These moments…

There are moments that are life-altering, moments that you will always look back on and realize that your world changed… completely tilted on its axis. It was in these moments for me that life was at its clearest, finest, most memorable and life-changing. These are the moments of my life that fill my heart and soul the most. These are the moments that will never leave my memory because these are the moments that everything changed.

The moment I first saw you… June 15, 2012 is the day we first met after months of anticipation and waiting. The moment I finally saw you will forever be etched into my mind. I know it sounds silly, but it has long felt like the day my life really began. After months of restless anticipation, of talks about love and finally meeting… well, we finally met! I saw you in the airport, close to midnight, and my throat literally felt like it was in my chest. My heart was beating out of control, my eyes flicked back and forth across the room. And I’ve heard it said before, or perhaps sung before… that even in a crowded room, all I could see was you, and how true that was! The plane landed and we spoke on the phone, searching for one another, anxiously, breathlessly, filled with anxiety, fear, excitement. My eyes landed on you first. I was giddy, and you kept searching as I barreled towards you. We finally locked eyes and you hung up the phone with a smile. We hugged and I never wanted to let go. For months, I had dreamed of this moment, imagined it like a moment torn straight out of a book or movie, and that’s exactly what it felt like: a picture perfect moment that couldn’t be mine, and yet it was. You were here. With me. After all this time.


The moment I said “yes”… August 16, 2012 you asked me to be your wife. I had a feeling this would be the day when you said you wanted to go somewhere after dinner. We had planned for it, looked at rings, and talked about it nonstop, but you still managed to stop me in my tracks when you dropped to your knee on the pier at the beach. While the two of us are very modest and easily embarrassed, it was as if the world around us stopped for a moment. For once, we didn’t care that we were surrounded by people who likely stared. We knew only that we loved each other and wanted to spend our lives together. We had jut finished a dinner out with the family who anxiously awaited our arrival back home; it seems I was the only one of them who didn’t know with certainty what was happening that night (though I did have an idea). You looked at me, said, “Stephanie Territo,” then asked me if I would be your wife. All I could do was smile and say “yes” as you opened the box with my ring.


The moment we said “I do”… October 5, 2013 will always remain one of the best and happiest days of my entire life. We knew before we even met that we were supposed to be together, and the moment I stood up there with you and said “I do,” we affirmed what we already knew and made a promise to always be together. When I think back to that moment and that day, I am always overcome with emotion and joy.


The moment we saw “pregnant”… May 13, 2014 is the day we became our own little family with the very first positive pregnancy test. Seeing the double pink lines is a moment I will never forget, and just a few hours later at 2 in the morning, we confirmed it again when you got home from work with a digital read out test: “Pregnant” appeared on the screen and you cried from happiness. In that moment, I loved you more than ever before. In that moment, our whole world changed again.


The moment he came into this world… January 22, 2015 we finally met our son. It was in this moment that I realized I knew nothing about anything because I knew nothing about this kind of love, the love for your child that is so perfect, so pure, so flawless in every way. Though so much of his birth was a blur, I remember so clearly when they placed him on my chest. In that moment, I became a mom and you became a dad and truly, our world will never be the same.



Things I didn’t know

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There were so many things I didn’t know before Caleb was born. I thought I knew so much, that I was as prepared as could be, but now I know I knew almost nothing at all.

I knew it would be difficult and time consuming, but I had no idea just how hard it would be.

I didn’t know my morning routine would go from one hour to four and that an 11:00 shower would now be considered early instead of late.

I didn’t know that my son’s cries would break my heart so much and stress me out to the point that I would cry too.

I didn’t know what “tired” and “exhaustion” truly meant (though I thought I did) until three hours of sleep a night became my norm.

I didn’t know how nervous I would be, how worried all the silly little things would make me (I called the doctor because I thought he was eating too much).

I didn’t know about mommy guilt and how much I would question and doubt all of my decisions.

I didn’t know that motherhood wasn’t always natural. I didn’t know that I’d have to learn as we went along.

