Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gender Reveal Party

Ok, talk about a case of pregnancy brain. It just occurred to me that I STILL have not given y'all a post on our gender reveal party...that happened 2 months ago. *major fail* SO....with that being said, let me recap that glorious day for y'all!

Thursday, March 20th: Daniel and I had "the big" doctor's appointment--the one halfway through your pregnancy where they do an hour-long ultrasound and you have the option of finding out the gender of the little bambino growing inside of you. Let me just say, that hour (or more like 40 minutes) of watching my child on-screen was one of the neatest experiences I have EVER had. And what a cool thing to experience with my better half! We told the ultrasound techs upfront that we didn't want to know--that we were having a gender reveal party the next day and that we were going to find out at that time. We also asked if they could call our bakery directly to tell them Boy or Girl (we had cupcakes made from PattiCakes in Conway and she was going to fill ours with either blue or pink icing). So, literally the ONLY people that knew what we were having was the two techs and Patti.

Fast-forward to Friday, March 21st: Waiting 36 hours to find out was REALLY hard! They even gave us the telling ultrasound picture in a sealed envelope to open after we found out. It took all my will-power and determination to not look before the party! But, I did it---and I am SO glad we did it this way! We had a Razorback Football themed party (naturally) since Baby L's due date is 2 weeks before the football season starts. We had yummy tailgate food and of course, cupcakes! Plus, I had made an Old Wives Tale chart and little clothespins with pompoms and footballs on them for people to wear their guess at the party. That was really fun to see what everyone thought Baby L was going to be!

Everyone arrived in their Razorback gear and we ate and chatted until 7:30pm---time for the big reveal! My heart was hammering! Daniel and I stood up in front of everyone, bit into our cupcakes, and....


I was completely shocked speechless! I really had no clue, but was leaning towards girl just because about 90% of people I encountered predicted girl. Daniel, of course, had called boy from the beginning. It was so fun to see everyone else's reactions too! My mom was probably the most surprised--she had said girl from the beginning. In her mind, there wasn't even the remotest possibility of it being a boy, probably because all the signs had pointed to girl! His heartrate was pretty high above 140, I had morning sickness, the ring test and the pencil test and the chinese gender calendar had ALL said girl--so therefore, she was convinced he was a girl! The look on her face was absolutely priceless and she is MORE than ecstatic about having a grandson--especially since we haven't had a boy on my side of the family since my 20 year old cousin, Will! Daniel's family was equally excited--out of the soon-to-be 9 grandchildren, the past 5 have been girls! They were ready for some more testosterone! It was such a wonderful evening and it was so fun for Daniel and I to wait to find out--definitely worth the 36 hour wait!

On a side note, not only is it fun to be pregnant, but it's really fun to be pregnant with some of the people you are closest too! A couple of my best friends from high school, Sarah and Leslyn were both pregnant at the time and we were able to get a picture of the 3 of us together! Sarah just had her baby girl, Charley, a few weeks ago (she's a Star Wars baby--May the 4th) and Leslyn is due with her little man on July 12th! It was so fun to see both of them! PLUS, both of my sister-in-laws are pregnant (although Rebekah didn't know at the time of the party)! Daniel's brother, Sean and his wife Kimberly are due with their 3rd little girl on June 5th, we are due with Holt on August 14th, and Daniel's other brother, Ben and his wife Rebekah just found out they are due with their 5th child in December! Lots of little Lowery babies born this year! It will be such fun to have all the cousins grown up together--I know some of my fondest memories in my childhood are from playing with my cousins!

And there you have it! If you are pregnant (or plan to be someday) I HIGHLY recommend doing a gender reveal party! It is such a special moment to share with your family and closest friends!

I'll leave you with some pictures :)

All the ladies on both sides of the family! 

Our lovely mothers, excited about having a grandson

Us and the soon-to-be grandparents

Hannah is excited about getting a nephew!

My beautiful pregnant friends, Sarah and Leslyn, reunited

Soon-to-be Uncle Kirby and Aunt Hannah

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 28

*Excuse my loveliness (pure sarcasm) in this picture---we are currently without A/C until TUESDAY (not really ideal for a lady who is 28 weeks pregnant) and we've been doing somethings around the house...like putting the crib together and washing the first round of baby clothes!*

Well HELLO there 3rd trimester! How did you sneak up on me like that? Good gravy, the 2nd trimester absolutely flew by! And now, here we are, 12 weeks (or maybe less....or maybe more. Please NO!) away from little man's arrival! Lots of fun things happened this week! First of all, we figured out Wednesday night that our A/C is not working. LOVELY. When we got home from church about 8:00 pm, our thermostat was set on 74 degrees and it was a humid 80 degrees. And the really fun part is, they can't fix our unit until next Tuesday! BUT, the Lord has been good to us---so far it has been overcast and a chance of rain everyday with highs only in the low 80's. So, it hasn't been too terrible---thank goodness it's not July! 

