Christmas 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas this year!  It was filled with family time, and lots of food.  Christmas Eve we go to Mass with Luke's family, Luke's grandmothers to open presents, to my moms, and this year we went to the 9PM service at our church.  Needless to say we were worn out.  I have been so excited about Hudson getting his train table.  I was up at 6Am to prepare our breakfast morning feast of quiche, hash brown casserole, and fruit.  Hudson was so worn out, about 7:30 we couldn't take it anymore, and woke him up.  He was still unaware of what was going on this year.  I think next year will be a whole different ball game.  He loved his train table, and I think his daddy loved it just as much.  He plays with it when Hudson is napping.  My parents stopped by, and then we went to Luke's parents for brunch.  We went to my parents from there to get gifts from them, then we had Christmas with Luke's family Christmas night.  I worked yesterday and today, so I am excited to relax this weekend, play with our new toys, and get caught up on rest.  We are all so blessed, and could not have asked for a better Christmas.  I can't believe we will have two kiddos at Christmas next year!  Here are pictures I snapped throughout Christmas Eve/Day.

He looked so cute for Mass, and I just wanted ONE good picture.

My sister always reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on
Christmas Eve at my moms.  Hudson was clearly into it.

He is ready for school next fall!  I think Nana was trying to give us a hint :)

I am so proud of myself for sticking to my guns, and not going overboard this Christmas.  I hope I can continue this, and teach Hudson and Sullivan the real meaning of Christmas for years to come.


Santa 2013

We thought we would torture ourselves and Hudson, and take him to see Santa twice this year.  Poor kid.  The first time was at Bass Pro, and the second at church.  I thought if Maddie was with him it would make the second time better.    Needless to say both times were tear filled.  I think I will miss the crying Santa photos, they are hilarious to me.


One Year....

One year ago today we lost our sweet papa  Not a day goes by that I don't think about him.  While I miss him terribly, I know without a doubt he is a better place.  He was so sick and feeble before his passing it became almost unbearable to watch.  Instead of being sad, I am going to rejoice, and be so thankful for all the time I had with him. After he passed away I made a vow to honor him by becoming a better Christian.  I will be honest, when I made this vow I wasn't completely confident I would be able to honor it.  God had other plans for me, and our family.  We started going to church the weekend after his funeral, and we haven't stopped since.  I have strengthened my faith more than I ever knew I could, and it goes way beyond attending church on Sunday.  I have changed my life completely.  I feel like I jumped in, and have given it 110% from day one.  I am involved in a women's group, and Luke and I joined a couples group.  We are actively involved in church. and try to give back as much as possible.  I have tried to rid my life of negativity, and surround myself with people who lift me up, and make me want to be a better person.  I have let go of anger, and strive to have a more positive outlook on every situation I am in.  I was baptized.  I can honestly say my life is ten times better than it was a year ago today.  My marriage is better.  I am a better mom.  The funny thing is, we have faced more struggles this past year.  That just goes to show how you face things differently when you have faith, and you know God will get you through anything.  I can assure you it has not been easy.  I feel like I am "tested" more than ever.  I am not perfect, and I still make so many mistakes.  It is something I have to be conscience of and work at every single day.   I have my papa to thank for all of this.  In a way I almost feel like I should be thankful for his passing.  That doesn't mean that I don't get sad, or wish I could talk to him one last time.  Sometimes I wish that I could just FEEL him.  He loved his family more than anything, and I know he would gladly trade his life to see his family involved in church and happy.  That is all he ever wanted for us.  It feels so good to be able to reflect on this past year, and to know without a doubt that I honored that vow I made to his memory.  More importantly I know he IS proud.  I feel like I have only scratched the surface on things God has planned for my life.  This next year I am making a vow to do even more to strengthen my faith.  I want to give more, go on a mission trip, and whatever else God calls me to do.

I miss you more than you will ever know.  Thank you for having a hand in changing my life.  I hope I can continue to make you proud.  I love you.

Your can read what I wrote about him a year ago here.