I didn’t know just how much my whole world would shift and change, that I’d have basically no time or energy to do much of anything besides care for him.

I didn’t know how much my parents truly loved me until I became a parent myself.

And despite all of these scary and terrifying things that I didn’t know, I did know that I loved him before he was born, that I would look at him in awe and wonderment, that he would amaze me every day (even on the days that I cry).

I knew before he was born that things would be hard but that I would love him anyway, that even when I was incredibly tired and frustrated, I would still wonder how in the world Jerry and I created such a perfectly adorable tiny person.

Every single day it seems, I discover something else I didn’t know, but every single day, I also love him a little bit more than the day before. He will always be my baby, Jerry will always be his daddy, and I will always be his mama… and there isn’t much better in the world.



Mom and dad “dates” + a first Valentine’s Day

With our little valentine after our first date night!

With our little valentine after our first date night!

Long before Caleb was born, Jerry and I had a number of conversations about the importance of our relationship and marriage. We decided that Caleb would of course be our biggest priority, but that our marriage also needed to remain just as big of a priority. We feel strongly about this because 1. Caleb came to be in this world BECAUSE we love each other, and 2. children benefit from their parents having a strong relationship. We know that caring for Caleb emotionally, physically, and financially will be our biggest priority for the next 18 years or more, but we also know that we cannot put our marriage on the backburner. While it’s been very difficult to find time for ourselves and to focus on our marriage with all the exhaustion that comes with having a baby and all the time we dedicate to him, we’re doing the best we can, and know that it will only get easier as he gets older. With us working opposite work schedules, we already don’t get a lot of time together, but now it’s even harder because we want to spend time together as a family too.

All that said, Jerry and I had our first date night last night since Caleb’s birth on January 22nd! Since Jerry works weeknights, when I saw that Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend this year, I was super excited – we usually can’t celebrate together since he’s at work most evenings. And then when we received a restaurant gift card after Caleb’s birth, we knew we just had to go out. We’ve been out together a number of times to run errands and things of that nature since he was born, but this was our first date, and the first time I’ve worn real clothes since he was born. I wore a dress and leggings instead of the usual sweatpants and maternity shirts I’ve been in since we came home from the hospital – yay!

Our first date night was great and I’d really like to make time for a date at least once a month. When I’m out and about and the baby is being watched by his grandma, I find myself itching to get back home to see him. Even though I missed him and thought a lot about him, we were gone for less than two hours and it was so nice to get out and feel like a real adult and human again, nice clothes and all. Time spent together as a family is the most important thing, but couple time is important too, and I’m so glad we got to spend the time together.


Got this necklace and matching bracelet from Jerry!

Caleb’s first Valentine’s Day was mostly uneventful, filled with food, diaper changes, and sleeping… ya know, just like every other day. He wore a special onesie for the occasion though, one that Jerry and I were scrambling to find on Thursday. We found ONE at Walmart (below)… slim pickings! We took a short family nap in the afternoon with him in his rock and play, and man do I have to tell you, that one hour of sleep really made all the difference in the world for me. After our nap, his grandparents came over to watch him while Jerry and I went out on our date. The night before, he had his longest stretch of sleep yet – five hours! – but decided last night that none of us would be getting any sleep; it was his worst night yet, with him refusing to sleep and shrieking on and off from 9:30-12:30, so that wasn’t the greatest. All in all though, it was a great day!



Caleb’s birth story

Caleb Manuel
January 22, 2015
9:47 PM
7 pounds, 13 ounces
20.5 inches


On Thursday, January 22, 2015, my whole entire world changed with the birth of my son, Caleb Manuel. I was 40 weeks + 2 days when he finally made his arrival.

