a few days a week to go to bootcamp at the gym but since around June I’ve been working more like 8:30am to 6 or 7 plus working weekend hours and more evening hours than I used to. I am certainly not complaining, as a business owner being busy is a good problem to have but as a pregnant lady looking into a very different future, it’s hard to imagine how I’m going to keep up. My plan to play it by ear and go with the flow and just get done what I can get done. Work responsibilities are definitely going to change. It’s actually been a pretty good thing for me to be working hours other than just 8-5, around appointments and other things, because it has shifted my thought process and how I think about when I should be working. I know that once Baby Girl is here I will just grab the hours when they’re available (hopefully on some sort of a schedule). Luckily, most of my clients also tend to email me at all hours of the day and night so the transition shouldn’t be difficult for them. I am struggling with being out of the office so it’s also been good for me to see that it keeps on running when I’m out. Just some thoughts I want to remember in the future.

On to baby update! We are 33 1/2 weeks along so moving into a 6 week countdown. Are we ready? Yes and no. We still need some items (baby monitor, Rock ‘n Play sleeper, her crib sheets, more diapers, first aid kit, etc.) but the car seat is in the car (not professionally checked yet) and the nursery is mostly done. Mentally, I’m over being pregnant and don’t think you’re ever just ready to be Mom. photo 3 photo 4

Yesterday was my pre-natal appointment and the midwife said my growth and weight gain has been text book. I think she doesn’t agree with me having weekly ultrasounds – she thinks BG is growing fine. Hopefully tomorrow’s will be the last one. We get another growth scan and am hoping for a release from weekly visits. Last week the ultrasound tech gave us a 3D view of her little face because I waited so long for my appointment (of course, it came with an extra charge too but I can’t say it’s not worth it). She’s apparently a thumb sucker!photo 2

Baby Girl at 32w6d

Baby Girl at 32w6d

Here are some belly updates. I’m definitely feeling large and in charge these days. I’m up to 147lbs (started at 125) and will definitely hit my minimum gain of 25-30 lbs by the end of it. I was gaining a half pound per week but apparently I am up to 1.5/week now. Must be all the football season nachos and wings – hopefully it means she’s also had a growth spurt! Maternity pants that aren’t full panel are being avoided or are remaining unbuttoned – hoping this isn’t a problem as Fall weather has appeared.photo 2

33 weeks

33 weeks

33 weeks

33 weeks

She has also really started moving  her limbs – no one tells you how that changes in terms of feeling when they’re actually real, hard bones! Last weekend P had his hand on her, rubbing, and all the sudden it was like an elbow popped out! It was really strange yet cool. She is definitely flexing her muscles which is awesome for a proud momma but also feels very very weird.

We had our first baby shower 2 weeks ago in VA with P’s family and it was really nice. It was owl themed and super cute. His aunt and cousin always make their parties adorable. We got some really cute outfits, a pack ‘n play, quite a few blankets (a couple handmade that were really impressive), and a variety of other recommended Mom accessories. It’s wonderful having so many experienced mothers in our family – lots of hand-me-downs and lots of good advice and shared knowledge.photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

This weekend is our second baby shower in Charlotte with my family and some old friends. We are lucky to get to have three to cover the three geographical areas that we have family and also our local friends in Greenville. I’m excited about them and getting more and more excited about having this baby!

P and I went to an all day (9-3) birthing class last weekend at St. Francis, even though we are delivering at GHS. I liked their class description better although come to find out from another expectant mom in my pre-natal group that the video and teaching tools were the same. I think P is actually glad he went and learned a lot about what we have ahead of us. And I learned he gives really good back massages! I feel a lot better about him being my birthing partner and support team (with help from my mom and BF) because now I know he kind of knows what to expect. It was good for both us and a bonding experience for us too. I’m more and more grateful for him and know he is going to be a wonderful father.


