Wednesday, February 17

The Big Announcement

When it came to being pregnant I was thrilled. I was terrified. I felt unready. I felt... Basically every emotion you can feel all at once.
But one thing was for sure it was going to make it a big deal!
I tend to be a person that lives in the background. Watching the world turn around me. Enjoying my own achievements and successes mostly among my close friends and family. 
I didn't have a big graduation bash or a bachelorette party.
And that was fine by me. Being the center of attention has always made me quite uncomfortable.

For whatever reason I decided that this moment in my life was going to memorable in a fun way.

Now how was I going to make that happen?

With some awesome pregnancy announcements of course! 
Now I had to go to Pinterest and a good friend for help with these announcements. I knew that I wanted them to be special.

First group of people that got the big news was parents (new grandparents) and my sister and brother in law.
I knew right away how I wanted to make this announcement. A gift.

On what was suppose to be a routine visit to my parents house in March of last year I brought with us two simply wrapped presents. I knew the not wrap them in paper because my dad takes much longer to open presents than my mom. And they obviously needed to be opened at the same time.
I, of course, was overly excited to give them the presents but was trying as hard as I could to mask it. Otherwise they might be onto me. I mentioned that it was the same thing so they should open them at the same time. We had got in late that night and they were pretty much ready to call it a day. But there was no way I was going to sleep one more night without them knowing. My mom slowly opened her box, seeing my dad taking his time with the ribbon. I positioned myself on an adjacent sofa trying to be patient. Finally they pulled out the onesies. Cue the tears and hugs.

This was a simple project. 
I bought a 6 pack of white 0-3 month onesies from Carter's. I picked out some cute iron on appliques from the fabric store and grabbed some fabric markers. The hardest part was coming up with the cute things to write. (I did have to go back and sew on the appliques after I washed them. Probably should have just done that initially or done a more solid job ironing them on.)

I love owls so I knew I had to come up with a cute owl for my mom. She also used this picture to make the announcement to her fifth grade class.

Whose going to be a Granny?
My dad had two daughters but that didn't stop him from taking us fishing, gem mining, camping and hiking. Those were some amazing memories that I look forward to him sharing with my children. So naturally I chose a fish from my dad.

New Fishing buddy Coming in October
My sister is a research scientist and did a research study on crabs. So I had to do a crab for her announcement onesie. Reading "Getting ready to Sea my Aunt". My husband came up with that one. 
My husband's parents got the cute pea pod. Saying on that one was "New Sweet Pea Arriving October".

My mom was so excited she had to tell my sister right away. She wanted to Skype with her so she could see her onesie. That took forever to set up on our end. By the time we got her on the phone is was pretty late at night and she had basically figured out what was going on. Ha.
Couldn't work for everyone.

My in-laws got their onesies a weekend later. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so were hid the onesie among some Christmas presents.

We decided to wait until the end of the first trimester to tell everyone else. That's when the rest of the fun began. 
I found the idea for my co-workers via Pinterest. I taped this flyer inside a box of doughnuts. Then encouraged everyone to enjoy a free doughnut. The reactions were great. I've never been hugged so much at work. Which I suppose is probably appropriate. 

Enjoy some doughnuts! I don't want to be the only one with a growing belly.

My favorite announcement was definitely the one that a friend helped me create for the Facebook masses. This one was the easiest to decide on. I knew I wanted my friend to make cookies that told a special story. I have a friend that makes the most beautiful cookies and I knew that she could make the perfect announcement cookies.

I gave her a simple sketch of what I wanted and she created the magic. I was lucky to have a friend that would gift me these amazing cookies but keep in mind if you want to buy these from an artisan that they will cost a decent amount of money. These took my friend a lot of time and effort and talent and I am very appreciative of the skill that she shared with me to make my announcement so special.

Love... Marriage... Baby Carriage October 24 2015
I know that little plus signs would have made sense too but I lots of friends that are not going to have children. I didn't think it was right to imply that Love + Marriage = Baby. I know I'm weird. Works out fine because I love how the ellipse turned out. 
And even though we are typically not particularly photogenic people I wanted to take some cute pictures with the wonderful cookies that my friend made us.

Trying to be cute about it

Encouraging him to eat it

But he doesn't want to ruin the cookie

Just for fun
We had a lot of fun posting these pictures to all of social media. It has been fascinating to see the sudden interest in my life. Babies will definitely do that.