I had my 40 week appointment the day before, on the 21st, and was feeling really disappointed by the news we received from the doctor: I was STILL not dilated at all, and Caleb’s head hadn’t even dropped even though he had been due on January 20th. I was slightly effaced, and that was all. My doctor was quite certain we would need to be induced the following week, likely on the 29th or 30th. He said it would be very convenient if we were to go into labor naturally that weekend because he was on call, but we knew it was unlikely because of how little progress I had made. We left the office very disappointed and discouraged, but with a 41 week appointment set up for Tuesday the 27th which was to include an ultrasound to check his size and fluid levels. The doctor predicted he would weigh in the high eights… yikes. We were looking forward to seeing him on ultrasound again, but just really wanted him here with us. We were certain it would be more than a week before we would finally meet our son… we were so wrong!

So after the disappointing appointment, I awoke the following morning around 8:00 AM with a bad cramp. It was just a consistent pain though, and wasn’t coming and going like contractions, so I wasn’t thinking too much of it. I sat down on the couch and, very ironically (on the day that wound up being his birth date!), wrote this blog post about how we would be waiting for Caleb for a bit longer… I watched a little TV (“Big Women: Big Love…” good show) and then noticed the cramp had changed and was now coming and going like waves. I thought perhaps they were contractions but was pretty certain they were not. I decided to call my doctor’s office just to be safe, and had an appointment for 11:45 to get checked again. Before leaving, we packed the rest of our hospital items into the car just in case, and put some gas in the tank. It’s a good thing we did because by the time Jerry and I were on our way to the office, the pain was BAD! Jerry tried to distract me in the car by cracking jokes, but I was in no mood to laugh… the waves of pain were serious. When we got to the office, they had us sit in the waiting room but as the pain escalated, Jerry went up to the receptionist and told them we were now pretty sure I was in labor, so could they please bring us back now? They did so promptly.

When we got to the back, I was asked to give a urine sample and things went incredibly quickly from there. I lost my mucus plug at that time and the nurses became very excited. They put me in an exam room and said the doctor was doing a procedure, but they would do their best to get him in there right away. He came in pretty quickly and discovered that I was 3-4 cm dilated… um, what?! He actually said he was surprised too. This wasn’t even my actual doctor, so I’m not sure where the surprise came from on his end; he must have looked over my chart and read about the previous day’s appointment and lack of progress. Jerry and I were quite shell-shocked, and the doctor instructed us to go back home, have some lunch, relax, and then go to the hospital around 2:00 or 3:00, unless the pain got worse in which case we should go in earlier. He left the room, and the moment I stood up, my water broke all over the floor. I was shaking at this point and Jerry ran back out to tell the staff we thought my water had just broken. The doctor came back in and confirmed this for us. Jerry joked with him that just a few days earlier, he had asked me if I thought anyone’s water had ever broken at the office… I guess we were proof that this does in fact happen!

We left and I decided there was no way I could go home to eat and relax. It felt impossible with the pain and anxiety coursing through me, so I told Jerry we were going to the hospital right away. We quickly stopped home to pick up my dog, then made another stop at CVS to try and find some gloves for Jerry (long story short: he has warts on a couple of fingers and was told to wear gloves by the dermatologist when the baby was born). We quickly went to my parent’s house to drop off the dog and pick up my mom and we were finally on our way.

When we arrived at the hospital, we immediately went to the birthing center where I told the receptionist I was in labor. We were sent back to triage to start where we ended up spending approximately two hours before being admitted to a birthing suite. I was seen and asked questions by a number of nurses, residents, medical students, etc. The baby’s heart rate was monitored and they gave us some kind of low-tech ultrasound where we didn’t even get to see the baby. I was checked again for progress and was already 5-6 cm dilated. Things were progressing quickly still! Since I knew you could be given an epidural at 4 cm, I asked a couple of times when I would be put in a room and given one, and grew really frustrated really quickly as the contractions became stronger and more painful. I gripped Jerry’s hand with each one, and though I was very calm and quiet, asked him at one point “what the f*** is taking them so long?” Finally, we were told we were being put in a room. A nurse walked us down the hall and instructed me to stop with each contraction and hold on to the bars in the hall and sway back and forth. We finally made it to our room and an anesthesiologist came in almost immediately to give me my epidural. We just happened to get lucky because the nurse said he was walking by and she grabbed him. It really wasn’t too bad but he was showing a medical student what he was doing, and also answered his phone (with his Rolling Stones ringtone!) and was chatting it up while administering the epidural so I was kind of nervous and annoyed. It ended up going off without a hitch though and I was soon feeling the relief. Ahhh… it seriously made a world of difference. I really couldn’t feel the contractions at all and I was able to rest and doze. I am SO glad I made the decision to get it because I don’t know how much longer I could have handled the pain.

