Baby/Life Update

So here we are. 18 weeks into our pregnancy and I sometimes still can’t wrap my brain or heart around what’s going on. And I am actually cutting myself some slack about it all because we’ve had just a few things happening.

18 weeks

– found out we were pregnant
– bought a house
– Jason moved jobs (in same company)
– traveled to Tampa
– defended my thesis
– moved and unpacked (somewhat)

And in the blank spaces between all the big stuff, we’ve experienced every emotion possible, joy, fear, apprehension, love, excitement, panic, backaches, heartburn, etc. etc. So if I’m not completely 100% put together and calm, I at least have some sort of excuse.

kitchen before









BUT, I am very proud of myself. It’s not the usual spinning top, crazy freakout, paralyzing anxiety that I normally feel during big changes. Jason’s even commented on how “well-behaved” I’ve been pregnant (I think that’s a compliment…). And I can only chalk this up to God’s peace in our lives, and the fact that we know we are in the exact place we should be, physically, mentally, emotionally, family-wise and “big changes-wise.” We prayed for years for these moves, and now that they are happening, it doesn’t feel scary. Maybe just a little tiring…


In the next month, we will find out if we’re having a boy or a girl (on our 3-year wedding anniversary), I will graduate and we get to visit with my sister and brother-in-law who are visiting amidst their own cross-country move! So the big moments aren’t slowing down, but only getting more and more exciting.

I’m feeling great. The baby is now the size of a large mango and I have felt (what I think) is the little gummy bear rolling around (feels like my stomach is grumbling), but no little baby kicks yet. Morning sickness is gone (hallelujah). And now we turn our focus to potential daycares, picking names and setting up the nursery.

People may think we are a little crazy packing all of these big things into just a few months, but I just say that’s how we are — a little crazy, but a lot blessed!

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Dear You

Dear You:

What's up

You turned 28 this week. I’ve known you since you were 18. That’s not much in the grand scheme of life, and there are others who have known you much longer, but I can only tell you that in the last 10 years, I’ve come to love you more and more.

You forgot to take the trash bag out yesterday morning, but I didn’t get mad (yay me!) because I knew you were racing to work to make it another record day for your business. It makes me smile that you love your job and love providing for our family.

You get to have a birthday party this weekend! I won’t mind waking up early on Sunday morning to cook for 20 of our closest friends because I see how your eyes light up when we talk about it, and you can’t think of anything more fun than watching the Saints game with these people. I can’t think of anything greater, either.

You told me I stunk last night. But that’s OK because…I did.

You won’t believe that amount of groceries I’m going to bribe you to come buy with me.

You make me happy, and I hope our future little boys (I’M NOT PREGNANT:-)) have your exact same personality so I can have more and more and more and more of you for the rest of my life.


Covering Someone In Prayer

In all my years, months of marriage, I have learned something. It’s not always a rose garden.

I know. I know. You’re all rolling your eyes, like duh, Stephanie.

But hear me out.

I’ve known Jason (hubby-extraordinaire) for nearly 10 years. We met as freshmen at LSU, and even after all this time, we still remember that moment we saw each other in the dorm hallway. And over the last few years, we have built a wonderful relationship full of laughter, love and faith in each other as individuals and faith in ourselves as a couple.

The second year of marriage, for me, has been an adventure. We’re out of the post-wedding buzz, the first year of firsts, and reality of what it takes to make this work day in and day out is setting in. All great experiences. And a lot of new ones at that. I’m learning to be understanding, to be more patient, to be more loving even when I don’t feel lovable, and I don’t feel loving towards him.

And in these moments where I’m prickly and un-lovable, I find it a lot easier to nitpick and find all the things that are going wrong. And I find it a lot easier to spin myself into a “I’m so amazing, and everyone else is so not” syndrome that I fail miserably at humility and empathy. But something changed for me yesterday.

I found a blog post about 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband. And it is a prayer plan for covering your husband in different prayers to uplift and strengthen him and your family. And the line in the intro paragraph struck me: “Satan desires to destroy your husband, especially his character and his leadership in your relationship.” But what is so important is that I realized I was being used as the instrument of destroying.

I wasn’t being understanding or empathetic. I wasn’t building him up and being supportive. I was tearing down. Constantly nagging about something, and expecting him to be so many things at once. And I instantly felt relieved. I knew what I had to do. Remove myself from the driver’s seat and let God take over. Place myself in a position to pray for Jason, and for our family, rather lamenting about what I thought was going wrong. I finally stopped spinning.