Also, I had another doctor appointment this week---the lovely glucose test. In all actuality, it really wasn't that bad. They had the drink chilled already (which helped tremendously) and I only had to drink half the bottle. It really just tasted like flat orange soda and I chugged that sucker in 2 minutes flat! Meeting with my doctor went great as well! Holt's heartbeat is still holding steady at about 150 and he is currently breech. *This is kinda crazy--he told me that the only method to turning a baby to head down that is backed up by medical data is to burn incense. No. lie. So, if you come to my house with incense burning all over the place--not to worry! I'm just trying to get him to turn!* I go back in 3 weeks and then Daniel and I will go to our childbirth class at the hospital (woot woot) and then around 34 weeks or so they will do another ultrasound to check the anatomy again and to see if he is still breech. If he is, then we will start discussing our options--although there would still be PLENTY of time for him to turn. Praise the Lord for another good report! 

Another fun thing that happened this week is I got a chance to go garage sale shopping for baby clothes! *insert happy dance here* One of the women at my church has a 3 year old son (who's name is also Holt!) and she was cleaning out all of her baby clothes for a garage sale this weekend and asked if I wanted to come take a look---um, yes please! So, Daniel told me not to completely buy her out (lol) and away I went! Y'all. Such a surreal feeling to buy clothes that my unborn son will be wearing in a short amount of time! IT WAS SO FUN! She had some great stuff---I bought probably around 50 pieces ranging everywhere from 3 months to 12 months including a couple monogrammed burp cloths and a Christmas shirt, footie sleeper pajamas, baby gap outfits, and even an adorable swimsuit for next summer! After that purchase, I immediately went to Walmart and stocked up on baby hangers and baby detergent and set to work washing everything--probably the first time I have ever been this excited about doing laundry.  *side note: I don't know how they do it, but baby detergent seriously smells just like a newborn baby. I literally stood there a minute and just smelled the clothes. Maybe a little weird? But I don't care!* Now his new clothes hang up in his closet and it's making it more real that this little person is going to be living here in just a few short months. 

Whew! Lots of things starting to happen! 

How far along: 28 weeks, 2 days
Maternity clothes: Yep
Stretch marks: Still in the clear!
Sleep: I slept like a rock last night! And I had this crazy dream that I went into labor and didn't have anything packed for the hospital--not for me or Holt! I woke up freaking out a bit, but good thing I still have a few weeks before I need to do that. 
Best moment this week: It's so hard to pick! Probably buying clothes and getting them in his closet
Miss anything: Just what I mentioned last week--not being able to do what I could before I was pregnant (to a certain extent). Forcing myself to take it easy!
Movement: He's been super active since we got home from vacation! A couple of nights ago was the first time I felt him stick either his rear or something out so my stomach was lopsided and rock hard where he was sticking out. It was such a cool feeling! 
Food cravings: Since the A/C has been out, anything cold! We went and bought popsicles :)
Food aversions: Yay for getting to say no!
Labor signs: I've had a couple Braxton-Hicks contractions--maybe like 2. So nothing real consistent or anything
Belly button In/Out: In
Rings On/Off: On! Even with the A/C off!
Happy or Moody: Happy
Looking forward to: Really working on the nursery! We got the crib put together about 3/4ths of the way (we had to order 3 more screws to finish) and next weekend, we are ordering the rocking chair and getting chalk paint to paint his dresser and bookshelf. Plus, my sweet grandmother is helping me with curtains and his bedding and I have a few ideas for some artwork that I'll do. It's going to be so fun! 
Baby development: This week, Holt is the size of a head of lettuce--about 2 1/4 pounds and around 15-16 inches long. He is blinking his eyes this week (which now have eyelashes) and he can see light that filters through my womb. Also, his brain is developing more and more neurons and his body is accumulating more fat (so he can have those cute baby rolls) for when he is born. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hannah and Kirby's wedding

They did it! They officially tied the knot on 05.09.2014 in Florida! It was a BEAUTIFUL wedding. The weather was perfect--high of 75 and partly cloudy (although there was major wind) which created beautiful photos that I simply cannot wait to see! We spent the morning of the wedding relaxing--eating donuts, running last minute errands, girl-talk, etc. Starting at 1:00 pm, we girls started getting our hair and makeup done. At 3:30 we all loaded up and headed to Anna's Veranda, a 100- year old completely restored Victorian home located directly across the street from a public access to Inlet Beach. Kirby's family and the groomsman all stayed here in the days leading up to the wedding and it was also the venue for the wedding reception. Pictures do not do it justice! 

