Monday, February 24, 2014

A Little Mexican Baby Shower

We've been blessed with sweet gifts for our little girl from family and friends. Back in January we had our big baby shower at my home church in Mississippi. However, some family members weren't able to make the trip down, so they planned a time for us to meet up to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our daughter.

Our family from Huntsville and Birmingham got together and planned a day for us to meet up for lunch. We chose Margarita Grill for a fun atmosphere for the group to get together.


We usually only see each other once or twice a year, but always on July 4th at the lake. So we were very excited to spend a few hours with them and catch up. Most of the talk was how everything was going with the pregnancy and her upcoming birth, but we also started talking about how this 4th of July would be different with her in tow. And we're all hoping that we see each other before the holiday!!

The food was delicious, as always. And the service was excellent. If you are ever in our area, be sure to look this place up. You won't regret it.

After we chowed down, they showered us with gifts for AC. They informed me that I've proven it difficult for them to buy things for her. Aunt Barbara had purchased her a tub, and we had just purchased one last weekend. Oops! And Betty, Jane and Skyla had gone to Vera Bradley to get her some goodies. Then they saw we are already received some Vera Bradley items so they took those back. Ha! I promise we didn't mean to make it difficult on them. =)

AC racked up with lots of books, bath accessories, a gift card to Belk and a sweet blankie. And we got a sneak peek at a quilt that is being made for her...


We had so much fun and time passed by waaaay too quickly. But, we are so thankful they took time out of their busy schedules to come see us and help spoil our little one.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Five — link up #7


the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Baby Bump Update} Not much longer and these baby bump pictures will be replaced actual pictures of our sweet little girl!!! We're at the end of week 36!!


2) {Heat Wave} I haven't been too popular in our house this week. We've had what I call a heat wave this week and I finally couldn't stand it any longer... the air conditioner is ON! Everyone in the house has been complaining that it's too cold... and I'm still sweating!

3) {MB Love} My MB has been visiting this week. I mean, it doesn't get much cutie than her naps and belly rubs!


4) {One Last SAMs Run} As the weeks are getting shorter to meeting our daughter, so is the stress of trying to make sure everything is taken care of before she arrives. Mom and I headed to SAMs this week to buy up enough stuff so we don't have to leave the house for a few weeks after we get home with her. Now to make a plan of action for meal planning.

5) {One Last Celebration} Family from North Alabama, Bham and Auburn are coming to celebrate with us this weekend. We're excited to see everyone and spend some time with them before AC arrives. This is our Sowell family picture from the 2013 4th of July celebration at the lake. I had just found out we were pregnant, so technically AC is in the picture, too! =) 



Now, who's ready to link up with the Friday Five?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

I Miss the Weekend!

It seems the past few months our weekends have been full of either freezing cold weather or RAIN. Well, not this weekend... for a change, it was a beautiful, and warmer weekend.

Friday was Valentine's Day. I'm not sure anyone would say they dislike love, and any day is good day to celebrate it! I had been cooped up in the house all week except for our Dr's appt on Wednesday afternoon, so I decided to get out of the house Friday morning for a few hours. I tackled getting toiletry items for the hospital at Target. I think I have a few more things I might need to get, but today I plan to work on the hospital bags! (Yeah, I know I said I was going to it yesterday, but it just didn't happen.)

Anyway, while at Target, I picked up two VDay cards for the Mr. One funny, and one serious. I always do this. And decided after I left Target I would head to Publix to pick up some steaks for the evening. In the meantime, the Mr calls to chat and tells me he wants to go out for dinner. Normally, I would be excited because we never really go out just the two of us for a sit down dinner, but the thought of the crowds, having to wait, and being a little uncomfortable — I just didn't want to. So, I asked him was it okay if we didn't go out. He said, well I thought it would be nice for Valentine's Day. I then told him I was on my way to get steaks and baked potatoes. Y'all, you could hear the smile on the other side of the phone. Poor thing, I guess he thought since it was VDay he had to take me out. Well, turns out I made his day by saying no. His only request, for me to pick up stuff to make salads, too. DEAL!

The Mr came home and took care of dinner. Well, I did make the salads. =) And I got a card from him, and my first card from AC!!


