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Ah I am so exciting to announce we are adding to our family!


(Photo credit to Kimmy Howard Photography)

Here are a few question I’m sure you’re¬†dying to know ūüôā

How far along are you?

I am 13 weeks according to my calculations and 12 according to my doctor. ¬†When I went in for the dating scan around 7 weeks, the baby’s measurement was slightly ahead and lined up with what I was thinking, but it wasn’t off by more than A week so they didn’t change my due date. ¬†I am a-ok with that since I’ve had one very late baby, and I’d rather avoid induction if possible and safe. ¬†Moving forward I’m going to count my weeks as I see them but rely on the due date they gave me.

When are you due?

Speaking of due dates, I’m due May 18, 2016. ¬†And if this date sounds familiar, well, it just so happens to be Bea’s third birthday!! ¬†Ahhhh!!! ¬†Definitely not my first choice, but, May is the perfect month for us to have babies in, due to N’s schedule and the weather. ¬†So I can’t complain about that. ¬†Also, you may remember that May 18 was also Bea’s due date, so here’s to hoping they aren’t birthday twins! ¬†And ironically, MG was also due on the 18th of November, so all of my babies have now become 18th due date babies! ¬†MG was the one who came late, Bea came right on time, so maybe this Mayby will make an early appearance?!

How did you find out so early what you’re having?

Yes, seeing as I’m only 13 weeks, I’ve been getting asked that a lot. ¬†I opted to take the Panorama genetic blood test. ¬†There are several different types of these tests available now starting as early as 9 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a simple blood draw, as around this time, the baby’s DNA begins to mix with mom’s. ¬†The main purpose of the test is to screen for certain common ¬†genetic defects. ¬†And in fact, if you are over 35, most doctor’s offices are pushing this test to help screen for Down Syndrome. ¬†(I’m not over 35 but my insurance covers most of the test and we thought it would be worth it to find out the gender early. ¬†That, ¬†and also if there were any abnormalities present, to give us time to explore them {the test doesn’t tell you if your baby has them, just that there is an increased risk, so you need to do follow up testing} , since we have two little girls to explain everything to now.)

So to determine the baby’s gender (which is optional), you can have them screen your blood for the Y chromosome. ¬†Since mom is a female, you wouldn’t normally have this in your blood stream, therefore if it is present, you are 96% likely to have a boy. ¬†(Girl results come with a 99% accuracy).

Are you excited about another girl?

oh yes, thrilled!! ¬†Two girls in, it is hard to imagine adding something different now. ¬†Of course we would have been thrilled with a boy too….but…adding in another girl we already know what to look forward to‚ėļÔłŹ

Were you wanting another baby?

We were. ¬†I was guarded this time because I felt very content with our family dynamic as it was. ¬†If we weren’t given a third, ¬†I think I could have made peace with that. But we both felt God putting another baby on our hearts and prayed it would come to be. ¬†And just like Bea’s pregnancy, we have to actually want a baby to make it happen :). ¬†My body didn’t recover well (hormonally) from her birth and I had a luteal phase defect again. ¬†Thankfully I was watching for it and knew the steps we would need to take to give us a chance at another pregnancy .

Do the girls know?  How are they reacting to the news?

Both girls are really into babies right now which is a huge encouragement to my heart.  Bea is very curious about them and likes to observe them.  She also has recently latched on to baby dolls and has her special one, just like MG.

We all know MG is a little mama already and she is very excited about a new baby joining our family.  The concept is still abstract for them but I am so excited to see them blossom in to big  (and bigger) sisters!

How are you feeling?

better? Not great, but getting there. ¬†This was the easiest pregnancy on me sickness wise (and this time I took natural measures to prevent the sickness and I’m convinced they actually made a difference! ¬†I hope to write more in detail about this but if you are thinking of becoming pregnancy within the next year and are concerned about morning sickness, check out the connection between your liver and this dreaded pregnancy symptom. ¬†I’m no doctor, so don’t take my word for it, but I spent some time cleansing my liver and taking liver support before I became pregnant. I wasn’t about to go through another illness like Bea’s! ¬†During my pregnancy I used Unisom and B6 (once again consult your doctor) to help curb the nausea//mine is worse at night. ¬†Eating every 2 hours in the day helped keep my blood sugar in check and also made a huge difference).