25 Weeks

25 weeks and I’ve just kind of popped! I think up until last week I was able to “hide” my pregnancy – not that I was trying but certain outfits just kept it wear under cover. In fact, one of my nursery coworkers didn’t even know I was pregnant until Sunday. I’m also to the point where I feel comfortable wearing tighter tops because it’s obvious I’m pregnant and didn’t just have a big lunch. Not only am I looking pregnant but I am feeling it! Take a look at these images from today – I look so tired! photo 2 photo 4

I also feel like I look like I have gained all of the 16 extra pounds the scale showed me yesterday at my Centering Group appointment. For some reason seeing that 139.4lbs show up on the scale was hard for me to swallow. I’m still working on accepting it even though I KNOW that I am right on target, have not gained more than I should, and am still eating healthy and staying active. It’s still a hard thing to do, I’ve never been this heavy before. But, baby girl is healthy and I am grateful!

Strangely enough we talked at Centering about how we are sleeping and I had been sleeping really well lately and of course jinxed it by saying it out loud. I hope I didn’t keep P up last night. I can not get comfortable and I got really hot. As much as Snoogle helps with comfort and support most nights, it gets really hot! I can’t sleep with covers on any more.

Other developments this week, I’m back to that uncomfortable feeling of I know that I am growing because I can feel it. No one tells you that you will feel you body stretching and how it doesn’t feel good! It’s also getting somewhat difficult to bend over these days, although I think it depends on where the baby is. I’m also getting more tired and staying more tired. I hit a wall at 3:30pm pretty much every day! I just work through it because I’m an awful napper. It takes a while for me to fall asleep and then once I wake up (if I ever sleep at all) I feel groggy so there’s really no point. I do feel bad for my team at work though because my patience and mood definitely take a decline around that time. I tend to get a second wind by 6ish especially if I make it to the gym. I’ve been able to cook the last few weeks which I know P enjoys. Not just meals for lunch and dinner but also I’ve done some baking so we have nice, healthy treats for breakfasts and snacks.

I’m starting to get more excited about labor than nervous and scared. I think its my innate curiosity taking over. Instead of focusing on the fear of the unknown I’m focusing on the curiosity and the desire for knowledge. I’m starting to lean more towards a natural birth, if I can do it. Actually, I know I CAN do it, it’s just a matter of whether or not I’ll have the strength in the moment. I’ve been reading books, like Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth, and also talking a lot in my midwife’s group (Centering) and I just feel like I can do it. I’m even starting to feel like I want to labor, if not deliver although maybe?, in the water. I’m trying to keep on open mind and an open birth plan, trusting my body and my doctor/midwife. I’m just getting really excited to meet this little girl!

P has been working hard in the nursery, installing shelves and painting the built-ins. His mom comes next weekend to pick out a crib and then once we have it and a rocking chair the nursery will be ready for decorating. I’m excited to see it come together and I love that baby girl will know that her daddy did all of it for her.10562876_838089140764_779012314_o

I’m feeling calm right now which is not really typical for me. I’m usually high-strung and stressed. I definitely have my moments but I feel like I’m going pretty good not going into mom-to-be-zilla mode even though we only have three months left and they are super busy months with lots of travel. Baby is going to come when she comes and we will be “ready” or not – more than likely not, even if we have all the parts and pieces in order.

I’m treasuring these last few months with just P and our little family of 2 but cannot wait to meet this little girl, who is still unnamed and whose parents have still not even talked about names… she’ll get one when one feels right! I do have one in my head but we will see if it continues to feel good and if P likes it. We will see!

21 Weeks

21 weeks. I’m feeling pretty good. There are days I’m not sleeping well (like last night – Baby Girl was moving all around and making me generally uncomfortable if not hurting me at times, also P was snoring) and that makes me more tired that normal but I think if I get a good night’s sleep I can make it throughout most of the day. I’m still loving getting into bed at 9 or earlier. P was out of town for a few nights last week and I took some Benadryl and went to bed at 8pm. 11-12 hours of awesome sleep was just what I needed. It is weird though because I almost get to the point where I am so tired, too tired, and my body fights sleep. It’s so frustrating. I hope I become a better napper before you arrive because it is probably a skill I’m going to need.

