Monthly Archives: December 2010

It’s definitely gonna happen…

Today I am 34 and a half weeks pregnant.
I’ve never made it past 38.
I just did that math today.
And I totally had a “Holy shit, this is really happening” freak-out moment.

I went and picked up a gently used and quite lovely infant carrier from a friend.
I pulled out all the blankets and itty bitty baby clothes and got them washed.
I assembled a new bookshelf for Asa’s room, anchored it to the wall, and sorted his toys.
I found homes for all of Carter and Lydia’s Christmas loot.
I bought and hung wall sconces that I’ve been wanting since I moved here over 2 years ago.
I played with my new Silhouette machine and was very happy with the results.
I finally made plans to have maternity photos taken by a lovely friend.
I ordered a diaper bag and the stuff I needed to make the “Big Brother/Sister” shirts I’ve been dreaming up.

Obviously I’m all nest-y.
And I’ve had  huge energy burst.

Thank goodness because there is still much left to be done!

I haven’t made out a list of who needs to be called, emailed, texted, etc.
I haven’t figured out an exact plan for the big kids on the big day.
I haven’t downloaded, edited or uploaded my Christmas pictures anywhere.
I haven’t um…made Asa’s baby book like I promised myself I would do before the new baby got here.
(And that’s probably one goal I won’t reach.  My bad.)
I haven’t packed a bag or even thought about what to take the hospital.
I haven’t found the video camera (although I think I know where it’s hiding).
I still haven’t done Christmas New Year’s cards.
I haven’t put away any Christmas decorations except the trees.
I haven’t pre-made any meals for after the baby is born.
I haven’t folded, sorted, or put away any of those itty bitty baby clothes.
I haven’t bought teeny tiny diapers.
I haven’t…

Geez!  I’m making myself tired just thinking about all the stuff there is left to do.
Let’s just hope I don’t land myself on bedrest for at least the next few weeks…

A 2-minute Christmas Story

The Christmas story as seen through the eyes of a 4 and almost 6 year old:
(Pardon the crappy videography.  That’s my fault, not theirs.)

May your day be merry and bright!

The one in which I brag on my husband.

When his birthday rolls around (in just a few short weeks), I’ll probably post a cheesy little ditty about him.
I usually post about him on our anniversary, too.
But in general, I don’t talk too much about Marshall on my blog.

He doesn’t mind that I blog, but he’s also a much more private person than I am.

But right now, I am writing about him not because it’s some special occasion, but because he deserves it.

Marsh and I traveled a long and sometimes arduous road to get to where we are today.
We haven’t had nearly as much heartache as some, but times haven’t always been just peachy either.

When we were newlyweds, we moved to a town where neither of us knew anyone.
I started a job that I hated.
Marshall started med school and we never saw each other.
My grandmother died.
I sunk like a ship into a frustratingly persistent depression.

It wasn’t pretty.
I wasn’t particularly nice
And he wasn’t particularly capable of keeping up with both his studies and my craziness.

But we tried.
And we grew.
And we stuck it out.
And, by the end of med school, a lot of things had changed.

He was happy with his job.
I was happy with mine.
Carter had joined our family and we both loved being parents.
We were in a little house on the hill that we loved.
We found a church that we loved.
Life in residency was hectic, but good.

It could be, at times, rather frustrating.
He would sometimes get more sleep on call than I would at home with the kids.
There would be times where the kids wouldn’t see him for several days at a time.
And sometimes it was lonely…for both of us.

When residency ended, I think we both had pipe dreams of how wonderful it would be for him to be in private practice.
Don’t get me wrong, our lives are good.
We have and are able to do because of his job.

But there are times when residency seems like “the good ol’ days”.

Being in practice with just one other physician means that he is on call every other night and every other weekend.
Two and a half years of q2 call is starting to drain him, I can tell.
I must admit that there are many times when I think, “Wasn’t he just on call???”
And there are times when I want to whine and shout, “Just come home!!!” or “Send ’em to the ER”.