Less is More

This is our new motto for Christmas.  We started the "Advent Conspiracy" series at church a few weeks ago, and it has really opened my eyes to focusing on what Christmas is really about.  We always say "Jesus is the reason for the season," but how many of us actually practice that?  I am making an active decision to cut back, and give to people who really need it.  I have become involved with Room In the Inn with my church this year.  Every Tuesday we host a group of homeless people, and I go to help out and offer support.  It has really humbled me, and made me so thankful for everything I have.  It has made me realize what is really important in life.  I focus less on things I don't have, and feel so blessed for what I do have.  I am just as guilty about going overboard on Christmas.  I always  think I have to spend a certain amount of money on each persons gift.  I am also guilty of asking for expensive things that I don't need, and otherwise would not buy for myself.  One of the most important reasons for starting this "less is more" tradition in my house is I don't want my kids growing up thinking they need the best of the best.  I also want them to know how lucky they are, and there are kids out there who don't have anything.  I want us to focus on those kids, and give to them.  I don't want them to think they have to have what everyone else does.  I want them to grow up humbled, and really appreciate the lives they lead.  My sister and I often talk about how lucky our kids are, because they have so much more than we did growing up.  Even though that may be the case, I never remember feeling like I had less than others, or I suffered in any way.  We had a loving and caring childhood, and I realize that is the most important thing. Our parents taught us to appreciate what little we had, and to know how hard they worked for it.  My mom keeps saying she doesn't know what to get me, and I haven't told her what I want.  That is because I don't "want" anything.  The things on my list this year are things that I NEED. I would rather her money go to helping other people who really need it.  By no means am I cutting out buying gifts completely, but I will not be buying a bunch of unnecessary gifts.  I will not be spending nearly as much on gifts this year, and the years to come. I will help with the angel our Fusion group is adopting, send a package to a soldier who is spending his Christmas away from family defending our freedom, and give a little more to our child we sponsor through Compassion.   I hope that more people can adopt this attitude this Christmas season, because this world could use a little more giving and less getting.


22 Weeks

I am officially in the "honeymoon" phase.  I am feeling great all the time, and don't even feel pregnant most of the time. I cleaned my house from top to bottom on Saturday, and put all of my Christmas decorations out.  It felt so good to be productive after feeling sluggish for so long.  I am soaking up every minute, because I know the "miserable" stage will be here before I know it.

Weight: I think we are going through a growth spurt, because I have been a eating machine lately.  I have been a little worried about how bad its going to look on the scale.  I randomly got on my scale at home yesterday, and I had lost weight.  I guess working out is still paying off.  I still get up at 4:30, and go to boot camp.  I try to run twice a week.  After my run yesterday I am a little worried about my 5K on Thanksgiving Day.  Mainly from the pressure, and having to pee so much.  I may try to get a support belt to see if it helps.  Has anyone else tried one?

Sleep:  I have had terrible headaches, so I have been taking Zyrtec at night.  It used to wire me, but now it makes me tired, so I have been sleeping like the dead.  The night before last I didn't even get up to pee.  I have random nights I don't sleep well, but no complaints over all.  I think because I get up so early I am still going to bed really early.

Food/Eating: As I mentioned, I have been eating non-stop.  I literally feel like I cannot get full.  I am still stuck on breakfast food.  Luke is wonderful, and gets up almost every morning to cook for me while I am at the gym.  I have given up Apple Juice and moved on to orange juice.  I eat probably 4-6 "Cuties" a day.  I am definitely not lacking in the vitamin C department these days. Instead of burritos, I eat soup for lunch now.  I still cannot make myself eat salads like I used to.  I can't think of anything else I crave consistently.  It is more of I get the urge for something, and have to have it.

Movement: He is still a busy little bee.  I love feeling him move, and the movements are becoming more distinct now.  Its not as much flutters, as kicks and flips.  He was transverse at my ultrasound, but I can't tell if he has changed positions or not.  I can finally feel him move from the outside.  Luke tried to feel him last night, but he stopped moving as soon as he put his hand on my stomach.

Gender: Sullivan Hugh Graves!  I found myself wondering what he will look like the other day.  Will he have brown eyes like his mom and big brother, or green eyes like his daddy??  His profile from the ultrasound looked a lot like Hudson's.