Saturday we had plans to meet up with our friends Stephanie and Tadd at Firebirds for lunch. The last time the Mr and I ate at Firebirds was last year in March for our one year anniversary. So we were excited to eat there again. We enjoy our friendship with these two, they keep us laughing and the conversations are endless. Of course, this was probably our last lunch without having little AC in attendance outside of the belly. I know she is going to love them as much as we do, and I'm secretly hopping Stephanie teaches AC how to cook one day!


After lunch we headed over to pick up AC a tub. I know y'all probably think this is ridiculous, but I've been obsessed with having her a tub. And I felt like we couldn't bring her home until this was purchased. Not that she will be having a bath in it right away, but for some reason not having the tub has been causing me to stress. Well, stress no more, we have one now. And yes, I realize the tub is a bit blueish, but the Mr did not want to purchase the pink one because he said we can't use it for the next child if it's a boy. Ha!


When we got home, we noticed a package at our front door. We weren't expecting anything so this got our curiosity going. We walked inside and immediately the Mr tore into the package. We knew from the outside of the box that it was from my brother, and this is what was on the inside...


That's right, our girl now has her very own cowbell! #hailstate

Sunday was the perfect temperature outside, and we couldn't help but go outside for a bit and enjoy the sunny afternoon. (This would be why I didn't pack the hospital bags!) The Mr picked up sticks around the back yard, and we walked around the house trying to decide how to trim back some of our bushes around the house. I think everyone in our neighborhood had the same idea, because we saw lots of neighbors outside in their yards.

Sunday was also the day we officially turned 36 weeks, even though she is measuring a little further ahead.


How was your weekend? We are counting down the weekends we have left before our little one arrives. And y'all, it's not long!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Five — link up #6


the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Happy Valentine's Day Y'all!!} We won't be doing much celebrating here today, but plan to have a double date tomorrow with our friends for our VDay celebration. How are y'all celebrating the day?

2) {Doughnuts and Baby Gifts} Had a sweet friend come over Monday afternoon to bring little AC's baby gift. And the best part, she brought me doughnuts!! Thanks again Kaitlyn! 


3) {Taco Ring Recipe} I made a taco ring this week. It's been a few years since I made one, and I had a lot of folks asking for the recipe. So, if y'all want it... here it is...

1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons water
2 (8 ounce) cans of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cook ground beef until beef is no longer pink; drain.

Stir taco seasoning mix, cheese and water in with the beef.

Arrange crescent roll triangles in a circle on a round pizza stone with wide ends overlapping the center and points toward outside.

Scoop meat mixture onto the wide end of each triangle. Pull the other end over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered).

Bake at 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


4) {Crazy Alabama Weather} Yep, we've had another week of crazy weather. We were under Winter Storm Advisory and Warning Tuesday - Thursday. The only thing we saw here at the Sowell house is a dusting of snow Wednesday night. And by lunch Thursday, this was all that was left...


5) {MB Got A Package} The sweet folks at Milk Bone Social sent our little MB a special package this week. 



Now, who's ready to link up with the Friday Five?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all! 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Pregnancy — highs and lows

Don't let that title confuse you, there are definitely more highs than lows while being pregnant. But, this is my take on this pregnancy... an account of what I have experienced. Please remember that every pregnancy is different, and that's why I want to share my story.

July 1st — I woke up and just had a feeling I needed to run to CVS to buy a few pregnancy tests. I decided to go with a pack of digital and the regular line or two line test. After arriving home that afternoon from purchasing them, I took one of each... both positive. My reaction was a strong longing to pray through my thankful tears. And that's exactly what I did for at least an hour in what we decided would be our nursery. I sat in the glider and cried and cried all while giving all the thanks and praise to Him. After going through our first pregnancy and experiencing a loss a few weeks after, I knew our Dr wanted me to call as soon as I got a positive test. And so I did. It was late in the afternoon so I didn't get a call back until the next morning. Telling the Mr and seeing and hearing his reaction was a wonderful feeling.