Just within the last week, we’ve had multiple encounters with his work that pulled him beyond the call of duty.
On Sunday we weren’t sure he’d make it in time to be there for our family’s part in worship
as we read scripture and lit the advent candle.
(He ended up driving in long enough to light the candle and then he headed back to the hospital.)
One night the kids and I sat in the parking lot of a restaurant for an hour and a half waiting on him.
And right now(at 10pm) he’s on his way in to check on a patient who called.

He originally directed them to the ER.
“The child has been sick all day.”
I saw the wheels turning in his head.
“Why didn’t they call me earlier?  We could have knocked this out in the office this afternoon.”
“But they have this other kid who really doesn’t need to be out tonight.
And the co-pay at the ER is going to be a lot.”
Wheels still turning.
“Tell me what to do,” he says.
And we both know…
we both know that even though we were planning to sit and watch a movie together,
even though it’s late and he’s tired,
even though they probably should have called earlier…
He can help them.

He can save them a trip to the ER
(which is destined to be packed and germ-infested thanks to the holidays and winter colds and flu).
He can save them a co-pay.
He can save them a lot of time.

And so he calls back…
“Why don’t you just meet me in the office in 30 minutes?”

And I tear up a little.
I would normally blame it on pregnancy hormones,
But this time it’s because I’m truly grateful to be married to someone so wonderful.
And because I am well aware of how special he is-
To me, and to others.

He is a true servant.
For him, being a doctor really isn’t about the money.
For him, being a doctor really isn’t about the prestige.
For him, being a doctor really isn’t about being smarter or better than anyone else.

For him, being a doctor is a calling.
Being a doctor is what he was created to do.
And I, unfortunately, don’t always remember to tell him how great he is at it.

His patients are lucky to have a doctor who cares,
But we-his family-are so blessed to have him in our lives
(Even when it means we have to do stuff without him or postpone our plans).

He makes me want to be a better person.
He shows me daily what it means to put others before self.
He is my hero.

And I am so glad that he chose me.


Another milestone has come and gone.
Another change-not too subtle,  but subtle enough for me to miss it.

All of sudden, it seems, I realize that I no longer feel your kicks and bumps.
Now the day (and night) is full of squirms and stretches.

How did I miss this change?
I can’t even begin to tell you when you moved from one stage to the next.

For the record, I am never good at this.
When baby books leave a space for you to write  “Baby’s First Word”,
That little date line following it haunts me.

I don’t know when you said your first word!
I’m not even certain what your first word was!


Is the first word the first sound you make that happens to sound like a real word?
If so, then Carter spoke his first word (milk) at 4 months.
But that doesn’t count, does it?
Because it was accidental and  he didn’t do it again.

So sorry, kid.
I tend to miss a lot of milestones.
They pass me by and then I’m all “HEY!  You really are saying ‘ball’!”

I guess all these major milestones-first word, first steps, first this, first that-
Are kind of like growing…
When you see someone all the time, you don’t see them growing.
You don’t notice that they’ve gotten taller
(Until you have to buy new jeans).

And so yet another milestone is passed.
And yet again I’m kind of sad I “missed” it.

But I know for sure I’ll remember the day you’re born.
And I know that I’ll remember tidbits and snapshots of everyday life with you.
And that?  That is what is really most important to me.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.” -unknown

You will take my breath away.
You already do.


When Carter turned two, Lydia was an infant.
He seemed so big and grown up by comparison.

When Lydia turned two, we’d just moved and were living at Gramama & Pop’s house.
She was almost potty trained.
And I think because of her longer hair, she seemed older than you do today.

I still call you “the baby”.
And even when the new baby gets here, I imagine that to me you’ll always be “the baby”.

Within the past few weeks, you’ve really started talking…stringing words together into real sentences.
Your actual first sentence (I think) was “Lydi, help me!”
You are quick to point out that you want “milk” or “cook-eees” or “eeeeeees”(cheese).
I am convinced that the reason you spoke later than the others is because you are a pronunciation snob.
You enunciate every word very specifically.

