Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Finally Donated My Hair!

As she spoke, Jo took off her bonnet, and a general outcry arose, 
for all her abundant hair was cut short.
"Your hair! Your beautiful hair!" 
"Oh, Jo, how could you? Your one beauty."
"My dear girl, there was no need of this.
"She doesn't look like my Jo any more, but I love her dearly for it!"
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This scene always makes me laugh! I love how Amy, in all her immature innocence, tells Jo that her hair was her one beauty. Ouch!

Well, if the photo didn't give it away, I chopped my hair off this weekend. I've wanted to donate my hair for years, but it never panned out. I either wanted to keep my hair long for something (like my wedding) or my hair was too damaged and dry. The time was finally right! My hair has been chemical-free for eight years, and it made sense to cut my hair shorter before all the postpartum shedding and breastfeeding, diapering, and other situations that may lead to pulled/dirty hair. (Motherhood, you glamorous thing.) And so, here I am sans ten inches of hair and enjoying a much shorter wash time in the shower. And now that my hair is shorter and much healthier, my natural waves are back in action!

I chose to donate to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, because its wigs are completely free to the women with cancer who receive them. Beautiful Lengths does not make money from the wigs, and that just feels right. If you've got at least eight inches of hair to spare and you meet the other requirements (see HERE), consider donating it. It's a free way to contribute something really meaningful to someone else in need!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When a Stranger Recognizes You From Your Blog

Taken 1/11/2015 at 34 weeks

These days I'm living in a constant state of babybabybaby. All of my thoughts revolve around this baby and the fact that we're quickly approaching the window of "she'll be here any day now." Once upon a time, February seemed so far away, but yesterday at work, I realized it was January 13th. We can hardly get through a dinner conversation without talking about hanging things in her room, installing the car seat, our hospital bags, bottle nipples, or diapers. We're about to exchange our very routine life for something that is anything but!

We decided we needed to say farewell to Christmas in our house over the weekend. A home wrapped in Christmas is cozy, but it would lose its luster after too long, I suppose. The need for a storage bin of a very specific size sent us on an errand on Sunday night. I was knee-deep in laundry, and my maternity jeans were in the washer, so for the first time since college, I wore fleece pajama pants in public. My wet hair in a bun, glasses on, and PJ pants.

"I can't believe I'm going out like this."

"Whatever. You're pregnant."

"Even worse! I'm the pregnant woman who's 'letting herself go.'"

We cracked jokes about how I would fit in perfectly with the Wal-mart crowd. ;) We didn't find exactly what we needed at Target, Lowe's or Wal-mart, but we made do. Not 30 minutes after we got home, I received a message through this little blog's contact form... from a non-blogging reader who lives in the same outside-of-Memphis town... who recognized me... walking out of Wal-mart:  

Hey! So, I am going to preemptively apologize if this message is creepy. I'm not trying to be, I swear! I think I just saw you and your husband coming out of wal-mart as my husband and I were going in.

At this point in reading the message, I thought, "How cool is this?" And then I thought, "What a small world!" And then I thought, "Should I be worried that she recognized me when I looked like this?" Hope is her name, and she is first person in Memphis I've "met" (by blog-world standards) who isn't a co-worker.

I can't help but wonder who of you I don't know. Hope had never commented on a post or Instagram photo (though she recalled my posts about being a CASA and self-injury/TWLOHA). I had no idea she existed! (Hi, Hope!) For the record, this blog has single-handedly built my social life over the last few years, so I do not underestimate the match-making power of blogging!

I'm curious to know who else is out there. What's your name? What brought you here? Where do you live? You can post anonymously so that your e-mail address isn't attached to your comment. Of course, there's no obligation. Whether you comment or not, I'm happy you're here. Thank you! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Things I've Been Told, Part II

Taken on 1/4/2015 at 33 weeks pregnant

"She's growing by the minute!"
Don't I know it!

"You're walking really fast for someone who is having a baby next month."
"Here's to hoping delivery will be fast too! ... Yeah, right."

"When do you go on maternity leave?"
"Whenever she decides to show up."

"You're hiding a basketball in your shirt, aren't you?"
"It's a volleyball, actually."

"If you have your baby in the office, I'll have to excuse myself. I'm just not ready for that. But I'll get one of the nurses to come help you!"
I appreciated her honesty!

"Ha! Wishful thinking. Every pregnant woman hopes she'll deliver earlier than 40 weeks."
My OB probably thought I asked about the likelihood of her showing up sooner than 40 weeks in hopes that she would be smaller at delivery, but I was actually thinking more about work.