The next day my Dr's nurse called for me to come and have a blood test to check my hormone level and a few other things. I came home and decided to take the other two tests I had left. The first one came back negative and the last one positive. I was immediately shaken and worried. And would have to wait until the next day to get word from our Dr. When she called to tell me I was indeed pregnant, I was relieved. However, my progesterone was low, and she wanted me to start on a medicine to help it get it where it needed to be asap. We had decided not to tell our parents because we didn't want to get them excited like we did before just in case. But I told the Mr I needed someone else praying for us and this baby. So I called my mom.

For the next four weeks, I went to the Dr every other day for blood work so they could check my hormone and progesterone levels. Every time my phone would light up with my Dr's office name and number, I would panic. It was always good news, but I was still so emotional and worried because I was afraid of what happened last time.

We started having ultrasounds at 6 weeks, and that's when we first saw our little one's heartbeat. Our tech was/is wonderful. Each ultrasound we have had, even the ones now, she knows the first thing I want to see is her heartbeat. We had three ultrasounds before we made our announcement of our wonderful news. And each day of the ultrasound, I would cry, panic, and pray. It's like I wouldn't let my heart be completely happy because I was guarding it for news I wasn't sure I could take again. We finally got the news from our Dr that we could relax, because she was removing us from the high risk category.

We had decided weeks before how we would make our announcement. However, a few days before we planned to share our joyous news, I started freaking out. Should we, shouldn't we? The last time we made our announcement, two weeks later had to tell everyone of our loss. Thankfully the Mr told me that we had nothing to worry about. Our Dr had given us the okay, and that this pregnancy was not like the last one. Everything was going to be fine. So we shared our news with the world, and loved getting word from so many that they were praying for us!!

The next week we reached 2nd trimester and I breathed a little sigh of relief. Once we made the announcement friends started telling me they were pregnant, too. And having someone else to talk to who is due around the same time we are or a few weeks before just made me feel better. It was like we all had our own little private club and asked each other thousands of questions every day.

I remember around week 14, I went to lunch with a friend who is a week ahead of me. She was showing, a lot. Me, I still looked like me. I could tell my pants didn't fit anymore, but no one else could probably tell unless I tried to show them. I remember coming home from lunch and getting upset. Why wasn't I showing like she was? Was something wrong? Well, the answer was no. Nothing was wrong. I was just as pregnant as she was, only our bodies are completely different. I made myself understand that my pregnancy was my own and not to compare mine with anyone else's. And our next Dr's appt, she talked about my anxiety and she informed me that every pregnancy is different. And I would drive myself crazy comparing myself to anyone else.

Hearing our baby's heartbeat for the first time was surreal. We'd seen it multiple times, but hearing it was something special. And I could listen to it all day every day. With every passing day, my worry and anxiety eased up a little. And then the day I finally felt that first kick, man, that was such a relief. Being able to feel movement inside of me made me fully aware that everything was indeed okay in there.

Our anatomy scan was a bit nerve racking. We were excited to find out what we were having, but I was more concerned that everything was okay. And our prayers were answered. SHE was perfect!

Knowing the sex gave me something else to focus on. I know some people choose not to find out, but it was important to the Mr and I. Being able to call her by name, shopping for her, and getting her room ready took a lot of the worry away. Don't get me wrong, there were (and are) days where I panic because I don't feel her moving as much. But thankfully she will always give me a sigh of relief with a little punch or roll so I know she is fine.

At 24 weeks, I felt like I really started to show. Or at least show enough where people noticed. And from there, we've just kept getting bigger. And, I love it. I love passing by the mirror and seeing the belly getting bigger each week. I know I will miss rubbing her via the belly everyday, and without a doubt miss her funny movements and hiccups. But, I can't wait to have her in my arms.

Once I let myself relax and know that He was in complete control, I've loved every minute of this pregnancy. Yes, there have been a few aches and pains, and BP issues, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I've gotten stretch marks, and my feet and hands are swollen. But it's all part of this journey to meet her, and I'm happy to experience it all.

In a few weeks, we will introduce our little girl to the world. We already know we will be very protective parents, and we might be a little overly protective. But, we've earned the right to be, and have waited a long time for this day to come. Now we just wait until it's time, time to be introduced to the one who has her mommy and daddy already wrapped around her little fingers!!