All in all we had a great time making this big announcement to all the different people in our lives. Big announcements might not be your thing or my ideas might not be big enough! But I just wanted to take some time to tell you about what we did.

Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas as always. Go ahead make a secret board. Maybe one only you can see or one for you and a friend or spouse. My husband did help with planning parts of the surprises and I really appreciated it.

And don't forget to have fun with it!
Feel free to share your announcement ideas in the comments.

Friday, February 5

Not that easy

Way back when my husband and I were just dating we talked about having kids. Obviously not at that moment but in the future. It's important to know you are both on the same page even in the beginning. Or that's what I believe.
He's two years younger than me. Yes I've heard all the robbing the cradle jokes.
I met him my junior year of college and when he was just starting his freshman year. I love our meet cute. We met through a friend. She invited me to come to lunch with her to be a buffer while she had lunch with this guy. She met him over the summer at a day camp they worked at together. She thought he had a crush on her. Which he kind of did. But mostly he just wanted to connect with some people that he knew. I went in curious to see who this fellow was that she had mentioned to me several times over the summer. My first impression was he was a nice guy and very funny. We joked around the whole lunch. Suddenly I realized this was someone I wanted to get to know whether she did or not. A romance bloomed from there. First for him and eventually for me. I kept telling him to enjoy his freshman year. That he sagaint get tied down to a girlfriend so early on. But he didn't care about that. Over fall break in October he went home for the long weekend. While he was there he went to Build a Bear and made me a teddy bear that was dressed like him. Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts. I never made a Build a Bear. So when he described to me the silly hoops he had to jump through to make it I was in awe. No guy had ever gone to that much trouble for me. Certainly not someone I wasn't even dating. He had my heart then...

Our first date
But it wasn't always easy for us. Anyone that has been in love knows you have to work at it.
Since I graduated two years before him, we had to endure a long distance relationship. It was definitely a hard time for both of us. But neither of us were willing to give up.
Eventually we made it to the other side. Then we went to moving in together to being married in a matter of months. 

First kiss as a married couple

Then the waiting began again. Even though I don't like change as I have previously stated. I am always focused on the future. To a fault. Sometimes I miss out on the present because I can't wait for the next adventure to begin. 
That's exactly how it was when it came to becoming a mother. As soon as we were married I was ready to try.
The more practical half of myself (my husband) wanted to wait. The biggest thing that he wanted to make him feel ready was owning our own home. 
Well that took about four years of marriage and moving three times to three different states to make that happen. So of course the month we moved in I brought up the subject once more. He brought out his practical nature again and encouraged me to be patient until we were a little more settled. 

Our first home
By our anniversary I was chomping at the bit to get started. I had a feeling it wouldn't be so easy to just "get pregnant". This time I was right...
There is no other way to describe the next two years other than a struggle. I won't go into too many details because though I'm an open book my husband is actually quite a private man. 
We tried and tried. 
Every month that I would be late a day or two my heart would be in my throat the whole time. Until my period would show up or that dreaded minus sign would appear on the test. 
Anyone that has dealt with infertility knows how heart breaking this is. Its not like your period isn't bad enough but when you're trying to get pregnant is a double whammy. 
A lot of months I dealt with disappointment on my own. I didn't want to get my husband's hopes up for no reason. But I couldn't help it getting my hopes up. I knew I was days late. I knew that could mean the greatest joy. I also knew my husband's hesitation to get the process started. I suppose that I was nervous he might actually be relived when the test showed negative. That would be even more heart wrenching. 
So after a few months of disappointment I finally told him that I was very depressed that yet again I wasn't pregnant. He looked at me and very sincerely said "Damn that sucks. I thought it would have happened by now." Suddenly I wasn't alone in my sadness. 
Eventually even his support wasn't enough. I confided in several friends that we were struggling. Because of my husband's private nature it was a taboo subject with our families. 
I went in for my gynecology appointment in the spring and completely unloaded all my fears and frustrations on the nurse practitioner. I was definitely "that patient" that put them behind that day...
She completely understood and had gone through her own fertility issues. She recommended an fertility specialist and said at the end of our conversation, "Don't worry one way or another we will make you a mother."
It was a disappointing to think we wouldn't be able to do this natural thing on our own... But good to be reminded that it didn't matter how it happened the end result was the important part.
My husband and I went through several fertility tests.
Mine were quite invasive. Especially compared to his... Think that episode of Friends with Monica and Chandler get their fertility tests done. If you haven't seen it YouTube it seriously.
The results were basically that there weren't any major issues that we could keep trying to do start medical intervention...
IUI, InVitro, Adoption... So much money, so much stress.
We waited months. Continuing to try on our own. 
Armed with the knowledge that I wasn't horribly disfigured on the inside. I did relax a bit.
Although over Christmas I finally told my husband that I needed my mommy. Well I needed to be able to talk to her about my struggles. I wanted her advice, her kind words and her support. He agreed and understood. I very awkwardly broke down while I was at their house and unloaded on her too. That helped too. 
Once we entered into 2015 I told my husband this was the last year of trying. We were going to make something happen!
My grandmother passed away in January and by Fat Tuesday my Cajun relatives were really on my mind. So I decided to host my ladies church group at my house for our once a month Tuesday night meeting which just happened to be on Fat Tuesday in 2015. I was really looking forward to cooking some gumbo and drinking hurricanes, decorating with Mardi Gras beads and other knick knacks my granny had sent my mom.