This pregnancy was the hardest on me energy-wise. ¬†I really struggled (and still am a bit) through my days but now that the end of the first trimester is upon me, I am hoping for a big dose of adrenaline soon. ¬†Plus, I’ve weaned off the progesterone supplement which is supposed to take all of your pregnancy symptoms and make them worse! ¬†Coming off of that, I could tell a difference almost immediately.

Baby name?

yes I think Mayby has a name! I think. ¬†It still feels a little awkward yet as we are playing Around with saying it aloud. ¬†But, while we won’t announce it until birth, I plan to give you a few teaser clues coming up ‚ėļÔłŹ

This is an overview of my pregnancy up until this point but for a more detailed look, check out my Instagram page dedicated solely to this pregnancy ¬†¬†I’ll be updating this blog with pregnancy news but more frequently there. ¬†Also a quick apology as I had to type most of this on my phone so it’s not up to my usual degree or error check?




Farewell, 2016

2016.  What a year.  WHAT A YEAR

I have this awkward feeling that I’ve had the same conversations over and over this year and between this blog, Instagram (both pages), and my brief fling with Snapchat, I feel as though I have thoroughly dissected 2016, ad naseum. ¬†But just in case I haven’t, and for the sake of my future self, who will surely look back on this post with the hopes of a wrap-up, here is 2016 in a nutshell:

Pregnant with Sibby, N began interviews all throughout IN and TN; sometime in May, N received a job offer in TN. ¬†We were thrilled until communication began drying up and we received word that some changes had been made in administration and all new hires would be un-hired and reinterviewed at a later point. ¬†I gave birth to Sibby, my parents moved to Nashville; Sibby got really sick (still don’t know the cause or what to officially call it) ;thankfully she made a full recovery; while we were in the hospital, N received a a job offer in Nashville (from a different school than where previously hired and after many, many more interviews); we came home, put our house on the market and two days later left for vacation in Rosemary beach; on our way home from vacation, we dropped off N in Nashville to begin his job; the girls and I went back home to show and sell our house (important to note Sibs was 6 weeks old at this point); MG started kindergarten in August and went to live with my parents and N while Bea, Sibby, and I stayed back in IN to sell our house and buy a new one. We found our TN house that month after several misfires with the crazy-hot market, including being outbid by way over asking price at least once (a house would hit the market, N would go look at it that day while Facetiming me. If we liked it, we would be prepared to make an offer that night). ¬†In July we celebrated 10 years of marriage! ¬†It was supposed to be a big trip somewhere, but after the year we had, we threw together a little celebration in Nashville somewhere (we were just happy to be in the same city at that point!). We moved in on Labor Day weekend and my sister told us she was expecting!! ¬†(we would later find out it was a BOY!). ¬†Things finally began to calm down a bit but we still hadn’t sold our house until November when we got two offers within 48 hours, had some extensions and back and forths, but we finally signed the closing paperwork early this month. ¬†We thought we were done, in the clear, and then we received the terrible news that my very good friend Amy had passed away.

That was, quite possibly, the longest paragraph I’ve ever allowed on this blog and just reading it makes my throat constrict in anxiety just a little bit. Those are just the facts, the bones if you will. ¬†It doesn’t include the meat of this year.

What it also doesn’t include is…¬†the times N would go south to interview. The stress of the interviews and how we never knew (but had to be prepared for) where we would end up.

It doesn’t include the pressure of having to get the house show-ready after coming home from an unexpected week stay at the hospital and leaving for vacation two days later (thankfully my mom was there..WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE WITHOUT HER).

…The way Sibby had to be forced out in an induction & her birth was almost a mirror image of MG’s, minus the 3 hours of pushing and the pushy doctors. ¬†This came after months of praying it wouldn’t be this way.

….The immense sadness and dread I felt at being alone for 8 weeks with the three little ones (including an unpredictable infant). (Like that time a tornado came through and came as close to our house as ever before) ¬†Add to this, the showings at all hours of the day and weeks of trying the shuffle my rag tag team around by myself while also getting and keeping the house in show-order.

…Sending MG off to kindergarten tore me up and not being there for her for the first few weeks was AWFUL. ¬†Then with a new job came¬†growing pains and new stresses as you take on, not only a new school, but a new district, a new state,¬†culture, and climate as well.

It doesn’t include that we had to say goodbye to some solid friendships, church, and neighbors, and start completely over, knowing it would take a year or more to find our footing.