Things were pretty uneventful for the rest of the afternoon except for when the baby’s heart rate temporarily dropped. I had to wear an oxygen mask for awhile, and was instructed to shift to my side to get him moving. This was pretty scary but I remained calm, surprisingly. I think this was because the epidural had me in a bit of a fog. Everything turned out fine though, thank God. I don’t remember a lot of the afternoon after that either because of how tired I was. My nurse stayed in my room almost the whole time I was in labor though and we really liked her. Even though I had been completely terrified of giving birth, I was somehow able to remain really calm almost the whole time and the nurse actually said I was her easiest labor patient in her entire 17 years of being a nurse! Ha! Who would have thought?! I am such a spaz and nervous wreck so this was unexpected.


Since I couldn’t really feel the contractions anymore due to the epidural, the nurse instructed me to let her know when I started to feel pressure. Right around 8:00, I told her I was feeling some pressure and might be getting ready to push. The doctor came in and I was completely dilated. I told him I didn’t want to wear myself out by pushing too early, but he said he saw no reason to wait, so at 8:00 the pushing began. Jerry had a look at one point right before I started pushing and said “oh boy.” The sight of blood freaked him out initially and the nurse cracked us up by saying “that is not something you say to your wife right now.” Ha! He was really amazing the rest of the time though, saying over and over again that I was the bravest and strongest woman he knew.

So anyway, I started pushing and it was pretty much a nightmare for me. It was completely agonizing pain and discomfort. I was dripping in sweat and incredibly nauseous. There were a lot of points where I didn’t think I could keep going, but of course I somehow did. Jerry and my mom each held a leg and encouraged me the whole time. I was given wet washcloths for my forehead and somehow remained polite, with “no thank yous” and “pleases,” which the nurse thought was hilarious. I dropped an “F” bomb at one point and she said “finally!”

There were so many people in the room during the pushing, including Jerry, my mom, my nurse, a tech, a medical student (who my mom asked to take some pictures), a doctor from my office, and a resident. There were a couple of times when the doctor actually left which was really discouraging for me because to me it basically meant I wasn’t making much progress yet. The nurse had me continue pushing though with each contraction. At one point, she got on her phone and called the doctor back. Other nurses came in and started preparing the baby bassinet, scales, etc. so I finally knew we were getting close, and at 9:47, Caleb Manuel was finally born. Jerry cut the cord and he was immediately placed on my chest where I got a good look at him and all of his hair, which I was delighted by but not surprised at in the least. He was then whisked away for weighing, measuring, vaccines, etc. Jerry and my mom joined him while I got stitched up for 35 minutes for what wound up being 3rd degree tearing. Um, ouch. I finally got to see my son again when the stitching was complete and he was bundled up.



The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful. Because it’s currently flu season, we were only allowed two visitors at a time and Jerry counted as one of them so we had just a few visitors during our time there. The morning after his birth, his pediatrician stopped by at around 6:00 AM to give him an exam. My doctor (who didn’t end up delivering the baby but was on call the next day) stopped in to see me shortly after. The first thing he said was “well I guess I was wrong, huh?” That night, the hospital served Jerry and I a “sweetheart dinner” which is a meal that is slightly fancier than their usual that they serve to new parents. Jerry had dry steak but my stuffed chicken was decent! We got to go home on Jerry’s birthday, Saturday the 24th. We were simultaneously ecstatic and terrified to go home with our new baby.