Other than that, I’ve just been struggling with the same allergies but it seems that with the addition of a nasal spray and the occasional night with Benadryl that it is more under control. This past weekend my stomach started to get upset too and I’m not sure of the culprit. I’m hoping it is temporary. My first thought was dairy because I had straight milk (2% might have been the issue) right before it started but I had stuffed pasta today for lunch after 2 days no dairy and was fine. I think I’ll avoid the straight milk for now and take more calcium supplements.

We found out that we are having a girl this week! P was pretty surprised but I think he’s on board with the idea now. Took him some liquid courage and time to process but he’s already establishing no dating rules. I’m pretty sure he has no idea what we are getting into, not that I know, but he knows less than me. I’m hoping he will start reading the book his mom got him, Dad’s Expecting Too, soon.

Baby girl has been moving a lot lately. I was able to show my brother-in-law at the pool yesterday how you can see her shift in my stomach already. I got some great shots of my belly at the pool. It actually looks bigger from this angle and you can see the lopsidedness. Most people still tell me I don’t look pregnant yet although I can certainly tell! I have one maternity suit but it is just too hot to be covered up right now! Going with the bikinis until (if) I get uncomfortable exposing myself.photo 5 photo 4We’ve got just over a month until we hit the third trimester! Sounds like a long time but we have a lot to do between now and then. We have been super busy with traveling and visitors and parties so I’m hoping the next few months gives us more down time at home to get things done in the nursery, take classes and tours, and basically get prepared – as much as possible – without feeling rushed or stressed. I’m definitely getting excited to be a momma. P is too. We are going to have a total Daddy’s Girl and I’m sure I’ll be punished for the crap I put my mom through in my pre-teen years…

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Baby Girl

This Saturday a big part of your family traveled to Greenville to discover whether you were going to be a little boy or a little girl. Your aunt, uncle and cousin came from Augusta, GA which was really special since they’re moving to Texas soon. Your other aunt and grandparents came from North Carolina, Greensboro and Charlotte respectively. Your paternal grandparents and one of your great-aunts drove all the way from Virginia! Even your great-grandparents on my side came from Charlotte. So did Steve and Larry who are wonderful family friends. So many others wanted to be there so we FaceTimed with many and took video so we could share with those too far away.

Your dad had a pool going where people bet money! More people guessed boy then girl and guess what? They were wrong. I had always thought we would have a boy but I have to say I’ve just had these feelings that you were going to be a little mini-me so whereas I was a little surprised, it actually felt right.


Even your daddy was team blue (his shorts were pink though!)

Your dad came up with the idea for how we would have the reveal. He wanted Cookie Monster cupcakes, since you’re our little Cookie (last name Cooke), with little king’s cake babies in them, pink or blue. We didn’t find out until your dad took a bite of his. I had a little pink plastic baby in my strawberry cupcake!photo 5

We used our wedding baker for the cupcakes since our wedding cupcakes were the best we had ever had. There was a little mix-up on the order but we still had enough and the plan worked. With Love and Confection will still get a referral from me because they are just so good. The cupcakes were super cute but unfortunately the blue icing broke off and we are finding it everywhere! We will probably find it for months to come, maybe once you’re here!photo 3 photo 2

We had burgers and hot dogs which your dad grilled, snacks that several of our friends brought to celebrate (Maria’s avocado salad and Brantley’s corn dip were my favorite), watermelon, chips and salsa and more! It was a really great party and I think everyone had fun. They even brought some gifts just for you which I cannot wait to use/dress you in. Girl clothes are so much fun.photo 1

We are one step closer to learning who you are going to be as a person. Everyone is so excited to meet you and I’m getting excited to really start getting your nursery decorated and thinking about names.

We love you already!