About 4:00 pm, we got Hannah into her dress (which was well documented) and we started taking family pictures about 4:30pm. Now, Hannah and Kirby did not see each other before the ceremony so we had to be all sneaky transporting her around so that the groom wouldn't see his beautiful bride. But we successfully pulled it off and the ceremony started on the beach at 6:00 pm sharp. 


My hubby is an ordained minister and last summer they asked him if he would do the honor in marrying them. Isn't that so cool? So for his first wedding ceremony to perform, he had the honor of marrying his "sister" (as he called her in the ceremony--so sweet) to the love of her life. I just have to brag on him--he did an absolutely amazing job! You would have had no idea it was his first wedding! 

So, Daniel and Kirby are standing up there as people start getting seated. First, the grandmothers, then the mothers...

I don't have a pic of Kirby's mom being walked down, but aren't my parents adorable?

Then, the bridesmaids and the flower girl (Kirby's niece, Aubrey) and the ring bearers (our cousins, Finn and Crane)...

And then......

I couldn't look at my mom, cause she was crying; I couldn't look at Kirby's mom, cause she was crying;  And then, I looked at Kirby. Y'all. It was so sweet. I started tearing up! The look on his face when he saw her----I can't even accurately describe it. Delight and surprise and love and admiration and joy and all sorts of emotions just rolled up into one and he was trying not to lose it too. So. precious. I'm so thankful my sister has someone who looks at her like that--she deserves it. 

Daniel started the ceremony, my dad gave her away, they said their "I Do's" and their vows, they did a unity knot ceremony and the parents prayed over them...

And then, they were husband and wife and Kirby kissed his bride! 

After the ceremony, we finished taking photos with the photographer and then we all headed back to Anna's Veranda for the reception. We had a chef cooking up a scrumptious menu of caesar salad, korean beef skewers with chili sauce, smoked tuna dip, crab cakes with lemon dijon sauce, and a grit bar with gouda cheese grits and toppings of blackened shrimp, bacon, peppers and onion. Y'all. Seriously some of the best food I've EVER eaten. PLUS there was cake! The backyard was strung with cafè lighting and there were tables with lanterns and candles and our bridesmaid bouquets. Then we had a dance party! Everything from "Wobble Baby" to slow-dancing country to a few Spanish songs (one of the groomsmen was from Brazil and serenaded us all). They have a noise ordinance starting at 10:00 pm (kind of bummer cause we were having so much fun), so we shipped the newlyweds off and cleaned everything up before crashing in our beds for the night. 

Yeah, that stud is mine

Now that they are back from their honeymoon and starting their life together as husband and wife, they wanted to celebrate with all their family and friends who were unable to be there for the day itself. We are having a huge reception in Conway on Friday, May 30th at Centennial Valley Country Club starting at 6:30 pm. EVERYONE IS INVITED. This is crucial that you know this because they did not send out invitations--we would have to send out like 10,000. Please come! Hannah will wear her dress so everyone can see it in person, plus there is going to be great food and of course a fabulous wedding cake! It is going to be great fun!  

And that friends, is the story of Hannah and Kirby's perfect day! Ok, a few more pics...

The three of us ladies (and Holt) at the rehearsal dinner the night before

Our beautiful cousins, Katie Jo and Caroline with the bride

I snapped this during her Bridal Portrait session--holy moly it was beautiful!

The newly-minted newlyweds

Monday, May 19, 2014

27 Weeks

Well, I don't have a chalkboard picture this week. Let's face it, I'm just extremely lazy when I'm on vacation. However, I DO have a pic with my incredibly attractive husband, so I guess that will work. :) I just got back from 2 weeks in Florida. The first week we spent finalizing wedding preparations-- making sure all our ducks were in a row, bridal portraits were taken (and STUNNING by the way), and family started rollin' in for the big day. I'll do a whole separate post later this week on the wedding, but Y'ALL. It. Was. Perfect. And the hubs did such an amazing job officiating his first wedding ceremony. Then, the second week, after seeing the lovebirds off to their amazing honeymoon cruising the Caribbean, we all crashed and tried to recover from the semi-truck called "Hannah's Perfect Wedding Day." It truly was perfect, but boy were we all sore and exhausted afterwards. So, last week, mom and my grandmother and I basically laid on beach chairs all day while my dad and the hubby caught crab and fish and played bocce ball and did all sorts of fun stuff. Oh yeah, AND Daniel found this starfish that we brought back to display in Holt's nursery:

Isn't that so cool? Needless to say, it was a great couple of weeks for Holt's first trip to the beach. Now it's back to reality and back to the grind of work and laundry and grocery shopping. But fun things are coming up too: Hannah and Kirby's reception in Conway (which again, EVERYONE is invited to) on Friday, May 30th, then my dad's side of the family has a reunion that same weekend (always a blast), then I get maternity pictures made by my über-talented cousin, then we start having baby showers and childbirth class and then BOOM, before I know it we hit July and then I have a nervous breakdown for 2.5 seconds because the impending arrival of my child is upon us. Let me just mention, since this pregnancy is FLYING and we are getting closer and closer to D-day, I may or may not have had a few freak-out moments about the fact that this child has to come out of me. Just being real...