“Mi-Mouse” is your favorite, but you also love any kind of “trrucK”.
Where Lydia hardly had any “r”s in her vocabulary, you make sure to hit them hard:

You are probably my cuddliest baby.
You love to give kisses and your hugs are the best.
(Except that one time you bit the crap out of my shoulder during what I thought was a loving embrace.)

You hate vegetables, and could probably live on cheese and milk alone.

You are super sneaky.
You can and will pull a fast one on anybody who’s not paying complete attention to you.
You are 100% a rough and tumbly boy!

Your laugh is adorable, and I love when you squinch up your nose and grin.
And the “OOOh!” face?  Be still, my beating heart…I do so love the “Oooh!” face.
(Even with blood and steri-strips.)

You are funny.
You are cute.
You are no longer a baby.

You are a big boy who sleeps in a big boy bed and eats with a big boy fork.
You try your best to keep up with the big kids.
And I try my best to keep up with you.

I love you, stinky face!
Love, Mommy

P.S.  I had the perfect picture of you that I wanted to show from your birthday party on Saturday,
but alas, my memory card failed me and I can’t seem to access any of the pictures I took that day.

Bridget Ivey

Bridget Ivey from The Ivey League

Bridget Ivey is know as Mama by four little Iveys but everyone else knows her as IveyLeagueMama.  She shares about life, photography, and crafts on her blog The Ivey League. Bridget has a crazy-big love for chronicling her days on instagram as @IveyLeagueMama and she can also be found on Twitter as @IveyLeagueMama.

Bridget fell in love with Blissdom in 2009 and can’t wait to be back in Nashville with some of the most fabulous folks on the web.  She is looking forward to


  • sharing her passion for phoneography and exploring various photography apps

  • helping others move beyond green box photography

  • showing how to take better pictures with the camera you already have.

12 Crafts of Christmas{Homemade in a Hurry}

I cannot believe that this the final Craft of Christmas!  It seems like just yesterday that I was typing up the first post in this series!  And because I imagine that most of you are like me and need a few little last minute gifts, here are a few of my favorite quick gifts:  Beaded Bookmarks, Holiday Scented Ornaments and Chunky Crayons…as well as a few links to other fun and fast ideas.

Beaded Bookmarks

You will need: beads(I used glass) and string (I used hemp cording)
The only thing you need to be careful about is making sure that the holes in the beads are big enough for the cording/string to be threaded through easily!
Grab a large book and use it to measure out how much string you will need.  When you place the string in the book to measure, you’ll want to make sure that you have at least 2-3 inches of string extending beyond the end of the book.  (My typical length was about 15″-16″.)
Tie a knot close to one end and thread a few beads onto the cording.  Then tie a knot to secure those beads in place.
Go to the other end and tie a knot in about 3″ from the end.  Add beads and tie the final knot to secure the beads in place.
Chunky Crayons
These are perfect for the under 3 crowd!
What you’ll need:  old crayons, muffin tin, oven
Grab all the half-used crayons you can find and peel off the paper.
Go ahead and preheat the oven to 250°-300º.
Break them up into small pieces(an inch or less) and fill each muffin cup with broken pieces.
Then place it in the oven and wait for them to melt, somewhere around 15-20 minutes for my oven.
Once the wax is completely melted, remove from oven and let cool significantly.
When the pan is cool enough to touch, place in freezer.  This will make the wax shrink enough to pop them out easily.
But don’t put them in the freezer and forget about them!  Because *ahem* they’ll crack.
If that happens, just  pop them back in the oven and re-melt them and then re-cool them.
When they’re cool, pop them out and enjoy:
To wrap, try stacking them like this and tying them up with ribbon or string.
Grab a coloring book from the Dollar store and you’re golden!
Holiday Scented Ornaments
(No picture because my camera apparently got the plague I had last week.
I’m hoping she recovers quickly…seeing as how Christmas is FRIDAY!
And we have two more birthdays and a birth day coming up soon.)