It doesn’t include the back-breaking move and how this year HURT financially as we met our deductible between birth and infection (followed shortly by changing insurances—ughhh), moved on our own dime, set up our house and all the many expenses that came swooping in right away, and spent 3 months paying two mortgages. ¬†This was stressful at the time but I don’t want to remember it as a negative because somehow, I don’t even know how, He worked this out. ¬†Somehow it all worked out.

It doesn’t include that kindergarten has brought a pervasive undercurrent of sadness. ¬†Oddly, it’s exactly what I expected but I also expected it to be better by now. ¬†The household just doesn’t feel with same without MG in it at all times. I miss her. ¬†The other girls do too.

It doesn’t include that I still don’t feel recovered from having a baby. ¬†Amidst everything else I’ve been doing this year, I’m still trying to make my body, hair, and skin behave after what they’ve been through. ¬†I know it’s only been 7 months so that is normal of course, but still 16 months (7+9) is still a long time to feel like you are living in an unfamiliar body. ¬†And when I find myself looking around and taking stock of my new life, new house, new state, it would be nice to have something familiar, one thing that personally belongs to me that I could count on.

It doesn’t include the election, which is more of a national thing than a personal one, but I was blindsided by and unprepared for the emotions that the election¬†results brought about and I think I spent a good week in an emotional fog.

It doesn’t include that we had to fire our first realtor and our second realtor was a GODSEND because we ended up having some drama with the sale, and had to make some hard decisions that he navigated us through.

It doesn’t include, what I feel is, a brush with death for our dear Sib (the sepsis infection), and then the very real death of my friend Amy that completely shocked me and terrified me and kept me in a state of fear and sadness for much of the remainder of this year.

This year was HARD. ¬†In so many ways. ¬†And probably the HARDEST one I’ve lived through, definitely the hardest one of our marriage. ¬†But the things that came out of it were good. ¬†Very good. ¬†We have Sibby. ¬†We have a wonderful job. ¬†We have MG in school at, what we would consider, our DREAM school. We have a house with all the amenities we could ever want. We have my parents. ¬†We have my sister and brother-in-law (and soon to be NEPHEW). ¬†We have the south. ¬†And more importantly, we have a better sense of God’s love for us, a testimony of how He redeems us, and a story of His faithfulness.

And I know I experienced an intimacy with Him that I hope will not be soon forgotten. ¬†I can remember how He took my fear away when I was living by myself ¬†(a true miracle because I am prone to fear so often). ¬†I can remember PHYSICALLY feeling His presence with me at times which I can’t ever remember feeing before in my life. ¬†He spoke so clearly to me during this entire year, right from the verse He gave me on December 31, 2015 which stopped me in my tracks,

Isaiah 43:6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ ¬†

to the support system He gave me through friends and our neighbors when I was weak and vulnerable on my own.

I don’t like to reflect too much on this year because it instantly induces a leap of panic, but I do want to purposefully remember how loud and clear His voice was and how He just kept showing up with more and more love for us.

2016 took a lot out of me. ¬†I feel wind whipped and like I’m still catching my breath after a(n unplanned and untrained for) marathon. ¬†But It also gave me a lot. ¬†Probably the most any year has ever given me. ¬†So for that, 2016, I thank you, but I am eager to move ahead into your (hopefully) PEACEFUL and RESTFUL brother, 2017.



Here are some updates on the M girls:

MG has come to embrace school a little bit more as we roll into the new year.  Capitalizing on this enthusiasm, I tried to introduce the concept of Kindergarten next year.  She immediately balked at the idea of going to school every day?? and wondered who her teacher would be.

Her favorite pastime lately has been to cut. ¬†She cuts like her father too, her mouth opening and closing in sync with each hand squeeze. She will often come find me about 45 minutes into naptime with a stack of looseleaf and an assortment of drawing utensils. ¬†“Ok, I really need you to draw coronation Anna first,” and then she’ll pause a moment, gauging my reaction, “and then I need you to draw Elsa in her nightgown.” ¬†Satisfied with my acquiescence, she hastily throws in, “and Tiana in her ballgown. ¬†But THAT’s IT….for now”.