I was told I had a pretty perfect first labor and delivery with fast, natural progression. My water broke at noon, I started pushing at 8:00, and by 9:47, Caleb was here. Even though the pushing was pretty traumatizing and I told Jerry I would NEVER be willing to give birth again, I know that it was all worth it every time my son looks up at me and I look into his eyes.



“I’d do it all over again.”


Within the first hour of Caleb’s birth, I told Jerry that Caleb would be an only child and that I would NOT be doing that again.

Even though we have always planned on having two children, and even though everyone told me that I’d eventually forget the pain, in that moment I was positive I could not go through what I had just been through for a second time.

For the first eight days of Caleb’s life, I still felt pretty much the same. Towards the end of the first week though, you could finally catch me saying, “IF we have another one;” prior to his birth, it was never an “if” but always a “when.” Early this morning though, during a 5AM feeding, on Caleb’s ninth day, I was looking at his sweet funny face and I turned to Jerry and said, “I’d do it all over again. I’d do it again for him. He’s worth it. He’s so perfect.”

The pain and exhaustion of labor and delivery was pretty indescribable for me. Even though the nurses and doctors said I had a great first delivery, and even though the nurse said I was her best and easiest patient in 17 years, it all felt so traumatic at the time. Add that into raging hormones, baby blues, incredible stress and overwhelming feelings, weight gain, and complete exhaustion, and you could probably understand why I was pretty determined we would not be doing that again. We had started to come to terms with not having a second child… that’s how serious I was when I kept saying it.

But now that things are settling down and my mind and body are starting to heal, I feel differently. I haven’t forgotten the pain. I feel like all I do all day is feed my child. My body feels like it isn’t my own and I am completely and utterly exhausted… but I’d do it all over again. My heart has never been more full. When I see my son, and I see my husband being his daddy, I feel like I could burst. This beautiful child is worth every single bad thing I went through to have him. He will always be worth it… and maybe someday he WILL have a sibling now. I could do it again. I feel like I could do anything when I see his face.




Welcome to the world!


On January 22, 2015 at 9:47 PM, Caleb Manuel was born!

He weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces (thrilled about this – we were expecting a very large baby) and was 20.5 inches long. Just about the perfect, average sized baby! He also had a head full of dark hair, exactly what we expected and hoped for! :) He ended up being only two days late, born at 40w+2d.

Life is pretty funny, I have to say. That very morning, I wrote a blog post about how we were still waiting for him. Just a few hours later, he was here.

I will be posting a full birth story as soon as I can. I’m hoping in the next week or so. I’d also like to get back into a regular blogging schedule at some point soon, but we are very exhausted and busy at the moment, of course! Hoping to make a regular return to the blogging world soon.

In the meantime, here are a few more pictures. Welcome to the world, Caleb! We waited a long time for you.



And because Tuesday is my normal “bumpdate” day, here is a post-birth bumpdate in the good old bumpdate shirt!



The best laid plans…


You can plan and plan and plan, but that doesn’t guarantee a thing.

Especially when it comes to babies.

January 20th — our due date — came and went, with no fanfare, like any other normal day. While I understand that due dates really don’t mean much, and that most babies don’t arrive on or by them (especially first babies), we still anxiously counted down the days on our calendar until it arrived. The big day! And then nothing. Nada. Baby not budging. Sorry, Mom and Dad!

For months, we prepared his nursery, finally perfecting and completing it weeks ago, JUST in time, we thought.

I lovingly washed, folded, and sorted his clothes.

All of our baby “things” and toys and blankets and books are organized, put away, and waiting for his arrival.

My bags are packed, and most of our hospital necessities are stashed in the car, and have been since at least a week ago. The list of the last few items we will need to throw in a bag has been on my coffee table for weeks now, staring us in the face, final items waiting to be checked off.

His carseat has been inspected and installed. The inside of my car has been washed.

Meals are in the freezer. We’ve gone on small grocery shopping trips so as not to let any food spoil “in case we’re at the hospital.” We’ve done a lot things “just in case,” and have made no plans to be set in stone.