Just for fun, here is one of our friend’s 1 year old daughter playing with your two year old cousin – your cousin wasn’t too keen on sharing her family but little L was just too cute and sweet. You’re going to be just as cute, I know it.photo 1 photo 5

photo 2

20 Weeks

Dear Little One,

20 weeks is a big one! You have grown so much and I cannot believe that you are halfway done in there! Last week we had your anatomy ultrasound and everything looked great! The ultrasound tech was really nice and loved your little feet. We had no idea that she did, in fact, check out your gender but since she didn’t say anything we had no idea she was even looking. She wrapped up that “boy or girl” and sealed it in an envelope so I could drop it off at the baker for our big reveal party this weekend. Your dad and I are really excited about finally learning whether you are a girl or a boy – most people think you are a boy but we will see.

photo 4

Your dad came up with the idea for the party – Cookie Monster all the way at a little “Cooke-out” at our house. Both sets of your grandparents are coming, all of your uncles and aunts, your cousin, one set of great-grandparents and a great-aunt plus lots of friends who already love you. I might be a little stressed about such an undertaking but will be happy to have so many helpful hands at the house. Be prepared, once everyone knows if you’ll be in pink or blue, I have a feeling the presents will start coming. :)

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Father’s day was this past weekend and I got P a card. He’s been really sweet letting me rest when I need to, lots of hugs and kisses for the belly. Plus, he painted your room last weekend. It’s a pretty blue-green color and I cannot wait to see the sheets your great-grandmother is making. It’s all coming together!

photo 1

We have had lots of visitors the last few weeks at the house and all of them always ask about you. Your paternal grandmother and great-grandparents visited a week ago along with your maternal grandparents. It was great to have help cooking, cleaning, and in the yard. Your grandmothers are going to be a big help once you are here helping your mom keep her sanity. And tonight one of my college friends who is living in Switzerland is also coming to visit! We will be definitely using all of our guest sheets this week.photo 2As far as how Mom feels (me), I’m ok. The past week or so I have struggled with bad  moods and just generally feeling in the dumps plus feeling a lot of stress. I don’t know how I am going to leave work when you come but you will definitely come first so I will! My cold/sinus/allergy issues have been bad again and the doctor recommended a nasal spray which I think is helping but I cannot be sure. Nothing seems to make the sniffles, coughing and congestion go away. I’m still working out, walking or going to the gym but my goal is to start making it to yoga on Sunday afternoons, once we have a Sunday afternoon at home with no plans. I think I’ve gained maybe 10 lbs? I’ll find out later this month at my next pre-natal group appointment. Everyone tells me I don’t look pregnant and some days I don’t physically feel it in terms of my belly but when I have on fitted clothes it seems obvious to me. I think you might be hitting a growth spurt today though because my belly has been uncomfortable.

16 weeks

16 weeks

18 weeks

18 weeks

Other random symptoms and comments: no cravings really although I did buy (and ate exactly 1 then forgot about them) Smore’s PopTarts, no stomach sickness (knock on wood), I get sweaty at night especially with my hair down, and I’m loving Snoogle! My main “symptoms” have been the allergy/sinus issues, tiredness in the afternoons/early evenings, and the moodiness. I’m sleeping better again and hope I continue to do so!

So excited to learn more about you this weekend and to celebrate with our families!


18, almost 19 weeks!

Tomorrow I will be 19 weeks and one week from today we have our 20 week ultrasound. I am so ready. Despite feeling Baby move pretty regularly, I feel like I haven’t connected with him/her in a while so seeing a “real” looking baby on the screen is going to be awesome. Two weeks and two days we have our big gender reveal party to find out whether we are having a little girl or boy!

Last night a friend stopped by the house (he owns Deckmasters of Greenville and Deckstore, two great companies for outdoor living whether you need product or services – they built our two decks and theideagroup built their websites) and we showed him the blue color we had chosen for the nursery. He was like, you’re giving it away, but despite our traditionally “boy” color choice we still have no idea. Girls like blue too! We will accessorize more to fit the specific gender but not too much. I took an interesting gender studies class in college while in Australia and a lot of what we learned is that we start “teaching” our children gender roles and stereotypes early on even unintentionally.

I’ve always wanted to have a boy first but now that I’m actually expecting I’m not so sure. Obviously P and I will be happy no matter what but there are some definite differences I see between boys and girls at different ages (whether you teach them gender roles or not!) and there are days now that I feel strongly it is a girl. But everyone who has taken a guess has said boy so who knows! I’m getting anxious though, I’m ready!