I draw the princesses for her, one per page; she sometimes adding comments about my skills or reminding me to add shoes, “high heels, please”. ¬†Once, I got a little hasty with Rapunzel’s eyes and they were looking a bit Heaven-ward. ¬†“Rapnuzel looks like she has crazy eyes!”, was her assessment. ¬† When I didn’t acknowledge my failings, she said, “oh well, ‘we’ can just turn it over and draw Belle on the back instead.”

Somehow, she understands that she is obligating me during my precious alone time, but she also seems to understand that part of my reluctance is just for show.  We smile knowingly at each other during these exchanges.  She gets me, that one.

After I draw her requested princesses, she attempts to rope me into coloring them in. ¬†She stands over my shoulder, breathes down my neck, “Use yellow here.” ¬†“She doesn’t have brown hair, she has BLACK hair!” ¬†Sometimes I can convince her to help me with the coloring part too, but not always. “It won’t take you very long.” she presses.

Next she will take these drawings into her little sanctuary of a room and cut them out.  She will cut quickly but carefully around the edges, making sure to preserve the small details like fingers and hair buns.

When I go up to her room later, I will find the floppy princesses scattered around in a delicate play.

When I was just a little bit older than her, I would draw and cut out pretend hamsters to play with because I wanted a pet one really badly.  I get her too.

Bea has always loved to draw and lately has been trying really hard to hold the pencil correctly.  It warms my heart to see her draw and eat with her left hand, a small homage to her aunt and granny.

She has been cutting her final molars and has been a bit sensitive lately as a result. ¬†This is as close to moody as she ever seems to teeter. ¬†It still takes very little to whip her into a flurry of smiles and excitement. ¬†I love that about her. ¬†Even on her worst days, she’s just a tickle away from contagious giggles.

Lately, she has wanted to take the reigns from us in dressing herself, pottying, chores, anything really. ¬†“No, I do it.” she says. ¬†I love and greatly encourage independence in my girls, except of course, when we are running behind and she insists on putting on her socks at the speed of the elderly with arthritis. ¬†It’s amazing the parallels between the young and the old, no?

Unlike her big sister, I don’t think she’s too thrilled about our upcoming May excitement. ¬†This is the reaction I get every time I ask her:


I’m sure she’ll come around in time…right, middle children of the world?

Speaking of Mayby2, I visited the doctor yesterday for my 5 month checkup. ¬†It was a quick and easy appointment. ¬†Once again, it took a little while to find the heartbeat, which is becoming a common theme with this one, but I could feel her moving during the search, so I wasn’t too worried. ¬†Heartbeat sounded good at 151 and my stomach is no longer measuring a full week ahead, just a half week now. ¬†This still lines up with my earlier due date prediction but not quite as much as I was hoping for. ¬†Third children are notoriously unpredictable, no?




The Christmas items have been packed away and the confetti has been swept up. Our holidays are over, but I’m not too sad. 2016 promises to be an exciting year, and I wait eagerly to see if it lives up to our hopeful expectations.
But before I go charging ahead, I want to take some time to remember 2015.  

   2015 was the year of winter therapy in California, of dance class for our tiny ballerina, of (finally) adding some finishing touches to our schoolhouse, of spring break in CA, of Disneyland, of teaching a Coffee and Canvas class for mops, of a sister birthday party, of kittens and chicks, of art class and swim lessons at TU, of celebrating 9 years in LA, of traveling to Chattanooga and Salt Lake City, of starting preschool, of a princess Halloween, of saying goodbye to the matriarch and patriarch of the W family, of closing the doors to Sweet Mama Makes, of Silent Night at TU, and of my favorite memory of all…finding out Mayby2, a healthy girl, would be joining our family soon. 

Yesterday, n and I were blessed with a little time alone to eat lunch and run errands. Of course the topic of new year’s resolutions came up and he has some pretty ambitious ones, in contrast to mine especially, which consist of the following:

Gain 15 (more) pounds, sleep more (nap whenever possible), read more (parenting books), kiss more (baby cheeks), travel (as little as possible), have a baby (and make it to the hospital in time #hourdrive)

Yes, my goals feel a little underwhelming this year compared to years past, but I get the sense that’s just how it’s supposed to be this year.  “Let’s just survive and enjoy what we’re given”

Lately I’ve been feeling a quiet but weighty pressing on my soul of something Unknown coming in 2016.  I don’t know how else to describe it other than “Blank” but it’s there, demanding attention.  It could be a physical, spiritual, or emotional trial, or something else entirely.  But it’s pressed on me to watch, listen, pray vigilantly, trust, have faith. 