So I’ll be praying for my husband (more than usual) over the next 31 days, and maybe you’ll join me?


The New Years That Never Was

First, happy new year! Happy 2012, and I have a feeling it’s going to a big year.

Now, I’d like to tell you a story. A tale as old as….48 hours ago. I can just now, after a day of detox speak of what transpired for me and Jason’s New Year’s Eve.

You may remember my Warm and Fuzzy post a few weeks ago that mentioned a planned trip to the family cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Well, let’s just say we never made it.

Please, follow along. And enjoy our nightmare adventure!

After sharing a wonderful wedding with our two best friends who got married Thursday night….









We awoke bright and freakin early on Friday morning to catch a 7 a.m. flight to Tennessee. However, because of sucky weather, Houston airport (our connection) was completely shut down until around noon. So began our saga.

Our first flight was delayed till noon, effectively screwing our whole day. By the time we landed in Houston, we sprinted across the airport, only to have the flight door shut in our face. I don’t have a picture for this moment, because I wouldn’t want anyone to see the type of tantrum I threw, or the amount of tears that were shed to the lady who was  not interested in hearing my story, as about 300 more people behind me had the same story.

So, then we stand in the Service Center (aka airport purgatory) line for 2 hours, all while on hold with Continental to change our flights…..

One good thing, the man at the counter was so nice. He had helped probably 60 people in front of us, but was still cheery. Thanks Ricky for making our airport purgatory experience bearable! But, he was able to book us on a later flight to Greenville, SC, that would then put us about 2 hours from Gatlinburg, which we would drive to after renting a car. Making it to the cabin around 1 a.m. Not the best way to spend your midnight on NYE. But, what could we do.

We wait…









And what do you do when you’ve already been in an airport for 8 hours, waiting, with no confirmation that you will ever leave again. Why, you find a plug, sit in a dirty hallway and watch Big Bang Theory!









Or you use whatever you can find as a pillow and take a nap.









So then after waiting until 7:30 p.m. to catch our new flight, we check the board. DELAYED. To 9:50 p.m., which would get us to Greenville around 1 a.m. Which would then mean we would celebrate NYE on a plane above the East Coast. Still not ideal.

So we are stranded in Houston for New Year’s Eve. Not what we had in mind. No luggage. No party. No champagne. No family. No compensation from Continental for the delay.

So we journey to our trusty Enterprise. Pick a car, pick a hotel and cut our losses. We’re spending NYE in Houston. hooray….

Although, one perk of being married to someone who works for Enterprise, we get the cool cars.









So at this point, it’s 10 p.m. on NYE. We still think we’re flying to Tennessee the next morning. We have no luggage. And no dinner. So what do we do? Order pizza, get a 2 Liter of Coke and hunker down in the hotel room to celebrate our second NYE as a married couple in the most unconventional way!









I couldn’t make it to midnight. Jason woke me up at 11:55 p.m. and after said happy new year, I was back out. It had been a long few days and seeing other people partying and celebrating and having fun was not entertaining at that moment.

So our flight the next day was scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. We woke up at 7 a.m., and were so exhausted, so discouraged and so gross that we decided to just turn around and go home 😦 No cabin. No snow. No vacation. But, we would have only been there for a full day before we would have to fly home again. So we made the adult (bleh) decision and booked a return flight to Baton Rouge. In the same clothes we put on 48 hours earlier expecting to be in the mountains by now.









So all in all, it is now 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3. We just got our luggage back after 72 hours of no toothbrush, no makeup, no nothing. And we spent a staycation day here at home.

And in all reality, after all the mess-ups and only one tantrum each (mine came when the mean lady at the counter held up her finger to me when I tried to ask for help, oh let me tell you how hard I bit my tongue not to make an even bigger scene). We made it through. We made the best of it. We even laughed through it. It’s not what we wanted, but it is a great reminder that we are so not in control.

A silver lining through it all was I got to spend 4 full days with Jason, by ourselves, no work, just spending time together, even if it was in a Hilton Garden Inn at the Houston airport. There’s a reason we needed all of that time together. Because as I said earlier, 2012 is shaping up to a be a big year.

So that was our New Years that never was. But what a New Years it was!

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Counting Our Blessings

He started digging through the shelves, looking behind doors, under cabinets. Opening and closing things at a confusing pace. I didn’t think much of it, because let’s face it, he’s a little random at times. And usually he’s looking for a snack.