How far along: 19 weeks tomorrow
Gender: we find out in two weeks!
Weight gain: I was up 6 lbs at my last appointment at the end of May
Workouts: I am still getting to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and trying to walk on week days that I can’t make the gym. Weekends I may walk but mostly allow myself to rest and catch up around the house. I would like to start getting into yoga again but have yet to find a class (unheated) that works with my schedule which is super busy these days. I hit up Total Body at the gym today but it’ll be the only class I make this week. Hoping to get back into it more often but work is keeping me stretched during the day.
Maternity clothes: yes! and fortunately a lot of my dresses still work
Stretch marks: none yet, but have started using a cocoa butter, vitamin E, etc. combo lotion twice a day
Belly button in or out: in
Sleep: I think sleep is getting better but it varies day to day. Unfortunately P has developed a snoring habit over the last several months so I tend to sleep better when I’m alone in bed but I miss him. We are trying to find solutions so that he doesn’t snore or at least not as badly.
Best moment(s) the past few weeks: 
Fabric shopping with Mom
Worst moment this week(s): Ugh, I think I’ve been moody and negative the last week or so. I’m not sure if it’s hormones or just all the little things that have been going awry, cracking my phone screen, ants in the bathrooms, hurt my back (chiropractor helped greatly), some stressful meetings at work, etc. I need to focus on being more positive.
Miss anything: Not really. The ability to just move around freely, have energy, the desire to cuddle with P on the couch (which is just uncomfortable right now)
Movement: I don’t feel the baby moving but I definitely feel my body shifting.
Cravings: I don’t know that I’ve had real cravings but there have been days over the last week or so when I’ll get something in my head and want it: Mellow Mushroom, BBQ, Raisin Bran. It seems to be only once and then I’m good.
Queasy or sick: I’ve had some nausea at times but my little dissolvable pill has helped.
Looking forward to:  Our gender reveal party and seeing the nursery painted which P is hoping to work on this week. Also, some of our family will be here this weekend which is always fun.

I Love You

valentines day background

As P was leaving the bedroom this morning for work where I was still cozily wrapped up in the bed covers my only words to him were, “I love you.” For some reason, maybe because it is Valentine’s week, it got me to thinking about how my use of the words has changed over the years.

When I was younger I rarely told people I loved them, younger as in child-age. I have distinct memories of walking up the stairs to my bedroom after saying goodnight to my parents and telling them I loved them solely for the reason that I was afraid something would happen in the night. I was extremely afraid, like had nightmares, of death. I would go days without letting my family know I loved them and then have these moments where my imagination would go crazy, think the worst, and make sure I covered all my bases by telling them I  loved them just in case one of us died. Sounds kind of crazy when I type it out but I guess a lot of children are fascinated by and scared of Death. And sometimes we assume that the people we are closest to just know how you feel. Duh, Mom and Dad obviously know I love them… I’m not sure why they were words I was uncomfortable with but I imagine it had to do with not wanting to be emotionally exposed or deemed uncool. Silly.

Fast forward several years: I used the L word in previous “serious” relationships when I was in college when every guy you dated for 6 months could be “the one.” Of course, now I look back and think, what was I thinking! Great guys but definitely not the ones I was meant to spend my life with. I lived, loved, and learned. I really don’t remember clearly but in those relationships, the L word, was almost a pawn in the game. It was used to manipulate (not in an evil way), to get reactions, to feel like you are adult enough to even understand what you’re saying. Dating, for me, in college was all about learning about myself and learning about relationships and a lot about what makes one unhealthy. I was young. I had a lot to learn.

Even when I met P, we almost met too young. Both of us were basically just out of college and were still very selfish and immature. I’m glad we stuck it out that rough first year of traveling, long distance, and just stupidity. In a way, we both became real adults together. We made a lot of mistakes but managed to figure things out together.