"Thank you. (starts exiting office and then notices my belly when I stand up) And congratulations!"

"Oh, cute! Look at yoooou!"
You can't miss me with this bump!

"You're a whale!"
Well, that was fun.

"This will be you soon!"
Count on a Target-shopping, toddler-toting mom to gleefully welcome me to the Mom Club. :)

"And so it begins!"
My husband's response when I texted him with "Braxton Hicks contractions. Yaaaay."

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 in Review: Blog Edition

JANUARY: The year seemed to start slowly because of the stillness that comes with winter and snow, but so much change was in the works. I accepted a new position at work, a position that would lead to another open door later in the year. It kicked off many months of long days and hard work. S was out of town most of the month, as he had been for months, and I was feeling lonely. But I took a quick trip out to Nashville to spend some time with one of my best friends. We saw a show, had a lovely dinner, and talked about music, marriage, babies, jobs, and life. It was good for the soul. Divinely good.

FEBRUARY: Not much happened in February. More of the same: Husband out of town, school, snow, long work days. I busied myself with movies, books, and "fun errands" like looking for records at thrift and antique stores. Oh, and we paid off my car which is a big win in adult world.

MARCH: Life started to look more normal with having S home. I was so happy to have him home and was overcome with gratefulness as I thought about how much trust I have in our marriage. We embraced the cold weather (in anticipation of another summer in the south). We made plans with family and were looking forward to seeing them over the next several months.

APRIL: Work was hectic. Really hectic. Everything other than work and school seemed to be "on hold" in April, but there was a good April Fool's story I had to share. Working in senior living gives me some of the best stories. :) We saw Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. We also hosted the first visitor in our guest room, my MIL.

MAY: We celebrated three years of marriage... by having a perfectly normal day. (God, that is so "us." Ha!) My parents visited, and we did a few things around Knoxville before I headed across the state with them to visit Nashville and Memphis. Such a fun trip! I ended the month attending a friend's wedding back home in San Diego and loving on my nephew at his 1st birthday party!

JUNE: I started June by getting knocked up (but didn't know for sure until July 2)! We drove to Kentucky to see The Book of Mormon, and it was so much more than I had hoped for! Hilarious! I also had extreme baby fever every time I FaceTime'd with my nephew. Actually being pregnant probably had something to do with that too.

JULY: I told S I was pregnant the evening of July 4th. It was a moment I'll never forget. I always knew that I would be beaming as I sprang some sort of coded surprise, but I was so overwhelmed with joy that I started crying! We hugged and let our heads spin for awhile. I laid low that month as we shared the news with immediate family... and morning/all-day sickness set in. I had to secretly tell my boss at work that I was pregnant, because it was difficult to hide the fact that I was constantly puking and looking like death served warm. He was very understanding!

AUGUST: I crept my way back to blogging -- and nearly burst at the seams when we announced that we are expecting. Although thrilled to have a little human occupying my womb, I was in a pathetic state of puking and sleeping and puking. And school. Always more school.

SEPTEMBER: This is where things shifted from being an "I'm delirious from the nausea and sickness" blur to a "life is changing so quickly" blur. I was approached about a promotion at work, I drove across the state to interview, I was offered the job, and then I spent two weeks deliberating and weighing the options with S. It was emotional!

OCTOBER: I accepted the job on October 2nd. We found out our little munchkin is a girl a few days later. October 21 was my last day at the old job, we moved to Memphis on October 22, and I started my new job on October 27. Whew!

NOVEMBER: Our little peanut started growing like a weed which meant I did too. I finished my last class of the year and decided to take the next two terms off to focus on my new job and oh, you know, have a baby in February!

DECEMBER: The beginning of the third trimester has been my favorite part of pregnancy so far. I feel great, and this little one is so active and strong. I get such a kick out of watching her move through my belly. We visited Graceland after I did my glucose tolerance test on a random Wednesday off from work. A few days later, a brief wave of violent illness landed us in the hospital. Thankfully, I was well within the week, and we kept our plans to go to San Diego for our baby shower (and maternity photo session). We were back in Memphis for quiet holidays at home.

2014 was life-changing for us, and it brought about so much more than we could have expected. But the fun's not over! Now that it's January, and I can officially say that our daughter is due next month!

I wish each of you all the best in the new year. Cheers to 2015!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cheers to the New Year!

Designed at

I made you a card! ... since our actual (infographic) New Year card included too much personal information to post here. Ha.

Happy New Year, my friends We wish you a year full of love, adventure, opportunity, and fun!