I'm sure I've probably left out a few things that I've experienced so far, but I thought it was important for me to give a recap of what it has been like for me. If I could give any piece of advice for any moms to be... it's to enjoy YOUR pregnancy. And do no compare it to anyone else's. You'll see people do weekly posts about what they are experiencing and see their bump pictures, but try to remember that it's their pregnancy and not yours. Just because you didn't start showing when they did, or your bump isn't as big as theirs, doesn't mean anything. We are all different, and that's how your story should be, different. You'll get to share your story with your little one, and it be special to y'all.

And now, we wait to see if we will bring her into this world vaginally or by csection. We've gotten a lot of advice about both, but we feel it's important for us and our Dr to make the decision that is best for us. However she arrives, as long as she is happy and healthy — it will be a success!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Our Weekend In Review...

I'm slowly (or vastly — I'm not sure which one honestly) starting to realize that the Mr and I only have a few more weekends as a family of two. While we love our lazy weekends of nothing, and sleeping in, of course... we know all of that is about to change. I'm excited and nervous about it.

We always knew we wanted to be parents, and that dream is becoming a reality. We can't take the credit though... it's all in His plan. So while we wait for our little girl to make her arrival, we are enjoying the remaining days of just being husband and wife.

Friday nights at home usually look like this... cook, watch Undercover Boss, Shark Tank, and get in the bed to watch Blue Bloods. I can only imagine what it will look like in a couple of months. =)

This Saturday we had some friends come over from Meridian to see us. When we moved to Bham, we vowed to not let our friendships back home be forgotten. And we haven't, but when both parties are extremely busy living life — sometimes it's hard to find a time when both are free. So, this weekend Abby and her man came to visit us for lunch. We decided on the Cheesecake Factory because I had a craving for red velvet cheesecake. We laughed through lunch with stories of each others lives, and talked about what the future would hold. When we said our see ya laters, Abby said, the next time I see y'all you'll have her!! Wow. No more asking for a table for 2 or 4. A table for 3 or 5 is about to happen!  =)

While we visited, we also celebrated Aboritos birthday! It's VDay, so we figured we would kick off her birthday week while she was here.


And she brought little AC a gift. She has her first pearls, y'all. So now she is truly a Southern Belle!


FYI, Old Navy is having a huge baby sale — I'm talking 30-50% off. We had a few minutes to kill before meeting up for lunch so we stopped in to browse. Well, we came out with this little onesie. We're counting on her being here for this day!! (And we got it for $3.50)


We're now over 35 weeks. Wow! And it's funny when we go out in public. I've been told twice now by complete strangers that she's coming before her due date. And, people in general just seem to be nicer because of the big belly. And then we hear from the ladies who just had their babies... their words are always the same — I was just where you are, and trust me, it won't be much longer. Ha!


Sunday was a day of rest for me. I napped a good bit during the afternoon, and woke up with the worst heartburn, yet. Seriously, Tums are becoming a necessity around the clock!
 
How was your weekend?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Five — link up #5


the Sowell life
a

the Sowell life's Friday five... 

1) {Now We Can Bring Her Home} It's getting closer to time, time to welcome our daughter into the world and bring her home. But before we could do that... we had to get the car seat installed. Thankfully, our fire department will install them for you, and in record time! They have someone there who is trained to install them every shift, and we are so thankful they do! So, this is one last minute thing we can cross off our list!


2) {Super Bowl Appetizer} We wanted to try something new for Super Bowl Sunday, so we looked to Plain Chicken for the perfect appetizer. Y'all have to try this BBQ Chicken Dip! It's pretty awesome! 


3) {Bump Update} So, when I took this picture I wasn't sure if I liked it — so I didn't post it to instagram. But, now that I'm looking back at it... I kind of like that it's different than the others I've taken. 


4) {Crazy Alabama Weather} Our weather is a bit crazy around here — single digits to almost summer temps. And it keeps doing this up and down weather! 


5) {Marsie Belle Love} We love our MB, and who can resist adorable pictures of her? Not me!!



Now, who's ready to link up for the first Friday Five of 2014?!! I appreciate y'all spreading the word more than you'll ever know!! Please stop by and visit with the other bloggers who link up. It's a great way to find new bloggers to follow! And who doesn't love comments, right? =) Enjoy your weekend, y'all!