You will need: 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup of ground cinnamon(that’s roughly one regular size spice container full), plain white glue, cookie cutters, straw, ribbon

Mix all ingredients well until it forms a nice semi-firm dough.
(I had to add cinnamon because it was a little runny, so make sure you have extra cinnamon on hand.)
Roll out your dough and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
Then use the straw to punch out holes at the top so you can later add a ribbon.
I found that it was easiest to cut them out on paper plates and leave them there to air dry.
(Trying to move them while still “wet” was really hard to do.)
You can either let them air dry on the plates, OR you could transfer them to a baking sheet and bake them until they’re hard.
We made some of these 3 years ago and they still smell yummy.
So yummy, actually, that the dog ate one!  So make sure to put them high up on the tree.

Other fun, fast ideas:
Easy Tank Top Tote from Dollar Store Crafts
Custom iPod Cover also from Dollar Store Crafts
Decorative Soap Dispenser from Just A Girl
Homemade Lacing Cards for the little kids from Thru My Peepers (You could also do ABC ones!)
Cardboard Shoes for the bigger kids from ikatbag

Want to see more of my crafty creations?

Sometimes it’s ok to give in

It wakes me, this tightening band.
And I stumble out of bed.

A glass of water, a bite to eat.

I shuffle to my chair and wrap myself with a new blanket, so soft and warm.
I look like an old lady, hunched over in prayer.

I try to settle in, but comfort eludes me,
And I squirm and wiggle like my dog.
Time passes and, unlike my dog, I never find that magical spot.

The tightening-
It comes and it goes,
But my head, oh my throbbing head…
It is the constant.

My eyes hurt.
My face hurts.
My teeth hurt.
I hurt.

And yet I don’t cry.

I want to.
But I don’t.

Because of my promise to myself to savor it-
Even the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moments.

And I move from my chair to his.
The reclining helps.

Another wave hits me,
Hits her.

I imagine my little girl chillin’ in her private pool-
When all of a sudden the walls come crashing in,
Squeezing her tightly.

At first she fights it,
Kicking, stretching, pushing back.

And then she gives in.
She lets the my body hug hers.

I could learn a lot from her.

12 Crafts of Christmas {Edible Edition}

For some folks (myself included), there is no better gift than the gift of food.
I love me some homemade goodies!

So today I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes that I’ve found here and there over the years:

Easy Oreo Truffles by the lovely Rachel (Marshall’s favorite)

Butterfinger Cookies from Taste of Home (My BIL’s favorite)

Saltine Toffee from Taste of Home (Marshall’s other favorite) (aka Candy Crack)

Cream Cheese Finger Cookies from Taste of Home (Best all-around!)

Reindeer Cookies from Me(circa 2007)  (Kidlet favorite)

And three of my favorite recipes: two of my own and one from my friend Noelle.
(No pictures this time though because I didn’t think it was wise to try to bake while struggling to breathe.)
(Dear cold, you’re killin’ me.  Please go away!)


Shortbread Cookies by Noelle

1 1/3 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups flour

Heat oven to 275º.
Butter a 9×13 pan and line with parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add salt & vanilla, and beat to combine.
Add flour one cup at a time on low speed until just combined.
Press dough into pan and use a butter knife to cut the dough length-wise into 9 strips.
Cut cross-wise into bars and use tines of a fork to make indentions in each cookie.
Bake for 70-85 minutes, or until a pale gold (not brown).
Cool in pan and cut along lines to break into individual cookies.

These cookies get better with age…if they last that long!


Crunchy Nut Clusters

2 cups(12 oz) baking chips – you choose what kind: milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter, peppermint, butterscotch, toffee…
2 cups nuts – you choose all of one kind of nut or an assortment of several types
Rice Krispies(optional)

Melt baking chips in the microwave according to package directions.
Once melted, add nuts (and Rice Krispies if you want).
Mix well.
Spoon out into either mini-muffin tins or small paper candy cups and freeze until set.


Lace Cookies
(We used to make these and gingersnaps with my grandmother-Mama Jo-every Christmas,
so these are the definition of “Christmas Cookie” to me.)