I’ve done a lot of things for the “last time” before the baby arrives, which have turned out not to be the last time at all. A night with friends. Loads of laundry. One last, frantic house cleaning before crashing on the couch with back pain. These “last things” have occurred numerous times, not really the last at all.

We are ready… but he is not.

As of yesterday’s appointment, when I was 40 weeks and 1 day, no progress had been made. I am still not dilated. His head still hasn’t dropped. He is, it would seem, NOT ready, as much as his daddy and I are. We go back on Tuesday for a 41 week appointment to include another non-stress test and an ultrasound. This will give us a size estimate as well as check his amniotic fluid levels. If all looks well, the doctor believes he will induce us on Thursday or Friday of next week. If there is any cause for concern, it will be earlier… Tuesday or Wednesday. As of right now, the doctor believes he will weigh in the high 8 pound range, but did mention that if the baby ends up being 10 pounds (HA!) or more, he will schedule a c-section.

Of course, things could change in an instant. Our beloved little boy could decide he’s ready at any moment. We certainly are.

And if not, at least we know we will finally be holding him in eight days at the most.

As a (very) soon to be mom, I have already had to learn the hard lesson of letting things go, of going with the flow, of letting things happen as they’re supposed to happen, on their own time. I’ve learned that you can make all the plans in the world, but they might not always be the right ones. And that’s okay. Caleb’s got his own plan. He knows when he’ll be here, even if we don’t, and that’s the only plan that matters.

See you soon, little man.


Bumpdate: 40 Weeks… Due Date!


Well hello! Today I am 40 weeks and I have to say, I’m not entirely surprised that I am STILL writing a bumpdate today. Most first babies come late, so while this was expected, it is still a bit disappointing because Caleb is due TODAY! For months and months now, we have waited with anticipation for January 20th to arrive, and here it is!  Even though we knew the likelihood of him being born on this day was low, we are still very anxious and very excited. Tomorrow is my next appointment, so please cross your fingers that this baby is making some progress! I was all about getting induced ASAP (even though the doctor said they don’t do it until 41 or 42 weeks), but now I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s better to wait for the baby to come naturally… but what if he’s getting huge in there? I have a lot of questions to ask my doctor tomorrow.

So the only real news I suppose is that there’s still no news, just a whole lot of waiting and watching. Waiting for our baby, watching for the signs that he’s on his way. My birthday was Saturday and I was pretty uncomfortable and crampy the entire day. Jerry and I thought that labor was imminent at that point, but by Sunday, I was feeling better. Now, I generally don’t enjoy discomfort and pain, but my doctor told me last week that pain, at this point, is a good thing and a good sign, so it got us a bit excited and, apparently, ahead of ourselves. I’ve had a few more moments of pain where I’ve wondered whether or not I was having contractions, but they have all promptly disappeared… bummer! We are still on the lookout for any indication though, and Jerry made me walk up and down the stairs the other night. I’m pretty sure none of these old wives tales will actually do the trick, but it was worth a shot! In fact, I might go walking at the mall again tonight. My mom and I did that a few times last week, and it was clearly to no avail but it certainly didn’t do any harm!

My last day of work was last Tuesday and I am officially enjoying maternity leave. I actually have been able to relax some, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do. I’ve watched more TV than I care to admit, and have been rocking the sweatpants on a near daily basis. It’s been so nice to not have to put on uncomfortable dress clothes for work and worry about what the heck I could possibly cram this belly into while still looking presentable. People kept asking me when I’d go out on leave and I resisted for quite awhile. I’m glad I finally decided to take the plunge; I can tell my body really appreciates the break and I’ve had a lot less back pain. I’ve also been able to nap almost every day and get some real rest before the big arrival.