Ever since I met P, I would listen to him speak with his parents and other family and always end the conversation saying, “I love you” or “I love you too.” I remember being so intrigued that he would not only call his mom and grandmother in front of his girlfriend but felt comfortable saying those words. Words that can make you intensely vulnerable. It honestly made me start to feel more comfortable with the words and their meaning. I found myself trying to call my family more, because he did, and always making sure I tell them I love them before we get off the phone. It had nothing to do with well, just in case something happens and I never speak to you again… it was just, I wanted to make sure they knew. My stance towards hugging is also gradually changing. I once, and still can be depending on the person, very uncomfortable with hugging but now it barely phases me even when it’s a client who reaches out and pulls me in.

It’s very interesting how one person (and I’m sure growing up had something to do with it) can change you in small ways for the better. I try to tell P I love him at least once a day. Sometimes it’s on the phone but a lot of times it’s just what I tell him along with “Have a good day.” I used to think that you should only tell a significant other “I love you” when it was special so that the words didn’t become less valuable. And a part of me still thinks they can be overused and grow less significant but P deserves to know, even on our bad days, that I love him no matter what. And there are definitely times I just blurt it because I feel so loved by him and overwhelmed with love for him that I have to share. It’s an almost physical impulse. The L word just means so much more to me and I am really glad that I have learned that it is a word that is meant to be shared.valentines day background


New Year’s Eve. It’s snuck up on me this year. It kind of feels anticlimactic after all the traveling we did for Christmas (which was great!). I have no desire to go out, fight the crowds, pay for parking (yes, Greenville has spoiled us until recently with a lot of free parking), and also pay inflated prices because of the holiday.  So despite P asking if I wanted to go out to dinner last night I said no.

We have a good friend bringing over his date for dinner which P is handling and some other friends who were just as uninterested in the holiday hoopla coming over after dinner for dessert and drinks. Basically a low key evening. I wish I could enjoy it in my pj’s but it’s not quite that low key. I’m hoping to get home early enough to enjoy a short nap before entertaining so I can stay awake until midnight. Probably wouldn’t be a very good host if we kicked people out of the house early…

Of course, with the close of one year we are all thinking and planning for the one starting. Some people have resolutions, some people have goals, I just have a list.

Here are items I want to get accomplished on the house:

1. Refinish our hardwood floors. Due to previous owner damage and fairly new dog-digging-to-China damage, our floors desperately need some TLC. I am debating whether to just do the affected areas or all of it (probably about 1,000 square feet-ish). Do it ourselves or hire someone professional – pros & cons to both.  But after some new deep scratches this has moved up the list.

2. Build out our guest room closets, both of them. Or guest room closets are good sized but have no organization other that top shelf and long hanging bar. I’m hoping will build/install some shelving in half of each closet so that we can better organize and store items, especially downstairs which is literally just a heap of extra towels and sheets.

3. Back deck. I think P and my dad (who is finishing up his own new deck) can do most of this work themselves although we will hire professionals to redo the frame and base since their are some structural issues and it’s pretty high off the ground. This will be the 3rd and final deck we need to do until we decide what to do about the one below it off the basement. Currently, there are no issues there so it’s not on the list.

4. I want a new stove and a new dishwasher.

5. Finally remove the wallpaper in the little bedroom and paint.

These projects mean saving money. So that is going to be the big goal for 2014 – save. P is actually much more of a spender than myself so it will be us dually establishing and keeping to a budget. Last year I started moving a specific amount into savings every month. This year I’ll probably increase it.

Projects also mean that we need to get it together, and just start them. Whereas the list has decreased A LOT since we bought our little fixer-upper, a few of these are pretty time consuming and require time and energy. Both items, I feel like we are lacking in these days. Fortunately, we do not have the travel plans we did the last several months this spring so fingers crossed we can just do them.

Other general things I want to focus on this year is just being less stressed and more positive. This is a constant battle for me – just be happy. Why am I stressing when everything is going well?  Constant character battle – 2014, hopefully will become that much easier to smile, relax, and appreciate all that life has to offer.

Happy New Year!  Don’t forget to develop a plan for your goals for 2014. With a plan, success is much more likely!