1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup oatmeal
3 heaping TBsp self-rising flour
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Mix egg, sugar, oatmeal and flour.
Pour in butter and vanilla and mix well.
Cover baking sheet with tin foil and butter well.
Drop small spoonfuls of dough onto buttered surface.
(These will expand significantly!)
Bake at 400º just until cookies begin to brown.
Turn off oven and leave cookies in until they are a nice brown.
Cool completely and then slowly and gently remove from foil.


And if you still haven’t found a recipe that just hits the spot,
check out the Christmas cookies that my friend Mary has been showcasing on her blog!  YUM!


Want to see more of my crafty creations?
Check out the other 12 Crafts of Christmas:
Week One: Silhouettes
Week Two: Personalized Wall Clocks
Week Three: Glass Etching
Week Four: Fancy Fingerpaint Art
Week Five: Freezer Paper Stencils
Week Six:  Tie-Knot Fleece Blanket
Week Seven: Ribbon & Pearl Bracelet, Wool Ball Necklace, DIY Button Earrings
Week Eight: Chalkboard Paint Ideas: Glasses, Chalkboard, Candle, Love Box
Week Nine: Frugal Finds
Week Ten: Personalized Pendants
Week Eleven: Edible Edition

Every Pregnancy is Different

**I should probably put a TMI alert at the top of this post.**

Every pregnancy is different.  I have to repeat this to myself multiple times a day.  You would think that by now I’d have the concept down pat…but I’m a little hard-headed sometimes.  And this time?  So many things seem so different.

The nausea came and went like it usually does.  I still pee on myself when I cough, sneeze or laugh too hard.
And that’s where the similarities end.

Thankfully, the headaches only lasted a little while this time.  (Here’s to hoping they don’t come back and that I won’t need Stadol again, right Christi?)

I can assure you that this is the most active baby I’ve had so far.  Which…Lord help me if she ends up being my most active child.  I’m not sure I can stand a more active child than Captain Destructo.  She is partial to bouncing around from 11pm-1am and 8am-10am.  And as promptly and randomly as it starts, it stops.

Don’t get me started on indigestion, which I never really had to this degree before.  I’m all fine and dandy until I try to lie down, and I have now resorted to sleeping in the upright position-which is  as uncomfortable as it sounds, I promise.

And the Braxton Hicks?  Well, the first go round I hardly noticed them.  I would feel my belly tighten externally, but not really feel much internally.  With the other two…it was something I noticed a little bit at the end, but it certainly was never more than annoying.  This time…it’s actually uncomfortable (like catch-while-I’m-walking-and-take-away-my-breath kind of uncomfortable).  I don’t know that I’d say that it’s painful, but it is far from the “minor discomfort” that’s mentioned in all the literature.  I have definitely figured out some of the things that trigger them like not drinking enough water or holding in my pee. But I’ve also found that if I get too active or I pick up Asa, I can set them off too.

But you wanna know what’s (nearly) impossible for me?  Avoiding picking up Asa.  And avoiding too much activity is a great big joke when you have 3 other children that are 5 and under.  And so I breathe in deeply, drink more water and hope that maybe this time my body will do it’s job.  And maybe this time I’ll avoid being induced.  And maybe this time I’ll avoid a vulvar hematoma.  (I’ve done that twice now, and I’ll spare you the details. But if you’re really curious, go here and scroll down. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. And whatever you do, don’t do an image search. I’m telling you that for your own good.)

And hopefully soon(…SOON!!!!!!!!) we’ll bring home a happy, healthy little girl.  And maybe, hopefully she’ll have a nursery by then.  Because right now it looks like this:

And I was pretty okay with that ↑ until this afternoon when my OB nurse practitioner said, “Well considering your history, you probably only have what…about 6-8 weeks before she arrives anyway.”…6-8 weeks.  How did 40 dwindle down to that so quickly??

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do between now and then!
I’ll get right on that…right after a long winter’s nap!