What I miss:  I really don't feel like I am missing too much of anything right now.  I thought I was missing wine. I had a small glass over the weekend, and it just didn't taste right.  This is my favorite stage in pregnancy, so I don't have any complaints.

I am not going to lie, I am pretty pumped about being pregnant during the holidays.  I was a little worried about going overboard, but it is nice to be "guilt free."

I feel like he has really popped out over the last few weeks. 


The Name

Unlike when we were pregnant with Hudson, we had both a boy and girl name picked out pretty early on.  We both really love the idea of a family name for at least one of the names. We were excited when we came up with a way to use family names for both of baby #2's names.  We are so happy to be welcoming Sullivan Hugh Graves in March 2014.  His name has such special meaning to the both of us.  Sullivan is Luke's moms maiden name, and Hugh is my papa's middle name.  So, he will be named after two of his late great grandfathers who were special to the both of us.  I absolutely love his name, and the special meaning.  We are trying to teach Hudson how to say it, but its a bit of a mouthful for him.  I know they will grow up so close, and I can't wait to meet Sullivan!


20 Weeks

We are halfway there!  It's still hard to believe.  I feel like I am going to wake up, and he is going to be here.  Thankfully the nausea has subsided, and I have not had to take Zofran in over a week.  Here is what has been going on the last few weeks.

Total Weight Gain:  As of my ob appointment on Monday I have gained 7lbs total.  I feel like working out has really paid off this pregnancy.  I have gained less than half of what I had at this point in my first pregnancy.  I can honestly say my diet is not that great.  It's not horrible, but I am definitely not eating the way I would if I were not pregnant.  I plan on continuing to workout until I can't anymore.  I am running a 5K Thanksgiving Day, so I am going to start incorporating more running.

Sleep:  Ever since Hudson got sick he has not slept well, so that means none of us have.  Last night was the first full nights sleep any of us has had in two weeks.  Hopefully he is going to get back on track with sleeping all night in his bed.  As for me, I feel like I would be sleeping much better if Hudson didn't wake me up.  I still go to bed early, but I am usually up several times to pee either way.

Food/Eating: I rarely have aversions anymore.  Just smells get to me sometimes.  I am still on Simply Apple, and soda.  Cinnamon rolls have been a new craving for me, and any kind of breakfast food.  Again, this is odd because I don't typically like breakfast food, and almost never want something sweet for breakfast.

Movement:  That whole bit about him not being as active as Hudson was a false alarm.  Now that I can feel him move, it seems like he doesn't stop.  He especially loves night time.  When we were getting our ultrasound he would not stop moving long enough to get pictures.  Every time she thought she could get one, he would flip over.  Looks like we have another busy bee on our hands.

Gender: BOY!  I really admire people who can go the whole pregnancy without finding out, but one thing I love about knowing is being able to call him by name.  I no longer have to refer to him as "it."  I will tell you all his name next week.  We absolutely love his name, and it has such special meaning to both of us.

What I miss:  We had our monthly progressive dinner party last weekend, and I really missed drinking with everyone.  It is only in social settings like that when I really miss drinking.

Best Moment of the Week: Being able to see our sweet baby, and knowing that he is healthy.  It is exciting to find out gender, but the 20 week ultrasound makes me so nervous, because I worry they will find something wrong.  Thankfully, baby boy looks great so far.

I have a few more pictures from the gender reveal, and one of me from this week.  It's not great, but it will do.


Gender Reveal

IT'S A BOY!!!!