Alright, on to the good stuff:

How far along: 27 weeks, 4 days
Maternity clothes: Um, yes. AND I got to wear my non-maternity, yet fabulous swimsuits!
Stretch marks: Nada
Sleep: Still blissful
Best moment this week: My hubby made me feel super special for my first Mother's Day and gave me a prenatal massage that I got to use last week. (Isn't he the best?) Can I just say WOW. I felt like a new person. She was incredible--loosening muscles that I didn't even know were tight! It. Was. Wonderful. 
Miss anything: It's a difficult transition for me to humbly accept that I can't do everything I could before I was pregnant. I started having hip pain last week, only in my right hip, and a couple of nights I woke up with what felt like period cramps. So forcing myself to take it easy and not lift anything heavy or take my time walking up stairs, etc...is a big challenge. I just keep reminding myself it's temporary and I'm doing what's best for little man. 
Movement: I think I started feeling him have hiccups a couple of days ago. And ironically, he didn't move as much the past couple of weeks--he must have been relaxing and on vacation too. :)
Food cravings: Anything sour!! And the past couple of days I have really wanted Lay's Barbecue Chips. 
Food aversions: Nothing lately (can I get an amen?)
Have you started showing: Mmmm....slightly
Labor Signs: None---but I've started getting heartburn. Fun. 
Belly button In/Out: In
Rings On/Off: On
Happy or Moody: Happy
Looking forward to: All the things I mentioned in the above paragraph
Baby development this week: Holt is the size of a cucumber--about 2 pounds and roughly 15 inches long. He is now sleeping and waking at regular intervals and he is getting baby hiccups. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

25 Weeks

Aloha from the sunny state of Florida! It is officially WEDDING WEEK--which is why I'm just now getting around to posting (sorry). Not much has happened other than my belly growing quite a bit and prepping/packing for the wedding. Only 3 weeks left until I'm in the 3rd trimester (WHAT?!) and apparently this is going to be the time he is the most active since after that his room is going to become quite a bit smaller as he grows! Funny story--Daniel and I went on a date last Tuesday and our waitress asked me if I was pregnant. I told her yes I was and that I was due in August. THIS is how she replied, " You don't even look pregnant!" Um, thanks? So I just look like I have a huge beer belly? Listen, if a woman is VISIBLY pregnant, DON'T tell her she doesn't even look pregnant! So not a compliment. Lol

Mom, Hannah, my grandmother, one of the bridesmaids, my mom's best friend and I left for Florida at 2AM Saturday morning, caravan-ing and bringing all the wedding dècor and stuff.  We got here yesterday afternoon and have been busy gearing up for all the festivities this week. Since it's a destination wedding, not many people are coming, or were invited for that matter (which is why we are hosting a reception in Conway on May 30th at Centennial Valley Country Club. EVERYONE IS INVITED)--it's about 95% family and the other 5% is the wedding party. Everyone will start trickling in starting Wednesday, my hubby gets here Thursday and then the wedding is Friday! I can't wait to post pictures--it's going to be so beautiful!!

*side note--one of my best friends is having her baby girl today! Congratulations Sarah--I can't wait to meet her!*

How far along: 25 weeks and 3 days
Maternity clothes: One of my good friends loaned me about 5 tops, 2 pair of shorts, and about 5 dresses! I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe! Thank you Celice :)
Stretch marks: Negatory
Sleep: Great! So, so thankful I'm still sleeping good at this stage
Best moment this week: Going on a date with my hubby :)
Miss anything: Laying on my tummy. But, the hubs is going to carve me out a hole in the sand so I can!
Movement: Everyday! Absolutely loving it. I'll definitely miss that feeling once he is here.
Food cravings: sushi! and anything sour
Food aversions: Chicken still--but not too bad!
Have you started showing: The waitress sure noticed
Labor Signs: None
Belly button In/Out: In for now! I have a feeling it's going to pop out at some point though
Rings On/Off: On. Being in Florida will be a good judge of how bad my fingers will swell. I'm hoping to make it through part of June without having to take them off.
Happy or Moody: Happy
Looking forward to: All the fun wedding festivities this week and then relaxing on vacation next week
Baby development this week: Not much other than he is steadily gaining weight and his nostrils are open so he can practice breathing now!