Beads are important

It was no big deal at this point to be a few days late on my period. Almost two and half years in I almost didn't notice anymore. I did mention to a girlfriend before the weekend that I was late. She got so excited. But I wasn't. I couldn't stand seeing that negative line on that stupid stick. It mocked me... So I put off the test. By Tuesday morning I shrugged and peed on the stick. Hey if I was going to down some drinks that night I should probably make sure I was actually not pregnant. Although I had already went to town on some mimosas that weekend for Valentine's Day... 
I impatiently waited the two minutes going about my morning routine. Eventually I checked it and stare blankly. A plus? Wait one of the lines is kind of faint and the other is dark. That's probably wrong right? I checked the box. The dark line is the one that indicates the positive side. I was confused... I almost didn't realize what this test that had elicited such feelings of failure was trying to tell me.

Yeah I took a picture
I blankly walked out to the living room carrying the stick and held it out to my husband and said "I didn't think it was going to say this..." He kind of furrowed his brow and raised an eyebrow. "Well what does it say?" "It says I'm pregnant!?" He just sat there. "Well can I get a hug at least?" He jumped up and hugged me. We said our goodbyes to head to work. I worked half a day so that I could prepare for my get together. 
My mind was NOT on the party that I was so looking forward to. I hope my friends had fun because I felt like a blank slate that night.
Its an interesting story to tell now. But during the journey it was hard and stressful to say the least. Every questioning person asking "when are you going to have kids?" Snide remark like "don't wait too long." All had their effect. 
If nothing else it has made me a more compassionate and understanding person. You just don't know what someone else is going through. 
This post is mostly another set up. Setting you up to understand who I am and where I'm coming from. I hope it was interesting in some way. If you are struggling with fertility issues remember that you are not alone. Many people struggle in silence. What I have learned is to find people to lean on. You don't need to announce it on Facebook. But find a few close friends or family members. You would be surprised who has been down this road. 
Also don't wait till you are at a breaking point to get help from a medical professional. Even if they don't have a definite cause for your infertility you can rule out some possible stresses and get advice.
Good luck to everyone on the journey to become parents.

A New Beginning

Welcome back to the world of blogging to myself.
I have thought a lot of blogging lately. By that I have been reading a lot of blogs lately. Mommy blogs, parenting, pregnancy, breastfeeding, cloth diapering. You name it I've Pinterested or Googled it. I have pins for how to make your own baby food, how to wash a cloth diaper, what to eat and not eat when you're pregnant, and even what to put in your hospital bag for labor.
I am a planner, not quite Type A. But I definitely like to have things ready to go. I don't handle change well and usually the preparation helps me deal with it better.
Becoming a parent is basically the biggest change in your entire life!
I mean getting married was a change but not that much. One day you are totally in love and together and then you are married and you are still totally in love and together. Not much change. Especially when you are already living together like we were. Although we did get some pretty cool gifts for our wedding. But for the most part our lives remained virtually the same. 
Becoming a parent though... That changes everything! I don't mean you don't get to go out to eat whenever you want and get less sleep. I mean it changes your whole core existence. It changes who you are. If you think that sounds scary or you are worried you aren't ready for that. You will be. Sometime during a middle of the night feeding or laying in a bath of Epsom salts it will hit you that your whole mindset has changed. 
Like I said earlier I am not into change. Even with all the research and preparations that I made, it was still and continues to be a concept of great contemplation. 
I say all this to introduce a new idea for this blog. Well not that new and not that inventive. But I am going to make my blog into a supportive, experience, and place for ideas. 
I am by no means a perfect mom. But I have tried and learned some things that I think would be good to pass along. I've already been through some struggles and had successes. Whether anyone reads this or not I still want to be able to document my journey through motherhood.
Beware this is going to get real and personal. I didn't have a very good "filter" before and its basically gone now. Ha!
I'm not even sure where to begin. Maybe at the beginning?...