That's right friends, we are welcoming another baby boy in March 2014.  As I have mentioned before I have not had a feeling what this baby is from the beginning.  Well, the night before our ultrasound I had a dream it was a girl.  Going into the ultrasound I had convinced myself it was a girl.  After going through all of the organs, and confirming we have a healthy baby (which is the most important thing,) it didn't take her long to see the little private parts.  I think I saw it about the same time she did.  We did things a little different this time around.  My Dr sends her patients to have a high risk ultrasound done, because they can check for a lot more than she can.  Being there are many women who come there with problems they only allow a max of three people in the room.  Last time both of our moms, and my sister in law came, and they had to switch out being in the room.  This time we decided it would only be fair if Luke and I were the only two that went, and everyone else would find out together.  I have no idea how people wait days to tell friends and family, because I was busting at the seams waiting a few hours.  Not to mention it was hard talking to my mom and not spilling the beans.  We had close friends and family meet at a pizza place by our house, and I made cupcakes with blue filling.  We let our moms bite into the cupcakes to reveal the gender.  I didn't get any pictures of them eating the cupcakes because I wanted to watch it myself.  I am trying to get my sister to send me some, and I will post them with my 20 week update.  My mom had convinced herself it was a girl, so she was pretty shocked.  I would say the group was probably 50/50.  Either way we are so thrilled to have a healthy baby.  I know Hudson will love having a little brother, and they will be so close growing up.  It will be really easy to prepare for this baby, because I pretty much have everything I need in the boy department.  Thanks for everyone who came out to celebrate, and all the well wishes!  


Halloween 2013

The week before Halloween Hudson was sick.  We took him to the Dr, and she confirmed hand, foot, and mouth.  It was awful.  He had it in his mouth, and I know it had to be so painful.  Then Tuesday night before Halloween he woke up projectile puking at 1:00 in the morning.  I have to say, toddler puking is the worst.  They can't tell you when it is coming, and they immediately gravitate toward you right before it happens.  I guess from having hand, foot, and mouth he just couldn't shake the stomach virus very fast.  He was starting to feel better by Halloween, but not completely well.  Luckily for us there were bad storms here in Nashville so we had to postpone trick or treating until Friday.  That gave him another day to recover.  He was still not up to par Friday, but  I decided to take him trick or treating for a little while.  He was ok for a little while, and then whined the rest of the time.  I knew the skunk costume from last year would be hard to top, but I think this years costume was a close second.
                                                              Poor sick little boy

I should have known where the night would go from here.

I painted the girls nails black for Halloween.

Macy was a "Diner Girl."  Does this make anyone
else think of Cinderella Story?

Maddie's costume was hilarious.  She didn't slow down
enough for me to get a decent picture.

Thankfully he is still a little too young to be that into trick or treating.  A few houses for pictures was enough for us.  Next year we will be taking two kiddos!  Stay tuned tomorrow to find out the gender of baby Graves #2!


18 Weeks

So much for getting weekly posts done.  I have been so busy lately I don't know which way it up.  All this is good, because it is making time FLY by! I am still sick.  Just when I think it is getting better, I get hit with nausea/puking.  Luckily, it is not everyday.  If its true what they say about being sick means a healthy pregnancy......this baby better make me lots of money being a pro athlete one day :)

Total Weight Gain: I have not been on the scale.  I would say after Gatlinburg I have added a few pounds to my previous 5 lbs gain.

Sleep: Sleep is ok.  I still get up a couple of times to pee, and we will have a toddler come into our room on random nights.  After having one baby sleep is not something I am too focused on, nor do I require it as much as I used to.  I have been really tired this week, and going to bed earlier.

Food/Eating:  I crave Simply Apple apple juice like it is my job!  I am back to my water guzzling self, which makes me happy. I eat Amy's Organic burritos most days for lunch, and I made turkey tacos for dinner last night.  But you could not pay me to eat at a Mexican restaurant.  It's funny how cravings are so specific.  

 Movement:  I am starting to think this baby is going to be a lot less active in the womb.  I really don't feel it move to often, and Hudson was doing gymnastics at this point.  I usually have to be laying down really still to feel movement.

Gender:  I still have no clue what we are having.  We will find out in two short weeks!

What I miss: I can honestly say I am not missing anything this week.  I have been a little sick, but its not constant, and I am feeling great otherwise.

Best Moment of the Week: With the holidays in full swing it is fun to think about having two babies next year!  It is still so hard to believe, and we are so thankful.

I really need to get better about taking pictures.  Our bathrooms at work are so small I can't even get a full body, but you get the point :)