Then he started climbing on stools, looking on top of closets and in storage spaces. I watched for a good 5 minutes in amusement as he roamed our 900-square-foot apartment many times over with a purpose. Finally, from my dishwashing perch, I asked. “Jason, what are you looking for?”

And as is his habit when he does chores, two iPod headphones were stuck in his ears, music that I cannot appreciate blaring through each at a decibel level that has GOT to be unhealthy brought on by his years of drumming. He did not hear me.

So I again, I asked, a little louder. “What are you looking for?” Finally, he sensed my question, and took one headphone out, looked at me sweetly and said. “Lightbulbs.”

Ah. The bane of my existence. Those tiny, itty bitty chores that everyone hates doing, left for the last possible minute to do, and couples have contests to see who can outlast the other accepting the inconvience. Over the last three months, we’ve had at least three lightbulbs out (laundry room, porch and closet). Changing lightbulbs. Vacumming. Throwing out pizza boxes that stack up right next to the trashcan because they can’t fit in the trash can, and neither of us feel like walking them the 20 steps to the dumpster to throw them out, so there they lay. I hate changing lightbulbs. No idea why. It just is that way. Just like I hate cleaning the bowl of Rotel dip with the gooky, stuck on Velveeta cheese. I just won’t do it.

“Oh,” I replied. “Look in the white box, on top of the laundry room shelves, by the other white box, under the Band-Aids.” Like duh. Who wouldn’t know to look there?

So there he went, got a chair, grabbed the lightbulbs, and changed all the broken ones. And then there was light. And I smiled.

For as much as I hate changing lightbulbs, I usually end up doing it anyway, because I’m usually home more often and by the time he gets home from another 12-hour day working with some of the most interesting people in the city, he’s a little tired. And he knows this. He knows I hate it, yet, more often than not, I lose the inconvenience contest by virture of my OCD and lack of patience (I’m WORKING on it!)

But not this time. He changed the lightbulbs. Without having to be asked. Period.

Silly, right? That I would find this much enjoyment out of a simple chore. But it was more than that. To me, it was a sign of “we’re in this together;” “I’m part of this house too” and ” you can count on me.” After a week of being confronted with a lot of new emotions and sadness about life, he understood that the simple things often add up to bigger things. And the simple act of him changing the lightbulbs, he knew, would give me just a quick, subtle sign that he’s on my team, through good and bad, dark times and bright times, lightbulbs and no lightbulbs.

Now, if we can just conquer the pizza boxes…

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A Conundrum

Is it bad that I’m planning on reading these two books, at the same time, over the next few months? Color me complicated.

“If It Were Easy They’d Call The Whole Damn Thing A Honeymoon” With ballsy wit and bawdy humor, she explores everything from male domestic idiocy and the frustrating misfires in spousal communication to how to stay true to the peskiest of vows: forsaking all others. This book is a must-read manifesto on surviving marriage in an age when everyone seems to live forever and getting a divorce is as easy as ordering a latte.

“Sacred Marriage” Everything about your marriage is filled with prophetic potential, with the capacity for discovering and revealing Christ’s character. The respect you accord your partner; the forgiveness you humbly seek and graciously extend; the history you and your spouse build with one another–in these and other facets of your marriage, it uncovers the mystery of God’s overarching purpose.

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Why the picture?

Welcome back!

So you may ask why I chose to include a picture of myself in the header, staring at myself in a mirror, on a day that was all about me [and Jason too!]…the wedding day. Self-involved much?

It means more than you think.

This picture was taken right before I walked down the aisle on my wedding day. I’m in my home church lobby, looking in the mirror for one final touch up. Right to my left were the doors that were opening, my dad waiting to give his youngest daughter away and the foggy windows clouding up a muggy wedding day.

This moment represents the last time I looked at myself as just me. Single me. One half of a whole me. Right before I saw Jason for the first time that day and we started a new adventure together.

This moment represents my transition into a new life.

BUT it doesn’t represent a lost me. I’ve found in all my wise years of marriage [a year and half to be exact!] that being married does overtake me, it enhances me. I’m still that same girl, looking in the mirror, but with a partner, a friend for life, a constant smile maker.

It was an inflection point in my life. And one that I’m glad is captured. It creates a jumping off point for more depth, more insight and more understanding of life through a new filter. The filter through which I’m sharing my life with you. Hooray!