I hope ya'll enjoy.

Friday, March 14

Apple Danish Ring

From time to time we have company visit us and I feel inspired to make a special breakfast/brunch type meal. My in-laws were in town a few weeks ago and I knew that I wanted to find a really special treat to add to my brunch menus. While browsing Pinterest the week before they came and saw a recipe for a delicious Apple Cream Cheese Danish. I couldn't wait to try out this recipe on my in-laws. I had a feeling this would be right up their alley.


  • 2 (8-oz) packages crescent rolls
  • 1 (8-oz) package light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp. milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray. Open both packages of crescent rolls and separate into 16 triangles. Arrange 12 triangles in a circle on the pizza pan, with wide edges on the outside of the pan and the points of the crescent triangles in the middle. Press the outer seams together, leaving the points in the middle alone.
  2. Make cream cheese filling: In a bowl, combine cream cheese, ¼ cup powdered sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the outer edges (about 2″ wide) of the dough, within about ½” of the edge. Spoon pie filling on top of the cream cheese layer.
  3. Now take the points of the crescent triangles in the middle of the pizza pan and place them up over the filling, pressing the point into the outer edge. Make your way around the pan doing this, making a circle shape.
  4. Cut the remaining 4 crescent triangles lengthwise into three strips. You will have 12 small triangle shaped pieces. Going around your circle, place the outer edges of the small triangles into the uncovered filling areas. There should be 12 “empty” spots to place your small triangles. Press the larger seams together on the outside of the ring and the points on the inside of the ring.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Make glaze: combine ½ cup powdered sugar and 2-3 tsp. milk and mix until smooth. Drizzle evenly over pastry. Slice into triangles and serve.

I added this to the a buffet of fruit and some link sausages which I know is a family breakfast tradition. Voila! I sliced the apple ring into yummy wedges and they were devoured.

I have information from my mother in law that my father in law liked it so much that he requested for her to make it at their home. She even tried it with cherry pie filling, which is his favorite fruit. It was also a hit.

I loved this recipe because it was easy and quick. Two things I think that are really important when making brunch. You don't want to wait forever for the host to be cooking and baking forever! By brunch everyone is trying to politely act like its okay whenever the food is ready. But in reality everyone is starving!

I also enjoyed making this because it required just a few common and easy to obtain ingredients. And as my mother in law did you can easily make it your own and mix up the fillings.

So why not try this out on your next family get together or add mimosas and get a few friends together on a Sunday morning.

Simple Sew Napkins

I know this post seems really out of timeline. But I was browsing around in my pictures and forgot that I had made a photo journal of this project so I wanted share. I am always looking for quick easy projects to do on a quiet afternoon and this one really fit the bill. A while back I found a really cute patterned remnant with some adorable turkeys on it at my local Hancock Fabrics.
I decided the best use for the small piece of fabric would be to make some napkins for my next Thanksgiving feast. But how!?

This simple project starts off by equally cutting down the fabric by folding it over and over until I had a reasonable napkin sized square.

 Then I picked two pieces and put them "wrong side" together.

I did a quick running stitch on my sewing machine on 3 of the 4 sides.
I didn't even have to pin down the edges which was nice because I made 8 napkins.

I turned the fabric outside in and ironed the sides smooth. The last step is just as easy...

A running stitch around the whole edge and you're done!
Be sure to wash before you use them. You don't even want to know how many chemicals are sprayed on fabrics that come into the country. Ugh.

I made mine on the small side. In hindsight I could probably have made them longer/wider. But that's how you learn is by trying and... failing. (Not that I would call this a particularly big error.)

So the next time you see a cutie remnant or you trying to decide how to make your table-scape a bit more festival don't forget even you can sew up a few napkins to add to your collection.