So that’s how I will move forward, expectantly, into 2016.  

Auld Lang syne, my dears,


Three months, Thirty months

We are just a few days from celebrating a really big birthday, but I wanted to take a minute to update you on the other two sisters since they are currently passing milestones too.

I hit three months with Mayby2 this week. ¬†I’m out of the first trimester and couldn’t be happier about it. ¬†I’m anxious to feel her kicking (or at least confirm that what I’m feeling are kicks), but I’m also so relieved to be feeling nearly back to normal. ¬†It really is true what they say about the second trimester; it is the honeymoon stage. ¬†I’ve started on a few pieces of newborn clothing and ordered a professional snap setter (as it seems like most baby/kids clothes have snaps in them); I’m hoping this will help me in my clothes construction.

Bea turned 2.5 yesterday and she is just as two as ever.


Of my two, she is by far the more spirited, exuberant child.  I love her for this as I can appreciate many qualities she has that I lack.  As she approaches three, she is learning how to reign in her passion, when appropriate, and is otherwise easy-going and sweet.

She’s done with the paci (check), after the last remaining¬†one broke a few weeks ago and we decided to pitch it before it became a choking hazard (mom’s thoughts). ¬†Much to my surprise, although I shouldn’t have been given the above, it became a non-issue after the first night of sleep. ¬†Just like her older sis, she quickly attached to her baby doll (hers is named Vella, as opposed to Stella) immediately after and does like to ensure that Vella always has her paci to sleep.

Potty training is underway (almost check), and I think she is possibly the easiest trainee on the planet. I did predict that the second one would be easier, but little did I realize how much easier when you have a highly motivated (by praise and candy) child and an older sister along for encouragement (who also gets praise and candy when little one is successful).

Big girl bed has not yet happened (no check) but we’ve soft started. ¬†She starts out in the bed and we tell her she can stay ALL NIGHT LONG as long as she doesn’t get out of bed. ¬†Oh is she excited to try but rarely does this last longer than a few minutes before we hear little footsteps clunking around to find us and whispers of “hi, mommy!” when she does. ¬†As long as she keeps napping (which is starting to become iffy), I’m fine with this arrangement for now.

If I compare the two girls at this age (which I know, you’re not supposed to do), MG was much farther along in communication. ¬†This is surprising, because MG was already a little behind her peers. ¬†Bea has always been a little behind the curve in this but not to the point of concern. ¬†She can say just about anything now to get her point across and is starting to form a few more complex sentences too. ¬†Her talking is very enthusiastic (and she came with a built-in politeness meter, so it seems) that it is very endearing. ¬†“Thank you, Mommy, thank you, Daddy, thank you, Sissy.” She will say in succession until she has landed on the right person. ¬†She will repeat this until you acknowledge her too.

Her baby doll play has really grown in the past month and she loves changing their clothes, keeping them fed, and every time we walk out the door, it seems she must bring along her baby in a car seat, along with a diaper bag full of random…toys.

Bea’s favorite people are all the men in our family: Daddy (first of course), Papa, Gampy, and Uncle Joel. ¬†She is a daddy’s girl through and through.

Thank you for the encouragement on my last post. ¬†I did not mean to make it seem as though I am considering giving up my writing (although I am only one more computer issue away….just kidding, sort of). ¬†The thoughts are just coming to me a little more slowly and I do find I enjoy the immediacy of Instagram more and more.

When I was in college I took a few painting classes to fulfill my art requirements.  I distinctly remember taking an oil painting class and sharing with my mom (who I knew would relate) that I, for the duration of that class, viewed the world in how to translate it into a painting.

In other words, I would look at a tree and think about what colors I would blend to create the perfect color and how to get the shading just right, and what texture to use for the bark.  These thoughts would come to me freely all day every day, with or without a palette in front of me.

Now it seems I go back and forth between viewing everything through the lens of a seamstress and a writer, whatever is more forefront on my brain. ¬†I look at clothes construction in a whole new way, thinking about how to solve various problems I’m having or to create something new.

Similarly, my writer’s brain is most often turned on when I am reading a good book and have quiet time to think. ¬†I translate my day into short snippets that I think would look appealing on a page and harmonize in the brain. ¬†I hope as I let Sweet Mama Makes float away, I will free up more “thinking space” to do this.