We did end up having some small “excitement” last week when I ended up back in hospital triage on Wednesday evening for a bit. Caleb’s movements had become increasingly smaller and less frequent so I ended up calling the nurses at my doctor’s office who decided to send me in for another NST. I know that towards the end, babies tend to run out of room and you can’t feel them as well, but I’ve also read that any change in baby’s movements should warrant a call to the doctor. We all decided to play it safe, and after 20 minutes or so of monitoring, the baby was declared to be “looking awesome” by the doctor and I was sent home. Phew! While we were there, all the staff had on face masks and there were signs stating that only two visitors were allowed because of the flu. We don’t know whether this means at a time or for the whole day, but we did find out that Jerry actually counts as one of the visitors, even though he’s the baby daddy! So, this means that many people will not get to meet Caleb in the hospital which is disappointing, but what can you do?

Jerry and I loaded a few of the hospital things into the car this weekend. He also put together the stroller yesterday. Now we have a stroller and rock and play in our living room, and even though this would usually set my OCD tendencies off, I am okay with it. Now we just look at all this stuff and imagine Caleb with his arms crossed inside my belly saying “nope. I don’t care. I’m STILL not coming.” In all honesty, I like looking at his stuff and just imagining him lying in them… any day now!

My dad asked me last week why I haven’t complained much during this pregnancy, which I guess is true. While I do talk about my symptoms here (or mention them when people ask), it’s for my own reference, because I want to remember everything, and it’s not meant in a complaining manner. Well, my answer was basically because I know this is all only temporary, and for good reason. I also realize that Jerry and I are very fortunate and lucky to be bringing a child into the world because there are many people who can’t. That said, I am feeling pretty good at the moment. My legs are bloated and sore and Jerry was kind enough to rub them for me yesterday. I also have one heck of a time moving and turning in bed, which honestly feels like an Olympic event, but at this point, nothing else much matters except finally getting to see our son. The bad things really aren’t all that bad when I think about the outcome… finally holding this baby we have been waiting for, thinking about, dreaming about, and loving on for months.

So happy due date to you, Caleb! I don’t know when you’ll have your birthday, but I do know we are more excited than we have ever been and that we love you more than words can say… and may this be the last bumpdate!


Waiting, waiting, celebrating…

Here we are, still awaiting the arrival of our baby boy! I had a great birthday though, which really helped to distract me a bit during this long wait. We got to celebrate two birthdays this weekend while waiting for another one…

My birthday weekend kicked off on Friday night. I went out to dinner with my best friend, Taylor, and her mother AKA Mama G., the woman who is my second mother. They treated me to dinner and a delicious molten chocolate lava cake. Afterward, we went back to Mama G.’s house where we met up with my other BFF, Katie. It had been a LONG time since us girls hung out over there since we all have our own places now and typically hang out there instead. It was just like old days, when we spent every weekend and free night over there in middle and high school. They recently had their kitchen remodeled, and Mr. G. commented that when he saw the three of us together in the kitchen again, he was expecting to see their old kitchen. We had a really nice time, catching up and playing Taboo (Katie and I crushed it, by the way). Katie also brought a delicious pie and hot chocolate. Mmmm. It’s okay to have two desserts when it’s your birthday, right?! What a GREAT night that I will always remember fondly. It’s the little things in life and I am so grateful for these amazing friends of mine.



Saturday was the big day, my 26th birthday, which started with some relaxing at home. Jerry went out and got me McDonald’s for breakfast and also brought me home some thoughtful gifts; he picked out two cute shirts for post-pregnancy and an owl scented wax warmer. Seeing as I haven’t been able to buy any normal clothes in nine months, it was nice to receive some new clothes. We also love wax warmers in this house… we’re big fans and this one’s my third.

Earlier in the week, I had asked Jerry to make me my absolute favorite for lunch… alfredo! It was his first time ever making it, and as always, he nailed it. My husband is an amazing cook and this seriously tasted like the alfredo from one of  the best Italian restaurants in the area.


Lunch was followed by the festive birthday-pregnancy-nap. Ahhh. Naps are my favorite these days. Later, we went to dinner with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. We went out for barbecue followed by a cookie cake at home. Lots of good eats… dang. We had a combined celebration for my birthday and Jerry’s 28th which is coming up on Saturday, a week from mine. We typically do a combined celebration anyway but had even bigger reason to this year with us not knowing if we’ll be in the hospital or not for Jerry’s birthday. My parents were kind enough to gift me with cash since there will be a lot of immediate expenses after the baby is born. My brother and sister-in-law put together a really nice basket of snacks for the hospital. Jerry is ready to dig in, but I’m holding off and packing the basket in the car when we leave!


Even though I had a really great time celebrating, at the moment, the baby is all that’s on our mind. I’ve been on the lookout for labor signs for weeks now, and we’re all getting more and more anxious as the days go by! Tomorrow is his due date – January 20th – but I am now almost certain he won’t be here just yet. I did experience a lot of discomfort and pain this weekend, and as my doctor so kindly said, pain is a good thing at this point… but still nothin’! I’ve been on such high alert that I think I just need to accept that he will come on his own terms and in his own time. I know that due dates really don’t mean a heck of a lot, and that babies can be up to two weeks late. For now, I resolve to chill out, relax, rest, and enjoy our last days together just the two of us. The moments of quiet, peace, and relaxation will be all but gone as soon as he arrives so I’m trying to savor it, but we sure are dying to hold him in our arms! There is nothing we want more than to finally see his little face.


^^My birthday baby bump // Jerry giving the belly kisses and telling Caleb to come out! You will never see a bare belly picture ever again on this here blog, but this moment was just too sweet!


Five on Friday (5)

Happy Friday!

ONE. Tomorrow is my 26th birthday! I’ve been wondering if I would become a mom at 25 or 26, and it looks like it will be 26! Jerry’s birthday is exactly one week after mine and he’ll be turning 28. We’re celebrating both of ours tomorrow with the family since we may or not be in the hospital for Jerry’s birthday. We’re going to dinner with my parents and brother’s family, then having a cookie cake because that’s how Jerry and I celebrate. Whatever. It’s fine. We had one for our birthday last year, and had one for our wedding rehearsal too. We’re all about the cookie cakes. I asked Jerry to make me my favorite for lunch… alfredo! Birthdays are cool and all, but it’s hard to get excited about anything when you’re waiting for a baby. I did get some free email coupons for my birthday though! I went and got a free Moe’s entree earlier this week. Burrito bowls… mmm.

Untitled^^ Last year’s birthday celebration. Mmmm. That cake was GOOD.

TWO.  I received a really sweet package in the mail this week from my blogging friend, Darlene, from Lost in Literature. She was so thoughtful and sent me this really beautiful book for Caleb, as well as an awesome bookish mug that she had made for her blog. I was so touched! I have made some really wonderful blogging friends. Thank you, Darlene – your thoughtfulness means A TON to me! I will cherish both gifts, and Caleb will love the book… the illustrations are stunning!


THREE. My mom and I have been walking the mall this week to try and encourage Caleb to come out. While we were there last night, I couldn’t pass up this adorable frame from Kirkland’s which was on clearance for $5.97. Our budget is really tight right now since I’m out on maternity leave (since Wednesday!), but I couldn’t resist. Burlap is one of my favorite things to decorate with since my whole house is primitive and country. The library I work for also has an amazing friends group who hold annual book sales to raise money. Every January, they hold a huge one at the mall that always falls during my birthday week so we of course stopped and got a nice stash of cheap books. I go every year for my birthday!


FOUR. I got a much needed haircut on Tuesday. I wanted to look nice in all of our hospital pictures so my mom was kind enough to treat me to a haircut. After that, we stopped and got me a fake, cheap wedding ring since my fingers bloated to small sausages a couple of weeks ago and I had to temporarily stop wearing my rings.

IMG_20150113_194852^^ New hair!

FIVE. Now that I’m out on maternity leave, I’ve been catching up on some shows on the DVR. This week, I’ve been watching some of the TLC shows… “My 600 Pound Life,” and the season premiere of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.” I’ve really enjoyed both of them! I love weight loss shows since I’ve been through the whole weight loss thing myself, AND I’m a sucker for interesting reality TV… or any reality TV, really. Anyone else watching either of these shows?

5 on friday